My mother has been looking after my grandmother for about two years now. They were never particularly close, although my grandmother never realized this (she has always been very self-centered, but sees herself as very generous and "other-focused," living in a kind of denial. Anyway, needless to say, my mother is resentful of being in the position to have to care for her, and my grandmother is clueless as to why my mother is so impatient and short with her.
I think my grandmother takes advantage of my mom, and my mom lets her, out of guilt. I hate seeing my mother like this -- she feels like her life isn't her own, and she's at a stage where she should be enjoying things. She recently retired, and is expecting her first grandchild. But all she does is run errands for my grandmother, buy her groceries, take her to the doctor, etc. My grandmother lives in a retirement community where there is transportation provided for errands like that, but she refuses to use it.
I say that my mom needs to put her foot down and tell my grandmother that she has to stop treating her like an errand boy, and that if she wants her junkfood, she needs to get off her butt and get on the van and go to Wal-Mart herself. But my mom makes excuses for her, saying that if she does confront her, my grandmother won't remember it five minutes later, so why bother? I think that's a copout.
I have been so tempted to have the conversation with my grandmother myself, and tell her she needs to act like a big girl and stop treating my mother the way she does, but then I stop myself because I feel like it's not my battle to fight. So do I stay out of it, or jump in to help keep my mom from sinking?