Mother will not do Activities on Her Own Therefore Smothers/needs Me
by Nancy R
Mom is 83 and lives in an Active Retirement community. They have planned activities. There is also a Senior Center with activities. She will not participate in anything and waits for the weekends so that I will come over and do something with her (out to lunch, over to my house, shopping.).
She says she's bored and that she wants to spend time with me on the weekends because she has nothing to do all week. Well, I'm 54 y/o, her only daughter. (three brothers live 1100 miles away and I don't have any resentment about them not taking care of mom--it would be impractical). I have my own family, husband and 24 y/o daughter who lives at home. I work 40+ hours per week at a pretty stressful job. I have a house to take care of, grocery shopping, laundry to get done on the weekends. My husband is a huge help inside the house for me but we also have one acre that needs tending every week too.
I rarely get a chance to do any fun gardening like working with my flowers or rearranging beds. I also would like a social life on the weekends too, meeting up with family or friends or maybe just some quiet time to read a book or watch a movie. Well, I really have only one day to do what I want/need to do. Up until this point, I've had to entertain Mom on one of my weekend days and I'm just plain tired of doing it.
My main gripe is that she will not even try to reach out and make friends and participate in activities that are provided for her. As such, I resent now having to entertain her. I've done weekends like this for over 5 years now. I have to also let you know that I see her at least once during the week to take her to doctor's appointments, running prescription refills to her, groceries etc.
How much am I obligated to do when she won't help herself out? She calls me every day at work so I know exactly what she has had for breakfast, lunch and dinner; any calls she received from family or friends; and gossip going on at the place she lives--therefore there is nothing to talk about when we do see each other. I'm ready to scream right now because I am so smothered.
How do I get her to understand that I am not her entertainment director? That she needs to be responsible for her entertainment. How do I get this across to her without it seeming that I am abandoning her on the weekends?