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Care & carers

Becoming irritable and snappy because of demands on me

(21 Posts)
lmm6 Wed 24-Jul-19 20:38:47

For 12 years I've helped single DD with my one and only GS. We have had really happy times together and still do. It has been a joy. For the last 6 months my elderly mother (94) has been living with DH and me. But, with her, I find myself irritable and snappy whereas with GS I am happy to do anything he asks. I realise I'm being unreasonable as mother is incapable of doing much but, if I'm honest, I resent her being here really which I know is awful. I just wish I could enjoy her being with us as I know it won't be for many years but, at my age of 70, I feel I shouldn't be looking after her. We do have carers who do most of the work but it's all the other stuff. Basically I feel guilty as I am only too happy to indulge my Grandson but feel resentful when mother asks for something. I just think I must be a horrible person and feel really guilty.

lemongrove Wed 24-Jul-19 20:44:28

It sounds as if you are the filling in a very demanding sandwich!
Your Mother, at 94 will not be with you forever, and if you carry on this way, when she is gone you will feel terrible about it.If she has been a good Mother, then do your best to never be snappy.Your DGS will be around for a long time after all.We all have our irritable moments, but try hard not to make it your default position with her.

lemongrove Wed 24-Jul-19 20:45:42

Also, imagine how you would feel if in the future your DD treated you in this way?

Tangerine Wed 24-Jul-19 20:47:45

Was your mother a good mother? A lot hinges on this perhaps.

Could Mum go to a Day Centre a couple of days a week?

It is very difficult coping with people whose mind has started to fail - I have found this.

Septimia Wed 24-Jul-19 20:48:08

No, not horrible, you've just been lumbered with something that you feel duty bound to do (because you care) but wish you didn't have to. I was torn between doing everything I could to help my FiL (fortunately he usually appreciated it) and wishing that I didn't have to do it. I wanted to be able to enjoy retirement with DH - although I didn't really wish FiL dead!

lmm6 Thu 25-Jul-19 12:02:55

Thanks, everyone. Yes I find myself wishing sometimes that Mum wasn't here at all which is cruel and horrible I know. It's just that, at my age, this isn't what I'd envisaged doing. My days seem to fly and it seems to be cooking that takes up so much of my time. Am thinking of asking carers to help a bit more as it's the only way. Sometimes I just want to be alone for a while. I'd say Mum was a good mother in many ways but hopeless in others. She is virtually emotionless and I could never confide in her. It was always frustrating not be able to turn to her but it was a waste of time as she never understood. But we are what we are and I've had to accept it.

Luckygirl Thu 25-Jul-19 12:05:38

Irritable and snappy is what caring can do to any of us - and we have to forgive ourselves - we are only human.

I know the feeling of being snappy with OH but never with DGC!

I think the idea of getting some care in is a very sensible one - it will give you a breathing space.

Chucky Thu 25-Jul-19 12:28:38

Hope she’s not on Gransnetter, reading this!
It is difficult, but as pp said, you are going to feel terrible about this when the inevitable happens.

Maybe, you should look at care homes for dm? She might feel happier there, as she has no doubt picked up how resentful you are over the current situation!

midgey Thu 25-Jul-19 17:12:02

You need to go out for a walk, even twenty minutes can change your brain. I am sure that she would be safe for such a short time. Go and collect a newspaper or just go round the block.

Daisymae Tue 30-Jul-19 13:56:05

Seems that you are being pulled in too many directions with too much strain. No wonder you are feeling snappy. If I were you I would get as much help as you can and maybe look at some respite care for your mum now and again. You have my sympathy, sometimes it can get a bit much but you do need to take care you yourself too.

Iam64 Tue 30-Jul-19 14:19:18

No wonder you're feeling snappy and irritable. You're pulled in all directions. You don't mention whether its possible for you to take yourself off for a couple of hours, 3 times or so a week.
Do you do anything just for you, like taking a walk, going to a class, trying yoga/meditation. This may seem trite but when we're always giving out, we just get worn out.

Is respite care of some kind for your mother a possibility. Day care if not residential.
Look after yourself and be kind to you as well as to everyone else.

humptydumpty Tue 30-Jul-19 14:36:13

I agree with Iam64 if you could fund respite care maybe 1 day a week you would feel less snappy and hence happier.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 30-Jul-19 15:00:35

Is there a relaxing hobby which you enjoy which you can do for yourself with the proviso that you must not be interrupted to give you respite, no matter how temporary?

Could the GP point you in the right direction? You obviously need help so don't feel ashamed to ask. You can only carry so much weight before you buckle.

The difficulty of looking after an elderly parent is knowing that they'll never get better, only worse, and this can be depressing. It's not easy being a carer, 1mm6 as many of us know.

Lazigirl Tue 30-Jul-19 17:29:55

I think anyone who has not been a carer for a close relative cannot believe the emotional and physical toll it takes, especially when aging oneself. You are doing an amazing job having your mother to live with you Imm6, so don't beat yourself up about feeling resentful, as I assume you're not superhuman. As others have said, try and prioritise time for yourself, and accept as much care and help as you can.

Gonegirl Tue 30-Jul-19 17:52:54

I don't know how I could cope. sad Respect Immm64. x

Gonegirl Tue 30-Jul-19 17:53:24

Sorry I gave you the extra m.

M0nica Wed 31-Jul-19 16:06:29

Imm6 There is a big difference between caring for a grandchild and caring for an elderly person. A grandchild is growing up and is less and less dependent on you as he gets older. An elderly person is the reverse, as they get older they get more dependent.

With your grandchild, you could see ahead, to days when as much as you do things for him, you also have plenty of time on your own, and to plan outings and a more free life. With your mother, even though carers do the hard work, you are being more and more tied as she is less and less safe to be left alone and totally dependent on you for company.

Of course you feel as you do. I think you need to talk to your GP and your mother's social workers and make it clear that you need respite. As others have said. Could she go to a care centre, can you afford to pay for day care at a care home. Some do offer this service. Can your daughter, repy all you have done for her and her child by looking after her for one or two afternoon sor days a week to give you some freedom?

Barmeyoldbat Thu 01-Aug-19 20:42:48

I think Monica talks a lot of sense. Its really hardworking being a carer and even harder as we get older. I give remote care and support to an adult daughter and its b....y hard work and she is not even living with me so I know how you feel.

Could you give her a trial run in a home and see how she feels, it would a least give you a break.

Alexa Thu 01-Aug-19 20:57:48

Imm6, you are being so good to your mother and will never regret it. Better neglect her a little than snap at her .Of course you feel resentful! Nobody could blame you. Can you get some help ?

Esther1 Mon 05-Aug-19 08:41:04

I was in a similar situation for a few very demanding months. I knew my dad didn’t have long and my emotions were in turmoil - all the generations under the same roof but I would give anything to have my darling Dad back again. Please cherish this time with your Mum and rope in as much help as you can by whatever way.

annep1 Mon 05-Aug-19 08:54:24

Imm6 I know it's difficult and tiring and I understand. But it sounds like you know what you are doing isn't right.
I think you need to get more help so that you have less pressure on yourself. You ust look after yourself.

When my mum had dementia she was difficult and we clashed and sometimes I was nasty to her. How I regret that now. And will forever. Please be kind to your mother.