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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.

Saggi Wed 14-Aug-19 17:50:24

I did share the care and shopping of my mum , with my sister. She did more as I was still working and my sister never did have a job outside the home and kids. She lived 5 miles from mum and drives , and I lived 50 miles away , didn’t drive and have an invalid husband for the past 23 years. I did what I could though! Our two brothers did nothing!! Now mum is no longer with us and I look after two grandkids twice a week, before and after school! If I thought for one moment that my daughter took me for a mug I would walk away from it all. But she appreciates every little and big thing I do for her...... we do not ‘gush’ over each other or are very ‘kissy as a family, but we all appreciate what any one of us can ‘bring to the party ‘ it were. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but meanness ...self centredness...and disregard for each other’s feelings , don’t come into it. You need to extricate yourself from a lot of your commitments...and give yourself time to mend your mind and body.

Willow500 Wed 14-Aug-19 17:48:24

Knowing how much you do for your family, the work you do, the things you've been through and the dreadful burden to both you and your husband your business is to add this on top is the final straw - fuming is an understatement! I doubt you'll be able to say no to any of the things you're asked/expected to do but maybe the online shopping could be a start. Instead of taking him go round when it's due to be delivered and help him put it away with the children in tow. If you can break the habit of twice weekly trips to the shops it might just ease the way to one less commitment.

Having cared for both my parents whilst working I know how you end up taking more and more on - I was lucky in that they lived a few doors away and I worked from home but it was exhausting enough. I really don't know how you do what you do. flowers

FC61 Wed 14-Aug-19 17:40:33

I would text sister and dad and say you decide what you want to do either lunch or shopping . I’m just saying for the first time in x years I can’t !

newgran2019 Wed 14-Aug-19 17:28:39

You are so right, granny4hugs. My mum moved into sheltered accommodation two years ago but doesn't like socializing or making any effort, so my retired husband and I (working) do almost everything for her. My brother - the favoured one - lives 25 miles away but works full-time and has a demanding family and only one car, so doesn't do much for Mum. She is now in hospital for the second time in a year with pulmonary embolisms due to not moving. My husband is on medication this week for an infection and my brother is in Devon on holiday, so we two are doing all the hospital visits (10 miles each way). We have a two-week holiday booked soon and have arranged for paid carers to help my mum, who won't like it, as she thinks my husband is her personal assistant/chauffeur/banker/handyman, etc. We don't do grandparent childcare as our DGD is 260 miles away, but we do want to build a good relationship with her, so need to balance things better. Why is it so hard to discuss it calmly with her?

Tillybelle, thank you for uplifting words.

granny4hugs Wed 14-Aug-19 17:06:02

O know so many families where one sibling seems to do absolutely everything. Ironically its often the one that does absolutely nothing who is treated as a favourite by the parent in question.
The old adage holds true however - behave like a doormat, be treated like a doormat. Try being unavailable for a couple weeks and see what happens...

ladytina42 Wed 14-Aug-19 16:53:20

Sorry I haven’t read all the posts so may have missed something. 2 of my older sisters tend to do so much for my Dad on a day to day, doctors and hospital appointments etc...and I wish I could help more but I am 300 miles away so it’s not possible and I must admit when I do visit I tend to do nice or fun things that I know he’ll enjoy...meals out etc... I do let my sisters know how much I appreciate what they do though and that I wish I could do more. Does your sister live locally Gillybob?

Applegran Wed 14-Aug-19 16:53:01

Speak up, while you can do it calmly and say what you are feeling, what you would like from your sister and ask her for her response. GN is great! But the person you need to talk to is your sister - before you want to explode. I understand that you have taken on a huge amount for your family - now looks like a good time to reflect and speak to family wherever relevant about your time, energy and what you can and cannot take on.

jura2 Wed 14-Aug-19 16:38:01

oh gillybob- what a bl**dy cheek- I really would have told them what I thought of that - for sure sad

glammagran Wed 14-Aug-19 16:34:12

Gillybob you make me feel exhausted just thinking of how much you achieve each week and how far you overstretch yourself. I’m filled with total admiration. But I’m speechless as to why you borrowed money from your father on behalf of your sister. And then incurred his displeasure. Why on earth did you do this? Please be more assertive and get your sister to do your Dad’s shopping and take less responsibility for your grandchildren. I simply don’t know where you find the energy. 💐

