He says our Mom only wants her own children to take care of her, not a nurse or caregiver. My brother is single, is an RN, and has no children. I’m married, have three very young children (that I’m trying to teach with distance learning), and am also exhausted. My husband and I offered to pay all the costs for my Mom’s care, but they will only accept care from me, personally. They say it’s my duty as a daughter. Am I being selfish?

Your mother is being unreasonable. You have no legal duty to provide hands-on care for your mother.

Your children come first.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Whose ‘wants’ is your brother talking about – his ‘wants’ or your mother’s ‘wants’? I hope you’ve pointed out the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.

One option for mother is to take your life to her. Take your three children, take all their study books, and install all of you in mother’s room. Don’t hush the children, let them be as noisy as normal. Let them come with you and mother to the toilet or to wash – or close yourselves in the bathroom with a child complaining outside the door. A couple of kid fights or meltdowns would fit in well. Let your mother see in real time just how exhausting a day is for you, and how exhausting it would be for her if you really combined your life with hers.

This will be a dreadful day for you, but also for your mother. It may well encourage her to think again about what she really wants – on joint terms, not in her imagination of having you alone all to herself!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
MaryKathleen Feb 24, 2021
Love it!
Your brother being single and childfree has no bearing on this whatsoever. His life outside of caring for your mother may be as fraught with responsibilities as your life is. We have to stop assuming that being single and childfree means that one's life is automatically given over to caregiving while having a family is essentially a "get out of the jail free card." That being said, your feeling that you cannot care for her is legitimate, and your offer of paying for an in-home caregiver is also legitimate and more than fair and should be considered by your mother. There will come a time when--even if you did care for her--you would have to accept assistance from another source. What you may want to consider is visiting her and offering her emotional support or even a hot meal. Since you don't mention her level of ability/disability, it's hard to ascertain how much care she needs. Make yourself available to her, but you don't have to give up your life in caregiving---there are various ways to be involved. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Tynagh

Your duty as a daughter is to love to the extent you received love. Your duty as a daughter is to care for your own family, protect your own young, raise your family in peace. In so far as you have time to help your brother then shopping, appointments, respite care, anything you can offer is wonderful. I feel you should not be sinking in your own money unless your own elder years are self insured with savings of a really quite high. "They" can say whatever they like. Talking is free speech in our country. We often on AgingCare get questions from the caregiving siblings complaining they aren't getting help; I always counsel them that they are doing this care of their choice, that they cannot dictate what other siblings do, and that I actually side with the siblings who are caring for their own families for the most part. One can toss labels all day. "Selfish" is a great label. Just accept it, and get on with your own life. I always tell the complainers "I never told you I was a perfect person. I am FULL of flaws. You have mentioned only one. I'll leave you be now so you can come up with some more". Then I giggle and am out the door. I will never know why we put more stock in the opinions of others for our lives over what we already know is right for our own lives.
You owe love if you were loved. Please give it, along with what help you feel able to. Only you know the business of your own life, how much time you can make, and where, when and how you have the time and resources to help.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AlvaDeer

I can’t even come up with ANYTHING about this situation that can be logically referred to as “selfish”.

”They” refers to you brother and your mother? Is he coaching her? How old is she, and what constitutes “frail”?

If he is caring decently and respectfully for her, and/but complaining, I’d consider it his absolute right as her caregiver to complain his head off, with ZERO EXPECTATIONS that you will do anything.

”Oh my, Dear Brother, I TO-TA-LLY UNDERSTAND how hard it is to take care of our Dear Mama. ALMOST like taking care of THREE small children and a dear husband and a household, I imagine. Don’t forget, My Dear Husband and I have offered to pay for extra help when you decide caring for Mama becomes too much for you.
And PLEASE, take good care of yourself while you’re giving her your best. You’re important to her, just as I’m important to my Dear Husband and THREE Children”.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AnnReid

You have offered to do what you can in paying for care for her.  They declined the offer.  Case closed.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to EllensOnly

You can do what you can do. Offering to pay for a caregiver is all that you can do given your circumstances.
It would be totally different if you were retired, no kids and were off on a vacation every other week.
You can offer to pay for caregivers. Although your mom should be paying for them and spending down her assets in case it comes to the point where she would need further care. He assets are what she saved her money for. (if she has no savings that is a different story)
You can offer to make a few meal. Make extra when you are cooking and portion them and freeze so all they have to do is heat.
You can offer to go shopping for them WHEN you are shopping for yourself.
YOU do what you can when you can do it.
If they refuse the help you offer that is on them NOT you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Grandma1954
Lilfarmer67 Mar 3, 2021
So true. When my sister and I were caring for my mom with ALS, we jumped for joy when one of my brothers offered to pay for nighttime care for her for the months until hospice kicked in.

He never came to see her nor called, and he has to live with that, but he did something and we were VERY grateful!
You have your own family to take care of. How do they expect you to do more? The offer to pay for mom's care is very generous.

Maybe he wants you to so called "do your part". You can that with paying for her care too. If he's exhausted with her alone, adding in kids is even more work.

My dad is a handful, but I don't expect my sister in another state, with a job and children to take over. She's got enough on her plate.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Lvnsm1826

I'm not trying to be a wise guy (or gal), but he isn't holding you hostage with a weapon, is he? Because if his only weapon is guilt, he has no power over you but what you allow him to have. If he threatens to never speak to you again, etc. then that will have to be the way it is. I don't know what makes him think you will be able to adequately care for you mom if you have all those other responsibilities.

If he (or Mom) doesn't like the idea of Mom being cared for by strangers, that's too bad. We don't always get what we want, and sometimes having outside help is the best, or only, option.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to OkieGranny
my2cents Feb 24, 2021
Lots of us out here would LOVE for siblings to offer some 24/7 care - whether done by the sibling or paid for by the sibling. Brother may be overwhelmed and wants siblings to come in person to share/understand the pain. However, he's gonna have to let loose and accept this generous offer. I would jump on it
I think ur brother and Mom are being unreasonable. If you have explained why, maybe its time for your husband to step in. No, my wife cannot help at this time. Her hands are full with 3 kids and me. I have offord to pay for an aide. Take it or leave it. Yes, they will be mad but he got his point across. Sometimes you just have to be blunt.

Once you marry your responsibility shifts to your husband and then your children. Parents are to transition into a new way of life. Save money for their later years. Travel be involved with their friends. You are doing what you can. This is not being selfish.

I only had my grandson, 7, here last Spring and getting him ready and helping with virtual school was enough.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29

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