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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.

Aepgirl Wed 14-Aug-19 14:21:13

One of my names is ‘Gilly’ and i’m Beginning to feel that we Gillys get a raw deal. My parents lived opposite me; I helped a lot when my dad was ill, then my mother after he died - visit every morning, make a cuppa and breakfast, go to work, visit at lunch time with a bite to eat, another cuppa in the afternoon, and a meal I. The evenings. On the very occasional visit from my sister she was told that Gilly did what she could but didn’t’t stay to chat. It’s true that those who do the most get thought of less. Chin up and have a good rant now and then.

sharon103 Wed 14-Aug-19 14:10:47

Time to speak up Gillybob, you do more than enough. Don't be a doormat.

Sleepygran Wed 14-Aug-19 13:27:56

Rant on,but at your sister now!
Sometimes the more we do the more people let us.
I used to help my dd as she has a few children,I'd do washing etc and once commented that it hadn't been put away after it sitting there a few days, she said if you don't like how we live, the don't come round or help out, so I stopped.
I rarely get invited round and she contacts her dad now and not me. It hurts, but I know why she does it, he dad goes and helps now, not me.

Madmaggie Wed 14-Aug-19 13:22:07

Gillybob yes you are right to feel taken for granted because you are. My parents took it for granted that I was on this earth to do their bidding - no excuses. Even when I was bringing up 3 children alone (one with special needs) & a nasty ex. I was doing cleaning & ironing for income while they were at school. Eventually finding a term tide pt job. Ex refused to pay maintenance or clothing for kiddies. But my F would phone me at work demand to know where I was because 'your mother' wants to go to town for a new hat or he wanted ginger beer etc etc the list was amazing. I'd explain I was working however I would offer them my half day off but they'd dismiss it. It got worse & worse, they'd say my DUTY was to them first. They used emotional blackmail, silences etc. Frankly nothing I did was enough. Certain items must be bought from specific shops, I was run ragged. I was walking or bus & carrying everything mine & theirs. Dad would always 'forget' to put things on the list so I was called back over & over. They refused help offered from others with the comment oh no thanks we have a daughter. My B did his best but lived an hours drive away, he gave our D a firm talking to several times but they could not see what they were doing. Eventually they agreed to have Wiltshire meals delivered which took a little pressure off. At one point they said I could move back home, leave my kids to themselves so I was on tap for them as they should come first. I was brought up under their thumb and couldn't have a blazing row but I tried reasoning. It really affected me badly over time & ended up needing counselling. At the time you don't realise what its doing to you it chips away at you. Decide what YOU want, stick to your guns I wish I had. In these times of home deliveries theres no need for you to be at beck and call. I made a large print sheet of shopping items they used, laminated it and gave it to them as a prompt as I would take shopping orders for them via phone.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 14-Aug-19 13:07:28

Gillybob you sound a wonderful caring lady as you say you have done things for years looking after ppl, I had also done the same but with me, I do put my foot down as you cannot please anyone all of the time , and y should you
: you need to split your self in four ways by the sound of it. I would tell your dad you can only manage one shop per week n if he wants more then your selfish sister should step up a bit

grandtanteJE65 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:59:03

In my experience families always behave like this. There is one person, usually a daughter or sister who gets landed with everything as far as the elder generation is concerned. It doesn't matter how many brothers and sisters and in-laws you have.

You have taken childcare of grandchildren on as well.

So no, you are not being unreasonable.

In your place I would tell my father that I was only able to take him shopping once a week, as I was caring for the children as well. Let him ask your sister for help over and above what you can give.

dragonfly46 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:56:47

Mcrc I get the feeling you are justifying your situation.

There is no way Gilly is doing this to be in control. She is kind and caring and being taken advantage of.

Mcrc Wed 14-Aug-19 12:53:56

Prefers shopping with you I meant to say. My sister always thought I was a selfish [email protected]"!! but in reality I got used to the way we did things and I sensed she wanted it that way so she could be in control. That was MY situation

Mcrc Wed 14-Aug-19 12:51:57

People are creatures of habit and also, maybe, just maybe, he prefers shopping and your sister was using an excuse because she felt bad (maybe?) my sister took over the majority of care of my mother who had Alzheimer's and boy did she use it and also thrived on it. I am NOT saying this is the situation here. Please don't let it fester. Please talk to her and your dad

tickingbird Wed 14-Aug-19 12:40:21

Wow. I don’t know your age but you’re a gran so not in your youth and I couldn’t do all that you do. The GC alone would kill me! You do such a lot and you have every right to feel more than a little put upon. I’d be fuming too. However, as long as you continue to carry on in silence this situation won’t change. Have a word with Dad and sister and make it clear you need some help and a rest.

