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I took care of my mother 3 years ago and took two months off of work, losing pay, to do so. She does not take care of herself and does not listen to anyone, she is very headstrong . It ruined our relationship to the point where I don't call as often or go visit for fear that I will be sucked into something. My father is 70 and should be retired, but he is very energetic and runs a business that is busy during the summer. This means that he has to go out of town. My mother wasn't expected to survive a hospital stay in May after they took her off a vent. Surprisingly, she did okay and went home under hospice care, having recently been released from hospice care and on her way to "getting better." She says what the doctors want to hear during her appointments and acts like she has it all together, but then gets home and doesn't do anything to better herself. Now my father is going out of town for work and he is asking my aunt and myself to spend the night at his house with my mother just in case. My response was that if he didn't feel confident leaving her he shouldn't be leaving town. He didn't answer that comment and instead tried to say how great she was doing, and how mom may not even need someone with her in the next 10 days when he leaves town. So he asked if I could stay one night and if my aunt could stay another. I told him he wasn't giving me a choice, even after I told him two months ago that I was not going to be her caretaker again. I have numerous health issues myself, and it angers me to see her not taking care of herself and constantly being catered to. I try day in and day out to better myself and work 40 hours a week while Mom gets to sit home and do nothing. I'm sure it's a miserable life, but at the same time she does nothing to better her health. She is a queen and is used to everyone catering to her and I can't be that person as I'm getting up in years myself.

You keep giving into your parents. You said "No" 2 months ago, and then acquiesced for "one night" - which is turning into 2 nights - and so "No" does not mean "No" at all. How are you going to change this dynamic?

Learn to establish healthy boundaries. Telling your father to hire help for *his* business trip might be a good start. Is your dad paying you to stay with your mom while he goes off earning money?
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Cindy, you have nothing to feel guilty about. You were not rude, your mom is manipulating you and your dad is taking advantage of you. In my world they are behaving inappropriately and they don't deserve to have you do anything for them.

When they can respect you and your life, maybe then you can help, but only how and when you are willing.

Can you imagine sharing whatever you have with your mom. Would you ever hear the end of it? Not worth potentially making someone so frail ill. Tell dad that you have to stay away so you don't share. Sorry dad, stuff happens and that's why an agency that can send a fill in is the best option.

You have done nothing wrong, stop feeling guilty for standing up for your wellbeing.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Bounce bounce hair pull gnash froth - !

WHAT have YOU got to feel guilty about???
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My father would never get an agency for my mother. Mom won't have it haha. I asked Mom what she's going to do if my aunt doesn't come over Tuesday night? She said she guesses that she'll just have to stay alone. Yes, I'm thinking about cancelling. Of course, I'm already full of so much guilt so either way, I lose.
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This is indeed a perfect example of the mission creep you knew would happen.

It is also a classic example of a person behaving badly and then blaming the person they've treated badly for the bad behaviour. Your mother would rather take up your time than take responsibility for her own amusement, were she to travel with your father. She attempts to double the benefit they've already claimed from you, and then thinks you're rude to object? Just keep in mind who is actually the miscreant, here - you, or your parents?

I think you should consider cancelling your arrangement to stay with your mother on the grounds that your kindness has already been abused and obviously will be taken advantage of even further. I mean - what happens if your Dad just doesn't come back, and it turns into five nights?

Do it now, and that leaves 48 hours for your father to find a suitable agency. Alternatively, he will have to rearrange his business engagements. Both of those things are a) entirely doable and b) his problem, not yours. He can't say you didn't warn him.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My mother just called to chat. I didn't get to ask, but I have a feeling my father is at work on a Saturday, getting ready to leave town this Monday. The conversation quickly turned to me coming over to stay with Mom, which I told her I already agreed to do. I asked if my aunt was staying with her the second night? Mom said my aunt might not be able to make it and I could stay both nights!!!!! I told her that the only reason I was staying the one night is because I was off work the next morning. I told her, as luck would have it, I'm sick and need to take care of myself, as well. This is a perfect example of why I don't want to be asked to care for her. Then she says that just this one time, she'll never ask again. I told her firmly that I'm only staying the one night, I don't even WANT to stay the one night, that I need the comfort of my own home to take care of ME. She said I was being rude, and I firmly told her what was rude about this situation. Rude is my father continuing his career at age 70 (mother is 71, almost 72), and not changing his life to accommodate his wife. I asked her what his priority should be? She said that it needs to be his work. OMG! I told her that he needs to make HER his priority already! He even asked if he could take her out of town with him on business!!!? (Insert explitive). She said she didn't want to sit in a hotel room all day!

