Follow
Share

Do any of you feel as I do about this? I am not talking about important issues. Of course I take care of important issues as needed.


I am referring to unimportant issues, non emergencies, that have no bearing on anything whatsoever.


She has more clothes than I do! I tend to wear the same things over and over. Who cares? I am in my house the majority of the time. I am presentable when going to the doctor with mom for her appointments or anytime I leave my home. Otherwise, I just want to be comfy. She tells me to go put on lipstick! Her generation didn’t even go to the mailbox without their face made up and dressed presentably.


I honestly don’t think it’s a slam against me. It’s just inconceivable to her that women are not dolled up, so to speak.


Same with the house. She was an immaculate housekeeper. The house was always presentable.


Cooking, are you kidding? Everything she cooked was from scratch, done perfectly. I can cook! I messed up while learning like everyone does. I’m sure she did too but I can make anything she made and more. She does not criticize my cooking, not at all. That is one area that we do have in common. Other areas, not so much.


Okay, I have to ask all of you, just out of curiosity. Do you fold underwear or socks? Hahaha! I never have! I dump in sock or underwear drawer, not a priority for me. I hate having to fold my mom’s socks and underwear. She would go insane if she were just dumped in a drawer.


I have enough of her clothes washed that she can have a different outfit on everyday! That doesn’t satisfy her. She may want to wear what she wore on Monday again on a Thursday or whatever...ridiculous! This is all for just sitting at home. Is she competing with the ladies on The Young and the Restless? Hahaha. She loves their clothes!


She came from the glamour era and while I can appreciate her style I am not going to break my back having every single item of clothing washed daily just so she can have her pick of what she would like to wear at any given time.


This is how she did her laundry at home. We have totally different ways of doing things. I wash once or twice a week, not daily. She hasn’t given up on these lifestyle differences in her 14 years of living here. I have even suggested that she hire someone if she wants chores done exactly as she wishes. Of course, she isn’t willing to pay for those services and wants me to do it.


She asked me today right after being in the kitchen preparing a roast for dinner, and getting side dishes done to wash her laundry so she can have her ‘favorite black’ pants ready to wear tomorrow. She has three other pairs of black pants that are clean. I told her no. I told her that Council on Aging was coming tomorrow and I would do laundry in the morning so when the woman comes she can help put her clothes away. She has this idea that I shouldn’t bother her with that and she is only there to bathe her and not help me with other chores.


COA specifically told me she would help with laundry, vacuuming, dusting, food prep or serving her meals. Mom can’t accept that and thinks I am not being a good hostess and being somewhat lazy! I am far from lazy but I am tired.


It’s not just laundry. It’s the way she wants her room arranged, it’s the way she wants her bathroom arranged. It’s never to make it easier on me. Why are these things such a big deal? Someone, anyone, explain this to me, please. I’m listening...


Thanks.

Bellator,

Yep, it’s frustrating! I always called my father daddy. 😊
(1)
Report

Needhelpwithmom, I kind of have the same problem, but it is with my daddy, oh I am trying to just call him dad. He lives with me now and if we are going some where he will look at me up and down and ask me is that what you are wearing? By the look on his face you would think I had on PJ's. He doesn't think woman should wear pants or maybe it is just me that should not wear pants. My dad has early dementia but he still can do a lot of things, but he will tell me to make him a sandwich or what he wants for dinner after I have already decided what I was going to make. Then I will find myself at the store buying everything I need to make what he wanted for dinner. My mama did everything for him but Im not her. Gee I wish I could learn to say no to him. I know it probably isn't the same. But he kind of treats my home like it is his and tells me what I need to do as if I do not know. And yes I have to fold his socks and underwear.
(2)
Report

Cali,

YEP! Stuck in a rut! Set in their ways! They do still look at themselves as ‘boss!’ I tell my kids if I end up like that to take me out back and shoot me! Hahaha
(0)
Report

Needhelp, my grandmother behaved a lot like your mom when she was living with my parents. She lived in their house but everything revolved around her. She liked certain things and she was hard to please. My mom nearly run herself in to the ground trying to keep her happy. I wish I could explain why having things done her way is such a big deal but I can’t. I can only make guesses. I suppose part of it is because they are so used to doing things their way. Part of it is because they are still the “parent” and you are the child and they still expect you do thing their way. And of course “their way” is the right way LOL! My dad has always had his way of doing things and growing up, boy would he get mad if my brother and I didn’t do something HIS way. If it wasn’t his way, we weren’t doing it right. Guess that’s just a personality trait?

I’m so happy to see you aren’t caving to all of your moms demands! Good for you!
(1)
Report

Mary,

They do sound alike! Hahaha. My mom acts like those surveys are so damn important! She hounds me about those things too. Geeeeez!

A plant? Okay, yeah...it’s the funniest stuff that they find hugely important. I sometimes think it’s because their lives are not fulfilled with much anymore. That part is sad. Their kids are grown. She can no longer do her hobbies, etc.
(1)
Report

Need, when I read your posts I often feel like I’m looking in a mirror, so similar are the situations! I’ve been thinking about this control issue a lot lately. I think what it boils down to is two women who each want to do what they want to do on their own time frame. That’s how it feels for me, with my MiL. I am so much at her disposal that’s shes gotten used to it. So, like you said, for important things, you just do it. Tricky part is, some things seem important to her but not to me. Like the little potted tree she had in her bathroom. It was not doing well and we agreed to plant it in the ground, outside. I did this at her request, even though it doesn’t look very healthy. (Mind you, we have like 25 houseplants!) but she worried over that one like it was a child. Did you give it fertilizer? Did you water it? I finally told her, Mom, I am not going to fuss over that plant! And she quieted down for awhile. The other day As i was ready to run a quick errand, she asked me to fill out a survey for her that a medical company sent her, said she couldn’t write it herself but they wanted her opinion and “ I thought since you’re going out anyway you could just jot a few lines for me and mail it while you’re out.” (In my book, that fell into the Not Important category!). I said, I will do that for you later, but not right now.
Even though I can and do say no, I still struggle with boundaries. One book called Boundaries- Where You End and I Begin is aptly named!
(Btw my MiL has Parkinsons as well- a challenging and complicated disease).
(1)
Report

That could be, Dolly. I may need to take a different approach to this. Thanks. Appreciate your feedback.
(0)
Report

Need Help, perhaps you have answered your own question, you are doing for her what she can do for herself, and she may enjoy doing something, instead of sitting around all day looking important. What difference does it make if it takes her 2 hours to complete the task, where does she have to go anyway? Might be time for you to set some boundaries and say No. Continuing to enable her is not the answer for you or her. Take Care, I wish you the best!
(4)
Report

Dolly,

She could fold some things. I agree. I think I simply got into the habit of doing it. Maybe to go faster, which is odd because I certainly didn’t do it that way with my kids. They enjoyed ‘helping mommy’ when they were young. As teens, not so much! But they did it. Without complaints? No way! But it got done and that was what was most important to me. Kind of unrealistic to think teens won’t gripe from time to time. Mine did.
(0)
Report

Some reason that she doesn't do anything for herself? She can sit down and fold her own clothes and do other chores, you appear to be enabling her, why?
(1)
Report

Mom is appreciative. She does say thanks for things. She just wants it done on her schedule instead of mine and exactly how she wants it! That’s not always possible. I won’t lie. Sometimes, I cave just to shut her up, thinking it would be easier. Wrong choice!

My friend and her sister took care of their mom. The sister like me was always miserable when her mom insisted things be done a certain way right then and there.

The sister who didn’t cave was much happier. When mom compared and told the other one that her sister did it, her response was, “Well, I don’t do it that way!” Then she’d smile and walk off. Oh, I need to follow her lead. I used to say to myself, how does she get away with that? Why does it work for one sister and not the other? I’m starting to see. The sister who fell into the debate trap stayed frustrated. Won’t ever work, will it?
(2)
Report

Rainmom,

Wow! Sounds like my mom with the checkbook too! My mom found a 30 cents error from the bank and reported it. The woman checked. Mom was right and looked at me and asked if my mom was ever an accountant! Hahaha

They want it balanced to the penny!
(0)
Report

One day my mother asked me
to “balance” her checking account.

At a glance, I could tell she had made a massive, cluster eff of a mess with it.

Since this was her “fun money” account - I had the serious bill paying checkbook with me - and since I was on my way out of town for a long - RARE weekend at the beach with my dh, I told her I’d look at it when I got back.

