Follow
Share

Hi everyone, I am 30 a single mom of 12 year old boy who's caring for my 82 year old grandma. I've been caring for my grandma since May 2015. At first it's fulfilling but as time passes by I feel that it's already my responsibility to take care of her. I already had a conversation with my mom about this and let her know that I need to work so I could prepare for my son's future. But what she does is she helps with my financial needs instead. I don't want that, I can take care of me and my son's needs without any help. I'm afraid that my career won't prosper if I keep on letting this happen. I notice that the longer I stay at home, I'm not being the same person I was before. I have this inner rage that I can't seem to let out. Don't get me wrong, I love my grandma but I am tired. I work at home so I can have my own money while looking after my son and grandma. Recently, I applied for a position that would require for me to work in a different country, I'm being unfair to my son. I don't want to go but I want to escape from the responsibility of taking care of her and so I'm even willing to leave my son just to make that happen. I feel so trapped. I feel that I'm this bad grand daughter.

So you have choices besides leaving or staying.

Tell your mom that you need x number of aid hours every day. She owes her mom for raising her children. She and her siblings have the choice of you getting in home help or they get to decide what to do with her. Oh yeah, you and your son get 2 weeks respite, minimum, every year.

I would start with 10 hours daily and see if you need more. I would also have someone that is a worker, may cost your mom and aunts and uncles more, but that is tough, you want someone that gets paid to take care of grandma and cooks and cleans for the entire household. I would not give an inch, you all step up and take care of your mom by doing this so she can stay here or you place her in a facility, period. They have used everyone in their lives to take care of their responsibilities so they can live as they choose, now it's time to pay the cost of their choices.

Remember, you and your son matter, your grandmother didn't do this, her children did it. Now they grow up and own up by paying up to get their mom help.

Stay strong and please don't abandon your son because you can't stand up to your mom.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report

Darling girl.

Just to be going on with - think about everything you have achieved, and everything you have come through successfully, and everything you are still handling, and award yourself full marks for all those things.

This CAN be made better, and I repeat - you do not have to leave the country to have a good life for you and your son.

And wind an elastic band round your fingers, on the hand you pull with, and flick it. It's a good distraction.

(((((HUGS))))) Back later, going to have a think.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

I missed that the son would be left behind if GloomyKaren took a job in another country. !!!

That would be following the pattern of your own mother; don't do it!

(And where were/are the fathers in all of this? Where was your father when your mother deserted her family? Where is your son's father?)
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55
Report
GloomyKaren Apr 3, 2019
Yea. I realized that too because of this forum. It would be heartbreaking if i leave my son knowing i am the only person he's got. My son's dad passed away 2012 while my dad passed away 2013. Grandma is a widow too.
(1)
Report
Sounds like you are heading down the path of previous practices in your family, patterns are hard to break. This time you are thinking about leaving your son while you work in another country? You are right this is not fair to him. How did you feel when your mom took off for another country leaving grandma in charge of you and siblings? Grandma is much older now and cannot do this.

What do you want to do to break the pattern? Is grandma needing assistance? Would assisted or independent living be an option? Maybe she is capable of caring for herself at home. Is it time for you and your son to move on? It sure seems so.

Get that care assessment done as others have suggested, let your mom know the result then make your plans on how to develop and grow your career, no longer trapped by the need to care for grandma and NO GUILT. Your life will be what you make it for yourself and your son.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to gladimhere
Report
GloomyKaren Apr 3, 2019
Plan is that my kid would stay at my sister while I'm away.

I already talked to my mom and uncle about assisted or independent living and it seems it will never be an option.

I would try to get the assessment done and explore all of my options. Thank you
(0)
Report
CM stated it well. Everyone else has left the caregiving to you. And (as I always ask), where are your 4 siblings? How did you alone have this thrust upon you?

Your mother really burdened your grandmother by dumping 5 kids on her. You were 13; how old were your siblings? I'd say you are owed far more than the occasional financial help that your mother provides you.

What country is the job you applied for? Are you so sure that would be unfair to your son? You are only 30, after all, and your son is heading into the teen years. You are way too young to be giving up your life to elder caregiving.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to CTTN55
Report
GloomyKaren Apr 3, 2019
The 2 eldest were already married while the other 2 works in the government office. I guess when i decided to stay at home to support my son because he's getting bullied. Plan was to stay at home for 6 months, but now it has been 4 years.

I plan to go to Korea. They offer great compensation. Actually my son agrees. He's open to the idea of me working overseas. So i started the process. I'm just afraid that I won't be there for him physically on his first years of being a teen.

How can i be more patient? Grandma wants everything to be done her way. Even if i know how things would turn out, i just let her just to avoid arguments. Because when we argue, she tells everyone that i shout at her even if it's not true. They will blame me for not taking care of her well enough or that i should have been more patient. If I let her do things her way and it doesn't turn out well. I'm still the one to blame.
(0)
Report
Well!

So, everyone else in the family has left the building and you're it.

Where are your four siblings? And if you don't mind my asking, where is your son's dad?

Step One: realise that you are not the only person who is responsible for your grandmother's wellbeing.

Step Two: but, since the entire family has been content to leave you in charge, be in charge. That means you get to make the decisions about what happens next.

What work do you do? What qualifications would you like to aim for? Would it be possible for you to pursue these goals outside the home locally?

Is your son happy where he is? Are you comfortable about the prospects for his schooling, his new friendship groups, and so on?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
GloomyKaren Apr 3, 2019
The 2 eldest are already married, has their own family. The other 2 are working in the government office so they cannot stay to take care of her. My son's dad passed away since 2012.

I work as a virtual assistant for small businesses. It's possible for me to reach my goals without leaving but definitely impossible to get it while taking care of grandma.

My son felt better, he performs well at school and has a good circle of friends. I can say it was a good decision that I quit working that time.

A part of me doesn't want to leave grandma because I know no one can take care of her better than i do. But most of the time, when I have to be absent for work or miss my son's games and school meetings, it makes me really regret everything. I now pull my hair and it leaves a big patch on my head. I feel trapped.
(1)
Report
Let me give you a brief history as to how this happened. My dad passed away 2013. My uncle lives in another country. My mom works away from home and can only visit December of every year. She has been working there since I was 13. And my grandma was the one taking care of us along with my 4 other siblings. It all started when I resigned from a corporate job because my son was being bullied before and I wanted to be there for support. So I stayed at home for a while. At first, it was okay for me to live with grandma because she can somehow take care of herself in a way. But then as time passes by, her health is she slowly gets weaker as expected. I already had numerous talks with mom and told her how I feel. It seems that she understands how I feel but we haven't been successful on finding someone that can take care of her. I once heard my grandma talking to someone saying that it's our responsibility to take care of her after all the sacrifices and the effort she has done to take care of us. Grandma lives at our house. She has been offered to stay at my auntie and uncles home but she refuses because she's more comfortable here. I have never been paid for caregiving, my mom assist me with financial things when I need it. But most of the time, I can handle it on my own since I'm working from home. She hasn't been assessed yet nor put in the adult day care. She's the in denial grandma. She still wants to do household chores and cook. I always tell her that she can't do it anymore because she feels dizzy every time she does this. She has vertigo, diabetes, high blood pressure, Osteoarthritis and high cholesterol.

Sometimes, I avoid going to family gatherings because I know I would not enjoy it anyways. My grandma always rely on me. Everytime she'll be confined in a hospital, it's always expected that I will leave everything behind just to take care of her. That includes my son. I feel like I'm being unfair to my son as well because I can be a better mom to him. I am always tired, drained and always has headache.

I always have to sleep late at night because I have to make sure grandma sleeps soundly because if she doesn't sleep well, she won't feel good the next day and if that happens, I will be distracted from my work from home job because I have to take care of her. I usually have 4-5 hrs of sleep. I love my grandma, i wish I can love her as a grand daughter and not a caregiver.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to GloomyKaren
Report

Karen,

Does your grandma live with you and mom? Or you with her? Just trying to get a clear picture of what is going on.

I feel you’ve tried this. Nice of you. Was never your responsibility in the first place though.

I wouldn’t want my daughters caring for my mom.

Have a talk with mom. Tell her these are your building years and you can’t afford to regret not building a life for yourself and your child. Don’t leave your son. He needs you. You desperately need to be away from your grandma but not your son. But if you need a break from him too, ask mom to care for him over a weekend. She owes you one!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report

I am assuming you are living in Gmas house. I agree, you have done what you could. Its Moms responsibility to make sure her mother is cared for. Your son is growing up. Won't be long and he will be 18 and you have not really been able to there for him. Maybe at the time you started caring for Gma it seemed like a good trade off, now its not. Your reasoning is logical. You need to look forward to your son's future. And yours. The next 35 yrs will determine your amt of Social security.

I don't see how leaving the Country would solve the problem. Thats really not fair to ur son. This is your opportunity to grow and stick up for yourself and your son. You don't ask Mom you tell her nicely that things must change. You need to make a future for you and your son. You can no longer care for Gma. Mom is going to need find other options. You will be applying for jobs so Mom will need to make a decision soon.

I have a 41 yr old with a 25 yr old. Do the math. Its time for you to do what you need to. It will get harder as you get older to break away. Your Mom is being unfair to think you could do this forever. Really, its her responsibility.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Apr 2, 2019
Good advice
(0)
Report
Yes, please tell us more! This forum can be a huge support to you as you figure out what to do.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to CTTN55
Report

Hi, Karen!

Can you say a little more about how it came to be that you're caring for your grandmother?

Are you living in her home, or is she at your house?

When it became clear that she could no longer operate on her own, what conversation did the family have about what the options were for her care?

Are you being paid for caregiving? How much respite do you get? Does grandma go to adult day care?

Has she had a professional "needs assessment" by the local Area Agency on Aging" to let family know what her needs are and what resources (aside from her assets) are available? What are her assets and income?

I'm sorry for all the questions, but they will help us help you!

We care!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Welcome, Karen :)

If you're posting at a quarter to three in the morning things must be tough, is my first thought.

I'm in the UK where we're all up and about, but it'll be a few hours before most forum members have a chance to respond to you.

Inner rage is a very good way of describing the awful feeling that comes with caregiver burnout. I don't think it will surprise or shock anyone here that this is how you're feeling four years in, when you have so many equally important things to consider but can't see a clear way forward. You are right, you do need to think about what's happening with your career - which is your future, your pension, your own care when the time comes - and of course you need to think about what's best for your son who is just about to become a teenager. And perhaps most of all, yes, we will all recognise your anxiety about what this is doing to you inside your head.

So. Something needs to change.

Leaving the country, however, is not your only escape option! Could you say a little more about what kind of support your grandmother needs, what role your mother plays in her care, what career you're working on, and what other care options the family has considered?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter