Polar Bear

Polar Bear
My Boy

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Genetics I Can't Avoid

As many of you know, my mother took my 96 year old grandmother (her mom) into her house to live with her and my Dad four years ago now, after GM started falling.

Mom's useless Sister and Brother were nonexistent in the talk as to whom would have GM come live with them.  Suddenly they were all hiding under their desks, meanwhile when GM was handing out checks from her pension and ss funds, they were all hands up and waving in the air...

So my parents moved GM down to live in their house-they tricked out my old room with handi-railings everywhere, since GM uses a walker now, and remodeled the bathroom for handicap access to everything.

My Dad still works but my Mom stays home with GM.  She stays home 24/7, except for emergency trips to the store for GM's cravings, or to the library so GM has an endless supply of reading material.

This upsets me because my GM is not thankful, doesn't acknowledge my Mom's efforts, and continues to send Sister and Brother $1000 checks a month.  No shit.  They visit her once a year if GM is lucky.  Usually it is on her birthday, and Sis cries the whole time because she believes it is GM's last birthday.  Crocodile tears, I'm sure.  BTW, Sister is the mom of the 'cousin' in my last post when I mentioned Polar...

One thing that GM likes to do quite regularly is go up to the casino about an hour north of us.  Mom likes to gamble, too, Dad not so much, but he brings them so Mom can have some fun.

Lately though, Mom and Dad have wanted to get away ALONE to the casino for a night.  They do this every so often, every few months or so I'd say, and hubs and I stay over and watch GM like hawks.

In the past, Dad has tried to get Mom to plan trips with him for a weekend away, even a week, but Mom always cancels out.  See, apparently Mom feels like something will happen to GM when her ever-watchful eyes are on vacation.

Lately, however, Mom hasn't wanted to go to casino overnight or anywhere else overnight because she doesn't want GM to feel bad.  Mom feels GUILTY for leaving GM at home so she and Dad can get away, especially when they are going to go to the casino, because GM enjoys that, too.

And see, this is where GM should say "you guys go and have fun, I'll be well taken care of, and you deserve some time alone together".  Instead GM says whistfully "Oh, THAT should be fun.."  And of course Mom feels guilty, instantly, and she worries the whole time she is away, if she even goes away, and always comes home very early.

So we had been planning for Mom and Dad to go to casino for today, leaving early, being back around 7.  I would come over and do my hawk duties, no problem.  Mom, however, hadn't told GM as of this morning...then she decided to lie to her that she and Dad were going to stock show and rodeo instead, so that GM wouldn't feel bad about not being able to go.  But of course they are still going to casino, just without telling GM.

This bugs the hell out of me, because Mom deserves some time to have fun and hang with my Dad, without GM ringing her little bell all the time and Mom jumping up to appease her-she doesn't deserve the guilt .  

BUT, as is the case with me, too, she LETS herself feel guilty, she overlooks all the good she does when my GM focuses on a negative, and she sacrifices her own health and well being for someone who doesn't give a shit that Mom is running herself into an early grave so that GM doesn't have to lift a finger.

Now that I have made the decision to get myself healthy, Mom is feeling the pressure to do so, too.  I came over yesterday to say hi and Mom said I looked good, as she often does lately, and I said 'THANKS!  I have lost 68 pounds and am 177!'  She replied sadly, 'Oh...I am 177, too, but I'm five inches shorter than you...'  I said yes you are, I'm not going to sugar coat it but I don't want her to feel bad either...

I guess I hoped my journey might make it easier for her to motivate herself to exercise, too.  She and my Dad eat very healthy, so exercising is the issue.  I brought them my recumbent bike, and my Dad bought her a new elliptical.  I am sitting here looking at both, and while Mom doesn't let anything gather dust in the house, they both have blankets and magazines stacked on them.

My Dad has tried to get her to go on walks, and occasionally succeeds, since Mom feels GM can be left alone for very short periods only.

She says she is very busy, and GM does take up alot of her time and energy, but I know Mom sits and plays games on the computer everyday, time when she could peddle out a half hour on the bike or so 20 on the elliptical.

So how do I get her to exercise without sounding uppity and arrogant about my own loss?  I need to appeal to her somehow...she wants weight loss because she doesn't like how she looks, but I want her to lose 20 or so because I want her to be around a long time..  I realize most of us have a hard enough time getting ourselves to exercise, let alone use our scarce motivation to make someone else exercise.  So any ideas??


