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My time is gone/spent with mom's affairs/people critical of me
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:11 AM
Joined: 4/10/2017
Posts: 251

People don't get my situation.  And they, through how they think I should act/spend time make me feel guilty of how I should spend my time.  I am trying to get over certain guilts.  But, why on earth do I/anyone have to feel guilty about?  How much time out of my life do I need to give for her affairs?  I care for moms affairs without anyones help- cause there is nobody else,  but me. 

And well, at least she has me...right? What do individuals with this mind disease do with no one to handle their affairs?

My house has been dirty for almost two years.  We bought a fixer upper when we moved here 5 years ago that has been in demo mode the whole time.  Complete with dust from drywall issues and undecided flooring...yada yada yada.  My husband at the age of 58 travels every other week.  (At his age and level...he's stuck for the duration til retirement)  Sure, everyone says why did you buy that house.   Well, we did.

Two years ago I moved mom here, from IL, brother put her in a nursing home worse than a puppy mill.  He never calls her now. And after trying to have her in my house (unfinished mind you husband not here to help me much with anything).    Moved her into assisted living for my sanity, she and I had a strained relationship.  She has VD and Alz.  She can no longer care for her for clothing (thank goodness for goodwill and volunteers of America cause she has lost that I am full feeling therefore I should stop eating and people with her condition love there sweets) … pay her bills...take herself to appointments...let alone make appointments...apply for VA all know the story.  They can't do anything anymore for themselves.

I also take home some of laundry once a week, cause AL will shrink it and clothes will be a wrinkled mess.

So, when I get the why don't you take her to your house for dinner.  I lose it in my mind.  Cause that would be more time out of bucket that I don't have.  Let alone her criticism for the house is dirty...why do you do this...why don't you do that...why did you buy this house...why doesn't your husband find a new job where he's home more...

When her brother, who lives 5 states away, calls her from time to time, I get the call your mom seems to be doing fine.  He doesn't realize what she says is not true.  These people make up stuff, cause they mind believes what it wants and REALITY is long gone/thing of days gone by NEVER to return.

So, I feel I'm doing the best I can.  And to hell with everyone else criticisms of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love to be able to vent here.  Therapeutic. 

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:50 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 319

Dear Sunny,

Geese! You have TOO MUCH going on. I really feel bad for you.  This idea just popped into my head so I’m going to pass it on to you. Could you possibly deal with your Mom as a business? Decide how much time YOU fell/think is reasonable. You are dealing with all of her affairs, could you dedicate two hours a week to her affairs. Let’s say every Tuesday you spend two hours making the necessary phone calls, appointments etc.  Lets say you visit her once a week for an hour. Pop in when it’s convenient for you OR set a day, maybe every Wednesday afternoon or a lunch time. Lunch time might work best for you, she’s eating and won’t have too much opportunity to take pot shots at you! 

Like I said, it’s just an idea. I wish you the best. I hate to see people lose themselves by being a caregiver. Take care of yourself!

D in law
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 10:02 AM
Joined: 4/24/2017
Posts: 523

When you're the one taking care of things always remember what was once posted here and that you can tell anyone who says 1 little thing critical of you----SHUT UP FOREVER!!!!


Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 10:14 AM
Joined: 4/4/2016
Posts: 153

Hi Sunny,


Just wanted to add my .02 cents that I totally get this! I feel like nothing is every done at my house or in my life. I am almost always running behind. My situation is I do all the legal, bill paying, financial, etc for my dear Mother in law and dear Father in law. Dmil is 84 with about stage 5/6 Alheimers. She lives about 7 miles away with dfil and a 24 hour aide. Thankfully dfil is well and still drives so he/they take care of all the hands on stuff. Me and their son (my dh) do all the paperwork stuff and physical house stuff. People who have never done any caregiving for the elderly have no idea how much time this stuff sucks up out of your day. I have spent weeks, literally, trying to negotiate getting my dmil a hospital bed! Yes, just something as simple as that.....don't get me started on getting what NYS calls "Community medicaide" That I have been working on since 8/4 and it is still not 100% done.


I am lucky as my dh is retired and can do all the logistical running around ( I still work full-time). I don't know how I could do this with out him. I have no idea how any of you folks do the long distance caregiving! My hat is off to you. But my dh has been such a great guy to me. Just an example....I went to bed a few nights ago and my dh put up our nativity sceine on our coffee table. <ahhhh> that was so sweet and I know he did it because he knew it would be very special to me. Without him I doubt there would be any Christmas cheer at all at our house.


All this to say...keep coming here and sharing. I have pretty much given up sharing with "regular" folks as I know they just don't "get it". No they are not bad or mean they just don't understand and it is frustrating to talk to them about things. I do try to get help from friends I know have walked this path before me. Hopefully you have a couple of those in your life. I just try to do the best I can each day but it is very hard to keep up "regular life" and do caregiving as well.


