How to stop resenting do-nothing siblings?

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Yep ANOTHER day where I get to sit here and listen to my mother rock in her squeaky rocking chair all day while do nothing siblings get to go on with their merry care free lives. I KNOW I'll never REALLY get over the resentment I have for certain siblings, but how do you get past the Anger ??

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Top Answer
Okay, get some WD 40 and spray that chair - and if that does not do the trick - get her a new one (you may have to sabotage the old one if she is attached to it) once you have that problem fixed take some time to think things through to make things easier for you - some good respite suggestions from the other caregivers who have responded - no one else is going to do it - you must.
As for your anger toward your siblings - you must let it go - if you are unable to get them to help you - not going to happen - the anger will consume you - as you said they are going on their merry little lives -- do not do that to yourself.
To get past my anger towards my non-helping stepchildren in caring for their Dad,
I pretty much got them out of my life (will email them if situation with him warrants but otherwise have stopped all other communication with them) and I took a three step stance,

1. When I start to get angry, I assure myself, I am the better person and move on -read a book, play a computer game, call a friend whatever you need to do to move on.
2. Forgive your siblings - they are what they are - accept that - know that non help is what you can expect from them and don't expect more - if you are going to continue to deal with them - let them know in a normal way how you feel - holding it in is not good for you and fuming over them while your Mom is squeaking away will eventually eat you up.
3. Include them in a prayer once a day - this has helped me more than anything, I ask God to forgive them and watch over them. Of course this is after I ask him for the strength I need to continue on.

Know that you are not alone, many many caregivers are in your same situation, you must take control and make it bearable for you - caregiving does not mean that you give up your life, health or happiness --- I will add you to my prayers as well and hope that things get better.
I don't know about anybody else, but I really wish to god that people would stop throwing the word "martyr" around willy-nilly in situations where one sibling is doing the lion's share of the caregiving. If you really think about what it means, it really doesn't apply at all, and using it is just a way of blaming the victim. Most of us in this situation are not being offered help (and refusing), and most cannot stop helping the parent or even cut back without the parent being seriously affected. Our do-nothing siblings know perfectly well that we don't want to be doing this any more than they do. They just find ways to excuse themselves, and justify leaving the burden on the responsible sibling.

In many of these cases, there's no inheritance to speak of either, because elderly people who have assets don't need to rely on their children for help. My siblings all agree that "we" her grown children, have to provide her with whatever help she needs, since she can't afford to pay for help. The rest of them have all set up reasons in their minds why "we" does not mean "we" collectively or implicate each of them personally, but actually means me, individually. So there have been no offers to help, refused or otherwise. One of my do-nothing siblings also had the nerve to claim I was acting like a martyr while insisting in the same breath that I had to be the one to take responsibility for Mom. Isn't a martyr somebody who has a choice? Gee whiz!!!
I have nothing really to add to this because you've all said it so beautifully and succinctly, but I do think that not a single one of us expects this "aging/dying process" to go on for as many years as it usually does.

If you knew that you were putting your life on hold for more than 10 years, would you jump in and do it without even thinking about it? Yet in many of the posts I read on here, that's essentially what some do. No real plan, just jump in and do it, then realize that we may have bitten off more than we can chew.

I think when it comes to the point where we resent what we are doing, and resent everyone else, that opens the door to, shall I say, less than stellar care. It is an impossible job to do alone. Early on when the loved one has the ability to do more for themselves, we all think "we can do this". Later, when we are tiring out and our loved ones are no longer capable of doing much for themselves - in other words, we are worn out just at the same time that the burden gets heaviest - we really, really need the extra help. Whether that help is familial, or whether we have to hire someone, or move them to a nursing facility, we need to realize that the day is going to come and to prepare for it. Easy for me to say, right? We are 8 years into full time caregiving, after 3 years of part-time, and I'm afraid that we are going to wear out before she does. Some days the exhaustion is more mental than physical, but it's there nonetheless. And we have respite, I cannot complain.
Expect nothing. Appreciate everthing. It is key to contentment.
I think that 90 percent of the people who find some support and strength from reading and participating in this forum have asked the very same question.

Really, I think the "FREE" siblings do not realize how lucky they have it. Personally I think I have caught a couple of mine off guard when they say something like...your kids got to know their grandparents....and I reply by saying...."Well you have had complete freedom for the last 25 years".

The only advice I can give you, and it may fall outside of your comfort zone, is to communicate how you feel. If they don't listen, say it again, and face to face. I look at it this way. In many ways we are already the "bad guy" because we are now parenting our parent. Making a few siblings squirm only adds one more layer of "bad guy"! Sometimes we follow our parents example and lose our "filter"! You might start with asking for help and evolve into telling if necessary. This is not easy!

Getting rid of anger? Don't know....but try to find something for yourself, a walk to the park, a trip to the library, something that is a treat to yourself. Just because we are held captive in caregiving, we do not need to decline with them.
Some questions to ask yourself:

1. Are the siblings' attitudes and behaviors going to change? Unlikely.

2. What do you do in other situations that are unchangeable? Find alternate solutions, or accept that the situation won't change. Are there any other options? Some kind of compromise with the siblings? It doesn't seem so in your case.

