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Family has always been so important to mom. Since young adulthood I've hosted family events to bring us together and in doing so created lovely memories. I never let on that these parties were a way to "forced" my siblings to visit my parents b/c they were clearly not coming of their own accord for any holiday i.e. Mother's Day, Christmas etc. Long ago mom and I discussed her wishes for her elder years. Her health has been declining for the last 5 yrs and gotten much worse over the last 2. Caring for her is tough but I feel it is the last gift I can give her. My siblings rarely visit and live 3 hrs away. I handle every aspect of her finances and care. When we had a family meeting about her health last year I respectfully asked for them to visit b/c she misses them. Nothing changed. During all of this I have not been able to devote time to my husband, children, home and have missed time from work. When I felt I was going to break I called and directly asked them to coordinate their time to come every 3 months to give me one weekend off - reasonable? No! Now they won't speak to me, have blocked me on social media and blame me for changing everything b/c of "the phone call". I understand their own guilt drives their behavior and that blame is a way of easing thier feelings, even so this is so undeserved. I will never feel the same about them. I have shown them so much love and have even made excuses for their lack of involvement. But now I am full of hurt. That me, the one who has done so much and is now doing everything for mom is so meligned...it is heartbreaking.

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Wow, Aubrey, I feel your pain. Two of my sisters, the two I was actually closest with, turned on me when I asked for support in taking care of our mother. I never asked for actual weekends or time off from any of them, just support. I think what you asked was eminently reasonable but your sibs need to rationalize in their minds why they aren't willing to do it so they're blaming you. One of my sisters did that. Basically guilted me like "you committed to taking care of Mom and now you're backing out," neither part of which was true. I stepped up to help out when help was needed; I did not go around to my siblings and say "Don't worry, I've got Mom covered in every way for all eternity, you'll never be called upon to help." And even if I had said that, things change. People overestimate what they can do and underestimate the strain and drain it's going to be on them. Your siblings are behaving like hassoles and are supporting each other in it. Mine do to. I too was full of hurt for a long time. The hurt gradually eased, but I know I'll never feel the same about them.
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Unfortunately, what you are describing is not rare and happens to a lot of us that make the choice (or get stuck not by choice) caring for our parents. My siblings have been useless. Each time I've asked for some help, or even some support by just listening, they've turned on me and attacked. They just don't want to be bothered, don't have the time to visit, and certainly aren't going to help care for mom. They are just waiting for the estate to be disbursed, and will be first in line to collect the money. I have news for them: it will all be gone long before mom dies, since there isn't enough to pay for all the care she will need. Because they aren't living with mom's situation and don't have to deal with the daily realities of what is happening to your parent, it's "out of sight and out of mind". It must be nice to be that sibling. But these are also usually the same people that spend the rest of their lives complaining about their regrets. Chin up, you know you are doing the right thing, and you have to give yourself a pat on the back every day, since it sounds like there isn't someone else around to do that.
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Caregiving is such a tough job and only those who do it can really understand. I say, if you ask for help from your siblings and they refuse, then you have to accept it and move on. I have hosted family parties for years in an effort to give Mom and our family some good memories. This year, I decided to forget all the parties, do what I can for Mom as the only caregiver and forget the rest...we are only human. We can't change anyone but ourselves. I'm done with my siblings being 'victims' while Mom's heath declines. Focus on helping Mom and yourself; make memories of this. I'm learning to accept the reality of the situation...I don't have to like it, but I also don't have to chose to be angry and resentful.
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Yes you are.

My heart is in my boots reading your post and then your further responses. The thing is, what's new? I don't feel your siblings have changed very much. You propped up their creaky relationship with your mother, you can't do it any longer, you ask them to do one small thing in return, they walk away.

They are rubbish children, and you are not.

And why are they being so vicious to you and self-justifying about it? Because your example makes them feel bad.

