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Question
Posted by: Sharon | 2012/07/09

My mother

Hi Cybershrink

I have written to you before about my mother that drives me crazy. I am ready to rent a room in house and put her in an old age home. But why should I suffer further to keep her living an above average lifestyle.

My entire salary Nett R15 000 apprx goes on rent, medical aid, chronic meds the medical aid does not pay for, food, electricity, petrol, car repairs, TV license, car licenses, birdseed, clothing - no luxuries barring the TV. She has my very old car because otherwise she would lean on me more and I cannot take it. She takes it out once in a blue moon.

I am struggling financially. I take her shopping with me to look a the prices and to see what things costs. We stood in-front of the jams, eventually I said can this last a month - a 900g tin of marmalade which I love but never get. Today is the 9th and she has finished it barring a TBS or so. I got so angry this morning but never raised my voice. She only eats porridge (huge portion), bread &  jam the rest of the day or anything out of a tin or pkt that does not involve cooking. When I ASK her to cook because I am exhausted when I get home she makes a sloppy meal that tastes awful. When I cook I take some time and it is delicious. She is 70 years old and sits at home all day long. She goes for the luxuries like fruit, yoghurt (2 per day) or believe it or not she can eat 1kg at breakfast then expects to buy more.

I work my butt off and I am so stressed at work. I have 2 new bosses and loads of new responsibilities to cope with. I am on courses including the weekend.

I told her earlier by SMS that from the end of the month we split the food money and she buys it, cooks it and cleans her own dishes. I will do the same.

She is furious and told me I am bloody crazy to lose it over a tin of jam. I said you can now take some of the financial stress onto your shoulders. I said you best shop for nutritious foods as there is no money for expensive vitamin supplements. I said now you stress to make it last over 30 days. You pay for the jam and you make it last. We each have R750. She can put petrol in her car with that too.

I do not know what is going to happen regarding toiletries or detergents. I guess that I will have to buy. I never have money to do what I want. Never.

She is also Diabetic and loves to tell me how she had a giant bowl of porridge in the morning and nothing else. I said Yep I am rich, make yourself sick because the medical aid does not pay for the condition + everything else.

She is quite capable of cooking, quite capable of cleaning herself, does not have Alzeihmers. Totally lucid. Lazy actually.

I would like to meet a man but feel she is a noose around my neck. I have started seeing my friends on my own as I used to take her with since she gets lonely. I now told her I will spend some time with you and the rest of the weekend belongs to me.

I feel sad that one day she willl be gone and I will regret things I did and said to her. But as God is my witness I try my best whilst I think my own life is seeping away. I sometimes think of my life when she is not here. Yes, no other family but at the end of the day I may be free.

She has no pension and no family to look after her either = a burden. I have told her that i will take her to a very poor state home to show her how they live. Should I? So she can see how lucky she is?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Maybe she's actually no longer capable of cooking, whether for herself or for you, but doesn't want to face up to this, and tries to cope by sticking to filling simple foods that need minimal preparation ?
Maybe with regard to food you consider luxiries, where this is reasonable, keep them in a locked cupboard or fridge, and give her a small amount each morning that is her ration for the day ?
If she has income of her own, of whatever form, she should surely split the costs of the home she shares with you, and of food. in proportion to income, and should eat what she can afford to buy.
DO spend time with her, she deserves it and presumably enjoys it ( especially if it can be quality time and not quarrelling time ) but its entirely fair to explain to her how you will divide what spare time you have, so as to also have some time for yourself.
If she is capable of helping in the house, then she should share in the chores, with an emphasis not on her carrying out orders, but on being praised for being active and useful.
It also sounds as though the diet she chooses could be a really bad one for someone with diabetes, and if she is rendering herself relatively hypglycemic at times, that may make her confused and cause poor judgement. She must see someone at a government medical clinic to help control her diabetes including supervision of her diet. Does she not qualify for a state pension or benefits ? Maybe such a clinic might have a social worker who could help counsel both of you on how to manage this fraught relationship better ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Hestia | 2012/07/09

I wish I can give you some advice however I am in the same boat as you. However my mom is not nearly that old. She does not earn any money so I can not ask her to contribute. However it is still as if she expect everything must be given to her. As everone I buy things to last a week or month., for excample for my boyfriends lunch, and when I get home it is all gone:-(. Makes me so mad. She will not even make food, although she is home the whole day. she does not like making food. Good luck though.

Reply to Hestia
Posted by: George | 2012/07/09

If I had such a mother I would be pissed off as well...

Show her the fa< kin road before it is too late.

Reply to George
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/07/09

Maybe she's actually no longer capable of cooking, whether for herself or for you, but doesn't want to face up to this, and tries to cope by sticking to filling simple foods that need minimal preparation ?
Maybe with regard to food you consider luxiries, where this is reasonable, keep them in a locked cupboard or fridge, and give her a small amount each morning that is her ration for the day ?
If she has income of her own, of whatever form, she should surely split the costs of the home she shares with you, and of food. in proportion to income, and should eat what she can afford to buy.
DO spend time with her, she deserves it and presumably enjoys it ( especially if it can be quality time and not quarrelling time ) but its entirely fair to explain to her how you will divide what spare time you have, so as to also have some time for yourself.
If she is capable of helping in the house, then she should share in the chores, with an emphasis not on her carrying out orders, but on being praised for being active and useful.
It also sounds as though the diet she chooses could be a really bad one for someone with diabetes, and if she is rendering herself relatively hypglycemic at times, that may make her confused and cause poor judgement. She must see someone at a government medical clinic to help control her diabetes including supervision of her diet. Does she not qualify for a state pension or benefits ? Maybe such a clinic might have a social worker who could help counsel both of you on how to manage this fraught relationship better ?

Reply to cybershrink

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