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This might not be a question that everyone ask-My mother has two children and I am the one that take care of her but brother left the house. I gave my lving to take care of my mother-cannot go anywhere for long-In my opinion I take very good care of her- my brother on the other hand can waltz in here and tell her- have I told you later that I love you and he can get anything he wants-but on the other hand if she ask me how I am feeling and I tell her that I am not feeling so well -guess what the conversation stop there-she does not say I hope that you feel better. But I bend over backward taking care of her and my brother get all of the praises and she only see him once in while. What do anyone has to say to this? Please make me understand .

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My sister and I are in the same situation. Brother moves away and only sees our mother once every two months. Calls once or twice a week. He usually gets all the praise while my sister and I take her abuse. We see her every week, call every day. So frustrating but I think I have figured it out some what. His childhood was not the happiest as we left home and he was alone with our mother. She is running on guilt for how she treated him and to make it right in her dementia mind she will listen to him, dote on him, etc. Hope this helps you. I also feel a lot is just plain old Kharma. Our souls keep connecting and we are here to learn from our past lives together. I hope my mother can come to terms with her life before she crosses over. I also hope I do not have to come back and do this again with her! Making it as nice as possible so I can clean the chalk board and be done with it. All we can do is let them know that we love them and try not to resent our brother!
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I have the same problem. My sister can do no wrong in my mother's eyes, when in reality, she is a lazy, worthless bum. But hey, I'm not bitter! I watched a movie once and the daughter asked the mom why the sister got all Mom's attention and praise. Basically, Mom said it was because she knew the capable sister really was capable and didn't need help, but she had always known the "bum" sister would never be able to function alone. In the teeniest way, this did help me when I thought of my situation. Mom knows I am the one to call for help everytime and I tell myself that has to be a good reflection on me. I very often still have thoughts of kicking Sis in the butt, to put it mildly. I also try to find other people in my life who do see the real picture, and they help soothe my hurt feelings. I don't think it will ever not hurt. You are not alone and thank God you are there to do the right thing for you Mom. Best wishes, Karen
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er a guilty conscience...hehehehe
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...just remembered something else...
Awhile ago, I read an article written by a gerontologist. When he was asked what made the difference between parents living in their home for as long as possible or being sent to a facility, he replied, "a good daughter."
(...of course, there are many lovely men on this site who are stepping up to take care of their parents...I truly wish that you were not a minority...)
Lilli
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Bonnie: I hear that. The other day my Mom was all worried about sending off a check to my absentee sib, for Christmas, and asked what she should get my husband and even my dog. I think I just became invisible....can anyone see me??? :o)
With my Mom, I think it is that old standby of deferring to men for anything "important." I take care of my business accounting, taxes, Mom's accounts and investments, everything financial, but guess who Mom asks for financial advice?....any man within a 20 mile radius.
My new mantra is, "nothing is ever easy." I try not to take things personally, but when it's thrown in your face, it's kinda hard to miss.
I do not want my Mom to stop communicating with my sib...I just want her to take off those rose colored glasses that are permenantly affixed to her face. I want fairness and I no longer want to hear another thing about my brother's adventures.
Looking back, I can see that my Mom did not foster any kind of sibling kindness or closeness. In fact, she resented anytime we did anything together. She drove a wedge between us, doted on him, to the point of creating a big baby-man, and made sure the focus was entirely on her.
So I am left with little family to depend on. It's just me and the hub and our good friends...perhaps that is a blessing in disguise.
Hang in there, everyone...Lilli
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I have one better or worse depending on how you look at it. My husband is the one that gets the praise from both of my parents. Don't get me wrong, my husband is a wonderful man and helps with them when he can, but I am the one here all day with them. ANYTIME someone stops by my Mom is always telling them how wonderful her son-in-law is and how he does EVERYTHING for her. Just yesterday when I was insisting that they have a bath and put on clean clothes they started yelling at me and telling me how "Glenn doesn't treat us like this". My parents have been with me for almost 2 years now and I have learned to put the bad feelings aside for most of the time. Don't get me wrong it still hurts, but I know who is doing all the caregiving, bathing, cleaning up poop, fixing meals, changing beds, etc. I have no idea why my parents feel this way, I just think they are very frustrated to be in a place where they have lost most of their independance and I'm the one they take it out on.
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There may be hope for all: the other day I told my Mother who lives with me now, that my sister was coming for a visit: her first born, always favored daughter, the perfect, golden child. Mother asked, "Who?", and I explained. She looked at me and said, "Oh. I only think of you now. I love you." I went in the other room and cried. If only she had said that 50 years ago, just once. Have faith, and EXPECT good things to happen:) Hugs
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I find myself in a similar situation. The only way I have gotten through it is this: ask yourself why you are care-giving and focus on the answers you give yourself. Hopefully, you are caring for another because it is the right thing to do and when all is said and done, you can be proud that you did the right thing when it was needed. This is not something a sibling who offered no help can ever say to themselves.
Give yourself permission to be bitter, resentful, angry, and vent as needed but also make an effort to put those thoughts away, knowing you can think about them again tomorrow. If your mom wants to talk about your brother, you don't have to listen, change the topic, excuse yourself from the room, or whatever you have to do--taking control of at least that little bit for yourself will help you out.
It might also be helpful to ask your brother for specific things he could do for your mom and force him to respond. Even if you know the answer is "no". I did this because I felt better knowing that my sibling could never say to me, "you didn't ask for help, so it isn't my fault, I didn't know."
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I know what every one is saying, it is so prevalent...I am the bitter pill on the site so take all I say with a grain of someone else salt, my father also had no use for me and there was sexual abuse in our family so it is a bit more than just not getting along issues..I know when my mom needs care this is gonna get thick...maybe I will go first...That would be OK too. these 39 years have been a real pain so far...
It is just so sad, little things over and over, how they snap at the one doing all the work and revel in the minuscule time granted by the lazy, long gone child...even if they just live across town!!!
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Hi there,

I can relate to your dilemma and for now, I am just trying to go with the flow and let it go. My brother lives in Orlando and he can't help it. His wife comes up here sometimes but she is more of a pain and just does it to be nosey more than anything else. I would just suggest to let it go like I am trying to do, but it's not always easy (lol).;-)
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When my mother landed in the E.R. and then was admitted to the hospital, my sister set aside her work, went to the hospital, spent all waking hours there except for when she went to my mother's home and took care of things there, dealt with the doctors and absolutely everything. (I was out of the country.) After two solid days of this my brother showed up. Our mother looked at him and said -- like in a bad movie from generations ago -- "At last! My savior!" Can you freaking believe it? I mean, you can't make this s--t up.

It helps to be superclear why you're doing what you're doing -- if it's to get back appreciation, then you're going to be miserable not getting the appreciation. If it's because you think it's the right thing to do, then appreciation would be really nice and would make it easier but it doesn't define your success or failure. In the end, all we have is the memory of our own behavior.

Besides all the true things that people have said about the gender stuff, there's the opposite-sex-parent thing. The daughters are usually the favorites of the fathers, right?

Plus there's the Prodigal Son thing. The one who's never there, when he (or she!) does come it's a big event.

Good luck.
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Well newathis, as you can see this scenario seems to be a common occurrence. I have one of those families to. But my mom and brother have mental issues on top of the "normal" dysfunction. I file through the resentments, anger and frustrations everyday. And almost everyday I rise above it all.
There are just somethings that we can't change. Don't dwell on these. I guess it's like the Serenity Prayer. God, help us change what we can and not worry about the rest. Ignore the nonsense. Peace to you.
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Newatthis---I had a similiar experience-however it was do to the fact I was the only sibling living nearby...It does cause resentment (for sure)...However, I did it for her, and not for praise; and in her own way, I am sure she knew who was there for her most of the time, as she had a dementia, and unable to express herself much of the time.
Hang in-and keep up the good work, as in the long run-it will be you (most likely) who will reap the rewards of your cargiving.
Best,
Hap
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J somebody----good question! My brother always sends mom a card on special occasions and tells her that she is "His Best Friend" but has done very little now that I am the primary caretaker b/c I have the POA. He stops by to visit her at her ALF when it suits him and all that I hear is "How wonderful it was that your brother came to see me and spent an hour here!"
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The woman I take care of while her own kids do utterly nothing for her at all are still better than me.. I let that go long ago because i know who i am and know who they are. If i allowed it to bother me even the tiniest bit I would have walked into a speeding train long ago and the thought has been an ongoing debate in my head for a long time. I still know who i am and what they are and I'll never stoop to their levels.
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It is the same all over. Do not take it personally as others have said but that is hard to do. I had a similar situation. My brother rarely came to see my mom even though he lived in the same town. I traveled 3 hours each way on the weekends to see my mom and spend time with her. At the end when my brother did come to see her and ask if she needed anything she said, "No, my daughter has it all under control." Sometimes they do see what you are doing. In my brother's defense, he was only 33 years old. He did not know how to handle my mother's cancer and what it was doing to her. Years later when my father was ill and I was the favorite child, my brother made a much more concerted effort to be there for him. He had learned his lesson too hard and too late. Remember why you are caring for your mother. It is out of love. She loves you but many cannot express it when they need to. We all love you for what you are doing as we have done it too.
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Boy do i ever understand this. Same scenario here too. For all my life this has been going on and it was always the same when ever my Brother would visit. I don't know if it started out because he looked so much like our Dad who died when we were only 7 and 8 yrs. old. But he has always been the favorite of the four of us and of the four i was the one to always be there for her and do anything she asked. But I never received the praise or the thanks that he did whenever he chose to be around. The way he treated her sometimes just made me sick! but she always made excuses for him. I don't really get why, but maybe that is one of those question we never get answered...though I have asked. Since I have been taking total care of her in my home we have become closer but the friction is still there at times between us.
Sometimes we just need to hear the praise to feel appreciated and when we don't get it it hurts. But I know now that she loves me and she has even told me she wasn't close to her mother either. That it was one of those era's where women had to be strong and the men babied. I guess the era never completely goes away :) For the most part I'm OK with it and think that Hey this is the way I was made...to be a caregiver and I cant change who I am so I have , most of the time anyway, decided to forge ahead and scrape up any little pat I can get :) I feel your Frustration and Please know that you are worthy of the Praise even if it's not given by the one your caring for.
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J: here, here!! I grew up on MS too...I heard Gloria Steinem speak at a conference - and something she said never left me. She said, 'once you know something, you can't "unknow" it.' Once I realized that to be like the women in my family meant a life of deference to men and not realizing my talents or having to be a "good girl" and keep silent, I knew in that instant that it was not the life for me. Unfortunately, that behavior has manifested itself in many ways to this day. The aunts and uncles who only had sons are now in nursing homes (unnecessarily) because their sons were never taught to be caregivers as all the girls were taught. My brother has no interest in caring for my Mom, especially the way I care for her....so she would end up in a NH too if she were in his care.
All I can say to all who are reading this and raising sons...treat daughters and sons equally, fairly, and teach both to be responsible for others.
Just my 2 1/2 cents....:o)
Lilli
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Lilli, I got a dichotomy here. My family was more or less a Matriarchy on my moms side, Grandma was the smart one made the decisions did business and so forth, yet there was still this sort of deference to the men in the family in a sort of aside way. head of table and make sure Daddy has what he wants first always....Stupid!
I grew up on MS magazines, there is no shoving me back into the cave....
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J: in my family, all the women were "women haters." They were raised by a Mother who doted on her sons and treated her daughters like servants. My uncles would show up once every two years or so and my grandmother would order her daughters around to fix food for them, etc. Therefore, all the men in my family grew up with this "entitlement" that insured them that they could never do anything wrong. Those men went on to become husbands who married women who continued to baby them and work like slaves....and so it goes on....
I rejected the notion after I left high school. I constantly go against the grain in my family. What an unreasonable person I am to want the same treatment as the men in my family!!
Luckily, I married a man who is the polar opposite of the mama's boys in my family. He understands why my Mom does the crazy things she does...but it doesn't make it much easier.
I have to admit, that I have had serious fantasies of sending my Mom back to live with her dear baby boy - then watch out for her to boomerang right back here :o)
Lilli
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Lilli is right, WHY is that so often the way it is??? The STAR child, the beloved one, who is NEVER there is the one they like best and the sad loser lonely extra left over kid they don't really like so much, is the one who is close and does the care giving? Some way of trying to get the denied love from the dismissive parent before they die maybe?
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Welcome to my world. I grew up in a traditional family where the men were put on pedastels and the women scurried around doing all the "grunt" work.
The short answer, is that your mom will not change. I just had an argument with my Mother the other day about my brother. He hasn't been out to see her in almost 3 years, took money from her that he never paid back, and is lazy as can be. Yet, she makes excuses for him and blames herself that he doesn't bother to come see her. He has "important" work to do, but I am expected to leave my work behind every time she needs something including calling me a hundred times a day.
I finally told her that if she thinks that she can get a better deal living with her favorite shild, she is more than welcomed to go there. Of course, she hasn't taken me up on it.
I am a caregiver because it is the right thing to do. As far as finding it rewarding...I haven't yet.
good luck,
Lilli
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One of those un-dealable hassles we just have to deal with. I know it is petty and unfix-able, but I actually resent that my sibling and cousin will get the exact same amount of inheritance when my grandfather dies while I have been the 24/7 care giver poop cleaner upper pill dispenser meal fixer doctor appointment scheduler and taker (in cab as I don't drive) etc etc etc for four years now...I imagine it is crass but I feel annoyed by it and there is NOTHING to do about it but just go on. Maybe it is a pay it forward some place else I don't know.
Any chance you can get some extra help? Or have your brother do something?
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You just described a version of my Mom and her Mom and brother. My uncle lived far away, called occasionally and always had his hand out for help, even though she wasn't in a situation to help. Mom on the other hand paid bills, took her places, helped all she could. No praise for thanks for Mom, gushes for Uncle. It never changed so I don't have an answer. I always just thought she wanted to convince herself that her son cared. Sorry you are hurt, I certainly understand. Is there a support group in your area? Sometimes it helps to know you aren't alone. Good luck.
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Dear Newatthis63. I understand and feel your pain. I am dealing with the similar situation with my husband, but it's his children not a brother. But the underlying issues are the same. First of all, don't expect your mother to ask how you are or necessarily thank you for what you're doing. As they deteriorate mentally, they lose that verbal compassion for others to some extent. Just don't take it personally. They do care - they just aren't able to express it. As far as your brother is concerned, you'll have to do what I found that I had to do with ny husband's children. Just let it go. You are doing such a wonderful thing for your mother, and you'll always be grateful for this time with her, as difficult as it is. Your brother will have to deal with his actions or lack thereof. Just know how special you are for what you are doing. It's a tough job, and only a few special people are capable of doing it. Hang in there - and just know what a great job you are doing.
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