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Friend implied I'm neglecting my Mum

(15 Posts)
Frenchpoodle Tue 08-Sep-15 13:58:17

Just having a bit of a vent/ wanting to check whether I am BU about this situation.
My elderly mum has MS (amongst other conditions - chronic pain/ depression) her mobility is poor now - but is still bright and completely knows what's going on.
My two sisters live far away, & I'm main person around for Mum, call every day, working flexi so I can spend time with her, worry about her almost every second.
There is an issue with her house at the moment, complicated stuff about insurance & boiler (long, boring saga).
I'm on holiday for a week in Cornwall with my kids (one of whom has SN) & some family friends have been staying with her. I've had a call today from the friend today who has been visiting her & has been helping sort it out.
He seemed furious with me that he was having to be involved (fair enough he had needed to do lots of running round, & he was visiting for a break). He said that it was my responsibility & that my mum was vulnerable, this is stressing her out, she can't cope & that I needed to step up! Implication being that I was neglecting my poor vulnerable mum. Thing is this has all kicked off while I was away, last I had heard before I left was that it was sorted & we were just waiting for a letter from the insurance company. He also said that I should know that her mobility is really bad, & that I needed to know she had tripped & grazed her hand.
Now I know her mobility is bad, I'm the one who spends many hours in A&E after various falls - but apart from tying her up inside the house what am I going to do? She needs a life, & I just have to try & make it as safe as possible.
I cried all night about it. It's just triggered all of my guilt feelings and worst worries about my mum (ie that I am a terrible daughter, and that she is incredibly vulnerable & unhappy).
Thing is when I spoke to my mum she was fine, cheerful & said she was not stressed (she said the friend was though).
Get the impression that the friend was venting cause it had been stressful for him, but way to really upset me (& make out that my mum is incapable & losing it - when she really is not). Really upset me - grrr!

MuttonDressedAsGoose Tue 08-Sep-15 14:01:15

He doesn't really know the situation, and was probably shocked when he had to deal with it himself.

LuckyLuckyMe Tue 08-Sep-15 14:02:46

Wow. What an awful situation for you. He is obviously not happy with helping your mum. He is definitely not helping you.

Is there someone else that could look in on her while you are away?

TenForward82 Tue 08-Sep-15 14:06:01

From what you've said he seems really unreasonable. He's had to deal with her ONCE, and you're bloody entitled to a break. You seem to be doing loads for your mum (somewhat unfairly, since you have siblings who are too far away to help), so don't take any notice.

Frenchpoodle Tue 08-Sep-15 14:07:54

Yes, there are lots of close friends that she had who pop in - she sees people every day. It is a complicated business with the insurance. He is a good friend of the family, & had done a lot (now & over the years) - not sure what caused this big vent.
I'm trying to see it as we are doing the best that we can, & I going to try not to take on other peoples stress (got enough of me own!) confused

pictish Tue 08-Sep-15 14:08:46

Aww I am so sorry for you. That must have been an awful call to did you react at the time? I hope you defended yourself.

Listen...I'm going to take a stab and say this is his issue. God knows why he has might be as you say, that he resented all the scurrying around...but really, I can't see as it would warrant a dressing down like the one he gave you. You were in Cornwall on a week's holiday so I'm not sure what he thinks you could have done. Is he implying that you shouldn't go on holiday?
If what you say is true you are far from a neglectful daughter and your mum was fine - what was going through his head when he phoned you? How strange and inappropriate.

jimijack Tue 08-Sep-15 14:15:25

Ignore the bugger.
I had the same thing from a rare visiting relative after me & an auntie had been caring for my beloved granny for 7 years.
Worked full time but still went and did all care twice a day, every day, washing, ironing,cleaning, shopping, bed bathed, emptied commode, cooked meals, hair washed, every aspect of care done with love and willingness.

Relative visited 2 weeks before granny died. She decided that she wanted to die, so stopped eating, taking medication and withdrew from everything.
She was frail & thin. Relative ripped me to shreds, saying I had neglected her, would have to answer to the hospital and should be ashamed of my self.....