              Best of luck. I get it.




Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 10:31 AM
Joined: 4/10/2017
Posts: 251

Thanks guys!  Love the hints!

So, a business and "Shut up forever" will be my mantra today

I think I need to learn shut up forever in another language.  It would give me some giggles while saying it  Anyone know it in a different language?  Maybe even pig latin.

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 11:32 AM
Joined: 9/7/2017
Posts: 788

Think about the things you're doing that are truly a choice. 

- dont answer the phone when her brother calls.  

- let AL do her laundry.  Buy clothes that launder easily and she can live with wrinkles. 

- don't take on other people's anxieties. Not your mom.  Not your uncle.  Not your brother. My mantra is - you're either helping or you're not.  If you're not, move out of the way.  I'm not going to guilt you or argue with you - but I'm not going to listen to you either. 

I'm not saying you SHOULD let these things go BUT sometimes take on more than we should because we feel like we have to when we do not have to.  No ones going to die if you dont take their calls. Wrinkled clothes are not a big deal.  

"I'm just so busy taking care of mom.  Gotta go!"

House renovations are the worst.  I would rather do almost anything rather than go through that. Never again.   

His Daughter
Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 12:48 PM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2277

Sunny, I think everyone can relate to your post.  There's always a never ending stream of back seat drivers who should hear the words "SHUT UP FOREVER"   

Until a person is in the drivers seat, they have no idea how many pot holes there are on this road.  

All I can offer is after awhile, you seriously quit listening.  I simply went to monthly email updates sent to family.  That way I never had to talk to them,  hear all their worthless suggestions, or hear their criticisms.  

Keep doing the best you can.  That's all your mom would ask of you.  

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 12:58 PM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 713

I'm an only child of two only-child parents, so I don't have The Irritating Sibling Experience, but here's where I came close to a "STFU" moment:

I think it was this summer, took mom to a podiatrist appointment. Ordeal getting her there, plus his new office was not as accessible as the old one. Lots of longggg hallways, and poor mom kept getting tired.

Finally got to the office, she had her appointment, we're on our way out, and one of the receptionists says "oh, your mom is SO CUTE!!!"




In my head was "STFU", but what I said - with a F/U smile - was "you think? Want to take her for a weekend?"

the look on her face was like the melting German in Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 4:34 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1457

Ugh Sunny. 

I had that uncle too. Mine lived closer to dad's MCF than I did- I purposely chose it so he couldn't complain I made it inconvenient for him. He'd do a drive-by every 4-6 weeks and call me (not my mother- who would defend him) to criticize everything from the décor to the food to the lack of TV in dad's room.
Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 5:15 PM
Joined: 2/17/2018
Posts: 113

That happens to me at every appt I take my parents too...." A 20 something kid always says to me.....your parents are so cute!" Once I actually said to one of their faces, "You want to take them home with you"? My dad has bad behavior a Drs offices, I dont find it a bit cute, and my mom talks about everyone in the waiting room, and its not nice things! She talks loud cause she can't hear very well, and she has a very loud mouth. So I want to stab someone with a fork when they say this, I totally get it! Just shut up!
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:10 AM
Joined: 11/18/2018
Posts: 101

SelEtPoivre- I cackled out loud! Thanks for the laugh.

CityDock - I read your post, and was like, oh this is spot on and wise, must be City Dock - and it was!

As far as another language, try this: Tishtok! (Hebrew - one single word for shut your d*** mouth)

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 9:34 AM
Joined: 12/11/2018
Posts: 2

When I began caring for my mom I was told that I was going to ruin my marriage.  People were critical of my choice to move her in and before I knew it I was a primary care giver.  At two in the morning or when I just settled down to get something to eat she would be there, needing me.  I was lucky, she was never mean or violent, very loving, scared, lost.  I found that when I cared for her at least I knew I was doing something good in my life.  Yes, I wanted to scream at times, and yes I felt hopeless too.  But I loved her and will always love her and was thankful that she loved me and was a big part of my life and was always in my corner.  You will get burned out and that is ok, you will feel bad, that is ok too.  People will judge, they always do, but remember you are doing something that most cannot.  Be proud of that, always.
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:29 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3907

Sunnymansfield - Yep the criticism happens.  I agree with what others say about making this more like a business.  Visit mom once a week at lunch.  Hey, I know how hard it is to take them out, so why not bring in lunch if you feel like picking up something?

I got really good at making everything as simple as possible for me - put all bills on autopay, bought Depends and other stuff through Amazon Subscribe and Save and had it delivered to dad's care facility, stuff like that.

