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To not visit my mother until she apoligises

(93 Posts)
fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:17:44

Sorry this is very long story but u need the background info.

My mother is in her nursing home, she is mentally all there but physically not able to do much for herself. All her care and basic needs are met well in a genuinely lovely home.

I have 2 kids under 6, a job and also look after my dad who has dementia but still lives in his own home. I also need to do a fair bit for my mother in law who is also in poor health and living alone at home. So basically I have a lot on. My husband helps alot but works long hours and has a health problem of his own which means it is really important he keeps fit - so that takes up a lot of time.

I feel like I am constantly spinning plates. About April time this all got too much for me - my hair was falling out, I constantly had a cold and no energy and was snapping at my husband and kids. Since then I took stock and have tried to make some time for myself (i now go the gym twice a week) and get 8 hours sleep a night.

Anyway my mother is constantly demanding my time, giving me tasks to do (like washing and taking her to routine medical appointments) which could done by the home she is in. She moans constantly about everything, the home, the staff, her health, my brother, my dad, how bored she is and also has digs at me.

So I get to the point now! On Thursday (my day off work) I never stopped. A well overdue opticians appointment for me, on the phone for ages trying to get a doctor out to visit my mother in law, on the phone getting plumber out to fix broken pipe, cleaning house, washing, cleaning my dad's house. All whist entertaining a 4 year old. When dh got in from work I went out to visit her on my way to a class at the gym. When i got to the home she was on the toilet. I waited a bit then left to get to my class. This clearly displeased her as she did not answer her phone when I called later - passive aggressive.

Anyway last night i tried calling her again and as soon as she come on the phone it was moaning about just about everything. It started with me being 'too busy to wait to see her on thurs and to complaints about the home and says she would be better in her own house. I gently remind her how difficult it was in her own home, but she continues about how she is abandoned in the home (she had had visits of my dad and her friends that day and I was there on mon, and I think my brother had either been there or called on Wed). I asked her if would just try to be more positive and stop trying to make me feel guilty when I was doing my best, her response to this was to say "well if the cap fits". I hung up on her (something I have never done before) and feel a apology and change in attitude is needed from her. What do you think is this reasonable?

Pollydon Sat 20-Jul-13 09:21:51

I think you are doing your best in a difficult situation. Your mum is being selfish, but she has no one to think about but herself.
YANBU, you deserve an apology.

TidyDancer Sat 20-Jul-13 09:23:32

My instinct is to cut her some slack tbh, because she is clearly unhappy. She may not be expressing that well, but that's the impression I get.

It's tough on you though, so you have my sympathies.

purplewithred Sat 20-Jul-13 09:25:34

I doubt she will see she has anything to apologise for but I definitely think you need to protect yourself from her negativity and set firm boundaries as to what you will and won't do for her and will and won't put up with. It is perfectly reasonable for you to visit her socially, not to be her handmaiden. If she doesn't enjoy your visits then don't go.

MadeOfStarDust Sat 20-Jul-13 09:26:33

if she does not apologise what will you do...

will you just happily go about your own life
capitulate and go back to how it has always been anyhow
or feel eaten up by guilt so much it affects the rest of your life...

ps - from personal experience ... Your mother will not feel she has done anything wrong....

Tommy Sat 20-Jul-13 09:28:28

if I waited until my mum apologised every time she was rude, I'd have been waiting for about 30 years..... hmm

If I were you, I would just carry on and do the best you can and ignore her rude comments. when she asks you to do things, just be honest - tell her when you can come and what you can do and don't get involved in an argument with her. She is being looked after so you don't need to worry so much about her (sounds like you have more than enough to worry about anyway sad )

3littlefrogs Sat 20-Jul-13 09:34:48

YANBU. Please take a step back and let the home do the things they are paid to do. It costs upwards of £700 per week for a place in a home. They are supposed to assist with all the resident's needs.

