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My mum has been unwell for the past year and I have done the majority of the day to day care as I am the nearest in distance and work less hours than my siblings. However I am a single parent, my husband died 5 years ago, and my daughter is 11 years old so I am having to juggle work and home life along with caring for mum.


How do others manage to do this without becoming resentful? I love my mother dearly but she has me doing errands practically everyday, uses me as a taxi service and questions my whereabouts constantly, so much so that I feel I have no privacy. Fortunately her health is now improving but I’m doubtful she will ever return to full independence and don’t know how to cope with being at her beck and call indefinitely and feeling that my life has no worth as my reasons for not being able to undertake an errand/request will be deliberated on by the wider family who will then comment on whether the reason is, in their view, acceptable or not.


I realise in a lot of ways I am fortunate as mum has no signs of dementia and is a lovely person whereas I read a lot of stories on here about care givers who are struggling with a lot more difficult issues than this so I apologise if my query appears trivial but to me it is very real and the resentment is causing me to be constantly guilt ridden. How do I get my own life back while still being there for my mum and my child?


I even feel guilty posting this as it makes me feel I am being disloyal to a wonderful mother

I blew up at my father the other day. I just got tired of it. I know I’m not 100% right, and he’s way easier to work with than most parents, hell, he’s 95% independent, but it just came out.

It’s hard not to feel some resentment. You are trying to live a life, take care of problems, and someone comes along that you have to care for. Even the easy one’s aren’t trivial impacts on your life because you worry about them, they need help in ways that are frustrating and so on and so forth.

And lets be honest here, there’s a lot of BS too. My father is an excuse machine for why he can’t do things

I feel bad about it, but I don’t too, it kind of clarified some things and I think it’s been a positive. I sort of wish I’d put my foot up his butt a year ago.

Anyways, don’t feel bad about it, as I’ve said before, this is one of the hardest things a person will ever do. You won’t be perfect at it and you don’t want the practice to get perfect at it. Just do your best.
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Reply to dontgetthechees
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Your mother sounds much sweeter than mine but caregiver burnout is a very real thing. The more you drop to their every whim the more needy they become and the greater the resentment builds.

I had a blowout yesterday with my mom over cleaning her sink. I cleaned it two days prior and she told me to clean it again and I didn't because 3 people stopped by yesterday to take care of her needs. ( Life alert, equipment delivery and something else that I can't remember now)

She had so many derogatory remarks about me and my cleaning abilities even though I've left my husband for a total of a month-and-a-half to stay and take care of her and wait on her hand and foot. I lost it!

She knew she pushed my buttons and apologized. But later as I was taking out her garbage, we had three bags she thought she only had two. as I was returning back to get the third bag she stands up gets in her walker and starts screaming out the door get my mail get my mail! I simply ignored her. of course I was going to get the mail I just had to return one more time to pick up another bag. Neither one of us mentioned it but she knew I was ignoring her on purpose.

I guess what I'm trying to say is right now the relationship between you and your mother is very sweet. The only way it's going to stay sweet as if you step back and limit your time like the others said. the more you do, the more they expect the greater the resentment builds and one day you may find yourself not liking the person that you once loved dearly.
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Reply to smilingtulip
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Well I am truly amazed and grateful for the many helpful and loving responses to my post. Thank you for taking the time to reply and help me get some perspective. The last couple of days I have pulled back a little and put my foot down completely on one particular matter. Despite several attempts to manipulate me I held firm and put my daughters needs first. It really helps to read over all of your replies - I take something fresh from them each time and feel much better knowing that I am not alone or a bad person in feeling this way. Now I’ve just got to put those ideas and suggestions into action
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Reply to Barbarabee123
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norkor Apr 28, 2019
Thank you for sharing Barbarabee123--your situation is very similar to mine--your post has helped me put somethings into perspective as well. Keep up the strong, loving front =)
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I hate to say this but I hear you and understand where you are coming from. You have a life of your own and a child and you work and you are not right next door. Of course you are overwhelmed and stressed out - who would not be. I have come to the conclusion, based on a long life (I will be 86), that sometimes what we think we must do or feel responsible for is something that we cannot for physical and or mental reasons handle - at least not on a long term basis. We must put ourselves first because if we don't, we will go down to the bottom of the pile, so to speak. If circumstances are such that we are slowly being consumed, then we often have to face that we must make other arrangements or put suitable alternatives in place. Sometimes, as hard as this may be, it is time to seek placement for the 'patients' in an environment where they will be properly cared for so we can live our lives as we should be able to do. It may be that this time has come. Do not feel guilty. Love your mother but your child now has to come first. Your mother has lived her life and now it is your turn.
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Reply to Riley2166
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I agree with both! I’m in the same position for a few years. The more you give the more they want. It seems a mental health review might be in the cards. I know that is not the only issue but it may be a start. I’ve taken 2 approaches and neither has worked 100%. First I tried to establish boundaries and take care of me first. She has dementia and maybe doesn’t remember. Second I learned not to give away what I needed to support myself. Time, energy and emotional health. Maybe consider the psych evaluation coupled with holding yourself accountable.
Heart check daily
am I angry ?
am I resentful?
am I hurting?
am I tense?
am I exhausted?
if yes to 3 out of 5 listen! Get help. Rest.
Love yourself first.
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Reply to Vlange
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Once Mom couldn't drive I set up one day a week that was a good day for both of us. This day was for shopping and running errands. I was working a week on and a week off so appts were made for the days I was off. Since we live in the same town, this was not a problem. I was able to pick up her prescriptions but in my time.

