Birthday Surprises of Every Kind

I wasn’t planning on writing today but decided it would be better to go in later and work later because of the high potential of black ice. So I’m taking time to blog to kill some time.

Birthday Girl

Of course we got the snow for my birthday, ha! Roads were mainly fine. Mom and I had plans to go to lunch and so she called to say Happy Birthday and find out what time we were going. I had already told her we could also go look for her curtains after we ate at Red Lobster. I had told her Friday when I set our plans that I would be there after I got my nails done.

She was worried that we wouldn’t have time to get curtains and get them hung today (yesterday). I guess she was wanting George to go with us and then him be there to hang them when we got home. The sun puts a glare on the TV and she can’t see it unless she sits in a different part of the room but her favorite chair won’t work there in any different spot in the room. But George was not going with us, nor would he be hanging curtains this weekend, nor the next (in Texas), nor the weekend after that (family coming in town). He had his day planned yesterday (b/c I had made plans thinking he was working and he wasn’t). I felt bad when I realized he was off b/c normally he and I go on special excursions for our birthdays – fun days doing things we each want to do for our birthday all day. When I thought he was working, I booked a day with Mom to go do stuff MOM wanted to do, knowing we’d be gone to Texas and also have a full weekend planned the weekend after, to try and keep her satisfied.

When I told Mom about having company on the 15th, she told me it was a mistake to have moved up here because she can’t set anything up herself (which I took it to mean mean we are moving too slow for her contentment and timeline.) I knew this would be a problem as she likes to have things right now and not having to wait. This is sad for me to watch the struggle and to be part of it, or I guess in her mind, the cause of it. She says she doesn’t blame us but blames herself. However, it’s our timeline that is making the difference so I can’t help but feel defeated and insufficient for her needs.

We got off the phone and I cried. Big loud sobs as I laid my head down to my desk. George came in and patted me on the head and back and had to talk me through. I. Just. Can’t. Anymore. I am not efficient enough to care for my Mother in her terms. I’m not convinced anyone is. She realizes she can’t do things to suit herself and none of the rest of us can either. Am I supposed to just be there 24/7? Handy people on a given whim? NO. Quit my job? Hell no.

I agree though that she made a bad decision now. She is not as healthy as I thought. She really needed to have chosen assisted living. For her. For all of us. But she was too independent, strong willed, and refused to even think of it but if she were at her other home she would have even less help as we would not be nearby and it would be a round trip of 3 hours just to get there. Still she told me she wished she had stayed there.

I asked her yesterday what she had expected? Did she think we’d be there every day or every day we had off? I reminded her of how far we had come in a short period of time. She says she is “simply existing”. I’m not sure what she wants it to be. “Living Lavishly?” I’m sorry we can’t get there fast enough. But I know she wants all of it done like yesterday. We can’t give up our lives completely for another 1/2 year to be there every weekend like we were last year. I told her we gave her 2/3 of our year last year of our free time. I think she wants it all. But that is not going to happen. And I think she thought we’d be over there all the time.

So my day started off horribly and was not the pleasant day I would have preferred. I have a few expectations of my own!!!!! George let me open my gifts to cheer me. Clinique perfume and a Clinique facial system. How nice. He knows I love it but I chosen to not spend our money and go for less expensive cosmetics.

Then I got my nails done. However they were really busy and very slow. When it was time for me to go get mom for lunch I was still in the chair and they had my hands. My phone was blowing up with birthday messages which is a good thing, but I’m sure everyone at the shop was like WTH, lol, and then I got Mom’s call which sounds like the Queen has arrived in ring tone. I asked to be excused so I could tell her I was running late and apologized.

We went to Red Lobster and had lunch. I wasn’t sure what to say after our morning conversation. I was very upset. And even very angry, if I will admit. But not a word was said about the conversation from either of us. And we went to find her curtains. We got them but she said “but that doesn’t help my TV situation as I still don’t have the curtains for the sliding door. So we ordered those on Amazon. They didn’t have the right size. George brought her car over and told her he thought he could hang curtains on the 21st.

After Mom’s things were ordered she had some things she wanted to find, but we couldn’t find them (blankets) in a bag. She wasn’t able to describe what they looked like and George found some but she said those weren’t the ones. I don’t think we have any thing like that left in the basement. George looked in her garage, but there is so much stuff. So it is likely in the garage amongst things that are packed. He told her we could try to pull more things out on the 21st and do a work day there then. She wanted the U Haul blankets hauled off or she was going to sell them, so we took them back home to give to the person that gave them to us to use.

Then he and I went to a coffee shop. The coffee I ordered was very weak and tasted like warm water. It wasn’t even hot. So that was a disappointment. I just wanted to transition over coffee and into our birthday evening but I guess that is why no one else was there huh? OH well. I’m surprised they are still in business. Their food is good I guess. I won’t give their name though.

