Elderly mother wants to monopolize my free time with responsibilities or mundane amusement.

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My elderly mother feels my part time job is interferring in the time I spend with her and makes the attempt to emotionally manipulate me with feelings of guilt. She lives independently with COPD and a few mobility issues. She complains she never gets to see me and is lonely. My sister takes her weekly for grocery shopping which they both make a good time of. The time I spend with her is either for transportation or sitting around in her house expecting me to entertain her. I refuse to do any of her housekeeping because she can afford to hire someone to do it. She has no friends and will not consider any outside interests. I live an hours drive away and feel the free time I do have to be spent enjoying life's activities with her instead of being her taxi or in home entertainment committee. She entirely dismisses my suggestion of in home care. I have limited my time with her from once a week to once a month due to my job and her neediness codependency. She thinks it is due to my job and wants me to either limit my hours or quit to spend more time with her. My choosing to work is more for my self worth than financial. I also have responsibilities to my home, husband and pets. I want to be able to maintain a healthy balance in my life without her expecting me to utilize my time for her individual wants and needs. I want our time together to be enjoyable not regrettable. I have suggested many fun things to do, but she shows no interest. She has no dementia, views life negatively and has no interests other than reading and television.

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Help my Mom seems to want a surgery. I know she has pain and we are dealing with each new issue but even her Physical Therapist says she concentrates on it tooo much the pain. She was doing great and then the results came in from an MRI and they want to see her....... she went down hill fast, not able to do what she was doing for herself the day before. SHE HAS NOT HEARD THE RESULTS , HER APPT. IS NEXT WEEK! She seems to look for problems or acts worse than she really is different times gen. at bed time. One moment she can walk w/o much pain, bed time she can hardly make it down the hall etc. How do I handle this? I love my mom but she does not follow medical orders unless I push her.. then, accuses me of not caring . I am her only caregiver , sometimes my husband is "the remote to the remote". What can I do ?
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Ok everyone, time to refocus, take a step back and regroup. This site is mainly about support for those who have a mutual interest. We as caregivers, of any capacity, are here to advocate for each other and encourage strength in coping with the many issues that comes from caregiving. Empathy is the key ingredient in helping each other. Blunt words and having to defend oneself from perceived verbal attacks, helps no one. We are all in this together!
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I posted in support of Debralee's right to vent. I think I explained my position pretty well on all things in all my posts. Did I go on the attack? Yes I did. I do get angry when I see someone else attacked. I suppose I could have waited until I cooled down, I did think about that, but then I decided to get in there quickly so that Debralee would know that she was supported.

About the rag comment, it's a very common saying, at least around here, and not so much about being on a period as being about angry/mean/irritable. I am sorry that it offended you, and if it offended any others, I apologize to them as well.

But honestly, when I read the rest of my post, I cannot find anything else to apologize for. I believe that I held back a lot and explained things very well.

I don't understand why you think you were included Jeanne, you were not there when I wrote that. I have almost always liked the things you write, they are common sense and straight forward, and you understand boundaries. You don't tell anyone what to do, you suggest, you share your stories. You understand we are all different.

You are right about tolerance in the threads lately, I think we are all on edge and finding it difficult. Maybe it's spring. I will try to take a deep breath, calm myself before posting comments, and tone things down.

Thank you emjo for your support.
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Enough, please. This thread was started by Debralee in order to vent about her situation.
She and some of us felt she was not supported in that, and posted in support support her. Perhaps the best words were not always used, but the intent to support was clearly there in some posts, and clearly not there in others.
Can we leave it at this,
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Oh, I understand that you perceived it as an attack. What I can't figure out is how you interpreted it as a demand to do exactly as the poster does. Huh?

In defending one caregiver you viciously attacked another caregiver, also from a dysfunctional family (if that matters). And your accusations were not even on target. Maybe JessieBelle was too abrupt. Maybe she was wrong. But I can't see how she could be interpreted as demanding conformance to her choices.

