My Mother always wants me to buy things for her. The more I buy for her, the more she wants. What should I do? - AgingCare.com

My Mother always wants me to buy things for her. The more I buy for her, the more she wants. What should I do?

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My parents and my own family live separately but not very far. My father got cancer a year ago and is not in good condition, so i visit them very day. My father has always been a very caring father. but not my mother. She thinks that she is our mother (she has 3 daughers) and we should buy things for her. Among the three daughers, i am relatively well-off than my sisters, so i often buy things for her. Sometimes i bought without being asked, sometimes she hinted to me, and then I bought. I do think taking care of old parents is my responsibility, and i do want to spend money on them. I think it is one of the ways to show my love for them. But sometimes i do think my mother is demanding to much. I have bought a lot of things for her, from the big ones like the house (where she and my father live now), the washing machine, the bed, the bicycle, the fridge, the gas stove...... to the small ones like the chair, the clothes, the shoes, the food, the tissue, the gloves, ........ a lot of things for her. Last week, i went to visit my parents, While i helped mom clean the room, i said the mop she is using is too dirty and she should use the new one ( I bought a new one for her a month ago). She said if she use this new mop, i must buy her another one. I was a little bit angry and said that she could buy by herself in the store near her house (only 500 meters away, and my parents have their own pensions) . She immediately became angry and would not talk with me anymore. The day before yesterday,I and my sister went to visit my parents, she talked with my sister, but not to me. Yesterday, I went to visit my parents again, she refused to talk with me. My father has become deaf and half-blind because of the cancer. I want to see him very day. So even my mother didn't talk with me, and showed me a cold look. I still want to go to see my father, but I am really very sad. My mother and father helped my take care of children when they were young. I am very grateful to them. I am trying my best to take care of them . But mother often said something which made me sad. She often told me and my sisters that her sisiter's daugher is such and such good, and what her sister's daughter has bought for her sister. Sometimes she is very unreasonable. My father is very weak. When i told her I have bought father a crane on-line. She said I should have bought earlier. I said nothing back to her. These days, faher became weaker because of the illness. Mom complained that father could not walk well because I bought a crane for him. I really don't know how to deal with her. Whenever i defend for myself, she would became very angry, and sometimes rude to me. In many similar occasions like these, she woould not talk with me for several days, which really made me depression. I would be in a mixed feeling for several days, depressed and guilty until she started to talk with me again. What should i do? Please help me out of this situation. Thank you very much.

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Since you believe that spending money on them is a way of showing love, you're enabling them to expect more expenditures. Find a different way of showing love. This philosophy suggests that materialism is a factor in your relationship with your parents.
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You will have to limit the number of things you buy and you may have to take steps to prevent hoarding. Sounds like she thinks she must have a spare mop at all times. It does not make sense, probably because mom is not able to make sense or prioritize well any more. To make a big deal of a mop and busy oneself by measuring how much love or how good one child is over another by tracking "things" they have bought, while her husband, your dad, is dying of cancer shows a truly terrible lack of perspective. Sometimes even people who are not having cognitive issues focus on little things they CAN control instead of the big things that they can't. Blaming helps people reduce their own guilt feelings, hence the comments about the crane...try not to take the lack of gratitude and ongoing criticism too deeply, maybe even act as if she has said a wise thing and say, oh, you were just slow to think of it.

Love her as best you can. Reassure her that you love her AND that you can always make sure there are enough mops. Don't let the silliness and irrationality hurt your spirit. I once very happily walked a mile to buy my mom a tea towel to account for one that had gone missing that she was fixated on. I needed the exercise, and I still have the funny memory, and the tea towel...it was a close enough match she was satisfied we had found the missing one, and she promptly insisted I take it home with me. :-)
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You've done FAR more for your parents in the are of buying them "things" than is required. Parents are supposed to love their children based upon the fact that they are THEIR children, not because they buy them things.

From what you write, it sounds as though your mother has always been a person who has difficulty giving love freely. Perhaps this is mental illness or dementia, perhaps also, the result of being unloved in her early years.

If you are going to allow her cold stares, attitudes and harsh remarks to wound you, you are in for a rough time. You may need to develop a way of being around her that either doesn't respond emotionally to her, or one in which you take your leave as soon as she becomes harsh with you. Is there counselling or therapy where you live? Talking to a trained person might help you gain some insight and strength in this difficult situation.
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You probably already know this but "something" is wrong with your mom.Either onset of dementia or mental illness. Sounds like mental illness as from what you wrote this isn't new behavior. Don't let your mother have control over your emotions.She sounds very manipulative.For myself, I would distance myself from mom and let the other kids deal with her, just visit your dad.
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What should you do?

Stop buying your mother so many things. Save money for your own old age. Visit daily, to spend time with your father. Ignore your mother's bad treatment of you.

It is nice to be able to buy someone a present from time to time that makes them happy. It is foolish to keep trying to buy your mother's love and kind treatment.

Where are you from? Perhaps in your culture it is more common for children to constantly buy things for their parents. Here (US) it would a sign that there is something very wrong in the relationship.

Mom can buy her own darn mops.
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