My 84 year old mom with dementia and very slow mobility lives with me . I do have a brother who lives about 10 minutes from my home. He has a wife and 13 year old daughter.
All of whom I love. Now, I am the main caregiver to my mom for now. I do work part time so that I can care for my mother. I have no social life! My brother does take my mom for “A FEW” hours a week to give me some relief, but NEVER actually takes her for a weekend or a night to actually stay with him and his family.
I do my utmost and very best to make her as comfortable as I can, make her meals, do her laundry, bathe her, keep her company AND tend to my every day chores in addition to working part time every evening with the exception of Sunday. This is what is hurtful... I do pretty much everything BUT my brother is the one she praises and goes on and on to people of how she has such a wonderful son.
I always tell her I love her and here lately I get a grunt in reply. My brother is a good respected and respectful son, no doubt about it, but it just hurts me that she doesn’t “light up or praise" ME at all. It’s getting more and more difficult for her to move around, as I have stairs in my home that leads to her bedroom and bathroom so my brother and I have found her a lovely two bedroom apartment with no stairs at all along with a lovely (vetted ,of course) live in caregiver with over 20 years experience looking after seniors with dementia. She moves in to this new apartment in two days. We have taken her over there a few times, but of course she never remembers the place or the caregiver that will be with her whenever we take her there.
We explain it’s for her own good because there are no stairs to climb , she will NEVER be alone and that I will come and say goodnight to her EVERY night after my job and before I go home. First thing out of her mouth is ..how about My Robert (my brother) is he coming. She is not happy about this at all and she wants to know why I can’t live with her and why am “I” doing this to her. I am not getting any younger and I deserve to enjoy some of my life too. Am I being selfish or inconsiderate? I’d love to get some feedback , advise from anyone that might be experiencing a similar situation.
You are absolutely right.
I tell people all the time to take some care in how they treat their daughters. They might need them some day.
Sons get treated like the most precious commodity on earth by elderly mothers even when they do nothing and treat them poorly.
While a daughter who will break her neck trying to do everything under the sun for mom, gets treated with less respect than a pile of garbage.
No, you are certainly not being selfish or inconsiderate at all because you're not willing to be a martyr and use up your life by being in service to, forgive me for speaking plainly, a selfish, guilt-tripping, elderly ingrate.
I would tell you that it would be a good idea for you to not go over to your mother's apartment every night to say good night for a while. Put some emotional distance between her and yourself.
Let your brother who the sun rises and sets on start running himself ragged trying to please her.
You deserve to take a break and should.
Who will help me
I should stop explaining to her, and instead reassure her about each step as it takes place.
Your reasons are excellent and fair, and you and your brother will both continue to be actively involved with your mother and supporting her quality of life. But you are on a hiding to nothing in trying to make your mother a) understand this and b) agree to it; what's more, it isn't even necessary that she does - her wellbeing is assured, and you and brother can fine-tune her care as you go on.
I know you will have many sympathetic responses to the unfair comparison between you and your brother (this issue frequently surfaces), but what cheers me up is that your brother isn't taking the bait. His boundaries sound healthy, and/but/so he will be there for the long haul; and meanwhile you are getting some time and space back. As I said - I am SO glad for you! Well done!
Terry, if dealing with your moms lack of gratitude is hurting you to much, it is completely okay to not see or speak with her everyday.
Nothing that you do is going to make her love and appreciate you like you deserve, so please do not hurt yourself further by trying to earn something she is completely incapable of giving you. You know everything that you have done and continue to do. Let that be enough for you, otherwise, you will continue to feel hurt by her and she doesn't deserve any more head space than she has already used.
You have been an awesome daughter and you deserve to be happy and fulfilled in your life. Take back the power you have given her and strive for joy and happiness for you without her. Visit when it is convenient and when you feel strong enough to deal with the emotional blows that she throws.
and attentive to her. She had 3 very restless and sleepless nights. Some days she is
more talkative than others, unfortunately she seemed miserable and depressed the first week, but this I can only imagine is all confusing and different to her . She doesn’t understand that she now has a new home and keeps asking when she is going home and when we explain she is home she asks will she be alone to which we reply she will NEVER be alone EVER, she then looks at us rather sadly and just mumbles OK. We took her for a drive and had lunch at a restaurant for Valentine’s Day ( tables 6ft apart, sanitizers on tables , masks worn by all except when eating etc,etc) We are VERY blessed to be living in a country where are COVID cases are very low and the population is very obedient to the rules put in place by our gov...
Hopefully week # 2 will see a little improvement especially in her getting better rest and sleep at night. We have all just accepted this is a new phase of life with mom.
