This upsets me more than the actual care giving.

Tell darling son to get is butt over to the house every morning by 7am to get Dad unto the toilet...clean his bedding and get breakfast made. He then needs to come back by 10:30 am to get Dad to the toilet...then every three days give him a shower and wash his hair. Then return by 4:30pm to get diner ready...and deal with sundowners.

if he won’t do that, then tell him point blank...what he is can be summed up by the old Indian saying...”heap big smoke and NO fire”
Helpful Answer (24)
Reply to Katiekate
kbuser Feb 5, 2020
Love this, I am going to use this response on my brother who rants at me when he visits that I 'don't do anything all day'
See 1 more reply
I'm sorry you're dealing with such a terrible situation with your son. I don't believe you should be putting up with it, either. The few times my son was acting abusive towards me, I demanded the house keys back and told him not to show up again until he was going to treat me like a beloved mother instead of piece of garbage. He changed his tune rather quickly, fortunately, and we haven't had issues since.

Have you stood up to your son and actually told him you will not tolerate such behavior from him? What exactly is his problem with your care giving of his father? Would he prefer to do the care giving himself, if he's such an expert on the subject?

Perhaps a few more details will help us determine how to better advise you. Sending you a big hug.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to lealonnie1

Yep to below.  Perhaps you can schedule a mini vacation for yourself.  If your son is in the area and can be at your house; I suggest the next time he's there, that you show him you have a bag packed and give him the house keys.  A Daily Care Schedule is on the fridge along with any phone numbers he may need.   Really walk out the door and leave him standing there.  Then check yourself into a nice hotel with a good book or visit a slightly distant friend.   Assure him it's not forever, just a few days....
Helpful Answer (21)
Reply to DotyDoty
cherokeegrrl54 Feb 5, 2020
O thas absolutely perfect!!!!
See 1 more reply
Get MAD. Tell him if he thinks he can do a better job than he can do it. That you are doing the best you can. Like said, if he can't come into YOUR home showing you respect, then don't visit. Because Caregiving is hard enough without some criticizing everything you are doing. Ask him if he could care for someone 24/7 with no reprieve. No socialization out of the house. When u do go, its a quick run to get whats needed.

Next time he calls and says he is visiting, you rather he didn't if he was going to criticize. If he calls and gets started, say I am no longer going to listen and hang up. You owe him nothing. You are his mother and need to be treated like it. If he comes without calling, tell him sorry, you don't have time for his bulls _ _ t. Close the door and lock it.

No one has to take any sort of abuse. We can all walk away.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to JoAnn29
Midkid58 Feb 5, 2020
My last communication with my son went along the lines of "IF you cannot treat me with respect and MINIMALLY not chew me out in front of the KIDS, do NOT contact me. I have been unbelievably sick going through chemo, which you think is an "excuse for bad behavior". I was sicker than I ever thought I could be, and still be alive. I didn't WANT to come, dad basically forced me saying I'd never be forgiven if I didn't go".

He NEVER got this. Expected me to join in and be a happy, joyful part of the holidays. His kids were horribly behaved and there was a LOT of screaming and yelling and it was disturbing to me, emotionally and physically. I should NEVER have gone. Slowly as I recover from chemo, I am feeling less angry towards them, but the relationships I worked so hard to make 'good' are gone. My DIL will NEVER respect nor love me again.

Luckily they live 800 miles away. They are not part of my day to day.

Sorry--I don't mean to hijack this post. Just adding my 2 cents that sometimes family is the worse 'enemy' we have.
See 1 more reply
Is he ALWAYS abusive, or is he being "critical", ie "Dad is getting up enough" or "Dad isn't getting out enough" or this and that? How dependent is your husband on your care, and do you feel up to doing his care, feel fairly confident that all is going fairly well in the household. I am attempting to kind of comb out here what is "abusive" and what is "concerned and full of anxiety". Doe your son HELP you at all. Do you think that he could be projecting onto you some guilt he feels. Is there any more information, or a "for instance" that you can give me for further information, because it makes a huge difference if you just have a mean son (still remember the time, sitting on the bus, thinking of frustration about one of my daughters and coming to "Maybe you need to face the fact that one of your daughters isn't a real nice person, and get on with it best you can". Kind of an epiphany that freed me to still love, but to let loose).
Wishing you luck.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to AlvaDeer

OP has not completed her profile, nor has she come back with more information, but several posters have jumped all over the son.

For all we know OP is not facing the reality of the situation and not accepting the advice her son is trying to give her. Or it could be as assumed by previous posters that he is criticizing, but not contributing.

Unless OP comes back we will not know what it is.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Tothill
sanhoro12 Feb 9, 2020
There needs to be background information on the husband's condition, the type of caregiving activities, what difficulties she encounters, and the nature of the criticism. For all we know, she needs help and refuses to bring in an outside aide.
See 1 more reply
My son is incredibly critical of me--he hears his dad complain about something and he on me like white on rice.

