As many know, my dad finally ended his battle with ALZ almost three weeks ago. Sad, and grieving, but making it. The bigger problem is the same as what it was before. My crazy, demanding, unappreciative mom. My dad, other than the normal logistics and sadness that goes along with a situation like that was easy. But my mom was so demanding.
Now, she expects me to be at her house almost every day to help with something. I do not have a job or family of my own so she just assumes I am available 24/7, when in fact I do have things of my own to do, am dealing with grief myself, and frankly, just cannot stand being around her as she is so intense and frantic all the time. If she was more easy going I would perhaps even like spending time with her but she just wears me out with her emotional intensity and frantic behavior. I have told her clearly I am NOT going to be there three or four days a week, or more as she would like. I have said two days, and she can use them as she wishes.
Privately, I do assume for a month or so I will have to spend more time than that there to help her deal with the business issues, loneliness, and get the lawn back to shape after neglect of the last couple of years (I sort of want to do that to honor my dad who took such pride in his lawn). So I guess on one hand I assume I will have to spend more than usual time the next month, but also don't want to set a precedent. Maybe assuming that by the fourth of July, she will have to learn to get by on less.
I asked her what she would do if I was working full time as I very well otherwise might be. Hypothetical I know, but if that were the case, she would somehow have to get by without me and the same would apply now. Furthermore, I AM helping her even when I am not there as I need to take care of certain issues where I have a computer as she does not have wifi. So its not just like I am helping her when there. Next weekend she wants me to take her to the cemataries of my dad, her parents, and my dads parents, and that is not unreasonable, I want to do that myself but that will take a full day.
The following weekend I have to fly with her for FOUR DAYS to North Carolina to attend her granddaughters graduation. Yet the worst is she doesn't acknowledge what I am doing, just being MORE demanding, less appreciative, and failing to realize I am also hurting about my dad. I know the answer is boundaries. Yet she manipulates, lays guilt on me, etc, and I should probably just let her do it, but I still DO Feel guilty when she says these things. Also as said, if she was a more pleasant personality, I would probably like to spend time there, but she is not . Even her own primary physician tells me that after ten minutes with my mom, she is worn out. She doesn't know how I spend the time I do. Friends have told me I should just schedule a two or three week getaway a month down the road, both to refresh myself, but also to get my mom to learn how to get by on her own.