To those who "she's your mother" shame us
I would like to respond to those who post comments like... she took care of you the first xx years of your life and never quit. Or, she's your mother therefore you should...
Yes, my mom gave birth to me. Yes, she put a roof over my head and provided some food for the 5 of us. Yes, she was a single mom and worked sometimes 3 jobs to support us. Yes, I have worked on sitting in her place to better understand her plight those first 17 years of my life.
BUT...that's when her role as "mother" ended and my role began as caretaker for my mom. I have been my mother's financial support, financial adviser, legal adviser, moving company, cleaning service, emotional supporter, memory keeper ... for the past 40 YEARS!!!
To me, I have been my mothers caregiver more than twice as long as she ever cared for me! I am the only single sibling of my mother's children and like many have posted here... it their demented logic my siblings decided I should be mom's primary caregiver.
From where I sit, my siblings have a spouse and children that can support them as they could support mom. They have children who can help out (especially as they become teenagers). But for me to care for my mom as a single person, I have to attend to 100% of my responsibilities (lawn care, house cleaning, house maintenance, legal affairs, financial affairs, grocery shopping , cooking, garbage detail, etc) in addition to my mom's same affairs. How, in your mind, does that add up to make any sense at all?
So, not only am I overwhelmed at my own aging
body and having only myself to take care of me, but I have my mother's bed-ridden, gastro tube feeding, COPD, heart disease ridden "body" to tend to. In all honesty, she is in a nursing home but I am the one who gets all the phone calls, has to tend to all of her legal and financial affairs etc.
I don't visit my mom very often. The body being tended to, that used to be my mom, is no longer my mom. She does not speak, she barely tracks you with her eyes and I have no emotional attachment to this "person" my mom has become. Who is to say she doesn't want to die already?
My mom would say as much when she was still transferable and lucid. "I just want to die already", she would say to me. That was 5 years ago. Now she is no longer communicative.
I Love my mom. I miss my mom. I will always think of the good times I spent with my mom. I will always think of her as funny, fun to be with, her big band music, TCM movies and her large personality that everyone loved.
But this woman in this bed today, I do not know her.
I think I have "served my time" well, and certainly long enough (23 years more than she served me). I will continue to be my mom's caregiver until she passes.
Be careful when you place your expectations of how someone should take care of their mother. We all have our own journeys in life. We all do the best that we can. Even as my mom did the first 17 years of my life.