Am i being selfish?

Isabella41

Registered User
Feb 20, 2012
904
Northern Ireland
We have a family wedding coming up at the end of the month. Given my huge dissapointment at not being invited to Louise's wedding this one is my consolation so to speak. Its taking place in a beautiful hotel on the shores of an amazing lake. The plan was we were staying 3 days. My mum was invited because the groom's mother is mum's aunt and she felt mum should be asked as a matter of courtesy. Aunty V (her mum) tried to dissuade her for my sake. I assumed that as we were going for a 3 day stay mum wouldn't be able to get so thought no more of it. I went out at the weekend and bought a gorgeous dress as I my weight has finally stopped dropping.

Then aunty V called. She said my uncle (mum's brother) felt mum should be able to go to the wedding. My heart sank. Its all very well his kindness and thinking of mum but its me who will be babysitter no matter what uncle says. He's taking it upon himself to personally drive her there and back. She is of course excited and raring to go. John and I got married 18mths ago and mum was a handfull then. Nothing was right and she complained a lot. She was also quite disorientated with the unfamilar surroundings. We had a similar experience at another wedding prior to our own.

Aunty V has said they will sit mum at another table and 'try' to keep her entertained so we can enjoy the day. Mum however has already said that I can be the one to make sure she gets her meds and keep her company.

In light of this the shine has gone off the day. I am now sorely tempted to say nothing to the family until closer to the time and then tell them I can't go for health reasons. A bit sneaky I know but I really don't see the point in going when mum will be at my elbow all day. She can't cope in strange enviornments anymore. It confuses and agitates her. That's not her fault obviously but it will still mean she will stick to me like a limpet. The only other people she will know will be aunty V and her husband and the grooms parents. Am I being really horrible about all this? I feel bad but was so looking forward to our time away and did not expect to be babysitter for the day.

Mum continues to behave to a point. Now that she thinks I am getting better she is beginning to demand things again. John had started to visit her again as she is behaving but she's taken this as a green light that between us we should be there almost every night.

What to do. What to do

Isabella
 

PeggySmith

Registered User
Apr 16, 2012
1,683
BANES
I don't know how to advise you Isabella. Go and tell everyone beforehand that your health doesn't permit you to look after your mum? That won't wash will it?

What does John think?

Big hug and I hope someone can come up with a brilliant idea.:)
 

penga

Registered User
Jun 4, 2012
26
Hi

I have not replied to your threads before as I would more than likely be in jail:rolleyes:

Today phone your mother's SW, Mental Health Team or whoever and remind them of their agreement. You are ILL and cannot administer/pander to ANY of your mothers needs as per arrangements prior to surgery.

STEP BACK do not visit, be polite but totally non committal; Sorry cannot do today, tomorrow or next week.

Go to the wedding and as soon as your mother starts to play up, evaporate, it easily done at large hotel functions, as you are ill and cannot attend to mother's wants.

Hang in there

C
 

zeeeb

Registered User
Do what is best for you.

But perhaps you could go away as planned for the weekend, but don't stay long at the wedding, just go to the ceremony, stay at the reception for an hour or two and then make your good byes and enjoy the evening with john.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
No, you are NOT being selfish. For heaven's sake, WHY do these (albeit well-intentioned) people have to stick their wretched oars in when they simply don't understand the practical realities?

Your aunt thinks she will be able to manage the situation - you know very well that that will not be the case.

If I were you* I think I'd be quite blunt with aunty V. Something like, 'Look, I know you think you will be able to manage her, but quite frankly you won't. She is bound to be confused and agitated at some point, if not for a lot of the time, and from a great deal of experience I know I will be the one who will finally have to cope. I simply can't handle added stress at the moment and if you really do plan to take her, then I will very reluctantly have to opt out. Which would be a great shame, since I was really looking forward to it.'
And of course it wouldn't be much comfort to you to know that your aunt and uncle will have to find out the hard way that they were very misguided.

*but of course I'm not so please feel free to ignore! But it makes me so mad that after all you've been through, this is added on top. We were so lucky in that well-intentioned but clueless relatives in both my family and OH's would take our informed word for it when we said such and such a thing would not be a good idea at all.
 

Hair Twiddler

Registered User
Aug 14, 2012
892
Middle England
Hi Isabella,
I agree with everyone else. You are not being selfish. Go to the wedding - you are a guest - enjoy & then evaporate as Penga cleverly suggests. I do hope that your mum does not spoil the day for anyone. Are you wearing a hat?
 

Nanak

Registered User
Mar 25, 2010
1,973
60
Brisbane Australia
I also agree. Go to the wedding but make it clear your time at the reception will be dictated by your health as you have just had major surgery. If you are not sitting near Mum then you should be at least able to get your meal in peace. Let your Uncle organise accommodation for Mum (if she is to stay). Just as a matter of interest, will either of your daughters be invited?
Honestly are these people completely clueless?
Nanak
 

Moonflower

Registered User
Mar 28, 2012
775
Oh dear
I think you need to stand firm with your mother about visiting - you said you'd visit once a week, stick to it!
If you give in and go every night you will be back where you started in no time.

