Arrival of the Queen..Sibling treated like a queen and I'm her lowly servant...

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Hello all. Im the caregiver for my 87 year old father. My children and I moved in back in May. We have help during my work hours and my father is not in bad shape physically. Back in in May he fell and he can no longer live alone. He makes no hiding of the fact that he sees my sister as better than me. She is coming for a one week visit and he is ready for us to roll out the red carpet. Never mind that I have children of my own and a career. He is going to expect me to cook and wait on her as if she is a guest. He is going down a list of all that needs to be done this week. Im trying to remain patient, but how do I overlook such blatant favoritism ? On top of everything he plans on cooking for my sister while she is here. Meanwhile he sits there on the couch all day every day while i wait on him hand and foot. He sees nothing wrong with overwhelming me, but my sister who has no children is going to receive royal treatment. If I could afford to go to a hotel for the week I would, but Im trying to prepare to move...I know my refusal to do anything will result in a big war...Have any of you faced this situation as a caregiver. I always receive such wonderful advice from everyone, Im hoping to get some valuable feedback.


Tell him how you feel.. That she's family and will be treated as that.. Have you spoken to her? Does she visit often?

I'd let her take care of Dad while you are busy with your own family..She's there to see your father so let her take care of him.

Make yourself scarce!!
Thanks for your thoughtful input. I find myself reading these comments and they make sense..but my reality is alot different than logic lol
You can make you're own reality! Don't let your kids see you being bullied by anyone... Come on you can do it!!!
Toomuch4me - You're in a hard spot. You're the Cinderella child, right?

What about taking his list of tasks, and sitting down with him and telling him what you will and won't do? Would he pay for a cleaning service? That would be a job that could be delegated. Maybe you might agree to cook one fancy meal, but tell him it's simple food, take-out or a restaurant the rest of the time. Can you develop a very sore back or a migraine headache? Pick a type of pain that he gets, so he will respect it.

Try the phrase, "Dad, I wish I could, but I just can't do any more than that." Don't try to convince him that he's being unreasonable. Just be calmly unreasonable in your refusal. Bargain over what you will or won't do, but only by dropping one job before accepting to another. Treat him like a customer that you would be willing to lose as a customer. Be polite, civil, even warm, but inflexible. He's not your Daddy, who should love you more than he does. He's a kind of pathetic crabby old guy that you will help, but that you aren't going to kill yourself for.

Marshmallows like you and me can learn to be harder in a good way if we can figure out how to do it politely. I used to think that I had to go along, or else I had to scream and yell. The middle way is easier once I saw it. "I'm sorry, I just can't do that. Maybe you can find another way to get it done, but I can't do it."

When he has you waiting on him, could you say, "Sure, I'll do that, but I'm in the middle of X, and I can't stop or I'll lose the whole thing. Could you do me a favor and get it for yourself? Or I'll be glad to do it when I finish this." Use that for things you know he can do for himself, and never use it for things that you know he can't do.

Those who can stand up for themselves do. Those who can't, write advice to others on (Speaking only for myself here.)
too, I would do much more than tell him I can't do whatever. Since he sees you as less than, I would move out and have a life w/o him for the most part. Who needs this toxic environment. Life is too short for this kind of stress. Okay easy for me to say, but that is the way I see it. Like Jinx I am not good at standing up for myself, but getting better at it. I was raised in the 50's where girls were taught to be "nice."
I let my caregiver situation get out of control that was very similar to this. I let myself be bullied and controlled, until it took over my life. I learned, before the end, that I had to be strong and set firm boundaries.

If you don't put the brakes on now, immediately, he is going to take more and more control of your life. It is a very real slippery slope, and he will push you as far as you let him. Every time extravagant demands are met, that becomes the new “normal”.

You have to let go of the idea that if you refuse to cater to unreasonable demands, you are "mean" or uncaring. You have to protect yourself, and you don't have to apologize for it either.

One last thing; when you have your boundaries in mind and you are ready to have the big talk, do NOT leave the topic open for discussion. Don't try to justify or defend your position; that just creates wiggle room for him to pick apart anything you say. Simply state how things will be, and then close the topic.

Good luck to you, stay strong, and take care of yourself!
toomuch4me, let me guess, this is the one child that he rarely sees or who visits seldom? Maybe it will be a good thing for him to do the cooking for her so that he'll get off his rear end for a change. Maybe you can ask her (in front of dad) if she'd like him to go visit her for awhile as a special treat for him? (insert maniacal laugh here).
In fairness my sister comes at least every couple of months. She is a wonderful person and contributes ALOT financially to help my father. It is our father who acts as if she is the Queen. He acts as if nothing in the house is good enough right now. He is treating his HHA as if she is his personal servant this week...While she is here, he will expect me to fix brunch on the weekend since she doesnt get up early ...He wiill be sure to have everything she enjoys on hand..Any quality time we want to spend as sisters will be met with jealousy...when she visited in June she and I took my children out for an outing and he went ballistic..calling to see where we were...the HHA told me that he was yelling and screaming then entire time we were out. He was rude toward me when we got back because Id cut into his time with my sister..So now when she comes I do not make any plans to go anywhere with her...
OMG YES. AND MY SISTER TOLD ME I SHOULD HAVE EVERYTHING PERFECT AND DO MORE THAN I ALREADY DO..... All this is part if the family question is hasit always been this way. I don't want to be known as the member of this awesome group pushing Nacissism, bit if the shire fits. I Gabe discovered that so many of us taking care if our parents at this time, so i would say the baby boomers are experiencing this. I am learning to speak up and quite frankly stand up for myself. You are working and raising your family that is your first priority, even more than that is YOU. You know when you fly they t the stewardess goes over the oxygen mask...PUT THE MASK INN YOU FIRST., YOU CAN'T HELP ANYONE UNTIL YOU HELP YOU. I am learning this, but let this dirt of thing go on, nip it in the bud.
Sincerely and much love Kelly
I understand. Is there any way you could go to a local hotel for even a night or two, or perhaps even somewhere for a day? Possibly you could tell your dad it is work-related. Sometimes when people see people less often (as is in the case with your dad and your sister) it is human nature to view the person seen less often as sort of special, since they are not around much. Try to overlook this situation, because of your dad's age, and hopefully the week will go fast and you'll be able to re-boot once your sister has left. In addition, you have a lot to be thankful for since you have children and your sister doesn't have any children, (unless she didn't want any). Hope all goes well.

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