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How often do you think I should visit?

(15 Posts)
ExConstance Mon 23-Oct-17 16:57:25

My mother is now 91. She lives on her own in the old family home and this year she is not as good as she was. She was in hospital following a fall for a month about 3 years ago but recently she had another fall and doesn't eat well. She is not easy company and we are not really very close. She has often been critical of me and even when she was 3o ears younger refused to visit us by train, always insisting on me driving 90+ miles to collect and deliver her. More recently she will not consider coming to stay with us at all.

There is quite a lot of family history here. I have posted before but my brother lives very close and is the sole beneficiary of her quite substantial estate. After her fall 3 years ago I said I would support her to carry on living in the house though I felt she would be better off in sheltered accommodation provided she kept as active as possible and ate regular meals. She now lives on tin portions of rubbish food and seldom tries to get out of her chair. She does however manage to live alone quite well, with a little help from my sister in law, who she pays to clean once a week and my brother does her shopping. She plays the family off against each other constantly using two relatives to get odd bits of shopping for her that could easily go on her main list.

TBH I don't think she cares much about me, she tells me not to phone when her favourite ( many ) TV programmes are on or when she has earmarked time to speak to my cousins and her sister in law.
We used to go out to lunch or shopping when I visited but she is not enthusiastic about either now and that means I have to just sit there with no internet. She insists on her choice of television but falls asleep when it is on anyway.

I work more than full time and we have only just become empty nesters, DH wants us to do more nice things together at weekends.
My family have made me the scapegoat for all her ills and I'm told I should visit more often by them (not by her!). At present I go up to see her to celebrate her birthday ( usually persuading my sons to come along too) we also do a family visit just before Christmas. I then go 4 times a year to fit in with a short meeting I go to near her house. If we are visiting friends anywhere close by we pop in then too, so every 8 - 9 weeks. I really can't cope with any more, am I really so bad?

MyBrilliantDisguise Mon 23-Oct-17 17:03:18

Why is your brother the only beneficiary? That seems a very cold thing for her to do.

llangennith Mon 23-Oct-17 17:35:36

Carry on as you are and ignore the complaints from others.

annandale Mon 23-Oct-17 17:40:06

More than every 3 months?? I'm very close emotionally to my lovely mum but she's 2.5 hours drive away and I'm sure we meet less than you and your mum.

A good response if people suggest you go more often is 'oh really' or 'why?'

Vitalogy Mon 23-Oct-17 18:24:29

I don't think I'd bother going again OP. What's the point. Sounds like she's been awful to you and cutting you out of the Will. Try and take no notice of your other relations trying to guilt trip you.

thesandwich Mon 23-Oct-17 21:18:12

Dont feel bad- sounds like there is such a back story. You deserve your own happiness. She has made her choices in sound mind.

ExConstance Tue 24-Oct-17 11:32:59

Thank you all for your replies. I have posted before but in view of the replies which were mainly to go no contact with my brother cousin and mother I wondered if I'd portrayed them in an unfairly negative light. My father died over twenty years ago without having made his will as he wanted it at the time. There were serious tax implications if nothing had been rearranged so I agreed by a deed of family arrangement with the rest of the family that my mother's house could be put in my brothers name and the family business put in my mother's name and that we would sort it all out later. Of course over the years my mother and brother have conveniently forgotten about me having an interest in the house and my mother says that she left my brother the business because he works in it. So, yes, there is a resentment on my part that I would not inherit half of the family home. I have no interest in the business and it is right that it should go to my brother. I felt my mother should have put a proviso in her will that I would receive something for having agreed to the tax agreement.

My brother seems to resent every little bit of success ( and it is very limited indeed, as I only earn a very modest salary) and generally makes snidey comments about anything we do.

I have decided I'll retain the 3 or 4 x per year plus a birthday and Christmas visit for the time being and just make non committal answers if I'm asked to go more often. Sadly my brother who had an expensive private education and what was a very successful business handed him on a plate now wants to reinvent history and sees this as being coerced into something he never wanted. He could give it up sell up and get another job if he wanted to but all these things he sees as impossible.

I have two sons, both were high achievers at school and there was really nothing between them in exam results. DS1 has a good traditional graduate job, DS2 did a creative degree and now has a creative role in his work. When we last met my brother said he felt sorry for DS2 having to keep up with his academic brother but I think that was projection, he had far more chances than me in life.

thesandwich Tue 24-Oct-17 14:09:10

Wise decisions. Sounds like a really toxic mix... and what your brother says about your sons is his “ stuff” not yours. Projection.
Protect yourself. And enjoy your family.

SSunset7832 Wed 25-Oct-17 20:14:31

I don't know how far you live away, but under your circumstances I think the amount that you visit and phone is enough. However, your parent will not be around forever.

GraceLeeper Tue 12-Dec-17 07:10:25

I think you should continue talking to her through phone to at least communicate with her, but still visit her once in a while.

Needmoresleep Tue 12-Dec-17 21:48:44

I don't think you need worried about what you ought to do. Instead take a step back and decide what, as a human, you want to do. You don't want to abandon your mother altogether, though what she and your brother did was pretty stinky. So what will make you feel satisfied.

Our solution has been to stay near my mums and make a weekend of it, calling in on her in passing. We examined what we would like to do in the area, and so it is fine. Off season AirBnB can be cheap.

Ditto phone calls dont demand too much. At least if you set a timer...and block out any moans.

On this board SS stands for Shit sibling.

GraceLeeper Wed 13-Dec-17 02:28:57

I think your decision to visit her 3 or 4 x per year plus a birthday and Christmas is okay already. Even though she's your mother, you have a family of your own. It's not healthy for you if you keep on visiting her and then your mother is not thrilled or ignoring you. I suggest you keep a distance and if you want to keep her secure, you can hire someone to look after her.

hevonbu Wed 13-Dec-17 03:22:37

Well, if your mum is already 91 years old, you might look forward to maybe just a few more visits before she passes on, so with time you don't need to visit at all and the problem is solved naturally. You might also want to speak to a lawyer in advance to sort out what can be done financially, and sort out the situation on your behalf when the day comes, as your family relations seem quite toxic. Nothing wrong with that, but having a professional lawyer intervene then might spare you a lot of animosity within the family, especially with your brother, all this said based on the little snippet you wrote here of course, and not the full facts.

ExConstance Mon 18-Dec-17 12:07:58

I've just noticed I have some more replies. Since posting this I've been up to see her twice, once to help her with a claim for attendance allowance and once to deliver her Christmas presents. I've decided to go NC with one cousin who seemed to be really stirring it and that has made me feel a lot better. Most of my mother's present problems arise out of her relying on other people and not being independent. She could go out with her friends but always finds excuses, she is perfectly capable of cooking but choses to live on cake and clotted cream fudge and so on. I have reluctantly decided there is not much I can do about any of this but that I will try to keep up the current visiting schedule.

thesandwich Mon 18-Dec-17 16:38:30

Constance sounds very sensible. Glad you are feeling better. And enjoy your family Christmas.

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