Grouchy Mother

Started by

My 78 yr old Mother is having memeory and some phycial problems. She gets very grouchy with me and seems to pick on anything I say or do. I try not to let it brother me, but sometimes I just get tired of it and say something unkind back to her. I feel so guilty. She will not get out and get involved in anything. (she moved here 3 yrs ago after my Dad died).


What you are relating is typical behavior. My mom won't do anything either. She just sits in her chair and waits to be entertained. Granted, here capabilities are limited, but she does not try. The only thing she will do is get on her recumbent bike for 20 minutes a few times a week. She just has really given up. She never had many friends and it seems too late to get her socialized. Our caregivers are her only friends. It is really a shame, but I can't be her friend and have a life. I try to take her out, but she is limited in where she can go. You are doing your best. We all say unkind things. It is the stress and lack of sleep and me time. Don't worry about it. This happens to every caregiver I know!!!!!
Thank you Lovingdaughter. Its nice to know I'm not the only one.
I have a sister, but she is a sick alcoholic. She is mean to our Mother, so I dont encourage her to help me with Mom. My daughter has 2 kids under 5 and a hubby and a full time job. It falls mostly to me. I have a full time job too, but she is my Mother and I feel she is my responsibility.
When my mom is grouchy, I remind her that it is not my duty to take care of her. Nor is it my responsibility. As children, we should not feel that we must take care of our parents, rather that we want to. To me,there is a big difference in those two statements. What I tell her is that I do it because I love her and want what is best for her. Unlike my brother who seems to have no compassion or feelings for her, I want her in my life. However, just because I choose to be the caregiver does not give her the right to abuse me in any way. I am still her daughter and she never did that when I was young, so she does not have the right to do it now. If she wants to get mean, direct it toward her son who is never around to see her!!!

When it is time to have mom move to a home, I will feel no guilt. I am sure my brother won't either since he feels none now. Got to try to sleep. DSL has given us an extra hour but I can't sleep. Guess I worry more than I like to let on. Night
DO NOT LET HER MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY. They will suck every bit of breath, every big of spirit out of you if you let them. Sometimes they mean to, other times they do not. Find yourself something that will turn the negativity away. My solution was to start running. When my mother got sick, I went from a size 4 to a size 18. I was unrecognizable. After another endless night of her ringing the buzzer all night and screaming at me when I wouldn't entertain her (I had to go to work the next morning), I decided something had to give. The next afternoon I went to a specialty store and bought myself a pair of running shoes and started that very afternoon. I would run a few steps, walk, run a few steps, walk. After a year, I regularly run two miles. It is my therapy. If you can run, do it. If you can walk, do it. It helps soooo much on your outlook life, both with your mother and for yourself. I wish you the very best.
Sorry but I disagree. It is our duty to take care of our parents. I believe in the bible and it states in there:

1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially
for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith,
and is worse than an infidel.
This is what is great about this site. We don't have to agree. Taking care of your parents does not mean the same thing for everyone. Some do it long distance. Some do it at home. Some just do it financially. If all parent child relationships were positive and wonderful, it would be a far better world. But the sad fact is that they are not. Everyone's interpretation of the bible is different and our situations are not the same. Yes, I have my mom, but if she had been like my mother in law, my duty would have been to my child and I would never have had that woman in my house.

We must all find that which works for us. If we are held to the standards of others, we are surly destined for a very bumpy ride. Honor thy mother and father does not mean destroy the lives of the other family members and my MIL did that daily. She went to an AL when my sister in law could not take it anymore. To this day, her daughter has been affected by her presence.
I pray for the people who don't have great parents, but who also take care of them out of love or a sense of duty. Me, I love mom, but I don't do it out of duty. To me that is sad. I do it because I want to. That is the greater good.

I have to agree with Reba. I am one of 6 children. I have a sister who lives near but does not help as much as she could with our mother. I have 3 other siblings who live a bit futher away but could help out somewhat more than they do...but don't. The one who lives in another state, sends money to help and calls or emails often. I use to feel so fustrated because I felt most the burden was on me. In the past my mother and I had our problems for some years and no matter what I wonderful it was....she would find something negative to say. Between that and not getting much help from my siblings, the resentment built up inside me. Finally one day after a Bible study I was in, I decided to talk to my pastor's wife about it. Her comment changed my life and outlook...and my mothers. She said to me, 'Don't look at taking care of your mother as a burden, but as a gift from God. He knew you would be the best one to take care of your mother; to give her the best care, to be the most patient with her, and to show her she is so loved regardless of what has happened between you. Just be forgiving of your siblings and don't judge them.....God will be the judge of them. By doing for your Mother what you can you are doing God's will. Do it and feel blessed that you are able to be there for her. In return He will bless you. Do it without complaining. He will never give you more than you can handle and He will always be there with you. In will see a change for the better in your Mother.

OMG.....she was so right! It's been 4 years since she told me that. My mother is like my best friend now. NEVER says an unkind word to me. Almost everyday tells me she does not know what she would do without me and tells me I am worth more than gold to her. Also, my sister has stepped up to help more. Have seen good changes come since my attitude has changed for the better. Can't do it without God either. One day we will all be where our parents are....and we need to stop and think what it would be like in their shoes. What goes around comes around, and I would like to think because I took such good care of my Mother without complaint, that my Heavenly Father will take good care of me when I am old and unable to take care of myself.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support