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To be fuming ?

(153 Posts)
gillybob Tue 13-Aug-19 11:02:34


I take my elderly father shopping twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays as well as seeing to his other appointments etc. He is a creature of habit and for some reason once a week isn’t enough. I have done this for years. On top of this I look after my 4 DGC 2 days a week (including an overnight) which is fine when they are at school as I do the school runs and take my dad shopping with the baby in tow. The other 3-4 days of the week I am at work 9-5.

Today and tomorrow I have the 4 DGC on my own. I texted my father this morning to remind him that I wouldn’t be able to take him shopping as normal as I can’t fit everyone in the car and the older DGC wouldn’t want to trail around a supermarket today anyway. I told him I will try and take him tomorrow when DH gets back (he’s working away for a few days) .

The text I got back from my dad was..... oh I have had an invite out to lunch from your sister and her partner anyway so wouldn’t want to go shopping . Really? Oh yes they’re both on holiday this week. Well can you get them to take you for some shopping then?

Five minutes later a telephone call from my sister saying “we are taking dad out to lunch but won’t have time to take him shopping as we’re heading away for a few days later today”

So for once in a bloody blue moon she could have taken OUR dad for some shopping but no, her time is precious . Mine is obviously worthless and I am fuming.

Sorry about the rant.

JenniferEccles Fri 16-Aug-19 10:36:33

You sound absolutely shattered at times in your posts gillybob and no wonder with all you have to fit into each day, with your family and work.

You sound as if you badly need a break from all the demands on your time.

Is there any way you could get away for a little holiday, perhaps in September when the children are back at school?

I know you and your husband have your own business, but could you have maybe a short break in say a B and B down here in the south where the weather is better?

I know I am stating what you already know, but you must look after your mental health. I remember you once said how you sometimes walk on the beach and just cry. That is so sad.

Hetty58 Thu 15-Aug-19 18:41:45

You have taken on too much, gillybob, and now, naturally, you resent it. It's time for a rethink.

However, you have no right to dictate to your sister what her duties will be. You cannot make somebody else do things or expect her to become the doormat that you are.

I know this from experience as my sister tried it with me. She failed to realise that I had an entirely different relationship with our mother. My mother wanted her, not me, as 'slave' so it just didn't work!

annep1 Thu 15-Aug-19 18:29:00

My best friend was like you Gillybob.
She got no thanks. But she just couldn't change. No matter what advice she was given.
I hope you don't make the same mistake.
We only get one chance at life. You are sacrificing yours.

Lessismore Thu 15-Aug-19 18:03:23

Very easy to say.....less easy to do....if your Father has capacity, he is making a choice to read labels and plan meals. He does, of course have this right. Perhaps a local taxi firm could take him and return him home.

Hithere Thu 15-Aug-19 16:06:27


You asked: "Why does my father want to go shopping twice a week? I don't know!"

It is because when he calls you, you answer and do what he wants.

No online shopping because he likes reading the labels and plan on the fly? That is not your problem, it is his.
He can easily buy the brands online that he buys in the store in person when he goes with you.
He chooses not to do that. Again, it is not your problem.
Has he ever said thank you for taking him shopping?

You must set personal boundaries to be able to enjoy your life. Doormat is a perfect definition of your current situation and only you can change if you want.

The older he gets, the more demanding he is going to get and the more "help" (real help or imaginary)

As for your sister not wanting to help more?
It could be she is selfish, she doesn't have the time, she might not want to get involved in becoming a chore for her, etc. Who knows?
It is not going to help your lack of personal boundaries and your inability to say no.

You can do it! Start saying no to a very small request. Take some time to read a book, tv, crochet, knit, whatever you like.
The more you say no, the easier it becomes.

annemac101 Thu 15-Aug-19 13:36:09

Gillybob sometimes you just have to put your foot down for your own health. I had same problem with MIL re online shopping she actually wanted me to shop for her everyday. I was a lot younger then and working. I got her shopping down to once a week but it took me longer to get hers than mine.
I just said I will do your shopping online and it will be delivered there's nothing else I can do. I also ordered meals on wheels. She didn't like it but there is only so many ways you can be stretched. You have to tell your dad that tines change and he now has to think differently about how he shops and he has to change too if he wants shopping or tell him to ask your sister.
You must be exhausted looking after DGC never mind running after your dad who actually has a social life. The more you do the more you will be asked to do and only you have the power to change it. As I often see on Mumsnet, the word "No" is a complete sentence.

giulia Thu 15-Aug-19 12:55:02

GILLYBOB - have just read all this thread and - what do I think? You come across as a lovely, lovely person! Hope this cheers you up a bit.

You have been give some good advice by several people.

gillybob Thu 15-Aug-19 12:45:27

I really didn't want to prolong this thread any longer (I am really not that important) but felt that I couldn't go without a few answers and words of gratitude for some of the overwhelmingly kind and supportive posts.

