Sister Will Not Help

by Nancy
(Ontario, Canada)

I just found this website and reading through all the comments. I can't believe how many people are out there with the same issues as mine, a sibling that won't help out.


I am a 58 year old female. Divorced, no children. Work full time. My father passed away 9 years ago. I lived 5 hours away from my parents for 20 years. After my divorce I moved back to my home town. I have two sisters.

One of my sisters was taking care of my mom after my dad passed away. But two years ago her husband was transferred for his job out of town. I have no issues with this sister.

She was incredible with my mother. It's my other sister who is unbelievable. I have been back for 2 years now and she hasn't helped out at all. The first year I lived about 30 minute drive from my mother, it was close to my job.

And my sister lived five minutes away from mom.I went every weekend to take her shopping, hairdresser, appointments etc. I called her during the week to make sure she was okay.

My sister did absolutely nothing. She never called her or dropped by to see how she was doing. Doesn't call her on her birthday or mothers day. So after a year my mom and I decided to buy a house together close to where I work.

It is a duplex so we each have our own living units. My mom is 83 so I am taking care of her by myself. I have no help. I confronted my sister and asked her why she doesn't help at all or call mom.

All she said is sorry that's all I got. Whatever that means. I guess she just doesn't have anything for our mother. All her kids are grownup and moved out. She works full time and has a boyfriend with a vehicle. And our mother was a very good mother when we were growing up.

Reading through all the other comments I just don't understand how some siblings can be like this. Especially when they had loving parents. I'm just trying to understand but I just don't get it at all.

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Disgusted with daughter's comment above
by: Anonymous

To the woman who said if paying your mother's taxes for the last 20 years and buying her her two last cars, well I guess that was your choice! Doesn't mean you are now absolved of all responsibility for caring for her when she's older! As for saying you would end up hating her .... What did she do for you when you were growing up?!!!!

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You can't change siblings
by: Anonymous

For anyone that has a sibling that is not willing to help out, I have a thought for you:

You can't change them any more than you can change their eye color. The sooner that you can come to terms with that, the healthier you're going to be. Let it go. You have no choice but to step up and take the reigns.

My little sister was my parent's coddled baby. We were raised differently. My mother waited on her hand and foot, even serving her breakfast in bed when she was growing up. She fully expects that parents are there to serve her and take care of her responsibilities.

She'll never be a caretaker for our parents because that's not the way she was programmed by them.

Also, my father has the ability to be very cold. Emotions don't weigh in too often. Some of his siblings are the same. My little sister has that same trait... she runs low on compassion.

So there's another reason that it's easy for her to put all the responsibility on me. It's not genetically possible for her to feel a sense of duty as a caretaker. She's not much of a feeler.

All of these traits cannot be changed. You'll make everything worse by constantly expecting your detached sibling to step up. Just let it go.

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Maybe...
by: Anonymous

I believe the statement that each child grows up in a different household. In short, I'm guessing that people have their reasons for either not wanting to help, or not being able to help.

Sometimes, as in my family, the ill parent has already made a codependent out of one sibling, and that is the one that continually sidelines his/her own needs for the parent.

Then, the one that can't or won't help, gets to be called 'selfish' for seeing to his/her own needs. So how much of this is really the inactive sibling, and how much of it is one sibling deciding how mom's declining years are supposed to go and then putting that on her siblings and acting uppity when everyone else doesn't fall in line??

I don't know, but it sounds like a problem for the one with the expectations of everyone else. In my family, Im the oldest.

But I've already found I won't be able to do much hands on for my mom if it comes to that again. If our paying her taxes for the last 20 years and buying her last two vehicles isn't enough for her or the siblings, too freaking bad.

Shes not living with me, and I won't do anything more than once a week. If I do more, I'll just hate her for it, and that helps nobody.

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