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.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 20-Jul-13 10:43:27

fedup123 I have a feeling she took more out on you before than you realise. You sound like you are conditioned to accept this behaviour there is no way in hell you should be missing your ds' graduation to go to a routine appointment where someone else could easily take her and the only reason you are is because she has conditioned guilt into you. The people in stately homes thread might make interesting reading for you.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 20-Jul-13 10:46:03
3littlefrogs Sat 20-Jul-13 10:46:05

Do not miss the graduation party.

Tell her you cannot take her, the home will arrange it. End of.

Sorry, but I have a parent in law like this. It is very draining.

AndHarry Sat 20-Jul-13 10:54:24

Please go to your son's nursery party sad For you more than for him really. It is not selfish to have time to do things you want to do too.

Your mother on the other hand sounds like a P.I.T.B. YANBU. Ring the home, tell them they need to get her to the hospital appointment and enjoy yourself for a week.

KFFOREVER Sat 20-Jul-13 11:02:22

Wow you do have a lot on your plate. I havent read the wjole thread but i think you should pay very little attention to your mums comments. Shes feeling lonely and probably misses being in her home. She has a lot of time on her hands and perhaps has forgotten how busy life can be with 2 small kids. Regardless of an apology please continue to visit her because if something happens to her you will regret not visiting her. Life is too short and mothers have too much pride.

Nanny0gg Sat 20-Jul-13 11:15:00

If you don't make a stand, she won't stop.

Other than moaning, what can she do if you refuse to bend to her demands? She can't punish you, she is the one who will suffer if you don't visit.

Tell her that if she wants to go to her appointment, the home will take her. If she would rather miss it, then it's her choice. It's routine, so she won't die if she misses it anyway.

Get all the practical help you can for yourself (cleaner, carers etc), carry on making sure you have time for yourself and your own DH and DCs. Visit her, do what you can, but let the home do what they're paid to do.

It's in your hands, OP. You're doing the best you can with all the plates you're spinning, but you must learn to say no.

And what does your brother do? Is your DH an only child or are there siblings who could help with his mother?

Sister77 Sat 20-Jul-13 11:27:13

Hi Fed up, I'm sorry you've got it so hard at the moment, it's tough and no one knows what it's like till they've walked in your shoes.
Make a list, of everything you do. Anything that can be cut out/cut down do. For example: when your mum was well, how often would you visit? If it was once a week and you've increased it to 3 visits a week, why? Do you feel guilty? Drop the visits to 2 days.
Get a cleaner, your time at home should be quality time because it sounds like you don't get much me time. It WILL make a difference.
Find out what the home offers and take advantage if they attend patient appointments (and there shoul be provision) let them go. They can also take residents out so they should.
How bad is your dads dementia? Does he need more care? Can a care package be put in situ for him?
And most importantly, YOU come first! If you drop then how will anyone (most importantly your DC cope)?

JaxTellerIsAllMine Sat 20-Jul-13 11:27:48

So she had a tantrum re the appt when you said no. Then your family all changed plans to suit your mum. You are enabling her behaviour op.

Stop enabling her!

missesjellybean Sat 20-Jul-13 11:33:57

I think as hard as it is you need to be a bit firmer with her and as awful as it sounds if she is acting like a toddler then treat her like one. I would definitely not miss your child's nursery graduation for the sake of a routine hospital appointment. you'll never get those memories back.
I'd say to her I HAVE to go in nursery on (date) so do you want me to postpone your appointment until later so I can come with you or do you want someone from the home to go with you.
thst way you are empowering your mother to make decisions but still offering to go with her at a later date. thst way if she tries to moan afterwards you can tell her it was her choice to do a or b.
I'd do that with most things from now on anything that doesn't fit in around you. eg I can either take you to m&s next month or xxx appointment.
just just need to remember to be firm. I'm sure you wouldn't let you child dictate to you like that you'd offer alternatives that were ok for you and not back down, and that is with a child not an adult who is old enough to understand how much you have on your plate.
as long as your nice with her even if she tries to guilt you into doing stuff just nicely say ive told you I can't do that so do you want me to do a or b because what you want me to do is not an option....she'll quickly come around if she wants you to keep visiting...

