Entertaining Mom's Visitors (vacationers).

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I come here pretty often but rarely post. I am in severe need of a good venting! My 96-year-old mother moved into my house about 2+ years ago. She can be very sweet and little-girlish but is usually hateful, miserable and manipulative. Let me add stubborn.
Recently my niece "the doctor" in CA called to say that she, her husband and 18-month-old were coming to visit grandma. I haven't heard from her for a year. Not one ounce of support or concern for me. She asked if they could stay here for those 5 days. She knows we (my boyfriend and I) are really cramped for space since "giving" mom 1/2 the house (so that she would have her familiar bed, couch, etc.). We use the guest bedroom and the other bedroom is now our office. I have a Newfoundland, a LOUD parrot and a kitten that has turned out to be a biter. The kitten and bird are always in our end of the house.She thought the baby could sleep in the office but I actually spoke up for myself for once and told her that wasn't possible. So she and her husband will be sleeping in mom's bed and they will ship a bed for him to sleep in. Mom insists on sleeping on her couch. (anything for the doctor) I'm sure mom put my niece up to asking to stay here.
My sis and her husband (next door) are retired, and have an extra room.Mom told her that she hates going back and forth. (by car...we live in the country). Last year they stayed there. But mom only goes there maybe 4-5 times/year and is very excited to have the visitors stay here. Sis even tried to discourage my niece from staying here, but no, she aims to please grandma. Which is probably why she is her favorite, just like her father was. (he passed away a little over a year ago). After a conversation last night with this niece, I am realizing that I should have just said no. I am fretting over this too much. She asked which bathroom grandma would use since she and her husband would be sleeping in the master bedroom with grandma's bathroom attached. Well, I told her grandma couldn't walk the distance to my bathroom. (sorry if it rains on your honeymoon...lol). Then she tells me she only eats organic. I'm thinking, "well here we go...) I am such a pushover. I am really not liking me too much these days for not sticking up for myself. I am an on-call hospice nurse and will be on duty for 3 of the days they will be here. I am TOTALLY stressed about the food, the criticism of my care for her (she REFUSES to see anymore docs and doesn't hesitate to trash me), the visitors who will be here to visit the visitors, the cat, the bird, getting called out at all hours, plus I have started smoking again (horrors!) etc...My boyfriend is very protective of me and assures me that we will get through this. I was stressed before this, now I think this will push me into full-blown caregiver burnout. After I told my niece how difficult mom could be she told me there was a special place in heaven for me. Exactly what I wanted to hear. just please say a prayer for me to ask God to help get me through this fiasco. Thanks for listening, I needed that! God bless all caregivers, you are always in my prayers.


Just say no! You have obviously made many sacrifices caring for your mother in your home, and not moving her to assisted living. My father lives with me, my husband and three boys. We see that he has everything he needs, and provide all of his care ourselves. But the days of friends and family coming to visit wanting me to feed and entertain them as well have passed. I figure my sanity and health are important as well, and my fathers guests have to respect that. So if they want to stay overnight I immediately suggest places close by where they can stay. If they will be visiting during a mealtime I let them know some of dad's favorite healthy foods that he would enjoy. Because if they will be visiting I will be using the time to work on a task around the house, in the yard, or an errand that I can't get to when I am home alone with dad. And that dad would love to have someone fuss after him other than me.
1 You should have just said no.
2. You are fretting over this too much.

What to do now? It is probably too late to say no, without completely becoming the bad guy.

Could you stay with Sis, next door, for the duration of the visit? Then neice could shop and cook everything organic. She and Grandma could bond without interference. Sounds good to me. You did not invite them. You are not the hostess. Let them fend for themselves.
I, OTOH, would just put my mind to enjoying their visit. I don't mind temporary inconvenience. If she had told me she only ate organic, I would have said, "Great! There's a store across town I'll tell you about when you get here. Maybe your hubby can stay with Mom while you and I go shopping."

Five days, though, are rough. I always follow the rule that visitors start to smell like fish after three days. It is so true. Still, I would set my mind on enjoying their trip and strengthening those family bonds. Maybe they will be helping hands so you can take a breather while they are visiting. (Doubtful, I know. But we can always hope.)

I don't know why caregiving comes with the extra hostess duties. It seems to happen every holiday and anytime company comes into town. It sure seems unfair that people who don't help can put an extra load on us. But it happens, so I just try to make the best of it when it does.
I liked Jeanne's thought about you staying with your sis during the visit. You may find that difficult with the many pets you have. I think your main worries are what the Niece/doctor will think of you. You are afraid your mom will trash you, you are smoking again, etc.

If it was me, I think I would find a nice way to simply say the idea of making over night accommodations for her is just too stressful. There is not enough space and you need some down time. She is welcome to stay during the day and early evening, but if she stayed with your sis at night it would be better for you and your mom.

