My aunt has been back up in Ohio since Memorial Day and it's been a little rough. Just about every day, we are getting a phone call from either my aunt or grandmother. It's asking for my mom and I to come over. I am tired of always being over my grandmother's house listening to my aunt and grandmother complain and argue. I am tired of spending just about every day off at my grandmother's house. I am tired of my aunt wanting us to go on errands with her. My aunt has a car and she can go out and do her errands on her own. I would like it if my aunt could set aside the cleaning my grandmother's house and visit us at our house and visit.

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PS - it really sounds like your aunt should look into respite care. If your mom is on medicaid, she might be eligible for some in home care. That might be something to look into, and it would give everyone a break.

Evermore99, you gotta establish and enforce the boundaries. You are NOT by any means obligated to take those phone calls, visit so many times, or subject yourself to what sounds like a very toxic environment.

Don't answer the phone. Make other plans, but you don't have to tell them what those plans are, specifically. You can even tell them you have an appointment. Basically, put your foot down and stop letting them run (ruin?) your life.

As caregivers, we are so often guilt tripped into thinking we "have to" do anything at any given time for our loved ones... we overextend ourselves beyond capacity, and that's how burnout happens! "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" as the old adage goes.

That's why it's so important to take time and care for ourselves and realize there's a limit to what we can and cannot do/ handle. We're human, and that's okay. We cannot and SHOULD NOT do it all. It takes a whole village to care for a person, and we should not be afraid to outsource help when we desperately need it. Otherwise you will burn out, get sick or injured and then you won't be of any use to anyone, not even yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup!

Evermore - Why don't you say no? Can you tell them: "Sorry, I can't. I've got other plans?"

I understand it's not easy to say no to your elders. But you need to. You're an adult, right? I'm guessing you're over 18. If you don't act and think for yourself, someone else will. In fact, your aunt and grandma are doing just that for you. They make plans for you. They decide what you do with your time. It's high time you put a stop to that. They can ask, but you decide.

One thing that makes it easy to say no is to say yes to something else. That means you need to have something else planned that you would rather do than coming over to their place. Make yourself scare, keep busy with something else, some place else.

"Sorry auntie, I've got a huge clean up project that I need to get done."
"Oh, I can't come this week. I'm getting together with some old friends."
"I'm really tired this week and need to rest. Maybe I'll come some other time."
"Mom and I plan to do xyz so we can't come this weekend."
Or if you can be blunt: "I'm tired of hearing your bickering. I'd rather stay home."

Eventually, they will get used to your refusal. Then, you don't need to give them any reason for not coming. Just say: "I'm busy this weekend. Sorry."

Good luck.

Have you told your aunt?

“Aunt we are staying in this weekend. I am tired. You guys have a great weekend. Love you, Bye”

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