1. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Mum's birthday, first while in the Care Home. I booked a day's holiday in case it was fit to take her out for a walk or drive. It wasn't. I organised her best friend to visit, she fussed and faffed and said her grandchildren normally visited on that day, she would let me know. Her grandchildren visit 3 times a week, I would have thought missing an odd occasion once a year for her best friend's birthday wouldn't have been a problem. She said she would think about it and let me know. She didn't ring. I tried ringing her, no reply and no answerphone facility. As it happens I drove home through driving rain with a shattered windsceen wiper and had to keep stopping for safety reasons, so I would have been too late to pick her up anyway.

    No cards from mum's grand-daughters (my daughters). Husband thought it acceptable that they would bring them on Sunday when we are taking her out for lunch. I didn't agree. Her birthday is today, not Sunday. I wanted TODAY to be special.

    One daughter admits she only posted the card today - she forgot. No reply from the other. I just don't feel it is good enough. I don't get on well with my mum, I am her only daughter, I need as much help as I can. She has no sisters or brothers, no in-laws that keep in touch, there is just us, and I feel it is all left to me. Well, that seems common here on this website. All down to one person. I have joined the club!

    I am just thinking of my deceased dad, that both my daughters loved to bits. He would not be impressed by them not posting cards to her in time for her birthday. I am useless at making my views known. Do I bother? How do I say, diplomatically, that I think they should have posted their cards in good time? I can't face a mouthful of telling me I am unreasonable in my expectations. I always do these things wrong, am no good at expressing myself, and always end up in tears for doing it wrong.

    I know it is a minor point to most of you, who have much more serious issues. I just wanted my mum's first birthday in the home to be good, not least because I want her to realise that being in the home is good. I have still to convince her of that. That is another issue. How do I tell my daughters that not getting the cards there on time was a disappointment to me? Do I mention my disappointment? Do I take some other line? I don't know. I just feel I will end up wishing I hadn't mentioned it, so I probably won't. But it is not fair on my mum, who loves her grand-daughters to bits and had no cards from them on her birthday. They are **** to me. Sorry for the language. If I said that to them, they will probably never speak to me again, so I am scared to say what I feel, that their lack of timing has caused hurt and upset. I am quite sure I am going to end up on the wrong end of this, i.e. wishing I had kept my mouth shut and just accepted it. I am scared to say anything.

    Help please. I am actually trembling as I write this, I am so frightened as to my daughters' reactions if I say anything to them. I am sure it will result in them never speaking to me again.

    Margaret
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,429
    Dear Margaret

    I don't have any advice for you but I just wanted to let you know that someone had read your post and felt so sad for you. No advice, because I would tell my children in no uncertain terms that they had failed their grandmother, AND I wouldn't expect them to stop speaking to me over it, but obviously we have a different relationship. I have to say I wouldn't be surprised that they hadn't mailed the cards though - they're not by any means perfect.

    I have to accept that when you say that raising the subject would be sufficient for them to stop speaking to you you know what you're talking about, but it seems, from the outside looking in, a touch excessive. Other families dynamics are not something to second guess though. Something I have done with mine on occasion when I feel they have really crossed the line and I am so incandescent with anger that I would find it hard to string 2 coherent words together is to write them a letter. Sometimes I don't even send them - getting the thoughts down on paper is enough.

    Take care
     
  3. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    197
    manchester, uk
    Hi Margaret

    I am trembling on your behalf. I am so sorry your mums birthday didn't go as you had hoped.

    As you say unfortunetely it does tend to fall mainly on one person within a family. I once was that main person in the family but as in the grandchild and not the child.

    From reading your thread, I get the feeling you are really upset by your daughters actions. Therefore I feel you have to say something to them otherwise it will just eat away at you. All I can say is if you have a quiet nice word with them and tell them how hurt you felt that they wheren't there for your mum on her birthday.

    Let them know how much this condition is hurting you seeing your mother going though it, and how you as their mother would love their support. Even if they feel they cannot visit your mother to at least give you a cuddle or answer your calls.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Take Care
    Clare
     
  4. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    197
    manchester, uk
    Hi again Margaret

    As for your mums best friend, this also happens. My Nannas best friend couldn't even attend her funeral as she had family over that day. I think they find it hard, with being around the same age. It might seem that they are being dis-loyal but really I think it is more that they are scared of what might happen to them.

