A year and a half ago I moved my parents in with me. My dad was in very poor health and we lost him after six months. Now it’s just mom, my husband and I. I’ve read several questions on here and realize my life could be so much worse. My mom is very self sufficient, even makes short drives. But she drives me insane. I know she bothers my husband too but he doesn’t complain. Today I walked in from caring for my grandchild and she met me at the door. She had several things that she wanted me to do right then. I asked her to wait because I had literally just walked in the door. She said ok and stood there with the things she wanted done in her hands. She also has poor hearing. I have begged her to get hearing aids or even just have her hearing checked. She refuses. I have to repeat everything I say and it gets so old. My brother has offered to let her live with him 6 months out of the year but she won’t. I assume it’s because we live in different states but I’m not sure that is the reason. I need a break. I find myself looking for reasons to sneak out of the house just for a few minutes alone. I know I could lose her at anytime but I just can’t seem to make myself spend time with her. I feel like an awful daughter.

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Time to rethink the whole plan - so it suits everyone in it - not just Mother.

Is she able to care for herself independently? If so, great.

If not, what are your plans if you & your DH took a month holiday?

Would she then HAVE to accept staying at your brother's? If yes. Think about this. She is most familiar & comfortable with your home so refuses to move. You can understand that. But can you also see that is unreasonable?

It's not all about want she *wants* but what she actually *needs*.

What does she need? She may need people to live with, provide company/entertainment, help her with her daily living, pay bills etc. But it would be unreasonable to expect this is all provided by you, at the expense of your own life. Many elders start to need a village to support them. You are currently a village of ONE.

Assemble a village for her. Start with your brother (if possible). Respite at his place for a month, or two. Use paid residential respite services if brother option doesn't work out.

The risk of burnout as a sole caregiver is very real.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Beatty

You are FAR from awful! Until someone has been a caregiver or lived with an aging parent - they just dont understand the toll it takes. My best friend went thru it for YEARS and I “thought” I understood. But now that I have my parents with me I realized I had no idea how hard it was for her and the toll it took physically and mentally. Now, she gives me advice but I also try not to overload her with it because she did he duties and its time for her to get a break. Not feeling like your home is your home is so accurate. Im struggling with my situation too so I dont have any advice except to know you are a good person and so many feel the same as you. You are not alone!!
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Reply to Overloaded2021

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad, my condolences. You're not an 'awful daughter' for feeling frustrated with your mother. Two women living in the same house tends to be a difficult situation; I saw it all the time growing up with my mother & her mother who lived with us. All they did was fight & argue, actually.

You really need to set down some boundaries & rules with your mother and one of them maybe should be that she should stay with her son for 6 months of the year. Not open for discussion if she'd like to continue living with you, you need some R&R too. If you do get a needed break for half a year, you're more likely to have lots more patience and interest in spending time with her when she does come back. She's 79, according to your profile, which means she can live another 20 years. You have to come up with a plan NOW, or you face 2 more decades of YOUR life & marriage being damaged by the constant presence of your mother. I know I couldn't do it, so talk to your husband and see what he thinks.

Your mother is still relatively young and can easily go live in a senior apartment building and interact with people her own age if she'd prefer, that's another option. Living with just you is not the ONLY option available, so don't be hoodwinked into thinking so, b/c she's not 'interested' in going to stay with her son for half the year. Sorry not sorry, but here's the way things need to be, mom.

Her insisting on having things done for her immediately is not realistic either, because you're not at her beck and call & have other responsibilities in life besides seeing to her every need. She needs to come to grips with that fact or explore other living arrangements, in my opinion. If she's driving you insane now, think how it'll be in a year from now, 2, 3, 5 and so on. Same with her bad hearing which will only get worse. Make an appointment for her with an ENT and have the doc explain her options. Several years ago my mother had a huge plug of wax in her ear which was making her hearing even worse than usual. So when the ENT removed it, we had a few months of improved hearing and less yelling needed on my part to be heard.

Yes, things could be 'worse' but things could be better, too. See to it that you make them better! Otherwise, the resentment will continue to build and it can destroy your relationship. Knowing that you can 'lose' her at any time doesn't help with daily resentment and having no rules or boundaries set down. You owe it to both of you to do that.......just like we did with our kids.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to lealonnie1

You're not an awful daughter, just a stressed out daughter. Since it has only been about a year since losing your dad, everybody is probably still grieving to some degree and adjusting to life without him. Your mom may have expectations she would have for her husband... and assumed that you and your husband will meet them.

