What is an assertive, respectful response when my Mom wants to know who I'm talking to on the phone?

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My mother is 77 and is starting to show her age but has not been diagnosed with any age-related conditions. I live with my parents due to a trauma I experienced at age 32 and they have been very supportive. Standing up to people is very hard for me. I am a beginning caregiver and very lucky that I have wonderful parents. My mother sometimes snaps at me and my father - for various reasons but it makes me see red. Once when she asked who I was talking to, I said something like "I am not sure why you are asking me that?" And she got mad and said that I was being touchy. Any suggestions? Thank you!!!!

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This is why I leave the room when I am on the phone. I can't carry on two conversations plus the TV in the background. I go out of the house, even in winter.
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My mother asks me who I was talking to sometimes. But I have to admit that I do the same to her. When she asks me who was on the phone, it is really just making conversation, so I answer her. When I ask her, I am checking to make sure she wasn't dealing with a business matter that I need to know about.
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elderly parents often have little in their lives and a phone call is an interesting event so she may just be curious. Either take you calls in your room or just tell Mom who or what it is or say you will tell her when you have fibished the call. She may just be interested. Another thing you can do is tell the caller you will call back and then do it in private.
My husband does the same to me but at the same time is annoyed if I continue to talk in his presence. Annoying but really not worth upseting yourself abou. if she is going through private papers or opening mail that is a really serious issue and she would need to be confronted. In that case I would recomend renting a PO box
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how could it hurt to shield the phone gently and tell mom who your talking to? she may be paranoid that medical and other forces are conspiring against her and the phone call may pertain to her. elders want to retain a little bit of control of their lives and surroundings and i for one believe they should.
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In many homes (such as mine), all my life we have asked each other, who was/is on the phone? Especially as a child your parent would just ask, "Who is on the phone?" This was to protect the child. Now, as an adult we are still programmed to ask that same question; my mother asks me and I will most assuredly ask her as she has a 10-15 minute memory and NEVER writes down a message.

If I was trying to hide something from them, then I might not want them to know, but since my life is an open book, I simply say...."It's just April." To me there is no big problem and I don't mind responding. Now if your mother ridicules you or has bad things to say when certain people call, I would just say....."It's (whomever she likes)," and then I would walk away to have my conversation if I could.

It really is no ones business who we are speaking to, but honestly it is not worth arguing over either. You are in your 30's and I am in my 60's....it doesn't get any better, we just have to pick our fights and this one just is not a good fight as far as I am concerned!

Best Wishes!
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I'm new as a caregiver, and my husband and I agreed before we even took my mother that she has to have her own phone and her own TV. Sharing them leads to a lack of privacy and hard feelings, and I notice you feel an issue with both these items, already. Just split them.

I do give my phone number to Mom's doctors, because I'm now managing all that, but friends and relatives have her number and she and they can call as they wish. One other issue is that when one person hogs the phone, the others get a little touchy, just as with the TV. Yet one more good reason not to share.
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To maintain your privacy, perhaps you could make and receive calls on a cell phone, if you have one, rather than use a phone that is within her earshot.
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Agree with Captain. Say to the person you're speaking to "excuse me one moment," shield the mouthpiece, and tell your mother who it is. If it's someone she knows well, too, you could ask her if she has any message. Otherwise say "I'll be with you in a few minutes, mother, is that ok?" then return to your conversation.

If it's confidential or crucial, don't attempt the call when your mother's in the room or likely to come in. She's bound to start talking just as you're trying to hear something vital - that's Sod's Law, not your mother's fault.
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Thank you all!!! I just joined and I love this site already. It is very helpful to "get out of my head" and see this (and future) situations through other's eyes. The "just making conversation" answer is probably most accurate for this situation. I think it's a control issue (mine, not hers) as living with parents you give up some control. One very minor example is that I rarely get to watch what I want on TV. I do have a cell phone, but any call I get is usually a doctor's appointment reminder. LOL i guess I just find it a bit intrusive. When their phone rings I never ask who they are talking to unless I answer it. Thank you again!
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My mother in law is always asking me who called and what was it about, can't say it doesn't bother me because it does, my usual response is "a friend" and I leave it at that. Sometimes i just walk away when my phone rings. Hope this helps
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