Follow
Share

I am the youngest(50) of 5 kids. I have been taking care of my mom for years without any help. Siblings rarely call, visit once or twice a year for a brief visit (1-4 days) to entertain mom and often ignore or neglect her medical needs when they visit leaving me with a mess when they leave. She ended up hospitalized after Christmas visit. I am a single mom with a child and I have a job and a home of my own. We have had to live in my moms house with her for over a year because she can no longer be alone at all because of dementia. What this has meant was my child not having his home, pets (which we can't bring to moms house). We have to go back and forth and check on house several times a day, and take our clothes etc back and forth. It's like we don't live anywhere. Someone tried to break in my house while I was gone, now I am walking back and forth and leaving car there. I have had to drop out of everything that I was doing that I enjoyed and I have had to take my son out of all of his sports and activities as well because it is too difficult and unpredictable to take mom with us. I have to take her to work with me. I have missed a tremendous amount of work and have no paid leave. My siblings do whatever they want. Their children lack nothing, go on vacations, play sports, have normal lives. NONE of the sisters or sisters in law work but do as they wish with their time. I have tried to maintain a positive attitude, but it has become unbearably hard. I feel I am neglecting my son and that his childhood is flying by without the normal experiences he should be having. When I try to make him a priority and take him anywhere I feel like I am abusing my mom who sits there unhappy or with her eyes closed or gets afraid or confused or angry because she doesn't understand what is going on. I feel exhausted, depressed and have even battled with increase in physical ailments. I tried to hire someone to help but mom is afraid of any stranger and I could never even let the woman come in the house. I am not the power of attorney. The family's desire is that mom be kept at home, and I agree but I am the only one making that happen. I feel like it has all been dumped on me and I can't do it anymore. I am becoming increasingly resentful about the sacrifices that I and especially my son make daily. I am resentful of siblings carefree life and texts of vacation pictures when I couldn't even take my son to the pool. So if the Bible says ' do all things without murmuring or complaining' and to honor my mother and I am doing all these things but with resentment and murmuring and complaining - am I really honoring her at all? She sacrificed everything to care for us. She was a model amazing mom. She deserves to be cared for perfectly, and I feel guilty for complaining. She can't help her situation. Is there an answer?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Someone told me once we honor those parts that are honorable and let the rest go. I also heard to put the oxygen mask on myself first, then the person next to me might need assistance with their own mask......not mine :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Why do you think it's okay for your four siblings to disregard the honouring bit, but not you? I don't know, I just feel you've focused on an odd part of the problem to tackle.

Still! - what matters is recognising the need to tackle it. I think you should go back to the drawing board, with a grand family conference. Family wants mother to stay at home? Then family needs to contribute to a plan to keep her there, and a plan that does not include your taking on more than your fair share of the practical workload.

Be ruthless. Your child should be your no. 1 priority - this flitting back and forth business must be terrible for his sense of security.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Lots of really sound advice here.
I'd like you to think about this from another angle too, well 2 angles really.
1) how do you want Your son to remember his life? You've given your Mum a huge chunk of yours and his. She was a great Mum to you, wouldn't she want you to be a great Mum to her Grandson?
If that's a yes, then you are NOT dishonouring her by getting it right for you all. You;re not going to abandon her, but rather set up life so that the 3 of you can enjoy the time you have together.
You're using the great parenting skills she gave you, to bring up your son so in time he can pass on the terrific skills he learnt from you to his children.
2nd angle: picture yourself where your Mum is now, but with your son in your current place. Is this what you would want for him? Is this what you want to teach him is the role to follow? Your Mum probably didn't have to do this for her parents because we live longer. If that continues what about your son in adulthood? His children?
It's not selfish to make an excruciatingly hard choice out of love. You are faced with two choices of that nature. One life lived to the full and one still with so much time ahead, you can give to both. But one must take priority.
Also if your to continue being an excellent Daughter & Mother be good to yourself too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Whoa Whoa Whoa - yes, the Bible says that you HONOR your parents, and makes a very good point that murmuring and complaining is counterproductive and does not build up anyone. AND it also says as far as possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

You are caring for mom. There is no question that YOU are honoring your parent. Can you be rightfully angry that your siblings are NOT? Of course. What are we supposed to do with our anger? Don't let the sun set on it. Literally, don't just let it keep growing. Now in your case a root of bitterness has already sprung up. You either have or have not done all you can to communicate the unfairness of the current arrangement or lack thereof with the siblings willing to dump on you since you are doing such a good job. So, see to it that you are not the one "letting" - but then, if they are not responding to you, go on to adapt the rest of the procedures that St. Paul recommends. You get a trusted third party to help communicate. If the communication remains fruitless, then the offending parties may have to be shunned and shut out. You have a right and a duty, both, to make it clear what is not acceptable. And truly, truly, your son losing his childhood is not acceptable. You losing your health is not acceptable. Let me put it another way - her grandson losing his childhood and her daughter losing her health because she cannot understand there are needs beyond her own is not acceptable, and it is not what she would really want, and it does not "honor" her to let that happen.

You are NOT abusing or dishonoring your mom in any way by insisting that others besides you provide some of the help she needs. Period. Many elderly people find this very hard but that does not have to make it impossible. Your family's desire that mom lives at home is very "noble" of them but unless they are pitching in, it is also very irrelevant. It is sadly not realistic to continue your current arrangement - a person who needs 24 x 7 care being managed by only one caregiver, and her having to be by herself so you can tend to your "other' home is not even really safe. And being unrealistic also honors no one. Please do not let anyone tie your hands or box you in to an intolerable situation with this crazy self-serving mis-over-interpretation of Scripture. Pray and make decisions that need to be made - if you are providing for your mom as best you can under the circumstances, you are not violating any commandment at all. The first commandments are about Love anyways. Love is patient and kind, but sometimes has to stand up on its own two feet and insist on doing things the right way.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You are and have been honoring your mom. The bible says to honor thy father and mother and I hate to sound like a cynic but that was written when life expectancy was about 35.

If your family's goal is to keep mom at home then the family is going to have to pitch in and make that happen. You can't do it all on your own. For what you've been going through, alone, I'm not surprised that you feel resentful and depressed.

Have you asked your siblings for help? I don't mean a vague plea that they can wiggle out of but for specific help? "Can you take mom to the Dr. on Tuesday?" Or "Can you come and sit with mom while I go watch Junior's soccer game?" I think it needs to be made crystal clear to your siblings that you can't continue to keep mom at home without any help.

I've shared this experience many times here but I'd like to share it with you. When I was caring for my dad in my home I grew resentful that my brother didn't help me out. I had never asked for his help because I assumed that he should know he should be helping. My brother on the other hand thought that I would ask if I needed help and I never asked him so he didn't offer. When this miscommunication became apparent we both realized we each should have spoken up and from that moment on he stepped in and we became a great team.

I don't know if your siblings are taking you for granted or if they're just oblivious but if you need help, ask for it. If your siblings turn you down then at least you'll know where you stand and you can make some arrangements for your future and your son's future.

You have nothing to feel guilty about. You have stepped up and taken on 100% of the responsibility of your mom's care while caring for your own child too. The person you haven't been caring for is yourself. If you don't take time out to care for yourself the resentment, depression, and physical ailments are going to get worse.

When I cared for my dad I had the same thought as you did. My dad had been a great dad throughout my childhood and throughout my life. I couldn't have asked for a better father. I felt that I should repay that by dedicating my life to him as he did to me when I was a child. But my parents made the conscious decision to have children. I didn't have a decision in whether to care for my dad or not. I either cared for him myself or he went into a nursing home. And when my dad cared for me as a child it was a natural parent/child relationship. In caring for him as an adult that relationship was skewed. He wasn't a child and I wasn't his parent. The boundary lines were all fuzzy and vague. When he cared for me when I was little I wasn't a 250 lb full-grown adult with my own life experiences and expectations. I didn't have multiple health issues and my own opinions on how to care for myself. That he cared for me when I was a little girl made me lucky but at no time did I sign a contract that said because he cared for me so well I was honor and duty bound to care for him in his old age. But I did it anyway for as long as I could.

What you're feeling is normal and it sounds like you need to make some changes whether that's getting your siblings involved or bringing in outside help. If you are going to continue to care for your mom you're going to need help. You're sacrificing your life and your time with your son, it's time for some other people to make some sacrifices as well. And if mom wants to stay in her home she's going to have to join in in making sacrifices and not be so afraid to have someone come in and relieve you for a while. If you opt for a hired caregiver have the caregiver come over for the first time when you're there. Be the buffer. Introduce your mom to the caregiver. Believe me, caregivers get that all the time and she'll be sympathetic. Hire from an agency that does extensive background checks.

Do whatever you can do to get some help and if that doesn't work you can then start making some decisions on how you choose to spend your life and raise your son.

Your mom's very lucky to have you. You've heard the saying about putting the oxygen on first? You have to put the oxygen mask on first if you're going to save someone else. It's the same thing in caregiving. If you don't care for yourself first you will eventually be useless to the person you're caring for. The resentment and depression and manifestations of physical symptoms are like poison to your body and mental and emotional wellbeing.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with Windyridge.

Maybe your mom's POA doesn't understand that you can't leave a dementia patient alone in a house indefinitely. They have to step up and make arrangements for her have someone come in to her or to have her placed. Maybe her doctor could speak with them.

It's so common that one child takes the responsibilities and the other adult kids don't do much. I'm not sure why it's so common. I would let them know in writing how things stand so they are on notice and can take action. There is no justice in most cases, but it does help to vent. I do wonder why often the most favored child is often the least likely to care for the parent and the one who was not favored, seems to go out of their way to help the parent in their senior years.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

No easy answer for this. Some suggestions however:

Let all your sibs know that you've had it and are not going to continue this. Period.

Assuming one of the other sibs has POA, they should be looking into in home or facility care for Mom. One or the other has to happen. She'll fuss but she'll adjust. You cannot continue this.

I know you just can't walk away from your Mom but you need help now. If no sibs come forward, notify APS and inform them that you can no longer care for her and to contact the sib who has POA.

Finally, don't feel guilty. You have done as much, if not more, than anyone could have done. Be strong and make something happen. Take care of yourself and your family first.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.