How can my siblings abandoned my mother, she was a good mom?

Asked by

Once she could not take care of herself they abandoned her. They never even ask me if I needed help economically. If my family has not help I do not know what I would have done. Now she is dying and I am still alone with my family taking care of her, losing her day by day and my sisters and brother that could have been here are not. My mother was a good mom and a really good human being. I feel so angry, I do not think I could ever talk to them again. I am so tired, physically and emotionally and yet my partner and my family have been there for me and my mother. How can a child abandoned a mother that was so good to them?

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Top Answer
Lonewolf, I am sorry things are so hard for you and sounds like has been for awhile.... what came to mind reading your post was that we all have a different perspective of how things were growing up... not right or wrong, just different.... I'm sure my sisters feel the same about me in regard to our dad.... I did not have the same sense of duty and obligation that they had, I had a very different experiance with him than they did..... so I was not as present as they were... and I am not negating or excusing your sibs for not being present.... just trying to give you a little peek into the other side of the coin.... of course I have no way of knowing why they are not present.... but the blessing for you is that you did all you could and you will have no regrets....I don't have any regrets either in regard to my dad, that being the difference in how people see , experiance and remember our history with our I hope you find some answers or eventually accept this is the way it is... doesn't make it right for you being the sole caregiver, but it is what it is..... prayers for you to have the strength and endurance to continue to be the loving person you are... much respect and admiration to you for doing a very hard job.... hugs to you
Lonewolf-I feel your pain! I am the youngest of 7 and I never ever thought what would happen- would happen! After 8 years of asking, begging, pleading-almost putting mom in a nursing home-I have finally given up on them. I still CAN'T understand, but I have to accept it for what it is. I have finally started getting outside help-a companion for mom coming into our home so I can go out and shop etc-and I have started mom in adult day care 1 day a week. I never thought I would need outside help-there are so may of us to care for mom! But the reality is, they all have their lives and they have no idea what it is to care-full time for their mom. The lonliness, the feeling of being trapped, the resentment, the anger, the exhaustion. I kept thinking if I could get it across to them that they would help me-let alone our mother! But I wasted my time and energy. It is soooo sad. I am sorry for you and your mom. What others have said is so true-you just keep doing what you know is right. You will have no regrets. Try to just accept it-don't take 8 years like I did. As angry as I am with them, I will not have it cause a rift and not speak to them or anything. That is just me. It is their problem-all that they are missing out on-and they will be sorry some day. I love my mom and as hard a job as it is-we have some great memories and I hope all that will remain with me forever. Please, try to accept that they just can't or won't be there-for whatever reason. Grieve for them and then move on. The anger that you can feel for years only hurts you! Trust me-I know this first hand! Hugs to you! Thankfully you have your partner and family! Hang in there!!! Mame
Thank you Ladee for your answer. You are right it depends on our history with our parents and I am trying to concentrate on the fact that I will have no regrets. But my two older sisters were the ones closer to my mom. She helped them raised their families, she clean their houses, babysit for their kids, etc. They do not work, I do. I never had children so she never lived with me when she was healthy, she always live with them. I understand what you said, but my mom was such good mom to all of us, she was mom and dad, since my dad was not a good dad. but my mom was especially good to them; always helping them with their houses and their kids. She was there for me,but I was the one that moved away, become independent, but it seems that I was the only one that always gave my mother a good time. Take her n vacation, for dinner etc, they just use her and when she got Dementia they could not use her anymore therefore it seems they have no love for her. How can they have forgotten all she was for all of us, but especially them. For months not even a phone call, not even for mothers day. How can she be dying with only one of her kids around her; after all she was for everyone?
Hi Lonewolf, I am in the same situation. When all is said and done your sisters are selfish. No matter what their history was with their mom they should step up to the plate and care for her now. Especially because she did so much for them throughout their lives. Remember to forgive, they don't know how wrong they are.
I think for some people they stay away because of some bad history. But, there are some that stay away for other reasons...their past with their parents was fine they won't/can't face the health decline for various reasons.

