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...to wish my elderly mum was like a mum to me......

(34 Posts)
ssd Thu 04-Aug-11 12:33:47

<sigh> I just feel so sad about this, normally I just get on with it but its getting me more and more down

there's nothing anyone can do, its just the way life goes sometimes

my mum is in her mid eighties and housebound, she has many things medically going on but more or less ok day to day

she can't walk and only sees the carers that go into her although she has some clubs she goes to as well (in a care set up)

she's just old and totally slowed down, its not her fault, its just she had me late and now I have youngish kids and an old mum

I have siblings, they live 100's of miles away and have down for 20 years and aren't involved with mum a quarter of what I am, has been the same for years

basically I just want my mum to be a mum

I want her to visit me, phone me when I'm not well, rememebr whats happening with my kids, make me a cuppa when I'm tired, babysit (wow that would be amazing), say to me "you look awful go and put on some lippy and meet ur pals, I'll have the kids for the night", have a conversation, take an interest, have any energy at all, just be a mum, nothing special, not having my kids all the time so I can party or drink, just be a mum to me instead of me being a mum to her

my siblings had my mum being a gran to their kids and a mum to them, my neices and nephews are grown up now, my siblings are so far removed from me and how I feel its like another world, and when I try to talk to them they either laugh or say "mums fine, you worry too much", they are as much help/use as a chocolate watch. anyway they have their own lives.

just sad about it all

bananasplitz Thu 04-Aug-11 12:37:43

just be grateful she is still around

ssd Thu 04-Aug-11 12:41:12

if only it was that easy

CMOTdibbler Thu 04-Aug-11 12:42:00

I know exactly where you are coming from. My parents are in their 70's, but very frail, and my mum has significant memory problems. So I can't even talk to mum about stuff and worry about them all the time - I don't live close to them, but my brother lives even further and hasn't even spoken to them for 6 weeks angry

I was especially sad yesterday looking out and seeing my neighbours who have their grandchildren for a week every holidays, out playing with them etc. My parents can't even have ds for an hour on their own or come out with us.

biddysmama Thu 04-Aug-11 12:44:00

yanbu, but my mum isnt a 'proper' mum to me (doing the things you want) and shes only 18 years older than i am!

BeerTricksPotter Thu 04-Aug-11 12:44:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chestnutx3 Thu 04-Aug-11 12:48:26

YANBU but you have your mum, mine died when I was 11, I would do anything to be in your position. You need to get your siblings to help.

vickibee Thu 04-Aug-11 12:48:51

My Mum was diagnose with a heart conditrion a week ago and she has gone in to a talking herself dead. She is nearly 80 and expects me and my sister to run round after her -taxi her everywhere and you get no thanks. She says jump and you are meant to do it right now. But she is my Mum and we love her and try to do our best for her.
I am so jealous of friends who get free babysitting from their parents, I have to take my kid with me whe I go to the Doc or dentist, won't even look after DS4 for half an hour?
Sad thing is my borther who lives nearby never does anythng to help and yet he is her favourite.

doncaster1 Thu 04-Aug-11 12:51:06

It's tough isn't it? I was in that situation too. I had dc late in life. Whilst my siblings could rely on her for baysitting etc I found my dd wanting to look after her. However, I was fortunate that even at this stage she always put all her children first. I still got phone calls etc.
Sadly she passes away in March and I miss her terribly. I really miss my weekly visits and there is a great hole in my life.
I think the moral of this is to appreciate what you do have.

LineRunner Thu 04-Aug-11 12:51:20

Hi ssd, what I would say is that you're not the only one who has a parent or parents who don't conform with the 'happy families' model of inter-generational help and support.

In fact for some women, they get the double whammy of looking after children AND parent(s). Actually it's a triple whammy because of the economic impact. (Especially if you have siblings that take a back seat on the care side.)

Other woman here have a younger mother who actually chooses to do fuck all to help, which can really hurt more.

Bummer, really.

It's sad but it's life. Be grateful she is still around - my mum died last year aged 72 and she had been poorly for 5 years before that with another condition which made things very hard for her....she desperately wanted to be a typical gran to her grandchildren but physically couldnt. I would give anything to see her again.........she was a "proper" mum despite her illness and I am sure your mum is the best mum she can be to you given her age etc.

hildathebuilder Thu 04-Aug-11 12:59:45

I think its perfectly reasonable for you to feel this way. And it is sad, and all those saying be grateful may have a point but that doesn't stop you feeling sad and nor should it.

I am sure your mum is the best mum she can be, and you are the best daughter you can be, but we all need some tender loving care.

I also think its too simple to say be grateful she's still around. Caring for an ill relative when you need care for yourself is very draining. I have a DS who has CP and a MIL who is now totally dependant, immobile and in need of a lot of care. I wish life was different but it isn't and you cannot always just be grateful, and in my view nor should you be. I am very sorry for the losses of the others on this thread but sometimes I just want life to be easier.

Hilda - I cared for my mum towards the end of her life and would do it all again in a heartbeat if that meant I still had her. Not fair on her of course because she had lung cancer at the end and was very ill but I still would..........it's not too simple to say be grateful. As the saying goes you never miss your water till your well runs dry.

