Stuckathome Asked December 2009

I'm caring for my mom but my sister gets better treatment from her. How can I deal with feeling jealous of her?

Follow
Share

I have been taking care of my mother since she broke her hip in Aug 2008. she lives at my house, she is 89. She has a pretty sharp mind just needs help. I prepare all her meals, give her a shower, clean up after her, tuck her in bed. She insists on going to the bank at least 3 times a week along with other errands. She is always telling me to get the paper, get the mail etc. She will not live with either of my two sisters. One sister is rude and disrespectful to her yet my mother showers this sister with shopping trips when she comes to visit us! Cashmere swearter and Coach handbag was the last visit! I am the one that has all the stress and all the work of taking care of my lots of times, crabby mom, and I am never offered a Coach handbag or cashmere! I get 20 questions if I go out without her , "What took so long", "Where did you go?" "Don't be long!!" I feel hateful and jealous and shallow and ashamed for feeling this way. I did have a life! My husband is getting tired of my depressed and angry moods! Can anyone figure my mom out? I know so many of you have so much more work to do in serving your parents but for me my mom is plenty of work I feel so stressed and tired out!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
9

Answers

Show:
Stuckathome Jan 2010
Thank you to everyone with their comments and advise. I am married and my husband is good with my mom, very upbeat with her although he is getting tired of her being here all the time. My children are grown. My two sisters live out of state. Recently I did talk to my mom and told her that she is sometimes rude to me and that I didn't like it. The next day she wrote me a note saying how much she loves me me. That note helped me feel so much better. She still gets bossy but she words it a little differently now (when she remembers) she will add, "...when you get a chance." What a difference!
Thanks to all I am so glad to have this "out" to vent and read about other people's struggles and know I am not the only one feeling this way!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

LynnPO Jan 2010
I've been in your shoes and I know exactly what's going on - your mom's used to getting your help and attention and she's taking it for granted or may feel that it's your "duty" to your mother. She is nice and generous with others to buy their attention. If your siblings aren't helping now they never will. It's the plain hard truth. If they wanted to do it, if they were concerned that you're doing it all, they'd be there now. Telling them to help or even asking will probably not get you anywhere. I suggest that you try it though - because you just never know. They could feel that you're "controlling" over Mom's care. If so, get over it fast and let them help. If they are just too irresponsible to help or don't care, then think about what YOU need and follow through. It's okay to admit that you can't take care of Mom 24/7 365days a year. She's not doing to get any younger and will only need more help.

If your mom is so much work I suspect that you're giving up your own life for hers. You don't say whether you're married and if it's impacting your spouse or kids; they need to be considered too. I helped my mom as I could but then had to return to work full time; she moved into assisted living because she needs help 24/7 and I just can't be there and be at work too. I also have back and knee issues that prevent me from helping her if she falls, needs lifting or too much boosting, etc.

After moving, my mom quickly realized just how much I'd done for her and said thank you. I only let her say it once because I didn't want her to feel she owed me anything. We have a much better, respectful and loving relationship now. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

LynnPO Jan 2010
I've been in your shoes and I know exactly what's going on - your mom's used to getting your help and attention and she's taking it for granted or may feel that it's your "duty" to your mother. She is nice and generous with others to buy their attention. If your siblings aren't helping now they never will. It's the plain hard truth. If they wanted to do it, if they were concerned that you're doing it all, they'd be there now. Telling them to help or even asking will probably not get you anywhere. I suggest that you try it though - because you just never know. They could feel that you're "controlling" over Mom's care. If so, get over it fast and let them help. If they are just too irresponsible to help or don't care, then think about what YOU need and follow through. It's okay to admit that you can't take care of Mom 24/7 365days a year. She's not doing to get any younger and will only need more help.

If your mom is so much work I suspect that you're giving up your own life for hers. You don't say whether you're married and if it's impacting your spouse or kids; they need to be considered too. I helped my mom as I could but then had to return to work full time; she moved into assisted living because she needs help 24/7 and I just can't be there and be at work too. I also have back and knee issues that prevent me from helping her if she falls, needs lifting or too much boosting, etc.