For some...they don't handle sickness or death well or don't know how to handle it.
For others, it's much easier to ignore it or act as though it's not happening. Makes them feel better (not a downer). Yet, for others it could be pressures from other sources that keep them away such as a job, a controlling spouse etc. Could be a combination of more than one scenario.

I grew up in a loving family. Our parents were wonderful. No dysfunction here. However, when the goin' started to get tough with my parents' declining health, my brother used these moments to take a vacation or volunteer for a job overseas. When he was around and my sister and I would ask him to do something for his parents he would cop an attitude saying he would only do the chore (mow the yard, shovel snow etc) if requested by my father, who notoriously won't ask for help for anything. (You know what they say about men won't ask for directions? That's my dad!)

Before my brother's second overseas jaunt (for a year) he was reminded of our parents' declining health and other things going on in the family that could use his involvement...he shrugged those concerns off saying coldly...'I can't put my life on hold as other lives are ending.'

It's quite common, as you can see from previous posts, that there is at least 1 member of the family that is remote or distant. You probably can't change it, so don't give these people another thought. It will bring you down. You have more important and substantial things to consume your time and thoughts. The others may have regrets later for their lack of helping out and being there (though don't count on it). You can sleep at night knowing you did everything that you could for your mother. Good for you! Your siblings could/would have added some interference anyway. You are only responsible for you and your mother. They have to take responsibility for themselves. Concentrate on you and your mother. Forget about them.
Lonewolf, it's their loss. You just do what you know is right, and let it go.
Sadly, this happens a lot. I am one of six children and I am the one who took care of Mom. One lives out of state and the rest live out of town, but not so far away that they could not have come more often. At the end, they did, but that's too late as far as I am concerned. I felt so bad for Mom because she would as me why they didn't come more often. Mom is gone now, and they all did chip in to help pay for her funeral. She only had a small funeral policy so quite a bit was left owing. I am trying very hard not to hold any hard feelings. I am so sorry for your situation. I will never understand how anyone can abandon their mother, especially one like you have described. Keep doing what you are doing. Believe me, it will be a comfort to you to know you did all you could. They will have to deal with their own feelings. Good luck.
Hi Lonewolf, I am in the same position. I have been taking care of my Mom since April 29th. I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My older sister spends Saturday with her every week. That is my only time away to re group. My 3 brothers just want to stick her in a home and sell her home. My Mom is far from being in a home. She dresses herself, makes her bed, does chores etc. I recentlly
got her on the proper meds and her angry outbursts have stopped.

My older brother lives a few blocks from me and his excuse for not stopping by or calling my Mom is, He say's, Mom does better just one on one with me so he does not want to interefere. BS, that is his justification. My other 2 brothers do not even call her. My other 2 sisters, never call either. We all live in teh same area.

I now realize, that we have our reality of growing up. Our stories are all different. I also realize, that they are just not equipped to deal with this change. Not all people are cut out to care and watch a loved one slowly slip away from us. For whatever reason they choose not to be present in her care, it is thier choice. In the end, I believe they will all have to deal with thier own guilt for not being around at a time whne they should be. Times like this really show a person character.

Holding it against them is not going to help anyone. I do know this, when all is said in done, I do look at my siblings alot differently and always will from here on out.

You are doing the right thing for your Mom and you. That shows the type of person you are. You are a wnderfull daughter and person. My partner has also been great though this new transition in our lifes. But, she and her son will be moving so my Mom will be more comfortable in my home. For some reason, Josh makes her aggitated.

Anyways, enjoy this time with your Mom. Make every minute count for her and you.

You are awesome...
Contact your local hospice center. They can help. Good luck
I am one of five children. My mom moved next to me in October. I was her main care giver for a year before that. Mom has emphysema and is on oxygen 24/7. She never drove, so I take her everywhere. I have one sister who sees our mom about once a month and takes her out to eat. She thinks this is helping out. The other siblings are disfunctional. I have asked for help and don't get any. Until a person is in our shoes, they have no idea how draining care taking can be... In the end these non helpers will be in line for their inheritance. I will be able to sleep well at night knowing I gave my all.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support