My mother proceeded to have a massive meltdown, insisting that I take her checkbook home with me. I agreed just to stop the hysteria BUT I stressed to her I wouldn’t be
dealing with it until I got back.

I thought it all was settled.

When I returned home I got a call from my mothers paid caregiver. Seems my mom was telling everyone who would listen that I’d taken her checkbook away from her in order to keep her from her own money.

Sigh.

Morale of my story: When it comes to behavior and situations like these - you can’t win and you sure as heck can’t reason with them. So - just do what you can without making yourself nutz and even more exhausted.
(2)
Report

You’re right, Barb. Sometimes I do that or I am able to do it. Say to myself, “Shut up.”

You are also also right on her view of it. I think it’s the repetition of it that gets to me. So I will have to schedule time to myself and not feel guilty about it.

Barb, she did this to me even while she was in rehab at the NH. Of course, she did it in front of staff, asking me to take her laundry home on a daily basis. I didn’t do it. I told her that she had plenty of clean clothes. Then she pouts. I have to say to myself, who cares if she pouts? I’m going to get this worked out by listening to all of you who see objectively what is truly going on. I’m determined because I don’t like getting so frustrated and even depressed about it.

I am not a failure if I am not a once a day laundry type person. Soiled sheets, yes! Soiled clothing, yes! But not just so she can be fashionable on a whim! You know what I mean? When she says, “I want to wear my royal blue top today!” Then it can wait until I throw in the next batch of clothes.
(0)
Report

TNtechie,

You bring up really valid points! I don’t ask her to do anything. I really don’t. Why? I suppose hearing her say to me that she can’t but she could do some things. I’m going to think about that more. Maybe I am looking at this in entirely the wrong way. Thanks.
(1)
Report

Why can't your Mom fold her own socks and underwear? I wash and just put my stuff in the drawers like you do. I even fold the shorts, sweat pants, and tops I usually just wear around home and set them on shelves in my closet. Mom gets her basket of clothes to fold and then I put away in her drawers. I usually do a load of clothes every day because I prefer to launder urine and sweaty (from boys' ball practice) clothes along with pool towels daily rather than have them set around. My ritual is to set this daily load washing at bedtime and dry them in the next morning. I do a load of just "nice" clothes every 3-5 days.

That said, I will share the first sign of my mother's MCI was her coming to my house (she lived across the street in her house then with my demented father) to ask me to do things for her in the middle of my work from home office hours. I had worked from home several years and Mom often came over to eat lunch with me and bring a request or two (would you pay this insurance bill online for me, or order some more mop pads) but she did not intrude on my working hours... until she did. I initially thought it was just extra stress from my father's deteriorating vascular dementia and that might have been a big part of it. When Dad want to MC and Mom moved in with me that "do it now" faded back out for a while, but it's occasionally its here again now. Sometimes I do what she asks when she asks it and sometimes I tell her I will get to it later because I'm busy with whatever now.

I think there's something in the mother-daughter dynamic that makes housekeeping requests pull on some emotional response that we are being judged and coming up short. It's not our mothers' requests so much as how we emotionally respond. You are not a teenager cleaning up or living in your mother's house; try not to frame your mother's requests in your own mind like you are.
(1)
Report

Need, your mother is thinking that you are the little girl who needs to get trained up.

You're not. You're an autonomous adult who makes her own choices.

If this is going to work out, then you need to be able to say (in your head), "shut the f##k up, Mom" and grow a thick skin.

Or invite her to live elsewhere. This level of tension is NOT good for your physical or mental health.
(1)
Report

Rain,

Maybe so...
(0)
Report

Tacy,

My mom would love you! You would be her dream daughter. I wish I had that in me, like you and my mom. I just don’t. Laundry sn’t a priority for me for me to do daily. You’re organized!

You’re right though. I can say no. I do say no. Thanks for your response. Helps just hearing others saying that it is ‘okay’ to say no.
(0)
Report

It’s control. It’s the illusion. And, it’s the control of the illusion.
(2)
Report

I do laundry everday. Yes underwear and socks are folded and separated by colors in drawers. I think when people resuse a towel, ugh, thats so disgusting, even hand towels. My closet is color coordinated and my kitchen cupboards are alphabetized. Why, thats how I like it.

If you dont want to do it, dont. Its your home. Its ok to say no.
(1)
Report

Start a Discussion

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter