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Am I wrong to not spend more time there?

(80 Posts)
JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 10:35:38

I need some help please.
I'm in my 50s have grown up children and one at home still in school. My lovely Dad passed away a few years ago, he was my Mum's carer. I live over 100 miles away. My Mum lives in a 3 bed house and is able to do her own washing cooking etc she's only mid 70s so not old. Her mobility issues are due to her weight and therefore she needs to be in a wheelchair when she leaves the house. She would like me to spend every weekend at her house with her to keep her company and take her out but I work full time and just cannot commit to that. She calls me to tell me she cannot go on like she is etc and I'm really struggling with the guilt.

henetha Fri 06-May-22 10:48:46

No, I don't think you are being unreasonable. Your mother expects too much. You have your job and family to consider.
Maybe a compromise; possibly one weekend per month with her? It's natural that you feel guilty, divided loyalties do cause problems with guilt, but it is just impossible to do as your mother wants without upsetting your own life too much.

Lucca Fri 06-May-22 10:56:41

Could you find someone you could pay to take up it mum out ?
But agree you cannot possibly commit to,more than once a month at that distance and nor should you feel obliged to. Is it impossible for your mum to lose some weight ?

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 11:02:48

Thank you, I have had therapy to help with the guilt but even the therapist said it won't change.
For the past 3 years I've been going every 2 weeks but it's too hard. This month she has one of my children visiting for a weekend and I'm spending a weekend at home. I told her I'm going away for a weekend next week and she cried and said what about me? Another weekend by myself etc.
She has someone goes in to do her housework twice each week and a gardener one a week so chats to them.
My sibling lives in the next town to her and pops in for an hour twice each week.

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 11:03:48

She doesn't want to lose weight she thinks the weight she is is normal for her but I'm sure it would help her mobility.

Lucca Fri 06-May-22 11:05:29

Surely it can’t be normal if it causes her mobility issues ?

Lucca Fri 06-May-22 11:07:09

She could do with some interests/clubs etc that she could attend on weekends with some help, support groups etc Whist ? Cinema? Choir ?

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 11:17:05

She definitely needs some outside interests I agree. I'm wondering if maybe she should see her GP and get some medication to help with her mood, I'm sure she's depressed and I know it's difficult for her. She never lifted a finger when my Dad was alive he done absolutely everything, he thought he was doing the right thing but it's difficult for her now. I've torn the main tendon in my shoulder by pushing her in the wheelchair so even that is difficult.

Hithere Fri 06-May-22 11:59:11

You know you are not unreasonable

You can get rid of your guilt, it will take more time.
Do not give up

Your mother cannot expect you or anybody to be at her back and call.
I would start by stopping the 2 weekend visits and reset your quality of life.
Stop the visits for a while and then decide what to do.

PinkCosmos Fri 06-May-22 12:18:34

Your mother using emotional blackmail is terrible. I think people can become very self centred as they get older and expect family to drop everything for them. There is always guilt at refusing to go along with their demands. I suppose at some level we are thinking that they might not be around for much longer and that we should do everything they ask of us.

My MIL has a better social life than me. She goes out for lunch at least four times a week and has friends around almost every day. Her daughter goes round several times a week. She will still ring up with some urgent reason for my DH to go around to her house. We know it is just to get him around there for company. She will ring withing minutes of a friend leaving and say she is 'all on her own'.

She regularly rings to let us know that she 'is on her own all weekend, thus angling for an invite to to come over for the day and have dinner.

I used to go along with this at first and invite her, or she used to invite herself. I also work full time, have adult children with one still living at home. I do feel the guilt but have decided that she really isn't on her own all the time and that I do actually need to have time to do things for myself at the weekend.

Could your mother move closer to you so that your visits could be more frequent but take up less time each time?

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 06-May-22 12:34:23

Please don’t feel guilty, she has your sister popping in a cleaner and a gardener, between them they have all bases covered, speaking to you on the phone should be enough and you can rest assured that all is well. A Once a month visit will be fine .

Don't encourage her to move closer to you, you will then be responsible for her 24/7.

grannyactivist Fri 06-May-22 12:37:46

You know you’re not wrong, don’t you? ?

