I am only the child and sole caregiver for my mother. When I'm working I hire aides, since she can only be left alone for very brief periods, and I probably shouldn't even do that. My daughter is away at school, and won't be coming home for the summer. I'd like to go see her for a few days, but Mom said she would not go to a nursing home for respite, though she's done it when I had to travel for work. Mom acts like she's almost jealous of the time and attention I give my daughter. When she calls and wants to talk for an hour or two, which isn't often, Mom will tell me to get off the phone.
There isn't enough of me to go around. I'll admit that I really want time off from caregiving too. If I do go to see my daughter, I could try to hire 24/7 sitters, but the logistics make my head spin and already Mom hates needing to have sitters. Mom agreed to go to the nursing home for respite since I have to go out of town for work this summer, but she says she won't go just for me to see my daughter, which makes me think she's jealous, insecure, or both. Especially since she is okay with me occasionally hiring an aide so I can have a few hours off. I lost it with Mom tonight. I told her sorry, but I have a life and if I want to fly out to see my daughter, I will. I left out the part about how I'd like to visit a friend who's across the country too. And then I felt guilty and selfish when Mom reminded me that she could die any time. Actually, my daughter and mother are close and daughter has no idea Mom gets like this.
How do you balance it all out? I feel like Sisyphus, the mythical character who, for some crime was sentenced to roll rocks up a mountain, and every night, the rocks would roll back down, and he had to get up and do it again, rinse and repeat, forever. Caregiving is like that except the rock get heavier. I promised I would take care of her as long as I am physically able to, and she was a good mother, and helped with my daughter when I went back to school and later work, and I owe it to her, but this is so hard.