"I want my mummy back"

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
No, not my words. My 11-year-old son's words to me today - that 'street-cred' young man (if only I'd let him be) who hasn't called me 'mummy' for years... who has needed me when I wasn't there (emotionally) because I was looking after my own 'mummy'....

Feel gutted, useless, worst parent in the world...... sat here crying, wondering how on earth to strike the balance.... perhaps I can't anymore????

Soz, guess I just had to admit it here - then perhaps I start to admit it to myself ...... Karen (TF)


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
Hi Karen
Oh dear you are in the situation where everyone needs a bit of you and there just aint enough to go round!!
Bin there done that got the tee shirt and it makes you feel like cr*p!!!
Am I right that your son is due to change schools in September? (to go to secondary school)or is he in the year above my son.....I know James(my youngest ) needs me at the moment and I am no longer in a position to give him the total one to one emotional support that he needs...no matter how hard I try.....and it is tough for them to understand.....
Listen....youare not useless
You are not the worst parent in the world
You've managed to strike the balance before and you will do again!!
Dry your eyes girl...have a nice choccy bar (my solution to every crisis!) and tuck yourself up in bed
It won't seem so bad in the morning
You are doing a great job...but you have just come up against a hurdle and tomorrow you will have jumped over it:)
Your son knows you love him and he knows you'll always be there for him ....it just takes a bit of time for him to understand...but he will:)
Love and hugs


Registered User
Oct 15, 2005
A {{{Hug}}}

Can't take away the pain that this caused you Karen, but can send you a {{{{hug}}}}. You're not the 'worst parent in the world', just a human being try to do an extremely difficult balancing act between two people that need you. Take care


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Karen,
What do you want from me, the tea and sympathy, or the kick up the backside?! You know that you are not really the worst parent in the world, but if you need to hear it "YOU ARE A GOOD PARENT. IF NOT YOUR SON WOULD NOT CARE, AND WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO VOICE HIS FEELINGS TO YOU". Karen, maybe it is not a case of having to change much, just change his perception, so that he realises how much you value him and your time with him. It is so easy for us to get bogged down with dementia - when we are not with our relative, we are worrying about them. Maybe it's he wants his computer back!! Sounds to me as though son and mum need some fun - quick fixes in our household, bake a cake together with lots of chocolate; trip to the cinema; watch a DVD - close the curtains, get an icecream out the freezer and pretend it is the cinema; play a game of Risk, Scrabble etc; go for a walk, calling at the shop for a bottle and favourite nibbles. (You can tell why I am overweight!)
Right - better get ready fo work. Take care. You are doing OK. So give that son of yours a sloppy kiss, tell him you love him - and get on with your day.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Yes Mel right only really think is a big snoopy kiss , I have 4 children and each and every one of them have told me that they wish they have been the only child ,if Nanny had not got ill it would have been this way or that way yes because there selfish, was ant we at one time in our life’s when younger with our own mums

My lot moan about the time I spend on mum ,even now youngest who 19 moan I only cook for Nanny , many a time I have told her if I was not looking after Nanny I would be working full time & your be cooking yourself, but she don’t get the point.

When it all happens with mum my youngest daughter was 15. I like you worried about there future, cried with emotion like you, they use to leave letter card around telling me what a great mum I am , then when they did not get what they wanted though the whole lot of pent up feeling they where really feeling in my face with anger , I cried am worse mother in the world ,then they say sorry & they forget till the next time . It get worse as they get older sorry to say that, but it dose then they when they trun 20 daughters it seem to cram down.

With my son it was from age 13 it’s all those testosterone running around out of control in side of him , going to the gym help or playing football seem to balance them out ,then when he trun 24 he seem to have cram down .

