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I have been getting two messages from family members recently. The first is "Why can't you do more to help your mom?" Excuse me you're not here in the middle of the night emptying the commode, giving an enema, giving anti-nausea meds, changing linens basically taking care of mom and making sure the basic things get done around the house like laundry. Second question I've been getting "Why can't you go out and get a real job?" I work as a substitute teacher when I can. Right now I have one caregiver one day a week who can stay with mom but she's a student nurse so her hours are dependent upon her school schedule. Therefore, if I need her to come earlier I have to let her know ahead of time (I sometimes get a phone call at 8 am asking me to work but by then it's too late to organize care for mom for the day). So my question is do other people get that "why can't you do more?" from family and friends? How does it make you feel because it makes me want to scream or smack them.

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Re-reading my answer, I think I got a little off-track of the question. Sorry, but I got back into that memory and didn't let go.

Basically, do your best and ignore them as much as you can. If you ignore them too much, they will feel left-out and pester you even more, probably, but if you smile and pretend you care about what they're saying, sometimes it makes them go away faster. Make grunting noises now and again and furrow your brow to make it seem that you're really paying attention to this "important" information they're passing along.

Meanwhile, use that time to reorganize your day so that you can figure out where you're going to fit a little time in for yourself, if that's possible. Since that's sometimes hard, that will help you with the occasional furrowed brow of heavy concentration.
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No, but nothing I do is ever right. Some relatives find it uncomfortable to discuss any of the care, so I end up doing my best, and then they can criticize it. AND, they can claim they never agreed to it, which is true, so they they feel they have a RIGHT to complain.

I have noticed for myself taking care of my mother the same thing I noticed when she took care of her mother: people complain that they're not part of things but when you ask for help, they never want to do whatever you asked.

Thinking about this, I still feel so bad for my mom -- all she wanted was for someone to come watch grandma for an hour so that mom could go to the grocery store without having to get grandma prepped and dragging her through the place, which made it take so much longer, but no-one felt comfortable watching grandma for an hour and mom got no relief. My dad was at work, I was too young, and there wasn't the amount of caregiving resources around, then. I still feel so bad for her. And, I know that's how our family is -- it's the same for this round of family caregiving -- nothing has changed.
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I stayed home to help father caregive mom when I was age 23. That was about 25 years ago. Mom passed away last year. In all the years, (it didn't help that father complained about me behind my back that i was a lousy daughter - which I was completely unaware of this), I wondered why people had the nerve to tell me that I should do more. I have 7 siblings. 4 live in the US mainland, and 3 here on island. Huh? Why does it have to be only me? What about my parents' 7 other siblings? FYI, it seems all these years my brother-of-next-door and his wife have been insinuating to everyone that THEY are the main caregivers. When mom died, people were praising THEM!!!! I was so shocked, disillusioned, etc.... My 19 year old niece told me that her cousin (bro-of-next-door's daughter) was telling people on FaceBook that she has to sign off because she's going to help her aunty change grandmother's pamper. Hmmm... I never saw my next-door-niece all those times.... How did I feel about this? Betrayed. Angry. And after that, those who had the nerve to lecture me - I just avoided them.
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It sounds like you and Mom are handling things just fine, Celticlass.
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I have a calendar up on caringbridge. For a while mom's friends who are former nurses came to help but now they're all falling apart (one got shingles, one tore ligaments in her knee etc.) My uncle who is the primary "why can't you" was doing laundry but now he and his ex-wife whom he still lives with come down to "visit" so mom and I have made a plan that if there are people who are toxic and simply sit and criticize mom tells them "don't come." We do have a nursing student who comes one day a week so if there are substitute teaching jobs on that day then I can go. Mom told her brother off last week when he started in with "why can't." and "Barbara should" so this week she told him don't bother to come. These statements make her agitated as well. Of course my uncle and his ex-wife who still lives with him say they "can't possibly help" because they "work" (he works at Best Buy and she does housekeeping 2 days a week for single eligible men only)
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Celticlass, we don't need to justify ourselves. I don't even try. People will certainly wear at your self esteem if you let them. I don't know why they need to find fault in others, but many people do. No matter what you do there is someone telling you to do the opposite. And no matter how much you do there is someone telling you it is either too much or not enough.

If a family member suggests you get a job, have a schedule ready for them for what days that can do the caregiving. That way you could work outside the home on those days. I bet the family member would disappear.
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I did make a list and typed it up and put it in a plastic page protector. So Far I'm up to 63 things just with this week alone. So next time someone says this to me or my mom we're going to hand them the list and say "which of these would you like to take over?"
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Ask them to help out and do a few tasks from the pre-prepared list you just happen to have with you at all times. They could even get their choice of tasks. Ask them to show you how you can do more. More what, by the way? Do you keep any kind of journal or daily log of activities and the time each thing takes. Do that for just a couple of days and have that ready so you ask When you could do more What. You might also try opening up to these people about your feelings when they say that, if you're sure they won't use that crush you. You might also look into options for getting more paid help at home.
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I usually do both, just kidding. I dont no if ur into sports but its the same as a monday morning QB. They can judge but ask if the want to take over because they can do it better and see what happens. RUN RABBIT RUN
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