How much do you have to do for your Mother?


Hello All,
You are all in my prayers every night.
I have a question. How much do you have to do for your mother?
My mother was never a great mom-not physically abusive, but certainly unkind, non supportive and self centered. She disowned my sister because she was a single mom (never married). My father was the same but he passed. My mother lives with me now. I am single with 4 children and no help from their father. 3 of my children are in their 20’s and one is a teenager. Three live at home but two work and take care of themselves. My 15 year old takes riding lessons and I take her to the barn 3 times a week, 2 days after school and on Sat.
I take my mother to all Dr appointments and wait on here hand and foot. She does not walk well, so I can only take to stores that provide a wheelchair as hers does not fit in my car. She doesn’t want to go sometimes and I work so she does not get out much, but some of that is her choice. The only places I go are work, the barn and grocery shopping.
She has a fit and starts trouble every time I take my daughter to the barn. We are usually gone about 2-3 hours. She calls my sister (who she now talks to) and says I do everything for “that kid” and don’t do anything for her. Today she called my sister and said she was going to kill herself. My sister (God bless her) just listens and then blows here off. When I came home today I asked her if she wanted anything, could I do anything and she just said no. I just decided to ignore the whole thing. She stayed in her room (which by the way is my room-I sleep on the couch now). So I came upstairs to do some work on the computer. My 2 daughters are downstairs watching TV with the 20 year olds boyfriend. My mother goes into the room where they are and wants someone to show her how to use the phone because she has many calls to make tomorrow (this is the same phone she has been using with no problem). So my 15 year old shows her how. Then she says to my 20 year old-you care more for him then you do for your own flesh and blood. My daughter said “What did I do?” This is the same daughter she used to call fat to her face when she was little. My mother says “Don’t worry, I won’t be here much longer”. Normally I would go smooth things over, but I am just to beat to deal with her today.
Now, before you attribute all this to old age, she has done this stuff her whole life and I am not exaggerating at all. Even though her and my father were two of kind, when he was old and feeble (he was 12 years older than her), she told him go to sleep and don’t wake up-because she never wanted to care for anyone. Another thing, financially she is extremely well off and has all kind of insurance-even long term health care that will pay for a home. She doesn’t pay anything here. She did say she would help me buy a car that will hold the wheelchair, but I don’t want the money because there is such a great price to pay.
How far do I have to go? Believe me, none of this new behavior, as I said, she has done it forever. I am trying to do the right thing, but this not good for my family and I feel I am going into a depression.



For your own sanity and to protect your children, your mother must move out.
That is all there is to it.
We are called to honor our parents, not put up with verbal abuse and abusive behavior. You have gone above and beyond to help your mother. There is no need to have you move out of YOUR room so she can be there, especially when she doesn’t appreciate it.
The main thing to me is how she treats your children. I don’t care if they’re grown or not, she has no right to speak to them in that manner in YOUR house, and you should NOT put up with it.
I’ve had this problem with my own mother, and although it can be very hard to stand up to one’s mother, it does get easier after the first time. Stand up to her and tell her it is time to get an assisted-living apartment.


First of all, many hugs to you and your kids.

If she has long term care insurance then you need to get her into a facility. You are not dumping her; she is too much for you and your minor child. She needs to be somewhere where her caregivers are trained to treat geriatric depression.


I am so sorry to hear about the trouble with your mother. There are a few things that I feel you need to do. First, you need to make your family’s well-being a priority while taking care of your mother at the same time. Taking care of her doesn’t mean that you need to do it yourself. You are very blessed by the fact that she has long term care insurance and is financially well off. Since she has trouble walking and can not take care of herself she should qualify to use her long term care benefits in a long term care facility. Putting your mom in this type of facility may not be easy, but will probably mean better care for her. (Not to insinuate at all that your care is not adequate.) I just mean that nursing facilities can offer her a variety of activities throughout the day, social interaction with people her age, and 24 hour skilled care by qualified professionals who do it for a living and get to go home when their day is done. You, on the other hand do not get a break, and being a caregiver 24/7 is a very difficult thing no matter how much you try. Also, your mother may have an underlying psychological problem that can be addressed under the nursing and medical care at such a facility. She will most likely be able to access physical therapy at a skilled facility to help with her walking. I am a physical therapist in a long term care facility and I know that there are very good facilities out there. You just need to do a little research and visit a few places and meet with their admissions directors. Your mother may actually be happier in a place where the people are paid to take care of and even wait on her, and who won’t be hurt by things she says. I work for a company that has skilled nursing facilities nationwide and is known for the quality care that they provide. I don’t know where you are located, but try to find such a facility near you.
Good Luck, I will be praying for you.