    Take Care
    Clare
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    I'd scream if I thought someone was emotionally abusing their children ... but when 'grown up children' don't show respect I get cross too :mad:..... have you told them that? They might just be mortified ... I know I am 'driven' by what my deceased dad would want me to do for my mother .......

    So, Sunday - someone in charge of balloons, someone in charge of surprise presents - whatever - let them know this is a 'shared' thing ..... ask them to do it out of respect for their grandfather and what he would want for their grandmother ..... try to make it a 'family challenge' instead of a family battle ......

    Just thoughts, Karen, x
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Well done, Karen! Turning negative into positive.

    Margaret, I'd have been very upset too, and like Jennifer, would almost certainly have said so.

    But the birthday's past, and having a row about it won't achieve anything. Ring your daughters and do as Karen suggested, tell them you're all going to make it a very special day for your mum.

    And next year, why not ring your daughters a few days in advance and remind them to post the cards?

    I have to say, late cards seem to be normal with the younger generation. My own son gets round it by having an Interflora reminder on his computer -- he doesn't even have to leave the office! Yes, that hurts a bit too, but I've more to worry about!
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,125
    Kent
    I`m so sorry you`ve been let down, Margaret, and I`m sorry your mother has been let down too. And I`m very, very sorry you hurt so much for your mother.

    But I seem to have a different take on whether or not to tell..

    If I`m not happy with the behaviour of a child, I feel it`s right to correct that behaviour. It is our role as adults to guide children and show them our perception of correct attitude, thought and conduct.

    I do not believe in the same guidance for adults. It is not my responsibility to tell adults how to behave. If adults let me down, so be it. If they feel duty bound to support me because of my reminder, the support is not spontaneous, is not given with the right attitude, and so is not genuine.

    If that`s the case, I don`t want it.
     
  8. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Margaret
    I can understand your anger, you must be feeling very hurt, especialy when your own family let you and your mum down. I agree with all thats been said. It might cause worse problems if you 'have a go' especially at your daughters. I would be tempted to see if they comment at all about grandmas birthday, then you could tell them how disappointing it was for your mum, but try to keep it low key, despite what you're feeling.It might make them consider their actions more carefully.
    How about planning mum's birthday next year to pre-empt any difficulty? You probably best know what you could do. I will be formulating a plan for Dads birthday as well, to avoid involvement of family and friends altogether.

    My thoughts, generally, are that if the person had been well would they have been ignored in such a way? People can be so thoughtless and selfish. They behave as if dementia isn't something they should have anything to do with (they must be so much more special than anybody else). They haven't worked out that it could also happen to them someday. It makes me angry. It is 100 times worse when its your own family. I'm so sorry Margaret. Like you said 'welcome to the club'
    take care
    hendy
     
  9. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    342
    Hello Margaret,

    Well kids - who'd have 'em ?

    I wonder what would be said if you forgot their birthdays next time or sent a card a few days late ?

    And just a thought and I hope you don't feel offended but is it a tiny bit possible that it's really the "guilt monster" thats making you more badly upset that her birthday wasn't celebrated by all on the day.


    When our Mum went into a flat and then a CH we went overboard to try to make everything perfect - Mum didn't really even indicate she realised what a birthday was by then but us, her daughters tried to pull out all the stops. I think we did it for US rather than her ?


    Agree with others that you need to say something but perhaps in a quiet way about how YOU are hurting. If you're lucky you won't get what I get from mine which is usually "get a life Mum" !!!


    Will be thinking of you this weekend - if you have a party - hope its a great one

    regards
    Germain
     
  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Dear all

    What a lot of sense you have all shared with me, so many thanks for that.

    It turns out that mum was not at all bothered by getting a late card from Daughter Number two, and the card from daughter Number one never arrived, but she thought it had! It was me getting my knickers in a twist about it all. I really should learn to relax.

    Good point about reminding them next year. Yeah, the Guilt Monster got to me, I want to have things perfect, and if they are not, I feel it is my fault. They are such little points in the whole scheme of things, I should "take a chill pill" as my colleague in her thirties tells me.

    So glad for everyone's advice, different perspectives are SO useful, and put me back on track for what is really important.

