Everything I do is Wrong

In caring for my elderly parents, I have done everything I can to make them happy and comfortable.


They have had many health issues and often I am the first one at the hospital and the last one to leave. I have canceled planned activities with my own kids (high school aged) to be with my parents in time of need and yet I was told by my mom that they feel like I don't care about them.

I have turned my life upside down for them and yet they feel like I don't care? They tell me I am judgmental and negative and never happy but how can you be "happy" when you've spent 3 of the last 4 days sitting in Doctor's offices with them? It seems like no matter what I do or don't do I get in trouble and I honestly don't even want to be around them anymore.

I am the only family member helping them and yet they tell me I only care about my family and not them. I have kids at home what do they expect me to do? I can't be with them every single day and yet it feels like if I'm not, then I'm on their bad side.

They have very high expectations and yet are unwilling to discuss it with me because they say I'm too defensive. I can't spend my days crying anymore.........

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Not the way he wants
by: Anonymous

I have done housework, yard work, medications, groceries, many, many dr. appointments, hospital stays, it never ends. My dad always finds something to pick on.

I have gotten to the point that I will only do the work that needs to be done. That's everything, really. Anything extra, like going to a function of any type is out the window.

He'll make it clear that I did not dress well enough. He'll ask me did I make a monetary contribution when none was needed, etc. He has more money than me, he can make contributions if he likes.

He pouts and just seems so miserable. I am not a girly-girl. He likes girly-girls. Sorry. I'm too busy for that crap. I am struggling to be civil and nice to him, because really, what else can you be to an elderly person?

I hope God will fill me with kindness that I think I need to be showing.

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I Empathize....
by: Christine

You probably don't even realize you're doing it, but I'm sure you let your feelings known around your parents and that makes them a bit unreasonable. I've SO done it myself.

I do everything they need whenever they need or want it, but I catch myself sometimes saying things that tick them off. I feel I have the right to those feelings, but my parents don't.

At this phase of their lives they think only of themselves, and who's to say we won't do the same someday. Try to find a loving soul you can rest your burdens on, and stay as perky and happy-to-please as you can for your parents. It's so hard, but you catch more flies with honey...as long as you have somewhere else go to vent.

Don't expect your parents to consider your feelings right now; I don't think they're able. Any siblings who aren't in the immediate picture have an amazing advantage; your parents will always think that the siblings would treat them more kindly. It's a case of placing blame anywhere except old age and illness.

Please take care.

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I know How you Feel
by: Anonymous

I have been taking care of my parents for about three years. Mom is easy to get along with, but with dad it's rough. He tells me the same things that you are hearing. I don't do anything for him, why did I do it that way, that does not look very good,everything I cook tastes terrible etc........I feel your PAIN.

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Thought I was Doing Better........
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your comments. After browsing around this website I felt SO much better knowing that I was/am not alone and it gave me a new freedom I haven't felt in years. Things were much better until today when my mother was rude and unloving to my son. He was over helping her do some things at her house and when he got home he told me that she had said some hurtful things. It made him dislike her more than he already does.

My mother should be very glad I wasn't there or else she would've had an earful. So what do you do when the parents are mean to your kids (teenagers) or treat them badly? I don't make my kids be around her for this very reason, yet today it just rubbed me the wrong way and all I wanted to do was pick up the phone and chew her out.

I know that is not the loving and Christian thing to do so I didn't do it but how am I suppose to handle her rudeness to my kids?

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Me Too....
by: SLR

Yes, me too exactly!!!! But, we never discuss anything.

I feel like all I do is jump through hoops for my parents and my family suffers. I haven't been able to be really involved in my kids activities for the last four years and if I do I live with great guilt. The only time I get a break is when one of my kids or myself is sick.

Every time I try to set up some help, (at my parents urging) they decide after one visit they really don't need any help at all. Then everything falls back to me and my husband, thank god for him!

One other thing...after everything I do for my mom she constantly accuses me of stealing her things. Like her pants or something. I know it sounds funny but it's hurtful.

I've stopped crying but the guilt is killing me.

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I get it.
by: Anonymous

My parents are the same way. No matter what I do it's either wrong or not good enough. Just one example out of hundreds is that my husband has been snow shoveling my parents' driveway and mowing their lawn for years, and is never offered a penny, not even gas money for the equipment.

Then my brother sends his kids over to help with a clean up project, and not only do his kids get paid $20 per hour for a job they helped him do one time, my brother gets a consulting fee.

Meanwhile I have spent hundreds of hours helping them with paperwork, healthcare issues, legal issues, etc., and I'm always wrong (even though everything I do for them always turns out right, no matter how much I have to fight them along the way to get it to turn out that way.)

I am trying not to be resentful, but I don't have a lot of money, they do, and yet they have no problem tracking all kinds of dirt in my house and ruining my carpets because they refuse to take their shoes off and laugh when I explain to them how much I hate that. My needs, my time, and my requests are irrelevant.

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I Feel The Same... Unappreciated!
by: Jude

Since my dear mother passed away in September 2010, life has just speared downwards. I decided to care for my mother until the end and we discussed everything openly and truthfully and realistically about the upcoming future and the things she wanted for dad when she had passed.

All she asked was that I stay with dad for 6 months and help him get settled into a reputable Retirement Village with all the specialist care services he needed. I promised her I would do this. My daughter said she would help me out but the going got too tough and she bailed on me which left me on my own until a very good friend came along to help me.

At first dad seemed okay but as the weeks went by he seemed to be showing signs of severe depression and memory loss. He has since became paranoid to the point of going through my rubbish. He also follows us around all the time to see what we are doing. He wakes me up every morning even though I've asked him not to and he sneaks around the house like my ex-husband used to do (whom I am fighting in court for a divorce including domestic violence).

I have explained to him his behaviour reminds me of my ex and that it is not good for my nerves on top of having to do everything else around the house. Dad does NOT do any cleaning at all.

We have given the house a renovation makeover as my mother wanted and have put the house on the market. Dad has argued with me and my friend all the way with our decisions and just sits back and watch us work. This is so frustrating as both of us have now done physical damage to ourselves and one of us requires surgery and Dad doesn't even seem to care.

He acts like a child at times but when people arrive he changes which makes me wonder.... Is he playing Mind Games of Manipulation with me to keep me here longer as he his doing my head in and my stress factor has exceeded 10.

Its good to know that I am not alone and sympathize with you. In my case, I just want his house sold so he can buy a house in a Retirement Village and I CAN GET ON WITH MY LIFE. 6 months has turned into 1 Year.

All this tension and accumulated stress has brought us to the brink of barely speaking to each other, resentment and I can't wait to get away and have some freedom.

Feeling the pinch with other carers.

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I understand
by: Christine

I so get it. Your parents have no one else to complain to, so it goes your way. They are not in the physical or emotional state they wish to be so they are venting...and it goes toward you. Sorry, but that's just the situation. You are not alone. Email me if you wish.

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