How do I stop letting my mother make me feel guilty when I won't go to see her when she wants?
My mother is 80 and has great trrouble walking. She has suffered from depression since she was 19, on and off. Now is an "on" time, and it's getting worse. She has been under a doctor's care for this, and I am basically used to it. (I also suffer from derpression and anxiety.) And, I think she may have early dementia, and my dad thinks so, too. My dad takes care of her, and she can get out, but chooses not to. I am an only child, am a teacher, and I have triplets in first grade. I have my own set of problems in my life, some of which have been very bad this year. I call my mother every day, but do not go and see her as often as I did because I get so depressed from listening to her complain and/or make excuses for things. I also hate seeing her laying in the bed and not getting dressed, except if I have a "planned' visit with the kids. (I have been in a badly depressed myself, lately.) I can see a change in her personality. She complains about my dad, constantly, tells me the same things over and over, and gets mad if I don't do what she wants. For example, my mother-in-law, who is a sweet lady, is going to go and fix her hair for her today (Mom hasn't done anything with it since the fall). Last night, Mom asked if I was coming today. I said I hadn't planned to (i will see her tomorrow for my birthday dinner, and just saw her Sat. afternoon.) She then responded that she used to get hurt by me not coming, but she is now used to it. She also told me (and has many times) that she always did things with her mother, never told her no, but that I haven't wanted to do things with her since I got married (1995). I know I am not perfect, but I do talk to her everyday. My own sanity is being chipped away, due to work issues, my kids, my husband's attitude, and my depression. Oh, and Mom will hold a grudge, too, if she doesn't like what's going on. I fear she may do so at the birthday dinner. What is the best approach to handling this situation?