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Hi,I am starting to feel like a bad person. I get depressed when friend asks for a favor. Which doesn't happen to often....but I am not handling well.
Here is my situation.

My mom has been living with me last 10years,she is 80years old , in good health and she is on her best behavior. Since she is not bedridden,may be I won't qualify as a caregiver yet....

But living with her is taking a toll on my emotional well being.
I also have a 3years old toddler and a jusband.

When I get asked to babysit friend's toddler, I get depressed.
If I say 'no' I feel guilt, if I say "yes" I feel resentful.

In general, I just no longer able to handle favors for friend.

Since my mom is in good health, and I'm a stay home mom, I have to say I DO HAVE PLENTY OF TIME to do a favor or tow for others.
But I just don't have a hart to do it.

Is this normal? I feel like a jerk ...

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andypandy~By no means are you too old to take classes. I have taken classes over the years at the community college as well as at the local adult school and there are many people attending who are older than me (54). I took a computer class once and there was an elderly couple in their 80's taking the class. This couple had been in the class for many semesters and were taking advanced courses while I was just beginning. You may be able to take a class during the same time that your mother is taking the ESL class.
Yes, Margeaux is right about this person asking favors. If you really tune in to her, you may very well find she is asking many favors from others as well. These kind of people I believe really have no clue how to be a friend and probably have no real friendships with others that last more than a few months before they are "friends" with someone new. It is a drain of your time and energy having to maintain a relationship that is high maintenance and certainly not worth it for you and your family. A big hug to you for doing somethings for yourself, you deserve it♥!
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Good Morning to All,

The sun is shining beautifully through my garden window right now as I post.
I couldn't agree more with Sharynmarie about how few and far between the REAL friends in life are.

I find it interesting also, that in some cases while we are trying to maintain, learn about prospective friends, sometimes can be so time consuming. This ex-friend I wrote about w/physical disabilities, when I first met her I realized that she by the very nature of her conditions, would need assistance if one chose to be her friend. She was blind, when we first met and later regained her eyesight. She was also suffering from brain fogginess. Later, she regained her sight. But her condition, is such that she will always have to completely be in touch with her health if she is to function normally, or her health can get compromised.

Anyway, as I got more acquainted with her, because of her physical disabilities, I somewhat felt at a loss about her behaviors at times. Although I was aware that she was in great need, but then I'd notice she'd start to ask for other favors too, not only of me, many others.

On one occasion, she, asked me, whether she could use something regarding advertising concerning my husband, on her website. I was a bit shocked at this kind of a request. Honestly, I became annoyed, at her nerve. But then politely explained, that, "NO," I don't think my husband would agree to something as such, as it had to do with copyrights, and well when you hand something over to people to post on their websites, who knows what links those may be attached to etc. Legalities.This was the truth about the matter. She then called my husband up a few days later on his cell phone to ask him the very same thing. I was beyond myself with this woman!! I had listened to her many woes for several years now about her health, financial problems, been her friend. I felt very stupid and betrayed. I finally realized, that even in situations where someone is needy by the very nature of their physical abilities, we must be careful, if these people start to tread on our boundaries, and ask us for inappropriate favors, under the guise of a friendship. I finally also was separating some of what SHE called brain injuries to plain out aggressive and overbearing behaviors. .