Regarding the wedding, I think that if you are there and so is your mother she will expect you to look after her, no matter what anyone else says. So, either be up front about it and explain that if she's going you aren't, as you aren't well enough to look after her. Or plead illness at the last minute and take your lovely dress away with you for a nice weekend break. But that could be tricky with hotel bookings - as you would be expected presumably to have booked a room at the wedding hotel in advance.
 

mrjelly

Registered User
Jul 23, 2012
314
West Sussex
If her relatives are so confident they can look after your mum, then they could show this by having her stay with them for a few days before the wedding. Or they could take her away for a mini-break.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
I also agree. Go to the wedding but make it clear your time at the reception will be dictated by your health as you have just had major surgery. If you are not sitting near Mum then you should be at least able to get your meal in peace. Let your Uncle organise accommodation for Mum (if she is to stay). Just as a matter of interest, will either of your daughters be invited?
Honestly are these people completely clueless?
Nanak
Maybe I am being overly pessimistic here* but from all I've read of Isabella's mum, I can't see a mere official seating plan denting her determination to get her own way. The slightest hint of fuss or, 'Oh, dear, I did so want to sit next to my daughter' and I can see some other nice, kind, thoroughly well-meaning guest instantly offering to swop.

*I do fervently hope I am.
 

Nanak

Registered User
Mar 25, 2010
1,973
60
Brisbane Australia
Maybe I am being overly pessimistic here* but from all I've read of Isabella's mum, I can't see a mere official seating plan denting her determination to get her own way. The slightest hint of fuss or, 'Oh, dear, I did so want to sit next to my daughter' and I can see some other nice, kind, thoroughly well-meaning guest instantly offering to swop.

*I do fervently hope I am.
You have a point there Witzend. :( It did cross my mind but I had visions of Uncle perhaps sitting on her to keep her in her place :p:p
Nanak
 

Moonflower

Registered User
Mar 28, 2012
775
I agree Witzend. Plus there's the social pressure at a wedding not to let any kind of unpleasantness spoil the day, which will add to the pressure on Isabella to do whatever her mum wants rather than have a scene or whatever.

If it were me, I'd make it clear that if mum was going I wouldn't be. If the relatives who are so keen on her mum being there realise that they genuinely will have to take responsibility for her they may become less keen.
 

Onlyme

Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
4,995
UK
I agree Witzend. Plus there's the social pressure at a wedding not to let any kind of unpleasantness spoil the day, which will add to the pressure on Isabella to do whatever her mum wants rather than have a scene or whatever.

If it were me, I'd make it clear that if mum was going I wouldn't be. If the relatives who are so keen on her mum being there realise that they genuinely will have to take responsibility for her they may become less keen.

I shall add a rant. Its not fair that Isabella can't have one event without her mother spoiling it.

Depending on how strong you are you should either go for the ceremony and meal and leave or if you really can't cope then stay at home but no, its just not fair.

Can you get a note put on your table that no one is to swap with Mum or get your Uncle to chain her to the table?!
 

ggma

Registered User
Feb 18, 2012
1,130
North Staffordshire
hi Isabella, I really could not believe the simplicity of your relatives. Of course your day will be spoilt unless explicit arrangements are made for your Mum.

Is your Uncle driving her there and back in the day, cause that is what it would mean.

I think it would be a great pity if you missed this family occassion, especially as you are looking forward to it. Do you think you could be honest with your Aunt and say how you feel, and how worried you would be with your Mum there?

One other thing that comes to mind is that I have known families engage a carer for the duration of a wedding and celebrations to be responsible for the person with dementia, this one to one assistance can avoid some pitfall, do not know if it is something you could consider. You would then be able to safely say you were not responsible for you Mum or able to assist her in any way.

So sorry that once again your plans are being upset.
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
So glad to hear your weight loss has stopped, Isabella. Hope you're feeling better too.

What would your Mum's consultant say about a plan to involve your Mum in this wedding Isabella when she'd be escorted only by your Uncle and Aunt? He's met them hasn't he? Is this the Uncle who may have some degree of cognitive impairment and hadn't much insight into your Mum's condiiton? Might he talk to your Uncle and either forbid it or lay down strict conditions (that perhaps your Uncle would not wish to abide by)?

One worry I'd have about your Mum's behaviour is that she's almost certainly going to drink (possibly quite a bit). Her physical health quite likely wouldn't benefit from the alcohol and her behaviour certainly won't.

As a suggestion Isabella, maybe the consultant could say your Mum is only allowed to attend this wedding if she's escorted by a trained dementia carer, responsible for getting her to the wedding, sitting with her and taking her back. It would cost a packet but it's the best way I can think of of making sure your Mum is safe and in a controlled situation and that you don't lapse into carer mode.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
As a suggestion Isabella said:
only[/I] allowed to attend this wedding if she's escorted by a trained dementia carer, responsible for getting her to the wedding, sitting with her and taking her back. It would cost a packet but it's the best way I can think of of making sure your Mum is safe and in a controlled situation and that you don't lapse into carer mode.
I think the point with Isabella's mum is that she would be quite likely to tell any expensive trained carer to bog off!

