My mother seems to be under the impression that because I have worked hard and lived under my means that because things are working out well for my husband and I that we will be the lucky ones rewarded with 'taking care' of her needs. That we will be the ones she turns to. And it's not just for money. It's for favors, problem fixes, etc. Although she has some savings, and her nest egg is the paid-off-home she currently lives in, she likes to cling close to us because we are close in geography. We treat her to things often (dinners out, pay her cell phone bill, nice and thoughtful gifts), drive her long distances, and pay her more attention than other siblings when it comes to her emotional needs. I'm beginning to tire of this, as I observe her wanting more and more from us and expecting way less than she might ever even dream of getting from my siblings. Perhaps, she may think, that they have less time, or a family, or less desire to do these things.
I've recently pulled back the reins to re-evaluate how I may be enabling her to take advantage of me. It's made me mad--in a way--because I want to be able to give things to her. Other times, I want her to step up and be an adult, like she taught us to be. I'm a generous person. But sometimes, it's like she's smacking me in the face when something little can be done on her end, and it's an instant "NO!" And then I observe her manipulating me--and plenty of others--into doing things that she wants so that she doesn't have to spend any of her time, effort, or money on anything. It is borderline pathetic. The more I help, the more helpless she appears to become. She wants me to fix everything for her, but then nothing is ever good enough. Siblings get a free pass. But I'm the one who's the most generous and caring who gets the shaft--or gets the criticism about something I'm not doing---but that no one else is even attempting!
Although I've observed this behavior for a while, I recently decided I'd had enough. Right now, we are not really speaking. I don't intend for this to be long-term, as I don't want to completely sever our relationship. But when I choose to go back and explain how things will be going forward for me, I want to ensure that she knows that I'm setting boundaries. If she won't respect them, well then that's a different story.
Does anyone have any good stories/advice for how they have dealt with a similar situation?