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My mother stays upset most of the time. She stays in the bed, although she can get up and walk a little. She also has use of wheel chairs, etc., if needed. However, she fusses nonstop about how bad my dad is, that he never stays with her and talks, that he is always gone. And, then she feels badly all the time - something serious, of course, like she's having a heart attack (happened over and over). She does have several medical issues, and she always looks at the dark side of things. She has changed so much. She then will get mad at me, the only child. I have triplets in 2nd grade and also teach school. I am also having a major problem at work with my boss, who is treating me badly, at the moment. My mom knows about this and the problems I am having in my life, but everything always comes back to her, in the end, such as she knows I'm having trouble, but so is she, and her problem is worse because we ignore her, and I don't act like a daughter anymore. (Note: I am stretched in 50 directions, as it is, with several major issues of my own to deal with.) I have always worried about her, and tried to make her happy, but I am now getting numb to things because it is a constant battle. How do I deal with her as I'm dealing with my own problems, since I'm the only child?

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jackiebb, big hugs for you. I am an only child and have a mother made at me 95% of the time also. It is tough but there is nothing we can do to change it. The best advice I have been given is to understand that it is my responsibility as her caregiver to be sure she is safe and has what she needs. I do that 100%. As her demeanor has worsened (never thought it could get worse!) I continue to limit my time/exposure whether by phone or by visit. She asks me to leave often as of late so that has become less of a problem in some ways.

The cycle is that she will act badly, ask me to leave then call in a few days and act like nothing has happened. You cannot reason with them at this stage of life/situation. You have to take good care of yourself. Do your best for her but you and your family come first. The worst is the guilt. Try to get over feeling guilty and realize that it is not your doing that she is unhappy.

I have realized that I am not responsible for my mother's happiness, disposition, state of mind etc and I am not responsible for entertaining her. This is not a cruise ship and I am not the social director. Stop beating yourself up. It's easy for me to say these things but believe me.. it has taken me 50 years to get a grip on this.

I have stopped trying to make my mother happy. Nothing I can do will make her happy and she makes that pretty clear so you might want to take that off your "To Do" list. Make sure she is safe and has what she needs. Give attention to yourself and your needs. You know you are a loving daughter. It is hard when you are the only. How well I know that!

It has also helped tremendously for me to see a counselor who is well versed in geriatrics. It really does help to see someone and receive their professional validation that you are doing the right things and that you do not deserve to be treated badly.

Hope some word or two helps here. I really feel for you. Take good care of you.
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How well jeannegibbs puts it: "You cannot make anyone else happy." Don't even try. But, if they will listen, point out to them that as Abraham Lincoln said: "Most folks are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
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If she is mad at you 95% of the time, could you reduce your interaction with her to 5% of the time? Probably not feasible. But can you reasonably cut back on your contact with her without jeopardizing the care she needs?

When she gets very negative could you say, "Sorry, Mom, I've had my quota of negativity today at work. I'll come back when you're feeling more upbeat," and walk out of the room?

And here is something to keep in mind. No one can make someone else happy. You are responsible for seeing that your mother has good care; you are not responsible for her happiness.
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PS. Go to HOME pg here also and look at: Relaxing: Why It’s Hard, and How Caregivers Can Learn to Unwind -- just saw it and thought "jackiebb could use this" -- try to have a good night.
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I don't have a good answer for you. But sounds like you need a break and are at the breaking point. Please read through some of the questions here, burnout, etc. and I promise it will help you feel better and at least not alone.

You have triplets and work. Those two and your husband take priority. Is your mom living with you or in a care facility? Sounds like she is just looking for a sounding board and someone to complain to -- you happen to be it. She will not change and it will get worse. YOU CAN"T CHANGE THAT. You can change how you react and set boundaries. You need to do that. Tell her you've got some things going on that are going to take more time (especially with the children and school yr started); you will call her 3 x per week and you'll see her (set some timing) maybe two evenings per week or one evening and say Sunday afternoon and stick with the schedule.

Not sure what is going on with your boss/principal?; but maybe if you feel you can, sit down with him/her and explain how stressed you are with dealing with your mom and hope he can understand and explain that you are taking measures to deal with your personal situation and hope he/she will be supportive and bear with you. Maybe agree to meet 2x monthly with your boss and review progress on your work/projects, etc. This should help demonstrate your commitment to the job and to make situation better.

Schedule a lowkey fun activity once a week for the family -- Friday - pizza night or chinese carryout, family movie/game. No video games, no blackberries, no sleepovers, just some fun time reconnecting without distractions.

Schedule 1 hr/wk for you-time; a bath with candles/glass of wine and your favorite music or just silence. It will rejuvenate you. Do it one afternoon or one evening after dinner when hubby can watch the kids.

Lastly, give yourself 60 days (promising not to beat yourself up over the next 60 days no matter) to just regroup, grieve your situation, and move forward with baby steps.
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