by Joan G.

I am 67 years old, married with a daughter and grandson who live 50 miles away.

My mother is 87 and lives five miles away. I visit every day(except Wednesday) - going at 9.30 a.m. (and sometimes before) and don't get home until after 2.00 p.m.

She can attend to her personal care but I do everything else for her, shopping, cleaning, gardening (my husband does help with this also),making her a mid-day meal,laundry, prompting her with medication etc. etc.

And I feel really resentful that my retirement years are passing by and my husband and I are unable to do the things we want to do.

She has no friends or visitors and won't entertain volunteer visitors. My daughter phones her weekly and goes to see her about every six weeks or so. She works full-time and has a six year old to look after.

In January, Mum had agreed to go into a respite home whilst we went on holiday, but at the last minute refused to go!! What a stressful time!!

Our relationship was at rock bottom. I arranged for private carers and went on the holiday but felt that I was abandoning her. Since then we had a short break of three days with our little grandson.

My mother says such things as "you don't NEED a holiday, you might want one, but you don't NEED one!" "Whose idea was it to go on holiday anyway...David's?" "I'll be on my own"

When my husband first retired two years ago we went away every six weeks or so just for a week-end, and my mother used to say "why do you need to be going away so often" "you're copying people".

Seven years ago she even said (after we had returned from a fortnights holiday).."I hope you're not going to book any more holidays abroad as I was poorly when you were away".. Arghhhhh!!!!!!!!

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I Found Acceptance Helped Me
by: Anonymous

Hello, I was in your shoes for almost 10 years. Personal life is not quite the same--I'm single.

I worked full time at a demanding job while caring for my mother and took care of both of our residences (we did not live together). Near the end of her life, I went on family leave to spend more time with her.

My sister didn't help me during the 10 years except for once or twice. My mother is now gone and I miss her terribly. Yes, she was difficult like your mother when alive. She refused all help in her house--not even church people or my friends.

Consequently I didn't get any vacations or getaways at all. Yes, it was often disappointing to hear other people going away to nice beach vacations. But I survived. I think I agree with your mother that you don't necessarily NEED trips to be happy in life.

When a person doesn't have vacations or getaways to enjoy life, one starts to appreciate the smaller joys of simple living. I learned to appreciate small things like a walk, a good book, going on a car ride to see autumn foliage, things like that.

It helps to make a person stronger not to have constant entertainment and frills in life. People get spoiled if they don't have their beach vacation or their weekend getaways and eating out at nice restaurants. There are many simple joys in life to experience and appreciate.

My advice is to try to stop fighting against this current situation but go with it and accept your mother and her ways and you will see that it will not last forever. Your mother will not be here forever.

This is a temporary situation for you. Once your mother is gone, you will be free to do anything you want to do. My mother is gone now and I have freedom to go anywhere and do anything I want, but I find that I don't necessarily need those things anymore.

I am happy just being home and making soup or sitting on my porch watching the wildlife. You'll see what I mean when your mother is gone. Good luck.

by: Anonymous

Dear Joan,
Go, Go, Go on vacations!!

Do you "need" a vacation? YES, YES, YES you DO!

Many caregivers have died before the people they care for; probably from the freakin' stress of taking care of the person!

So, GO. Go often and with intent. Be intent on having a good time, being in the moment, remind yourself who you are and who your sweetheart is!

When you think of mum (which you will)let the feeling come and then let is pass through you. Tell your brain that it can think of her all it wants when you return.

When she says she felt poorly while you were away, tell her "I hear you missed me. I missed you too and now I'm back so you'll feel good again" Or something like that. Jam your own buttons so no one can push them!

It sounds like you are a wonderful, caring daughter to your mother. She's lucky to have you!

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