My mother and father live with me. My father has dementia and my mother does not. Each morning when I come into their room I say good morning. My father is asleep so I let him be. My mother rarely says anything except she can't wait to complain about something or tell me what she needs. I don't know why but it really makes me angry to have all these things heaped at me when I come in. Explaining things to her is a lost cause. It may be a cultural thing but explaining things may be seen as "talking back." I am totally frustrated in my interaction with her because when I begin to explain she doesn't want to listen to me and says that I am a bad daughter and she wants to run away. Even though we have caregivers seven days a week, I do a great deal of things for my parents. My husband also is resentful because I do so much for them, but he is very demanding and do things for him. I can't seem to please anyone and I feel totally frustrated because I get nothing done that I want to do. I don't like feeling angry the first thing in the morning. Any advice on how to get in a better frame of mind?
As others have said boundaries are the key here and that applies to hubby too. there is nor reason for him to be behaving badly and if you allow it to continue it will only escalate. I agree that hubby should receive his fair share of attention. Try to set alone time with hubby at a time of day when you ca both be free. Go out for a meal together, see movie whatever takes your fancy.
Delegate some of your duties when you can. You don't have to be the only one running around chasing their tail. Send the laundry out, get a house cleaner, hire a landscaping service. Yes it will cost more but you can't put a value on your own health and happiness. Make sure the parents contribute to these extra expenses.
You may come from a culture where it is the norm for the children to care for their parents and it is important to remember that your parents have already served their time in that capacity.
There won't be any miracles but you are in charge so give the orders. Your home is being run by your mother with hubby as second in command so demote them both.
One thing that helped me was to lower my expectations, in fact, expect the way mother was, and detach and give myself space. It worked to a degree. Is it time to place them in a facility so you can have your home back for yourself and your hub? Everyone needs home to be a safe place to relax. ((((((hugs)))))
Elderly people, too, often live with chronic pain, so this may be a factor in her morning grumpiness, along with what others have said about not getting the life she expected with her husband in their old age. And maybe she's NEVER been a morning person, but spent years sucking it up and pretending, because of her duties as a wife and mother.
Anyway, I have nothing else to contribute except that! And that my very first thought when I read your post was, "Definitely don't go in there in the morning." Let your mom wake up at her own pace and see what happens. That might give you some time to give your hubby a bit more attention in the morning, too.
Moving your folks to Assisted Living would help--and perhaps be affordable if you are now paying for 7 day a week aides.
Do you HAVE to go in first thing in the am? Can you just not see them for a while? (Don't wake the sleeping bear comes to mind :) )
If she says she wants to run away, hand her a small bag and say "good luck"--she's just saying that to upset you. And it's working, so don't rise to the bait.
If she sees she's getting reaction from you, that's what she wants, whether she'd own up to that or not, some part of her is enjoying the frustration you feel. Probably she's not thrilled with the way life is turning out.
Good Luck. This is a common thread on these boards--aging, angry parents that we cannot do enough for.
Without knowing what culture - and I respect that this is something you're perfectly entitled not to share if you prefer not to - it's hard to guess, or to suggest different approaches.
Only, as you explain that your mother is hard of hearing and somewhat depressed, and certainly could be forgiven for being under stress herself over your father's illness, I wonder if her insatiable appetite for complaining, criticising and arguing has much to do with culture but a lot to do with the family's very stressful situation.
It is frustrating. It is also a bit much for you to get this emotional cold shower every flipping morning right from the get-go. I wish I could suggest ways for you to let it just bounce off you but I know it isn't that simple.
There is a scene in 'The Third Man' where the heroine is arrested in the middle of the night by the allied forces' police, whose squads, for diplomatic reasons, were always composed equally of Russian, French, American and British officers. The heroine's landlady, being both extremely indignant and Viennese, keeps up a stream of shrill invective about this throughout, but all of it in German, which none of the policemen speaks. They are unfailingly polite and calm, nod solemnly at her every word and carry on with their duty regardless.
Can you try something similar? No matter what your mother says, wish her the top of the morning, set down the tray, draw back the curtains with a flourish, then, crucially, leave the room and don't come back until you're good and ready - say, around about elevenses?
I'd work to get them placed elsewhere if possible. At a minimum, you need to take time for yourself. Maybe first thing in the morning you take a short walk or listen to music you like or meditate or to work out at the gym or whatever small sliver of "me time" you can carve out to set yourself for the demands of the day. If that doesn't work, then don't go into your parent's room first thing. Your dad is sleeping, leave your mom in there alone until she wakes up and comes out on her own. Some people wake up grumpy and need some time to wake up and get their bearings. I found that when I traveled with my cousin. She told me not to speak to her until she'd had her first cup of coffee. Otherwise, she barked at me when I said "Good morning". I never traveled with her again. :)
Can you arrange for another caregiver to have the morning shift? Just having a happier start to your day would do wonders. (It would be interesting to see if she “unloads” on anyone else besides you.)
Otherwise, say a quick hello and be off to making breakfast or quick run or anything. You don’t have to stay and listen to her litany of life’s complaints.
I'm probably wrong but at this time of day I feel like I would tell her to go ahead and open the door the next time she says that she wants to run away.
She's the one acting like a child. On the other hand, when she starts in on you I would tell her that you will not put up with this and leave the room. You need to set boundaries with consequences for her, stand your ground and take no prisoners.
These two are too much for you and you need to move them somewhere else for 40% of caregivers die before the person they are caring for.
Take care of you and your husband.
I am sorry your husband is having a hard time with this, it is understandable he should be your 1st priority over your parents. Sorry if folks don't agree, the immediate family is top priority, husband, your children and you, parents had there lives and made choices, so unfair for them to ask that there children forfeit their lives to them in old age. I'm not saying don't love them and do what you can but it sounds as though they rule your life, to the exclusion of you. Take care of you or none of them will have you to dump on, stress can truly kill, even healthy young adults and gets worse as we age.
Good luck dealing with this difficult journey.
Do you have any other family members who can stop by and see how she's doing? Will she communicate with them in a cordial way?
I suppose that I would consider that she is just not thinking clearly and have her evaluated. I'm not sure why she would want to say mean things to you, for no reason that are not true. That has to be painful. I hope you'll get some more responses and find some answers that might help.