Also, if you haven't applied for help to look after your dad and your MIL you need to get in touch with AGE UK/carer's gateway/social services now. Are you claiming carer's allowance, and are they claiming attendance allowance? Does your dad have a care package?

You sound run off your feet, op, and you can't carry on like this.

I speak as a parent, employee and carer myself and I know how hard it is to be pulled in all directions.

Just looking after one old person with dementia is hard enough IME, without everything else you are doing as well.

missrlr Sat 20-Jul-13 09:42:46

You will be waiting a long time.
Just continue with visits NOT doing all the stuff you can leave to the home next time go in with a big smile and when she starts point out again it is not all bad. If she makes further such comments just leave ASAP. She will get the message eventually about the comments just make sure the reaction is quickly done not emotional and if she says why then say because you upset me with these sorts of comments, I don't come here to be upset by you I come to spend time with you, as you don't want this judging by your comments I am going.
It takes time
Also second making sure you are getting the allowances etc you need and your family needs

emuloc Sat 20-Jul-13 09:49:10

The home is supposed to take her to appointments find out then it would be one less thing for you to do. Take care of you. Do not run yourself into the ground. Your parent is not happy and when people are not happy they do tend to emit a lot of negetivity.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 09:55:08

I get that she's unhappy. Fair enough. But I guess you just have to say I'm sorry you are unhappy mum but I'm not exactly on a dream cruise in caribbean here either. I am doing what I can to spend time with you and I can't do more because I have so many other responsibilities, not just you, so maybe you can think of some other ways to make your life happier.

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:56:43

My dad does not have a care package but he is physically very fit. He just forgets to eat, clean, wash his clothes, buy food etc. He needs prompting more than caring. I have thought about getting him a cleaner but he refuses to have anyone in the house. Considering getting a cleaner for mine - to free up some time to clean his! I could not even get carers in as he is a mobile and goes for walks so there is no knowing when he will be in.

I do get Attendance allowance for him - so that would pay for my cleaner!

I should point out this unhappiness and negativity from my mother is nothing new - it is what she is like. For years I think my dad has took the brunt of it but now he is mentally not up to it - she has turned it on me and my brother.

My mother is one of those people that no matter how much you do for her it will never be enough.

Kytti Sat 20-Jul-13 09:58:51

It's a very hard thing to do. My mother is like this. Without boring you all to death with the VERY LONG story, we've been estranged now for about 18 years. I tried to re-establish a relationship with her a couple of years ago, but it didn't work out well. I realised she will never change, everything will always be about her, and my life would never be my own. She is very unhappy, but I cannot help her until she realises that the majority of her problems and issues are her own making. She simply refuses to help herself.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is be careful what you wish for. You clearly have it very hard, and you need to look after yourself and your own family. Your mother should be more grateful, but she clearly isn't. I'm not saying ignore her, just think about how you want your relationship to move forward. . I wish you all the very best of luck, and hope you have a happier ending than I did.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 10:00:32

Is there a way you can just keep batting the responsibility for her happiness back to her or at least refusing to take it on yourself. If nothing is ever enough there is little to be gained by doing more!

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:01:56

WafflyVersatile - I have had just the conversion you describe with her so many times - but she will not take it on board. She just huffs and puffs and makes sarcastic comments about how busy I am.

The home definitely will take her to appointments BUT she wont have it. Next week ds has a little graduation party for leaving nursery- when my mum has a hos appointment (I have tried to change it but cant) but she still insists i have to take her so I will miss that.

pooka Sat 20-Jul-13 10:06:12

Definitely get a cleaner for your own house.

NUFC69 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:06:54

Fedup, I think you deserve a medal. You are clearly doing everything that you can - tbh I think you have to put your needs and the needs of your family first - and I say this as someone who is retired, and possibly not much younger than your mother. I think you are doing a fantastic job; do not stop visiting our mum, try to encourage the home to do more, and try to keep cheerful.