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 20-Jul-13 11:37:23

You poor thing. Please listen to the others and go to your DS's party. I speak as someone who missed taking DD to her School Prom last year, missed last week taking and picking up DS from his school trip last week plus missed dropping him off for his transfer day at middle school, though I did pick up.

It couldn't really be helped in my case as my Mum was unwell really those times but even so I do feel quite bitter. If she'd taken medication as told when younger there's a chance she wouldn't be in this situation. She will be fine with someone else taking her.

My Mum has Dementia so a different situation but before she was diagnosed I spent years listening to how she's had to do what I'm doing - er no, she didn't have to deal with herself. I have come to the realisation that I won't be able to change her thinking but what I can do is change the way I respond, you can too. Sometimes it takes time to realise it is ok to say no.

You can get someone in to do some of the things for your Dad, laundry , shopping , cooking meals he can eat later etc even if he isn't in. they could have a key or you install a key safe.

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:30:13

Thanks, my dad still cooks ready meals and if i phone him just before (not too much notice or he will forget!) we are about to eat he will walk to mine for his tea.

The big difference between my dad and mother in law and my mother is the lack of demands. My dad never asks for anything and my mil only asks when really needed. And she will always say things like 'thank you' (which mum often does not) but also 'I am sorry about this i know you have enough to do' (genuinely meant rather than the sarcasm of my mum).

I am thinking of sending my mum a text - how does this sound???

"I realise you are frustrated and lonely but making nasty comment to me about feeling abandoned and that you would be better at home is not going to improve the situation. All you are doing is trying to make me feel guilty coz ur disabled. If you want to go back home - fine - tell me and I'll sort it out. But stop the negatively and emotional blackmail as all is doing is making me want to see you less'

Please advise on improvements i could make to the text.

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 14:36:04

btw - we have tried the carers at home option before - which she hated - she cried all the time - was phoning me all the time - at work included if the carers were late. Slagging of my dad constantly for not getting her this or that.

One day she even phoned me whilst i was at a children party in the next town to tell me she 'needed' a macdonalds for her dinner. When i said i was at a party and not near a macdonalds she started crying.

Another time she was feeling unwell so had not wanted to eat - she told the carer when she come she had not been offered food all day. I then had a social worker ring me at work - investigating neglect.

It made my dad worse as he was getting really angry and shouting.

It was a terrible time and she knows it - so she is just saying she wants to go home to get at me.

IAmNotAMindReader Sat 20-Jul-13 14:43:50

Don't send the text. Things were more difficult at home for her before she moved to the home. They would be impossible to manage now.
That text basically says to her I will bend over backwards and do whatever you want. I will sacrifice my own health and happiness, my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my children all for you. She won't notice the rest of it.

Of course she knows its your DSs graduation she is competing for your attention with a child. She is being very short sighted and selfish because she doesn't seem to care how always putting her needs before his may affect your relationship with him later in life.

I'm not saying she is a horrible person but she has got herself stuck in this rut of disabling herself by digging in and refusing to have anyone else but you do these things because she thinks you should. She is feeling a bit out of control and is trying to feel she has a better handle on things by focusing all her control onto you. Understandable, but it will break you as the more you give the more petty infractions she will invent as an excuse to rage, where she knows she's not justified in raging at her situation because its the best you can all do for her.

tiktok Sat 20-Jul-13 14:47:05

fedup, I have and have had elderly people in my life.

You cannot send your mum a text like that - not because it is a dreadful thing to do, but because arguments/confrontations/challenges are more effective spoken face to face. Why would you not do this? If you are scared, there is no need to be. What can she do? You are near enough to her to say these things to her face to face.

It is 100 per cent unacceptable that she 'makes' you feel you should be taking her to her appointment and thereby missing your little boy's nursery event. You are irreplaceable at this - though it's lovely that your dh is going anyway, you need to be there, for your memories and for your ds's. Your ds will want you there!

A few home truths shared with your mother, calmly and assertively, would not go amiss.