In you case Andypandy, this is what I noticed and may have missed earlier, is the playdate and the baby sitting. You will really have to separate out the two of these. But honestly, how could a person who is a friend ask you for baby sitting , also given you have your elderly mother and your own baby? So try to tune in to other clues with this person. This is what I realized in my situation, because these people can really drain us of precious time and energy.
Happy Memorial Day! Love & Light, Margeaux
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ild1227: I just started to do little things for myself too, and what a surprise to see a little differrence in myself! I hope this feeling continues in me..I just have to see how it goes...
Thanks for suggesting "community service or internship programs for graduation" I am not sure if anyone can get a benefit from talking to my mom(since she is 80) ,but this is soemthing I have never thought of! I know the high school have her language program, so there is a slight chance this might be possible, since my mom does have plenty time to talk to someone if they want or choose to. I read your profile, I am very surprised that you do take care so many elderly people! I am also very encouraged by the fact you are in school. At 47(me), I was kind feeling like my life is pretty much set in so many ways and too late start something new(because I am too old...,lol), but to hear you are taking classes makde me feel, nothing is to late! As you mentined above post, just in case "controversy" may happen to me, I hope to work bettering myself to keep my mind occupied with good things and to find strong self.So I can handle a little caos here and there.
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Boy, do I know about being too easygoing. I've done it most of my life. I am learning at this stage to be honest with myself and I do say no, even if it causes controversy. I try not to be insulting, but direct. If I continue to say yes and I'm resentful, then there is no point in doing something if I am going to be resentful in the end. My mother, now 80, taught me that and she is right. If we do things with anger and animosity, then what's the point? I have been doing simple things for myself lately, and the guilt seems to disappear the more I do little things for myself. Oh, as far as your mother not speaking English, many places do have translators, and you can also look into local high schools and colleges, as most schools now require community service or internship programs for graduation. They can come to your home and spend time with your mom, and you can request someone that speaks her native language. You can also check into organizations through your state. The Office for the Aging, United Way, or even a local community or church or synagogue could assist you with a volunteer to accompany your mom to a program for a few hours. There are so many programs out there, but it's too bad there isn't a directory that provides these resources to people.
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jeannegibbs: Thanks for the encouraging words! Ohnestly, I was not doing a good of job caring for my mom, but right now I am very willing and wanting to make a small steps to make some changes. LIke you said, "mutually rewarding relationship" started to be very important to me. ANd I know that will help her and myself both. I am so glad to have found this community here online and very much want to help others too.
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ild1227: You said "Instead of making excuses, just be truthful.", that's what I should of done at the beginning! I somehow ended up saying too many "yes" at the beginning of friendship , and it was too late to start saying "no" without feeling awkward. I definately nedd to learn someting from this....so it won't happen again.
It's almost like dating....LOL. It takes time to get to know someone.
Adult day care is a wonderful suggestion, if my mother could speak English....
Thanks for mentioning massage school, I used to get very inexpensive($15 for one hour! ) massage from school, I need to get back doing something like that again.
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Andypandy, you really seem like a smart cookie. You are taking good care of your mother and giving her stimulating things to enjoy in spite of the language barrier. You seem willing and able to learn new approaches to try. Working on a mutually rewarding relationship with your mother is a far better use of your energy than feeling guilty about saying no to an acquaintance. I see good things ahead for you. Hang around here and share your experiences and successes with others who need a little encouragement.
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We, as women, are caretakers by nature. With a young, active baby and a mother to worry about, you certainly have a full plate. There is no reason to feel guilty. You do not have to explain yourself when you are not up to being responsible for another person's child. There is nothing wrong with that. Why put yourself in a position where you are going to become overly stressed. That isn't going to benefit anyone. Instead of making excuses, just be truthful. You can say that you have been a caregiver for a very long time, with little reprieve. It is nothing personal, but you have alot on your plate, and you would feel terrible if something happened to someone else's child. Now, addressing your needs: you need to look in your community for possible adult daycare programs. More and more programs are being created and many of them are free or of little cost. Having your mom out of the house for several hours a few days a week might be the break you need right now. There is nothing wrong with needing a few hours to ourselves, even if that is going to get a manicure or getting your hair done. There are many ways to obtain inexpensive services, even if you check out local cosmetology schools or a massage school. So, don't feel guilty about not wanting to babysit someone else's child. You certainly can have a play date and invite a few women over with their children. This way, you do have interaction with other women of your own age and with things in common. Hope this helps.
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bandit8it: I am feeling much better than last weekend.This forum really helped me and I really appreciate everyones comment and suggestions. Not only forum helping me about my friend problem, it's making me to think a lot abut my mom and what caregivers go through in everyday life. And you are right about " It's reality" , this is how it is for me ,I want to try to make best of it without taking on too much....it is soooo hard to make everyone happy.