NainFron Wed 14-Aug-19 12:38:13

I agree with other replies - you're complaints are absolutely justified. However, complaining to your sister will only make her defensive and is unlikely to yield results. Try asking her for help in solving your dilemma. You want to help Dad but you also want to look after DGC. How would she do it? You admire her ability to have time to herself. Can she give you advice? What would be a fair sharing of responsibility, in her opinion? Satay calm while this discussion is happening. Allow her time to ponder. If she still won't help - then you can throw the book at her! Best wishes.

Stansgran Wed 14-Aug-19 12:30:06

On Mumsnet I get annoyed when I see posters saying I'm fuming on your behalf yet here I am fuming on your behalf and I want to shake some sense into you and your family. all you need is an accident or an illness and I certainly don't wish it on anyone but how would they manage? And yes they would. Your father could take you for lunch and pay for it surely for all you do. Also from Mumsnet no is a complete sentence. If my premium bonds ever came up I would buy you a week's retreat on Iona on your own!. It would sort them out well and truly.

GreenGran78 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:20:53

If Dad has a social life it sounds as though he is fairly active, and not lonely. He doesn't need to see you twice a week, and is just being selfish.
Put your foot down! Use that day for your own rest and relaxation. Write down your own weekly schedule, show it to your sister, and tell her it's time to pull her weight. If she's happy to take money and lunches from her father then she should be happy to help care for him.
Never mind making excuses for them! You are too nice for your own good!

Theoddbird Wed 14-Aug-19 12:19:35

Totally justified rant. How bloody inconsiderate of your sister.

harrigran Wed 14-Aug-19 12:03:28

Gilly, something has to change, you can not continue with this workload.
Your parents were not really kind to you in your hour of need, perhaps a gentle reminder to your father is in order.
Your sister is not pulling her weight but know from experience that you will be wasting your breath trying to have it out with her.
GC are the little people that keep us going.

Candelle Wed 14-Aug-19 12:02:28

Just sending sympathy - I have a sister like this, so can empathise (mine upsticked - if there is such a word - to another continent after our mother had a stroke.....)..

You should 'have a word' with your sister and politely explain that you are a) not a doormat b) you share your father's genes therefore she should have more input.

Point out your other responsibilities (to your own children/grandchildren etc.) and that you have decided to try to be fairer to her - she can now share more of your father's care!

Worth a whirl...

Mealybug Wed 14-Aug-19 12:02:23

Similar thing with my sister and brothers, my hubby is disabled and I'm his full time carer, however when Mum was alive I took her shopping twice a week, for a game of bingo and looked after her finances and took her to hospital appointments. My sister and brothers did nothing, yet when she passed away they took over all the arrangements without including me and my sister sat with Mum during her last hours, not letting me know till after she had gone how ill she was that night. I will never forgive her for that. It seems the more you do, the less thought of you are.

sarahanew Wed 14-Aug-19 12:00:10

Oh isn't it always the way with familys! I can understand your annoyance. Maybe you could offer to take him out for lunch next week, that'd be nice good quality time together and tell him you haven't got time to take him shopping? But you won't, because you are the reliable, practical one in the family that is there to help when it's needed. Your choice though, you have to decide what you will do

Nannan2 Wed 14-Aug-19 11:32:01

Yes the online shop is probably the way to go- they even bring it in if you want!(i know tesco do) and if aldi or lidl are preferred take him there on your ONE shop day!(theyre open later too these days) Also,to Buttonjugs?maybe you too can get your other brother to do more,or visit more? If hes only 13 miles away thats hardly any distance these days,even on public transport,its like the next town,not other side of country.Not fair only you& other brother should do it all if hes only a few miles away.hmm

Laurely Wed 14-Aug-19 11:24:01

Gillybob: what struck me when I read your post was that after you said your father is a 'creature of habit', your list of what you cram into each week shows that you are one also. And habits are HARD to break, whether they are good ones or bad ones.

