Trying to get condensed as much as possible: My sister and I have pretty much taken care of our mother for the last 10 years since our father passed away. Not physical care but more emotional care and support as she lived on her own. Our mother was recently diagnosed with diabetes and she's not taking care of herself. My sister and I have been discussing food options with her but she says she's not hungry, she won't eat and has lost weight. I should also add that she met a man on OurTime about 2 years ago and they are living together. We really don't know much about this man so my sister and I have concerns that he could possibly be taking advantage of her by living in her house, barely paying rent, not paying for groceries and certainly not helping out with the cooking. We have 2 brothers that are VERY disconnected, and honestly, they do not share our concerns. The 4 of us siblings and spouses met for breakfast and it was decided that my oldest brother and my sister-in-law would visit mom...which is extremely rare and I'm being kind! Well, they did and of course my mother said quite a few hurtful things about my sister and me. My mother continued to tell them that all we do is yell at her which is COMPLETELY untrue! Not sure if my brother and his wife believe us....I would like to address this situation with my mother as this really hurts my feelings and my sisters as well. We're disappointed she would say those things and I would like her to know what my sister-in-law told me but I don't believe that's the route to go. My sister and I need a mental break from our mother because this is extremely hurtful and incorrect. And, she has been pitting all of us against each other for years by talking about everyone behind their back and venting to the others. How do I separate myself and have my brothers (and sister-in-law) pick up the slack?

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Thank you everyone for your assistance, guidance and words of encouragement. I really do appreciate it!!
Helpful Answer (1)

To put it in old-fashioned terms, sometimes it's good to reap what we sow. Your mother has been pitting her children against each other for years and lying about you to your siblings. Why does she deserve to spend time with you or your siblings on special occasions? It seems like your siblings have been able to make that break. Maybe it's time for you to do the same. As long as you continue to do it, the others won't feel a need to. Maybe if you step back, they'll step up. But if they don't, that's on your mom, not on you.

And as others have said, she has a significant other (whether you like him or not) and she has other children. It's not all on you. And like Jeanne has said, she has resources to help her manage her diabetes. If she chooses not to do that, again, that's on her not you. Step back and let your mom manage her own life. You and your sister go and enjoy yours!
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Thank you everyone for you comments! I truly appreciate them!

Regarding "picking up the slack" - I am the ONLY child out of four that invites her to my house for holidays, I am the only one that spends Mothers Day with her, and I am the only one that's with her on her birthdays. How do I let go of that so someone else will do these things? None of my siblings care or bother to even ask her.

I am having Easter with her and will definitely separate myself after that. Great advice. I've tried to do that before but then I feel bad because no one calls her.
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A person with diabetes does not need caregiving, unless she has severe complications like an amputation or blindness.

She was living alone and you gave her emotional support. She hasn't been living alone for the past two years. Maybe it is time to back off on the emotional support. She obviously no longer appreciates it.

These days people diagnosed with diabetes have access to certified diabetes educators. They are given food planning books, and invited to support groups and group classes. Unless they are cognitively impaired they can make an eating plan on their own when they are ready. Mom doesn't need you "yelling at her" about vegetables and whole wheat. (I know your intentions are sterling. I know you are not actually yelling. I also know what I'd think of you trying to butt in.)

Separate yourself by having less contact with mother, and not trying to tell her what to do -- have pleasant conversations and play canasta instead. Convert yourself back into a loving daughter instead of a caregiver.

How to have other people pick up the slack? What slack would that be? What kind of services does Mother have to have provided by others?
Helpful Answer (3)

Keali, you say she has been talking about all of you and pitting you all against each other, so I doubt bro and SIL took her at her word. They must know her by now! As for the man she is living with, after 2 years you must have some ideas.. have you tried looking him on line, etc? Or just watching things? Do any of you have POA? ( I know, we always ask this but then you possibly access some records like the bank and CCs) It sounds like the first sit down went OK,, try for another and let them know your sister and yourself need a break.. maybe you can work some times out for that. Good luck!
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