sharynmarie: "unfortunately "true" friends are rare", it is so true. and I totally understand how you felt in your situation too! When there is "them" it is probably worse. I think I'm in the middle of learning hard lesson.Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am trying to take it easy on myself so I can be more cheerful and communicable to my family. Right now my house is a kind of jumble mess but I'm ok with it.
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Margeaux: Sounds like your friendship situation is very similer to mine. You went out of your way to be kind! Either this person was this way to begin with or did we let them become this way with us..... Balance is a hard thing to fined, I feel like it changes daily or weekly in my case. Right now I'm starting to think that "who really cares about me?". I do have up and downs with my mom but I know she loves and care about me more than my friends do. That's probably true in most peoples case. It is not easy thing to do , but I really need to think my priority is my own family. Margeaux, your mothers family must have great genes to live over 90! And still recognizing you and most people around her is such a blessing, sounds like your effort to keep her busy and company her is working positively. Yes, my mom does have her own language channel(just one channel is available) for 24hours,she get one magazine every week and two more magazine monthly. Even after she lost one eyesight, she seem to enjoy very much.
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AndyPandy~it really does not matter what your reasons are for not wanting to babysit for your friend. I would be straight with her by saying you can't fit it in with caregiving to your mother and raising your daughter. If she does not understand then I would have to say she is very selfish. I had a couple of "friends" when my daughter was in kindergarten/first grade. It became clear to me that I was only a babysitter to them and I made myself unavailable to them once I understood what they wanted and sure enough, when I was not available they dumped me. It was a hard lesson to learn because I thought we were real friends. The truth is we are very blessed if we have a couple "true" friends in life who stand with us during the good and bad times, unfortunately "true" friends are rare. When we have priorities such as yours, we find out who is a "friend" and who is a user. Enrolling your mother in English as a second language classes is a good idea. It will give her an independence that will change her world. Take care of yourself and find some time to spend with those "true friends," let down on your responsibilities from time to time and you will feel better♥!
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Andypandy, my mom is 92 now, with Alzheimer's, about Stage 5. She still recognizes us, and people she sees regularly. But her cognitive skills have declined, as we can no longer hold real conversations w/her. I am the visiting caregiver. Mom lives in her own house of many years, w/my sister.

Just until very recently mom's older sister, who was 93, was also living there, until Jan., she passed away. They had lived together for many years already, and before, my aunt became more confined to the house, and before mom's diagnosis for Alzheimer's, mom still drove. They had been part of a senior center for over 14 yrs. But in the last few years this all came to a complete halt. They now were home bound. Especially last year, mom didn't want to leave the house, and didn't get much exercise, because she didn't want to leave her sick sister behind. Now that her sister is gone, we are doing different things so mom can get some mental and physical stimulation, instead of being only watched by the caregivers.

Anyway, I was just thinking about this aspect with your mom. Do you have the Chinese channel, or some kind of broadcast, she could entertain herself with, and even if you are there with her and your baby during the day, it could relieve some of the time in which you mom could distract herself, and also be alone. Even if you are there with her, think of things to would enable you to accomplish this. Does she still read? I do know you've mentioned about her eye.

We bought mom some super easy puzzles, to get her mind occupied for a bit.
At first, she engaged in it. But a week ago, I asked her if she'd done any puzzles, and she said, she didn't want to do any. Oh well, all we can do is try, right?

So if you keep an open attitude like this, maybe it could help the perspective aspect of this.

