My 90 year old mom fell in her home few months ago. Has many health issues to include heart disease. Spent time in hospital and then 2 mos in rehab. Now back at home, but cannot be left alone.
Myself and 4 siblings take turns caring overnight for her. 2 sibs are retired and married so have taken on more of the care, dr. appts, handling her meds, etc because they have the time and can. The other 3, including me, take two days and one overnight.
When mom first fell and in hospital, I was told by eldest sib between her, my other retired sister, and me, we would take care of mom through this.
I right then told her, that I could not do as much as them. I’m not retired, don’t have a husband to help with home stuff, or in town kids to help, am running a household all by myself, supporting and helping my disabled child who now has no job, trying to find a home to move to, handling all those financials for the home, and planning the move during a pandemic. Also dealing with atty. to try to get money owed us from ex. Plus dealing with sick animal.
I told her I would help best I could as she is my mom too and I do want to help.
I received horrid text msg from baby sister all caps yelling, telling me I was selfish and a narcissist. Not helping enough, how badly mom needs help now.
Funny, this one went through a bad divorce many years ago in which all of us helped her. Thought she might understand what I was dealing with, but absolutely no help from her. crickets when I went through my divorce.
I finally was able to move, no less over Xmas week with the help of my own other children. I told my siblings I need so much time off to move, but they added me back in on the mom care list sooner than I planned I could be back.
They wouldn’t allow me or my kids to see mom for Christmas because they traveled in and they were concerned about Covid, but finally agreed for my kids to see her if they stayed outside, even though they and I had told them they were planning that initially.
I was not allowed to see her for Christmas though. There are many other issues I can’t go into here for lack of space, but to say the youngest sibling is allowed to bring her kids in to see grandma and none of them wear masks including her, as she works in a dr. Office. Her boyfriend and one son have already gotten Covid.
When I bring this up to the older siblings about a double standard, I am ignored, and told to move on from the topic.
I know they are not happy with me doing as much as them, dont understand, but judge my situation, or how full my plate is and don’t want to hear my saying no when I can’t do something. I’m doing the very best I can to balance my life in all areas without going crazy.
I had also told the eldest when mom first got sick she needed to put in place a plan b for when people got sick, burned out, or just couldn’t be there. She seemed to think we would all just be able to help taking care of mom regularly indefinitely. !? Denial
Without going into much more detail, I was put on calendar to sit again earlier than I had told them I would be back to help after move. They didn’t ask or even tell me. Just put me on calendar which I just happened to see, but willingly agreed to go. Thought I would figure it out when the time came. I had even shopped for food and party things to have with mom and me for the NY Eve night.
As things would go, I woke up that morning feeling sick. Now head cold, body aches and exhausted. I
called Sibling to tell her I couldn’t come out to sit mom. Of course she was mad and said she had ‘expected me to pull something!’ Wow!
I did Not plan this. I felt bad enough I couldn’t go. Had my son bring over all the party goodies later that day for mom to have for NY Eve.
Then I get a group email from baby sister insinuating that I am Lieing about being sick.
I can only do so much. My plate is very full and my siblings don’t care or understand.
Am I wrong to have boundaries?
I just want to disown them now
Oddly enough I just answered an OP with a long litany of her own about her bad siblings and how they won't help in care of Mom. I told her it has nothing to do with her siblings, this is about HER caregiving a Mom, and being unable to sustain it. I told her to pretend the siblings were never born. These are about her own choice. I told her I felt basically the siblings made the correct choice; Mom's care cannot be done at home any more.
I feel the same about you.
When you see an email in all caps, erase without reading, answer that you did so and always will when "shouted" emails come.
You have a choice now. My own choice would be to withdrawn from any and all care. And no, your shouldn't be coming in and out now to do this care; no one should be unless they are doing direct care. I would tell my siblings that SADLY Mom now requires more care than you can give or coordinate. If they choose to make you the Bad Black Sheep, then accept that and wear it like a badge of common sense. Don't argue. Let them name-call until they run out of steam. Put the phone down on the counter and walk away while they talk. Check back every few minutes to see if they disconnected. Same with computer. Same with phone.
So we are down to telling them again that you cannot and you do not CHOOSE TO participate to the extent they can, are doing and may intend to do. That you cannot do this care; that you just bumped up against your own limitations. Sorry. So sorry. But doesn't change the facts.
Wishing you good luck. You are going to have to take charge for this. You are ALL causing an absolute unworkable chaos that will do your Mom more harm than good ultimately. I know everyone has good intentions, but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I think you are finding that out.
I hope you will update us. Remember, everyone isn't going to like you. That's OK. That's life.
If they want me to help during the day maybe twice a month, I feel comfortable with that. I cannot stay overnight any longer as I don’t sleep and will easily get sick.
As mom gets worse, she’s going to need professional night care. Not one daughter there overnight.
When my mom’s mom was put in a nursing home years ago, my mom would come home every day crying. She told us to never put her in a nursing home. Guilt on us!
They already don’t like me. I’m getting use to it. Lol
I bet your the child who family has always expected more out of. The one who can be made to feel guilty. The one that just did with no argument. Never really stood up to them. Well now you need to stand up to them. Explain that you understand that Mom needs help and she is lucky she has 5 kids that are willing to do it but why does everyone feel that you have anymore time than the other 2 helping the same amount of time. You work a fulltime job. Thats at least 10 hours out of a 24 hour day. That leaves 14 hrs and 8 of that ur sleeping. So you have 6 hours a day to help with Mom, maybe. You are dealing with a divorce and helping a disabled child. Where does anyone think you have more time to help with Mom. As my daughter says, you have to turn their accusations back on them. Don't make it sound like excuses, tell them, this is my day/life, so tell me how do I fit Moms care into that?