He has actually flown down to check out the situation when he feels I am doing a particularly 'bad job' and is not uncomfortable telling me off.

DH has had 5-6 incidents of health crises and son has never been present for the day to day, but he sure can be mean about what he feels I am not doing. HAs he EVER offered to help? Never. He just takes my car and goes and hangs out with friends--like he's on vacation.

I had cancer last year and what did his father do for me? Absolutely nothing. I may as well have been invisible. Son never called, texted or emailed me during the entire 6 months of chemotherapy. I went to his home in WA for Thanksgiving and was SO SICK the whole week, I just could not eat and wanted to sleep all the time. What does son and his wife do? They call the family on Christmas and over SKYPE proceed to chew me out for being 'no fun' and 'uninvolved' and 'uncaring' during T-giving's visit. Broke my heart. Dh , of course, did not have my back and simply said "Well, you WERE pretty much MIA for the whole week". I was less than 5 weeks post chemo. Son said that was an 'excuse' and I should have been fine by then.

I have had to go grey rock with them---told them until they can be adults and not petulant children, I didn't want to talk to them. It's been about 6 weeks and have heard nothing at all from there. I may have to accept that this is what it is going to be forever.

It hurts so bad--but I am adapting to not having them and their kids in my mind, making me sad and sorrowful. Son's wife is a doctor, so she should KNOW that chemotherapy is the very devil, It took me to the brink of death---and they never cared.

This son had 2 brain surgeries in his early 20's and he begged me to not leave him alone at the hospital and I did not. 10 days for the first surgery--only went as far as my daughter's house to shower and borrow clean clothes--maybe 2 hours in a day, twice. The 2nd surgery, I NEVER left.

Hard to believe this jerk is the same boy who used to love and adore me.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Midkid58
JoAnn29 Feb 5, 2020
So sorry. I think they get caught up in their own lives and lose sight of what is important. I love my daughters and am lucky they live close. Maybe thats why I don't see them everyday. And at 70 we have not had to ask much. I told them I don't expect them to physically care for me. I should have money for that. But, I don't want to be forgotten. My one daughter is always helping everyone else but so far doesn't seem to be getting anything in return. I wonder if she will help me when the time comes.
If you have enough energy at the end of the day, you can write up an email log of what you did that day. Every day. Subject line can read: Daily Update. Then send it to your son, whether or not he reads it is not your problem. Just keep sending it every day until he understands. I did this with my MIL (not for your reasons, but just so that everyone was on the same page in distant states, and no one could ever say what your son does or say "I never knew..."). I listed as much minutiae and detail as possible, appointments, routines, outcomes, paperwork you had to fill out, bills to pay, things to manage, etc. You don't have to say how much time any of those things took. Have it be only factual with no commentary. I found this to be very cathartic and therapeutic. And as a byproduct, I DID get lots of appreciation, encouragement and kudos from family who had no idea how much time and effort was involved for 1-1/2 yrs solid while I was raising my own family and working full-time running a business. I wish you peace and encouragement!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Geaton777


I am so sorry that you are struggling with this situation. He is your son. He has no authority to oversee your life. You are perfectly capable of living your own life. It’s always amazing to me that those who are not doing the ‘hands on’ work criticize the most. It’s sad.

Tell your son that unless he is willing to be his dad’s caregiver that his criticism is not welcome. Also tell him that it is absolutely not helpful but it is extremely hurtful and adds stress to your life which you don’t need. You have enough stress in your life. What makes him feel his comments are helping? His comments are nothing but counterproductive.

I sincerely hope that he will learn to respect you. Even if his comments are coming from a place of helpless frustration he still needs to stop because it is harmful to you. You are frustrated too. You are asking for advice. That shows me that you are not close minded.

You hurt because it is disturbing behavior from a son who should be supporting you instead of criticizing you.

If his intentions are because he cares deeply for his dad and is terribly frustrated feeling helpless, he still needs to find other ways to express his emotions to you.

If he is a ‘know it all’ then he needs to his his mouth shut. If he continues to speak I wouldn’t even respond to his criticism.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
cherokeegrrl54 Feb 5, 2020
Except to tell him to get the h3ll out!!!!
See 2 more replies
My husbands kids have been hating me since my husband and I met - and got married - and now 15 years later are going around my 'back/decisions' and contacting their dad directly, who has dementia, that they will look out for him. That made me angry enough to go see an attorney, get all our ducks in a row, update and sign off on will, home deed, that if something happened to their dad I would not be out of a house and living in a cardboard box. lack of control is hard enough, but the mother son relationship is difficult always. I know my husbands kids are scared and worried that their dad is in decline but there is no reason on Earth for them to criticize or control this situation. They don't need to like me, but I have set boundaries that they are not to steamroll over me either. I am holding your heart in mine and hope you find peace. Find people who love you and be around THEM.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Jamison
JoAnn29 Feb 9, 2020
Good for you. Making sure your ducks are in a row.
See 1 more reply
See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter