I have been reading on this forum for a couple of months. I just don't think I have it in me to care for her. Our relationship is very strained and I feel very distant from her emotionally. She can be very difficult to be around. She can make everyone hate life around her if someone upsets her. I now know it will only get worse as time goes on. I know there are people who will think I'm a awful daughter and that's okay. She never wanted to take care of me when I was young and sick as a child. (nothing serious, just kids being sick) She would leave me alone, or tell me to get away from her...she did not want to catch it. She is larger than me. And she expects too much. She expects everyone to change their life to fit her life. (move to her and quit my job, she's in her mid 70's and pretty healthy) I know this would just be the start. She wants me to be her personal assistant or her be the big dog and I would be the little dog. She does not like my husband and this would become an issue. I'm afraid after a while I would not be nice to her. I don't want that to happen, I love her. But I need to make sure she is safe and being taken care of each day. I'm thankful for this forum and going to counseling to help me see what I need to do for BOTH of our mental health. Thank you!

Who else feels this way?

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I would never consider caring for my parents. They set the tone of our relationship and I am a grown woman that has a happy, loving home. I refuse to bring toxic people to live in my house and ruin my life.

I don't care what others think, they haven't walk in my shoes. If it bugs them they are welcome to take care of them, I won't.

I will make sure, to the best of my ability that they know the resources available to them and what choices they have based on their circumstances. It is more than they ever did for me.

I think it is great that there are people that can and want to care for their parents, they obviously had different dynamics then you or I did.

Don't worry what others think, you have to protect yourself from people that would devour you, even when their names are mom and dad.

Hugs and cheers for discovering this before.
Helpful Answer (20)
bettina Dec 2018
Well put. I think it's interesting that although my parents expected me to
be their slave, they both abandoned their own parents. One to their care of a
sibling who was exhausted, and the other in a NH, rarely called and visited
once or twice a year. They, however, made it clear they expected daily help
and constant attention. The weirdest thing is that I never thought about how they treated their own parents until I came here on this forum. Never
occurred to me how insanely hypocritical and exploitative this double standard was.
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Math IS awesome, isn't it ?!!? And so is science! I love math and science. I haven't encountered many other women who love math and science. Anyway, about being your mother's caregiver .... DON'T DO IT!!! It is such hard work - mentally, physically and emotionally. It takes an incredible toll on your life. It will most likely ruin everything in your own life ... your health, your career, all of your relationships across the board. You would literally be totally sacrificing your own life. Forever. You don't bounce back from something like that. And trust me, no matter how much you give, it will never be enough. You will not be appreciated. By anyone. Your mother will probably forget everything you do for her. And you'll be the person your mom lashes out at and blames for her unhappiness any time she feels down. You'll be blamed for things and accused of things that you had nothing to do with. Don't ruin your life. Don't do it. You are smart not to do it. It's not selfish ... It's appreciating the gift of your life. Being a family caregiver is essentially committing a slow form of suicide. It's not valuing your own life. You could find yourself in need of a caregiver by the time your loved one passes. I cared for my dad for 5-1/2 years. I love him dearly, but it was, without doubt, the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. Hands down. At his house 1-3 times a day ... doing whatever needed to be done. Picking him up from the hospital 30 -40 times. Carrying him up his front stairs on my back. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking him to appointments, yardwork, etc. etc. Cleaning up disgusting messes everywhere in the house. Watching him having medical crises, and reading I was losing him. Missing work for his appointments or for other problems in his life. I couldn't take time off work for appointments for myself. I haven't seen a doctor for myself for over 6 years. And I need to And now, my dad doesn't remember any of what I've done caring for him. Oh, and it gets worse. But I'll spare you the rest of the details. I will never do it again for anybody. Nor will I expect or allow my son to be a caregiver for me. I love him too much. Everything I described above actually happened, and it is just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more - and so much worse. Nothing good can come of it.
Helpful Answer (14)
Great answer, bravo Leonine1.☺
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I like the "getting a rise". Stick by your guns. The next time she brings it up, tell her this is the last time you will say this "I am not caring for you. I am not going to fetch and carry for you. There are County resources that you can use when needed" (u can research. Our O of A has a booklet of services) "you are not moving near her or in with her, not happening. If she brings the subject up again, you won't be calling or coming around."

Worry about her future care when it happens. If u do get her to assign you POAs, all they mean is she is giving you the ability to make decisions on her behalf when she can no longer make informed decisions. It does not mean you are her servant. Just makes things a lot easier when the time comes where she isn't paying bills or needs LTC.

