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?
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.
Maybe since there isn't anything she likes, I will do what is easy.
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!
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.
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.