Feeling anger toward my mother because she's here all the time.

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Sorry, didn't get to finish writing my comments. I think I've just reached the end of my rope. My mother moved in with my husband and I 16 months ago. Overall, she is not that hard to take care of (her mind is ok but she has physical issues). However, she does take up a lot of my time because I am now her sole provider. She had not been out of my site in that entire time - never. My brother and sister live in another state and my sister is coming for her 2nd visit next week in 16 months. She's said she would take care of Mom if I ever went on vacation. However, she knows we generally don't go on vacation so I knew that offer meant nothing from the start. My brother is useless. I just had a big blowout with my mom this morning because of a comment she made while I was preparing to put dinner in a crockpot. I feel like she monitors everything I do - especially in the kitchen - because she has nothing else to occupy her time. I have asked her before to stop this but she does it anyway. I don't think she means any ill will but she has nothing else to do. She used to be a great cook and did everything wonderfully so she has her way of doing things. However, all of this just drives me crazy - especially since I'm right in the middle of menopause (which is likely the biggest part of the problem for me) and am having mood swings. I just want her out of my sight and I know I must sound horrible for saying this. She and I were very close until she moved in with us but it's just too much togetherness for me. I feel trapped and my anger (which I try to hide) is intense. I can;t bring her to a Senior Center for a few hours because she requires assistance going to the bathroom (when in her travel chair). Therefore, I'd have to stay with her and that would defeat the entire purpose. Anyway, I don't think she really likes that idea. I've had these 'yelling' fits with her a few times and have heard her talking about me to different relatives. This really upsets me. I know I sound like a nut but I'm really not. I'm just frustrated and don't see anything I can do about it. Everytime we have one of these 'fights' she brings up the fact that she would go somewhere else if she had a place to go. Then, of course, I start feeling horribly guilty because she was always a wonderful mother. Thanks for letting me vent. I know that most of you have things MUCH worse than I do but, to me, my problems seem huge. I guess I'm just selfish because I miss the quiet life I had for all these years with just my husband and I.
You are right that a Senior Center is not appropriate for your mother. What you need to look into is an adult day health program. Senior Centers provide a place for healthy older people to socialize. Day health programs (aka Adult Day Care) provide care services. The one my husband attended even offered assisted showering. For your mother's sake and for your own sanity you MUST find a way to have time apart from her. And it would probably be good for her to interact with other adults. That would be my first suggestion.
You may want to consider getting someone to provide some respite care you occasionally so that you can go out and do something for yourself
I can't imagine anyone would think of you as being selfish when you're providing a home for your mother and giving up most of your personal freedom besides. Anger is a natural reaction to such a loss. Your description of the blowout in the kitchen over the crockpot really hit home with me. I used to love to cook, but now my mother is permanently in view of the kitchen, and nothing I do meets with her approval.

I wish I had some practical advice for you, but the situation is what it is. You've given up your freedom, but you sound like a kind person or you wouldn't be feeling guilty about your anger. All I can say is try to set boundaries, even if it makes your mother angry. You don't have to engage in a confrontation, which does nothing to help either of you—just makes things worse, probably. Try to walk away before the words get out of hand. There's nothing wrong with the feelings you have, but letting them turn your home into a war zone isn't going to help. I say that from experience. I too love my mother, but she'll do everything she can to make certain I KNOW that she's still the mother. Words are all she has left—that and angry looks that used to be pretty effective for keeping me in line as a child. But now only serve to fan the flames. :(

I hope someone can advise you with more practical solutions as far as outside assistance. . But learning not to let things escalate into a battle is important as well. In the meantime, remember that your feelings are perfectly natural and understandable. Best of luck—you are NOT being selfish to long for how things used to be. Many of us feel the same.
Paul has given you some first-rate advice. Part of the solution is to get some time away from Mother. You must build respite into your week. But even when you achieve that the other part of the solution is learning to interact with your mother in new ways. Paula's post shares useful experience on that topic.
Thanks so much for responding. I have to admit that I'm not feeling very good today about my overreaction yesterday. I simply had a bad day and just needed to vent. Unfortunately, I have way too many bad days lately and, yes, I do need to find a solution. I've asked my sister to come into town more often and simply take my Mom off of my hands for a few hours at a time. We'll see what she says. If not, I'll have to look into some sort of respite care to have some time away from her. Thank you so much for the wonderful answers and kind words.
I so feel your anger. It is normal. I too am in same situation. I have had to move both of my parents into my home. Reasons they could not afford to live in their home and some health issues. It has been three years to the day. I spent much of the first year trying to make them feel comfortable and welcomed and ignored my needs to have a home and privacy. My anger became so intense I was taking it out on those who had nothing to do with the situation. After recognizing that my attiude and my health was failing I decided I was worth the same as I was giving to them. We as children taking care of our parents are not responsible and do not have the capacity to make them happy or fulfilled.....We have a responsibility to keep them safe. You are doing this. I am doing this. I thought I too could simply explain to folks that I, we all need our time alone. With that said does not mean I don't love you, want you, etc.....again you cannot be responsible how your mother hears this. I have found it better to tell mine after I get her settled for the day or moment, feed,restroom,etc. that I am going our for a bit. If she makes the excuse of what if I need to go to bathroom? Put a diaper on her. It is a hard thing to do but I just tell my moither this is just in case I don't make it back in time. Within three weeks I did this for myself. She gave me hell with guilt but I to myself said I am worth it and she is fine. I wish I could say I went and had fun for those two hours. It was fun for me I drove to our local park and took a pot of coffee and watch the birds. Slowly I told her it is my time to relax, and retired to my room. Each time I came back I greeted her. Thanked her for lettinjg me have a rest from the day and now it is routine. Just remeber there is no handbook for right or wrong in caring for our parents. As far as your siblings. I too have a worthless brother. cannot depend on him. Unfortunatly there is only him and I. What I have done is reach out to nieces and nephew, cousins I said I need help. It is time your politely demand from your sister that she take your mother for a month. It is not your responsibility alone. She is both your parent. I don't really care if she has a job, routine, etc. Give her the notice that this will be shared by the both of you and work out a schedule. You deserve and need to know that you have a certain amount of time to yourself to live your life as well. You are the primary care giver but three months out of the year is not asking for the world........I am praying for you and believe me the hardest thing for me was to find my voice with my parents and relatives. I find that if I don't dwell with the anxiety,frustration,etc. with them just simply call and say we need to make a schedule and when would you like to meet to work it out? It puts it back on them to be a part of the situation. I keep you in my prayers and all of us that have found us in the situation of being the responsible child and stepping up to care for our elders. Best, Lisa
Lisa,, thanks so much for the kind words. I think that part of my problem is that my resentment is suffocating me and I can't see a way to fix anything. I'm sure (like many of you) part of it is 'manageable despression' on my part; I simply get through day-to-day without much enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I don't have the option of getting my sister to take my Mom for any length of time. She lives over 600 miles away and I have no other family here that can help me with her. In addition, my Mom can't walk nor sleep in a bed so she is dependent on a riding chair and a sleeper-recliner. Also, she does not handle the long ride well so taking her (along with all of her 'hardware') isn't practical (she's almost 85). Therefore, as long as she's able, I have come to the realization that she's going to be here. Although I don't want her to go to a nursing home (and she really doesn't need one right now), the idea that I could be her sole caregiver for X number of years is very depressing. It also makes me sad that I no longer feel close to my mother although I was very close to her for my entire life (until she moved in). Thank goodness I have a wonderful husband because, frankly, I don't know what I'd do without him.

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