Then we went to an Asian restaurant. I had wanted the kind they cook at your table, but it was still hibachi and we got the hibachi for two.

It was a lot of food! I took almost the entire plate home, because he had ordered sushi and egg rolls and it was way too much.

So it ended up being a good birthday, even after feeling like an insufficient daughter. I feel like Mom should have had a different, more talented, more of a daughter that would be able to dote to her more and be able to serve her more at her beck and call. I just fail at being able to make or keep her satisfied. I hate it for her. I really do. But I realize I will never be what she thinks she needs. Never. Not now. Not ever. I won’t be able to give up my life completely to see to her every need. Not sure what to do. It’s just the way it is. I am not sufficient for what she wants. All I can do is keep trying and give it to God, b/c this mess is bigger than I am.

Lord help us, I thought about me waiting 16 years to get rid of my blue linoleum. lol Anyway, sometimes we just have to try to see good in all things, embrace what we have and forge forward, and tried to be content in our every situation. It may not meet our vision, but it is what it is. I get it. I like for things to go my way and for my visions to be met to. Trust me, my visions have completely been thrown in the trash many times over. It’s been a difficult year. We agreed to do it. We did it. It’s almost there. But dammit the curtains aren’t hung yet!!!!!!!

Now off to work later than expected but the sun is coming up and that is safer. So I may work later but that is what it is also, b/c I needed to leave when I could see the road! Ok off to get about half my week done in one day. lol. I laugh saying it. It’s so absurd. But here we go.

23 responses to “Birthday Surprises of Every Kind”

  1. Bless your heart!! So stressful I know. Is there any way you or she could hire a handyman to do the jobs? I know you can’t be at her becking call all the time!!

  2. I’d mentioned, you need a handyman! (Or woman!) There’s great ones pretty much every where. I’m not handy but just finished a complete home project and my two daughters 32&42 got the little cordless drill thing ha! And put several curtain rods up in about 15 minutes each. Couldn’t you eat at your moms once a week? Meet there after work, you’ve got to eat anyway. Does she like to cook? Give her something to do or look forward to, I can imagine she’s very lonely. Not trying to guilt you but maybe going there from work, eating (if needed maybe having a frozen entree to cook or quick meal you buy or already have in her freezer) with a visit, some helping out, watch some shows etc., things you’d do anyway would really help. I can imagine her moving and then waiting like three weeks puts her in the thoughts of the whys. I used to (pre COVID) have supper for everyone every Tuesday, (5 kids got off the school bus) and have total of 12. It was at times hard (about 18 of us) but so important to stay connected and I now crazily miss it. Life got too busy to be able to consistently get together on weekends. Kids in so many sports etc.

    • We see her several time a week on a regular basis. Yes I need a handy man for my house too- lots of projects I need muscle for- like getting that bed out of my office and putting what I need to be there but I’m being patient and waiting- so yes we all need handy people! 🙂 I’m not going to feel guilty for long as I know I’ve done my best. We are going to Texas. And we work FT and have allowed company to come. We will make sure and have made sure that we gave her a great Christmas, was stocked with food, didn’t hang out with her while we were sick, but things like decorating may have to wait til things calm down. It’s irrational to think we could have hung curtains during Christmas and the holidays. I hope we didn’t have Covid. If not it was the flu. We are doings the best we can! Sorry if no one can see that.

    • I’m getting lost on my phone as to what I answered and what I didn’t lol – I think I answered this one but… yeah food is not the issue. She can cook and we do eat or get together a couple times of week or more. It’s just the hours is shopping for things, and manual labor during the holidays and our being sick that threw things behind. We also have doc appts, vet appointments and such as well that we take off work for and we are getting those done ✔️ – really just the decorating and unpacking that got disrupted due to holidays and family in town that we rarely see and our being sick.

      • Yes I’m not questioning your diligence, but a handyman may help (I need one too. And I have 4 grown kids but yes they’re busy with their lives too ha!). Yes when the holidays settle the rest may too. If she can’t see her tv I’d be tempted to nail on an old tablecloth etc, for temporary as trashy as it sounds.

