Winners and A Rant

First off, the winners of the Kong Braidz toys are….






and Mogley G. Retriever!!





Send me your addresses so I can get the toys right out to you.  Hide them, share them, eat them, but enjoy them!!


Now for my rant, and I’d love advice and opinions please.

My mother has started to use guilt and schemes to get me to do things.  Example:  I told her I needed a day for myself on Sunday.  She didn’t bother me once.

But on Monday…could I come do her hair after work?  Of course, I did. 

Today she called me at work and asked me to call my other brother (the one who does nothing).  You see, last week, without telling Clynt or me, she ordered bark for her yard.  She ordered a LOT.  In order to get it in her back lot, we either have to take down part of a fence, or climb up and down steep steps to put it in the back, shovel-full by shovel-full.

Because I didn’t come on Sunday to take some for my house (since she has way too much), or to start hauling it to the backyard, and Clynt just isn’t doing it fast enough for her, she wants to see if my other brother will do it.  I asked her if it couldn’t wait til the weekend and she said “no”.

Well, I hate to disappoint her, but my brother hasn’t called back, nor will he do it before the weekend.  I got mad.  I came home, grabbed the beater truck, went to her house and shoveled in my share.  She and Clynt came out and she kept saying “I didn’t mean for YOU to do it”, when she meant exactly that.  I said “you couldn’t wait for the weekend” and she says “yes I could”.  I reminded her that’s not what she said on the phone.  She was silent.


So, I’ve discussed this with her once – how she’s starting using guilt because she has no friends, no hobbies and nothing to do, and how unfair it is.  Then she did it again.

I’ve already been told that I’m lucky to have a mother, how I’ll wish she were around later, etc.  That’s not helpful, and it’s not like I was wishing she were dead.  I just want some time for ME.  Hell, I barely get my own laundry done I spend so much time with her.

Advice or comments please!  I’m going crazy here.


When she said it had to be done right away, you kindly but firmly say: "Mom, I'd love to help, but I have something scheduled already" even if it's just spending time watching DVDs and eating popcorn. Then you enjoy your free time.

Take a deep breath, don't ALLOW yourself to accept the guilt. You can't control what she does, but you can control the way you react.

Wyatt said…
Yay! I won a toy...Yippee! Mom just e-mailed you our address..Yay!

Mom, says you have to take some time for yourself, or you are going to lose your sense of humor!
Just be firm. That barkdust can will still be there!

Wyatt and Mom
Congratulations to Mowgli and Wyatt!

You can't take care of anyone else without taking care of yourself firts, that includes "me" time. Guilt is a choice, choose no!
houndstooth said…
Oh, honey have I been there! My whole family are emotional blackmailers. When I got married, I decided that was enough of the games. If they want to play the guilt card, I'm not biting.

I think the first thing you have to do is BELIEVE that it is perfectly okay for you to have time for yourself! You can't feel guilty about it if you believe that you've earned it. If you do believe it, then it's easier to see the absurdity of your mom's stance and position.

The next time she calls you to make a phone call to your brother, I'd tell her to make the call herself. There's no reason you have to be the middle man for her with her own children. Also, stay tough and DON'T fall for the ploy! She got exactly what she wanted, so it worked. That's not going to stop her from trying it again.

Is there any sort of activity or hobby that your mom is interested in? What if you offered to take some sort of art or creative class with her? Sure, it would eat your time in the beginning, but if your mom found an interest, and possibly some other people who are also interested, it might spark something in her. At the very least, you might get to enjoy some fun time with her doing something instead of doing a task that feels like a chore. Sometimes little things like that can really help to change your relationship, too.

Anyway, hugs to you, because I feel your pain!
Kari in Alaska said…
Congrats to the winners. When it comes to dealing with family? there is a reason I live half a country apart from them...

When you first start saying "no" or being unavailable, you'll get major pushback -- "major guilt trips, all expenses paid" as they say. So you must be strong, ignore it and not cave in. Once she sees guilt tactics won't work, then they will become a less attractive option for her.

Good luck!
laura linger said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
I echo the distance option - I only live 300 miles away but it still puts the kibosh on the daily "help me's". And when we do visit, it's easier to spend some time helping since it's only a once or twice a year thing.

Ideas for hobbies... is she all caught up on photo albums? If she's a few years behind, that can take some serious time. You could help her get started and then let her go. I do caution the extensive scrap-booking option - can be expensive and frustrating if you don't really get the hang of it.

Do take time for your me time. It's hard to help with a happy heart if you're resenting it because you're always doing it.

Best of luck!
Dana@Mid2Mod said…
Anyone whose idea of a "solution" is for you to roll over and do whatever unreasonable thing your mother asks of you in the name of "being glad you have a mother" has either never taken care of an elderly parent or is unbelievably wimpy doormat with serious self-esteem issues.

As people get older, whether or not they suffer from dementia like my mother did, their worlds often become very small and they focus entirely on their own needs, often to the detriment of their caretaker children.

You not only have a right, but also a responsibility, to take care of yourself. You get to say no. You get to plan leisure time for yourself. I learned this the hard way, because I thought I had to be Super Daughter and be totally selfless. Finally, my mother's doctor ordered me to take a vacation, and I came back with a new attitude.

It's perfectly normal to get angry and frustrated with constant irrational demands and attempts at manipulation. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about needing to say no and needing to do what's healthy for you.

Remember that you and your mother have changed roles. She is the more childlike one now, and you're the adult in charge.
Dolores said…
Oh Barbara..... I almost missed this post..... I've had trouble staying caught up. Anyway......

I just wanted you to know that I can relate with you...... my mother was the queen of putting guilt on me. I know it's so hard. Sorry to say, but you need to be the one whose more like the mother now..... I know that's certainly not a job you want....but please don't let her play with your emotions and put guilt on you....
Thinking of you ...

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