After moving, my mom quickly realized just how much I'd done for her and said thank you. I only let her say it once because I didn't want her to feel she owed me anything. We have a much better, respectful and loving relationship now. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

toadballet1 Jan 2010
Stuck: I went through the very same thing when my Mom moved near me. I felt like (and sometimes still do) an unpaid servant. I do everything out of love for her and do not wish to be compensated. However, I had to draw a line when she started expecting me to drop everything to help her.
One thing that has helped me is to seperate the "needs" from the "wants." Needs get taken care of first...the wants come whenever it is convenient for me. (ie: going to the bank 3 times a week is unreasonable.) You are spoiling her.
Here are two suggestions: 1) make one day a week all her's. Do all the errands, etc. on that day. If she needs other special errands etc, have her call your sis.
2) Have a caregiver come in once a week (on her tab - if she can afford expensive gifts, she can pay for some of her care) to help bathe her and run a few errands for her. Then you take the day off and pamper yourself.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

bobbie321 Jan 2010
195 austin,

my mom and I watched Dr. Phil on a daily basis for a few years. He covered just about all of our issues and we would say that we 'Dr. Phil'ed' all of our emotional stuff out and took care of it. It really helped us grow and live more civil lives with each other while we dealt with the other issues of the disease and the other things I had to take care of such as repairs to the house, etc.

Mom actually learned that her behavior was not acceptable by watching Dr. Phil. that and listening to me gripe. I got me a sweet mama now!

I can't wait to hear back from our lady on this thread to see if she's tried anything yet!!

Everybody take care and I'll check back later....

lovbob
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

195Austin Jan 2010
Bobbie- I like your advice it was watching Dr. Phil that changed me before that I thought I deserved bad treatment and after watching the show when my husband was in rehab and I thought I had to be there 12 hrs or more a day -I learned that I did not deserve to be treated badly anymore and learned not to be a doormat any more my husband told someone Dr. Phil ruined her before he died-I had a good laugh about that and one day we were watching the show and there was a husband who was being a real jerk and the husband said I can't believe that guy how he is acting and I just looked at my husband- he did not get it that was how he acted.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

bobbie321 Jan 2010
Hi there,
naheaton and cat are right on the money.

We feel for you going through this craziness and it is true that if you change your behavior you will change the dynamic.

A reason that our loved ones sometimes act like jackasses to us is that they see us as nurses as opposed to the loving daughters, sons, spouses that we really are.

You are the one doing the dirty work and when the sister shows up, mom's all clean and shiny, smelling great and ready to go.

Screw that. Cat's got some great advice for the running of the errand and
Let your sister give mom a bath and dress her for an outing. If she refuses tell her that you're going to scream your bloody head off unless she scores you some great stuff on the shopping sprees.

Like Dr. Phil says: what's her currency? fear of taking care of mom? I am an only child and I know that if I had a sib taking care of my 89 year old Alz mom instead of me I would be pretty snappy about getting her the stuff she needs including a cashmere sweater and a Coach bag.

Your mom could just be demented in these few areas. Her behavior is not acceptable yet she thinks it is. Hmmm. oh yeah. Demented.

Know that you can do this and get rid of your bad feelings. If you stand up for yourself you will feel better. We are creatures with a sense of justice and when that sense is skewed, we feel lousy (jealousy, resentment) until it is righted again. I felt lousy for other mom issues and believe me I know how sick that can make you. I had to work to make that justice come back and it really made a difference in how I feel/felt.

Good luck,
Bobbie
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Cat Jan 2010
I think it is less about abuse than it is about normal family dynamics. If you feel taken for granted and jealous (rightly so - that must hurt) then you should be more honest with your mom & sibs.

Try this - Beautiful sweater! You should wear it when you take mom to the bank this week. Mom, that was so nice, I know Sis will enjoy running errands with you - - - smile & end the conversation. Don't get sucked back in and don't explain.

Take the afternoon off & go do something fun for you. Leave your mom a note that you sister will be around to take her to bank, errand, etc. Let them figure it out without you.

It may sound easy, but sometimes it is if you let go & decide to let it be. You can still be nice, but only do as much as you can without feeling resentment or jealousy. Those feelings will burn you out & suck the joy from your life. You are better than that.
Perhaps your sisters will decide to support you a little bit more once they see you have made up your mind.

Take care, it won't be easy but will help with your peace of mind. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is what you deserve. That song by Aretha Franklin says it all. :-)

Happy New Year to all caregivers who are having a quiet night at home!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

NancyH Jan 2010
If she has 'a pretty sharp mind' then why is she not living in an asst. living facility? Why does she have to live with you after her hip healed up? Also, isn't it a side effect of abuse when the child/parent whatever, who is the most difficult to please, are the ones people try to please the most? It's like if you please them once, they throw you just enough of a bone to make you come back for more. Weird & sad, but true. Your husband and family should take precedent I think. If you make sure she's taken care of (by someone else) then you have done your job as the dutiful daughter. But you and your husband are the most important family I think.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Related
Articles

Related
Questions