Seems like both my mother and I like the comforts of our own home. I feel bad that I was firm with her. I still can't seem to be that way with my father like I need to be. I think it's because my father tries more than my mother does, with the entire situation. This exchange with my mother is prob a blessing in disguise because I know she'll tell my father how "rude" I was. Lightbulb moment for him, perhaps? I think I'll "call out sick" for Father's Day, too. I do need my rest because I'm legitimately sick as a dog and this stress isn't helping. It's hard for me not to care, though. I may even skip staying over Monday night. Mom can call me if the power goes out from a storm. She keeps saying she's getting better, but shes not.

This is just ridiculous. I feel so much guilt but I can't take this on. ☹
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DollyMe 20 hours ago
What is the guilt all about? There are other options for your mother, if she doesn't want to embrace them, that is her problem, not yours. And there is your father.....who is also manipulating you. Set your boundaries, say no, and take care of you.
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Aunt is Dad's 61yo sister. I live less than a mile from my parents, having moved back to my hometown in 2015. I'm here for emergencies, but not for sleep overs. Mom lost power at the house a few weeks ago when a storm blew through. Day nurse was there, got her on oxygen cylinder while I reported the outage. I can jump into action on the phone, but I certainly can't go be a caregiver. My own health is starting to spiral downward. I have never been firm with my father, but it's never been like this. If I do this one night, I'm not doing anymore. Dad needs a plan of action that isn't detrimental to other family members....Lost time, wages, etc.
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Reply to Cindy14
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If your father asked, then why do you say you have no choice?

I assume this aunt is your mother's sister? How does she feel about it?

You are going to get Daddy mad when you eventually put your foot down. If you intend to eventually refuse his requests (do you?), then the sooner, the better.
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Reply to CTTN55
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Cindy, stick to your guns.

You say if your father isn't confident your mother will be okay, he shouldn't be leaving town; and you are right. Not without putting a reliable, proper care structure in place, he shouldn't, anyway. Roping in family members here and there for the odd night is not a proper care structure, it's a seat of the pants job.

So never mind whether you or your aunt happen to be free that day, happen to be around, happen to be willing to be cajoled into it. This is about your father's taking responsibility for planning his wife's care before he goes off on his jaunts.

Good for him for keeping busy! Good for him for maintaining his individual life alongside caregiving, and being prepared to delegate. Those are all good. Just one more thing: he needs to delegate to appropriate people, and you ain't them.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I think I've been sucked in so far because it's only been a day here, a day there. But to ask me to stay over? On a work night? I haeld no leave left because I used it all when Mom was in the hospital. I've since earned a couple more days and used them because I've been sick this week. Next week I have an appt for myself to see a doctor, which is the only reason I'm doing this. Because I have the day scheduled off and wouldn't be going to work, makes for an easier morning. It almost sounds trivial, but I think we all know how this goes. He'll keep asking for more and more. I'm already dreading his next trip out of town at the end of July. That's when I'll say no. Sigh.
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Reply to Cindy14
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No, I am unable to do that. No more discussion.
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Reply to Kimber166
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Cindy, read ur response to me.

You, and maybe Aunt can back u up. need to tell Dad , this is ur last time. You have already taken care of a DH with no ones help. You had to change ur lifestyle to accomadate ur husbands illness. Your Dad will need to change his lifestyle for his Wife. He, like u, took vows. In sickness and in health. Mom is his responsibilty. You have to work for your future. He has had his "future". He cannot rely on u for everything. He needs to set up care in the future.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Chances are that your mother is in her late 60s, which is not old. She should be doing her best to cope herself with whatever health issues she has. Your father has obviously ‘enabled’ her, while managing to live his own life the way he wants. Now he wants you to prop the situation up. If you do that, nothing will change for the better, only for the worse. If things start to be a nuisance for him, he might rethink how he lives with your mother – which might be a great idea for everyone. No No No is the Go. And help your aunt to say No, too.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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You told him 2 months ago NO. Stick to it and let him figure it out.

If he gets upset tough, he doesn't want to change anything for his wife, hes the one that promised to love and protect through sickness and health, time he honor that promise and stop trying to make others responsible.

I have a difficult time helping anyone that won't do all they can to be as well as possible. It's completely unfair to ask others to care more about you than you do.

I would not explain anything to either of them. No is a complete sentence and you are a grown woman that is entitled to her own decisions and choices.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Dad can hire someone to sit with Mom. I think, though,he is not listening and u may have to spend a night.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Cindy14 Jun 10, 2019
I'm going to help this one time (yeah, right...). We have a friend who is a day nurse that Mom likes, but other nurses through an agency were kicked out by Mom during her first few days home. Father was too busy to speak to the agency or hospice. After that first week of taking numerous calls, I gave them my father's number. I lost my husband years ago to cancer and made lifestyle changes to accommodate him during his last few months. My husband was my responsibility and I had no help caring for him because he was only 28 and everyone was in denial or thought I could handle it. Why can't my father do the same and make a lifestyle change? All he puts first is his business and I'm tired of his responsibilities trickling over to me and my aunt. My only sibling left the circus years ago and moved away because my mother was so difficult.
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