Shabby Chic Mom- Susie said...

Having a much older mom we are/ were dealing with her health. She fell and broke her hand the day before xmas eve. I don't know your gm financial situation but can they afford a caretaker a few hrs a week? I also know the frustration when some family members fall to the wayside. Good luck

Stacy said...

This so reminds me of my situation once. My stepdad's aunt came to live with us once & was at deaths door. I was sep from my exhusband and living with them at the time. My SD got cancer and me and my brother were paying their mortgage for a year. Well I had to quit working b/c Mom watched my son & couldn't handle both of them. My SD was back working. I was out of work for a month. She, aunt, was telling people how sorry I was and living off my SD. The ONLY reason I wasn't working was b/c of her :( She talked bad about my Mom too. She ended up going back to the family member that let her get bed sores & almost die... she ended up dying several months later. It was very Nasty.

Sorry, brought back memories. I'd say try to get your Mom out for walks with you as often as you can since she'll leave GM for small periods of time. That's about all you can do. It really sucks to watch someone you love go through that. I'd also recomment a part time caretaker or getting GM involved in a Senior Center. Somehow I doubt she'd go for it though :( Sorry

Stephanie said...

Your post reminds me SO much of my Father-in-law. He's the most ungrateful man I have ever met in my whole life, and I have to take him in VERY small doses. I hope you're able to get your Mom to exercise with you. The other two ladies above me suggested a great idea about hiring a caretaker. Would that be financially possible?

Lanie Painie said...

tell her to come to you when she wants help. Otherwise, leave her alone about it. Just like all the rest of us, she'll do the work when she's ready.

Now . . .as for Grandma she should be on a need-to-know basis. It's none of her business where your mom goes on her time off. Geesh. My mom lived with us for 3 years and it almost destroyed our pathetic relationship.

Lanie Painie said...

ooh! your mom should start a blog!

Ron said...

Can't even convince myself to exercise daily right now.... so I have no advice for you

Mrs. D said...

My mom took her parents in too when they both got sick, but were very grateful and helpful for everything she ever did.. It sounds like your GM treats her that way because your mother allows it. You said she doesn't like how she looks, but anyone dieting knows that's not all she doesn't like. None of us got fat because we really liked food, we all have bigger issues and eat them instead of dealing with them. It sounds like your mother may have self esteem issues that goes deeper than appearance, and that your GM may have been the one that got the ball rolling when she was younger since she's doing this to her now. I may be totally off base, but my dad DOES have that kind of relationship with his mother. He still feels like he isn't good enough around her, and tries to do everything for her (aside from moving her in) regardless of how she treats him.

On getting your mom motivated.. I wish I had an answer. My mom has talked about joining my gym recently, but when I brought it up this weekend, she said she wasn't ready. That she wants to do A, B, and C before doing that. She also asked me how to start a blog today too. Keep doing what you're doing- we can't make anyone get motivated, but we can help them once they are ready.

Trisha said...

Everyone comes around, just being there when she is ready is the best thing you can do.

Shannon said...

tell her what you put in your blog. Just be straight forward with her. Let her know you want her to be around longer. It sucks sometimes but that is how you have to get through to some people.

Deb Willbefree said...

Hi. First, thanks for the comment on my post. Yes, you hit the jackpot, it's hormones. :( Knowing that does help...a little. Although I'm still feeling ridiculously tragic. sigh.

Second. Your mom. She is lucky to have a daughter who cares so much about her. And I totally understand what its like to have a mom who is sucking you dry--and then makes you feel guilty for needing a drink of water.

The last thing your mom needs is more stress or pressure. Or more feeling like she isn't measuring up. I'd advise you to let her be as far as weight and exercise goes. She knows she needs to lose weitgt. She knkows she needs to exercise. Let her be.

Here's what you CAN do, tho. Find ways to relieve her stress. I don't know the situation well enough to tell you how to do that, but there are little things youi can do that will help.

Stopping by to occupy GM (I don't care if you have to sing and dance.) so Mom has 30 minutes FREE. Even if she's in the same house, she'll still get to breathe w/out being on duty. You could suggest that while you're there she could go out for a walk and get some fresh air. If the weather works where you are for that.

The biggest thing she needs is some stress relief. Think on it, I'm sure you'll come up with some things you can do. Even taking over dinner, maybe...