It is really sad, and I echo the suggestions that you MUST find support elsewhere, but I don't feel you've lost anything. They were never there, and they're still not there. No change. Your siblings have lost out; but then that's their choice and their problem. Forgive them if your faith asks that, and then put them to one side. Leave it to them.
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Wow Aubrey, that is funny that you mentioned that your siblings start telling you about things that your mother might have done wrong 40 years ago as their reason for not chipping in now. My sister says the same exact thing about my father. He's not perfect, but he wasn't a bad father, and my sister starts talking about things that my father did back in the 70's as her reason for not chipping in today. It is pathetic. I think at some point you have to just forgive, grow up and move on.
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I am sorry that you are having a hard time. You need to take care of yourself. Where will your mom be, if something happens to you? Maybe she could go to a care facility, and give you a respite for a few days. If not, she could outlive you. You just can't do the job of a full-time medical staff. Trying to, killed my sister.

Our mom needed to be in a nursing home, but that wasn't possible as long as she hovered over Mother. Now, my sister is gone and Mother is the life of the party at the local nursing home. Who knew? We certainly didn't.
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Oh I believe you Aubrey because I am in the exact same position. Siblings trotting out every excuse and acting as if they aren't close to mom and dad like me because of this or that (again 40 year old excuses). Funny thing is before their decline they seemed close to them.. sharing vacations, holidays, sending gifts, daily calls... etc.

Its not just my siblings too.. its my Moms siblings (who are much younger then her) who swore to me that if my parents just moved in closer that they would do this and that for them ... spend time with them.. well none of that has happened.

This is really changing my view of family.. at least my family. I really had an idea that when the going gets rough family will be there.. and that belief has completely been shattered for me. I just don't get how they can put there head in the sand and allow members of their family.. their flesh and blood to suffer in this way.

Like you... I am not asking for them to take over their care.. just to step in so I can have a day off, just to care and recognize how difficult my life and their life has gotten. I am asking for minimal assistance and care. I am begging for them to visit or even call.

I am at the point that I realize their help is not coming. Thankfully, my parents can afford to pay for some home care.. so I am in the process of finding outside care for them. Its still going to be hard for me and mom... but we cannot do this ourselves.. and neither can you.

Just wanted to chime in because I see a few posts defending these sibs with their heads in the sand... Chin up ... you are not alone! ;)
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I am so sorry this has happened. If you haven't read other posts here along the same lines; it could be helpful. You are not alone! You can't change people and allowing the hurt and anger to linger will only affect you, physically and emotionally. Believe me, it isn't bothering your siblings. They strike out at you to make themselves seem the victims.

Contact your local agency on aging or Mom's doctor about services she might be eligible for that can give you a little relief. You do have to take care of yourself first and then your own family. It may be time to look at other living arrangements for Mom. It is a rough journey, I wish you well!
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Thanks for the footnotes. They help explain what is at the bottom of your siblings demonizing you that is your mother's resentment and anger has flowed over into her conversations with them about you and has painted you in a bad way to them. I hope that you have said something to your mother about this at least that you know what she is doing. That's one way she's dealing with her anger/frustration. The other way is your description of her ignoring you when you are around, but being so chatty when one of the siblings calls on the phone. All of the above is passive aggressive emotional blackmail. and it's coming at you from two directions. That is quite a mess.
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Aubrey, this is terrible. As hard as it is to do, try to let go of the resentment and anger at your siblings for its like holding on to poison that in the long run will only hurt you and do nothing to them.

I would definitely not do anymore forced parties. They don't deserve it.

How old is your mom? How exactly has her health gotten worse over the past two years?

Does your mother have any resources to pay for some caregivers to come to the house and tend to her so that you can get a break?

What does your husband think and feel about all of this? Have the two of you talked in depth about your mother's need for care, your taking this on all yourself, and how this is impacting and has already impacted your marriage over the past 5 years as well as how things need to be dealt with now into the future and how this is impacting and has already impacted your children as well as how things need to be dealt with now and into the future.

Sorry to be so in your face when you have your siblings demonizing you in your face and your mother's care in your face, but your first priority really is your husband whose not really had a wife it sounds like for 5 years and even less for the last 2 and your children who it sounds like really haven't had a mom for 5 years and even less for the last 2.

I say this as a husband who has been in this boat but not with the same exact same components, but the feeling of being a single parent although married is real and children missing their mom although in the house is real. It was a very good day when my wife set some needed boundaries with her mother and became a fully present wife and mother again.

Frankly, I hope I'm wrong with this description, but if I'm not you're walking on thin ice and it's past time to make some changes.

I wish you the best as you find your way through this mess which I'm sure you will. Come back and let us know how things are going.
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