If you are still frightened by your mum, it's time to grow up smile

ratbagcatbag Sat 20-Jul-13 14:48:12

Just don't put up with it, first thing I'd do today is ring home, explain that they will need to arrange to get her to hospital next week, end of. Text your mum, say your unfortunately unable to make next weeks appointment but you will visit on x, the home are making arrangements for you to attend your appointment. If she misses it, that's her choice as an adult to do that. It's not your DS's choice for you to miss his graduation. You don't want to look back on all the pictures realising you missed lots of events.

If you go and visit your mum and she moans, just keep repeating I've explained why I'm not available you have another way of getting there, do not be drawn into the whys and why nots.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 20-Jul-13 14:48:31

I don't know Fedup as I don't entirely trust my judgement at the moment as I managed to inflame the situation between my Brother and I this week.

But from what you said about what she was like at home I wouldn't offer to take her home personally. My Mum is very demanding and sees things as my duty as a daughter.

I think if I were you I would ring the Home today, say you will not be able to take her it the appointment next week as you have something on with your son you need to be at and ask them to sort someone to take her.

Next I would try to relax this weekend as much as possible. Monday I would text her to say something like 'I am going to DS's nursery graduation next week and have made arrangements for a Carer to take you to your appointment'

Just the facts. Start saying if she wants to come home then I think she will just to make you sort it. If she does it will go all wrong again and you'll be back it square 1.

If she then insists on going home and she cn then do this , get a SW involved. Make it clear what happened before and ask for help handling it. Some can be really brilliant though it does depend a lot on who you get .

redcaryellowcar Sat 20-Jul-13 15:03:36

I am sad to read about your situation it must be very difficult to juggle your time and prioritise, I do think that even if appointment ends up being postponed that you should attend your sons graduation, I think maybe try prioritising things you will regret later. I can imagine your son would feel sad if everyone else's mummy went and you didn't.
On separate note I wonder if it might help you to see a counsellor? I was in a difficult relationship with an exP who through some counselling sessions I realised was unlikely to change and therefore I changed my thinking and was much happier, I think as others have said she is unlikely to change so in order for you to feel happier you are in a better position to change your thinking than hers?

formicadinosaur Sat 20-Jul-13 15:09:13

Can you write to her and list every responsibility you have at the moment and how little support you get? Then acknowledge that she wants more attention but that you are flat out and doing your best to cope as it is.

redcaryellowcar Sat 20-Jul-13 15:10:00

...And I wouldn't send the text, doesn't sound like it was working well at home before and sounds like your mum is no less happy but your dads life is improved as a result of her being in a home and importantly she is safe in a home.

looseleaf Sat 20-Jul-13 15:27:55

I wouldn't text either but a kind, calm conversation (keeping your head as it must make you very upset and she seems to totally overlook your own needs). If it's appropriate i'd tell her why you need to retreat a bit and why she is responsible for her own happiness and driving people away which is the last thing you want.

Does she have any of her own friends?

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 16:02:38

The part about 'if you want to go home' was just calling her bluff - there is no way on earth- I am 99.9% sure that she would even contemplate going home. My dad irritates her- she cant stand beig around him. He still visits her and she is rude to him.

I feel sure she was just saying the bit about she would be better at home as emotional blackmail.

I have made the list of all i have to do for her before - made no difference - she called me the next morning telling me to get her tena lady before the end of the day as the ones they have in the home r not to her liking.

The example of the appointment on the day of ds nursery graduation - was just an example of how self centered she is - I have no already said I will take her so i cant go back on that. But thanks everyone for the support on it.

i was just thinking the text might hit home more than a conversation as the conversation has more or less been had before to no use. As I mentioned in the opening post since i got ill and my hair was falling out at Easter I have retreated a bit from her and do not visit as much or for as long (just to avoid the negativity).

She does have a couple friends that visit each friday. She had another group of friends but when she went in the home, and they were planning to visit she rang and told them not too and said something along the lines of it not being a zoo.

