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My 94 year old mother who is very narcissistic has monopolized my time and energy over the past 3 years. I have cancelled many trips because of her constant health issues and now I've gotten into a situation where I've been too generous with my time and now it is constantly expected. In the meantime, my husband has Parkinson's and needed to retire. So, after I deal with my mother, then I come home and see my husband and I can't help feeling that I'm going to just be a caregiver from now on. Because I don't know how my husband's Parkinson's will progress, I feel like I'm wasting precious time by putting him second to her. I know that the Pandemic certainly hasn't helped this past year but I'm tired of being her "fixer" for everything.


My mother and I are not close at all and I find that I can't even look at her sometimes. I have a lot of resentment towards her for how this has played out over the past few years.

Im sure she does need you at 94. She can’t help that she aged. You must not have any siblings. Can she afford to cover health aides to give you free time?
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Reply to Kelkel
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Imho, your husband is, of course, your priority. Find other arrangements for your mother, else you fall faint and ill and are good to no one - including yourself. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Comes down to finances - if she is living at home, what can she afford to hire to take the load off you. If she's already in a facility, maybe you are going too much with others could handle some of her needs.

Time to have a talk with her and let her know your husband needs more attention now. If she has a home, it could be sold to go to a facility where she would get care. If there's a lot of equity, may not be best idea, but do reverse mortgage so money is coming in to pay for extra care. Just tell her you need a Plan B now, have some ideas ready, and see what she suggests as well.

If there are ANY other family members - have a conference call with all of them so they understand hubby needs you now. Find out what they can take over with to handle mom's care. Don't back out on them completely, but see if anyone can offer any kind of assistance or suggestions for Plan B
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Reply to my2cents
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It’s simply impossible to divide yourself into two human beings.
No question, your husband comes first.

Somehow, find other care for your mom. Easier said than done, but necessary.

Parkinson’s disease is tough to deal with. My mother has Parkinson’s disease. It is progressive. Have his neurologist explain how it progresses to you.

Do you have any outside help with your mom? Have you considered assisted living or a nursing home?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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If Mom has money it maybe time for an Assisted Living. Can she really be on her own or are you doing what she really can't. You have a very good reason why you cannot care for her, your husband. He is your priority, not Mom and she needs to be told that. Things have changed and you can no longer help as much. Boundries. What do you do for her that she can't pay for someone to do. Set up one day a week to run errands for her. Tell her to make a list of things she needs because that is the only time you will be able to get them. Maybe set up a time of day to call her. Unless an emergency that will be the only time u talk during the day. If what she needs is not an emergency, it can wait till errand day. Her groceries can be delivered. A cleaning lady can be hired. Maybe once or 2Xs a month. How dirty can one person be. If she needs an aide, if she has money than hire one. If not look into Medicaid in home.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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in order to create balance caring for those two,
and the only way you will be able to make those decisions
the only way you will be able to feel joyful caring for whomever your energy goes to ,
is first and foremost, of utter importance,
is to make that person you see in the mirror number one always. Period.

it means checking in with yourself first before you allow anyone to make withdrawals of your attention and energy.

if a withdrawal is requested you get to check your balance first. If it’s low then say no.

if it’s low then say no

if there’s reserve ask yourself:
1. Am I giving my time because I should?
2. Am I helping because she/he expects it?
3. Am I giving me energy because I’ll feel guilty If I don’t?
4. am I taking care of him/her because I don’t want them to be mad at me?
5. am I sacrificing my time because I want them to like me?


if you answered ‘yes’ to any of those then you are going to create resentment and suffering for yourself.

if you can answer yes to:
1. I’m going to give my time to him/her because I feel fulfilled doing so
2. I’m going to care for him/her because it brings me a sense of joy
3. I’m giving my energy to him/her because it is who I am and I love who I am when I do give energy to them.
4. it just fells good and makes me happy.

then do it. Give your time and energy.
ALWAYS check in with yourself before you give to another. It doesn’t always have to be for the right reasons but the idea is to Be Aware of why.
it starts with that!!

good luck. You are beautiful and amazing!!
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Reply to Mel875
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Only you can make the changes necessary to get your life back. You've cancelled trips, and been too generous with your time helping her. Why??? And you say that you're not even close with her, have resentment, and can't even look at her sometimes. What are you hoping to get out of this? Are you waiting for some type of acceptance or approval by your mom that you never received as a child? There has to be some reason why you feel the need to continue on caring for her. I think once you figure that out, you will be better able to make the necessary changes.

Now, let me make this next statement perfectly clear. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR HUSBAND YOUR FIRST, AND POSSIBLY YOUR ONLY PRIORITY. (other than yourself that is) He has Parkinson's for crying out loud. That is not curable, and will over time only get worse, so you should want to spend as much time with him as possible, and go on the trips with him you've cancelled in the past, while he's still able. You are NOT responsible for your mom's care. So quit being her"fixer" and start enjoying your life with your husband.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Can totally understand feeling resentful. I feel that towards my mom too. It's not a good thing, no doubt.

So, I agree you need to put hubby first. You should enjoy some time together before he declines too much.

That's amazing that your 94 yo mom is still living alone. Can she live alone without all your support? Maybe you can slowly but surely start extricating yourself from doing too much for her. Groceries? Have them delivered to her. Prescriptions? Same. Hire someone to clean her house.

Start setting some boundaries as to what you will do and when and keep looking for ways for her to either become more independent or hire people to do what you have been doing if she can't or won't do more for herself.

If that is not enough, she will have to be eventually be placed somewhere. Assisted living, nursing home, memory care - whatever it is she needs if no one is helping her.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100
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