The 'Law of the Few' states that 20% will do 80% of the work. What message would you send to your siblings about YOUR work as caregiver?

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I must have written a thousand letters to my sisters in anger and frustration about their lack of involvement, apathy, and indifference in helping to care for my mom. of course, I ripped up 999 of them before sending! I understand that there are legitimate reasons for their absence sometimes, but really?
I also know that when there is a group, responsibility is diffused. Everyone assumes that someone else will do the work that needs to be done.

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I chose/choose how much caregiving I did/do. My siblings have nothing to do with my decisions, nor I with theirs.

I know people who seem to spend 80% of their emotional energy on items that cause less than 20% of their problems.
Give up the letter writing, unless its helpful for relieving stress - just keep ripping them up and not sending them. Keep in mind that those letters, if sent, can do a huge amount of damage to your relationship with your siblings, who will still be around long after your Mom is gone.

Trust me....been there, done that. I have only been Mom's caregiver for a couple of years now, and I know it will get far worse before it gets better. I used to get so frustrated with my siblings for not offering to help, but over the past year, they have occasionally come and taken Mom out of the house (and out of my hair) for a short while. It doesn't happen often, but I take what I can get.

I've had to come to the realization that this is the way it's going to be - nothing is going to change it. They are glad I'm here taking care of Mom, and if I make any complaint at all, or try to discuss Mom's decline into dementia and age-related issues I get "oh, sorry, that must be so hard for you - I'll pray for you". So what's the point? They're not going to change or try to help any more than they already are.
SusanA43 Letter writing has actually preserved my sanity. It has provided an outlet for my feelings, a way to flush out my thoughts, reflect and validate all that I am experiencing as a caregiver. My letters are neither disrespectful nor confrontational. Simply stated, they express my challenges, my angst, my fears, my bewilderment, my disappointment, reasons for my anger and my expectations for them - minimally- as my sisters - as my mother's daughters. I cannot think about walking on eggshells for fear of upsetting their egos or disturbing their comfort zones or what possibly might be our future 'loving relationships.' I think I will mail one of those letters tonight. Sometimes folks can express themselves more clearly, calmly, and succinctly through writing. I guess that's the point of this website. Caregiving for my mother was so emotionally and physically draining that I had no more fight even if I wanted to. While I don't want to jeopardize my future relationship with my sisters, they have already made the decision to compromise our connections by their absence.
Like you, my sisters are more than willing to pray for me, offer me advice on how I "can make it easier on myself", and sprew a million and one reasons why I am better at it than they could be. I must remain hopeful that even if they don't change their ways, perhaps written words will jar something in their heads.
Jeanneqibbs: Unlike you, ideally, I would have loved for my decisions as caregiver to be the result of a loving, collaborative support team consisting of my family who are as vested in my mom as I am. My life as a caregiver would have been so much more bearable and the quality of care provided to my mom, 100% more comprehensive and consistent.
Placing my mother in a nursing home was directly related to what my sisters refused to do to help me keep my mom at home with me. Had they agreed to provide respite on a regular basis ...had they agreed to chip in for a home health attendant or visiting nurses,...had they agreed to share the responsibility of her safety, shopping, meals, etc. ... quite possibly, I could have hung on a little longer in keeping her at home. No...their decisions directly impacted my resources - both- physical and emotional. My mother is not an "item that takes less than 20% of my time." Nothing could be farther from the truth for true caregivers! As hard as it is for me to accept, the fact remains that I need my sisters help. Period. Will I continue the journey full throttle...of course. My love and loyalty is unconditional.

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