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My Elderly Mum

by Anonymous
(UK)

I'm in a similar situation; I'm aged 58, Mum is 83 and I'm her only known living blood relative. Her hobby is researching her family history so I'm absolutely sure of this.


In the forty years of my marriage to Mike, Mum has criticised him for daring to allow himself to lose his job & become unemployed (think of the shame this brought on the family is her point of view in such matters) and has accused me of being a wicked, ungrateful, undutiful daughter for daring to actually agree with my husband instead of automatically agreeing with her side of the argument.

My student daughter, Mum's only grandchild, enjoys the student lifestyle in London and is the type of young lady who has rather a lot of tattoo's - not my cup of tea but she's an adult so able to make her own choices in such matters and I don't comment on her tats any more. Mum, on the other hand, constantly goes on and on about 'when she was young, only drunken sailors and prostitutes had tattoo's' and she just will not shut up and keep her opinions to herself.

Since Mum was widowed ten years ago she's also admitted to being virtually stone deaf in both ears yet she refuses to wear her hearing aids so can not hear the telephone when I ring. Also, she doesn't bother to check her phone messages on a daily basis either.

In a nutshell, I sometimes think what's the point in trying to keep contact with her when she makes no effort to listen to us/wear her hearing aids and has said things about my husband that he will never forget or forgive.

She can not understand why Mike feels so strongly about this...whilst I accept thst Mum is entitled to her own opinions, surely there's the time and place for expressing said opinions and sometimes it might be tactful to simply keep her opinions to herself?

On the one hand, I suppose I ought to keep in contact with Mum more - she lives an hour's drive away from me - but I do sometimes wonder what's the point if all I get when I go there is criticisms of my husband and daughter, as well as constant tales of what her friends' daughters do for their elderly Mums.

What do other people think of my situation? I really don't know what to do.

Comments for My Elderly Mum

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elderly mum
by: Joyce Portsmouth UK

I dont think I am like your mother as I do try and get out to clubs and holidays but sometimes I wish I had a new family as I hardly see mine they never take me out or visit me they do ring once a week.

I do take my youngest daughter out for a meal regurly but since my grandson has stopped going to uni she asks me to her house most sundays. we play cards and I do spoil them on birthdays and xmas also offered them momey to buy items for the house which they refuse.

I cant see this writing as its so small

I expect I will receave a lot of feed back on this subject

Unconditional love?
by: Roslyn

I have a different perspective regarding your Mum.

Although she doesn't sound like she is the most pleasant person to be around, she is still your Mum, the person who gave you life. Life is too short to break off your relatonship with her. Her time is limited now.

I think you should change your way of thinking and do your best to be patient with her. Learn to not let her unpleasant ways bother you. You are in control of your own feelings. It is better than living with regrets later.

If we can love our children unconditionally, and most of us do, then we can love our elderly parents unconditionally as well.

Good luck and hope it works out for you!

Sometimes, things may take an unexpected turn ....
by: Retd. Prof. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava. C-3, Janakpuri, New Delhi, India

An elderly gentleman in my circle, 80+, a father. a grandfather and a great-grand father had a dominating and interfering personality.

He did not like his son hosting a big birthday party for his child and kept inquiring about the expenses of the party and criticizing the heavy expenditure. So, the son found a way out to silence the old man. He simply told a lie that the whole party had cost INR 500. The son instructed the caterer and the guests too (including me) to join in the lie about the cost of the party. In fact the actual cost of the party was above INR 3000.

During the party the old man asked me what was the expenditure on the event. I went along with the lie and told him that the total expenses were somewhere around INR 500. He was satisfied.

Some months later, the old man called his son, and giving him an INR 500 currency note and asked him to arrange a similar party for his own (old man's) ensuing Birth Day.

The son was trapped and had to spend money from his own pocket to host a Birth Day party for the old man. But not to be beaten, the son asked his father for a further sum of INR 2000. "What for?" asked the old man. The smart son replied ... "For the return gifts."

Retd. Prof. D.K.Srivastava, 01 Feb., 2014

What I did
by: Nancy

What I did I don't recommend to anyone else b/c this is a big step.

My mother was critical, mean, abusive, and intrusive. A lot of similarities to your mother. For my own sanity, I cut off all contact although she still pursued me. It was different in my situation b/c I have 2 sisters to take up the slack. Yes, I did feel guilty.

I had a counselor who was very supportive in my decision and that was so helpful. One thing this counselor did say, if you decide to go the route of no contact was that you are not legally obligated (at least in this country) to take care of your mother. And he had seen cases in his work at the hospital when just that happened, the adult children relinquished responsibility.

I, myself decided I did not have to put up with that abuse, and although it was the most difficult thing I ever did in my life it was absolutely the healthiest.

I wish you all the best and send you my support.

Leave Mom alone
by: Sheila

From what you say your mother has been like this all her life, so it can't be put down to aging or dementia.

I would not visit her any more. I would let her know that you will be available if needed, but only if she keeps her negative opinions to herself.

And stick to that. There's no reason to spoil your own later years because of her ill will.

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