Re: Healthy mother claims she can't care for ailing spouse

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Posted by Linda Sittler on November 07, 105 at 01:00:57:

In Reply to: Healthy mother claims she can't care for ailing spouse posted by K. on November 07, 105 at 00:58:24:

Hi K:

It sounds like you and your brothers and sisters have some issues with
your mom. None of us had a perfect childhood--and when there are 8 brothers
and sisters, a parent's time, temper and energy is stretched to the limits
and there is less time for each child. Sometimes children from large
families have self-esteem problems.
If you want to get married, THEN DO IT. It's never too late! Go out and
find the man of your dreams (or maybe you've found him already). Your mom
and dad can't stop you from doing anything you want--you don't need their
permission. You're a grown woman.
As far as taking care of your dad, first remember that whatever you do to
help him, do it out of LOVE FOR YOUR DAD. Helping your dad should be out of
compassion for him and has nothing to do with your feelings about your
mother. Let's be realistic, our parents can't live forever. With all of
your dad's problems, he may not be "long for this world." So try to enjoy
the precious time that you and your brothers and sisters have left with him.
Use the time to "tie up old hurts" and bind the old wounds once and for
all. (Better now than after he is gone.)
By the way, the same goes for your mother. All of you siblings know what
your mother is like--you aren't going to change her--so deal with it. Don't
lament it anymore--because that gives her control over your lives. Use your
time left with your parents wisely. They won't be here forever. How will
you feel when they are gone? Now is the time to "try to make peace with
I am not suggesting that you let your mother or your brothers and sisters
"walk all over you." You are lucky to have 7 siblings to help you (and your
mother) with your sick dad. As the oldest, call up the others--even the
ones that live out of town--and say that you are making a schedule for when
they will each take turns helping mom with dad. (If the boys don't feel they
can help, suggest that their wives each take turns.) I know of other
families who have done that. Even the siblings who lived out of town had to
take their turn with helping their elderly parent.
You said your sisters and brothers have families and children. So
what--I am sure you have a life of your own too--even if you are single.
Don't be ashamed of being single! You must be working somewhere and have
responsibilities of your own. (If not, then use your time to obtain these
kinds of things for yourself.) How about that oldest brother who lives
with your parents and pays no rent? He is a prime candidate to do more than
his fair share to help. (By the way, mom and dad can't be that bad if they
are letting him live with them like that.)
Life is so short and so precious. I hope that you will set your
boundaries with all the members of your family, get your siblings to do
their fair share, start doing the things you really want to (without
excuses), and find peace with mom and dad in these precious few days that
are left. Good luck.

Peace, Joy, and God Bless,

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