We too, have a 6 mo. old baby in the picture. My sister (main caregiver's daughter)
made my sister a grandma. Now the baby comes a few times a week to mom's and the caregiver are also watching my great nephew. Our mother is so happy and distracted with this. Hugs! Margeaux
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Andy, I applaud you for trying something new: letting the house be a bit messy in order to spend time talking with your mother. Some days that feels do-able, and some days, for me anyway, I just don't have the energy to give any more than I am already giving by doing the laundry and cooking and cleaning, etc, etc. We do what we can on any given day. You sound appreciative of your mother, and as though you are sincerely interested in her having a good life too. I think that it's natural that you get a bit tired sometimes...then, when a friend from outside the family asks something of you, it's too much. Family, maybe there is no choice. If mom can't go to the store by herself, for example, that is what is. It's reality. But your friend's reality is not your responsibility. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and also the things that have been working for you as you read the comments here and try new things. It's nice to hear a little "lightness" in your latest note! : ) warm regards, bandit
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Andypandy,

I totally understood what you were doing when you wrote all of the details about what you feel towards your friend asking for favors. Doing this does make one put their thoughts down, and get it all out of their system. Some people even do this on paper, then burn it up.

I had this friend, who used to ask me for favors. Quite honestly as time went on in our friendship, the favors, in my opinion became too assuming of me and my time, needless to say too demanding. The reason i was saying yes, or keeping silent, when in fact I should have been more assertive with her, is #1. "I was afraid if I said no, it would ruin the friendship, or something like that." #2. My friend was a very demanding person. I too became resentful when she would ask me for these favors, as I felt "how dare she ask me for that kind of a favor." I would not ask that kind of favor of a friend. So, feeling resentment, brought attention to the fact that there was something lacking in me, as if I could not stand up for myself. The other part of it, the fact that my friend had a variety physical disabilities. While I was always helpful, assisting where that was needed, some of the favors asked of me as time went on that became too much, had nothing to do with her physical disabilities. They were about her mis-management of money. She lived way beyond her financial means.
Eventually, I had to give this friendship up. It ceased feeling like a friendship.
I feel better for it also.

I realize it is difficult trying to balance a friendship, especially if this person does provide for you social and some kind of an outlet from your responsibilities at home. But, this person should not make you feel bad, If this is what is happening, nor should you put all of this on yourself. You are by no means a jerk. You do, and have had this responsibility having your mom living with you, for 10 years. Now, you have a baby! So just try as other posters have suggested, saying no. If this friend reacts negatively, then it sounds as if your friend is missing the whole point about what a true friendship should be. A true friendship should not be based upon favors. Be nice to yourself, Love & Light, Margeaux
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195Austin: Thank you for your support! I read your profile, and what you wrote above. It made me to think, that I have been living with my mom 10years and that's part of my life now either I like it or not. And I am taking things for granted, almost thinking she is going to be there forever. It was good to read what you wrote above, it made me realize that my mom may be gone sudden like what happened to your husband. I may not even have time to say good bye....
So, thank you for reminding me and I think it is great you still are here in the caregivers forum and helping people like myself and others!
When I'm in the middle of the doing ,sometime it's hard to see things clearly.
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Andy it sounds like you are doing great you have become a good friend to me and the others-I am not a caregiver myself-the husband died almost 3 years ago he was in bad health but the end came very fast -he had been having fainting spells for months about 2 times a week but came of of the quickly and that Tue when the NH called I asked them not to send him to the hospital until I got there but they did and this he was critical and was on life support and was nonresponsive on and off on wed he was worse and on Thur after hearing his brain was not functioning and his heart was failing and only was alive because of the meds we-my two adult children and my granddaughter and I and the docs decided to take him off all meds except got pain and the breathing tube -he died 12 hrs ater at 4am on Fri morning.
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cattails: I really really love the "cookie jar" idea! I thought you are going to say, I need to eat cookie more often. I'm glad it was not,LOL. I am kind of looking forward to get to try this cookie jar idea. I was at therapist and I had a pretty good session today. I was able to talk to my mom a little longer than before and I did not get uneasy feeling as much. I am not sure if this was just for today, but I will keep trying.

bandit8it: I am glad to hear your husband have friends. We do have small Asian community here but most of people there are a lot younger than my mom(80). I am glad at least she have few friends who speaks her language , they go to lunch or come over to the house here and there( about twice a month, I know it is not enough but everyone have their own lives too...)

