How can I handle my mother’s jealous behavior and guilt from talking time off from caregiving?

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Oh Lorraine, I hear you. When my sister and I wanted to go to lunch (a rare treat), our mother - who at one time would have been thrilled for us - was jealous. It comes from all the losses our elders suffer. They begin to feel left out, and often are. Most caregivers need some time away from caregiving.

The only advice I can give you is to try to not take the words personally. Be firm about going and doing what you need to do, but do it as kindly as you can, remembering that the elder is suffering so many losses.

Don't feel guilty (easier said than done, I know). But this is unearned guilt, so you need to detach from her behavior and give yourself a treat. Maybe you can find something to do with her, alone, later.

Keep coming back for support. We can't change things for you but we do understand.
Carol
Hi Lorraine~As a former caregiver, I have been told that to be good at it, you also need to take some "ME TIME"...This is something many people do not realize. There is always that feeling of guilt when taking the "me time"---but also it it necassary. As time goes by it will get easier on you. I was a caregiver for a long time, and this was explained.

In my particular journey, what was of great value--SUPPORT and KNOWLEDGE-I learned how others handled similar situations..in turn you may find this to be beneficial to you. Knowledge and Understanding may help you to understand and to COPE.

This is an excellent place to vent and to seek support, so please get back to us with your updates.

Good luck on your caregiving journey!

Hap
Don't feel quilty... You need a break once in a while... Caregiveing is an important and admireable however is it also demanding and hard!!! You need to be able to do something fun occationally. Make sure that you have someone who is trust worthy and responsible to care for your Mom in your absence. take care and don't beat yourself up.
My experience is a little different. I am 63 and about to retire. My mother is relatively healthy at the age of 89, and she feels that she should be included in most of my activities even tho we spend plenty of time together. I already take her shopping and to movies and my husband and I have her for dinner or take her out. It just isn't enough. If I trim my tree, well she tells me how she wishes someone would trim hers, etc... I am fearful of retiring because she has already said she can't wait, so we can spend more time together. My father passed 15 years ago and my brother is disabled so I am all she has. Am I selfish to want my own time? Thank you for listening. I feel better already.
Why should you feel guilty? Is your Mother right, or is she being selfish? Look her in the eye, and tell her to knock it off. Your a team; her needs are not more important than your needs. My Dad did this when I insisted I needed help. I stood my ground because I was drowning under the emotional and physical pressures. I looked my Dad in the eye and told him, if I go under he will have to go to a nursing home. That made him see the light. When he said I was threatening him, I replied "I was not threatening him; it was just a fact" in a calm matter of fact tone. It was the truth. He kicked and screamed for a few weeks but I stood my ground, and he relented. After a few fights we compromised he pays one day, but I don't get babysitters if I need to run errands. It works for us.

As your Mom tries to get her way, remember you are important. You will never go the distance, if you can't carve out a life seperate from caregiving. Good luck we are here for you
Kwilson,
What's happened in the past year? Update us please.
I too feel guilty when i try and catch a break.. I am an only child and my mother has never learned to cut the cord. I have kept the peace and married and raised my 2 kids at her home.. I am sure im as much to blame but I never wanted to disappoint them.. Now she has had knee replacement.. hip replacement... back fusion surgery.. than breast cancer...(she caught it early) just radiation at this point. My poor dad is hardheaded.. he is diabetic and he gets leg ulcers and we almost lost him 5 years ago..he has become so lazy he now needs help getting back into bed. . taking care of BOTH of them i get very very depressed... i want my own life but yet need to take care if my parents as well :(
Do your parents have any money that they could spend to hire some caretakers to come in a few times a week?

From your description, it sounds like you have remained in your parents' home your entire life with being married and raising 2 children. I assume that the children have left the nest by now. What do you and your husband see as yourselves doing in the future once your parents have died?
Both of my sons are in college and working..No they dont have any extra money . We will be able to do what we want and when we want.. travel a bit.. take a long needed vacation.. i just go from depressed to angry to sad :(
My MIL lives with us but it is very difficult as she complains about everything, has never been happy regardless of which child she has lived with, makes you feel guilty if you take time for yourself, and then goes behind our backs and complains to every sibling about us. We are the only ones she has lived with for this long, but, her negativity and never being happy is now affecting our happy. What should we do?

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