Just a Vent, sorry

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Just a Vent, sorry
3
Wed, 03-13-2013 - 1:02pm

I have worked to place boundaries around my life from my Mom but since I'm an only child & she is not well, I haven't cut the bonds entirely. 6 wks ago they moved out of their retirement home into a resort that is being paid for by the new retirement home they are moving to. This home is being built & was to be finshed last Dec. I'm thinking June is more likely. I told them not to move until the home was open but she chose to ignore me. The new retirement home will be better for me as it's only 15 mins away instead of the 75 min drive to the previous home. I knew that living in the resort would impact me more and I was clear on what I was willing to do for them. I agreed to do their laundry but not their ironing. There are no laundry facilities at the resort. Once they move into the home then it will be done there. I agreed to take them to specialist appts but not general dr appts as these are local & the home has a van they use for trips for the residents. You get the message. I will do the things that others can't do.

I am over there 2 or 3 times a week which was never my intention but seems to be the reality. I agreed to visit on Mon with my DSG who Mom hasn't seen since last summer. At 6, they change a lot. Other than to say hi & brag to the others that her great grandson was there, she ignored him and proceeded to rant about the terrible food, how unhappy she was & how hard life is for her. So in other words, typical behaviour. When we are leaving she "begs" me to please come on Tues to take her to the hairdresser. She said she had to change her appt & the van was booked to take others on a day trip. So I agree as she promises all I will have do is drop her off as the van will be back in time to pick her up. Ok, so this will be a 45 min round trip for me & I say yes not to be selfish. Well, typical of my Mom everything changes. I arrive to pick her up & deliver her laundry & find her waiting with my stepdad & another woman to be taken in my car. I have my grandson with me & tell Mom I don't believe there is enough room for everyone & why am I taking anyone other than her. She says it won't be any trouble. So I tell them to wait & head into the resort to talk with the home staff. The 2 ladies say Mom said it was not a problem for me to do this running around & if it is then they will just take my stepdad & the other woman in as the day trip was cancelled & so the van is available. I said it is a problem as I have my grandson. So we go out to tell them but they are jammed into the car with the doors shut so I just say forget it. So instead of a 45 min round trip, we are gone for over 3 hrs. We have to go to hair dresser (twice because no one told me that is where the other woman was also going until I had gone to eye dr), eye dr twice (to drop off & pick up 2 pairs of glasses to be fixed), drug store for prescriptions, card store, subway sandwich place & grocery store. I asked my Mom why she didn't call me to ask if this was ok with me & she said that she figured it wouldn't be a problem. Then she puts on her helpless face saying, I just don't want to bother you. At the drug store, I had to pick up a special comb because she wants to help another resident by doing her hair for her. It's important to my Mom that she be a good friend but apparently being a good mother isn't of any interest.

Oh well, to end on a happier note. My DGS was just wonderful in spite of having been promised that we would just go on a quick trip, he never complained & even tried to make conversation with my stepfather who he is afraid of. I brought him candy for being so good & he only ate one. He says he is saving the rest for Mommy & Daddy to share.

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Sun, 03-24-2013 - 3:11pm

I know it is very hard to have your parents at that old age. What I can tell you is that people as they age, their cognitive functions are not as well as when they were young. And also bitterness is very common at that age. It´s hard to see that our parents are not the strong heroes they were when we were kids. You mom sounds bitter and probably not very aware of what is going on arround her.I think that patience is a key word here. Try to think how patinet she must needed to be with you while you were learning things. (go to the toillet, wash your teeth, do your homeowrk etc) As I think that kids are not responsible for their parents, I think they have resposibilities toward them.I think you are doing a very nice job, and I would suggest to have some stress relief (meditation, deep breathing, yoga), to help you to cope with this very stressful and demanding period of your life.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2001
Sat, 03-16-2013 - 11:57am

You are definitely doing a lot for your mom, Dee.  Sorry to hear that it doesn't feel appreciated, but I guess we do what we feel we must, without getting totally run over!  You may recognize my name from the dialogue about difficulties with daughter, and I appreciated your response there.  I'll share my thoughts about your situation, even though I'm not exactly in the best place myself in situation with my daughter ... so maybe I'm not the wisest sage!!  Anyway, I'm thinking that personality changes are sometimes part of aging and that cognitive decline can get mixed in.  Your mom may have always been difficult, I don't know, but still the ability to see the bigger picture (outside of her own everyday life) may decline with aging.  Not to say that's necessarily the case, but it could be part of it, even if she's always been on the difficult side.  The other thing that occurs to me is that we can't always know if or when gratitude will surface.  Maybe it's there to begin with but unexpressed.  I can't help but think of times when someone said they really appreciated something I did, long after the fact.  Personally, I hold hope that if things don't get straightened out in this life, it will all make sense later.  Don't mean to impose that thought on anyone, just that it's helpful to me!

Best wishes.  It sounds like you're doing the best you can with a frustrating situation!

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 03-14-2013 - 7:56am

Dee,

   Vent away!  You absolutely have a right to do so.  If it helps to hear it...you are an exceptional daughter and, at least after your mother is gone, you will be at peace that you did everything you could in her final years to make her life somewhat more pleasant.  It's a shame she is the way she is and I feel for you. 

  I had a heart to heart with DD27 who hates my dh and vice versa and thinks I'd be better off alone (not true...you know my story) and  told  HER that I NEVER wanted my chldren to take care of me.  Taking care of THEM was my job, not the other way around.  Of course, we all know that eventually in our golden years that many kids have to take care of their parents, but it just doesn't sit well with me.  I don't live anywhere near my own parents and now, in my fifties, I wish I did and could help them if needed.  My 78 year old father was in the hospital recently and it hurt me I couldn't be there for him and my 80 year old mother who was distraught.  Luckily, my older brother lives near them, so was there for them.  It still hurts though.  Had I not met dh and remarried, I would have moved to AZ and been there for them. 

  Sorry about my rambling.  I feel badly for you that your mother is that way.  If anything, you're spreading the word of how none of us should be in our old age!  When I talk to my adult DDs, I always let THEM talk and tell them about MY life in about 5 minutes and then say, "More about YOU."   But, on the flip side, I do long for the day when they make ME feel as important as I do them.  Not sure if that's gonna happen in my lifetime, but it's a nice thought. 

  Hang in there!  God is smiling on you for all you do!