I am happy to report I finally have a little more peace and rest , many thanks for everyone who took the time to comment on my post . I appreciate all your comments and advise along with your kind words and wishes.
Sad but true, isn't it? :(
My mom--I could turn myself inside out for her and she'd not acknowledge it.
I just quit 'doing' for her. It wasn't about the accolades or gratitude or lack thereof, it was about her simply never noticing me. I felt like a 5 yo all the time.
I let her 'favorite kid' do all the stuff. He gets 'credit' anyhow.
So here is my advice- next time your mom "blames" YOU for this move say "ROBERT thinks it's a great idea" and leave it at that.
Good luck and keep us posted.
I'd like to add a male point of view (from my DH).
He doesn't expect his sister's to take over all the care, the shopping, the housework or personal care (although many men do). Firstly, he sees planning for his Mother's older age as his Mother's business. He has minimal interest about her groceries or house-cleaning. If it came up, he would say "So hire a cleaner. Or get stuff delivered". But his sisters (or one) feels it is her duty to do everything herself (instead of looking for alternatives ie non-family solutions).
Secondly, he thinks they are too fussy. If she needs a cleaner, get one. So what if it is slightly different. Heck, stand over the cleaner & watch every moment of she wants. But he won't be quitting his job to cook, clean, shower, taxi 7 days a week. That would be unreasonable on him.
He does really cares about his Mother & sisters but has clear ideas about boundaries & about people making their own decisions.
That his sister has decided to offer what she does has zero effect on him & what he does. Just because she offered extensive after surgery care, got overloaded then wanted to roster others' time & assign tasks made no impact either. She had taken it on. End of. He decides for himself.
No judgement whether this is good or bad, just offering a view through his prism in case it helps?
By the way, I get it. My sister brings cake. No or little hands-on care. Cakes.
Relationships between moms and daughters can become complicated.
For some reason moms behave differently with their sons.
In some cases I think moms try to compete with their daughters, which is extremely uncomfortable for the daughters. That doesn’t usually happen in a mother/son relationship.
We don’t know how to read these situations when we are young. Even as adults we may question ourselves.
We look for validation. I can tell you that you aren’t alone in your thoughts.
You aren’t selfish. You are deserving of a life of your own.
Hoping that you find peace and joy in the near future.
And welcome to having a mother who thinks the world revolves around her son, the golden child, who does squat but gets all the praise. While you, the worthless daughter, who does everything, gets a spit in the eye and a grunt! You've made the PERFECT decision to get mom out of your house and into her own place with a caregiver who she can gripe to 24/7 now!
She can ask the CG to call her beloved son directly every day now to ask when he's coming over for a nice loooooong visit 🤣
Don't feel selfish or guilty even for a moment. Dementia is a progressive disease where the behaviors continue to degenerate and it just gets to be too much for us daughters to manage. Now you get to become the daughter again and be the visitor at YOUR convenience. See how those visits go and play it by ear as to how often you go and how long you stay.
How can you not take it personally? You're a human being like us all and it's hard when you are the one busting your ass for mom and having no life outside of work and serving her, and all you get by way of gratitude or respect is a grunt. You can then put up with listening to her praise and glorify your brother, and lay a guilt-trip on you for why you're doing this to her. That gets to a person, and my guess is that she probably treated you very differently than your brother your whole life. That's very common. In families it's always a daughter that gets dumped on. If it's all daughters, then it's not uncommon for mom to pick one who she'll dump on and who will take the blame for everything that's ever happened in the history of mankind, and who becomes the family scapegoat at a very young age. I know this and tell you this because I am this. I think you might be too. Maybe for yourself you should tell her exactly why "you're doing this" to her. She may or may not remember, but do it for yourself not her. You did the right thing moving your mother to her own place and hiring live-in help. No one should have to live the life of miserable servitude to an ingrate parent who can't even muster a kind word for the person who does for them. Good for you and I wish you much joy and happiness in your life.
I think it is wonderful you found a beautiful apartment and an experienced caregiver. Your mother is fortunate to have both you and your brother helping and making sure she is well cared for. She should get used to her new place, it sounds lovely. it seems she is upset with the new move but things should settle soon once she gets used to her new home. Try not to take it too personally about your brother. Your mom has dementia and may not even remember saying it. I think it is so kind of you to plan on visiting your mom twice a day. You are a kind and caring daughter. You certainly are not selfish, but just the opposite. The best to you and your dear mom.
Some mothers always treat their son(s) like golden children and their daughters like handmaidens.
It's not fair and not right. Just move her and get back to earning a living so the YOU can retire some day.