What is my responsibility to a mother who is lazy?

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My mother is obese and a heave smoker and has many health issues related to her bad decisions. Her house is nasty. She won't do even simple things like wash a disk or empty the trash. She expects me to take off work to constantly drive her to her many doctors appointments even though she can drive. When I talk to her about her driving or doing anything constructive about her house or her health, she says she doesn't 'feel' like it.

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She probably in all truthfulness doesn't feel like it. And like it or not, we all can get in that place due to health issues, bad decisions whatever. Doesn't mean she needs to treated like a little child & scolded & told how bad she is. My thought here, is how would you like to be treated if it were you ? Respect goes a long way in building relationships. I don't think I would like someone coming in my house telling me I am fat, lazy and my house is nasty. She proablably feels bad enough whether it is emotional, physical or spiritual, she is hurting and it is going to take some TLC and compassion to help her. I would probably seek some outside help who can be more objective. The word supportive comes to mind. While you may not feel like driving & cleaning her house, you can be there emotionally for the changes she is going through. Lets face it. We can all use a friend or someone who is kind to just sit with us now & then when we are going through a tough time. Learn to laugh, it is the best medicine. Watch Patch Adams.
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I understand. I also struggle with how much of it is my responsibility.
My mother is very lazy, has been my entire life. She always wants and expects someone to do everything for her. It isn't a sign of aging. Again, she has been like this my entire life.
I have found, if we leave something, she will do it, eventually. It may take her two or three days, but she will put a wrapper in the garbage then complain that she has to do everything.
My parents' home needs new windows and siding. However, her bedroom is a hoarders paradise. She becomes defensive and mean when any of us tell her she needs to clean it so the workers can get in there. It's the one place she will not let anyone help her with. I can only imagine the things she has hidden in there!
I'm sorry I have no advice for you. But, I truly understand.
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soverytired is 100% right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take her advice and run like the wind with it.....You Go Girl
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Tell her when she needs cigarettes, to go get them herself if you are the one picking them up. If shes a smoker, she will evetually do it herself and you will see shes capable. Doesnt she have anyone else to be her maid and shoaffer? I feel bad for you , but Enough already. she is your mom,but your not a doormat
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Has your mother always been lazy? NG, I know what you are talking about. Mine was lazy when I was a kid, got lazier when I left home, and is still the same. I live in the same home, so do what I have to do to keep my own peace of mind. She is 85 now, so I don't expect any changes. She is always willing to get a yummy snack, then leave the wrapper for me to throw away. Sometimes I say something and it improves for a day or two. But then it's back to the way it was. I don't have any answers, but I know what you are saying.

I would see if there is a way for her to cut down on the smoking. Smoking steals oxygen from the body and can rob people's energy. Tackling addictions is tough, but it would be nice if she could at least cut back. I wouldn't be surprised if she gains a little energy with every cigarette she leaves off during the day.

You don't really have any responsibility to clean up after your mother, but you may need to do things for your own peace of mind. I would say just do what you feel like you need to -- not for her, but for yourself.
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Does your mom have any ailments other then being obese & smoking?
Have she had a emotional breakdown in the past?
Then maybe it's her life style thats destroying her from not doing anything?
Smoking is a nervous habit that releases tension...She is unhappy period!
Big question is how old is she?
If over 60 then I advise you to get some help for her but the last thing is to do is nag her about how she lives! She knows already...Nagging will make the situation worse!
Next time she wants you to drive? tell her you can't (take it slow) but send a message that you won't be at her becking call everytime. Go for a walk w/her to help get her exercise (even to the corner & back) You should know what makes your mom happy so rent a video of her favorite movie or did she ever dance? then buy her a cd of her favorite music & play it while both of you clean her house. She might perk up w/a change of pace?
But don't put her down...
"Build her up"
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please do not clean her house. if she is a hoarder and you do what amounts to a forced clean out, she could suffer extreme emotional and mental damage. second, do not be rude to your mother. no yelling or recriminations. have her evaluated by a mental health professional. if there are mental issues, proceed from there. if there are no mental issues and she is simply manipulative, then you deal with her the way you deal with a child. you simply don't indulge her and you stop rewarding bad behavior. no more trips to the doctor, no more anything. let her figure it out on her own. i guarantee she will. don't answer your phone, do not be available until she realizes that you are not her pawn.
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It sounds like she is capable of choosing differently and doesn't. And that makes it hard to watch, and get sucked into. It could be depression...has she been evaluated for that? But it could be just cussedness, and a learned behavior that you will do it anyway, so why bother? I agree with soverytired: do what you can and let her complain. Or do what she wants and still hear the complaining, in the end, the first option is what will take the most care of YOU.
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I would nicely but CLEARLY , ask her honestly what makes her think YOU FEEL LIKE DOING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especialy having to call off work. Then she think all the more you can. Maybe ,just maybe, shes hoping youll get fired by calling off. Tell her your boss says enough of calling off, and oh well shell have to drive. It would be different if she was sick. You have to make this nclear for your sanity. good luck. let me know what you think of my answer.

love,
zoey and zulu
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Alright, I'll be the one to say I don't think you should operate out of guilt and obligation. There is nothing you can do to control her behavior. If she wants to live in a messy house and do nothing and be totally reliant on you, the only thing that is in your control is to decide what you are and are not willing to do. It is sometimes difficult for us to sort out what we are and are not willing to do, especially if you were brought up believing it was your responsibility to keep your mother happy. But her happiness is not your responsibility and your happiness (which is your responsibility) shouldn't be based on whether or not she is pleased with you. If you are willing to take her to the dr. once a month (or every other month or whatever you decide you can manage) then you should tell her that and hand her some info on senior transportation and start living your life without guilt. It sounds like even though she may be living with some chronic conditions, she is able to live alone and still able to drive. My answer might be different if she was incapable of self care but it sounds like she is an older person making bad choices but those bad choices are hers to make and you aren't responsible and shouldn't feel responsible. Good luck!
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