Elderlyfirsttimegran Wed 14-Aug-19 16:33:44

Fuming totally justified. I had exactly the same treatment from my family as I housed and cared for my mothers for 28 years while at the same time marrying, having 3 babies, being widowed very young, later remarrying and bringing up my children. I had to plead with one of the siblings to look after while we went away for a summer fortnight. It made my middle year’s a nightmare.

quizqueen Wed 14-Aug-19 16:05:03

Tell your dad that you will take him shopping once a week and he will have to get used to it ( just drop in odd bits if he is desperately short of something, initially). Teach him how to use internet shopping. Tell the other relatives to step up.

wicklowwinnie Wed 14-Aug-19 15:54:25

Thank you Tillybelle, your words have brought me great comfort. Yes, I have lots of friends and several very close ones. It seems in life you have to forget about siblings and their unkindness. Friends are far more supportive when we have problems.
Everything seems fine when you're all children together. All the jealousies seem to start with jobs, marriages, et cetera. Lots of love to you.

justwokeup Wed 14-Aug-19 15:39:31

Gillybob I don't think your family will change at all, particularly sister won't step up to help. You can only help yourself. Good suggestions about online shop and Wiltshire meals, it will also give you a bit of time for a relaxing cup of coffee with Dad without going out. He has a good social life so perhaps he can eat out a bit more. Meals on wheels might be an option - they deliver a hot meal at lunchtime, I've been told. Any other needs may be met, as one person suggested, by the AgeUK scheme. Definitely say no shops during the school holidays, shop online for him if you have to and suggest he asks sister if she can help. Find activities for your DGC yourself, playparks etc so you can sit and have a rest while they play. You could also sit with a notepad and think about how to move out of the caring role a bit! No-one is indispensable, but it would be such a shame if they have to cope because you have made yourself ill trying to do everything.

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 15:34:26

Lessismore A perfect idea. God be with you. He will and is!

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 15:33:32


I am so sorry. Even a good income does not go far today.

Money is possibly one of the most wicked things for causing trouble between people.

I used to go to talks by a man whom I can only describe as a modern Prophet. He said money says the most honest things about us, how we use it, what we think of it, how we regard others' money etc. Probably I come into the category of "A fool and his money are soon parted." ! Time I started sorting myself out!

I am so very sorry that your family let the love your husband had for you come between them and you and spoil their relationship with you. Sibling jealousy is so common though and causes a lot of unhappiness.

As you can see from above, although it's a bit long so I appreciate not everyone wants to read it all, I had a bad relationship with my half sister. It was difficult when we were children, she, being older than I, was able to bully me and torment me. But as adults it became intolerable. Her ways were the opposite of mine and her children were a liability, so I tried to avoid her. Siblings can be one of the most difficult relationships we ever have to encounter. Yet they last our whole life, more or less, so are the longest relationship we have usually.

I do hope you have plenty of good friends. Or better, a few good and reliable friends you can truly trust and with whom you can be yourself.

With love Elle x 🌈🌺

Lessismore Wed 14-Aug-19 15:29:00

Actually Tilly, I am going for a quiet sit in a Church now. It can't do any harm.

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 15:19:58

Lessismore. Thank you. I am very humbled by your kindness.

So sorry to hear you are going through hell. As I am a prayerful person I'll pray. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and that many have been put off all that, which I really understand.
I understand about not saying much etc and I do so hope you get time for yourself and have some kind of support. At the worst times in my life I was alone. In the latter time I found some very good people on YouTube - the internet is not all bad! I made sure they had some qualifications! Anyway it's easy to tell when someone is terrible!

Sending you lots of love and strength to keep going and peace in your heart and good nights of sleep, from Elle 🌈🌺

Regarding praying - Boring sermon alert!
Luckily something happened to me to override all the negative stuff about God and to explain a bit about how it works. Quite simply, He is love, loves us. Here we live where the devil (fallen angel) who has free reign and who messed up God's perfect creation - hence disease like cancer and animals fighting each other etc. God can't intervene because we chose to have freedom of knowledge and choice. But he wants to save us from it all and our soul is a real thing and he wants to take it into His perfect realm of love when we leave here. I nearly died - the Doctor told me several times after that he was sure I was dead, I had an out-of-body experience. It was so beautiful. I am so grateful for it. I was sent back into my body because the Doctor revived my newborn baby whom he said was also apparently dead.
Life is quite simple really. God is love. The devil creates evil because he's jealous. The earth is filled with difficult things. But we are souls in a body and our souls are immortal and belong to God who loves us so much He will never let us go. It is only we ourselves who can sever our connection to Him by deciding we absolutely and utterly and without any doubts at all don't believe in him. Even then, he knows how difficult it is so he says if you have the tiniest bit of your mind that can believe he exists, as small as a mustard seed, that is enough.

