My father passed recently and my mother is now alone in a big 4 bedroom home she refuses to downsize because it provides "free" accommodations when my sisters and her family visit a handful of times per year.
Yet, it is me and my husband and my sons who are responsible for the upkeep, repairs, etc.
Luckily, my mother is in good health and was left funds to contract out help if need be for larger repairs. However, this situation will not last indefinitely.
As she ages, she will be less likely upkeep the home yet staunchly refuses to sell it because it provides free accommodations to my sister. My mother honestly would prefer my sister and her family be here to care for her and help her as my elder sister has always been the "favorite" although no one will outwardly admit to it, but it's clear to everyone in my my family - my sons, my husband, and to me but actions and behavior.
Still my husband and I do the best we can. My sons mow the lawn and my husband stops by frequently on his way home from work. My sister alternatively lives 6 hours away in another state and goes about living her life happily.
Yes, she calls my mother and is all to ready to make "suggestions" and criticisms of what we do or don't do for her. It's easy to be an arm-chair quarterback from another state and judge. I have a very busy life. I have an adult son who just got on his own with his girlfriend and a baby.
I have a 16 year old son with special needs and my husband and I both work full-time. I try very hard not to be resentful. I see my sister posting ski trip, trips to Florida even expecting my elderly mother to "watch" her kids (preteen) while she and her husband enjoy an extended vacation in Florida - not to mentioned my mother was recovering from pneumonia. But I am the bad guy when I
point these things out.
My mother defends my sister no matter what and despite being ill she would not refuse the babysitting request for my sister to have her trip.
My sister did arrange for the kids to stay with her sister-in-law for a few hours one of the days and my family stepped in another evening and took the kids out to a church function and dinner.
However, it's hard not resent the heck out of it. What it would be like to be the one out of state just enjoying up my life with absolutely ZERO responsibility and then dictating to the sibling who is actually the one present doing the work to help mom.
Honestly, I wouldn't do that.
I am not perfect, but I cannot imagine being out of state and then actually criticizing my sister in her efforts to help my mother.
Yes, this is what we face and I imagine as my mother gets older this situation will only worse. Made worse by the fact that my husband and I both feel clearly from my mother she would much prefer my sister be here. But clearly my sister isn't going to lift a finger in my mother's care now or later.
I once told my sister if she felt she could do a better job she should suggest my mother sell her house and they should have mom move down there to be by them. Of course, that suggestion was COMPLETELY ignored because it would INCONVENIENCE them.
It was hard enough to lose our father recently but not it's like adding insult to injury. I can barely stand to listen to my other go on and on about my sister and her life, see her FB trips and fun life, knowing we are going to take the brunt of all the responsibility.
I love my mother. But it's really hard to help an elderly person who so obviously would prefer the help of the absent sibling who would not inconvenience or uproot their own lives to care for her.