    I didn't make an issue with the girls, glad that I didn't. Really, I am lucky to have daughters who travel 50/180 miles without complaint to take grandma out to lunch for her birthday. I can't expect perfection as I see it. I suppose it's cos mum has no other relatives who care, that I see it as so important to "do it right" according to me.

    Where are those "chill pills"?

    Margaret
     
  11. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    342
    Hello Margaret,

    So glad you're feeling a litle better about the situation.


    My chill pill is to give myself a good talking to along the lines of :

    Is the world really going to end because Mum had someone elses top on today

    Has my whole life been a total failure because I didn't finish the sew on name tags today (leading to the Ch staff thinking I'm a lazy, good for nothing slut who doesn't deserve a Mum like mine and then they will neglect her etc all because of me !!!!)


    I didn't get round to buying new shower gel today - does that really mean that if Mum uses soap she will get a major skin infection and it will be all my fault


    Oh - I could go on and on and on about what a miserable failure I was and it usually hits me around 4 a.m.

    I think you've identified your own chill pill here - its the phrase - "in the whole scheme of things"


    Much love

    Germain
     
  12. ranisuri123

    ranisuri123 Registered User

    Apr 1, 2008
    1
    New Delhi, INDIA
    This is life. We just got to live with it

    Atleast she has you. Life is hard and we cant change others thinking and feelings. If it is of any consequence, we the carers have been thru it all and know the world is very callous.


     
  13. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Margaret

    I think that this disease just leaves us feeling so raw and exposed. Like you I used to try and ensure that things happened at the right time, but even when Mum was well she forgot about my birthday!!!!!!

    However she would be there for me if I needed her. In my husband's family his parents get annoyed about seemingly forgotten birthday cards (birthday on Sunday, we intended a surprise visit yet got a disgruntled phone call when no card in Saturday's post!!!!) however if you need them in an emergency they are not there.

    Your daughters are travelling up a reasonable distance to see their grandmother and I am sure that they will be there for you when you need them.

    A day doesn't matter..but the lifetime does. Eventhough like you I probably would have been fuming on the day too (I have done at my brother's lack of care on individual special days, but then he doesn't show up after the fact...he just can't cope...and she's his mother!!!) With time I have learnt to accept that this is the way life is.

    I hope that you find it easier next year with more time to deal with the uncertainties that this disease throws at us.

    Love

    Mameeskye
     
  14. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    342
    Truly international !

    Hello Ranisuri123

    Welcome to Talking Point. Noticed that it was your first post above.

    If you start a "hello" post with some details of why/ how you came to be here on Talking Point you'll get lots of responses and help/advice if you need it.

    regards
    Germain
     
  15. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Thanks all, I knew I would get good advice from you all.L

    Love to everyone.

    Margaret
     
  16. silvergoblin

    silvergoblin Registered User

    Mar 31, 2008
    13
    Naples, Florida....USA
    Hi Margaret....I can totally understand why you are upset by the late B-Day Cards....it is a matter of principal....and it is not easy to deal with family "let downs"....hell....trying to deal with the Alzheimer's/Dementia is more than enough for someone to cope with on a daily basis....let alone any other issues. I must admit that I although I don't know your daughters I am sure that it was an oversight on their part....I speak from experience....When I was 20 years old and in college I forgot to mail my Grandmother's Birthday card on time so I gave her a call on her Birthday....well she told me that as far as she was concerned she didn't have a granddaughter and that she never wanted to have anything to do with me again....and she didn't have any illness whatsoever.... then she hung up on me....and she was true to her word....I never spoke with her again (she passed away 7 years ago)....My Mom (it was her Mother) was furious with me and let's just say that things were not pretty for a long time between my Mom and I. I don't see anything wrong with you telling your daughters in a very tactful manner that they hurt you and let you down....as in "By the way I just wanted to let you know that such and such hurt me....could we please try and not let it happen in the future....?" Please hang in there Margaret....
     
  17. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Apologies for the late reply, my computer died - completely. Silver Goblin is that really the case that your gran never spoke to you again? How sad, but it seems to have been her choice. I guess you don't want to go over it, but you phoned her, which to me is more active than sending a card. Seems she was a bit excessive in her response. Well, you can't do anything about it now. Oh, dear, I don't have the right words to say.

    Aw, I've got over the issue with my mum now, but thanks all for your support. It was only a minor problem really, but you all helped to make me feel better.

    Thanks

    Margaret
     

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