My BIL lives with and cares for my MIL who has severe dementia and I know that he would rather have her with him, no matter how hard it is for him.

zelda1982 Thu 04-Aug-11 13:05:57

My mam moved away when i was 23 (dd1 was 18 months) so i was used to not having her around etc. Then she died in May and even though she wasn't around (we'd see her twice a year for a week each time) I still miss her so much. My nana is 79 and she can still watch the kids for me for an hour if im desperate (not very often as i dont like to put on her) but i can see she is now starting to struggle and think i may soon have to take on caring for her as well as look after my 3 kids and i'm dreading it but i would never not do it. Should she leave me as well i'd be devastated.

doncaster1 Thu 04-Aug-11 13:08:25

Well said Betty. That's exactly how I feel. Although in my case my mum still had a reasonable quality of life despite her age and ailments and really didn't want to die.

Thumbwitch Thu 04-Aug-11 13:21:15

ssd, I feel sad for you. I used to wish I had a mum who was like a mum, who came round when I needed help, cared that I was ill, didn't fuss about making a 15minute drive like I was asking her to drive to the other side of the country etc. etc. My mum was very self-centred and self-absorbed - did loads of stuff for the community but not for her own children. When my sis had double pneumonia, she didn't even go and help her out (at the time I was living 60miles further away)

I thought my mum would be around when DS was born and that she might even help me out with DS but she wasn't - she died at 63 of cancer. This isn't competitive sadding, nor is it "be grateful that she's still around" because your mum isn't really, is she? Mine definitely isn't of course but she probably wouldn't have been anyway, even if she was alive.

I am very sad that Mum never met DS of course - and I do miss her - but I don't miss having a mum as such because she had troubles being a mum mum to me, iyswim.

You have the added problem of having to care for her as well - tough when you still feel the need to be taken care of yourself.

Can I suggest that you get some counselling because it would do you good to be able to talk this over with someone impartial - you are already mourning the loss of your mother figure, even though your mum is still around - counselling may be able to help you.

And have a ((hug)) because you probably need it.

Sleepglorioussleep Thu 04-Aug-11 13:29:12

Yanbu. There are different ways that parents are there-yours might be physically there but in terms of having a relationship you haven't got her in the way you would like. I lost my mum to mental illness thirty odd years ago-and have had a grieving process to go through. She is still alive and I am grateful for the relationship we do have, and there would be a whole other level of grieving to do if she died but in terms of the looking after, being there when I need her, having someone for advice and support etc I don't have her. So I hear where you're coming from. The baby sitting would be the icing on the cake but it's not the whole thing.

ssd Thu 04-Aug-11 15:58:50

thanks for the posters here who get me and how I'm feeling

of course I'm grateful my mum is still here and I can still visit and hear her voice, of course I am, I don't need to be told to be grateful, I lost my dad when ds1 was a baby and I know the difference.

but my mum isn't really here and I miss the mum she used to be and the gran she was to my sister and brothers kids

the person who is my mum now is so far removed from that mum and i feel the difference so bad, I do feel like I'm grieving for a mum thats still here, and thanks to the above poster who said its ok to feel like that, sometimes when I leave my mums (usually crying) I feel like I'm grieving for her, but she's still here and needing care, which is my problem alone and I feel guilty for everything : missing her when she's still here, needing a mum when I still have one, wishing she were younger and I just had the same as my siblings had, but I can't turn back time and that that

ssd - my sister grieved for my mum when she was still here.

MIL has severe dementia and I know my DH grieves for her, for the woman she used to be, and I do as well. He says that as far as he concerns the woman he thinks of as mum died a couple of years ago although he acknowledges that it will still be a shock and he will still be devastated when she does die.

Dont feel bad for grieving for the mum she used to be, nothing wrong with that, it's perfectly natural.

SuburbanDream Thu 04-Aug-11 16:08:55

Hi ssd - I haven't got any advice really, just wanted to let you know you are not alone and I know how you feel. My own mum has dementia and has been in a care home for a couple of years, she doesn't know who I am anymore and has missed so much of her grandchildren's lives sad. There are still times when I am feeling down or if something great has happened and I think "ooh I must give mum a ring and tell her" then realise I can't ... MIL is in her eighties and becoming frail and I know that soon we will have to start thinking about her future care (she lives 100's of miles away too). I have happy memories of going to stay with my own grandparents as a child and often wish I had met DH years earlier and had DCs much younger so their grandparents could have been a bigger part of their lives.

Adversecamber Thu 04-Aug-11 16:10:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoMeDon Thu 04-Aug-11 16:10:50

YAB a little U - don't wish your life away. Be grateful for what you have. It's the key to happiness - appreciating what is.

I miss my mum terribly and spent a long time wishing she was her, had met DH, DD, seen me in my career. Time wasted, she's not here.

Suburban - dementia is so cruel isnt it. My MIL turned to my son the other week and said "hello, whats you name, arent you lovely". My heart broke for him then, it's so bloody sad. He has been cheated with his nanny's and I do feel bitter about that.

Ormirian Thu 04-Aug-11 16:12:43

ssd that is such a shame sad

fedupofnamechanging Thu 04-Aug-11 16:14:32

It does seem very unfair that your siblings have had the best of your mum and are not repaying that in any way, whereas you have not had the same relationship at all with her, yet are left to do all the 'work'. You've lost out at both ends really.

Time for some blunt discussions with your siblings I think. It's really not on for them to dump everything on you.

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