While good routines help you to cram in an awful lot, when you are doing it all, it is really difficult to sort out what only you can do from what others could help with, and to put the energy into getting them on board. To me, your posts show someone who loves to be helpful and is generous with her time, but perhaps not very good at saying 'no'?

You need to be able to recharge your batteries, and perhaps also to enjoy the fact that you have a DH? Is there a day centre, or U3A branch, or something similar nearby to give your father more interests; or a volunteer shopping service to do some of that? Don't wear yourself out!

(Perhaps google books and online articles on self-assertiveness if you decide to have the difficult conversations with your father and sister.)

Good luck!

Barmeyoldbat Wed 14-Aug-19 11:22:04

Gilly I take my daughter shopping, mainly to see that she gets the essential and its a pain in the butt. So now we do an online shop, mostly at ASDA. We have an account in her name, she goes into it does her shopping then phones me. I will go in and look at it, check it over, make a few suggestions and checks and then pay, using her card and arrange delivery. Could you maybe try this with your dad now and again, especially during school holidays.

Nannan2 Wed 14-Aug-19 11:20:07

No your NOT unreasonable.But the others all ARE.even your own are expecting you to be their free childcare- i understand you want time with your GC,but you dont seem to be just 'being a granny' you have become their childminder- which is different altogether- it stops you enjoying them and makes for resentment- the oldest GC,as you say,is starting to sound a bit resentful of going all the time on these 'shopping trips' and rightly so! As they get older,kids want to see friends or do their own thing in their holidays,not be 'babysat'(as they see it) and be dragged round shops with oldies-sorry,just seeing it as older kids might?Time for your own son/ daughter to sort out their own 'age appropriate' childcare for each child maybe?And you could get your dad 'fresher for longer' loaves& filtered milk on one shopping day,then order online for other day or get him to ask your sister- with supermarkets open later or 24hrs she could take him after work or shop for him with a txted list??Put your foot down! Point out to your dad hes got a better social life than you,and youre changing that now.Join a club,or an evening class,Book that holiday for you& hubby.DO IT NOWsmileGood luck!

JulieMM Wed 14-Aug-19 11:18:24

If you’ve never told your sister how you feel then she probably assumes (wrongly) that you’re happy with these arrangements you have with your dad. Definitely time to put her straight!

Anneeba Wed 14-Aug-19 11:13:11

Could your husband intervene? Maybe contact your sister and dad, saying he's a bit worried about how tired you are feeling, although he is not surprised considering how much you have taken on helping out everyone in the family? He wonders whether the load might be shared a little more? That you are such h a kind and giving person but he really feels it is time someone gave some thought to helping you etc... Yes folk will take anything offered to them unfortunately, but it is time someone helped you stand up for yourself because as a giver it is often hard to play it tough. What about booking a U3A course that means you are not free on Fridays or Tuesdays? Good

Doodledog Wed 14-Aug-19 11:12:57

Can your father get shopping delivered? Maybe take him once a week so he can see what's available, and when you get back you could help him to place an order for his regular things. It might be that you do this once a month, as there is a minimum spend; but once the precedent is set, you have a system in place for the times when you can't take him. 'Ok, Dad, I'm off scuba diving next week, so let's do a two in one order this time.'?

If you accept that shopping twice a week isn't necessary, then maybe that's your sister's point of view too, and with the best will in the world, you can't expect her to do it just because you have done it.

My sister rings our mum on her way to work every day. It suits her to do it, as she walks to work and it passes the time, as well as making sure that mum is safe. I don't work, and suffer from insomnia, so it's not something I would ever have set up - 7.45am is the middle of the night to me. I wouldn't be happy if I were expected to call on a 50/50 basis, although I would happily call later in the day.

I know that this is a different situation; but the principle is the same. You got into the habit of a twice-weekly shopping trip - your sister didn't.

I agree that as a one-off, she seems unreasonable. Thoughtless, in fact. But that is between the two of you to sort out, and will require some very assertive behaviour from you. How you do it is up to you, obviously; but you could start by listing what your dad needs from his children, and share it in a way that suits everyone, then add on the things that you want to do 'just because', and do them without expecting your sister to do the same. She might not realise that you think she is falling short, and a frank conversation could clear the air. Who knows - she might even be feeling pushed out.

Good luck smile