All you owe Mom is like you said, to keep her fed, safe and clean. You don't have to be hands on to do that. Just tell her you will make sure she is in a nice AL or NH.😊
Helpful Answer (13)

Neither my mother nor my MIL took care of aging parents - there was another DIL or sister who stepped up and was the caregiver - even though the elders where in assisted living or nursing home - they did all of the running to doctors, fetching this or that, beauty parlor etc.

Both my mom and MIL have indicated that expected to live with us - to which we consistently say as politely as possible - "no, we are not set up for that, but we will help you move to assisted living and visit you there". We don't want to fight about it now - but we don't want them either to think that silence is acquiescence.
Helpful Answer (13)

I think it's smart that you're thinking about it now, instead of waiting until a crisis
and stepping in without knowing how years of your life will be consumed with
one crisis after another. And just when you're catching your breath, the manufactured crisis begin. Which are worse. Give me health difficulties over
toxic drama any day.
Helpful Answer (11)
Thank you, I am trying to get ahead of this situation. I have been very honest with her.
Your mom is my dad. We didn’t ever have a similar conversation, but he suddenly got ill and has spiraled out of control with forcing me, my sister, and my mom to basically be his slaves. There is no medical reason he cannot use the toilet, he simply doesn’t want to, because a diaper is more “comfortable.” He won’t eat the food my mom cooks because he doesn’t like it. Yet he refuses to get out of bed and make his own food bc he claims the pain from his cancer is preventing him (yet when we go to the hospital, he ranks his pain as a 5. A FIVE, and he NEEDS to be walking around to keep muscle mass up and stop undoing what he got out of rehab!!!) you need to lay down the law NOW before your situation turns into mine and things happen so fast you find yourself being sucked in since likely someone has to help, and there is no one else beyond you set up to be that person. You get sucked in and sucked down into their horrible level.
Helpful Answer (10)
So true, hope things get better for you soon.
Don’t ever feel guilty or that you need to have a reason for not being able to tolerate caregiving. I could never have had my mother live with me either for much the same reasons.

Now, you know this going in. You are aware of your own limitations and needs. You know you don’t want to do it. If she is already requiring care or will be in the near future, make a plan. Involve family members. Get POA. Get her finances in order and research how to file for Medicaid if necessary. If she’s living in her own home, ask an attorney how to handle that process.

We support you and understand your not wanting to do this. So, we shouldn’t get a post in six months from you saying you caved in, Mom is living with you and you’re at your wits end and burned out. Do what you feel is right.
Helpful Answer (8)

mathisawesome, read his article, it really helped me understand why I was not cut out to be a hands-on caregiver.

But I was pretty good at being a logistical caregiver finding answers to my parents aging issues.
Helpful Answer (8)
Thank you so much for the article.
I can deeply understand your feelings.

First, let me say how proud I am of you for recognizing your own emotions surrounding this subject. And I do not feel you are a terrible person, nor a terrible daughter.

For anyone to judge you would prove their inability to support, direct, guide or comfort you.

I am not a professional mental health provider. But I am a veteran caregiver and disabled myself. With 17 years of medical background, and years of supporting others, I assure you taking time to heal broken bonds is far more important.

Anyone can empty a bed pan, but not anyone can be her daughter. Furthermore, you must take care of your needs to be any help to others.

My family tried to care for my grandmother, who was a bitter and angry woman. Much like what you describe. What it resulted in was a lot of abuse by her hands. In the end she was placed at a rest home equipped to help her.

The family damage was life altering. I have carried those wounds as others did. What I learned helps me to this day.

Not everyone is in the right place to be a caregiver. It's not a failing. You researching other options for her is just as loving. Some have nobody to even provide that support.

Maybe no one will say it to you. But with what you shared, it would likely be a terrible experience for both of you and perhaps put your marriage at risk as well.

Care giving is hard, thankless, time consuming, depriving at times and once locked in others are slow to come to your aid.

So no one should ever start that engine without the proper fuel. And that fuel works best in an environment of trust, unity and within healthy personal boundaries.

I offer the comfort that looking to professional guidance for your Mom is likely best. Spend time looking for resources for her and step back to be the daughter.

On a side note, and totally unsolicited. Maybe finding someone to hear out your pains would be life enhancing.

Dealing with that can allow you the strength to keep saying no when needed and yes when able. It is a gift to give oneself.

I am glad you came here and were open and honest. I hope others support you.

If I can support you further visit me at Where free support is offered for those looking at complex issues in the home.

And of course this site is brimming full of many resources I faithfully make use of myself and trust-sincerely PJ
Helpful Answer (7)

Lots of people feel the way you do, & you know what's best for your own situation. It's not wrong to choose alternate caregivers for your mother. Putting your husband first is wise also, cuz your own marriage cud be destroyed if you allowed destructive interactions with your mother to prevail. Good for you.✌🌸
Helpful Answer (6)

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