lookingforward1 Asked February 2012

How do you deal with a parent who will not do anything to help out and just makes excuses?

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She is capable of doing some things but leaves everything for us to do. She seems to enjoy ordering us around and making us wait until she finishes her TV program, or eating before we can do the things that need to be done.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I will try them and see if they work out for me. I'll write later to give more detailed, situation background, and ask another question.
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peeweedeb Feb 2012
Your mom ( I assume that's who we are talking about) is not well. It's something that we need to remind ourselves constantly. We expect our ill parents to be thinking and acting just like they always did or at least to act the way we do, that is not going to happen. My mom is very ill and I care for her in my home alone, with the help of Pathways Home Health Care. My mother can be very demanding at times at I think that sometimes If she hears me walking somewhere in the house she deliberately begins to cough or moan. It's very annoying! Also, when I cook she always seem to want something that I didn't cook, but I no longer cook it for her. Dinner is what it is! I discovered that I had to begin to say no to unreasonalble demands. It was really taking a toll on me, and now I don't feel so stressed anymore. I try to be very delicate when I say no, and she is not happy about it, but it is final. I try at the end of the day to always tell her that I love her, because I do, and I am grateful for every day that I have with her. Good Luck, and try to be patient with her she is having a difficult time right now too.
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Sorry missed the first part of the question. I agree with above comments take what she is capable of make an agreement and ask her to help. I mean if she is capable I am sure you would appreciate her helping with folding laundry and other things. But it really needs to be based on what she is physically capable of. Ask her to please help with what she can and lay down a schedule. I really know how you feel and it can sometimes feel like you are nothing more than a door mat. I wish you all the luck and hope that things work out
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My father is like this. He was doing it at all hours of the day. But I have restricted him to not doing it after 10:00 pm so no more being woken in the middle of the night. He has a list that he wants done before I go to bed. But I have yet to be able to stop him during the day. He is a complete invalid so when he yells or blows the fog horn he insists on having I come running but sometime it are things he could have done himself like he lost the remote ... he was sitting on it. But I am afraid that after years I have gotten use to it. I strongly suggest lists and having designated times that you will do things.
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Eddie Feb 2012
LF:

Personally, I'd get my own place. Then she can either become self-reliant or remain a slavedriver with a live-in maid as a doormat. All she'd have to do is ring a bell.

If she's living with you, a realistic "To Do" list and a calendar on the fridge listing who's responsible for what might help. She can sweep around, help with the dishes and fold the laundry while watching TV. If that doesn't work give her a list of ALs to pick from.

In the meantime, a heart-to-heart chat is in order. Resentment festers and makes us do regrettable things, so let her know how you feel without being crude & crass.
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jeannegibbs Feb 2012
Does she live with you? What are her impairments?

I think I would resent someone interupting a show I was watching and insisting that I do something or other right now. Certainly I would want to finish eating before I did whatever it was the needed to be done.

Is Mother (or MIL) dismayed about her declining health and all the control she has lost over her own life. Is she asserting independence in ways that she can?

I wonder if it is time for a heart-to-heart conversation about what is expected of Mother. What does she think she can contribute? Can the two of you work out a reasonable schedule that isn't based on excuses and that also respects her need to control her day?

After you have come to an agreement about what is expected -- an agreement that she has had some input into and isn't just imposed on her -- could you just not pick up the task if she fails to do it?

I think you want to get to a point where you don't feel like her servant and that she expects to be waiting on hand and foot, and where she doesn't feel she has no control over her life, and she is supposed to not only supposed to do what you say but also when you say so, without regard to what she is doing. If she is living with you, having a mutually respectful relationship will worth the trouble it may take to establish it.

Good luck!
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NancyH Feb 2012
I guess the answer would depend on whether you want to treat her like a house guest or a member of the family. A house guest is just visiting.
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