3. What alternate solutions can you find (read Maggie's last answer)?

4. Mincemeat's right in that a high percentage of posts here are similar to yours. Some are too deeply enmeshed to see alternate solutions and are literally floundering, others may be able to see there are help options, such as Maggie or as GolfLady sharing in stating that she severed communications.

I'm not pleased with my situation either but focusing on it and becoming angrier only makes me more upset and resentful. I try to focus on the fact that I'm sharing the last years of life with my parent, years and closeness that my sibling will never experience.

If I can rise above that level, I can remember that I'm also helping him through probably the most difficult time of his life, and if necessary will have to make the necessary decisions when that life is nearly over to prevent any further suffering. That may be the best thing I could do for him. And as it stands now, only I will be in a position to provide that assistance. That's something my sibling will never experience.

In the meantime, I would still document contact with siblings because after it's all over, they may come out of the woodwork with their hands out and pocketbooks open for the largesse they may expect.
Why should any caregiver have to ASK for help from his or her siblings? It's the siblings' parent(s) too. We never asked to be put in the role of taking care of MIL, we took it upon ourselves because it was obvious the other nitwits (aka BIL's) were going to cover their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears. La la la la la! I don't notice it, so mom doesn't need any help. My husband has asked his brother to just call mom. For crying out loud, who needs to be told to call their elderly parent? They must think there's a caregiver fairy that waves her wand and everything is, POOF! magically arranged. Closing house. Clearing out house.Selling house. Moving mom to IL, moving mom to AL, paying her bills, talking to her physician, talking to her financial advisor, calling the nurse when she's freaking out. So, yeah, when my BIL talks about his latest vacation I want to put my foot so far up his butt it comes out of his nose. Whew! That felt great! Thanks for letting me rant!
You stop being a martyr. You realize you have choices...that slavery ended over a hundred years ago...that you're doing what you're doing because you WANT to.

If your mom lives with you, she's getting a Social Security check that can pay for twice-weekly respite care for you, easily. If you're living with mom and her SS is paying the bills, you can pay for respite care yourself with what you're saving in rent, food, etc, etc.

Yeah, I know I'm being rough. But sometimes we need a whack on the side of the head.
Do not want to be the martyr. BELIEVE me. My mother is on a waiting list for an apartment back home in Michigan where she has children and grand children and great grandkids and a sister and friends, but it could still be a year until she gets that call. Me and my Hubby had to move to Texas from Michigan for his job 8 years ago, so were here alone. When My dad died a year and a half ago my mother came to Texas to live with us. I told her months ago this wasn't working out and her moving all the way to Texas was the wrong thing for her to do. She was SUPPOSED to visit my other siblings throughout the year ( 4 others ) so I could have respite, but that dosent happen. 1 sister could only handle her for a week ( not even ) then she sent her to finish her visit at my nieces house. another one only calls 1 time a year so I didn't expect much from her any how and the only other one who has done anything and still the ONLY one to offer lives in Tennesee, and well,my mother, who was an alcoholic and made bad decisions her whole life and was left penny less has made up her mind shes too good to go visit them again. So meanwhile were stuck in Texas 1300 miles away from anybody who might give a crap. And now we cant go visit our kids or my husbands family ( who live in different states ) because we cant leave my mother alone in Texas ( there is NO ONE here besides us, she knows no one here ). We did that in April to go watch our daughter run in The Boston marathon and while we were gone for just a weekend she fell and broke her arm and then it was 8 weeks of pure misery. So we wont risk leaving her alone here in Texas again. So now my life consists of ( in between drs visits and picking up and hearing about her medications. After 74 years shes discovered that she likes attention she gets from the drs ) waiting for the day that phone call comes and listening to my mother upstairs rocking her life away. The resentment comes in because some of these people could care less and would prefer she stays here in Texas, where they don't have to do a darn thing for her. They want to butt in and try and make decisions for something that has no bearing on them what so ever, Some like to egg her on in the health issues others just like the 1 phone call a year option. Just needed to vent again today. Some days I just swear Im going to EXPLODE when I hear her upstairs Rocking away. At least I know in a year from now this nightmare WILL be over , unless her or me (( STRESS )) die first !!
Lordy. A suggestion. She is getting a SS check, do call a few nursing homes and find out what their daily rate is for respite care. I'm betting it's affordable if you are willing to spend her money that way. Seven days' respite might be $1500.

Look into local a Senior Daycare. We paid $60 for 7:30 am to 6 pm. And paid $60 for a cab to take her both ways, door to door in her wheelchair. Included a hot lunch. That was a Godsend. About $500 a month.

Call your local Council on Aging. Mom got a $700 annual stipend for respite. Your mom may be entitled to much more. There are programs on the local or county level that can help.

Throw away her rocking chair. ;)

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