This requires that when we do accept invitations to programs, parties or events, we actually ask other people to help us out with things like picking up mom, dad, Aunt Sally, any older adult in the family who may need a lift to the function.
This may seem like such a foreign concept to many of you so here are some examples to help you as you work on your boundary challenges.
- Call your siblings and say something like…
- ”Hey Joe looking forward to seeing you at Katie’s house for Thanksgiving! Would you like to drive Mom or Aunt Sally? If you didn’t figure it out, this is an either/or question not a yes or no! He has to pick someone.
- ”Hey Joe looking forward to seeing you at Katie’s house for Thanksgiving! Would you like to drive Mom or bring the vegetable tray and sodas? Don’t get annoyed if they choose to bring the food items it has still taken something off of your “To Do” list! Also, if they choose to bring the food item, don’t feel guilty and pick up some extra food to bring anyway because all you are showing up with is Mom!
- If there is someone who needs to be picked up and it is really out-of-the-way for everyone, set up transportation! I’m sure some of you are thinking – what kind of person would have my elderly family members take a taxi or bus to a family party on a holiday?! When you don’t set up alternate transportation, you can end up either having to leave before you want or, stay longer than you would have because your passenger is setting your timeline.
Check into senior transportation services around the area to see if they have programs for holidays. Look for senior friendly taxi services. These are the services that will help your family member in and out of their home and carry any packages for them. You can find this information out from your local area agency on aging.
Family dynamics either make us want to spend more time with our loved ones during the holidays because we don’t get to see them a lot the rest of the year, or make us want to set a timer for when we can go home without feeling like we ate and ran. It is not selfish to want to want to set your own holiday timeline.
Still more tips to come!