She had a group she went to once a month (on a day I work) but has refused to go since moving into the home as she does not see why she should pay for a taxi there when she has a car.

ratbagcatbag Sat 20-Jul-13 16:13:11

You can easily change your mind re the appointment, I'm sorry but you need to prioritise your son, he will expect mummy to be there, if she was in hospital at deaths door fine, but not for a routine appointment someone else can take her too.

I'm sorry but you need to think of yourself and your immediate family unit.

And I dj understand, my dfil is in a home and it was the only one who could take him so he's ten miles away, I ran myself ragged during my pregnancy and so did my DH. We just say no now, we can't do it.

tiktok Sat 20-Jul-13 16:15:33

Of course you can change your mind and go to the nursery event.

What are you scared of?

You have simply reconsidered and you find your priorities are now different!

Just tell her!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 20-Jul-13 16:19:09

As ratbag says, you can say no. I can pretty much guarantee you will regret it if you don't . I looked at DD's prom picture and just felt sad. She emotionally blackmailed you into it in the first place. If you don't take a stand where will it stop ?

Mum's CH said to me yesterday that I should take a week totally out to look after myself as I have a family to look after and they need me. Your DS needs you.

looseleaf Sat 20-Jul-13 16:32:59

Maybe a letter if the conversations aren't helping? Or are you close to your brother who could say something protective about you ? And don't feel guilt as she should be encouraging you to be there for your DC not making it difficult. The years your children need you this much are very short and she should remember how intense and important they are. Wishing you well and wish she'd think about you more .

3littlefrogs Sat 20-Jul-13 16:36:43

OP you are so brow beaten you are not thinking rationally.

You must go to your son's nursery event. Your mother can be taken to her appointment by a carer.

Everyone on this thread is saying the same thing.

It sounds as if you have been ground down by your mother all your life and you cannot prioritise your own needs or those of your family.

Fairyliz Sat 20-Jul-13 16:43:57

Another vote for saying go to your son's graduation.
Just tell you mum calmly that you are not taking her, ensure the home know they have to take her and if she plays up just leave.
I am sorry but she has had her time, your loyalties now must lie with your DH and son.

starfishmummy Sat 20-Jul-13 17:05:53

When you tell your Mother that you can't do something because......she will come back at you with a reason why you are - in her opinion- being selfish/neglecting her. So stop telling her why you can't do things, just say that whatever it will be is not possible. So for the appointment - "I can't take you to the hospital on xx but the home will organise transport" is enough.

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 18:12:16

At the risk of going on and on - my brother has offered to take her, but she has refused, she 'needs' me there as I 'will listen and ask questions'. She is perfectly capable of doing this herself.

My dh calls her the spolit child.

RandomMess Sat 20-Jul-13 18:20:45

She is a spoilt child and you are enabling her. "That is not possible for me", "No" are perfectly valid responses from you to her.

Every time she starts being horrible walk out/hang up on her. Ring up the next time/visit her with smile on your face and repeat. Any bad behaviour and you ignore her!

cq Sat 20-Jul-13 18:28:09

OP, a few things jump out at me here:

Your mum has become the child in your relationship, which frequently happens as old people age. They become cranky, unreasonable and demanding. I have seen it with my grandparents, my in-laws and starting to see it in my DDad. It's really hard, but you have to try and rise above it like you would a tantrum-ing child. As starfish said earlier, just say "I can't take you to the hospital on xx but the home will organise transport".

Secondly, your mother has 2 children, and your DC has two parents. And yet you seem to be running around doing all the parenting and all the care of elderly parents.

You need to protect yourself by getting your DH and brother to step up more and take on some of the duties. Why is your DH expecting you to care for his mother as well as his DS, esp if you are also working?

The immediate issue over DS's graduation has brought all your conflicting duties to a head, but you need some long term help and solutions, not just this week.

Time to get tough, OP, or you will crater and then you'll be no good for anything. Wishing you strength and clarity.

TimeofChange Sat 20-Jul-13 18:48:38

OP: Excellent advice on here from loads of people.

Please get yourself some good quality multi vits and minerals.
They will help with the hair loss. You are obviously really run down.

Is it possible not to answer the phone to her if she is ringing at such inconvenient times - like when you were at a kids party?

