My mom had knee replacement surgery in December against my better judgment, which I plainly stated to my sister several times over the past year. Mom was in rehab for a few weeks but she has never been the same since she came out of the anesthesia. She warped speed into Alzheimer’s and dementia which I knew would happen @81 years old. One day, I find out my sister is closing down her apartment and moving my mother in with her and her husband. There was no discussion with me, no “hey this is what I’m doing I don’t care if you don’t like it“ just a sudden rushed moving and now is trying to manipulate and guilt me into rolling up my sleeves and helping on the weekends. She hired a day caregiver five days a week. My sister and her husband work a 9 to 5 Monday to Friday job. I am a flight attendant and I am never home... she is getting more frustrated with me because I don’t have a lot of time to help and when she wants me to jump in, I keep telling her I need more advanced notice than a few days to get out of a trip. If I don’t fly? I don’t get paid. I have no pension as it was tossed during BK after 9/11; I'm single, no kids and am putting max amt into my 401K, I have to work as much as possible to be able to retire at 69! I don’t want to be flying in my 70’s & 80’s as many do now! I love my mom but I wasn’t asked nor did I sign up for 24/7 care of my mom every weekend until? My sister needs to hire a weekend caregiver if her weekends are so dang important! A few friends of mine that fly have told me I need to sit down with my family and explain to them how I get paid, how important my job is, what 1001 responsibilities I have as I fly the head attendant position which has literally 1000 more responsibilities...and that I’m not getting on an airplane and flying overseas and then having days off to sightsee and then fly home. I have a 2-3 hour drive 1 way to work, I have to pull up necessary paperwork for all my flights; brief my flight attendants, my pilots, the agents, make sure all safety equipment is available & working, that my plane is equipped with lav supplies, the galleys are stocked correctly, the plane is clean, we board on time, leave on time, deal with seat dupes, sick people, lost items, answering questions, stowing everyone’s carry one; dealing with inflight emergency’s; write reports; liaison with the pilots the entire flight; land, get off, find our next gate, do it all over again and I am flying domestic flights two sometimes three segments per day loading, offloading, 300 people per flight. Plus the different times zones, getting up on the East Coast at 4 AM which is 1 AM Pacific time, working a 12 hour duty day, then getting to another hotel with just enough time to shower maybe work out and sleep. If I don’t fly, I don’t get paid. I have to bring my own food as airport food is too expensive & too unhealthy...There’s just so much that my job entails I’m hoping that my sit down with my sister and her husband in the next few days can bring some relief off my shoulders because I feel Guilty however my flying is my job and my career. People that do not fly or are not in the aviation industry or the military, do not understand what my job entails. The girl I worked with today, I talked her ear off but she understands because she is also being a caregiver to her mom but she’s married and has her husband's support Any feedback would be most appreciated. Thank you
That your sister wants you to work and give up your weekends sounds pretty selfish, considering that she has in home help five days a week, then wants you the other two. She made the decision but doesn't want to deal with the consequences. It is hard to be a caregiver and she has found out how confining it can be, even with 24/7 help you have to be on call and available, not for wimps for sure.
Stay away from being a care giver and just be you moms child, visit when you can, help find good options for sis and mom. I think if you cave once your sister will give you no peace untell she controls you as well. Stand firm with your decision and don't let sis bully you. I have a friend who flies and it is a brutal profession, people really don't understand how demanding it is. I say it's because you guys always have a smile on your face, even when you feel like fighting a buzz saw 🤣🤣
I hope for all this goes well and sis is open to alternative solution.
You are correct; I was never asked, or consulted with or even told “this is what I’m doing; don’t care if you don’t like it” etc...if I HAD encouraged her and said I would help out on weekends. I would have, but that is not the case. Standing by my decision to not allow her to dictate my schedule isn’t easy to do but in the long run, I have to look to my future and caring for myself. I’m gone overnights much of the month so when I AM home, I have tons of things to do. The sad thing is she has no idea what my job entails. I was going to attempt a short family meeting to explain why I’m so limited in helping but she “had plans” last night and I will not have this huge conversation then drive to work. I have to be 100% in the “game” so to speak, because if I am not, that is when accidents and mistakes happen. And my job there is no room for error . I have no time between now and the end of the month to have another “family meeting“ so I am resorting to writing, and editing prior to sending, and email. This cannot go without being discussed or swept under the carpet.
Thank you for your input, as always, everyone who comments to me helps me out greatly.
If you'd encouraged Sis to take Mom in and that you would give her respite every weekend and now you are changing your mind, well shame on you. Apologize profusely and try to make it up to her. But if you didn't give Sis unrealistic expectations, you have nothing to be sorry for.
I'd just be very firm in saying you HAVE to work and with your schedule, you CANNOT do weekends. That's all to say about that unless SHE presses you for details. After you say you can't help, then immediately transition into, "So what do we do now?" Talk about mom's finances and getting in outside help for the weekend. Or considering placement if there's no money for outside help.
Realize that sis is going to be defensive. So try to keep it as low-key as possible so that you don't immediately get into an arguing mode, where neither side listens to the other. I'd also start with you realize that sister did what she thought was best for mom (even though she SHOULD have consulted you for sure). Let her save face in that way. But let her know that you love mom too. She made a big mistake and now you need to work together to solve it - just don't tell her that, LOL. Good luck and please let us know how it goes.
Have either of you researched to see how the progression is going to go? Considering how physically demanding and stressful it is......I'd read a lot about the progression, incontinence, lack of mobility, confusion, agitation, etc. and explore all options. If funds are available, why not get professional care in the home. Then, when you can visit, you can be there with mom as her son, to love and comfort her. You don't have to be a hands on caregiver to contribute and show your love.
I would encourage you to read a lot of experiences around here. You'll see what I'm talking about. I tried hands on caregiving for a short time, while working full time and OMG.....I lost a ton of weight, suffered multiple health crisis, and went into anxiety overload. Think hard before you commit.
Mom would probably be better off in assisted living. You should not be in a defensive position here. Your sis needs to defend and justify her actions.
Don’t get hung up on explaining to her the demands of your job. She pulled this stunt. She owns it.
Should I show/share all this with my sister? My initial post and all your posts?
Feel no guilt in saying " no, I can't do that".
I am sorry to hear about your conflict with your sister regarding your mom's care. I know we call come at these things differently. I would try and acknowledge to your sister that she is doing the best she can for your mom. But also tell her that although you love mom and her for trying to care for mom, based on your workload you are not prepared to take on the weekends. I don't know if would help to have a mediator or another friend or family member also in on this conversation.
I too decided to care for dad at home. But my siblings decided they could not and would not do as much. I did have a lot of anger and resentment with my siblings. In hindsight, I really needed to alter my expectations.
It might be that your mom will need be placed into a good nursing home if this becomes too much for your sister and her husband. Be open to discussing this with your sister as openly and honestly as possible.
I totally agree with Glad no need to explain all this to your sister. You're right, she should not have assumed you would become her regular weekend caregiver without asking you, and it is not doable with your type of work. Sister should set up weekend care (using mom's money, of course). It may be that your sister needs to rethink this situation that she rushed into without input from you.