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to feel angry or should I just shut up and put up?

(39 Posts)
tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 15:54:16

This is a long story....

My Mum has been ill for a couple of years with 'brain stuff'. She is mainly housebound and I am her main carer (no brothers or sisters). My Auntie (her sister) also helps her out with stuff. My Dad is not around anymore. I work full time, so does my husband and we have a house to run and a child- like most people. I do a lot for my mum- her tablets every week, a lot of running her about to appointments, taking time out of work etc. Normal carer stuff.

I managed recently to get her attendance allowance after making 2 applications- we eventually got them to send for a medical report and it was finally awarded. I spent a whole weekend filling the forms in and took annual leave to meet with a carer group to get advice.

She was obviously really relieved and I told her that it would be a good idea to get people in to help round the house. She has been having a cleaner in once a fortnight anyway (I pay half towards this every month to help her out and have paid this money since May 2012) and I said it might be an idea to get her in every week to maybe do some ironing and washing as well as cleaning. I also suggested a gardener because currently my husband does her gardening and it would be easier if he didnt have to. So I felt using her attendance allowance would allow her to get a proper gardener to do it. But she said she did not want strangers in to do stuff. She wanted us to do it and would like to give us money to do these jobs for her. I disagreed and said no but she insisted that we had done a lot over the past year or so and it was time we had a bit of money towards it (we are talking £20 a week). We still said no and she said that if we didnt want it, we should spend it on DD because we do a lot for her and she also wanted me to have the money back I'd paid for the cleaner over time. She also said she was doing the same for my Auntie to cover the washing being done etc. I can't lie- the money would be a help. It would cover petrol for when I take her to appointments and I also find I spend a lot of money picking up stuff for her with my weekly shop and I dont get the money back for this. So deep down, I felt a bit of relief. Especially as I just found out this week at work that I'm 'in the red' for the amount of emergency short notice leave I have taken this year- when I looked it was all because of time spent caring for mum. Its not that I mind BUT its hard not to feel shortchanged at times!!

However, today she has withdrawn her offer. My Auntie has said that she should keep the money and save it up for a new path in the back garden (she doesnt go outside because she falls a lot). I was a bit shocked at first but now after thinking about it, I feel cross.

If the money is being saved up, my husband will have to continue to cut her lawns, I will have to carry on paying the cleaner- we will be no better off for her having been awarded the AA. And to rub salt in the wound, my Auntie was at my mums today and my mum gave her £20 for my Uncle to put a curtain up for her. I thought I was going to fall off my chair.

TBH, I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted from working full time and feeling like I have another job in the evenings. My Mum is moody, shes difficult, she calls me names and berates me if I dont phone her by 9am each morning. And the fact that we keep being left out of pocket by caring for her. We cant afford it!!

My husband has said we should just not pay for the cleaner anymore and we should take a 'step back'. The guilt would be terrible but he says my Auntie needs to step up to the plate. She doesnt work.

Am I being bitter? I think I feel a bit hurt as well that I spent so much time filling the bloody forms in, I told her I wanted nothing from it but she insisted, only for someone else to tell her what to do with it!! I'd have preferred to be offered nothing than to be offered and have it taken away. Am I being harsh by expecting to not be out of pocket each month by 'picking up a bottle of squash' 'grabbing some vitamins on my way home'? As a carer, should I just put up with the fact that I will be second best to the person I am caring for and their needs should come first?

How do I approach this so that my sanity if saved, I don't feel bitter but also my mum isnt hurt?


And please be kind!!! x

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Sat 26-Jan-13 16:00:30

You need to speak her, Yadnbu but you have obviously been doing it for so long she is taking you both for granted.
For a start i would tell her you can't afford to pay for her cleaner anymore as your in debt and this is what that money's for surely?

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 16:04:05

The thing is if I stop, she will make me feel terrible. I really dont mind doing it all BUT why should we do it when there is money in the bank for people to do it??

I've dropped £8 of vitamins round today and I wont see the money.

I have £5500 to save for IVF treatment and it will take me 10 years at this rate!!

HollyBerryBush Sat 26-Jan-13 16:04:57

Your aunt probably thought she was having a moment of epiphany in suggesting the garden path without thinking of the consequences (ie there was no allowance, now there is, so use it for something useful)

If I were you I would be having a non confrontational chat with Aunt, and telling her about the toll it is taking on you emotionally and physically, not to mention at work, and whilst you agree that her bright idea was a good one (flattery!!) the fact is you cant afford to keep doing all these little jobs without the petrol money, nor subsidising the cleaner, and would she mind reopening he conversation with your mother so that you continue to get £20 per week.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 26-Jan-13 16:08:24

Definitely stop paying for the cleaner. The allowance is for help around her house, not for her garden path. Yes, the guilt will be terrible, but it's at least a step in the right direction.

And talk to Auntie about taking up some of the load in regards to dropping off medicines and stuff.

ratbagcatbag Sat 26-Jan-13 16:10:44

I think you need to be honest, it's costing a lot for what you do and you cannot carry on with what you are doing, you will need her to use the money to pay for her own cleaner, If she's not prepared to do that then the cleaning won't get done. Same for gardening. Otherwise you will resent everything. Can you ask her for a float each week to pick things up from.

Feel for you as it's really difficult.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 16:12:30

I perhaps should have said this in the original post but I dont think I can approach my auntie about it. If I have to I will but we dont see eye to eye.