Get tough and protect yourself from her.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Sat 20-Jul-13 18:59:14

Please go to the graduation. Just say I can't let DS down so I've asked the home to take you to your appointment. If she replies that you're letting her down or similar just say I'd rather do that than let down my 4 year old son. And walk away if necessary.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 20-Jul-13 19:29:35

Seeing as your Brother had offered to take her you are sorted. I would leave it till nearer the time then say Brother is taking you Mum, he will know what to ask as well as I do.

Then refuse to engage in the subject. I know it seems now that you are trapped and can't but is just because you are so worn down with it . Once you start saying no you are regaining control and you will feel better .

I'd let the old bag stew in her own juices for a bit.

You'll have a long wait for an apology, though!

Nanny0gg Sat 20-Jul-13 19:49:53

The example of the appointment on the day of ds nursery graduation - was just an example of how self centered she is - I have no already said I will take her so i cant go back on that. But thanks everyone for the support on it.

Of course you can!!

And your DH is right!

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:52:44

cq - My dh does an awful lot for my parents and his mother. However, he works much longer hours than me i work 3 days he works full time which is often about 60 hours a week.Plus as mentioned it is really important he keeps fit due to a health condition so is busy with that too. I have no issues with him - I feel he more than pulls his wait.

My brother is more like my mother and they rub each other the wrong way. He has the capacity just to walk away when it get to much. He could do alot more than he does. I feel rather peeved he dosent. But what can i do - i have asked him and explained but he just says he will do what he can.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 20-Jul-13 21:01:01

only read the first page, she sounds very similar to my mother and it is hard work and emotionally draining. She does things like this (and much much worse then refuses contact) all the time and i have just learnt to let her stew in her own juices until she makes contact again, she does, when she wants something or realises she has been a twat. I never get an apology and hell would freeze over before the words "im sorry" leave her mouth.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 20-Jul-13 21:05:20

Sorry, but nursery graduation??? really???? lol, how cute is that grin

fedup123 Sat 20-Jul-13 21:14:07

Sounds very similar Lemisdisappointed.thanks

watchingout Sat 20-Jul-13 21:16:21

YOU have the capacity to walk away when it gets too much too!

I second, third, and on.... What other posters have said. Your son comes first. Then, as he is leaving nursery, why not take a few days holiday with him, and leave DM to her own devices?

She has care, Internet and all her faculties. Just no manners.

Your son will not "graduate" nursery again.

There will be many other chances for you to help your mother, WITHOUT being a doormat.

Tough love....

Kat101 Sat 20-Jul-13 21:48:24

The road to hell is paved with good intentions....

Your mother is stuck in a miserable mindset and will continue to take out her misery on you. She won't change. Disengage further. It's not harsh, it's a living reality for many people with busy lives and aged relatives. The worst that can happen if you choose nursery over her is that she'll be angry, guilt inducing and basically no change there. You have zilch to lose and everything to gain by going to the graduation.

Don't overthink it. Just do it. You'll feel so much better.

sammythemummy Sat 20-Jul-13 23:02:58

Some of the stuff posters are coming up with leaves me in shock, did you all have crap parenting?

Op your mum seems like she doesnt like the home and she clearly misses you, so as her child who she has brought into the world, cared for should carry on visiting her and explain that your feelings were hurt.

IJustWoreMyTrenchcoat Sat 20-Jul-13 23:51:05

My grandma was like this when I was growing up (well, she still is but has dementia now as well). My mother never did learn to stand up to her, she just constantly feels guilty and kowtowed and even now drops everything for her. My poor mum had a horrible childhood at the hands of this horrible narcissistic woman, and has never been able to stand up to her or put her family first.

She was a wonderful mum, like you she tried to do everything for everybody and she was the one who suffered. We often came second to my grandma's demands just because of the sheer force of personality she had. Put your own family first, please don't try to be a martyr.

Your mum is not in a bad situation, she is in a nice home with all of her faculties. Let the home take some of the strain.

cleopatrasasp Sun 21-Jul-13 00:41:49

Wants are not needs OP, your mother has wants, her needs are already taken care of without your input. She is sucking you dry, your own body is clearly telling you this. Go and see her once a week or twice tops. Any complaining or being nasty from her and walk away until she learns her lesson. If she is nice reward her with longer or more frequent visits. Your brother is actually right, he does what he can without compromising his own life, you should do the same.

