Very ungrateful mother | Caregiver Action Network

Very ungrateful mother

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Very ungrateful mother

My mother has lived with my husband and I for a year and a half. It seems much longer!!! My mother has emphysema and copd. Not sure I spelled that correctly. My husband is wonderful and helps me the best he can, he takes her to the dr for me. I babysit in my home which is what I was doing before she came here. I know I have probably bitten off more than I can chew. I just feel that she isn't very grateful at all. She uses a walker, sometimes she has potty accidents, but that has gotten better. We have no help. She is waited on hand and foot. Its really not so easy. We try to do what we can. I have never been a mama's girl. So I guess also that's why this is hard. My youngest brother had lived with her forever, and he is almost 47, pretty sad I know. He used up all she had. She gave him most of her retirement to buy a brand new car with. I wonder about her mind because what person in their right mind would do that? I just need a place to come to and say I feel like I'm going nuts. I feel resentment towards her, yes we are the smart intelligent people who thought oh yeah we will be fine. What were we thinking? I now feel like we have given up our life for this lady who doesn't try as hard as she could. She sits in her room and isn't really interested in being around our family. Frustration.

KarenS's picture
It's not easy being a caregiver....

It's not easy being a caregiver.  See if you can get your brother in a few nights a week so you and your husband can get a break out together...  and a weekend once in awhile.  If your Mom is capable there are some communities that have senior activities during the day, and evening she may like to attend.  There may be some resistance at first, as it's new to her...  but being with some others her age to play cards or just socialize might do her good.  She may also be depressed, and not interacting with others because of it.  It's not easy on you, or her losing her independance.

What KarenS said plus . . .

Yea, caring for people in these sorts of situations is difficult. The main issue is not having a real way to resolve the situation, I think, and that feeling of being resented as you try and give what care you can. I was at the end of my rope with my client after about 6 months. They'd refuse to cooperate with me and I was sitting there going, "But I only want what's best for you" while tearing my hair out! It took me a while to realize that care is a team effort and that the person receiving care needs to be involved in their own care as much as possible (realistically, though). It also helped when I started to realize that part of the uncooperative behavior was due to anxiety and I found ways of more positively working with that info. I rarely have issues these days and I'm still learning. I, admittedly, only work with my client for about 32 hours a week, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, imo.

You are doing your duty and

You are doing your duty and everything which is possible from your side. You can't expect anything consequently as it is difficult being a caregiver. Same circumstance I had confronted with my toddler, but now he is normal and interact with everybody normally.

Can't Change Her, Change Expectations

I certainly understand your frustration and resentment. While caring for my mother, there were so many times when she seemed to just take it for granted that I would drop everything and do whatever she needed.  I loved her to death, but it drove me crazy!  I couldn't understand why she seemed to have no concept of how much I was sacrificing to be there, and that I was doing the best I could. And then I'd feel guilty for feeling that way.

What I came to realize is that she was just being who she always was - the cancer diagnosis didn't change her personality.  And so, while doing what I could for her, I stopped expecting that she would somehow miraculously transform into someone who would be more grateful. I stopped expecting it, and in return, my frustration started to subside a bit.

Instead of focusing on what she was/wasn't doing, I turned the mirror on myself. I tried to find things I could add to my day that would make life a bit easier for me.  Sometimes it was just downloading a new book on my Kindle, but it worked.  Caregiving is hard, but in the midst of it, we cannot forget to live ourselves.  Your life matters too. Give your husband a big hug, and make sure you put him first from time to time. You are so fortunate to have someone there with you who has your back.  Hope this helps.





Ungrateful Mother

I understand.  I am taking care of an ungrateful Father.  So many people tell him how lucky he is to be living with my husband and I.  Yet he Rarely tells me or my husband.  My Dad is totally blind and diabetic.   He does everything for himself, which I'm grateful for. The only thing he can't do is cook or clean.  My Dad attends an Adult Day Care twice a week from 9 am to 3 pm.  He gets a pension, my deceased Mom's partial pension and his SSecurity.  So money is not a problem here.  He used to go 3 times a week then decided it was too expensive and didn't go any longer.  After 3 weeks of him not attending I told him the center was going to only charge him half.  I spoke to the manager and I told her what I was doing.  So now he goes twice a week.  Is there a Sr Center you can take your Mom to?  I'm sure she will find some women or men to talk to and get to know them.  If she needs more care than a Sr Center, try looking into an Adult Day Care.  There are programs that a volunteer used to come and visit my Dad and just talk to him once a week.  Don't know if you have that option.  Maybe you can ask her to help you fold your towels, once they come out of the dryer.  Can you bring her to the area you babysit in just to watch the kids you babysit?  I just joined this group today and saw your post.  The ungrateful caught my eye.  Good luck to you!

