Do any of you feel like you are 'responsible' to be 'happy' all the time (or most of the time) to please your parent?

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This just adds to the stress level that caregiver's already have with trying to balance caregiver while making all the decisions and caring for your loved one...I feel that (somehow) I'm 'responsible' for always being 'smiley' for my mother... This extra effort is tiresome after a full day of 'work'... Then, amazingly, I feel 'guilty' about even asking this question... I guess it's a part of always 'trying' to please your parent ... get their 'approval'... When can a caregiver feel they've done as much as they can without feeling guilty?

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Yes Heart2Heart, I know exactly what you mean. I try my best to be upbeat and patient with my mom when she asks me the same thing over and over again or tells me for the 1,000 time that she's "ready to go" or when she keeps putting open food packages in cabinets despite my constant warnings and signs on cabinet doors that it will bring bugs (like before - that I had to clean up of course). I don't tell her much about my life because she just can't process it. My brother does very little, so it's on me to keep my mom fed, doctored, clean, and amused. It's a LOT. Luckily I have a cousin I can vent to when I need it. And I have chocolate. :)
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Do you have any time to yourself? Have you tried venting by yourself for a few minutes? Helps a lot. When taking care of my family in their home, I learned to mentally take little vacations. Great relaxation technique. No, we cannot be "happy" all the time but we can chose to be patient, relaxed, peaceful when we are dealing with our carereceivers. Then, we can allow ourselves to be unhappy, venting in whatever way works best for us when we are not in their presence. I always keep before me that "I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me!" HE gives me nothing that HE doesn't give me all the tools and grace and wisdom to win with! Blessings, Grace, Wisdom and Strength for you today and always,
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... plus, all this is time-consuming... (you sit with them... of course, you have to talk slowly or explain over-and-over, or, in my mother's case... she likes to be the 'one' that is 'right' ALL the time... (you can say... let her be 'rights' ALL the time... but, when important subjects come into play like meds, family matters... eg: legal matters are almost a no-win situation... )... thus, the 'guilt' sneaks in...
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Countrymouse and assandache7 - Exactly... this is what I mean...
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Captain... I'm not saying I haven't tried... That's my point... trying all the time is exhausting. I know 'they' need to be uplifted, but how about the caregiver?... With (usually) no help (sibs, etc.)... it's the caregiver that gives, gives, gives... and, isn't it the caregiver that usually is the one to get more sick (than the actual person they're caring for)?...
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It makes my days and nights less stressful for my Mom if I keep my emotions upbeat! If I show bad attitude or sadness she can't mentally relate and turns it about herself.

So yes I have to stay happy around her! My poor family now that's a different story!
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Oh God yes… the second she sees me looking even neutral (vacant or pensive) my mother's on tenterhooks with "what's wrong? What's happened?" Drives me nuts. I can't decide if it's because you never stop worrying about your daughter (true, I know) or it's because of her natural-born tendency to dread disaster. It's extremely wearing at times.
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when you have an aged parent with health and emotional problems i think its helpful if you can at least try to be optimistic and pleasant towards them. i found emotional care to be very important with my bi polar and mortally waning mother. same with aunt edna now. she needs a ray of hope and good attitude around her as opposed to frustration and negativity.
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Was your mom always happy in front of you? Was she never tired, cranky, sick, upset, or nervous about something? I hope that if she noticed you worrying about these attitudes she said something like, "Don't worry, Sweetie, I'm just having a bad day and it doesn't have anything to do with you. I'll be feeling better soon."

If you notice that your behavior or attitude is bothering your mother, reassure her that it isn't her fault and that it is temporary. But you do not owe it to anyone to pretend to be happy 100% of the time.

Guilt seems to be ever-present for caregivers. If you can't totally let it go, at least push it into the background and don't let it get in the way of being yourself, bad moods and all.
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No not at all. I act the same as before the illness. My parents would not appreciate fake emotions they would prefer honesty and a relationship that we have always had
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