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I am almost at my wit's end. My life is a rollercoaster of emotion. I am an only child, by the way. My mother has several health issues, one which has rendered her almost unable to walk. My dad lives there and takes care of her, but not to her satisfaction, which I hear about daily. I have a difficult job at best, and I am worried about some complications with it. (I need to work, by the way, for the extra income.) And, I am taking care of triplets. My mom tries to lay guilt trips on me - she can go from being in a decent mood and talking about something in general, to telling me how I have no time for her in the same conversation. I think she is jealous of the other grandmother, who is active and a lot younger. My mom can't do anything with the kids unless someone is with her. She will point out that I make time to do things with my mother in law but not with her. (My mother in law has taken the kids to a few places - her treat, and we were not gone but a day or two. We have done this 3 or 4 times over the course of several years.) My mother doesn't get along with my dad, and unfortunately, I'm caught in the middle. I can see both sides of the issue, but Mom will not listen to me about Dad, although Dad will listen to me about Mom. It's just a difficult situation. I am a teacher, and I moved grade levels and rooms. School starts in a couple of weeks. We are just now able to go in and fix our rooms (floors weren't ready). My mom now wants me to go with her and Dad on a trip the week before school - my most critical time. I told her I couldn't go then, so she pointed out that I could find time to go with my mother in law, but not with her. She then said she could not go with my dad alone - too much fighting, so she guessed she wouldn't go at all. A few weeks ago she wanted to take one of the kids with her and Dad, said she wished I could go but knew I had a lot to do...she changes her mind like this , constantly. Please understand that if I had the time and thought she would not be in a bad mood (very depressed a lot), I would go when I could work it out. She knows I have had a difficult time with work (my boss), and I struggle with raising triplets and trying to teach them the right things to do (my husband is not much help in that area), and she is sometimes very supportive. But, she will "flip-flop" in a second, as far as her outlook goes. I don't know what to do. I have let my house go because I am so down (I am on meds for depression) about my mom's situation and my job, plus I have children issues. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this? Talking to Mom won't do any good - she is never wrong. I just need some good coping skills on my end. Thanks

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Jackiebb, I had a two year old when my twins were born. I know somewhat of the stress you are now under. My girls are now 28 and 26, and it does get better. That said, I also have a demanding, never can make me happy mother.

Looking back and knowing the stress of multiple births and taking care of very small children, I must say you are doing way too much. I was a stay home mom and I can't imagine what it would have been like to have to work and take care of so many small ones. And not much help from the father, why?

As for your mother, she is probably not going to be pleased no matter what you do. Set some boundaries with her. She sounds just like my mother. I will give you an example of what is going on in my household right now with mom.

Mom is a widow and complains constantly about being alone. She will not make friends, refuses, will not join clubs, will not go to church, etc. etc. She complains all of the time that I don't visit her. I live in another state and it is an eleven hour drive to her house. However, she could spend several months out of the winter to visit me. She refuses, hasn't been to my house in 13 years. Stopped visiting her granddaughters at 68. She was healthy and retired. Just a selfish woman.

I recently told her, since i am now retired, I would come up and spend a month with her. Fly up and rent a car (she does't like me to drive her car). I bet my husband it would take less than a week for it to get back to me that she didn't want me. It took 5 days. My brother told me she was wringing her hands as to what to do with me for that long. I laughed, but it hurt a little. Now my husband and I are planning a weekend trip to a desitination about 5 hours south of her, she is mad because we won't drive the 5 hours up. My husband has a small window of days off after a long year of overtime.

i expect to hear how horrible I am for not making my husband drive the extra distance when he has so little time. And I will not even go into all of the other things she has said and done to me that would make most people never speak to her.

My point of this long windy story is she will never be please. She is not looking to be pleased. She is looking to manipulate and obviously doesn't care about your feelings. You must take care of yourself, focus on the triplets, your job, husband and home. She has to be a lower priority. And if she is like my mother, nothing you do will be good enough. So set boudaries and become a little indifferent to her tactics. And these are tactics to manipulate. Good luck
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Jackiebb: Sounds like a you have a lot going on and are really feeling pressure from all sides. I don't think you are going to find a consistent way to make your mom happy. Also, it sounds like your parents have an unhappy relationship and probably have for years. You can't change that either. I think you love them both, but taking on the emotional responsibility for their happiness will only drag you down.

One thing you could do, is talk to your mom about in-home care. You mom needs company and she is not satisfied with the care your dad gives her. Sounds like she needs help showering, or would benefit from it, meal preparation and some housecleaning help. Why don't you call your local Area on Aging. They can offer you a ton of information as to what services are available for your mom. I don't know what their financial situation is, but there is help out there.

When my mom was living, I hired in home care for her to give me a break from having to do everything. My mom was a difficult person and at first she resisted the idea, but when I mentioned that she might find a friend in the care giver she decided to give it a try. She liked it, but I had to back out and let her decide what the care giver would do. The bathing and fixing her hair she liked, but sometimes she would rather the care giver watch TV with her instead of clean. That kind of irritated me because I was paying for the care giver and then had to clean too, but it made my mom happy to be in control. Being in control was a big deal to her and so I just let it go and let her run the show.

Maybe you can talk to you mom and get her on board to have someone in for 3 hours, 2 or 3 times a week. You could approach it from the standpoint that she isn't getting the care she wants/needs and you are starting school and will have little time, etc. I hope this can work out because it would be helpful to your mom and also give your dad a break.

Please remember that you are not responsible for your mother's outlook on things. She can flip flop all day, but you have no control over that. Don't own her problems. They are not your problems and you can't solve them by taking the weight on your shoulders.

I'm curious about your age. You have an 80 year old mom and 7 year old triplets. I'm guessing you might be around 40, but I'm assuming your mom was older when you were born. How long have you been married?

Your children are 7 years old and you mentioned you have "children issues". Also, you said your husband is not a lot of help. You've let your house go and you are depressed about your mom's situation and your job worries.

Triplets are a handful. They come in a three pack, but they are individuals in need of individual attention and understanding. I have some friends who had girl triplets and I watched how dad would take each child for one on one time every weekend. The mom didn't work, but she had schedules and friends kept the kids involved in various activities. A few years later, they had a baby boy. I have to say they ran a tight ship, because it was necessary in order to keep everyone on track. They had to work together in order to accomplish this. This year all the girls entered college and are doing great. Their younger son is doing great as well. I will also say that money was not an issue in this family, but nevertheless it was the parent's ability to decide what their goals were in raising their children and in honoring their marriage that made their lives successful.

Maybe you and your husband would benefit from some counseling. If you could come together on what is important to you now, 10 years from now and 20 years from now, it might help you all find the track you need to be on. You can't and should not have to raise triplets on your own. For their sake and yours, your husband must be involved.

Also, I think your state of mind might also have an impact on the triplets. You are frazzled and unable to provide the structure they need. Maybe they are frazzled as a result and acting out accordingly.

I'm no expert here, but it seems like you run from one brush fire to another and are never really able to put any of them out. What you are doing doesn't work. You need to stop, step back and take a realistic view of your life. You can't fix your parents so just let it go. See your mom at a set time each week for an hour or two. Don't let her make you jump through hoops. Talk to your husband about the life and children you share. See what you both can do to parent together. I don't know what to say about your job. Maybe it's not the right job for you at this time when your children are young. See what this semester brings and make some decisions. Maybe you could substitute or work in a private school.

I hope something I've offered is usable and I sincerely wish that you are able to take control back in your life and make some progress and experience some happiness and peace.

Love and Hugs, Cattails
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It sounds like your mother feels old and scared and that maybe you don't love her. She is desperately trying to test you for your love right when you are preparing for school. Here is a suggestion- tell Mom that you have to set up your classroom and prepare for students now but suggest that you go with her and dad and the kids during the first school break for a mini-trip. You can choose some place that is not too far away, if you like, just something you can do with her. It really isn't fair to go places with the kids and the mother-in-law and not with Mom. I know this is stressful for you and I am glad you are on meds to help.

I think you also need to look into counseling so you can blow off steam in a safe place. This is vital for you. Also, you might want to look into some stress relievers such as meditation, yoga, and guided imagery for relaxation. Much of how we react to a situation is self-talk. If you tell yourself everything is bad and will never improve, your body will respond as if it is true and you will make yourself sick. Do try to get a good counselor to help. Look at your local community mental health center or health department to find this resource for free or cheap. I wish you well.
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