Why do my parents act like I'm their personal maid and nanny. - AgingCare.com

Why do my parents act like I'm their personal maid and nanny.

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
6

Answers

Show:
To take what mom2mom wrote and run with it -- sometimes they ask you to move home to take care of them. After you get there, they change and say they never asked you to come home. Then they tell you and everyone else that they are taking care of you. So you owe them, even if they aren't paying your bills. You can try to convince them of the truth, but they are old and often have dementia, so it is a pointless venture. It is ugly, but it happens. I think it is an ego saving defense of an older person who doesn't want to give up the parental role they are familiar with. The trouble is that it comes with the loss of self esteem and public perception of the caregiving adult child.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Another theory - and keep in mind, I don't know your situation - is if you are living in their house for free, they may think that they have "paid" for a maid and Nanny by letting you live there. If this is the case, you need to gat the compensation and duties issue resolved. Free rent alone is not fair compensation for a live in caregiver.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Either they have an overblown sense of entitlement, or they lack the imagination or problem-solving skills to figure out how to get their needs met without involving you. Or some combination of the two. In other words, they need something done, and it's easier to ask you than figure out another way to get it done. Maybe they don't want to pay someone to take care of what they need, or they don't want to reveal that they're no longer capable of doing it themselves. Plus, they see all around them examples of adult children helping parents out and that seems like a reasonable solution to them. The perfect solution, in fact.

I know it's hard to set boundaries with one's parents, especially as they become old and debilitated, but you need to start working on that, because it will only get worse. Maybe you need the help of a counselor or therapist to help you work through the issues in your own head that keep you from setting boundaries with them (I did).

You need to figure out how much you can realistically do for them, and how much you're actually willing to do, and start managing their expectations of you. Don't make yourself available at a moment's notice. Don't make yourself available two days in a row if all the issues could have been handled on the first day. Don't buy into the idea that every little issue is an emergency. Don't jump to their aid every time the phone rings, and eventually they'll start figuring other ways to accomplish things that don't involve you. Start suggesting other sources of help to them. Bring them the name of someone who will clean their house for a fee, the names of services that transport seniors to appointments or shopping. Introduce them to the idea that it can't always be you, you, and only you.

I'm still working on all these ideas myself (and I've been at it for 6 years). Good luck!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I agree with Jeanne in a way. Our parents may ask us to do a lot and we have a hard time saying no. After we do things once or twice, it gets to be expected of us. This is particularly true if they are older and you are female. To old folks, women were born to tend children and clean. Because of this, it is easy to ask a daughter to mop and clean the bathroom, but a son would never be asked to do that. There is no point in trying to change their thinking if they are old. The only thing you can do is not make yourself available to them. Tell them you'll help them find a housekeeper or whatever else they need. Paying someone is a lot better than having the resentment grow. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

The most likely answer is because you act like you are their personal maid and nanny. What would happen if you stopped that behavior?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

How old are your parents, and how much do you have to do for them? If they're getting up there and can't do much, then they might have to depend on you for cleaning and such. However if they're still relatively active and can still do that stuff themselves, it could be a "Why should I do it when he/she can" type of situation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions