I’m a working mum and it is definitely not easy to cut the balance time between assisting my children with school work, have leisure for myself, for my spouse and be there for my parents. My parents are not the kind that dictates that you must visit weekly or call daily. They are undemanding and understand that their daughters are busy managing work and family. Early this year, my father was still working past the age of 60 and my mum happily retired, now a homemaker, looking after my kids (age 10 and . My parents insisted to stay on their own so I sent my kids daily in the afternoon after school and I will fetch my kids daily in the evening. We will meet up occasionally for dinner or when there are birthday/anniversary occasion that we will celebrate together.
But suddenly last month, my father was not able to continue his work contract and he found himself jobless. Again my parents did not signal the need for us to spend more time with them. But my thoughtful dd daily updates me, voicing out her concern as my father falls into deep depression.
We tried to draw him out by visiting him daily, bringing him food, bringing him out but he spend the whole time sleeping and loses a lot of weight due to his lack of appetite. This continues for two weeks.
I guess he must be worried about living expenses as his retirement saving is quite meager compared to the current cost of living. Together with my sister, we talk it out and try to help out with their living expenses.
I do remember too having such a good time with my grandmother playing, studying and doing things with her. I suggested to my kids to do the same things too. I seek my father’s helped to assist my kids with their spiritual development (religious study). In doing so, I make him feels useful and the outcome is he attack the assignment with vigor. He immediately went out to buy stationeries, two small white boards, blank books and the necessary reference materials that is needed for his teaching.
Once in a while on weekdays, as my office is just 5 minutes drive from their place, I will alert my mum that I will have lunch at their place. That makes my parents happy and my father will shop for fresh ingredients from the market and my mum will then cook my favorite food.
On a weekly basis, I take turns with my sister to bring my parents out or invite them over for dinner followed by a movie. The next plan in tow will be to have a barbecue & sleep over at a chalet end of the year and bringing my parents to China to visit their grand niece.
I am glad to say that we as a family have successfully pulled out my father from depression. For my case, it’s just not the amount of time spend with them but the quality time, taking care of their worries and trying to find activities that will make them happy. Every little effort from each one of us (my kids, my dh, my sister’s family) that setting aside time to spend quality time with my parents is but an effortless task.