Am I a horrible caregiver?


I’ve been giving care to my mom with lymphoma this past year. For the most part, it’s been an honor to provide support. It has been a lot of appointments, calling providers, getting medications, managing side effects, talking through issues, all of it. Now I am burnt out. I have the small kids including a newborn. I have a demanding full time job. And yet even when I ask for help, no one steps up. I have four brothers and sisters. My oldest brother lives a block away from my mom. Yet he and his family only help out when my mom or I call and put him on the spot. They are “too busy” all the time. My other siblings have similar stories. I am now resenting them because I am busy too but make it work. They are so busy with work, and I am missing opportunities and burning the candle at both ends. They are all lawyers and can afford babysitters, help, etc. I have no sympathy when they have lavish lifestyles and do so little to help out.

And my mom has a started to be a pain. She is taking her pain and discomfort on me - yelling at me, dismissing my attempts to help her, taking me for granted. I am bending over backwards with my schedule and family time to go and help her with the tiniest of tasks, and then I have to be yelled at?

This week after waking up at 5 am every day, exhausted by working til midnight each night after getting the baby down, driving in rush hour to and from her house and trying to work from her home, I’m done. I held a family meeting last weekend asking my siblings for help. Still no one has stepped up to contribute, all relying on me. My mom went after me after I asked her about how she was doing. She won’t eat, won’t do anything besides be miserable and crabby.

I blocked everyone’s numbers. I told the brother who lives a block from her that he was on duty now. I asked for help. No one responded. I’m burnt. What can I give when I have nothing? My kids and husband shouldn’t get the short end of the stick. I shouldn’t be working into a tizzy just because my siblings chose careers that are demanding (and afford them money and freedom). I do care about my mom, but I think it’s unhealthy for her to treat me so poorly.

Does all of this make me a horrible caregiver


  • lakecityp3
    lakecityp3 Member Posts: 4 Member

    Hello, I just wanted to stop by and be supportive. I am in a similar situation. My mother had NHL in 2005, and the chemo aggravated her Afib. She had a stroke about 2 1/2 years ago, and I had to move in with them for the first six months. I have two older bros who couldn't give less of a crap about mom's situation. And, the middle brother just went back to prison for 15 years. Oldest brother is so estranged, he informed friends and people that we meet that his parents are dead. Cruel, huh? Anyway, my husband and children got the short end of the stick for quite a while. My husband and I have a severely autistic 25 year old son who is pervasively mentally delayed, so he's basically about 6 months old, he's non verbal, wears diapers, and needs constant supervision. To this day, I am still running myself ragged making sure that my dad is giving mom the right pills, she's getting her bath on time, and such, as well as ensuring that mom's dr's appts are scheduled properly and attended.

    I am also understanding about the backlash. When I was living with them for that six months, my mom would jump down my throat about the smallest things, I believe it was mainly because of the fact that she's depressed because she's no longer able to walk, therefore she can't do the things that she used to. My dad was the same way. You know how older people are? They're set in their ways, many of them, and don't like change. Living with them was trying at times was difficult because dad had things a certain way, and would get upset if I changed anything. I had clothing and such items there, and he was in army, so he liked things arranged in a certain way. Mom had many items that he threw away, or moved to the shed in the backyard. This sent mom into a frenzy. Put all of this together with the fact that our son needs full time care, jobs, homemaking, cooking, cleaning, etc.

    In April of 2022 I was diagnosed with NHL, but it was a different type than the one that my mom had. So, add chemo, radiation, testing, etc. to all of the stuff that I am doing for mom and dad, and that's a lot of stress. I managed to get things down to a dull roar by sorting out all of her situations that required specialists, medications, PT, OT, speech therapy, visiting nurses, and the like. Mom is depressed these days because she knows that her and dad's life has changed, although she won't show it. There are days when she is more grouchy than others, but overall, we've settled into a routine that works. Mind you there are big hiccups, such as when she has to see a new specialist, or have an adjustment in meds or dosage, but they are usually few.

    Unfortunately, there aren't many programs around my area that offer home nursing, respite care, and such, at least not any that don't charge an arm and a leg, even with Medicare. So, we're left to do our own thing. Mom and dad live literally down the street and around the corner, one mile away. It does make it easier on providing the care. I can understand about how overwhelming things can be when it's just you providing the care and the stability that they need. Sending out big hugs to you, and I will keep you in my prayers. Good evening!

  • po18guy
    po18guy Member Posts: 1,485 Member

    So sorry to hear this. Time for a family meeting. A serious one. Have your husband with you for support. A neutral place. He need not say a word - just be present so they can see the face of a victim of their failure to love. What is love? Love desires the good of the "other." Love does not count the cost. How can you help your mom if YOU are hospitalized? That happened to my wife. If you have a counselor, therapist or clergy member, talk to them as they may have far better suggestions than I.