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I have three siblings, none of whom help with my mother who has end stage MS. Anyone know how to tactfully stop my older sister, who lives two houses down, works part time, and has a five year old child, from constantly expecting me and my elderly father to do things for her, when she does absolutely nothing to help at all with mom. This involves a lot of babysitting which, on top of doing all the housework, shopping, etc., is just too much. I have no time whatsoever for myself. She cannot be left alone and I get so angry I don't know how to handle it. I love my nephew but I can't do it all, I feel because I retired to care for my mother full time that my sister considers me as living in the lap of luxury when it is the opposite. I am exhausted all the time and very depressed. Any advice? She has by the way come out and told me that I "live here rent free" and so I should be doing everything. I buy all my own food etc., i do sleep here, but it is backbreaking work every day and I am getting angrier and more depressed the more she treats me like I am at her disposal because of my "life of leisure." Help?

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Everyone here is awesome and very much appreciated. Thank you for being here to talk to so glad I joined.
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Sounds like your father and sister are playing 'monkey in the middle' with you. going away for an overnight or two, arranged to coincide with your sister's days off might be a good wake up call for them both. You also might arrange a family meeting with a visiting nurse or someone your moms MS care provider recommends or your Chaplin to discuss Moms care needs. You can talk with your moms doctor to recommend this meeting for the whole family, so it is not your idea. Then the VNA can bring up and address family interactions. This might help both your father and sister to gain some perspective on reality.
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I think you need to get away for a few days and let sis take over. Let her see what it is to take care of the household. Maybe take her 5-year old for an overnight and let her babysit your parents. It would cost a little bit, but might be worth it. Or go visit a friend and let your sis fill in. And don't get everything set up beforehand, so she doesn't have to do the normal stuff. I've been guilty of that with my brother. I get all of the food in and get it fixed, etc. so he didn't have to do anything I normally had to do.
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Like PS says you need to learn to say a big fat NO! youre too nice and people take advantage of NICE.
I used to cook for my siblings when they came to visit mum NOW i put mums soiled diapers in their beds so they know what a caregiver has to put up with! Trust me it wakes them up a bit.
Babysitting her kids when youre caring for your mum I dont think so!
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Wow. That was great input and I too am glad you took the time to read it. I will definitely be rereading this and considering my approach as well as your input on her possible thought processes... Very very much appreciation to you again...xx
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Oh boy. I was just on my way to bed but I'm glad I stopped to read your latest post.

Ok. So, five year old and part-time job, yes - many people would consider that a full schedule. Fair enough.

What most people won't be doing, though, is weighing that workload against what's involved in taking care of a household that includes one active elder (who possibly takes on more than he strictly should?) and one very frail, sick, frightened elder who requires enormous amounts of care and attention. And minimal stress in her environment.

So somehow sister has to be made to appreciate that your workload is… how do we put this. Hm, I see what you mean about 'tactfully.' Well.

…is already more than you can manage.

Goodness I don't blame you for feeling angry and resentful. I can feel my hands reaching out to throttle her and she's not even my problem.

You live there rent-free so you should be doing everything… and you are. You are doing everything for the people whose home it is, namely your parents, who to one extent or another are entirely dependent on YOU - for life support. That's mutuality.

What you shouldn't be doing is providing nannying/babysitting/housekeeping whatever services for someone else.

By the way, she gets 'very aggressive and nasty' because she's focused on the bind she herself is probably in - there are real pressures on her, too, no doubt - and isn't seeing your point of view, or bothering about how she comes across as long as it gets the result she wants. Or, actually, thinks she NEEDS, not just wants. Totally selfish, but there are at bottom recognisable reasons for her selfishness.

Could you try asking her why, as a capable adult woman with her own home, job etc. she is finding that she so often needs to run to you for help? Phrase it carefully, and you can make her feel that strong capable people like her DON'T lean on their big sisters or their parents.

More bluntly, you must somehow confront her with the reality of your mother's needs. Get her a book on MS and stand over her until she reads it. Tell her how important it is that she understands what her mother is going through. Draw up a timetable and show her what your day entails. Make her a cup of tea when she comes to pick up your nephew and show her that day's "captain's log." Any way you can think of, shift her perspective off herself and her own needs just for a second.

She is being both unfair and unreasonable, but it's because she's not giving your life a moment's real thought. Tell her about it. It'll be hard not to get angry if you're trying to say no to her at the same time; so choose a better moment than that and tell her about it as if you were talking to a friend. If you can work together, maybe both your lives will get easier. Good luck x
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I've tried saying no, it's like she has this mental block or something. She gets very aggressive and nasty. And then though we are adults she gets my father involved who then attacks me for not "being part of the family" it is crazy and maybe should be a TV show but not a funny one...definitely horror. I feel trapped. I sometimes secretly block her texts because every single one is asking for something or insulting. I wish I were exaggerating.
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Offer to swap jobs for a week. She'll find out how exactly how luxurious your life is, and you get to go on the swings with your nephew.

(And you keep that week's part-time pay, by the way. And yes she does have to do the baby-sitting element.)

Come to think of it, I'm not sure we couldn't sell this idea to a TV station...
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Just say NO. If she flips out, turn and walk away.
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