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Taking care of my mom is hard. She's like a grown up toddler. And every time someone asks me how I'm doing I always say, Oh I'm sure others have it much harder. But I really am having a hard time. Why do I not take the credit for what I'm doing...Alone, as my three brothers do nothing. When I'm told I'm doing good, I seem to shrug it off. Am I ever doing enough? Seems silly but it bothers me.

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Blannie, that's so true! An honest compliment is easier to accept, because I feel that I have honestly earned it.

I read books about raising kids, and they suggest that you don't say, "You did a great job" but say, "Look at how clean the floor is. You swept up every bit of dirt. You kept working til the job was done." Specific and factual praise.
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For me, there's a difference between people I don't know that well telling me I'm doing a good job and those who have some idea of what's really involved. So I pretty much shrug off the *polite people's* compliments, because they're just saying it to be nice, they really have no clue. When friends or relatives who know what's involved and what I do for my mom compliment me, I DO take those compliments to heart. And I'm happy that someone else (who understands) sees it and appreciates it.
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"Thank you so much for noticing. I truly try to do my best most days, and it is pretty hard work." Now repeat until you are comfortable saying it.
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In caregiving, doing the best you can with what you have never seems to cut the mustard. Sometimes we forget how to take a compliment; and forget about negative criticism that makes us feel unworthy even when we literally stop living to care for someone else. ... We don't want to brag, and we certainly don't want to be accused of re-enacting the Passion lest others threaten to nail us to a makeshift cybercross. We often pretend everything's under control, even when there's a "Help Wanted" sign on our eyes. The image we sometimes project is pure camouflaging of the civil war raging inside all of us.
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youre right OB but am done talking it makes no difference very different when youre living with the parent and have no means to move out. Im going to have a chat with her doc as she needs a professional to talk to her she thinks she can behave anyway she pleases as she knows ive nowhere to go yet but will be moving away soon i hope. Its very easy to be "matter of fact" when you are actually walking out the door to your own home but when lving here its not so easy and a row starts. Ive AMAZED myself at how patient ive been but we all have our limits if she dosnt get her own way she threatens me "if youre not happy then move out"?? a very frustrating situation!
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Kazza, My uncle loves to be pampered and catered to. I have little patience for it. I often remind him that if he does not try to stay active as much as possible he will lose his physical abilities and end up bed-ridden. I have told him in a very factual but courteous way, that whatever he is capable of doing safely on his own, I EXPECT him to do it. For instance, if I'm walking out the door, he almost always thinks of "one more thing" for me to do. A few nights ago, he said "do you think you could wash out my socks before you go?" I said Uncle dear, I know you are perfectly capable of doing that yourself as you do it all the time. I am tired and I am going home now. You take care of it when you're ready. Love you, good night! Then I just leave. Sounds like you could try a similar tactic with your Mom. The frustration can often lead to nastiness (believe me I'm no exception), but the 'matter-of-fact' approach is often more effective.
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My husband told me when I showed him this that I could have written this letter. Thank you for sharing. Yes there is always someone who has it better or worse but that's life anyway. My brothers do not help me either maybe that's why we do more than necessary for our loved ones because it has to hurt them knowing they don't come or call and we know they are already hurting loosing their homes and independence. If we all complain and feel sorry for ourselves it does no good so taking the high road and saying its no big deal lets us escape from what our reality really is? Is it nice to share these thoughts with one another, again thank you!
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When and not very often my family who dont help out tell me im doing a great job? I feel im being patronised as they do nothing. then guilt because even though my mum is very well cared for i dont want to be here I dont want to give up my life to look after her and im finding this harder and harder 4 times now shes asked me to go to get something in the kitchen she wont even get up and go a few feet away so I told her to get it herself. Im not a robot and give me a toddler any day!!
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Jinx you are so astute. Why is it we find it so hard to accept a compliment? I know we are supposed to say thank you even while we may be thinking we don't deserve it. We tend to downplay what they are complimenting us about. You gave a great answer and I will practice and memorize it!! Thank you!!
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Can you come up with an answer that feels accurate to you?

"Thank you. It is a hard job, and sometimes (always) I feel like I should be doing more. But thank you. And I appreciate your noticing."

Memorize your chosen reply, and practice complimenting yourself and accepting the compliment. I think AA calls that "Fake it until you make it."
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I don't think it's silly at all. I do shrug off the compliments too-it seems vain to agree with others that we are doing a good job, even though it is true. It's like we know it but we shouldn't pat ourselves on the back. I usually say thank you, but I'm just doing what I have to do (there is no one else to do what I do anyway). Besides that, I often vent to my dearest friends and complain and criticize the treatment I receive from the 2 people I care for, so how can I then turn around and feel worthy of a compliment? In truth we are doing more than enough, and in our lifetimes will never be duly compensated, but that's just the way it is. I mentally give myself credit for what I'm doing, I just don't 'take' all the credit that other people acknowledge me with. Sometimes I laugh it off and say 'don't throw bouquets at me, you know I'm not a happy camper, and I'm always complainig!"
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