HELP!!! Mom found a way to blast through one of my carefully constructed barriers!

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My mother has been complaining that I do not spend enough time with her. I explained to her that I have to work and that taking her to medical appointments are a priority. Me and my big mouth! Now she has decided to make her health and well being a priority and setting up all kinds of preventative care appointments. She is even talking about getting cataract surgery she previously decided not to have. Her agenda-getting me to spend more time with her using healthcare as a motive. I never meant not seeing her unless she has a medical appointment, only that was more of a priority. re all elderly mothers this cunning? I am ready to blast off in a spaceship to pluto!

15 Comments

Debralee. Sometimes I sense my Mother --absolutely helpless at 95 with advanced dementia, partial fetal position--has a portion of her brain still reserved to manipulate and I am always on edge. Sounds awful of me, huh? No, it's my experience. We can never let our guard down with them.
My idea is to reiterate: Mother, I am not available. Please call a driver.
What else can you do? Let her win? NO!
Tell mom that her appointments have to mesh with your schedule and your ability to get off work to take her. Tell her under no circumstances can she make appts without your approval. My mom used to do what yours is doing. I implemented the system of checking with me first and it worked. Mom knew I wouldn't budge on it. It was my way or no way. If you ask someone for help, you have to give up a little freedom. This includes moms.
My Mom is not as cunning but she is very needy. My dad was actually on TV for a local game show (lottery) and , though we couldn't come to the taping , we all came up to watch it air and he was the center of attention -quite the star for awhile and I could tell my Mom was getting annoyed. Before it even ended she started whining that I needed to do her nails. She is definitely needy!! But kinda always has been. More so now though. So I sympathize/empathize!!!

Maybe tell Mom you were going to take her shopping but now that she has so many doctor appointments in the future that will not be doable. Of course then when she really does need to go to the doctor she won't want to go but will want to go shopping instead. AHHHH- so complicated!!! Well, if she gets her cataract fixed does that mean she can help more around the house? Make her less needy? IDK. Maybe Pluto is the answer. :^\
Nothing wrong with making her health a priority, I guess. The problem is its involvement for you. Can she go in a taxi or medi-van or some kind of hired transportation?

Cataract surgery is usually done one eye at a time, and requires eye drops several times a day on a particular schedule for a few weeks after each one. I wonder if you could arrange for nurse visits to handle that, so you don't have to miss so much work.
Anything new, Debralee?
Trying to find ways to to convince my mother to try and be more self sufficient instead of acting like the helpless invalid that she is not. When my mother wants somthing and cannot find someone to do it for her she moves heaven and earth to get it, but if she can find someone to cater too her needs, she becomes the helpless cripple. Yes she has COPD and some mobility issues, but she prefers to take the easiest course of action, except when it comes to hiring some in home care. Her pulmonologist recommended walking exercises so she gets a rolling walker so it can gather dust. She would rather use the medical facilites wheelchairs to be carted around in than trying to walk with her rolling walker. If she can zip through a grocery store like a speed demon with a shopping cart she has the capability to utilize the walker. Her desire to make life easier for herself makes it more difficult for me. No matter how many barriers I construct she manages a way around it. For someone who acts so needy and helpless, she sure knows how to outsmart anything that gets in her way to what she wants.
(((((((debralee)))))). I understand the pressure of having your mother work on breaking down every boundary you set. Mine is very creative in doing that too. I had 10 emails in the past two days about unauthorized withdrawals from her bank account and she needs my help. I suggested that it may be wise to put me on her account, so I have access to her banking information and also suggested she contact her financial advisor, or his assistant ( in her city). Then she told me that they already know about it and will deal with it. My conclusion is that she wants attention - and we know that is a characteristic of narcissists. In fact, it is their main driving force.
Only you can decide how available you can, or want to, be, Your mother can't decide that. As you know, she will suck up every ounce of your time and energy that she can - that you allow her to. I have found it very draining to be continually mending and resetting my boundaries. So I have found it necessary to take periodic breaks from mother - times of no contact. These help to reinforce the boundaries I have set. I simply say that I need time away from the demands of others for my own health issues (which can be physical or emotional - both are equally valid) and cut contact for a while. I know my mother has at least adequate resources to look after her needs.
As far as transporting your mother to appointments, yes, she is using that to get your time and attention. You do not have to take her to all of them. You can limit your availability to whatever you want to - once a week, once a month, for example. If you want to be helpful, you could give her a list of alternate means of transportation when you are not available, but from what you have said, she is quite capable of finding these out for herself.
Again, it is up to you. I find the "no contact" breaks help. I can focus on other things without the continual pressure from mother, which is discouraging and stressful.
Good luck in finding a balance that works for you. As you know nothing will ever be enough for her. ((((((((hugs)))))))
It's sad that she feels she needs to go to the doctor all the time just to get to see you and spend time with you. Obviously she loves you. One day she'll be gone and you'd give anything in the world to have an appointment to drive her too. As for some of the advice here, how would you feel if you were her and your child had little time for you? Be glad you still have her. One day she will die and you won't have a mom anymore. Think of that this coming Mother's Day.
Terrim, Do you have a clue about how psychological manipulation effects people, or is it just your passive aggressive nature? You are very annoying in the way you continue to antagonize certain people here. You are fortunate to be hiding behind your computer. I Shoved my sister out of my house 2 years ago for doing something similar and I haven't seen her sorry ass since.
I for one wish you would just shut your mouth if you refuse to show compassion to those who have been emotionally abused by their Mothers. Just SHUT UP.
Terrim......obviously, you have no issues with caregiving, and I applaud you for being a super terrific daughter. Here is a pat on the head. So, you may leave now. Goodbye.

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