From what I read here, it sounds like your mother does the typical annoying old-people type of things. It’s no suprise to me that an elderly woman may need to be shown how to use something over and over again and still not get it. If she does, and asks anyway, she is probably seeking attention. She sounds lonely. Perhaps, she senses how much you resent her being there.

She can’t get around very well, so it may well be your Christian-duty to help her. Read the 10 Commandments – honor your father and mother – but, can you honor her from afar?

This depends. If you can’t find the patience to deal with her, perhaps it’s time to help her find an assisted living facility. But, they’re usually very expensive. Her money won’t last very long and there will be no inheritance for you down the line and she may end up back with you again.

Don’t forget, you’re children are watching. The way you treat your mother in her old age is teaching your children how to treat you in the future.

Sounds like a tough situation. Good luck.


:thumbsup: I agree with this 100%. You have been Christian and charitable, but being a good mother comes before being a good daughter. It is time for her to move out.


I think you have to admit ‘defeat’ here and look for a facility for her. She can afford it, and it would be better as you’ll only grow to resent her more and more. Believe me, I’ve seen it…

Anna x


You are a saint!!! Your mother is old, but she has some real problems you do not need, esp. her abuse.

I have said this before now,and will say it again. The fourth commandment obliges us to make sure our parents have a roof over their heads when they cannot afford one, are cared for when they cannot take care of themselves, have food in their mouths, and clothes on their backs, when those things are not there for them. It does not have to be our roof. It does not have to be our actual, physical care of them. It does not have to be filet mignon while we and our children eat beans and rice. It does not have to be designer wear while we and our children wear thrift store clothes.

Your mother has money. That money should provide her with all the things she needs, and then some. If she does not let you see her statements, then she might be in decent enough shape to care for herself, at least with paid help.

If your mother cannot take care of her own money, then she needs a guardian. You can have yourself appointed guardian in court, or your sister, or both of you. Court-appointed guardianship is a fairly straight-forward process, cut-and-dried in some states, more burden of proof in others. Explore this option on your own research with your sister, or hire an attorney, evenutally paid for out of your mother’s proceeds. A good way to collect such evidence is to keep a log withthe the time and date of her outbursts or antagonistic and erratic behaviors. Write down the names of witnesses as well, such as the 20year old’s bf.

First thing: She moves out of your room. Today. You are the one who keeps your family together. You are the head of it. You need your rest, and you need it on your own bed, not the couch. You can put her in one of the girls’ rooms for now, and they can share, or you can put her on the couch. Temporarily redo the basement, the attic, or whatever, but you are apparently the head of the family, and you get your own bed!

You need to work on a plan with your sister to get your mother into at least assisted living. If your sister gives you flack, then Mom can move in with her. If the two of you get along well together, you need to go visit facilities first, together, collect your data, and set up a plan for moving your mother out of your house. It needs a date on it. Sixty days is plenty of time to find a place, get somebody to help you move her, and execute the move. Thirty would be better. When you have the right place, and the plan, THEN you tell your mother. Be prepared for outbursts, tears, rage, guilt trips, etc. Don’t listen to to her. Right now, she thinks she is in control. You are going to have to be in control, no matter what stunt she pulls.

During the thirty to sixty days, under no circumstances should you give up your normal routine inasmuch as possible- esp. your daughter’s riding lessons and the barn! When you mother fusses, ignore her. Smile at her, tell her things are going according to your timetable, and tune her out. Unless she has a medical emergency, make sure she is in your schedule, but does not dominate it.

I am praying for you. Right now, my mother is well, but this is the personality she has. I am one of the two daughters to whom she does not speak, and I am grateful at this point.


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