I feel like you do!

I feel your pain.  I just recently moved my 86 year old mother from Florida to NC to be near us after she lost her driver's license and was in and out of the hospital with heart issues and cancer surgery.  She does have some age related dementia and really bad short term memory loss.  She fought me every step of the way trying to move her to be near us [we moved 1 1/2 years ago to retire here and get out of Florida], but then was snapping her fingers saying to please come to Florida, she "needs" me etc. etc.  It is a 10 hour drive. 

I've been taking care of "everything" for about 10 years now, although she has never lived with us. 

She gets around ok and still takes care of herself pretty well, cooks etc.  She wants her own home, but we haven't had much success with finding anything for her.  She lives in an apartment complex 10 miles from us and it is nice, safe and almost exactly what she had in Florida, but it isn't "good enough" and she "hates the people there". 

I found out the hard way that she is adicted to grocery shopping.  She insists that she HAS to shop once a week.  I don't see how an 86 year old living by herself needs to do so. She is spending close to $500 a month in groceries and gets really mad when I try to "investigate" what is really needed.  We have a local store, but to get a lot of other stuff, we have to travel about an hour [we're very rural here].  She is so inconsiderate, but I know that is part of being 86.  She just runs me ragged and never even thanks me.  I take her to "get her out of the house" but then she is running all over the store [Wal Mart] and insists that she HAS to have Hagen Dasz ice cream and Boars Head coldcuts, couldn't possibly buy cold cuts at Wal Mart, so insists that we stop at the grocery store too, then of course Walgreens.  I'm just completely fried.

I sat her down to go over all her bills [she lives on a fixed social security income] and it goes in one ear and out the other.  No matter what, I'm the enemy. 

My husband is anther story.  NO help there.  Not even a pat on the back, in fact, he's more than critical.  Seems like I can't win.  Yesterday I just felt complete sadness and isolation, frustration and lonliness.  I feel like screaming and I feel like I don't have a friend in the world. 

I sympathize with you and thanks for listening!

Tired Daughter
Tired Daughter's picture
I can relate

Yes I have to agree - the being taken for granted, unappreciated, and sometimes abused by the person you are caring for has to be one of the hardest parts.

Like you, I also work from my home, instead of baby sitting - I sit for dogs.  I also sell on ebay and do freelance writing.  Well....these are the things I am supposed to be doing - but most days I can not find the time to do my things - my day is filled with my mother's care. 

Still, when I tell her she needs to get out of chair and walk around a little bit, use the commode and let me change her wet Depends, or do any other basic care thing that she doesn't want to do - she will yell and scream at me and tell me she doesn't love me, sometimes she even tries to slap me.

And I get into bed at the end of the day and cry.  I remind myself all the time that it isn't her it is the disease (demntia - alzheimers) but honestly, that doesn't always help.

Exhausted and underappreciated
I feel the same way. Underappreciated and always criticized, ostracized and belittled for caring for my grandma who expects me to wait on her hand and foot with no help from the family and only judgement. I was only supposed to move in to give her company and then she had a stroke and I end up caring for her. I didn't mind until it was not appreciated. It was so hard and exhausting in the beginning I was working full time and I would wake up every 30 mins to assist her to go to the restroom. I would try to go to bed but I would be so nervous she would call me right when I fall asleep. I would feel like she would make herself go to the restroom on purpose because she would chug a bunch of juice on purpose and quit taking her pee control medication. I was promised by my family that it wouldn't be on me and they would help. That was not the case...they stopped helping and come over to just visit and judge me to tell me I need to do this more and do this. My grandma friend would be so helpful and instigated and all of my time was serving her hand and foot and i didn't have time to clean or mow but she would whisper in my grandma ear that i need to water the plants, which is big, everyday. Her other grandchildren were there but I was the one that was gained up on while it was laugh and giggles with them. They are always telling me to do more when I am doing a lot and so tired. My grandma even said I am the reason she falls because she ask me to these extra things and I said I will do it later and she wants it done so she wants to get up and do it herself and she could fall and I was being accused of elder abuse. After a while, she was able to do stuff on her own and be al alone for a few hours so she wanted to go back to her pee medicine and stop drinking liquids after 4 so she doesn't have to go to the restroom but only once. She likes to twist the story. For example, she asks me to do something and gets my family mad at me for doing it not telling them she asked me to do it. A lot of her complaining are false and leads to false accusations of elder abuse. I try to get her to do her exercises and she tells at me saying she doesn't have to and she tells my family that she doesn't get her exercises in because I refuse to help her. Recently, even though she improved, it has been decided without asking me or my knowledge that I have to ask permission to leave and can't leave her alone even though it was okay when she was in a worse condition. They refuse to stay with her even they though they think she needs 24/7 care.