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I love my boyfriends mom, he takes care of her. However she demands a lot from me, cleaning, cooking, gardening, shopping and it leaves me tired. I try to do all those things to help him out and entertain her but sometimes I resent it. I'm horrible for thinking this but everytime I visit there, the famous list of chores waiting for he and I. And they have to be done in a timely matter. She is really sensitive and so we don't tell her no because she gets upset. How do I cope without making my boyfriend feel bad? Or her? He already feels terrible about the situation. Am I a horrible person for not wanting to do their chores when I visit?

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Thanks gfor all the advice, i have talked to the boyfriend and he agrees with me. Its just that he could use a break too. She wont go to senior centers because she just doesnt want to. Her husband died 8 years ago, he is an only child and there is no family here in canada. I just wont visit as much and take time for me. And yes she assumes we can do it all because we are young. Thank you all xo
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Palakpaneer - bless you for spending time and being such a great girlfriend. This woman sounds like my mother who is full blooded German. She has always treated myself and siblings like hired help. Very bossy, demanding, and gives us lists also. We work full time, have our homes to clean and maintain, are in our 50s and 60s with health issues, yet she still sees us as young and able to do EVERYTHING. Setting boundaries is difficult because they are the Queen Bees. I stood up to my mother and the smear campaign that followed was so hurtful that I have not seen her in 18 months. My other siblings are still jumping through hoops for her. It will never be enough, she will not hire help, and she will not go to assisted living because we have enabled her. Good luck. Talk to your boyfriend and try to find a happy solution. Maybe you can limit interaction with her. The demands tend to increase as they age and the more you give, the more they want. Peace and Blessings.
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If your boyfriend doesn't want or expect you to overdo it with with his mom's requests, then, I'd use that to build my confidence. If you don't set the boundaries, then, who will? I would think that your boyfriend has explained to her what is acceptable regarding her demand on your time, but, if she is ignoring it, then, I'd wonder what is wrong with her. Either she has cognitive decline and isn't capable of processing the situation or she is rude and overstepping the boundaries. Either way, you'll need to be firm in how you protect yourself.

I can't imagine a girlfriend doing so much for a non-family member. You are kind, but, it's way too much and I'd learn to say what I could do and can't. Practice saying, no, I won't be doing that. I can do this one thing, but, that's all for this week. I'll be happy to provide you with a list of services that can assist though. Your boyfriend should be on top of this by now. Take note of how he's handling it. IF he isn't, I 'd take note of that well. There's a lot to consider when signing on to be a caretaker.

I would be more concerned with myself feeling bad than them. If she's competent and just overstepping, she needs a reminder to stop being rude. Same goes for boyfriend. Also, some people don't feel bad, when they treat other people shabbily. That's why they do it. My philosophy is that I should be more concerned with ME feeling bad than others. And, when you know you're in the right, you will have peace with it.
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Palakpaneer, does your boyfriend's Mom live close enough to a Senior Center? These centers offer a wide variety of things to do, plus some serve lunch for a small fee. There are bus rides to various places, not sure about wineries, but other places of interest. It might be worthwhile looking into the center. Or you can ask the center about a winery tour for the future.

Plus at the center Mom can make BFF's [best friends forever] that she can telephone on days the center is closed.
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She is more about going places. She has to go to specific stores for her german things and those stores are far away, she wont buy online, shopping is more recreation. I guess she is needy for time and company but its never enough. wineries, the special german stores, festivals, craft stores, and its tiring. If it was once a week fine but she asks everytime i see her to go shopping or lunch or something. She likes spending time with me but i find it smothering. Then of course the dreaded list of things to do. My boyfriend doesnt want me doing these thing but she asks me directly and its hard to say no.  shes just always reminding us and asking is to do things constantly. She wont go to a home as she is pretty healthy, and can take care of herself. There is a weekly cleaning lady  but somehow there are things to do. Mostly yard work and organizing things etc she is a busy body who likes to delgate. She lived in that house for 60 years change would be hard plus she can take care of herself but with age she needs someone around just in case
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Palakpaneer, you and your boyfriend need to start setting boundaries as to what you would do for his Mom. Or is this a culture situation where the oldest son takes care of his mother? That would make it more difficult.

Both of you make a list of everything you do, now cross off half of the items, now cross off some more. Don't do anything that isn't on the list. Just say to Mom "sorry, we cannot possibly do that". Yes, she will fret, and you will feel very guilty.

Otherwise, once Mom starts to need more help with her physical care, she will refuse to move from her home, and will refuse to allow caregivers into her home. Why? Because you and her son have enabled her to continue to live in that home. You had to give up your lifestyle in order for Mom to keep her lifestyle. Now I don't mean don't do anything, just do what you enjoy doing.... Mom will need to learn she needs to hire help or downsize into something more manageable.

Oh how I wished I would have set boundaries with my late very elderly parents. I crashed and burned twice from doing things for them, still haven't recovered, and they could have very easily hired people to help.
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How often you visit is probably going to make the difference. If its once a month then I would just do the stuff as long as it were things that werent too difficult. If its once a week then Id make a list of your own on what you would and wouldnt do. ie; Washing dishes ok but wont take to grocery store as she argues entire time. Now if you visit nearly every day then its time to get together w yer bf and tell him youll take her down the street for a tea while he rushes around handling all for her or tell him youll do a couple things but then he has to do rest or youll only come once a week while he does the rest. Its a hard road but easier when boundaries are set. Seems moms like to push and "milk" anything and everything! :) hugs to you x
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Are there alternatives to you and BF doing the chores? Are there financial resources to help? Groceries can be ordered online (in many locales). Housekeeping help is available just about everywhere. Ditto on gardening. As people age, they think the 'kids' can do it. I remember my cousin's husband taking care of his home and his Mom's! Lawns and repairs at two homes --- heck most of us can barely stay even on the 'to do' list for our own place. Can you suggest (quietly) to your BF that it may be time for her to move to a different type of housing. The independent side of a continuing care community, for example. Or a condo/townhouse where lawns are groomed by the community. This is a longer term solution. But things don't get easier!
For now, can you plan a 'fun outing' for the next visit? A meal out? A visit to some gardens? A music program at a nearby church or concert hall? "Oh Mom, we thought you might like a nice outing this weekend. We'll pick you up at ___ time.
If all else fails, I'd encourage BF to tell Mom that the two of you can't do all of the chores and let's get some help to handle it. And then, I agree with SendHelp --- stop visiting or alternate and only visit half the time.
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Stop visiting.
It is not your Mom. Not your family. Not your obligation.

Hard enough to take care of your own home at your age.
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