Have gone on sorry hope your feeling better today
Last edited:


Registered User
Feb 14, 2005
I do not have the advice or words to make things better for you. I can assure you that seeing your understanding and caring on this forum I would doubt very much if you are the' worst parent in the world'.
Its very stressful as a wife to be a carer but to have the added responsibility of husband and family has to be so so difficult. I admire you so much.
Hope you feel better soon .
Love pat


Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
You ARE being a good Mum Karen - as your son gets older he will understand far more about the realities of life than a lot of young people do nowadays (I'm starting to sound really old!!:rolleyes: ) He will know there is pain and sacrifice involved in healthy family relationships, it's not all smooth sailing and play stations, and he will no doubt follow your great example and be a credit to you. Having said all that, I also know how it can all come crushing in sometimes, hope you're feeling better today. {{hugs}}

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
mel said:
Hi Karen
everyone needs a bit of you and there just aint enough to go round!!
You'd think middle-age spread would be good for SOMETHING, wouldn't you?????:rolleyes:

Thanks all - you all went and made me start blubbing again….. And then I started trying to work on the logic that if my son can tell me I’m c**p, then somehow I’m actually doing a good job???!!!:cool: :D

Found myself ‘dipping in and out of the site today’ but no chance to post until now…. (son is currently outside kicking a footie with his pals… all’s well with the world for a while…)

Feel I’ve reached my ‘nemesis’ - perhaps this was the wake up call that told me not to be so bloody arrogant and think I could do everything myself (it’s hard owning up to NOT having that big ‘S’ on your vest after all…..)

Helen, I am sure it was you told me ages back to ‘pace myself’ - didn’t listen, did I? Next time, kick that backside harder (it’s a big one, it can stand it!)…:eek:

Saw Rummy’s new thread this afternoon and a phrase in Canadian Joanne’s reply jumped out at me: ‘Has the world shrunk down to AD all the time?’. That’s exactly what I feel is happening here …, or I've allowed to happen.... mum is a victim and the rest of us are in danger of being taken as hostage through, if nothing else, the sheer time-consuming practicalities that divert attention from what’s REALLY important ….. NOT going to let that happen anymore ......

Will not. Won’t. Shan’t. New strategies on the horizon….. (know mum will take a lot of persuasion about ’outside’ help - just have to see it as honing my sales pitch!!!!)

There, tears ebbing, feet stamping again … (uh, hoh?) :)

Thanks again, everyone,

Love, Karen (TF)


Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
I really feel for you Karen - my kids are a bit older, but with dad dying, and mum with AD, I went through a stage when I felt I wasn't always there for them. Also, I'd lose my rag so quickly with them.

One day, I just thought to myself - would Mum and Dad want me neglecting the kids to look after them? The answer was a definite NO. They loved all their grandkids (all nine of them) and I know that they would have hated to think that their problems were encroaching into our lives.

Your kids are only young once and although they're resilient, you can't get that time back

New strategies on the horizon….. (know mum will take a lot of persuasion about ’outside’ help - just have to see it as honing my sales pitch!!!!)
You definately need to work on that sales pitch, cos it's not just her that needs help - it's just a pity that she won't understand that



Registered User
May 24, 2006
I know what I and my sister went through when my Mother was running herself ragged over one grandparent or the other so the kids have my sympathy

its very hard to know whats right in this situation


Registered User
May 14, 2006
Mums and kids

Dear Karen,
I felt terribly guilty last year, when my daughter bought her first house and at the same time Mum had several falls and decided to go into a care home. Instead of helping with the first home we were taking Mum's old home apart so that it could be let. In the end things sort of worked out, because we were able to let my daughter have kitchen equipment, furniture and odds and ends from Mum's house. She was delighted to find a brand new, complete set of stainless steel cutlery and lots of other useful things.
At her barbecue party to celebrate her first year in her own house, the whole place was crammed with things which brought back memories of Mum and her house. One generation helps the next generations on their way. As it happens, we didn't give my son much help either with his house, because he lives 200 miles away from us.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Funny old world

When I originally saw your title, I really did think you were referring to yourself because that's exactly how I feel sometimes. Those times when it get to be too much for me & I remember how she was.

I'm 52 and I want my mummy back. I want the beautiful, aloof, reserved, slightly cynical, slightly sarcastic woman who fiercely loved her children back.

