Nothing makes you feel like a grown up more than having to take care of a sick parent. I am very accustomed to taking care of sick children. From the moment you discover you are pregnant, you begin training yourself on what to do and how to do it. Your child looks to you as the absolute authority, because really, they don’t know that you don’t know what you are doing.
But it is different when you care for a parent. Arguing with your 80-year-old mother to take her medicine is a losing battle. She knows more than you (she always did). And it is hard to see her so vulnerable. Growing up, my mom was superman. Nothing fazed her, no problem was too hard or too big to deal with. She had no patience for whining and self-pity. Now I tell her its ok to whine a bit. She just had major surgery! “I don’t want to bother the nurses. They are so busy,” is my typical, self-reliant mom.
So now our roles are reversed and I am the caregiver. When she says “why do I have to take my pain medicine?”, I can answer “Because I said so!”