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My Mums laziness is driving me nuts

(139 Posts)
fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 22:41:27

This can't be normal behaviour.

Bit of background..........I am happily married (20yrs) with 3 children 15, 10 and 22 months.

We have always lived with my parents, and it worked out well until recently.

My gorgeous Dad died suddenly nearly two years ago. It was a week before christmas, and two weeks before our beautiful Daughter was born. As you can imagine, it was a very difficult time.

My Mum then retired 6 months later. Again, a time of adjustment for us all. I am a SAHM, and my DH works from home, so suddenly we were all at home together all day, every day.

Now, heres the thing, my Mum has always been a 'can't do' kind of person. She has a huge list of hang up/phobias which constantly limit the rest of the family (DH, the children and I).

She has always been the kind of person to avoid physical activity of any kind, but recently it has got to the stage where it is really worrying.

She gets up at 11am every day, makes breakfast, then goes on her laptop in front of the TV for the rest of the day. She only moves when she needs the toilet. Sometimes she will drive to the shop, and is gone for about 30mins.

My DH is the cook in our house, and he serves dinner to her every day.

She has never helped with the housework, and I didn't mind doing it all when she was working, but now I wish she would help just a little.

I find it hard work sometimes to get all the chores done with a toddler running around, but she NEVER offers to watch her for me at all, even though she is just sitting there all day. I could never ask her to babysit as DD wouldn't be safe with her, so DH and I never go anywhere on our own.

I took her to a family 'do' in the summer (at her request), DH couldn't come due to work. Everyone else in the family has help from the Grandparents with their kids, playing with them etc.....but not my Mum. She gets me to wait on her! I was struggling to feed my DD a jacket potato off of a paper plate, and trying to stop her pulling it on the floor, when my Mum says 'I thought you were going to get me some food!!'. Honestly, she didn't move from her chair in the three hours we were there.

We have to take her on holiday with us, as she has made it clear she would not stay in the house alone, and we have nobody to ask for help. Everythng revolves around her, and it gets me down.

About 3 times in the last 6 months, she has fallen on the floor in the evening(because she has too much to drink). Dh and I have to pick her up, and we struggle as she is so overweight. My DH has a very physical job , and is used to lifting, but she won't bend her knees, so we have a real job. She spent the next day crying.......for herself, as she said 'what if I had been here on my own?, I wouldn't have been able to get up!' She doesn't seem to think about the fact that if my DH hurt his back, then we would not be able to feed our kids!
I hate it, and it makes me worry even more that we will never be able to go away without her. We need time together with the kids on our own.

My Mum is on anti depressants, and has been for years, but they make no difference. She doesn't see that she has a problem, and thinks that the way she lives is normal.

I am scared for the future. I don't know what will happen. She is only 67, but is getting worse by the day. I love her, but I have never known anyone to be this lazy, and I think she is being quite selfish.

So AIBU? Is this normal behaviour for a woman of her age?

SoleSource Fri 02-Nov-12 22:45:21

She is grieving for her Husband?

Shagmundfreud Fri 02-Nov-12 22:45:33

Not normal.

My MIL is 76, has diabetes, heart disease, is obese and suffers from depression, but ALWAYS does all she can to help. She also cares for FIL who is morbidly obese, senile and incontinent. sad

I wouldn't want to share a home with a parent who was behaving like your mother.

BeaWheesht Fri 02-Nov-12 22:46:59

Well she sounds extraordinarily depressed and I'd be encouraging her to go see her GP as well as encouraging her to get out and bout.

The thing is, if you hate it that much why live there? I can't imagine living at home now and every thing my parents do would piss me off. Whose house it you're living in?

I don't think she's being selfish I think she's no confidence and isI lonely.

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 22:49:29

Yes Solesource, she is, but this is very hard to live with. we are all still grieving for him.

This is what I mean shagmund freud, some people do so much to get on with things, I don't understand how things have come to this.

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 22:49:55

Ouch. That's all I can say. You have my every sympathy.

When you say you have to take her on holiday - what do you think would happen if you just said 'no' and left her behind?

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 22:52:50

We share the house 50/50. Dh and I pay all the bills now that she is retired.

It is a fair size house, we have our own living rooms etc... It wasn't a problem before.

She is lonely as she misses my Dad, but she is fortunate that she doesn't have to live alone, many people do.

Illgetmycoat Fri 02-Nov-12 22:53:50

It does sound like a difficult situation.

Has your mum always let you share the family home, though? That could swing the balance of expectations for her. If she feels that she has supported you through your married life, she may be expecting you to do the same for her now.

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 22:54:23

pictish, she would probably make us feel very guilty because we always take her. She also falls sometimes, so there would be nobody to pick her up. She drinks heavily.

apostropheuse Fri 02-Nov-12 22:56:12

She does sound very depressed.

Are there any activities nearby she could join in with? Clubs? Somewhere she could meet some friends of her own age?

Have you actually spoken to her about it? Told her you're worried? Have you actually told her you would like her to help a little?

I don't want you to think I don't understand your problems. I do and it's very difficult. I'm just thinking if she can improve herself then that should rub off on her relationship with you and her willingness to become involved.

LimeLeafLizard Fri 02-Nov-12 22:56:32

Wow, you have a lot on your plate. YANBU. You need some help, to decide what action to take.

It sounds as though the loss of your Dad has hit you all really hard. Was she like this before that - or has grief triggered her behaviour? Understanding her (definitely not normal) behaviour must be the starting point for deciding what to do about it.