On line shopping ? A big fat no, no. He likes to read every ingredient, plan his meals as he goes around, check use by dates and generally enjoy the experience.

Sharing the chores ? Again a bit of a no. My S will not be tied to anything. She is a free spirit, no ties and used to doing what she wants when she wants. She thinks that because my DH and I run our own business we are just playing at it and "its not like having a real job".

The money : I asked my dad if he could loan my sister money early this year as she had got herself into a right mess with debts. Because of the way we had to pay it into her account (cash into mine and then transfer to hers because of money laundering rules) I am sure he thinks I benefitted in some way when I absolutely did not. It was he who turned it into a gift .

I know I probably won't ever retire in the true sense of the word as my DH and I have an almost 11 year age gap and no longer have any private pensions. I have another 10 years to go to get my state pension (67.5) when my DH will be 78 !

I am sad that things have turned out the way they have and I am now starting to feel a little bitter. We are a very small family and I am only one person after all. It really is a good job I don't ask for any favours in return because I think I might be very disappointed.

To be fair....this shopping thing was just the straw that broke the camels back and I suppose its a lot more than that really.

There are a million things I would like to add but had better not....I could be here all day.....

I think you have probably assumed that things will not change. I will carry on just as I always have done albeit with a heavy heart. It would be nice to get a thank you once in a while (which makes me sound pathetic) and maybe not to be taken so much for granted. My late grandma always said "they only ever flog the willing horse" and I never really understood it, I do now.

I don't want to thank individuals as it wouldn't be fair on those who I might miss out, I do however want to say that I really don't know where I would be without the kindness of gransnet members who have taken the time to post their thoughts and advice.

You are all truly wonderful x

Tillybelle Thu 15-Aug-19 12:14:48


So well said! Jesus welcomes one and all

Indeed it is well documented that He made a deliberate point of reaching out to those that were rejected by the general population such as the Tax gatherer and those with Leprosy. Those so-called Christians who judge and reject people have disobeyed Jesus' essential commandment "Love thy neighbour as thyself".

That's why I believe all "Christians" who condemn people in same-sex relationships should re-read Luke 10;29 onwards, starting with "Who is my neighbour?"
To understand and take on board this parable of the Good Samaritan, means that we cannot ever turn anyone away, especially those who come to our Church, for they are our neighbour and Jesus holds them in his heart.

One hymn that makes me cry but keeps me going every day begins;
"O love that will not let me go".

If only all Christians could remember that the people they reject are subject to this Divine Love too.

Tillybelle Thu 15-Aug-19 11:31:49

Auntieflo. Thank you so much! God bless you! I am so happy to hear of the wonderful news about you and your brother. Well done you!

Tillybelle Thu 15-Aug-19 11:29:02

lone voice!

Tillybelle Thu 15-Aug-19 11:27:56

Lessismore Oh my dear Lessismore! I make absolutely no excuses for them. How Christian is it turn anybody away? Whenever anyone came up with that terrible anti gay prejudice, I would try and stand up and start to quote the parable of the Good Samaritan. There are many other parts of the bible I could quote too. They are cherry picking what to stand against for example. While many of them have a tattoo, ignoring the verses saying that these are not allowed, they condemn same-sex love. They ignore "Judge not" they ignore "do not try to remove the speck in your brother's eye until you have removed the great plank from your own". This goes for other Churches too.

I became too disabled and crippled by pain to get to meetings. A few contacted me. No-one has offered a lift. I began to feel like a loan voice. I often feel I don't belong with any Church. It is difficult. I stay in my close relationship with God and pray that he will help me. Since my dearest elderly friend died, with whom I would visit all the people in Care Homes and unable to leave their own homes, I have not seen anyone from my Salvation Army Corps. They have not tried to visit. I have encountered horrendous problems but I would not turn to them.

I send my love to your son, I have many gay friends. At this time I am isolated and only see a few people. My most loyal friend is a gay man. Be proud of him as I am sure you are!

Auntieflo Thu 15-Aug-19 09:28:15

Tillybelle, just read your wonderful post to Gillybob.

I know how hard it is to write such a thing. My DB and I were estranged for many years. I wrote from my heart, no thinking about it, just as it came. This year we are reunited!

harrigran Thu 15-Aug-19 09:04:31

Piggy in the middle rings a bell. One of my sisters moved abroad the other worked full time, I was the only one with children and a stay at home mum so obviously the go to person. I was only forty when my last parent died but I was a wreck healthwise.

Lumarei Thu 15-Aug-19 03:40:20

BTW whilst my last sentence might sound depressing to some, I find it very liberating.

Lumarei Thu 15-Aug-19 03:36:41

I have come to the conclusion that most people are too busy or involved in their own affairs to see other people’s perspectives. Unless you speak to your dad and sister you are not fair to them. They can’t read your mind and need to be TOLD.

