On being torn between family and self...
So I'm up in NJ, for the second weekend in a row. My mom had knee replacement surgery last Friday, and I came up last weekend - drove up Thursday night, went back to Baltimore on Sunday. This weekend I drove up Saturday morning, will be returning tomorrow afternoon - I'm off the 5th and 6th from work.
It looks like I'm going to be up here again next month - my brother is going away on vacation, so I get to babysit the parents for a while. I'm not exactly thrilled - I had hoped to take a vacation this summer, ironically to the same place he's going, but because of scheduling stuff couldn't swing it. I also hate taking time off, and this means I'll have used something like a third of my vacation time on family stuff. I don't like to take time off in general, and try to let most of my vacation days go unused, which means I can't take a whole lot more time in addition to what I'm taking to help them out without hurting my career. But I can't really blame my brother for wanting to take a vacation, and he has been doing a lot for my parents since he lives much closer than them.
My parent's health issues - my dad has MS, my mom has some other issues in addition to her knees - have probably been harder on him than on me to have to deal with. But it's hard on some level for both of us. It's strange how different things are from a few years ago - now I'm cooking for the parents and shopping and driving them around instead of the other way around. Now holidays and visits seem less like relaxing and more like work.
I'm also not used to not being on my own - to having to accommodate other people's sleep schedules, eating schedules, ect. My dad tends to like things done on his terms, while my mom thanks me for every little thing I do so enthusiastically that I feel bad for not doing more. But I'm also bored - they don't have a TV, so it's either the internet or books. All the stuff I normally have - friends, my cat, my house, my gym - are a couple hundred miles away. I feel disconnected, torn between where I feel like I need to be and where I want to be.
This post is pretty rambling, and doesn't say much. I guess I'm mostly venting. I'm trying to figure out what my obligations as a son are, I guess. I want to be there for my parents, because they made huge sacrifices for me when I was a kid. But at the same time, I want to be able to live my life, and maybe someday even meet someone and have my own kids, and that's hard to do when I'm going between my life and theirs.