Monday, March 24, 2008

This is the worst Sandwich ever

It's Spring Break here - although there are piles of snow still filthy on the street corners. I have my week heavily planned with activities. Yesterday's original plans went down the toilet because my mother, as usual, made some plans based on assumptions and screwed everything up. I'm 38 years old. Why do I have to care what she does every freaking moment of the day?

Well, she lives with me. I am one of the (un)lucky members of the sandwich generation. My mother moved in with us 2 years ago because she wasn't taking care of her home and finances the way she needed to (believe me, my standards are low) and her other daughter who had lived with her the entire 38 years of her life rent-free was playing the martyr while helping her get deeper into debt and allowing what was left of the house to fall down around her.

So, now I have a 6 year old and an 80 year old in my care. Mom pitches in around the house sure, but she also pitches fits and tantrums, spreading hate, discontent, and general negativity everwhere she goes - but mostly when she does not get to go. But, as most of my family, she can put on a really good show for others.

Dd and I had a wonderful outing today with one of our favorite families. We went to the downtown library, lunch at Bailey's (delish as always) and then over to their house to play for a while. In all, we were gone a little less than 6 hours. I personally had an incdredibly great time, only occasionally thinking of what I "should" be doing instead and how old Mrs. Negativity was sitting at home stewing the whole time.

The first thing I heard when we walked in the door was directed to my daughter: "Wow, you were gone a long time, I only get a half hour when I go to the library!" Well, it's not below me to say "You're lying - you get as much time as you want at the library at least once every week - and if you don't get more than 30 minutes it is because you choose to leave after that amount of time!" So, I said that and said it loud. I was in no mood! Then I got to read the "poor me" notes left on the kitchen table instead of the family journal as requested. I reply on the family journal and take her notes and hide them for dh to read when he comes home. (If I don't do that, she somehow makes them disappear and denies every writing them after she provokes me to the point of no return)

I could go on and on (and sometimes do). I don't like to post about my problems. I blame Mandy (that's right Dunn, you're finally off the hook) who has been nagging me to update my blog. After all, it has been TWO WHOLE DAYS since my last post. Geesh!

Tomorrow mom will be ticked again because I will be all day with my BFF Rose (Mandy) and neglecting her. Maybe we will take pity on her and invite her along to the book store. It depends on how well she behaves in the morning. Gee whiz, so what if she's alone for a half day? She has 2 cats, cable TV, heat, laundry facilities, a cook and cab driver, and running water - more than she had when she lived with her favoarite - who would come home maybe every 3 days. I guess maybe I put too much importance on the availability of clean water. Where are my priorities? I know I'm not going to earn a medal for this life and I know I'm a terrible housekeeper and daughter, but give me a BREAK. I took her to freaking DISNEY WORLD for free and she's pissed that she didn't get to go to the downtown library with 3 hyper kids? Rambling again.

I gotta go vote for Marlee and Marissa on Dancing with the stars!


Mandy said...

Oh no! She ain't coming! We've got some "stocking" to do!

The Grammar Snob said...

I feel for you, sweetie. My Granny lived with my mom for a few years before she passed away. Even though she was nothing NOTHING like your mom....she was sweet and thoughtful and most of all grateful. My mom still felt smothered from time to time.

Take time for yourself. DO NOT feel guilty about it.

Carol D. O'Dell said...

I'm having flashbacks! My mom moved in with my family and me (three daughters, hubby, me) when her Parkinson's got worse--and then she developed Alzheimer's. Sandwich generation isn't the proper term for it--more lik vice grip generation.

My mother was at times, (many times) manipulative, jealous of any attention I gave to my girls, and would even create drama if I went any where (she once drank a bottle of deodorant because I had a big function to go to).

It was chaotic, challenging, and sometimes downright frustrating. I realize now I could have used a few more personal boundaries--and asked for more help, but life is imperfect. Families are...families.

I hope you find joy in the midst of it all--

~Carol D. O'Dell
Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

available on Amazon

Cari said...

I'm finally off the hook? Forever? Or just this once?

I'm sorry about your mom. At least you don't put up with her crap. I can't stand people who play the martyr. You're good at being passive aggressive, play the game right back with her. At least you can have a little fun while you annoy her.

I'm off to thank MIL's boyfriend for taking her out of our hair...