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:08:40

I think the appointments and the jobs are just attention seeking - she knows I will refuse to take her Marks and Spencer ( a nightmare with 2 kids running a mock and a wheelchair) but it is much harder for me to refuse the appointments). Btw I do occasionally take her the shops when i get dh to mind the kids - maybe once every 2 months, which I dont think is unreasonable - she thinks it is abuse that she has not had chance to go to debenhams sale!

angeltattoo Sat 20-Jul-13 10:14:53

Don't miss your son's graduation, please don't.

Ask the home to take and explain why to her. As in, tell her why you won't be taking her. If she would want you to miss your son's event, that gives you all the reason you need not to feel guilty! Your son is a little boy, your mother a grown woman!

JaxTellerIsAllMine Sat 20-Jul-13 10:15:39

oh fedup I have been in your situation and the only thing you can do is change how you react to your Mum. It is a skill that you have to learn, and it isnt always easy. For your own sanity you must do it though.

Do NOT take your mum to her hospital appt - let the home do it, honestly, she will go with them - otherwise she will miss her appt and that is HER issue, not yours. Go to your DS nursery party, this is important for you and son.

Re your Dads dementia, you can get people to help, AGE UK are absolutely amazing and will point you in direction of facilities to help, maybe not carers, but other channels for you as a family. I have to say, dementia gets worse, sometimes gradually, in my Dads case rapidly sad so you really do need to know what help is available and use it.

Your MIL - what does she need? Carers/shopping/meals on wheels

You cannot sustain everything that you are doing it has already made you ill and is affecting your family life. If you want to PM me, feel free.

This sounds like my life a few years ago - with the exception that I was 400 miles away from parents/inlaws and I was flying up and down continually to do everything.

angeltattoo Sat 20-Jul-13 10:16:42

She can shop the debenham's sale o line!

Any problem she offers up, reply with a solution. If she kicks up a fuss, explain to her that adults compromise!!

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 10:18:54

Totally agree that appointments should be left to the home to do. It's a service they provide so save your time for something else.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sat 20-Jul-13 10:25:54

Don't miss DS's nursery graduation for an appointment that the home could handle. If she literally refuses to go she's cutting off her nose to spite her face and that is her problem and responsibility not yours. In your shoes I think I'd say the home should do everything in relation to her care that they can do.

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:29:55

Yes I am lucky in the sense it is all local - all live within 1.5 miles. My MIL has a carer twice a week which we are looking at increasing. I cant even begin to imagine how people do it all with distance involved.

I have said now I will take her to the appointment - my dh is going to take the day off work to go, so dh will have someone there. She knows it is the graduation but just said oh i feel awful about that but I really 'need' you to take me to this. (it is routine - it is not like there is going to be anything new said). It is all about how she feels.

The online shopping is something she is well capable of - she has a laptop and internet - but she wont do it. That is something that is a job for me when I go - she sees something she wants but I have to but the details in for it. She wont even send emails - whats me to type them out for her (i now refuse). She is slow at typing but can do it - but rather than doing it with all the time she moans about having she asks me to.

cantdoalgebra Sat 20-Jul-13 10:31:28

Did your mother organise herself to go into the home, or did everybody else organise HER to do it? She may feel she was forced to go into the home (regardless if this is the truth or not) and her resentment is expressing itself in her demanding behaviour. Try not to be too harsh on her - she's an old lady who probably feels utter despair at her situation. However, you must also protect yourself from doing too much or you will make yourself ill and that will help no-one. Get a cleaner and get the home to do the hospital visits.

primroseyellow Sat 20-Jul-13 10:37:15

Definitely go to your son's nursery graduation. That is far more important than your selfish mother trying to dictate who takes her to an appointment. I use the word dictate deliberately. As a parent I feel you should always put your children's needs first, something it would appear your mother has not grasped. It is sad that she is so wrapped in her own needs but unless you say no to things like accompanying to appointments she will continue to direct your life - and have you neglecting your own children's needs in favour of hers. Put a stop to it and set your own terms.

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