As many of you know, I am my mother's caregiver. I moved back to Arkansas from Minnesota in order to help my mom after failed back surgery.
And I am still there.
I rent a room from my parents so I could be close by should they need me. I help my mom with setting up her meds every three weeks. I do 95% of cooking meals. When dad's not doing well I also take over doing their laundry. I take mom to appointments and I am her companion. She seldom gets out of her chair so I am constantly trying to find things that will motivate her into moving around.
Every year I try to take time away from being a caregiver. Usually I spend 3 weeks in Texas with my best friend. This year that trip had to be cancelled due to a car wreck I was in.
Fast forward to now. My children were home for Christmas and noticed how worn down I was. Their solution was for me to take a break and come home with my son. (which is why I am in Montana...).
My parents were both sick when I left but I had people from church lined up to look after them since my siblings aren't reliable. I made extra food and froze it so my parents had some meals they didn't have to throw together.
I have called mom every day to check on them since they were both diagnosed with bronchitis. (both are doing better).
On Christmas my sister's girlfriend attempted to make me feel guilty about leaving my parents for an extended trip. My sister joined in and my brother added his 2 cents worth. To top the guilt tripping party off my mom kept saying she wished I could wait a little longer before I left. The reason she gave was that I had been so busy and I needed time to recoup. Huh? I can't take it easy when I am home because mom is forever finding things that need to be done.
So - the day My son and I arrived in Montana I get a text from my sister. The CD player I got was too big for her desk. (it was a gift from my mom but I did mom's shopping). She (Annette) needed the receipt. What she really wanted was to go through my room in search of said receipt. Umm.. No. I told her exactly where the receipt was. She insisted it wasn't there.
Two days later mom found the receipt exactly where I had told them it was. (ugh). Did I get an apology, or even an acknowledgement from my sister? Nope.
So yesterday I texted my brother and asked for a favor. Keep in mind my brother only lives 10 miles away from my parents. I needed Chuck to go print out 9 copies of a calendar I had put together with assignments for church gatherings. Chucks response was that he would try but he was pretty busy. (rolls eyes).
So last night I called mom to explain the calendars in case Chuck doesn't show up. Within the first minute she is telling me that people from church are wanting to know when I am coming home. Huh? I just left a week ago today. Within 2 minutes she is asking when I will be home. That is shortly followed by the question of whether I am even coming home. :/
By the time I got to say goodbye she was informing me that I have to be home before the 21st because dad had volunteered me to cook a ham and make baked beans for some church function.
I love my mom and dad, and am so glad that I am able to care for them. However, the older mom gets the more "needy" she appears. She hates being alone and dad can't be still so that leaves dad out doing church things and mom sitting at home all alone.
But these away trips help to keep me sane and I hate, hate, hate that people are trying to make me feel guilty and/or to convince me that I needed to come home. :(
That's my vent. I am tired and grumpy so please forgive me. This too shall pass.