Today was about my 9th therapy session. Since I have never been to therapist before this, it probably will take a bit to get hang of it. And to even know if she is a fit or not.
Today, my house was a mess all day. I usually like to tidy things up a bit here and there but i decided to focus on being nicer (which means to talk to her in my case, instead of avoiding her......) to my mom. It was still a short one here and there but it was a lot better than what's been for a while.

Thank you so much everyone !
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Hi Andy, Ladies,

Yes, the language suggestion was offered as something that might make your life and Mom's easier, but only if Mom was inclined to learn, and the classes were available...I am aware of the social friendships that develop in those classes and really saw it as having benefits for all, but it is a moot point if they are not available where you live. At 80, I also give Mom a pass if she doesn't want to learn English. I don't think it's disrespectful...if she was 21, sure. But at 80, I respect her past, and the difficulty of trying to learn English now.
I like the idea of other friends who speak her language that she could socialize with, but I'm guessing that you have looked into that. Are there any religious or cultural organizations or other avenues for meeting people who share Mom's language that you haven't tried?
My husband developed friends at the brain injury program he attends, and it has been a godsend, as he developed outside interests and supports. Friends pick him up and take him out for coffee, to breakfast, to a basketball game. In having those friendships, he did not mind my having friendships or supports, either.
Therapy DOES take time, but it is also about fit. LIke friendship, there are some people you can talk to easily, and some who you will never feel fully able to open up to. Andy, if you trust your therapist, but just haven't gotten where you want to be yet, that is one thing, but if you still have second thoughts, or aren't fully comfortable after even 3-4 visits, maybe the fit isn't so good. The right therapist feels like someone you can trust completely. Sometimes that is like a best friend, sometimes like a supportive parent or relative, sometimes like a mentor or teacher, but always, it should feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe. If it doesn't, the person may still be a good therapist, but may never be right for YOU.
You are a kind and thoughtful daughter, and a caring mother, but no one can be those things 100% of the time. It's impossible. Give yourself a pass. Give yourself permission to have a bad day once in a while, or to NOT want to spend time taking care of someone. You are human. It's a hard job. Most people don't understand. The people here do.
It's a beautiful day here in New England this morning, and the birds are singing. Sending a dose of sunshine to all you lovely ladies (and any lurking gentlemen caregivers who pop their heads onto the board).
Good morning!
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Andy: Bless you. You are such a good person. Just think of all the changes you have experienced in the past 10 years; you mom coming to live with you, getting married and having a child. That's enough to keep you busy with so many adjustments. Add menopause to that and you have it all happening at the same time.

If you are going on a rampage for 24 hours when you social friend asks you to babysit, then that's over the top. Meaning it's an over reaction. I think it's hormonal, but talk to your doc and keep telling your friend no. After you tell her no, try to picture a cookie jar, put her and your reaction to her in the cookie jar and put the lid on it. Take a few minutes to sit in a quite place, close your eyes and visualize this. Maybe you should take some meditation classes. It could be very helpful to you as it has been for so many others.

Andy: Every day give your mom a hug and thank her for helping you and being in your life. Tell you sweet child how much you love her and that she is the light of your life. Tell you husband that you need his support and that you are taking steps to understand more about your self.