And I am not "on the rag" (a phrase I find crude) -- haven't been for more than 20 years. (Actually, I never was. That was my mother's generation.) I would prefer not to be lumped into some stereotyped category. Disagree with me, certainly. Disagree with Jessie and anyone else on this thread. I'd sure like to see a little higher level of tolerance and respect.

(And I'll admit I have the advantage of a mother who modeled tolerance and respect. Even at that I don't always manage it myself.)
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I read it and perceived it as an attack. I'm not the only one.
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Could I ask you a favor, PamelaSue? Would you reread the posts in this thread and see if there really is someone "DEMANDING that someone less strong do exactly what you do." Because I don't see that at all. What did I miss?
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Wow! That's the spirit, Debralee! Now apply that attitude where it will do the most good ... in your relationship with your mother.

I'm sorry that JessieBelle's post offended you, because I fully agree with her. If you don't want to be a caregiver, don't be a caregiver. I'd go a little further and advise you to set strong boundaries around what you do for your mother.

Your sister seems to have figured out a way to have weekly contact with your mother that is somewhat pleasant for both of them. IF YOU WANT TO you could probably do something similar. If you don't want to, because of the nature of your relationship growing up, that is perfectly fine, too. Be a caregiver. Don't be a caregiver. Devote two hours a week to time with your mother. Devote one hour a month to time with your mother. Don't spend any regular time with your mother at all. It is your choice, your decision, and whatever you decide is justified.

You won't do housecleaning for your mother, because she can afford to hire it done? Excellent! Stick to that decision! You've suggested fun things to do together and she turns them down? Ask for her suggestions. If she suggests you clean out her cabinets, laugh and say, "No, something FUN for both of us!" If she can't think of anything, then you MIGHT go with the two interests you know she has. Are there any television shows you both like at a time that is convenient for you? Pass the popcorn or the wine bottle and laugh with her at the funny bits. Can you stand reading the kind of books she likes? Suggest reading the same books and having your own private book club, discussing them over a light supper.

Being a kind person and being a doormat are very, very different things. And it is never your duty to be a doormat, even to a parent who was loving and nurturing, let alone one who was abusive or neglectful.

You said, "I want to be able to maintain a healthy balance in my life without her expecting me to utilize my time for her individual wants and needs. I want our time together to be enjoyable not regrettable." Yes, exactly. That is a very healthy and reasonable attitude. Do you want our approval? You have mine! (And I daresay everyone else who has posted her, including Jessie.) Do you want our permission to not do anything that doesn't fit into that healthy and reasonable decision? Again, I think you can count on that.

I hope that your next post will tell us how you are trying to set boundaries and stick up for yourself with your mother, and what kind of success you are having. I'd love to celebrate your successes and be encouraging when things aren't going so well.

And if someone tells you to fish or cut bait ... do it or don't do it, it is your choice, try not to take that as a personal attack. Sometimes a kick in the pants in the right direction is really a kindness. If you've followed JesseBelle's posts for very long you'll see that she is a compassionate person with lots of caregiving experience and lots of smarts. I usually see the wisdom in her remarks, and I sometimes don't agree with her, but she is definitely not a nasty, negative poster. Take her advice or reject it, but please don't consider it a personal attack.
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I'm glad you came back Debralee, I hope you realize that most of us here ARE supportive and caring. Sometimes we snap on a bad day, even I have done that and had to come back and apologize. But if you take a day to go through threads or just hang around you will get an idea just how much love is in this place when push comes to shove. It's like a family, we may not get along 100% of the time, but we still try to be there for each other.
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Thank you all for the positive feedback about my needing to vent. And for the others well, you got me angry enough to realize I don't have to take crap from anyone and don't have to be a doormat. This is my life and I can do with it what I want, when I want, with whom I want! No excuses and no explanations. I will continue to be a kind, respectful and helpful person, but not if it affects me in a negative way. Thanks all for helping me see a different perspective for my situations.
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