Nanny0gg Sun 21-Jul-13 01:38:13

sammythemummy So the OP has got to carry on running herself into the ground, and putting her family's needs last so that she can pander to her mother's unreasonable needs?
She's not wanting to abandon her. She needs her brother to help out and she needs to let the home do what they're paid for while she sees her mother socially, not as a carer.

And she shouldn't miss out on her son's events because her mother is being awkward.

Rulesgirl Sun 21-Jul-13 01:57:02

I think you need to seriously start looking after you first cause if you don't then all the other people depending on you wont have anyone anyway. But you have to be selfish here. People cope when they have to so your mother can have her needs met by the nursing staff and you can just visit her and chat etc. Get yourself the cleaner. Waiting for her to apologise might not happen. She may just act normal with you as if nothing happened. So what you need to start doing is practising some assertiveness and change the way you talk and deal with her. Always have some stock phrases to reply to her with that are neutral and non aggressive so your not stuck when she starts moaning at you.

ratbagcatbag Sun 21-Jul-13 03:01:35

Please tell me fed up you are going to see your son graduate? It's all about control, her wants do not take priority over yours and your sons wants.

We're in a similar position as I said with dpil, my dsil does a lot more than we do, we're not being horrible, my DSS missed so many of his activities over winter due to dfil in hospital then care home, my dd is 18 weeks old, we cannot keep doing what we were doing unfortunately. We try and get up once per week and take dmil, I have spent a lot of time doing other practical stuff for her such as separating finances for them etc. BUT I'm sure my dsil thinks we could do more, our stance is if she wants to run herself into the ground that's her choice, we can't help that but were not putting ourselves in the same position, maybe that's harsh but tough.

Interestingly, my dmil is lovely, but a few family members are saying she's become quite selfish and denanding, really?!?, nope only if you let her, she tried it once with me, being off because I didn't drop everything immediately, I explained why and she started being stroppy on the phone, I called her on it immediately, she's never done it again. She does it with my dsil because she can.

I'm really imploring you just to say no to this one thing,it will feel huge now but it's so important for your son and you. Don't tell her until the night before if needed, if it makes you feel better prep a list of questions for brother to ask, if she gives you hassle, explain calmly this is what is happening and refuse to discuss further. If she carries on, tell her you will speak to her on x date and you're going. Turn off house phone and mobile unil after nursery graduation.

GingerBlondecat Sun 21-Jul-13 03:38:43

I wish I hadn't read this. All it did was remind me of being my Mum's carer, got burn out. All I manage now is an occational phone call that is triggering in itself. She hasn't changed.

(((((((((((((((Huge Soft Warm Hugs))))))))))))))) OP

Please, Protect your own health and sanity.

olidusUrsus Sun 21-Jul-13 04:46:34

As an ex-care home worker, I have to admit, I did automatically side with your mum a little bit. A care home is often truly miserable place to be if you are physically unable but mentally fine. Depending on the type of home she's in, there may not be many other mentally-well residents and you may be one of her few forms of adult company who isn't paid to be there.

However, I would start letting the home do their jobs. Let them take her to appointments, to the shops and maybe she will get to know different carers, different people and eventually start making some new friends and bonding with those who care for her.

If I were you, the time I would be spending with my mum would be purely leisure and recreational, going to cafés together, perhaps bringing the children, wandering round garden centres, stuff like that. I would spend no time doing chores for her at all. Perhaps once she is relying on lots of readily available staff and not on one busy daughter, she will become calmer and less stressed and the time you spend together could be relaxing for you both.

I'd kick start this new routine by brightly saying "I'm sorry, I have to do stuff with the kids that day. Unavoidable. One of the carers will take you. Perhaps you could ask so-and-so, they're lovely".