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 22:56:33

Illgetmy coat........You are spot on! I think this is the case. I just didn't think she would become so helpless so quickly. I have a toddler to look after, and she is more work! I feel quite trapped tbh.

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 22:58:20

You ought, at least, be allowed a holiday without your mother. It's awful that you don't get it.

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 23:00:16

I would say you are very trapped! I really feel for you.

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 23:05:03

apostropheuse, she says clubs are for people who live alone. I have tried to talk to her, and she just says there is no problem. I have asked her for help on numerous occasions, even to the point when I was in tears because my DD doesn't sleep well, and I found the summer holidays tough, as DH was working most of the time. I was ill too, and exhausted, and she still didn't offer to help............just played on her laptop all day. Honestly there is no point in talking to her, she never listens.

Limeleaflizard.....she has always been lazy tbh, but covered her lack of effort up with her job. She was a manager, and was very good at delegating. Got out of doing anything at home by saying 'oh, no I will be at work'. Even if she invited people to stay, I would be the one to get everything ready, and she would stay at work(playing on her laptop!)

I really don't see what I can do about it, I think it is what it is? I feel we will have to learn to live with it.

eosmum Fri 02-Nov-12 23:06:32

Am marking my place, as in a very similar position only we don't live with my mum. Dad passed away two years ago and it was far from a happy marriage from my mothers point of view only, (at least two affairs we know about), so I don't think she is still grieving. Years of anti d's so I think they've stopped working, she is in bed til lunchtime and rings me to get her cigarettes at all hours of the night, she's a highly intelligent woman, has had poetry published and everything, but she's wasting her life. I'm worn out with her and would love to hear some opinions here.

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 23:08:49

Pictish, I would love to go away without her, if only for a few days. I have the most wonderful Husband, and would love to have some time with him and the kids without the stress.

Last time we went away, she said(in front of the kids)in the first hour we were there that she wished she never came. This was because there was a slope up to the villa, and she didn't want to walk up it, but she refused to use the disabled bus because she didn't like the bus going on the slope either!

OhlimpPricks Fri 02-Nov-12 23:09:28

Do you each own half the house?

LimeLeafLizard Fri 02-Nov-12 23:11:27

So she has always been lazy, and you have always done all the housework, and your DH the cooking. Sounds like you are enabling her laziness. Please don't take it wrongly, it isn't your fault, BUT if you want something to change, YOU are going to have to change. She has an easy ride work-wise and no incentive to change.

Plus, if she is depressed, as other posters are suggesting - and the grief and alcohol abuse suggest this is very possible - she is even less likely to seek change by herself.

How does your DH feel about her? And your older DC? Are you really prepared to 'learn to live with it' for the rest of your life with her, or do you think you can change?

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 23:12:32

Oh eosmum, I feel for you! It's tough isn't it? I do understand that my Mum has got some kind of depression, and I'm not without sympathy for her, but it has a big effect on everyone. I feel my children miss out on things because of her, and that's hard.

We are planning to go to Florida in 2014, and talk of it often, but DH and I both know really that it will NEVER happen. I think it just keeps us going!

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 23:13:56

Christ. Misery loves company eh?

I imagine losing her husband has done this, but at the same time it's not your fault, and I don't see that it's fair you are essentially held to ransom over her loss.

She shows no initiative to lead her own life and wholly expects to live through yours. It's not on.

You need some external help with this I think, though I wouldn't know where to start. Someone will be along soon with some sage advice I'm sure. I can't offer anything but sympathy. Poor you.

Floralnomad Fri 02-Nov-12 23:18:58

If you want to go away ,go away ,you're not responsible for her. Tell her you are going to Florida and go , what's the worse she can do! Does she own the house and that's what is worrying you ? If you have your own living room use it . I don't mean to sound unsympathetic but you are enabling all of her behaviour and then moaning about it when TBH most of it could be dealt with. Having said that if she is taking anti depressants and drinking you should tell the GP .

irishchic Fri 02-Nov-12 23:19:46

I think that she sounds very selfish and lazy OP. I think you need to start making some changes, and the first thing you need is a holiday just as a family without your DM, however guilty she tries to make you feel.

Would you be prepared to move out? Get your own home, renting or buying? At least then she would have to develop some independence and might appreciate you and the grandkids more.

fluffypillow Fri 02-Nov-12 23:22:16

ohlimpricks.........yes we own half each.

limeleaflizard......My DH is very easy going, but is getting more fed up with her by the day. My older boys are good to her, but she never offers to do anything with them, never has done, ever. She doesn't even offer to read DD a story/do a puzzle, nothing. It's not because she doesn't love them, she does, but she just can't be bothered.

If I stopped doing the housework tomorrow, the place would be a pig sty. Mum wouldn't care, she really wouldn't. She doesn't even clean the toilet if she has someone coming round! She dropped a whole bottle of lemonade on the floor the other day, and just stood there not knowing what to do!
I said you'll have to get the mop for that, and she said she didn't know how! I had to show her how to wring it out, as she didn't know you have to twist it! She said she's never had to do it before. I left the room, only to come back 10 mins later to find she had just left it.

I don't know how to change this.

eosmum Fri 02-Nov-12 23:22:26

I feel my DCs are missing out on having a Grandmother, I had the most wonderful granny, her mum, but my children will never have it, and actually will resent her. She has loads of health problems, and it's really a break when she's in hospital, so at least I have that, where you don't seem to get anything.

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