My mother is in her seventies and we have never got along that well. She can be pretty nasty to me and is very demanding. Because of her ill health, I do a lot of running around for her, do her shopping, take her to appointments and clean her house. Nothing is ever good enough and I can never wait to leave. On top of that, my brother shares none of the responsibility.
We all live in the same town but he only visits now and again but she still thinks he’s wonderful. I am expected to do everything for her, perhaps because I’m a woman, I really don’t know. She drives me crazy and she frequently hurts me and then I feel guilty for having wicked feelings about her, she’s my mother after all. I’m at the end of my tether, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I know that your letter will touch the hearts of so many people out there who have been left with the care of a relative and receive no thanks for their trouble. You might be right that it is left to you because you are the daughter, but I am sure that there are many sons who work just as hard for parents who may not show any gratitude.
I would suggest contacting your GP and local care services to find out what practical support is available for your mother. You might also benefit from emotional support where you can focus on your needs. There are groups of carers in your area where you can share your feelings, gain information about support and possibly help someone else in your position. Don't be slow to ask for help. Another option is to seek professional help from a counsellor or therapist.
A counsellor will acknowledge and validate your feelings, help you to assemble your thoughts and make necessary changes to get you through this difficult time. You may need to find the strength to surrender some of your mother's care to someone else. Recognising and accepting what can and can't be changed may require some outside help, if not from a professional, from a support group or close friend.
You are doing an important job and you deserve all the help you can source. Be proud of what you are doing and be strong enough to set some limits. Good luck and well done.