And baby sister sounds like a brat to me. So for now, block her from your email or don't read it and delete. Block her from ur phone. You do not need to listen to her abuse. And its abuse and i would call her on it. You do what you can when u can. Believe me, this is going to get old after a while. Those who are retired are going to resent that they aren't able to enjoy their retirement andvthey are doing most of the work. The other two, working and their downtime caring for Mom is going to take its tole on them too.
When this first started I had also talked to my other retired sister who was hell bent on ‘doing this for mom’ and that we all would help out. That was her perspective.
I had already researched some of places mom could go into.
When I shared with her, she said absolutely not. Mom isn’t going into a ‘nursing home’ and she will not go on Medicaid! We will all help out here at her house. Denial. Denial. Denial.
I told her then we could not all do the same amount of work to help out. Each of our lives have different things going on. She turned around and left the room. Wouldn’t listen to me. nothing new.
Places I have talked to that know about elder care have told me this is not uncommon with families. They are kind of in denial and wait too long until something happens and then scramble to find help. I had pushed a plan b and hired caregiver from the start. Mom has little money. Finally after brat sister got yelled at for her and boyfriend smoking in garage and smoke coming in house, she and blew up and threatened to quit helping. (Long story) Then they finally started looking for a paid caregiver. And found the funds to pay for it. It still is not in place yet. And would only be part time.
And yes, I agree with you. I did tell the brat baby sister exactly what you said about her divorce and the help we gave her when she called me selfish. She didn’t care or respond back to me.
I was/am the middle child. Never got much attention, but bossed around lots and called names. I use to kid around that I was Cinderella. It felt like it. My mom was miserable raising us kids and being stuck, as she called it, and took or out on us.
I didn’t conform to her ways all the time, because I didn’t agree with her. She was often angry, spiteful, mean, and gossipy.
she would get angry with me when I rebelled.
She was actually jealous at times of some of us kids who would go off and do fun things.
I was very glad to move out when I did and find my way in life for me. When I married, I learned than mom and some of my siblings were jealous of me. Told me I had money now and could hire babysitters, nannies, etc and I didn’t need their help. That hurt.
I could never win with them.
i eventually learned how to live my life without their help.
Now I’m back to having to be there to help her and deal with these bossy, ungrateful siblings.
Not a good place to be.
I will not talk to brat sister because she has decided not to talk to me. That’s ok with me. Lol.
thanks for your comment.
You did the right thing and told your sisters up front that you would not be able to do as much. Stand your ground and get yourself settled into your new place, and rest so you get better. And take all the time you need to do it. Block your siblings lashing out at you. Don't respond to their insults.
I think the bigger problem here is your mom is too old to live alone. At 90 years old she needs to be in assisted living and or some other care facility that can meet her needs.
Does your mom own her home? What does her financial picture look like? There are ways to arrange for professional care, either with mom's money/assets or Medicaid.
If I were you I would lead the charge and suggest an ALF to your siblings. If they don't agree, then they can do the work. ALL of it. I have a feeling they may very well agree though because they are already acting resentful and fighting over who has to stay with mom.
If the issue is MOM doesn't want to move, well, it's no longer safe for her to live alone, so she doesn't get a say. She doesn't get to demand her adult children become 24/7 caregivers.
My mom does feel like she has a say in her adult children doing her 24 hour care. Whether she uses a guilt trip or gets angry, I’m not sure, but it’s obviously working on them.
She has always ‘expected’ her kids to take care of her. She’s in her glory because we are all coming to her now and taking care of her. Giving her all the attention. And she’s doing much better health wise because we are there. But, if you don’t give her enough attention when you’re there, she throws a fit or yells at you like a 2 year old.
The other day I was talking to my sister on the phone while she was there, and mom decided that was enough. So tried to get up. My sister saw and wailed into her. And she had to get off the phone. So it worked in moms eyes. Lol.
Wouldn’t you know it, the next day mom fell while walking with her walker. She won’t be getting up again just to get attn., that’s for sure!
Mom already told my sister when they interview the part time caretaker next week, she has to approve of her. Ha ha
I told my sister she most likely won’t like any stranger coming into her home. So don’t cave when she does complain.
i completely agree she needs to be in professional assisted living care.
The plan was always to sell her house and then put her in, but with Covid now it made it more difficult.
I would think we can now do this since there is a vaccine, but someone has convinced mom to not take it due to the side effects. 🥴.
What is an ALF? Everything I have proposed for moms care to my siblings has been either turned down or ignored.
i am slowly removing myself from the picture as they don’t want to hear any logical solutions I’m offering and I can’t continue to do all they want.
rhank you for your response.
And of course when I put out my boundaries they get angry with me, like it’s my fault.
They also retaliate like not letting me or my kids see her for Christmas. In the future, if I want to go out to see her, I won’t listen to their no. I’ll do what I want.
With everyone’s helpful suggestions, I am going to stay my boundaries (listen to my gut), wait and watch for them to wake up! Not take their responses personal and block anymore nasty comments sent to me.
Thanks for your responses.