“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

This is probably the comment I hear the most. Truth is, I don’t know how I do it. I don’t want to do it. I do it because I have to do it. I do it because no one else in the family wants to do it.




No one in the family even wants to hear about it. Because once I start talking about it, the first thing they say is, I don’t know how you do it. And that’s the end of the conversation.

Then they go on with their lives and here I am doing it. I don’t know how I do it either. I know it’s taking a toll.

I know it’s taking me down. I know it’s taking years off my life. I know it’s changing me for the worse.

These are exactly all the things they don’t want to hear.

I have learned that when they say, I don’t know how you do it, they are done with the conversation. They really don’t want to know how I do it.

So I just change the subject and ask them how are you doing? And then they have a lot to say.

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For “Questions”
by: Anonymous

If there’s anything worse than dealing with people who don’t know what this is like, it’s dealing with people like you who do know what this is like and having to answer your stupid questions.
I’ll tell you WHY I do it.

Because my parents worked hard all their life, they’re middle class, they have Social Security and a pension and therefore they cannot afford $10,000 a month in a skilled nursing home nor do they qualify for any kind of government assistance.

My mom is under the care of hospice now, but for the previous 8 years I showed up because she could no longer drive, could no longer see, was unable to get the basic necessities into the house, and had a list of doctors.

Do you really think I’m doing this to throw myself some kind of pity party for the last 8 years? I have one brother who lives far away and I can’t put my 98-year-old mother on a plane and send her there. And yes he will show up for the inheritance.

For you to say, "if you don’t want to do it then don’t, just make alternative arrangements," what do you suggest?

Give me one decent possible suggestion.

Of course I want to be treated fairly. Of course I expect some basic quality of life for myself.
For you to have an accusatory tone tells me that you are no longer doing it and have found a way to get out of it.
Tell me, what did you do?

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Questions
by: Anonymous

Maybe then the question should be 'I don't know WHY you do it'. This is a family dynamic being played out all over the western world and yes, it is usually the daughter landed with the job of becoming carer, sacrificing her life and future in line with the training we have all received from birth to put ourselves last.

No point either, asking them how they think you feel, the objective is to offload their responsibilities not consider your feelings. Bottom line: they will get away with what you enable and allow them to get away with. Do you think your sibling/s are going to remain quite so invisible if questions of inheritance arise??

If you don't want to do it then don't. Make alternative arrangements. It is not a crime to ask to be treated fairly or to expect some basic quality of life for yourself.

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tell them it's hard and you could use their help
by: Anonymous

and see if they'll step up and help for even long enough for you to go to the grocery store.

Hugs for you - I know it's hard - been there done that - mom is in AL now, thankfully. (and she complains about it but it's whatever)

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