I need some advice. My mother says I owe her for all she did while raising me.

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I don't mean money! She believes that children should take care of their parents because of everything that was done for them in the past. For example, I drive my mother everywhere, as she refuses to use a driving service which she can well afford. She says that because she drove me around as a child, I should now drive her. While I say to her that that is very faulty logic, she refuses to back down. Do I just ignore her, make myself unavailable, or what? I have two sisters, but she claims they are "busy," and doesn't want to bother them. I am a retired widow and live nearby, but after three years ot waiting on mom (she is a widow also and is 88), I am just sick of being her servant. My plan is to limit my time to two days a week, three hours in the afternoon. I'm going to tell her and my sisters this is all I am prepared to do. Does anyone have an opinion on any of what I've written? I just hate being taken for granted!

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Do you have children? In my way of thinking, a parent owes it to their children to raise them. In turn, the children owe it to their own children. Obligation passes down the line and not up. Things done for the elders are out of love and kindness, not obligation. Setting limits on what you can do doesn't mean there is less love and kindness. It just means that you also have to live your own life.

Some elders are independent and have healthy, loving relationships with their children. Other elders can get a tunnel vision, where they see little outside themselves. In the latter case, children have to set the limits or the relationship wears down. No child wants his or her life to be consumed by a parent. It isn't healthy.
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I think your plan to limit the time available to provide services to your mother is excellent. I hope you will stick to it, because you will certainly get pressure to make exceptions or give up the plan entirely.

Even if you were in an isolated setting where mother didn't have access to paid services, or if she couldn't afford them, or if you were her only child, even then you'd need to set some boundaries. Under the circumstances you describe it is really unnecessary and unhealthy to be at your mother's beck-and-call. With luck, she could be around another 10 years. It is worth the effort to establish healthier patterns.

When she tries that "you owe me" gulit-tripping, ask (repeatedly) by that logic why your sisters don't owe her. You don't think than any of the three of you "owe" her, but if anyone does, you do not understand why she only expects you to do it. Her logic isn't consistent. But it is kind of like religious views. She believes something and you don't believe that same thing. Logic really isn't the core of the problem. "Well, Mom, I understand that that is what you believe. I don't share that particular belief. For example, I do not think my son "owes" me anything but respect and love."

When you set your time boundaries, maybe she'll call upon her other daughters to help some, and maybe she'll hire it done, or maybe she'll just save up her errands for the times you are available. He choices are not your problem. You establish what you will do, and stick to it.

Good luck. And let us know how it goes!
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I suspect EVERY generation has had individuals who have tried to use "guilt" to shame the children into overextending themselves.
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My mother raised three of us with just some Social Security she received from my stepfather's death and what work she could pick up with just a seventh grade education. We never wanted for anything we needed. We did not have a big house or expensive car, but we had a comfortable house, good food and the best clothes she could afford, (and sometimes could not afford). When she needed me, I felt a sense of owing her, not to the point of being her slave, she never asked for that, but I loved her very much and wanted to do what I could for her. I think your plan is a good one. Do only what you can do and let your sisters know they have a responsibility also. Good luck!
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Lindarose, that would never have worked with my mother for two reasons. No matter how much time you gave her, it never would have been enough. And God forbid, if you had to alter that schedule or call and say you couldn't make it because you were ill or something came up, you would never have heard the end of it. See, that's the issue. When people are nice to you, and don't expect anything much at all, it makes you want to do everything in your power to accommodate them. Not all of us are blessed with sweet, nurturing, caring and understanding mothers. But I know when I watch shows like the Waltons and all those other lovely, schmaltzy shows, tears run down my face because I never knew what it was like to have someone hug me, comfort me or call me "honey." Yet, somehow, her children "owe" her. I won't ever understand that mindset, even from a caring, loving mother! This maternal instinct of nurturing is something I feel I owed to my children.
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I remember hearing a conversation between my mother and her sister, probably about 40 years ago. My aunt was saying that after all she had done for her children (I think she was in the midst of helping a grown child out of some crisis or other) they had better not even THINK of putting her in a nursing home. My mother said that if she got to the point where she couldn't live on her own she'd rather have paid nursing home aides wiping her butt than to have her children do it.

