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How to tell the difference?
Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:29 AM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 673

How do you tell the difference between doing something for the right reason OR doing something out of guilt? I’m not sure guilt is even the right word, maybe it’s sorrow/sadness? The right reason I would think is love. 

I am struggling with the amount of caregiving I should do because of my Dad. He’s my Moms primary caregiver.


Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:24 AM
Joined: 6/21/2019
Posts: 458


I'm the father of two daughters, and I'm my wife's caregiver. She's suffered for six years and is in end stage now.

I can't put myself in your father's shoes, nor you in my daughter's, but here's my attempt to answer you.

 What do you want to do to help your parents? What are you capable of doing for your parents? It's not just your father that you're helping. It's also your mother.

My wife is not my daughters' mother. When my wife's condition became advanced and I asked them if they could help me with caregiving once in a while, they both backed off noticeably. No more visits from them except for Christmas dinner I cooked, and to stop by and wish me a happy birthday.

 My youngest daughter and her husband have come around somewhat and helped me when I asked for it. My oldest daughter has refused outright when I've asked her to come around for lunch to talk to me. 

 Do I love my oldest daughter? Yes. Has her behavior towards my wife's illness affected me? Yes. I don't know if I will ever be able to look at her the same way after my wife dies.

My youngest daughter helped to the degree she was able to once she processed the situation.

My oldest daughter said she was too busy to even call me once in a while. Three word "How's it going?" emails do not cut it.

I'm sure your father does not expect you to drop your life, or extend yourself to the point you can't function, but it wouldn't hurt either of you to talk and let him know what you're feeling and what you feel you can and can't do for your parents.

Good luck. It can't be easy to see your mother like this.





Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:48 AM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 797

When I’m caught in that kind of situation, I ask myself two questions:

 “is this something I **want** to do?”


“Is this something I feel I **should** do”?

IMHO “should” is a terrible word.

Want/need usually comes from an internal source, “should” is from external expectations 

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