Two years ago, I moved in with my 91 year old grandmother. I moved to another county, over an hour away from my boyfriend, and all my friends and my life. I not only help her, I contribute financially. Before I moved in, I came down twice a week or more to take her shopping, and to doctor appointments and stuff like that. I've been doing this for about ten years. During all this time, my mother (my Nana's daughter) has come here roughly once every five or six weeks for a couple of hours. She praises me for doing a good job but at the same time, she also "expresses concerns" and "makes suggestions". It feels a lot like criticism to me. I try not to let it bother me but it does. I have been doing so much for so long and she breezes in here, glances around, and forms an opinion. She thinks she is always right. She finds problems and to her, they are a huge emergency that has to be dealt with immediately. She is really bossy and controlling. She expects me to keep this house perfectly...but her own home can be "lived in" and that's fine. This was no problem when she was only here every five or six weeks. But recently she has been spending more time here, even sleeping over. She said she wanted to help out, and I believe that's true, but part of the reason is she is having problems with her husband and wants to get away. So...I did everything to make her comfortable. I even got cable TV in "her" room. At first I enjoyed being able to go out without having to rush back to Nana. But now she is really getting on my nerves. I was a home health aid for five years. I have been living here for two, and helping out for longer.. My grandmother is happy with the care she receives, but my mom doesn't trust my judgement at all and If I disagree with any of her "suggestions" (demands) she can get downright nasty and abusive. I usually just give in because its easier, but sometimes I wont and she literally throws a fit. She doesn't fight fair. She says mean, offensive things, calls me names, and raises her voice and curses me out when she feels I am challenging her authority. If I respond in kind it just escalates the situation. Now she is saying things like this is HER house, HER mother, and she is on a mission to prove she can call the shots. She implies that I am mooching off of Nana, even though I contribute financially in addition to all I do for her! (does she understand how much it would cost if she had to PAY some one to do what I do for free? Its so unfair. My mom is planning on coming more often in the future. I hope she changes her mind. I am dreading it. I am so tired of hearing her insinuate that I am neglecting my grandmother. She has scrutinized every single aspect of our lives. There is no end to the things she can find wrong. She points them out in the sweetest way but still...this isn't normal. I am 51 years old, competent, reliable, and have sound judgement. I don't want to live like this. I want to relax and be myself again. To be perfectly honest, Nana's hygiene isn't the greatest, but that's not my fault. Nor does it mean I am neglecting her. My way is to coax, manipulate, convince her if I can..When she was growing up she only bathed once a week. I disagree with that, but Nana has rights, including the right to refuse to shower. The latest thing is she wants to get a home health aid to come in and force Nana to shower. Now....I would love to have some help, but Nana is pretty feisty. I feel bad for the home health aid! Plus, I am able to bathe her. Just not as often as my mom would like me to. I told her that, and reminded her that I was a home health aid for five years, and she replied "Yes, but I want to get someone really good,". as though I am really bad or something. I didn't respond to that remark....I doubt she even realizes how hurtful it was. Also, she just informed us that she is coming back to accompany us to my grandmothers next doctor appointment. (probably to observe all the mistakes I make, or to ask a bunch of questions about what else I should be doing that I am not).
Any suggestions about how I could diffuse the situation with my mom? I don't expect anyone will be able to help...I am really just venting. If my mom wants to come here and make my life hell, there is nothing I can do about it short of moving out, and there is no way I would leave my grandmother. She needs me and wants me here. I know she is trying to help... but she is driving me nuts. I am in a constant state of anxiety when she is here. I bit my nails down to the nubs.