I get the feeling she thinks Im trying to fleece my mum or take the p* out of her? When I was at mums today, my auntie was cleaning because of the cleaner coming on tuesday (go figure) and she told me I should help and made me polish and hoover the living room. She talks to me like I'm a child but I dont see the point in cleaning for the cleaner to come so I sat and had a cuppa instead!! blush

She is very judgmental about what I do and tends to get the message to me through my mum- i.e. "auntie * says you need to fill those forms in again and go to this group to get advice" "auntie * says you havent made my bed right. do it again"

I think a lot of my exhaustion stems from my aunts input!!!

socareless Sat 26-Jan-13 16:15:34

Sorry OP. But I think you are sending mixed messages to your mum with 'no we do not want your money but we are out of pocket'

What do you want her to do? and really you are doing a wonderful thing for caring for her. its quite unusual in this society to care for our old, we often expect the govt or other people to do it.

I am probably old fashioned but your mum at some point in her life must have been out of pocket raising you but she had no choice because you are her child. I think you need to be honest with your mum. Accept the money and stop tying yourself up in a knot.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 16:16:23

I feel a bit used to be honest. If there is a really shite job that needs doing i.e. running backwards and forwards to the Drs for repeat meds, filling in a million page AA form then I seem to get it.

Then I get no say so in what happens to that money.I just do the dirty work.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 16:17:39

socareless I'm not being offered money. I was, but not now.

socareless Sat 26-Jan-13 16:21:19

But she offered you money at some point and you tried to refuse it? The offer being withdrawn was probably on the presumption that you do not need it because of your protest.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 16:25:32

Oh I seeeee! Well, I didnt want to snap her hand off. smile But I do feel miffed now.

I have always cared for her- I let her live with us for 6 months when she was first ill.

frustratedworkingmum Sat 26-Jan-13 16:38:57

It sounds awful and I am assuming by "brain stuff" you mean dementia?

I don't think this is really about the money, although it is a practicality. You are unable to cope and its totally understandable.

Does your mum have a social worker? A CPN? Are you getting any carers allowance? Are you entitled to this? You might want to find out.

Can you get your mums prescriptions delivered by the pharmacy, our local chemists do this. That would save you the trouble and mean that she gets them regularly and no one will forget to order (im always doing this).

Her sister sounds like a sticky beak and probably was jealous at the thought of you getting the money or the load being taken off. None of her business unless she is going to step up and start doing her share.

frustratedworkingmum Sat 26-Jan-13 16:39:57

I didn't mean you can't cope, just that it is too much for you, one person, on top of your own life. You need to find out what assistance is available, especially if your mother's condition is likely to deteriorate.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 16:50:44

Brain stuff= aneurysm, AVM, radiotherapy and necrosis. She has full faculties in a sense but struggles with memory and speech.

I cannot get carers allowance because I work full time.

I may speak to her GP this week and arrange a dosage system to be set up- at present, I collect all tablets and then I put them in trays for her. I think DH is right, a step back may be called for.

Her sister is a sticky beak- good phrase!!

lovelyladuree Sat 26-Jan-13 16:51:44

I am shocked that your uncle took £20 off her for putting up a curtain pole. I bet she thinks the sun shines out of their arses. YANBU. The situation sucks. I don't know how the system works but can you swap the care allowance for a social services carer to visit her instead? Then, the other relatives can't decide for her where the money goes, and you get a bit of a break. Good luck.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 17:03:33

lovelyladuree you have hit the nail on the head. She does think the sun shines out of their arses.

I recently arranged for my friend to cut her toenails for her and she told my friend I was an ar*ehole because I paid for somebody to go to the house and give her a blood test that the dr had ordered. I was an ar*ehole because I had organised this to save her leaving the house in the cold and I paid £9 for the liberty. My friend was shocked and really upset for me that she had called me that but I am an ar*ehole aren't I? I'm reading this thread back and I really am.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 17:30:47

She has just had a free trial of social service care as well (which I organised) and she didnt like it.

ENormaSnob Sat 26-Jan-13 17:30:49

I would be taking more than a step back tbh.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 17:34:13

How should I broach this though? I dont know what I should do- if I dont phone her in the morning I get the cold shoulder!!

This is where I am really struggling- how do you take a step back?

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sat 26-Jan-13 17:39:46

your mum's money is not yours.

your time is not hers.

work out what you willing to do and tell her straight. err on the generous-to-yourself side, as you need a bit of space in case of emergencies.

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 17:42:19

I really do know that money is not mine but I also don't believe it is hers to save for a path TBH. It is money she should be using for her care.

DameSaggarmakersbottomknocker Sat 26-Jan-13 17:48:18

I'd be straight and say to your mum that you've changed your mind about the offer of money.

You could use it to pay someone to do your cleaning and ironing thus freeing you up to do your mums if she won't have strangers in the house.

TandB Sat 26-Jan-13 17:50:25

I think you need to be very clear and straight with her. This money was intended to pay for some of the tasks that currently fall entirely on you and your husband. She wanted to give it to you instead of paying other people to do these things - you were reluctant but came round to the idea because at the moment you are doing all the jobs AND being short of cash as a result.

With the current suggestion, you get to continue doing all the jobs and to continue being short of cash. Applying for this money has not reduced either your time commitment or your financial burden. This is not acceptable or sustainable.

I think you need to hammer home the point that this money is for professional help to take the burden off the family. You need some help with it and you therefore need the money to be spent on its intended purpose.

You may need to get hardline about it and say "Well the money is there for a cleaner so I won't be paying for that anymore. I can't afford it and it's not fair to ask me to pay for it when I've gone to the effort of arranging for you to have this allowance."

tametortie Sat 26-Jan-13 17:52:26

I really don't think the offer is still there now. When she first offered, I said I was happy to do it for free. But it was her that insisted so as far as I was concerned, she was going to give me this money for us to do all her 'jobs'.

The offer has been withdrawn so that she can save for a path.

Even if I said I wanted it, I dont think she is offering it anymore.

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