Excuse me Isabella if I'm maligning your mum here, but I do get the impression of -how can I put it? - an EXTREMELY strong-willed lady!

And I will add my rant to the other - it is so desperately unfair that blasted interfering relatives seem bent on spoiling this event for Isabella. Why will these wretched people not listen??
 
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Onlyme

Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
4,995
UK
Just had another thought. Is this wedding South of the Border? Is she allowed under bail conditions from the consultant to travel south in case she does a bunk?
 

Isabella41

Registered User
Feb 20, 2012
904
Northern Ireland
Yes this is the same uncle who does not really believe there is much wrong with mum. He does have the beginnings of dementia himself. He's had a private meeting with mum's consultant in the past. He's said he will drive her there and back himself.

The wedding is about 90 mins drive from here but is still in Northern Ireland.

I tried telling my aunt how aprehensive I am about the whole thing but she says while she agrees with me he will not listen to reason and he wants her there. She assures me mum will not be seated with John and I. While very admirable if mother decides she wants to sit with us she will just plonk herself down beside me and play the dotty old dear routine. If she decides she wants to go home before my uncle is ready to take her she will make this very clear to us!!!

I also pointed out that I dread to think the state she will turn up in as if we did go mum would be getting herself ready on the day. I can lay the outfit etc out but whether she washes etc will be up to her on the day.

Neither of my daughters have been invited.

John has said I must do whatever I feel is best. He recalls the fuss she made at another wedding back in 2008.

I can't exactly make a scene on the day. If she plays up I can't draw attention to us. If we shun her and keep to ourselves we could look really mean to other guests who are not familar with the suituation.
I am so terribly terribly dissapointed at this turn of events. I was looking forward to a lovely relaxing break. Its a 4star hotel with leisure centre,pool etc. I had envisaged lounging around for a few days with no hassle.

Mum is so excited and I feel such a cow for being like this. It just feels like I've lost my consolation prize as well.

I was planning on wearing a black feathery fascinator. My dress is royal blue with black beading. Thankfully the label is still on the dress so it can be returned.

Isabella
 

Moonflower

Registered User
Mar 28, 2012
775
Oh Isabella it seems so very unfair
If you go, as you say I don't think you'll be able to avoid taking responsibilty for your mum
Could you not go away for a nice weekend break somewhere else? I know it's not the same but it would be more relaxing. You'd have the money saved on this hotel to pay for another one......
Please don't feel you're being unkind - nothing could be further from the truth
 

dottyd

Registered User
Jan 22, 2011
1,064
n.e.
Yes this is the same uncle who does not really believe there is much wrong with mum. He does have the beginnings of dementia himself. He's had a private meeting with mum's consultant in the past. He's said he will drive her there and back himself.

The wedding is about 90 mins drive from here but is still in Northern Ireland.

I tried telling my aunt how aprehensive I am about the whole thing but she says while she agrees with me he will not listen to reason and he wants her there. She assures me mum will not be seated with John and I. While very admirable if mother decides she wants to sit with us she will just plonk herself down beside me and play the dotty old dear routine. If she decides she wants to go home before my uncle is ready to take her she will make this very clear to us!!!

I also pointed out that I dread to think the state she will turn up in as if we did go mum would be getting herself ready on the day. I can lay the outfit etc out but whether she washes etc will be up to her on the day.

Neither of my daughters have been invited.

John has said I must do whatever I feel is best. He recalls the fuss she made at another wedding back in 2008.

I can't exactly make a scene on the day. If she plays up I can't draw attention to us. If we shun her and keep to ourselves we could look really mean to other guests who are not familar with the suituation.
I am so terribly terribly dissapointed at this turn of events. I was looking forward to a lovely relaxing break. Its a 4star hotel with leisure centre,pool etc. I had envisaged lounging around for a few days with no hassle.

Mum is so excited and I feel such a cow for being like this. It just feels like I've lost my consolation prize as well.

I was planning on wearing a black feathery fascinator. My dress is royal blue with black beading. Thankfully the label is still on the dress so it can be returned.

Isabella
Isabella- don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Sometimes we can dread things and they actually turn out to be not too bad.

I believe we are here for a good time not a long time and we can still care without being burdened down by the whole business of caring.

I dont believe that anyone should have to put their lives on hold for another person, apart from when our children become independent.

I would write to your uncle and say that you are really looking forward to this wedding as caring for your mum has been really stressfully and you feel ready for this break.

Tell him how marvelous he his for taking on TOTAL care of your mum at the wedding and the days around it and how your mum will LAP up having his FULL attention.

That you thank him deeply from the bottom of your heart to give you the opportunity of spending time with so many of your family members without having the responsibility of caring g for your mum.

Tell him how much your are looking forward to having some complete rest and relaxation on your GP.s orders with a few spa treatments thrown in for good measure.

You never know without you to manipulate your mum may just pull out all the stops , lap up all the attention and sit there like lamb and salad having a good time.

Once your uncle realises that you are there as a guest only and have no intention on waiting on your mum hand and foot he will either change his mind or have to go through with it having realised he's bitten off more than he can chew.