Don't send the text, don't confront her about being a misery, because I suspect all this anger is a manifestation of loneliness and pain. Pointing it out won't help. But anyway, best of luck with it all.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 21-Jul-13 08:24:47

Just a thought - although, "no" is perfectly acceptable in this instance. Would it be possible to change the appointment time? I know its pandering to her but in the long run could be easier if she genuinely doesn't understand what the doctor says to her.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Sun 21-Jul-13 08:38:44

What would happen if your brother turned up to take her to the appointment and just said 'sorry, something's just come up with sis, jump in the car I'm taking you now'? Present it as a fait accompli.

Your thinking is skewed as you are so ground down. You are resigned to missing your son's special day for no other reason that your mother wants you to miss it because she knows it is special.

3littlefrogs Sun 21-Jul-13 09:42:29

olidusUrsus is spot on.

HollyBerryBush Sun 21-Jul-13 09:44:47

It must be hell to be in a home and just mark time waiting to die.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 21-Jul-13 09:52:41

Thats a helpful post right there, holly hmm

HollyBerryBush Sun 21-Jul-13 09:53:21

as intended

JaxTellerIsAllMine Sun 21-Jul-13 09:59:30

Wow holly berry. Not a clue angry what a spiteful post

formicadinosaur Sun 21-Jul-13 10:05:41

I like the idea of telling brother when the appointment is and organising him to take mum

digerd Sun 21-Jul-13 10:09:27

As you are helping to look after your MIL, can SIL - DBs OH also chip in and help with her MIL?

3littlefrogs Sun 21-Jul-13 10:24:56

Hollyberry. Unless you have been in a situation where you are working, bringing up children and caring for one or more old people with multiple health problems and/or dementia, you can't really know how hard it is.

Sometimes a care home is the only solution.

My dad is in a lovely care home. He needs 24/7 care and, because he is wheelchair bound, he needs to be in a purpose built wheelchair accessible environment. He has lots of activities, company, good food, entertainment and assistance with personal care that he would be mortified to have his daughter doing for him. He is happy.

I agree, some care homes are awful, and we had some bad experiences before we found this one, but we have an ageing population and as a society we have to find solutions.

One person cannot do everything and it sounds as if the op has her hands full.

springytoto Sun 21-Jul-13 10:26:27

Sounds like your mother is sucking you bone dry - a vampire.

I'm sure you could cope with your dad and MIL but it is your mother who insists on eclipsing your life. Time to set some boundaries!

Don't expect anything from her - she is incapable of considering you and your needs and will continue to suck you dry and then discard your carcass, complaining all the while. She is a sick woman.

the time comes when you have to give up expecting a parent to parent - some never have; some get old and stop being able to do it (for whatever reason). Giving her lists of what you do would be pissing in the wind - she is obsessed with herself and her own needs and wouldn't begin to see your needs.

Have a look at this book. It is a christian book but generally accepted as the best on the market for looking at setting and upholding your boundaries.

You're a good daughter. I'm sorry you've had such a rough time with your mum ((()))

Nanny0gg Sun 21-Jul-13 10:46:09

Bloody hell HollyBerryBush what else would you like the OP to do? Stick a broom up her @rse and clean her mother's room as well?

She goes to visit her mum (as well as works, takes care of her family, worries about her poorly DG, cares for her father -who has dementia- and helps with her poorly MiL) She's hardly sat on her backside painting her nails and peeling grapes.

Why should she do routine things the home is paid for? If she's spared those activities she can spend 'quality' time (loathe that expression) with her. She can do important things with her children. And won't end up resenting and begrudging every visit to her mum.

Your post was spiteful and unnecessary.

2rebecca Sun 21-Jul-13 10:58:59

I think your brother's plan of deciding what help he has time to give and sticking to it is the only sensible one.
She's in a nursing room, her needs are being met, some people have no relatives and the home sorts out their hospital appointments for them. If you choose to do alot for your mum then fine, but be aware it is a choice and you can choose to do less for her and spend more time with your husband and kids, and your father who is more in need of help as still living alone. I'd let your husband do stuff for his mum as you have a job too, he can cycle or walk to visit her to help his fitness.
It doesn't sound as though your mum appreciates alot of the stuff you do anyway and I agree with others that if she's going to be miserable regardless one of you should be doing what she wants.
I don't think you should stop visiting but decide how much you want to visit and when and don't allow yourself to be emotionally blackmailed into doing more. It sounds as though it will never be enough anyway so you may as well decide for yourself how much is enough.