As far as your house goes, look for pictures of what you want to do on the internet and then take those pictures to a tile and flooring store and choose according to what is in the picture.  If you are not sure, ask the sales associate what looks really great together and is similar to the picture and fits your budget.  They do this all the time and will know what to show you.  They can narrow down choices in a matter of a 15 minutes or so.   Hire the help you need because your husband doesn't have the time to do it and will not for the foreseeable future due to his travel schedule, so it is better to get things done than not.  I have a good friend who had been waiting for her husband to do wood floors for 2.5+ years.  Her husband kept getting hospitalized with a serious illness.  I told her forget about him doing it.  Still she waited another year with nothing happening.  Guess what?  After 3.5 years of  having her bed in the family room kitchen area,  last month they wound up hiring the flooring guy I had told her to hire 3.5 years ago!  Now the floors are finally complete and she is back in her bedroom - only took a week for the flooring guy to get this job done.  So just make the decision and move on it and don't look back.    

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 10:05 AM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 167

@seletpoivre and @pearlhansen I laughed at both of your posts! I had that happen to my mom a couple of weeks ago: "oh look at your dear little hands!!!!" like she was a doll or something. And if you live in the south, you know exactly how that phrase was said.

@sunnymansfield I am sooo sorry you are feeling like this. Please give yourself time to breathe and get your head above water, so you can implement a few "tishtok!!"s in your life. You are doing a blessing for your mom, and a fabulous and magnificent job of it. I cannot imagine how criticism must feel. I am of an age when ALL my friends have been through, are going through, or would like to know how to go through, this. I am very very fortunate. I send you some love and peace; hope it finds its way to you!!  chris, who is going to remember tishtok forever

Eric L
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 10:37 AM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1016

Sunny - I think with the "take her home for dinner" crowd, I'd probably just tell them the truth (or perhaps a more colorful version of it). "I placed my Mom for a reason. Taking her out of her home (stress that the facility is her home now) is very distressing for her. Bringing her home for dinner upsets her and I'd like to avoid that as much as I can. Dinner is (time) at her place and if you'd like to join her, they are more than happy to accommodate visitors".
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:11 PM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 244

I agree with the other posters here! I was going through a divorce, working, trying to date, and would sometimes not visit for a few weeks.  I would get the judgmental comments from staff and caregivers, "Well, it's been a Long Time! Have you been on a trip?"  Really none of their business And felt so intrusive.  I would just avoid answering at all and redirect the conversation; it still hurt, but I wasn't going to be bullied into giving more time and energy than I could.  I was also the sole decision-maker, only child, and no one else to pick up the slack if I didn't have the time or energy to visit more often.  I went through a period of intense guilt, but forgave myself, as I know I did as much as I could by myself throughout her four years in memory care.
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 2:56 AM
Joined: 11/18/2018
Posts: 101

I am learning, through this journey, what it means to put myself first. Not just to take the actions of putting myself first, but to put myself first in my psyche, the deepest recesses of my Being. I love fiercely and deeply and want healing and wholeness and glory for all those I love. I am learning how to let them make their choices and release that burden. It's this internal shift. It doesn't mean I don't step up and take care of someone, but it means a differnet relationship to that caregiving. Like, how does it feel to experience that I AM ENOUGH? That I HAVE DONE ENOUGH? Everything was always so extreme and out of control and damaged in the home where I grew up, it always felt like it was never enough, whatever I gave...

Anyhow, I do my best to look at every situation and ask, "What is the opportunity here?" And to juice it spiritually for all it's worth.This is what I've been learning so far in this journey:

1. Love myself, honor who I am and what I do, no matter what anyone else says.

2. Put myself first. Take care of others too, but find that sweet spot where I am powerful and whole and taking care of others from that place. Still working on this one, because I have found repeatedly that I have had to extend way past my own needs, to prevent others from falling into the toilet. People would have been dead several times over without my intensive intervention. So...still pondering, crafting this one.

3. Let others hold the bag of their own drama. Really, truly RELEASE. Again, internally. Deep in my psyche. 

I don't know if anyone else experinces this - I think many of us have the devotional personality, where we will do WHATEVER IT TAKES. So...what we do with this not only sensation but reality that if we let others deal with their own lives, they may not make it? That's where I get tripped up. I have a ton of strength and love and creativity and ability. I share it with those who need help. But often those who need the most help are the ones who won't do anything with what I have shared with them. So I kind of do it for them, it's like I don't just offer ideas, I give a chunk of myself. One small exmaple is that my mom is anti-water. I mean, nobody has ever met anyone who hates drinking water the way my mom hates derinking water. It's a daily fight, a constant battle, to keep her hydrated. If I were like any of her caregivers, I'd just bring her the water, and either she'd drink it or she wouldn't. But that's not acceptable to me. I will trick her, cajole her, distract her and shove a straw in her mouth connected to coconut water, or simply not take no for an answer and be a complete pain in her a** until she drinks water just to make me get the heck off her case. 

Love to know other people's thoughts. Like...with addictions, 12 step says to let them do their thing. But what if they end up dead? Many do! That's just not an acceptable option to me. I am a healer in my core. I want people to see the higher possibilities and make the healthy choices, so they can become their greatest beings.