I had my parents for 7 years. My sibs were out of state and I was not only the primary care giver, but also the no cost Holiday Inn. This included meals, etc. I finally learned that it was not my job to entertain and cook for everyone when they decided to visit. I needed a break, not more work and stress. So we made some changes and eat out or got take out food. If someone wanted certain foods, then it was up to them to provide them and make them.

You just have to be kind to yourself sometimes and that means setting some limits. Your niece does have another place to stay so it's not like she has to stay at a hotel.

Sending you best wishes and some white light. Cattails
OMG...forgive me for saying this, but I have come to despise these visits from folks. My Mother is happiest when they are not here, and when they are here, I spend all of my time serving coffee, fixing meals, etc. etc. while I have to sit here and entertain and listen to them all yammer on and on about their kids, how this one is getting to pursue their career, that one is going to some exotic getaway, etc. etc. and all the while I am sitting here knowing full well I gave up everything to move across the state and care for my Mother...(they know it too).

Now I can say there are a couple of folks who I know truly love Mother and they are so sweet to her and respectful of me and of her and I love their visits...these other yahoos need to get over themselves.

To be honest, I have finally started telling folks short visits are fine (as in an hour or so)....stay over visits are out of the question here, sorry, I have my hands totally full caring for Mother as she is totally dependent on me and I will be damned if I sit here and operate a bed and breakfast....I am venting this morning, but I have gone from someone who rarely lets folks know how aggravated I am to finally seeing that a lot of what has happened is due to my NOT doing so all of my life. After paying close attention to a lot of "the visitors" I came to note that I think most of them are visiting to make themselves "feel better"...get that little visit in so they can go home and think...got that over with for a while.....Stick a fork in me, I am DONE with being a hostess.
I also became the scourge of the extended family when I asked that if they do come to visit, please call ahead.....
We had to set down some limits after the first month. Sibs showed up after work and just sat until they were ready to go home...no offers to help and rude remarks if I didn't prepare enough dinner for them. Husband set a go home time by 7pm and no meals here, unless they wanted to get take out to share with Mom.

Of course, there were the remarks about having to leave because Sis is tired after sitting all day watching TV with Mom. Right!!! Then it was the "wish we could visit longer but you know the rules". Those that didn't work, I questioned why they couldn't visit during the day. Only to get a reply that their days were none of my business. The joys of family!!

Mom gets tired early and I still had her to get ready for bed. She is more calm and relaxed from not being the entertainment feature each night.

Unfortunately, I have had several friends that went through the same thing. My doctor told me to remember whose home it was and be the boss. lol
hope22, I know exactly what you mean. I do get tired of hearing about all the trips that one brother & SIL are taking. They usually drop by the house for a few hours on one of their trips. They just fit seeing Mom into their other routine. If it weren't for these trips, they probably wouldn't visit at all. I see it as their self-involved problem and try to make them feel welcome when they are here. I don't cook for them, though. We go out to eat or get take-out.

The other brother and SIL are boring. They are hyper-religious, so you can't have normal conversation. Their children are very well mannered. Sometimes I would love if they would lighten up on them. I would buy some things for the kids to do outside, but they are here so rarely it wouldn't be a wise use of money. My mother loves it when they visit, she says, so I do the best I can to make them feel welcome. I always feel I am being judged, though, and found wanting. It always bugs me when my brother says a prayer hoping that the unsaved people in the room come to know Jesus.

If I had to go back and choose a family, I would have picked a different one for sure. But we are stuck with whatever family we ended up in, so just have to make the best of it. I doubt I will keep in touch with my brothers after my mother dies. It isn't because of resentment, it is because we just don't have anything to bring us together anymore. We're a group of strangers.
Ah, a doctor. Very nice. I know the type (have them in my family). Always the top of the class, got into med school, everyone braggin about them all the time. The joy of the family. However, when it came to handing out manners, they seem a little short. Why because they feel "entitled". This is the bane of many of the younger generation. Just say no. You don't run a hotel and you are not a short order cook.

The most telling comment in your post is the niece eats organic foods only. Give me a break.

Like I said before, I don't post here very often, but I have to share this. First of all, thanks for all the advice and support that made me feel so much better. Everyone here is so kind and REALLY understands! After reading all the comments, I knew what I had to to. I kind of took the "welcome to my world" type of attitude. They really were good guests. They shopped for their own organic food, lol! I was out on call quite a few times, sometimes to return home, beat, to people visiting the visitors! I would go for a nap, with no apologies, and let them handle it. And they did. Just want to mention here that I was amazed at how many relatives drove the distance to get here to see them, yet they can't do it to visit Mom. Even sis, next door came by a few times. I know Mom really enjoyed having the time with them and that is what matters most.
Thanks and blessings to all of you !

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