2rebecca Sun 21-Jul-13 11:00:27

We are all marking time waiting to die, why is it different if you are in a nursing home Holly? If I live to be old and frail i'd rather be in a home with food and care provided and folk to chat to.

Salmotrutta Sun 21-Jul-13 11:05:13

fedup - you sound like a lovely caring person doing their level best (and much more!) in hard circumstances.

As others have said you need to arm yourself with some "comeback lines" for unfair demands: "I'm sorry I can't do X,Y,Z as I have other commitments. But I can pop in and visit on Monday blah blah". And so on - if you offer the alternative of a convenient (for you) visit that doesn't involve you running around like a blue-arsed fly doing things the care staff could do then she really has no cause for criticism.
It sounds like you find it very hard to say "No" but you really need to start learning to refuse the unreasonable requests.

And Holly - you really are all sweetness and light aren't you? hmm you seem to thrive on putting the boot in sad

fabergeegg Sun 21-Jul-13 11:19:34

No, I wouldn't punish her by ignoring her until she apologises. I was once very ill in hospital for a number of months and have experienced first-hand that temptation to be self-centred. You sound like a saint, but you still have no idea what it's actually like to lose your freedom and spend your life waiting for someone else to do things for you. It's frustrating. I second the posters who have said you have to change the way you react to your mum. When you said about not wanting to be made to feel guilty, you were playing into her hands. She needs to know that she can moan on if she likes, but you will take no notice. Remember she's wishing you saw her more, so she's in quite a vulnerable position relationally. You're the one with all the cards.

Why not work out something that she would enjoy and feel special doing, rather than calling in for five minutes on your way to somewhere else. I don't think your mum is being unreasonable to find that quite hurtful. And a breezy 'I don't like to dwell on those things, Mum, I'm looking forward to spending some time together now,' to the complaints.

katykuns Sun 21-Jul-13 11:23:40

"If I were you, the time I would be spending with my mum would be purely leisure and recreational, going to cafés together, perhaps bringing the children, wandering round garden centres, stuff like that. I would spend no time doing chores for her at all. Perhaps once she is relying on lots of readily available staff and not on one busy daughter, she will become calmer and less stressed and the time you spend together could be relaxing for you both."

Exactly this. She needs to get some social time, and you need some more pleasant time with her so you don't resent her. You could have your Dad there too, maybe do something like going to a carvery every Sunday, then your Dad is also getting a meal. The children and DH could go and you all work like a team. Then your Mum can't act like she is so hard done by. Leave all the general care to the staff, it's what they are paid and trained to do. The worst thing would for her to pass away and it feel more like a relief because you are so run down, and the last memories of her were of guilt tripping and running about doing errands and appointments.

Ignore the guilt tripping behaviour. It seems awful, but other posters are very correct in saying they are like toddlers. They will push and push, and only be pleased when you are in a ball on the floor sobbing, because they are unhappy with how life is, and want you to suffer as well. Ignore the negative behaviour, reward the positive. I work with a lot elderly clients in my job (in their homes). Many have family very involved. They will be happily spending their time being pleasant and polite to carers, then the family comes in and it's all demands and unpleasantness. It actually reminds me of my daughter in nursery, when she would scream and cry when I went to leave, and I would hover out of sight, and would see her suddenly go and happily play!

Don't send the text you have written, and definitely don't give her the false hope of moving back home. If she went home, you would be run off your feet with stress like before, and if you have no intention on it actually happening, are you not being more unkind to her? Just do as the other posters have said, tell her you can't make it and either brother or care staff will take her. If she argues, ignore and put the phone down. if she misses the appointment (which I doubt she will) it would only be on her, and everyone can see how silly she is being.

Good luck, I have seen the detrimental effect on family, and it's incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking to watch.

springytoto Sun 21-Jul-13 22:40:37

great post faberge - humbling, shows it from the other side.

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