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Is it normal to feel anger and frustration around a very needy mother who thinks you should be her entertainment 24/7. I feel so bad for feeling like this! Any suggestions?

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What are your boundaries? You have stated that your mother will not move in with her husband, it comes to a time when what she wants really doesn't matter, it is what is best for all involved.

She can live for another 10-15 years, do you really want to strap yourself in for that period of time? Keep in mind, she will not get better, the more you cater to her neediness the more she will demand.

I would sit back and think the entire situation over, you have a family too, and, they must be your priority, not her. There is an option for her, why not take advantage of it. Good Luck!
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From your profile: "I am caring for my mother JOY, who is 78 years old, living at home with age-related decline, anxiety, arthritis, depression, diabetes, incontinence, and mobility problems."

Does she live with you? You say you are the only local daughter. Are there any local sons?
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I don't do needy well. I feel is just another way to manipulate someone.

As said, Boundries! From the day Mom had to give up her license, we did things when I wanted to or had the time. I worked a p/t job. Appts were made when I could do them. Once a week we went shopping and did errands. But, my Mom had a life of her own. She had Church and friends who invited her places.

Think this way... the less u do for Mom the more AL may look better to her. 3 meals a day, laundry done, cleaing done, meds given, activities.
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Good advice! This is a healthy balance. We can’t always please others. It’s give and take. We make sacrifices for others and they accept doing things according to our schedule.
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The short answer to your question is YES! It is normal to feel as you do. Most of us can say, ‘Been there, done that.’

If there isn’t a legitimate emergency you don’t have to be available every time she wants you to be there. The more that you are. The more that she will expect it.

Try to have a ‘matter of fact’ approach to it. If she is trying to get a reaction she won’t receive one.

She may truly be bored, lonely but you can’t be everything to your mom. You can offer to introduce her to things.

For instance, I know an older woman who calls me and ask me to do things with her and I occasionally will spend time with her but she is the type if I give her an inch she wants a mile.

So I limit my time with her. I recently told her that I will go to the senior community center with her to do a chair yoga class and lunch. I will get her started because she is very shy around new people but then she is on her own.
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Read the book titled Boundaries by Townsend. Lots of good info there. Then set your boundaries and hold them fast. It’s been a lifesaver for me.
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As someone who has done this recently; set some boundaries, then hang on to them tooth and nail! It takes some effort, but it's worth it. Example: "No mom, I can't come into town today, but I can see you Wednesday"; doesn't get her way, but has to settle for it. Or: "The pharmacy delivers, mom; I don't need to get your prescription and bring it to you, they can bring it tomorrow." She doesn't like these answers, and sometimes in the beginning when I got there, she had finangled someone else into getting whatever (didn't call and tell me), which was maddening, but things are much better now. You CAN weasel a life of your own out of this situation.
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Maybe she should move into the assisted living with dad.

It could help her make some friends and maybe find some interests.
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KIKIBROWN Feb 2020
I wish! She won't!
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I can relate, my dad wants my company a lot too. The trick is to set boundaries and stick to it. Also, can she go to an activity center or adult day care? That might help to keep her occupied.

Another option is to hire a care person to keep her company for a while.
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Well, if it's not normal to feel this way, then we're ALL a bunch of big fat losers around here LOL. All joking aside, though, of course it's normal to feel annoyed and frustrated with an elder who seems to be sucking you dry! We all feel that way sometimes, me included. I guess your mother lives alone, according to your profile......it's hard to tell. Hopefully you don't live together so you can limit your contact and get away from the neediness that way.

I don't think there's much to feel bad/guilty about, either, because in reality, we're all human. We all have our breaking points, too, and can only stand so much 'togetherness'. My mother was always the smothering type as well, so I never did appreciate that kind of behavior. My suggestion to you is for YOU to call the shots. Decide when you will visit, how long you will stay, what activities you can do together to limit the complaining.

Remember that you can't be anybody's entertainment 24/7, either, that is unrealistic. Look into a senior center for your mother who's still pretty young, and see if you can get her interested in signing up. There's also Silver Sneakers and other exercise classes available at the Y and other places in your neighborhood. See what she might like to do, other than count on YOU for fun.

Good luck!
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KIKIBROWN Feb 2020
thank you so much for your response. Unfortunately my mother has never had many friends or hobbies. My family and I have suggested senior centers, exercise classes, hobbies.....she says she'll do it and NEVER does. I'm 48 years old and the only daughter left in the area to help her. She recently had a broken leg and Dad went into an Assisted Living facility.....so it's gotten worse. Her whole life she took care of people and had no life of her own....depending on her kids and family to entertain her.
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