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This is not the question that has been answered a million times already all over the internet. This situation is much tougher to negotiate due to the baggage and special set of circumstances in which those of us with a Borderline Personality Disorder/Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or similary afflicted) parent find ourselves.

Maybe we don't have heaps of pictures from happy family outings we can turn into a nice book. Maybe mom doesn't like anybody or anything and prefers to sit in the dark all the time. Maybe dad doesn't like to read or be read to. Maybe all their hobbies are long gone. Maybe mom/dad have a history of attention getting stunts, especially on special days.

What are things you've done in the past to mark a special day with this kind of person?

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Mine doesn't like anything, either. I used to buy her nice things for all the special occasions. She would stick them in drawers or leave them in bags in the closet. The sad thing is that it was not because she didn't want or like things people gave to her, she rejected them because they were gifts. Why, I don't know. Maybe it was her way of rejecting the people who gave the gifts?

Now I give gifts I know she will use and not stick in a drawer. Candy is always a favorite with her. Something to wear to church usually also goes over. This year I bought her a vintage rose pin to wear on Mother's Day. I thought about getting her a real rose, but the poor flower would probably wilt.
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Sandwich, present the flowers and candy, have a short cup of tea and leave at the very first hint of a complaint. Smile. Kiss. Go.
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When you can get an appreciative signal out of your mom about anything, you are so very lucky. I feel kind of nauseous having to run this gauntlet again, and finding out how mine is going to drop a big old cow pie on everything.

Maybe since there isn't anything she likes, I will do what is easy.
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My Mama loves flowers. I always get some pretty flowers for her, even if they are ones I set out in her flower beds now, which she loves...Then I take pictures of them and load those onto my laptop so she can see all her pretty yards, and home, etc. Mama is totally bedfast so can't get out and about and hopefully getting to "travel" via my laptop lets her still enjoy her surroundings....Flowers, soft blankets, soft gowns, good smelling lotions and powders...those are what Mama always loved and seem to continue to bring her joy and comfort. Two of her sisters brought her some very pretty roses and I took a really good picture of them so I could have it printed and frame it....and sit it where she can still see her roses all the time.
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Mom is in ALF and wants to take over Mother's Day. She always wants to be the center of attention. Sorry, but Mothers' Day is for all of us mothers, so mom will attend brunch with us at my SIL's house with two grandmothers and four mothers and some grandchildren. She has already made several attempts to torpedo our plans because she is jealous of the other grandmother. If she decides to announce imminent death, we will put her in bed and pour the Mimosas anyway.
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Is she allowed to have goodies? Is there anything that she prefers? Maybe something you baked, if you like baking that is. In my family food is always a winner.
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For the past 25 years or so, since I was in my 20's, I busted my a** to do the best I could on Mother's Day. I had the belief that I should demonstrate how sorry I was for being so disappointing (not kidding), and that if I showered her with flowers, jewelry, and lavish brunches, she'd see that I was successful, generous, and someone she could appreciate and be proud of. In earlier years, she seemed to appreciate the gifts, but it never helped her overal opinion of me, or our relationship. Duh!
Anyway, as her dementia progresses, and maybe increasing depression as well, she seems to take very little pleasure or interest in these things. The jewelry I gave her? She has no recollection of who gave her what now. The expensive brunches? Nice to brag to people about later, but as we're sitting in the restaurant, she couldn't care less. Flowers? They're good for letting the neighbor lady know that NO, I did NOT ignore my mother, despite what she might imply.
This year will be my first Mother's Day where I will not be visiting on the actual day (I'll be going down the week before for her doctor's appointments, errands, etc.). I'll bring flowers, but will not shop for a card--I'll just use the little florist card that comes with the flowers and will sign our names. We'll get lunch, but nothing expensive/fancy. And that'll be that. I've decided to celebrate my own Mother's Day -- with my dog, lol! We'll have a great day, going to the park, hanging out. Can't wait!
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We took mom to lunch in the past. She wont make a scene in public. Now that she is in memory care, we will go to the brunch they serve there. As far as a gift, I will get her a plant or some flowers as she still enjoys those things.
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Maybe I will send her flowers to myself! :-D At least I will keep them alive. My mom's birthday is in mid-July, so I'll solve the problem again in a few weeks' time.

I have realized after many years that whatever I give her is really for my benefit, not hers. There is no reason to go fancy or overboard. I can't give her the kinds of things I would like to get on Mother's Day. It really has become more about checking off a box on a list so that when people ask, she has to say she got something and I can say I gave something.

My old formula was clothes, a scarf or necklace, and a purse or perfume from a store she didn't have where she lived. Worked like a charm every time until about 3-4 years ago. I need a new formula.

This year I got her 2 "mu-mu" dresses from Sears - on the clearance rack. They will give her the ease of the nightgown she prefers to stay in, but maybe look a little more like clothes instead of pajamas, not that she cares. I may put her preferred soap (Dial gold) and a new bath towel in a basket with them and call it a day.

I know there will be a special brunch on site at her complex that day, but I'm not counting on her being willing to participate.

Before everybody else reading this suggests it, here is what I know:

She refuses to visit the onsite beauty shop, so that would be a waste.
She won't let the visiting foot clinic see her because she believes it's illegal.
She has no hobbies or interests.
She doesn't read - never has.
She won't listen to books on tape.
She won't watch movies on DVD or VHS.
She doesn't participate in any activities inside or outside the senior apartments she's in.
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(((((((sandwich)))))). I feel for you. I face the same dilemma and mother's birthday is just after Mothers Day . The past years I visited, took her out for a nice meal and brought or sent flowers.

Last year her behaviour had deteriorated, and I set firmer boundaries and did not visit. I may have sent flowers. I was thinking about this year. She is in hospital and, at present, because she is not that stable, and wont take meds, they are recommending no visitors. That does not leave me many options - so I guess I will send flowers to the hospital. At one point in the past, she said not to send her flowers, but I have since and no negative feedback, so I will again. She likes orchids. I bought a plush throw for her a few days ago when I was down there, as she wanted something more for her bed, but I don't even know if they told her it was from me, and it really doesn't matter.

Good luck!!!
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The choice for me was and is still easy. I treat her like she was a normal, good mother -- or at least as I imagine one is treated. :)
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You can't lose with flowers. Flowers are always appropriate. Even for the mom who doesn't like anyone or anything and sits in a dark room all day.
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