wicklowwinnie Wed 14-Aug-19 15:01:41

Families are unbelievable, when my husband was alive he paid the maximum into his staff pension so if he died before me I would get a very good widows pension. He was several years older than me. When he died over 20 years ago I had just qualified for a state pension in my own right, plus a works pension from my own job and a widows pension from my late husband. In the views of my three sisters and brother I was considered' comfortably off' and expected to pay for everything if we went out for meals or anything like that. Even 'lending 'money to them. It was actually said that I had pots of money and did not know what to do with it!!! They were all incredibly jealous. It was unbelievable.

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 15:00:25


I like your brilliantly concise message and comment;
Don't be a doormat.

I remember someone saying "how do you stop being a doormat?' Answer; "You stop lying down and letting them walk all over you."

Lessismore Wed 14-Aug-19 14:47:47

Tilly, an excellent post. I am going through sheer hell at the moment...connected with elderly. Can't say too much.

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 14:45:34

Just to say - sorry it is long , the above. When I'm not too well I have trouble being concise. Also I feel so strongly about this. So many Mothers who are daughters and grandmothers and sisters at the same time, fall into this terrible situation of utter exhaustion because, all their life, they have been everybody's dogsbody. Without realising it. Then a crisis happens. They become ill. Life is too short. You must love yourself.

Christingle Wed 14-Aug-19 14:43:09

You just need to learn to say no. If some of the things you do are too much for you or you resent doing them, just say you can’t do it.

Tillybelle Wed 14-Aug-19 14:42:27

gillybob. dear Gilly, please forgive me for not reading all the thread first as I am pressed for time and also have another bad headache.
When I saw this was you writing with a difficult and very unfair situation I had to read it and I have to respond. You always help all of us with so much kindness:

I am so very sorry that you are so terribly put-upon and taken advantage of by your family. You have every right to fume and feel hurt and upset. I am feeling angry and upset for you. When I was doing Counselling (I am a retired Psychologist) I used to see so many women who were taken for granted and put upon not just by their husbands/partners but by their parents, siblings and children. I had learned a few years before that I too was one of these women. We are prone to depression and burn-out and illnesses such as Fibromyalgia.

I think the people who do take you for granted hardly ever see that they are doing so. I am sorry to say, that without even realising it, they do not respect you. They even feel superior to you. Their needs are important as far as they are concerned. Your needs are irrelevant and not worthy of consideration. They really do see their lives as more important than yours. Sorry.

I might, not from a Counsellor's perspective but from personal experience, try saying that, when your sister returns after their holiday, you could have scheduled her in for alternative weeks of taking Dad shopping, while you take him the other week. Just tell your dad the weeks she is doing it and leave her number with him on the list. After all she can take him out to lunch....

My realisation that I was a "nobody" to my mother and sister came this way (although there had been so many examples before, this was the "final straw".)

I nursed my father when he was dying. My own husband had killed himself (that was the wording on the death certificate) two years before. I had a 17 year old at home with depression and a 9 year old. I drove the hour plus (traffic was terrible) journey each way twice a day, taking and returning his bedding which I washed and dried at home. I used the sheets from my children's beds and gave them cot sheets. I found new sheets on a chair in his room after he died but my mother "did not want them wee'd on by him". I stayed overnight in his room as he was expected to die, and drove back each morning to get my youngest ready for school. Eldest was still at uni.
Eventually I nearly fell asleep leaving the motorway in the early hours of the morning driving home. I told the District Nurse, whom I knew, and she was horrified as she thought my mother, 14 years younger than my father and very fit and well, was taking care of him. She immediately arranged for a nurse to do overnight care. I returned the next day to find that my mother had cancelled the Nurse "because we do do it ourselves!" We! She did nothing. Now this was my wonderful dad for whom I would do anything. But I had two traumatised children at home who were not over their father's suicide. I had to put them first. Would you believe it, I have an older sister, who has two sons much older than my children? She lived about 20 minutes from our parents. Neither of her sons had a job at the time. They were approx 30, sitting at home smoking and drinking. She had a part-time job, but did nothing for dad. She expected little sister, who lived so much further away and had young children one at primary school, who had suffered the death of their father, to leave them and come and nurse our father. Knowing how ill he was and that the Doctor had said he was dying, she went to the USA on holiday. When I mentioned on her return she could help as she had 5 spare days a week and two adult sons with plenty of free time, my mother said angrily, "Oh S. can't be expected to give up her time! She has those two boys to feed and look after as well as a husband!"

