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I'm My Mother's Caretaker And Angry At My Siblings

by Ca
(NYC )

I am a caretaker of my elderly mother and I am also a mother of a 41 year old special needs son. I am one of five siblings but for some reason not one of them help in the daily needs of my mother.

First I want to explain I love my mother very much but I get so tired. The life of a caretaker is very isolating and lonely. It is a 24 hour 7 days of the week job with no sick days and no vacation days. When I'm sick or tired I don't have a choice of whether to stay in bed or rest. The bottom line of my story is that every day I become more angry at my siblings.

When they visit which is whenever they like, only once a month sometimes. They run in, stay for an hour but always have something urgent to do. I feel that at least every other Saturday they could come stay a day and visit with her and I could have a day for me. I never get to go to salon to fix myself up.

To make matters worse they call and give my mother some excuse and she tells me your sister is tired or sick but she never acknowledges when I'm tired or sick. But every day goes by I hate my siblings more and feel when (God forbid), something happens to my mother I don't ever want to see them again.

That's my anger issue that I hold in, because if not they may never visit my mother who so looks forward to seeing them. I pray that I should feel happy again some day.

Oh, by the way, I'm a 57 year old and just retired from a job that I worked at for 33 years. Now their visits are farther apart because they think this should become my full time job since I’m retired. I did not mean to write a book, but I have no friends and no spouse to vent to. But I needed to tell my story to someone or anyone that listens.

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Nov 21, 2016
You Have Choices
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Ca, and thanks for telling your story here. What you're going through is not unfamiliar to me as a counselor. I've seen this happen many times, where one son or daughter is in the position of primary caretaking with an elderly parent.

Here are your choices, as I see it:

1) Decide how much you truly want to do, and do no more than that. Your siblings will most likely step in when they see that you are not going to fill the gap as you always have. Then, be happy with your choice, and give care without resentment.

2) Keep doing what you're doing, and decide that you can be happy with the situation. With this approach, you would have to accept your siblings' participation (or lack thereof), and let go of the resentment toward them.

3) Keep doing what you're doing and continue to be angry at your siblings for not stepping up and stepping in as you would like them to. I know this is not what you want, but this is actually the easiest and most likely choice for you...since you're already doing it.

Step out of the victim role, and choose 1) or 2), and I think you will start feeling better.

I'm sure you will make a good decision for yourself.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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