Demanding Mom.

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My Mom just went into a small group home and she is not happy about not living with my husband and I. In the past 6 weeks, she was hospitalized with pneumonia, a heart attack and then she had a stroke. She doesn't think it is a big deal that when she was with us, my husband and I never were out of the house at the same time because we did not think it was safe to leave her alone.
She has been in the group home for 3 weeks. There is not much interaction among the residents because of low acuity. The caregivers are wonderful and give her plenty of attention.
I visit every day for about 2 - 3 hours. However, Mom does not think this is enough. She thinks I should spend all day every day with her because I am retired and "have nothing else to do". As it is, I feel drained when I leave her. We have no other relatives in the area so she has no other visitors. I have a brother who lives out of state and he has not seen her for 2 years.
Do you think I am being selfish or is she having unreasonable demands? In all honesty, I have a lifetime of not living up to her expectations.

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debma - I think your Mom is being unreasonable. I can't believe you're visiting her for hours every day. I think it's more than enough.

I don't know what it is about these parents, especially mothers - thinking they should have decades of leisure in retirement to enjoy themselves, then as soon as they're not able to do it anymore, their children should immediately give up their own retirement years to tend to their every wish and whim. It's unbelievably selfish.
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And you're right...when mom passes...I want us to be in a good place...no regrets
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Dear Rain mans mom...you're a trooper...what is it about moms that push our buttons...my mom has two personalities...sweet as pie..then she flips the other way...sarcastic..argumentative...no one knows that side like my brother and I ..it kind of makes it harder..guess she's nice mom..mean mom...glad you see the blessings in your life..we have to keep that outlook uppermost...and set limits...and this site is a real lifesaver...mostly mom is sweet unless I'm helping her with paperwork..your hubby sounds like mine..but he's 15 years older than me..he's getting weary..
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NYDaughterInLaw makes a good point about reducing visits. When mom was first moved to the NH I visited three times a week and my brother did the same. After a while I cut it down to twice a week and recently cut back to once a week. Weeks with doctor appointments, takes me back to two but that's not too often. My brother Is at twice a week now. By reducing our visits it has forced mom to become more social - often now when I visit I find mom in a common area vs sitting alone in her room. I started to think of it this way - and I admitt its kind of a grim way of thinking about it. I started thinking; if something bad happened to me or my husband or son, how would I feel about the time I spent with my mom instead of with my own family? It was a fairly easy choice.
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Your mother's demands are unreasonable. She is lucky that you visit her every day. It sounds like an unhealthy habit of yours because she is never going to validate you. Validation comes from within.

I think it would be a good idea for you to cut the duration of your visits in half, for starters. In my opinion, you would benefit from spending time with and on yourself and with and on your husband. It takes 3 weeks to form a new habit.

Have you asked your husband what he thinks?
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Thanks SheriJean, but most days I do pretty well. About a year ago a friend of mine who owns a few group homes for young adults with autism expanded her business to do in-home care for the disabled. So 4-5 afternoons a week someone comes and takes Rainman out for 4-6 hours. Rainmans loves going out with what he perceives as a friend and I get time to go visit mom, errands - to much to do just rest - but sometimes. At least it's often time alone and I can get stuff accomplished. Hubby is a saint - never complains and helps out when he can - he works an odd shift, 3 days one week, 4 the next, then 3 etc. 12 hour shifts and 1 hour commute each way. But hubby is good with my mom - I think she likes him better than me these days and he's great with our son - as long as it doesn't involve a diaper. I will admitt in early November I was probably close to a breakdown - it has been a merciless 3 months dealing with my mom but then I found this site. I am still amazed at how much coming here has helped - just knowing people here get it, people who have or are dealing with the same things - no matter the situation with mom someone's been through it and can offer advice or comfort. So with the help here, I've learned to better cope with mom. Plus I took the advice to see my dr and got a nice little rx for stress - as needed. My brother has finally stepped up a bit - at first he was awful and judgmental but he finally gets it. Funny how visiting a few times a week vs once or twice a month can open ones eyes! He doesn't do much besides visit and on occassion do the ER sitting but even that takes some pressure off - and he's stopped criticizing. I've got a cute little house on a lake, two dogs that love me...I'm a pretty lucky girl, really! Thank you though - again, the caring compassionate people here - like you, are making a huge difference.
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Rain mom..not only are you taxed physically ..but also emotionally...maybe someone on this site can direct you to agencies that can get you some help with your son...and some counseling for the emotional burden of care giving..and burnout...you can't continue at this rate..I understand the burden...it's heavy..
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Two months ago my mom was berating me yet again for not letting her move in with me and my family. For the 100th time I explained - I have a two bedroom house, my severly disabled adult son lives with me and hubby - he requires constant supervision plus he is at a two yr old level so there's the showering, dressing, depends, help eating etc with him. I've had three back surgeries - need a fourth and have been putting off a hysterectomy. I have permanent nerve damage in one leg. My husband has two seperate heart conditions. My house is on a hill which requires steep steps that mom couldn't manage. My hubby hurt his back a while ago trying to transfer her from wheelchair to recliner and she surprised us by refusing to bear any weight - which she IS capable of doing for a few minutes with assistance. So I remind her of all that. And then I said "besides all that, I'm 53 yrs old, don't I deserve my own life"? Mom replied with "don't I "? I wanted to scream at her "you had one"! When mom was my age she began early retirement and traveled the world, took classes - did exactly what she pleased for the next 30yrs! At this stage in her life both mentally and physically she is unable to live a life without complete round the clock assistance. She believes it perfectly reasonable to expect me to do what I do for my son and then duplicate the effort with her - I'd be dead in a year! When her mom and then much older sister were in her same shape, mom placed them each in a nursing home - but demands better for herself at the expense of my sacrificed life. The complete self-centeredness she has is beyond mind boggling to me. I pray to God I'm dead before I become like her!
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debmal9, no wonder you are drained.... visiting nearly 21 hours a week. Your Mom needs to realize that you, too, are having your own age decline and do not have the energy you once had years ago.

I use to visit my Dad every day after he moved into Independent Living from his single family home, this move was his choice... I thought it would be quite a shock going from a house into an apartment.... but he adjusted quickly and now likes being his own boss :) I have cut back on the visits.

I understand that judgmental attitude by some elders toward people who aren't identical in all respects. My Mom was that way. I remember her in the nursing home telling the Aides to "speak English" when they were, but it was with an accent. Of course, Mom couldn't understand anyone with a Southern or even Boston accent.... [sigh]. I think if we ourselves never thought that way, hopefully we won't act that way when we are much older.
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I have to wonder....is it something that comes with aging...the entitlement attitude...I'm old...if I ask you for all your time and energy..you're unfeeling not to give these things...expecting us to stop whatever we are doing to meet whatever request they have..with only the greatest attitude...then there's the guilt weapon ! I hate to be negative..but then there's that judgmental attitude toward other races..young people who look differient! But yes there's a bright side!! Seeing these things in my mom...is like watching a movie...and I am learning how ugly this behavior is....and I determine..and I pray for Gods help....I that I do NOT want to be like her..I am on my guard of my words and attitudes...as I struggle to love a mom that I often don't like....
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