I’m brand new here. I didn’t know that such a place existed. After reading several posts and replies, I guess I hope that someone out there can at least commiserate.
I am 52. My mom is 82. A little over a year ago, I lost my house. My entire family urged me to move back home with mom. I didn’t want to, but also didn’t have many other options. Shortly after the move, mom was in a car accident. She suffered some pretty intense injuries, but has recovered. She has decided she won’t drive anymore.
Mom and I always had a very strained relationship. That’s been true my whole life. She has always felt free to say really unkind and sometimes downright mean things to me, al the way back to childhood. But since I’ve been grown, I have always been the one who called her every day and tried in some way to cheer her up. My siblings are on again off again, but I was always the one to check in on her, and now I’m the only one who takes care of her.
I am financially on my feet again, and have been for some time. I could easily buy my own house in cash! But I'm trapped here. While I absolutely appreciate the fact that neither I nor my mother have any rent or mortgage and she insists on paying all utilities, the demands are becoming something else.
Simply put, mom expects me to wait on her all day every day, and she also expects me to entertain her or keep her company constantly. I run a fairly successful small business from the garage. So I can’t sit in the living room all day like she wants me to. Because I can’t, she feels sorry for herself and constantly makes comments designed to make me feel guilty.
She is fully capable of getting up, going to the kitchen, and making a sandwich or a bowl of soup. She simply does not want to. When I walk in the door for a break from work or come downstairs if I’ve been upstairs for some reason, she always says “make me a sandwich.” Or bring me something or go down the road to get her something.
I take her to dr appointments, and put her medication organizer together every Saturday for the coming week. I get up every morning and make her a cooked breakfast, take her her meds and a glass of water, and then sit and eat with her and watch the morning news. I stop working to make lunch every day and sit and eat with her and watch a little of whatever is on TV. I stop working in the evening and make dinner, give her her evening meds and eat with her, and usually watch a couple of TV shows with her. I get her into bed nearly every night and set up her oxygen machine. Put her eye drops into her eyes. Go fetch what she wants but forgets to bring to bed with her. Stand in her room and chat with her until she’s settled.
Nothing is ever enough. I usually go back to my shop in the evenings to work on some projects or sometimes just to chat with friends on the phone or online. I go back inside later. Tonight, I went out much later and then came back in around 10:30. She’s usually engrossed in a TV show, but she was already in bed. I told her I had come inside to help, but she said “I got tired of waiting on you so I did it myself.” Always guilt.
I know that my mom is lonely when someone isn’t with her. But I’m not retired. I have a business with clients who pay me and expect me to deliver what they paid me for. Mom has absolutely no interests of any kind. That may sound like an exaggeration. But aside from TV, there is nothing. She doesn’t have any interest in reading. She doesn’t know how to use a computer (I’ve tried helping but she won’t try unless I’m there). She used to like crosswords but now she doesn’t. She doesn’t crochet or knit or sew. She basically sits in her chair all day every day waiting for me to come and sit and watch TV with her. And even then she’s almost never happy about it because I should have come in sooner and stayed in longer. It’s getting to where I dread being with her at all and can’t wait to get to my shop.
Am I the world’s most ungrateful brat, or is there some solution?