Seems you need some better boundaries in place. Here are a few ideas:
1 - Create "an apartment" in your home that is your mom's domain with specific times for her to be able to gather with you.
2 - Have a family meeting to create house rules that allow everybody's need to be met.
3 - Help your mom to find another place to live: ideally a senior community with lots of activities. She may be lonely and need more friends.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Taarna

I think you should be honest with her and tell her how you feel.

Then let her know what her options are and that is her living arrangement will be alternating 6 months with you and 6 months with your brother.

Or be placed in a Senior home or a Senior Apartment. Ect.

Let her know that living with you all year is not a choice.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to bevthegreat
Harpcat Jan 29, 2021
I agree! Mom should not be the one making the decisions when she is dependent on others for her living. Your profile doesn’t give your mom's age or medical conditions but I assume she’s probably at least in her 80’s. She is probably also bored and maybe even not feeling too confident in her ability to live her life apart from her children now that her husband has died. Women of that generation sadly are often not very independent. II personally think either take her every 6 months with your brother or find her a nice IL or AL depending on her needs, place to live so she has activities and socialization. You are not an awful daughter!!! Just because they are our parent doesn’t mean we love their personalities. They can be stubborn and even demanding. And I get the whole thing with the hearing aids....stop repeating yourself and maybe she will get them. You might show her an article how hearing loss and dementia are linked. Maybe that will help convince her
I’ve read the other answers here and there is a lot of good advice. I’ve been looking after mum for 6 years now with Alzheimer’s, deafness, selfishness, incontinence etc with not one other person to help me. If I could get a one week break I would cry with gratitude so if you can get 6 months a year, push for that with everything you have. I have posted here before and said I am beginning to hate her for ruining my life so try and do it before you get to my stage. I am giving it one more year and if social services don’t kick in by then I will put her in a home as I am so over it. I deserve a better life and so do you. Ok, they looked after us as kids but they were young then and that was their choice to have us. At my age I can’t handle it and don’t want to any more. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to JenIhavehadit
Lucilleball Jan 29, 2021
I feel as you don- I am trying so hard not to be resentful but it is impossible
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It is your home and your husband's home. After 1.5 years, you've come to point where your original arrangement is no longer working for you and, although your husband doesn't complain, he's probably had enough too.

I think you should call your brother and have a frank discussion with him about his offer to have your mother live with him for 6 months. Does he really have the space and the time to look after her to the extent that she needs? Does he have his own family to consider before taking her? What services can seniors use in his area?

You should not have to sneak out of your own home to get some time to yourself. Your mother's needs are only going to increase. Perhaps spending 6 months with your brother will make it clear that she needs more than either of you can provide. Your first priority is to your marriage. Things change. Start the conversation now about her future before a crisis happens.

Have you thought about what would happen to her if you or your husband suddenly experienced a change in health?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
commutergirl Jan 29, 2021
I agree. I would really question why no to living with brother. Is it because you are a woman and mom doesn't mind showing you her a**? Respectfully. Do they smoke, are there stairs? The elderly have elderly ways of thinking.
Walker, I just read your profile. You are providing daycare to your grandchild AND acting as caregiver to your mom?

If your mom was truly self-sufficient, she wouldn't meet you at the door with what needs "doing", would she? She'd make a note to herself to ask you later. So either she has lost her ability to see YOUR needs in the scheme of things, or she never had that to begin with and has always lacked empathy.

I think you are going to figure out which of these jobs you want to do, draw some boundaries and go from there.

There is a great book called "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud. I recommend it highly.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

If she is self sufficient what is she asking you to do for her?
Maybe she was used to depending on Dad doing for her. Its been a year maybe time, like suggested, to set boundries. You do not want to disable her with things she can do for herself. You may want to sit down and say "Mom, you know I am now watching an infant. Its not like when I raised my own, I tire easier. When I get home I need to chill out. Such and such you are perfectly able to do for yourself. And the other such and such I can do later. Maybe would be better, if she can afford it, Mom goes to to live in an independent living community. She would have activities, outings and make friends. Maybe her problem is she is home all day alone and is glad when u come home.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29

I leave my wife to go to the grocery store everyday for about 30 minutes.
I am her sole caregiver. I would loose my sanity if I didn't. Don't be like those
people who are afraid to leave the house for fear that something will happen.
Can't keep your eyes on the patient 24/7. Not possible. You take a shower
alone, wash clothes, prepare meals, clean house. go to the bathroom, etc.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to louism
commutergirl Jan 29, 2021
I have a cam on mom in real time so I can watch her from my cell when I am away. It helps me also govern do I need to return right away...
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