Love and blessing to you. Cattails.
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cattails: Thanks for understanding about language thing for my mom. Even though she is in good health, she has developed high blood pressure which is now under controll by medication and lost one eye vision form accute graucoma. One more thing she have coming is arthritis in her knee,but still loves to work in the yard. and surprisingly, she does have few friend who speaks her language. In last 10years, she had 5friend whom her age (which was almost a miracle in this small community, they all live within 10-20minutes) ,then lost 2 of then already. They got alzhimers and past away. On of them even attended my wedding 5years ago!
Her motivation to live....is probably ME and my child. But I know I really need to step up and be more communicable towards her. That's the main reason I started to go to counseling. I know I'll regret a lot.... Tomorrow is my counseling day, I hope to see the something. I mainly talked about my friendship problem in this thread, but all and all it was a good reminder about my mom. So, thank you again. I have read your profile, and "but we carry on." really got me. I need to do that But CARRY ON.

jeannegibbs: I need to try to be "happier, more satisfied person. " I will try and trying might help me in many ways. I know I do need to change or figure out my hormons(!) going rampage about friend , it freaks out my husband. He just can't believe how I can go off such a deep end for 24hours just from"favor".

I now realize, I was very lucky to have a healthy baby at 44! I never planned to have a child ,so it was a total surprise to me. Now I wish if I started a lot earlier, and I probably wanted to have at least one more,LOL.
I am glad to hear, may be I have an extra stress from toddler, I often feel that too.

Thank you so much for all the help and wonderful advices and friendship here online. I really appreciate. And it was nice that I didn't have to waite many days to see replies.
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I think the learning English suggestion was an attempt to find something she might like and make her a little less dependent on you. It wasn't something she is responsible for at this point in her life. Still, she may have another 10 to 15 or 20 years to use it if she did pick up a little English and it might make it easier for her to enter into her grandchild's world. I wouldn't push it as something she is "supposed" to do, but offer it as an opportunity.

But definitely she is lovable just the way she is, and she doesn't need to change to be a wonderful part of your family. Just as you are wonderful, too, and only need to change to the extent that it will make you a happier, more satisfied person.

Certainly you don't need to change because you are selfish or a jerk!! You need to change to be able to prevent others from taking advantage of you without feeling guilty.

My mother had my youngest brother when she was 44. When I hit 44 I thought OMG -- mother was pregnant at this age. Mother was starting all over again with the diapers and the midnight feedings and soon the PTA and the school conferences ... OMG. I think that having a baby in your 40s has its built-in stressors that we can handle more easily in our 20s. It might be the most wonderful thing in the world to have that baby. It might fulfill your life's dream. You may have zero regrets about it. But it still adds stress to your life. And having your wonderful mother live with you may be exactly what you want, but there are still stresses associated with it. I hope your therapy sessions can help you deal with the stressful sides of your family situation.

Good luck to you and keep us informed. We care!
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Andy: I think that people who move to this country should learn the language because language is what connects us all. However, I'm going to give your mom a pass on that. She really didn't move to this country to start a new life. She moved to live with her daughter. I am always impressed with people who know more than one language, but age takes a toll on a persons ability to learn a new language. Your mom does not need to go into the work force, so her need to earn a living is not the motivator.

I don't know where you live, but if there is an Asian community near by, take your mom and your daughter there for a day out. I'm in Washington State and we have a huge Asian community in Seattle. Even if you have to drive a couple of hours, just go for a day and enjoy your heritage. It will be fun for your daughter and your mom will feel respected and proud.

Just some thoughts. Cattails
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cattails: Yes, I should focus on the true friend I have. I totally agree about the difference of friendhip and social contact. I really don't think she is that good of friend to me, if she was, I would of told her about myself and my mom's situation alreay. You said "Friends understand you and don't ask you, repeatedly, to do things you don't want to do." I know that is the right thing. I need to stop making excuse for others, she can not be that dumb or blind to know how I " FEEL ", she is just putting her need first.

I appreciated everyone's helpful idea and suggestion towards my moms English problem. But I know she don't have much left to try(And I feel bad about it, because it is very unrespectable of her to be that way since she did choose to live in this country,she should of tried a little harder...)

"She is a nice woman, just the way she is and she loves you and your family. She is kind and well behaved. What more could you ask for?" That made me teary....I need to focus on positive, and forgett the baggage.
Cattalis,thank you and I really need to re-focus my life.
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AndyPandy: Life your life the way you want too. I don't think you are burning bridges because you won't babysit. That's foolish. There is a difference between friends and social contacts. Friends understand you and don't ask you, repeatedly, to do things you don't want to do.

Focus on the people you love and feel blessed with you find a true friend. You don't need a lot of them and most of us only have a few. They are that rare.

Can I also add that I don't think you should push your mom to learn a new language or go out of her comfort zone too much. She is a nice woman, just the way she is and she loves you and your family. She is kind and well behaved. What more could you ask for?

I was going to mention the hormonal issue earlier, but didn't because some time it offends some folks. If you are having hot flashes then you are in the beginnings of menopause. Go to your doctor and see what can help.

You have a lovely family. Dump the baggage and enjoy the love that life has given you. Lots of hugs, Cattails.
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195Austin: Yes, so true. you guys listened to my problems all day and I haven't even bought you a drink!
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Lilygirl:you said "I have found people do not understand our situation unless they have experienced what we go through each day." which is most likely true. Because if I never lived with my mom, i would of never undersood this. I would of looked at someone in my situation and thought, "how hard it can be? you have a live in babysitter " you also said "If she's a true friend, she will understand that you a full plate."... I am not sure on this one, I may have to choose ot not be her true friend at this time,which my husband thinks burning my own bridge.... and it does scare me a little but looking back in my past, I just never depended on others, just because. Don't want to hurt or get hurt.

jeannegibbs: Yes, that is the exact point,as you said. Just as soon as she backs off and I feel OK , she comes back with reminder. I guess I just have to take your advice and keep saying "no" . Number of the contact is pretty much diminished to once or twice a month of 3minutes phone call from her to say "Hi" or "favor". And thanks for a note that you think playdate and babysitting is not the same. May be I was not imagining on that one.

JudymW: Sorry you felt you were dumping zone... It has been helpful to see others have similer problems. I don't have 4kids like you, but others see me as stay home mom with built in babysitter...probably.
If they find out all I do is to "check on my invisible friends on web", ....they might start to talk to me on the web,when I don't answer the phone call,LOL.
.
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We may be invisable but we become good friends usually.
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Maybe you should make a date with your friend to go out and have a few glasses of wine. You could tell her while you're out that you're stresses about having Mom in your house and that you've been going to counseling. You could tell her that you're overwhelmed and feel like you're not yourself anymore and that you could use some help. Maybe she could babysit for you for a change if she knows you're at wit's end. Maybe by telling your friend about how stressed you are, it'll make her stop asking you for babysitting. I was a dumping zone for other people's children for years. I think since I had 4 kids, they just assumed that it was "the more the merrier" at my house. I even got caller ID to avoid one woman's calls because her calls were to always ask me for favors. I understand how you feel - selfish to say no, resentful to say yes. You've got too much going on to be a dumping zone. Maybe some English CD's for your mother? I just got Italian CD's. I haven't tackled them yet though. Seems like when I have spare time, I'm checking on my invisible friends on this website!
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You say no, the acquaintence backs off. Then she is back asking again. What to do? Say no again. And keep doing it. Also, since this is not a "friendship" you want to cultivate, try to reduce the number of contacts you have with her.

You are right that a playdate is very different from babysitting. You have a perfect right to decide what you are willing to do for other people. This is not being selfish.

Just say no.
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Don't feel guilty! You have a 24/7 job. Maybe your friend would be a sitter for your son & mom? Even if your mom is healthy, you a caregiver. I have found people do not understand our situation unless they have experienced what we go through each day. If she's a true friend, she will understand that you a full plate. Good luck!
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