I know what I did, granny knew what I did, I have peace and no guilt feelings at all.

Thse people get a wee glimpse into the situation and form opinions based on that. Rubbish.

Ignore & crack on. You are doing fine.

Frenchpoodle Tue 08-Sep-15 14:20:48

Bloody hell, thanks all. That has made me feel 100% better. Especially what you said jimijack about your granny knowing what you did.
As long as I feel I am doing right by Mum, & so does she, then I'm on the right track. Think I just needed a bit of reassurance after unexpected dressing down.
I didn't defend myself at the time, mainly cause didn't want to make things awkward for mum - although I have mentally given him what for (& have bent hubby's ear with what I would have LIKED to have said).
Thanks again all for your replies smile

florentina1 Tue 08-Sep-15 14:31:57

Neighbour, cleaning lady, cousins, arse of a brother , all have spouted opinions about my mum in a care home and my disabled step father still in the house.

The once a year visit makes them an expert whereas my care 365 days a year for 6 years. - counts for nothing.


Tyrannosaurus Tue 08-Sep-15 14:37:24

Why on earth is he ringing you to tell you you need to step up, rather than your siblings who are doing far less from what you say? Surely one of them could have come to visit your Mum while you and your DC have a well earned break? It seems very unfair that you are getting a hard time, when you are doing everything you can.

pictish Tue 08-Sep-15 14:38:28

No good deed goes unpunished. That's the saying isn't it? This is an example of such. OP more guilt.

FinallyHere Tue 08-Sep-15 14:45:44

Another voice joining in to say ignore. You are doing your best. He was stressed by the little he was called on to do, as a one off.

When i started visiting my mother once a week, at first i found myself emailing my sister, who lives quite closeto my mother, with a mixture of worries, rants and concerns every ime i visited. It now a few years down the line, lots has happened and i only realised reading this, that i only occasionally find something bad enough to warrent an email to get something about my mother or the situation, off my chest.

Doesn't excuse him in anyway at all, but reminding yourself that you have become used to the heavy burden may help you to understand why he handled it so badly and that it is no reflection in you, quite the reverse in fact. HTH, xx

Littlegreyauditor Tue 08-Sep-15 15:00:18

Everyone is an expert OP, when it doesn't particularly involve them, impact on their daily lives or cause them to have anything other than the most cursory and infrequent inconvenience. It's very easy to sit in such circumstances and judge, because all you have to do is tell people you would be better, without actually having to step up and prove it.

You are doing the hard miles every single day. This 'friend' has had a snapshot and thinks he has a right to throw his opinion around so freely. Ignore him, he's a twat.

You deserve this break, please enjoy yourself. flowers

Frenchpoodle Tue 08-Sep-15 15:24:13

You are a wise bunch. Thanks again.

Just chatted with my mum on the phone, she is cheerful, joking & having a nice time (not stressed & falling apart as I had been lead to believe). She is a trooper.

There is something about chronic & long term illness that we get used to I think, mum (& me) battle on everyday - & I suppose I forget that the deterioration for other people must be a shock & a worry (& lead to a bit of worried/ stressed / bloody annoying complaining).

Thanks for the wise advice - guilt begone! Gonna enjoy my break wine

Hissy Wed 09-Sep-15 07:26:30

This friend does know he was there predominantly to look after or out for your mum, right? You said he was there for a break. If he was told he's there for a free stay in return for keeping an eye on her as she can't be left alone for a week, then he is an almighty prick. If he wasn't told that your mother needed care then he may be shocked to see exactly what has happened to your dm, and feel he's been dumped on.

I think the time has come to get some outside help, can ss help with a carer or something?

You need to get your sisters to help somehow too.

This man had no right to suggest you're neglecting your mum, you aren't. You're doing your utmost best, but you do need to evaluate if she needs more than you can offer. There is no shame in this, just making sure that your toolbox has all the right components.

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