Once you have set your boundaries and they are being unreasonable your rant and fury is justified.
My mother always played the martyr making everyone feel guilty but turning down help when offered or solution presented. I vowed I would never do guilt trips and be upfront and ask for help.
Gillybob I know you mean well but you must take care of yourself. In these situations I always remind myself and other people that if I was not there life would go on just the same. Billions of people cope without me, I may be a bonus in someone‘s life but not essential.
The only time I felt essential was when my children were young and I was a single mum as they would have ended up in care. Your GC have parents they are not your responsibility and your dad has friends, your sister and if all fails Social Services. You are simply a wonderful addition to their lives.

4allweknow Wed 14-Aug-19 23:52:38

I know how you feel. I had 3 older siblings,, 15,14 and 13cyears older than me. They had teenage children when mine weren't even school age. Did they lift a finger to help parents shopping, appointments, you know what's involved, no they didn't. My DH worked shifts so wasn't always around in the daytime and evenings but I work would get the phone call from one of them that a prescription needed collection. Somehow I would manage to collect and deliver. On one occasion after collecting I went to parents house after being to the Drs and chemist only to find no one in. Went home and phoned neither asking if he knew where they were, oh yes, they are here for tea just bring the stuff here!!! Livid doesn't come anywhere near how I felt. So I fully understand how you feel. My escapades were pre mobile phone and prescription colkection/delivery days. I can feel the fury just typing this. RANT all you need to, it's justified.

Urmstongran Wed 14-Aug-19 21:38:10

What lovely, caring posts from you all to our (virtual) friend gillybob
Especially yours Tillybelle you have taken such time and kindness to explain your thoughts here.

gilly you are a saint on earth.

You are piggy in the middle between 2 generations with no thought (or time) for yourself.

My lovely mother in law used to say ‘please others and you displease yourself’. How true.

Time to put on your big girl knickers and carve out a little life for YOU.

Good luck, lovely lady.

FarNorth Wed 14-Aug-19 20:02:50

sad {{hugs}}

Lessismore Wed 14-Aug-19 19:56:20

Thanks mumof, it sort of broke me.

mumofmadboys Wed 14-Aug-19 19:37:06

I am sorry you have had that experience Lessismore. Jesus welcomes one and all. I hope you can find a church where you both feel welcome, cared for and respected.

Lessismore Wed 14-Aug-19 18:54:52

I used to love the Salvation Army , until they told me me son ( gay) wasn't welcome.

eagleswings Wed 14-Aug-19 18:48:21

Hi Gillybob
You are a wonderful grandmother and daughter. Now is the time to set some boundaries and tell your father you are handing on your shopping commitment to your sister for a while. She won't like it but she'll soon get used to it and I would invite you to leave the arrangements between the two of them too. Bit of a fait accompli but I am not sure what else will work. All the very best with it.

FarNorth Wed 14-Aug-19 18:37:40

Tillybelle is right. sunshineflowers

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 18:10:03

Dear gillybob
I can't get you out of my mind. I have re-read the thread.
I need to lie down but before I go, please let me say this. I am rather scared to say it so I need to do it while I have the courage.

As I read all this thread, I kept seeing you. You looked exactly like the wonderful lady we all had at my Church (Salvation Army). She was slim, lovely to look at but above all she did everything she could possibly do in every possible way in our Church. She was kindness itself. Her husband was just retired so she retired from her work but was not quite retirement age. The Salvation Army has so many different clubs, groups, posts, outreaches... and she was involved in them all. We also helped the Police with the rescuing of girls being trafficked into the sex slave trade. She was trained to go and help rescue these girls too. She was so perfect, you'd think we'd hate her! But she had no enemies, everybody loved her. She knew exactly what to say when someone was ill, bereaved or getting married! She never missed a service she was never ill.

Suddenly one day she collapsed with a heart attack! She died. Just like that. No warning.

We became acutely aware of all the things she did because there was a huge gap in our church. Some people did not even know she did other things. She covered so much that we would sit and wait and then realise that it was another thing she had been in charge of.

She was not yet retirement age. She had several grandchildren, one with disabilities whom she helped so much.

We had to carry on. We had to realise that nobody is indispensable. People are taken for granted, not indispensable.

The bossy bit:
Stop, Gilly! Stop doing all this now! Plan your retirement and start living your life. Never lie on behalf of your spineless sister again, please.
Please Gilly. We want you here in your 80s, 90s and to wish you a Happy Hundredth!

Try the Youtube Stephanie Lyn Boundaries talks, perhaps, and learn what it really means to have boundaries. It starts with valuing yourself. You can't teach others to treat you with respect and fairness if you do not respect and are not fair to yourself. I had to learn this. Please do it. As you age you will be forced to learn it. Don't let a health scare force you into making these essential changes for yourself. Don't be in a hospital bed thinking you can't do all this running about any more. Worse of all, please don't be like the wonderful lady at my Church.

With very much love, please value yourself, from Elle x
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