There is a Paul Simon song "Loves Me Like A Rock" which exactly describes how my mother made me feel. She was always there right behind me, backing me up 1000%. It made me so confident.

But the other day my husband & I were in the car, going home after visiting my mother in the home and the Paul Simon song "Mother and Child Reunion" came on. That was it - I was in tears. We're never going to have that reunion.

Music is so emotionally powerful - there are other songs which I simply cannot listen to, either because of the lyrics or the timing. I'm tearing up now, which is something I haven't done for a while. Tears seem to come in stages for me & I seem to be moving into weepy mode for a while.

Sorry I'm rambling on & on with no relation to the original post. Just hang in there, Karen, you'll be alright. Your son will cope also.



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Joanne - that's what I though when I read the title too. I'm 50, and I want my Mummy back as well.



Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
I want mine, either the grown-up mother I used to have, or the toddler mother who thought I was "the Mummy". But then we were taught so long ago that "I want doesn't get ..."


Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Works both ways

Yeah, I want MY mummy back too! I want my son to have a grandma like so many others of his age who actually HELP out - do the school runs, the 'minding', to be there to give THIS mummy advice.... I can get VERY envious at times when I see families with seemingly endless supplies of support from extended family who don't have any 'pressures' of caring even.....

To me, the irony here is that it is my own mother who is preventing me from fulfilling my role as a mother in the way I would llike to.....

Canadian Joanne, I know what you mean about inspiring confidence - I thank/blame mum for letting me believe I had that 'S' on my chest.... all well and good hearing she's told friends 'Karen's wonderful, she does sooooo much for me.'

I need her to understand that by doing so much for her I don't have 'enough left' to do for others too..... and Karen isn't quite as wonderful as she thinks!!!!

Another thought on this.... given my son has been the one to bear the brunt of his grandma's outbursts, mustn't it be harder still for him to see me devoting so much attention to someone who used to be so loving to him and now generally sees him as a 'bloody nuisance'??

Love all, Karen (TF)


Registered User
May 24, 2006

I believe you have a much bigger duty of care to your 11 year old son in order to ensure he does not go off the rails because of the time and attention you are currently forced to give to your Mother

AD patients become totally self centered and while its the disease talking and they are in a 2nd childhood maybe we worry too much

We knocked ourselves out 20 yrs ago helping MIL after FIL died ......i became ill as a result and will never fully recover but does she care not one jot ........her response is "you were on the spot " and guess who is on receiving end of all praise and benefits .......my husbands 2 lousy idle brothers

Hence I am not prepared to see my health damaged furthur by my Mothers dementia


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Although my Mother is still at the stage where she recognises (even if she can't remember) that I have other family commitments, I have been thinking about this. My children are older so they need less hands on, but if they were younger and if she was behaving the way you describe, I hope I'd have the strength to put my children first. Incredible guilt would be the result, but let's face it, if she were in her right mind, she would expect you to do that, wouldn't she? Simply because this disease has taken her to another place, doesn't mean that you have to follow.

This is going to sound brutal - you need to protect your son, even if that means placing your mother in a less than ideal situation. Yes, you'll have to live with the guilt, but your mother has had her life - your son has to learn how to live his. Which is more important?


Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Jennifer, it does not sound brutal at all... thank you for endorsing what I think has been 'coming on' for a while now.... I'm going to feel 'guilty' one way or another so may as well live with it.

Which situation am I going to feel 'most guilty about' -'neglecting' my mother or my son? ..... more importantly 'who needs me most?'... no competition...... many of mum's needs can be met by other than me .... not so for my son.....

Doesn't mean I don't love her, don't feel desperately about the whole sorry situation...... and it won't be neglect - just that I will not always be the 'hands-on' one there for her.....

Helena, how I wish that phrase 'duty of care' didn't strike such the nerve it did with me....... I never feel that for my son - it comes with instinct .... therein lies my own answers....

Thanks again, everyone who has helped me on this,

Love, Karen (TF), x