“Mother-daughter. Daughter-mother. With aging parents, the lines blur in ways that make you question everything you know about yourself,” writes Washington Post reporter Tracy Grant in her February 22, 2011 Momspeak column.
If you are an adult daughter with a strong and confident mom, this introduction not only rings true — it also makes you keep reading.
In her column Mothers, Daughters, and the Circle of Life, Grant deftly explores the challenges we daughters experience as roles evolve and change. Her piece is less about caregiving and more about the shifting emotions and changes as each generation of mothers and daughters confront role-reversals that are a part of the aging parent-adult child landscape.
I’ve included this photo of another era of shifting relationships, when my mom was helping my grandmother, then in her late 80s. At that point, I was clueless.
Many of our aging moms took estrogen for significant periods, and many adult daughters — like me — have taken estrogen and then stopped and started and stopped again. Some boomer adult women continue to take the medication. I keep hearing from older women, including my mom, that they did not feel as good after stopping estrogen (Read this Mayo Clinic article about pros and cons.), commenting about things such as sharpness, energy, and general well-being. I know I feel different when I am taking some variation of the medication. Cynthia Gorney’s article, The Estrogen Dilemma, in the April 12, 2010 New York Times Magazine, presents current surmises about estrogen, its possibilities as a medication, and scientists’ rethinking about who should be taking it. In essence, our mothers were the experimenters, and though they may not have known it at the time their legacy may benefit their daughters and granddaughters. How much will we be able to learn and benefit from our mothers’ estrogen experiences?
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