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 06-May-22 12:46:23

I absolutely agree with oops. She has a lot more company than many on here, who go for days without speaking to anyone. Maybe she could also get phone calls from the Silver Line service? It sounds as though her immobility is her own fault and your dad enabled her, but it is what it is and you have nothing to feel guilty about. Look after yourself in all this.?

PollyDolly Fri 06-May-22 12:55:05

Spending every weekend with you Mum is simply "feeding her needy situation" . As GSM said, your Dad caring for he has made matters worse in respect of her weight and until the cycle is broken matters will not improve.
You ANBU in not wanting to go every weekend either

biglouis Fri 06-May-22 13:20:57

Maybe make it a bit more "difficult" for her to get in touch with you and whinge! I know its too easy nowadays with these bloody smartphones but they can run out of power/credit or be left in another room and so on.

My mother was very needy after my father died and Im glad there were no smart phones then. I lived in another city and did not drive so my sister was constantly dancing attendance. There were mobiles but I never told her I had one! I have always made being "difficult to contact" an art form for the likes of relatives/employers and neighbours. Life still goes on and they give up after a bit and go to someone else.

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 18:07:38

Thank you all so much it has made me feel a lot better today and so far nobody thinks that I am being unreasonable.
PinkCosmos it really feels like you've been in a similar situation.
In addition to the visits I'm expected to call her at least 3 times every day so I will be cutting that down too.
My own children need me and they should be my priority now.
I wish you all a good weekend doing at least one thing that makes you happy flowers

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 06-May-22 18:15:58

At least three times every day?! She has to be joking. Admittedly I am not on my own but my son phones me once a week for a good catch up and, knowing how busy he is, I am very grateful for that and expect no more.

Your children should indeed be your priority and I hope you have a good weekend too, and a less stressful one. Us lot are always here if you need a moan!

timetogo2016 Fri 06-May-22 18:24:28

henetha is spot on jacknjill.
You have your life to live,once a month should be enough imo.
Well written Germanshepherdsmum,absolutely spot on.

BlueBelle Fri 06-May-22 18:33:19

Call her for a quick call in the morning to make sure she’s up and running or an evening but three times a day is too much
( unless you enjoy it)
can she have a call system thingy round her neck not sure of the prices now but it wasn’t expensive when dad had one
Try some charities that offer befriender I think age concern do where someone will visit for a coffee or a game of cards
Are there any day centres she could go to?
No you can’t go every weekend once or twice a month is more than enough
Can you mix and match with other family or friends
Yes she needs to lose weight I ve just been out to lunch with my 86 year old friend she should be doing things like that

maddyone Fri 06-May-22 18:34:01

You are not being unreasonable. You have a right to a life of your own, and you have a school age child to care for at home.

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 18:36:24

Thank you, I have to admit I only joined this group today and have had a little cry reading the positive messages.
I have a very stressful job and as a rule talk to my mum on the journeys there and back. It would be better to wind down and process my day so will attempt to cut out one of the calls for now. When I don't call she calls me and says 'where the bloody hell have you been' and I feel like that naughty teenager again!

maddyone Fri 06-May-22 18:40:49

It’s emotional bullying. I understand that as I’ve lived through it with my own mother. Try to not let her bully you.

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 18:43:01

A day centre would be ideal for her but she's just not very sociable and feels that everyone should come to her.
Over Easter I visited my kids and grandchild and had the most wonderful time until she called me crying threatening to 'give up the house' I actually was quite harsh and said well that's a great idea move into a small bungalow or sheltered accommodation and there'll be lot's of people to talk to! I think that's the only time I've spoken up to her. It was quite liberating smile

Shandy57 Fri 06-May-22 18:47:30

So sorry JacknJill, I was scared of being on my own when my husband died. As your Dad was your Mum's carer, she must feel very vulnerable. I heard noises the other night and was out the garden with the torch and a knife, ridiculous, I'm sure the burglar would have stabbed me with it.

What do you think she would feel about assisted living? I've been looking at it for me in the future, it's called 'Abbeyfield'. Our local one is in a beautiful listed building, by the river.

JacknJill Fri 06-May-22 18:48:03

Someone said mobile phones not always being a good thing, I totally agree and would love to not be quite so contactable!