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I don't call enough, stop in enough. We see them 2 to 3 times a week. They don't live with us but they live about 5 min. from us. I work, have a family, we are new grandparents and we still have a life too. I always feel guilty. I think about it all day every day. I start to feel resentful. I feel guilty all the time.

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I think you feel guilty when you believe you have more control than you do. You can't make your parents happy. Being there more isn't going to make them happier. That's an inside job (for THEM). So ditch the guilt!

Go once or twice a week and realize that if they're in independent living, they have lots of opportunities to make themselves happy through activities and friends. It's NOT your job.
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janetsue, older people do that a lot to their adult children. Do you think your parents really mean it or are they just talking? I live with my mother and she can still complain about how I don't do enough for her. Actually I don't see how I could do any more for her, but still she wants more.

In my mother's case it is because she is not comfortable with the bed that she made for herself. So she complains to me, rather than doing something herself to fix what ails her. It is like she wants me to bring some comfort and happiness, rather than reaching out for it. I know I can't do that, though. She'll have to be happy for herself and I have to able to have some life left for myself. It's hard to explain what I'm trying to say, but I believe you'll know.

I think it's natural to feel resentment. Who wants to be painted into a corner? It sounds to me like your parents could still build a good social life for themselves. I know you feel guilty, like there's something you should be able to do to fix what is bothering them. You can't, because there's not enough of you to live life for that many people. They are going to have to live life for themselves, especially because they are still independent. So if you feel guilty, I hope you'll feel guilty only for 10 seconds, then let it go.

When your parents say that you don't come around enough, maybe you can joke back: "Mom, I come by so much that I probably already drive you guys crazy" or something along that line. It will let them know that you are there a lot without being confrontational about it.

A lot of us know how you feel. Sadly, adult children can be drained dry if they allow it. We have to set a limit on how much we can do. I think three times a week is a whole lot. I don't know how you could do anything more. Most do far less -- and that is okay, too. Your parents don't need you that much yet, do they? You can't be their nightly entertainment without losing yourself.
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janetsue, the way you cope with it is keeping in mind that you still have all your own responsibilities to maintain (including your own health), while adding the additional items of helping your parents. You are still a spouse, parent, grandparent and you may also be working fulltime. You have an obligation to nurture those relationships too. I wish I could go back 25 years and tell my younger self that it was never our (my sister and I) responsibility to expend enormous effort and sacrifice our own lives to keep their lives from changing. Now I'd say if they wanted my help, then they'd have to understand that I couldn't do everything they wanted, in the way they wanted, when they wanted it. Want my help paying bills? Then no, I'm not paying in person like you did....I'm setting up autopay. You need help with housework? Then we bring in someone to clean because I can't clean my house and yours. Don't want anyone else in the house? Fine, but I still can't clean two houses. Boundaries. Boundaries. My current reply is "I'm doing the best I can, this is all I have and it has to be enough".

Point is always remember that it's reasonable to spend time with your family, your husband, your friends. It's reasonable to say " that's not possible for me to do X, but I can do Y".

Sunny, you're lucky to have never run into this - it is bizarre. When your parent expects you to be the cruise director on their ship of happiness, it becomes an on-going battle to maintain your own life.
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It's difficult for me to imagine that, since, I've never encountered it. It sounds bizarre. It must be quite frustrating, though, I'm not sure why it would be guilt producing. IMO, any reasonable person would consider visiting senior parents 2-3 times per week reasonable. If they don't, I would explore why they are feeling that way.

Are they in pain or in need of some type of care? Are they able to get their groceries, medication and other necessities? Do they have any friends? Do they attend church or other social venues? Maybe they need to pursue those avenues and learn to enjoy the time that you visit without nagging.

I might first make sure that they are mentally sound and if so, kindly tell them your visits are adequate and if they need help with things in the house, you can help them explore aids or assistants to come in a couple of times per week.

Allowing them to make you miserable is something that I would avoid. I would either learn to ignore their complaints or hang up when it starts. And I am very respectful of my elders, but won't take verbal abuse.
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Visit once a week.

Your profile says they are Independent Living, is that true? Do they participate in the activities there?

You need to set boundaries around your own life, health and happiness.
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