  3. Oh my dear Sonya, I’m so sorry your day was not the kind of birthday we all hoped you would have. Mum really is so demanding but I’m afraid a lot of older folks are like that. But as for you being a FAILURE of a daughter I think it’s more the other way round SHE is a FAILURE as a good Mother, she should be more considerate to you and George….watch out love the more you both do the more she will expect, demand,….Please stick to your own rules. You mustn’t feel a failure, you are a good good daughter. ( a different situation happened down here when Mum and I moved to Bath my eldest Sister thought we would want her every day….we certainly didn’t so we quickly decided that we had to set limits so we said much as we wanted to see her. we think if she came once a week…on a Thursday…that would be good.) she wasn’t happy as she was sure we needed her more…but NO. Once a week it was and we stuck to that. This is really what you are going to have to do with Mum…not once a week naturally as both working…but perhaps one weekend a month…..She should be grateful. Can she not afford to have perhaps a cleaner come in once a week for a few hours, that would help a lot and they can do things like help hang curtains etc…As for you try not to think of her demands any more. Drive safely to work and home. Once home kick of the shoes slip on the slippers sit back with drink in your hand and thank God for your nice warm. Comfortable house….and try to have a good nights sleep when it comes. Xxxxx

    • We can see her twice a week with no issues, but think it’s all built up since Christmas festivities and our being sick. She said she was fine on food. Normal conditions will bring us there a couple times a week at least. I don’t see that as a problem but it’s shopping, and lifting and moving and hanging that she wants immediately as opposed to our being able to work it in. That’s the problem- we can attend to her needs just fine. We just can’t be there helping 24/7 and have backed up because of holiday and illness. I just feel helpless.

      • Also my comment was not at all about food/feeding your mom but more so like the saying killing two birds with one stone. Time is tight, you’ve got to have supper/eat/cook or takeout anyway, that way you could get a visit/help mom at the same time maybe freeing up other time when you want time to go out and do other things.

      • Gotcha. Our work days are really long due to commutes by the time we get her and eat or fix or pick up dinner. But we have done a few things that way – like picking out appliances, mattresses, moving things over, etc. So yeah easy things we can do that.

  4. Happy Birthday! your food looks good. We had takeout Chinese for supper. I get a craving for it ever so often.
    So sorry you hit a rough patch with your mom. I agree with everyone else she needs to just find a handyman to help her with the things she needs to get done. It would not cost much at all. Lowes probably has someone who could even hang her curtains know they do hang those wooden-type blinds. My husband use to do everything . He just can’t do as much anymore so we have had to hire someone. This time of year people in construction might have some time to do a side job.
    I would check on home health care aid too. My Mom had a lady who came twice a week for a couple of hours to do light housekeeping or to take her to the market or beauty shop. I did not live in the same town and worked full time and just couldn’t do it when she wanted. I think her insurance paid for that.
    Anyway glad u had a good Birthday.
    Hang in there the week will be over before you know it.

    • Thank you Lauren. I think she hasn’t had an interest in home health care help- at least when we discussed it last year she wasn’t open to it. I just hope things settle soon but I know the drill – it rarely does. There always something else…… ongoing. Yeah we ALL need a handy man! 🙂

    • She did some FT but not for long when I was a baby, other than that mainly just after school care programs watching kids for a couple of hours after school. She has not ever had a career. Mostly stayed home.

  5. I don’t think she has any concept how much of your life is taken up by working FT. Not to mention commuting. Keeping a house. Shopping. Taking care of your own personal business. And trying just to catch your breath so you can do it all again. And again…

    • I know. It’s hard for someone who sits all week to recognize that. I agree. I think there’s always been an issue with understanding what all we do. She lived with a while so she sees. The weekends fly by. Anyway we will continue doing the best we can and ALL will have to adjust to reality. Manipulative moves c won’t get any of us anything quicker but drives wedges!

  6. Oh I am just so sorry. Please , please don’t beat yourself up . Even if she doesn’t realize how very fortunate she is to have you and George , Soooooo fortunate . I realize it’s hard when your health is failing and losing independence….. I really do. That’s when we have to “ step up our gratitude card .” And that’s easier said that done based on personality I guess . Like everyone else , I agree she needs a handyman, and it’s wonderful she can afford one. So many cannot afford one . I am still in amazement at what all you and George have accomplished in such a short time . ( Since I became bedbound , for some reason the light bothers me . Talk about tacky – we have got a navy sheet hanging over our regular window covers . And to be really frank, I have no ideas of how to make it better. Having shared that , we don’t EVER have visitors. NONE . ) I know this is late, but I’m washing you Happy Birthday belated wishes … let’s wish for a Happy Birthday YEAR . I am so thankful your George is so supportive- what a blessing . My husband was so supportive and so good to my mother and he is to me . I also agree – thinking about my mother who worked FT and worked HARD – I do think my mother had an understanding of “ how it is “ when one works FT. LOTS of factors going on , but you ARE a good, good daughter with a husband who is helping every step of the way. I wish all of you ONLY THE BEST and for God’s blessings . He is faithful and loves us so. Give yourself grace … y’all are doing more than we could have got done in forever . Prayers for peace . ( Sorry for a rambling wreck of a comment ! )

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