That was my turning point. I ended my relationship with my "family" after dad died. I stayed to protect my mother from the thieving brats my sister spawned when our mother developed Alzheimer's but as soon as her funeral was over, because there were legal proceedings against her concerning our mother's money, I asked my Solicitor to write to hers saying I no longer regarded her as a member of my family.

It was a salutary part of my awakening about Narcissists and their victims and and about how we become victims from childhood. This sister is a half sister. She was born before my mother met my father. My mother married him for his house and to make him keep her. She made sure he adopted her first child. Thank God I took after my father. She and my mother gave him a terrible life.

Now is the time Gilly, to act in ways quite foreign to your nature. Now you have to fight for yourself. It won't come naturally, I know. They won't believe you either, so you have to be persistent. Just calmly firmly persistent, repeating (broken record) the same phrases, never answering their questions or arguments just telling them your position. Set your boundaries. You are in this position because you have not done so. I remember discovering "Stephanie Lyn Coaching" on YouTube and suddenly having my eyes opened about setting boundaries and that you do not show people how you want them to treat you if you do not love yourself enough to think you deserve to be treated fairly! I do recommend looking at her talks, especially on Boundaries, on youtube. You have probably grown up being treated abusively by your family, being expected to give-in so they could have their own way, being the one to organise their lives so they can have a good time, and never realising that you deserve to have a good life too. You have at last seen how mercilessly they regard your life as unimportant. To them you are the drudge to fill in for them on the dull jobs, taking on the burdensome jobs they don't want to do. Your life is not of any consequence to them.

From now on simply dictate your term. Set your boundaries. Decide how you deserve to be treated. Don't let them overstep those boundaries. Give them your instructions regarding what you are undertaking in respect of caring for your dad. Do not discuss it. Write it down and add your sister in with an equal half of the responsibilities. Tell them firmly and calmly and do not discuss it. Do not be dragged into a question and answer session about why you have decided to do this, why you have "suddenly changed" etc. As they ask any questions of this nature just repeat the terms of your arrangement. "Family responsibilities are divided equally thus...."

Now take your own very much deserved holiday dear Gilly. You really have earned it. God bless you and good luck and remain calm and sure and confident and don't let them treat you like this any more!

With love and best wishes Elle 🦋💐🌼

Lorelei Wed 14-Aug-19 14:31:52

Not much I can add to the advice others have already given - you are more than entitled to have a good rant with all you do for everybody else. You are obviously the 'go to' person in your family and they all rely on you for everything. On top of your job you are providing childcare, shopping services, taxi services and a seemingly open-ended 'listening ear' support service - all presumably free of charge (if you were paid for all these things + the overnight stays etc it would probably add up to a pretty decent wage!) I think you are amazing. You are also a regular contributor to Gransnet and often one of the first to offer comfort, moral support and gentle understanding to those who post they need it. You have been a good online friend to so many that it is a shame you don't have time in your life for friends you can share interests with, enjoy going for coffee or lunch with etc - not only are you missing out, but others are missing out on what a good friend and lovely lady you are. I take my hat off to you and admire how you seem to juggle everything - I would love to see you find time for yourself, to have 'me time', to have hobbies, interests, outings, friends, holidays etc that YOU wanted, to put yourself first once in a while (or more often). Your house should be full of flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers from all the people you do favours for.

Oh, and on a side note, I can't help but wonder whether your sister is paying for her 'few days away' out of the money she borrowed from your dad - she can't be that broke if she can afford holidays/breaks! 'Taking dad out to lunch' probably means exactly that - taking him there - I'd wager he will end up paying for it! Sounds like she puts herself first and is happy for you to take responsibility for everything else.

Maybe you are just too nice & kind for your own good and people take advantage of you because they can. If you don't feel able to rant at the people in your life or don't want them to know when things are getting to you, then rant away here - hopefully Gransnet users will be here to offer you support when you need it, to listen when you want/need to rant/offload - to hold the corners and edges of a soft blanket to catch you when you fall, as such. You have been there for many of us - we can be here for you too. flowers

notanan2 Wed 14-Aug-19 14:25:47

Text them this next week:
"Hi from insert name of cafe/restaurant, have decided to enjoy lunch out with dad today instead of taking him shopping so you'll have to do the shop instead"

P.s. why dont you set up a regular internet shop for him?