These dear ladies are only 5 years apart, so I don't think their attitudes are "generational." By the way, their oldest sister checked herself into the local care center in her 90s and lived there until she died at 100. Mom and her remaining sister (92 and 97) are still able to live on their own, in both cases with support from children, so whether their attitudes about nursing homes still hold remains to be seen.

We can only deal with the parents we have, not their entire generation, and I suspect there is as much variation within genertions as between them.
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This is a common attitude among people of your Mom's generation. I have heard it too as my MOM lives with us for 6 years now and will turn 86 next month . The thing is I do NOT want MOM to drive and neither does her DR so I am OK with taking her to the store and dr's etc etc. HOWEVER...make her aware that you only will do it a certain number of days per week.. Two times a week usually is what I will do ....unless like yesterday Walmart didnt have one of her prescriptions so I will take her back today to get it.
I am trying to retire now but I worked during this caregiving and it can be overwhelming.
I am sorry if I am repeating anything previous people have written but I do not have time today to read all the responses. One thing I know for sure is I DO NOT WANT to have to move in with my children down the road and hope to not have to. My Mother did not do as much for her mother and really didnt do a lot for me growing up . That really isnt important though because I am a certain type of person and do things that feel right to me. I suspect most people on this site are the same type of person that I am...we are caregivers and helpers and for some reason this is the way we are ...and it is a good thing as far as I can see. HUGS TO ALL THE CAREGIVERS AND GIVERS ! Without us the world would be a sad place indeed.
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Just a thought. Ask you mother if when you were a child, did you demand everything to go YOUR way. Did you tell your mother she owed you because she gave birth to you. Did you get everything YOU wanted. Expect everyone to jump at your beck and call? I thought not.

So why does this logic or lack of logic seem to apply with you. You were not given everything you wanted when you were little, so what makes her think she can have everything she wantsm now that she is old?

My mom is exactly like your. Only she was extremely selfish when I was growing up and, no, she didn't help with her mom either. Did the minimum for any of her relatives.

I am sure if you really look back, you will see a pattern of this behavior. I know I finally did and now I just refuse to have anything to do with my mom. Hope it doesn't come to that for you. :)
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It's really become more and more evident to me that there is this generation, this age group, that somehow learned this behavior of manipulation and entitlement. I have read more posts on here dealing with this same "entitlement mindset." I know exactly what avidreader speaks of, having been there. To me, this is part and parcel of the other "silly" statement that you owe your mother your birth, she birthed you, she took care of you. I have never placed one demand on my children for that silly reason. They did not ask to be born, they were a product of a sperm and an egg coming together. In fact, I did everything for my children with love and pleasure and only would like to be respected. It's a nice gesture to do nice things for people, for everyone, particularly for family, but it's a bonus and not an entitlement. And Playagrandma, I AGREE with you 100%. My mother has 3 children and only 1 speaks to her. She's burned her bridges with her mean-spirited, incredibly malicious and devious ways and basically, no one deals with her anymore, so exactly right--she would not have been who I would have picked. In some cases (mine) in took many, many years to finally say "uncle." She put herself into an assisted living facility (burned her bridges with my brother and his wife and then moved out) and doesn't bother to call ME now anyway, because all her needs are being met in her new digs. Indeed, the only contact I ever had with her over the last 15 yrs. was whenever she needed something or to b**ch incessantly. A more unpleasant woman I have never known.
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I also agree about limiting the time. Maybe you can get senior citizen in the neighborhood to help occupy her time. I am the oldest of 4. No one does much but me. I feel the burden also, but I work full time and I cannot do what she expects. I have power of attorney over her bills and banking, so that is enough running around. I feel for you. Please worry about you first or you will not be able to take care of her at all.
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