Now Mom is improving would be a good time to set boundries. Explain u cannot be at her beck and call indefinitely. You have a job and a 11 yr old who is ur priority. If you have an 11 yr old Mom can't be too old. There are services out there she can take advantages of. Check with your Office of Aging. They usually have buses that will take you to appts and shopping. I had a whiteboard for Mom where when she thought of something she needed she wrote it down and picked it up during our errand day. Your Mom needs to do for herself. It will be better for her and her health.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 26, 2019
JoAnn,

Very practical and good solution all around. Compromise is always good if it’s possible. I love having designated times for taking care of routine occurrences, running errands, and so forth. I used to think it was easier to just do what she wanted and get it over with. I was wrong! She just came up with more for me to do and naturally, I grew resentful.

Just like we didn’t give into our children’s demands because they would have become spoiled. I think many caregivers don’t realize they are spoiling their parents. I didn’t realize it.

I had to tell my mom that I am happy to help her but I will not be a trained circus animal, puppet on a string, servant at her whim, and so forth. I do things according to my schedule and everything always gets done. She may not always like that things aren’t done instantly but she is actually showing more appreciation and respect.

My wise daughter lovingly gave me great advice one day. She said, “Mom, people will view you the way you view yourself. You always taught me to stand up for myself. Now it’s your time to do that with grandma and anyone else.” She’s a smart young woman!

She adores my mom and my mom loves her. I love my mom and I know how much she loves me. If we don’t watch ourselves we can take each other for granted and then we have to make sure that we show love, appreciation and respect for one another. It’s the only thing that works, otherwise resentment will build which is never healthy for anyone.

My daughter could see what was happening though and lovingly spoke from her heart to me.
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I also have family obligations that would interfere with my being a caregiver to my mom. Unlike you, my mom was never considered to be a “lovely” person, but that aside, they age and become more demanding. And I’ve found with my mom ( controlling and manipulative) it has been a battle of the wills. I have stepped back, but once home care ends in a month, lines will need to be drawn once again.

You cannot be in two places at once and your daughter needs a mom to be there for her in her full capacity. Stress and guilt over your mom can certainly compromise your ability to do this. Set boundaries with your mom on YOUR timetable and remember your daughter comes first. Easier said then done for sure.....but you must maintain your well being in order to care for your loved ones.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 26, 2019
Abby,

So true! Battle of the wills. I noticed my mom competing with me, even having to have the last word and so forth. Very good point. I have thought about if it is an attempt of gaining some independence back. Has to be so hard for them to have to rely on others. I totally get that.

However, our world cannot totally revolve around theirs so we have to come up with compromises. Since doing so, I have seen a deeper appreciation and respect for me and on my end the resentment towards her has faded and away and I can feel deeper compassion for her.
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Could your mother afford assisted living or hiring caregivers to come take care of her. You have an 11 year old who needs you and you'll have these years only once. You are not being disloyal to your mother by having boundaries and your query is not trivial. I think you will need to look into other care options and deal realistically with what one person really can and cannot do whether she likes it or not. You are not her slave. I wish you the best.
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Reply to cmagnum
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Trust me I know how you feel, but you are doing such an amazing job. I’ve been at the beck and call of my Dad since 2011, he’s been ill tempered and I’ve felt everything was my fault. He died on Wednesday 24/4 and I’m reflecting on everything I did and what we’ve come through together along the way. He didn’t go into a Care Home until January 2019 and I felt when I visited him and he expressed his unhappiness I had run out of answers of how to help him anymore. It was so painful. I too have felt very resentful and pulled apart. Now I feel lost. Please take care of yourself and to take time for YOU and your daughter. I was told at Christmas ‘you will have no regrets at the end’ I now pass those words to you. Stay strong. It’s going to take time for me to find Me I think! Sometimes looking after yourself is a full time job. Hugs to and your family - I think of all of those on here who are undertaking these caring duties and it’s not easy. Bless them all.
I have gained a lot of comfort at times from this site and continue to do so.
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Reply to Katyjcks
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No, it is a complete sentence. Stop explaining why you are unable to be at her beck and call all the time. Schedule days that you are willing to assist her and stick to it.

As for the rest of the family deciding if your life and the life of your daughter are important enough to not dance to moms unreasonable tune, jog on folks. You can tell them to go deal with it, you don't have to explain anything and it is completely out of line for any of them to even go there. When they are helping as much as you, then they may say something, until then, overstepping.

Your daughter comes first and if anyone questions that, they are not even worth your time. She needs you now more than ever, it is a difficult age and if you don't guide her, she will be guided by other influences.

You can love your mom without being her personal slave.
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SparkyY Apr 25, 2019
I've heard you say the "no is a complete sentence" before I love it! I've already used it several times amongst some of my needier friends lol. Of course when they tell me how clever I am I give you full credit ouch my nose is growing.
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