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I'm not good enough?

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I need to process this and maybe get some feedback.

You all know that my aunt flew in to see Mom for 10 days...

She's wonderful, she's such a great help, I'm so grateful...

And at the same time I'm finding myself jealous and hurt.

My aunt cared for both of my grandparents before they died. She's got the caretaking role down pretty good.

But we had it down pretty well ourselves before she came in.

Now... Mom is really preferring her. If she needs something she calls for her. I'm feeling left out and like I must not have been doing a good job of taking care of her after all.

I just feel so deflated... I'm trying so hard, and working so hard and now she prefers someone else take care of her.

Her brother came to visit this weekend as well and when she found out his work contract was up at the end of the month she invited HIM to come help up here...

I just feel like I must not be doing it right for her... And if I wasn't doing it right, why couldn't she have told me, "Maybe you could do this differently," instead of not saying anything until her sister comes who can apparently do it better.

I guess I'm just insecure... but this is an awful feeling on top of seeing how very bad things are for her right now. I'm afraid we're getting near the point that we'll need hospice.

Anyway... You guys always help me get a better perspective... Help?

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PLEASE try to take a deep breath here. Everyone's lives have been turned upside down with you Mom's diagnosis. Of COURSE you are good enough. Of COURSE you were doing things right. Your Mom is scared. So are you. I think she probably feels she needs time with her sister a little. Time for making some lasting memories and perhaps some closure - for them both. Don't you think she would feel comforted by her sister (and brother apparently) at this time? I just don't think she knows how to make you ALL feel important at the same time.

Take this opportunity to refuel your engines and catch up on some much deserved rest! I don't know the logistics of where everyone is and just how things are playing out. But PLEASE don't be hard on yourself. I have had the opportunity to be on both sides of this coin. Now with myself as patient - and in the '80's with first my Dad and then my Mother. Both parts are hard to play.

So look at this as a time for sister and brothr to visit and be with their sister. Your aunt may just think you need a break and is doing what she is for YOU too, don't know.

So Val, I really don't know nothin' here. I just wanted you to know that everything you've done and are doing is AOK as far as I can see. Wish you were MY daughter!!!!! I would feel so lucky!

I am thinking of you and your Mom every day. Stay strong - that is my heartfelt wish for you at this time.

With so much caring and so many HUGS,


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I think Kasey has said it all. I have 6 siblings and would want time with all of them and would also need that closure. I am sure you're Mom has no idea that it has made you feel this way. I am sure you were doing a wonderful job of caring for her but I bet she is also thinking Thank God Val is getting a break. Take that break, let Mom have this time with her siblings and be there as you are needed. Mom sure knows how much you love her and so do her siblings. Take some time for yourself and regroup.

I also wish I had a daughter like you!

God Bless You Sweetie,


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Oh Val,

Your mom loves you . Nonone can replace a son or daughter. She's so blessed to have a daughter like you . I join the others in saying, I would love to have you be my daughter too. It sounds like she is just enjoying the novelty of having her sister there. You haven't been replaced Val, you have just been put out of the limelight for a bit. Her siblings are probably trying to spend some quality time with your mom , as well. Try to relax and go with it and understand they haven't had the time to spend with her that you have. ((((Val))), you are such a wonderful daughter. Know that you have my prayers for you and your family.

Love and Prayers,


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Perhaps your Mom feels that you need a break. It was only days ago that you blew up in sheer frustration within hearing of your Mom.

I'm going to say something here that may anger others, including you. It isn't meant to do that, and it isn't meant as an attack. But the bottom line is that this time right now is about your MOM and what it takes to make her comfortable. And if that means she is more comfortable with her siblings as her caregivers then so be it. She should not have to be worried about hurting your feelings right now. She's your Mom and she loves you and if she thinks for one minute that you are hurt she is going to redirect her energies towards you...and right now they need to be focused on herself.

I can so relate to where you are right now, Val. My husband was in the service for 26 years, and I, too, had to travel across the country to care for my Mom during her illness with Lung Cancer.

I checked my ego at the door before I entered the house. It wasn't about me. It was about her. I was her Pit Bull...the one she called when she needed someone to enforce her choices, regardless of whether I agreed with them or not. As time passed and the brain tumors took over she forgot who I was. She mistook me for a nurse she liked. And she would talk about "...her eldest daughter..." (that would be me). And evidently I was not her favorite child...too assertive...too strong willed...but still...she could always trust me to keep her as healthy as possible and as comfortable as possible and as mentally at peace as possible. And if that meant me pretending to be someone else while she spoke unflatteringly of me, then so be it. I reassured her that she shouldn't worry because I knew exactly how to handle that eldest daughter of hers. And I did. :wink: Don't you think for one minute that it didn't break my heart to have her talk about me like that. But she never knew she wasn't talking to the nurse, Margaret.

Right now it's about your Mom.

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Hi Val,

You've got lots of different spins on this issue, and I'll give you yet another one, which may not apply in your case at all.

My mother was always very critical of me. I could never do anything right, or even if it was something wonderful I had accomplished, she would downplay it. I don't know why, but I've given lots of different theories from jealousy to trying to get the attention off me and onto my sisters.

I have no doubt that my mother loved me, but she treated me that way, anyway. I also know that my grandmother did the same thing to her daughter. My grandmother was the sweetest grandma in the world, but my aunt (her daughter) always got her bad side and the criticism. In both cases, the moms were bossy and critical of the daughters they loved.

I was the one that was my mother's caregiver the last two weeks before her death - there was no one else available. We had our moments, but most of the time, I just let my mom be the boss, whether I agreed or not. This really wasn't a problem because believe me, NOBODY ever told my mom what to do anyway. It was her way or the highway.

We also bonded during that time, something which we hadn't ever done before. I do know 100%, though, that if my mom's sister had been in town, that my mom would have preferred her to take care of her. Again, I don't know why, but that's just the way it was.

I do totally agree with everything that Fay said, but I thought that if my relationship with my mom was anything like yours, then it might help you to understand that sometimes mothers are just critical of their daughters. I think sometimes it's the same way between fathers and sons.

Hang in there, kiddo. Just smile and be there for your mom, and try to not be so hard on yourself.



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Oh, I think it all has been said. I'm inclined to think that you mom wants to spend time with the others whom she hasn't had some "quality" time with for awhile. You'll be there afterwards. In addition, you mom probably wants to give you a bit of a rest. She knows that in addition to her, you have to care for Carolyn too and as we all know, caring for a baby is demanding and tiring no matter how much you love them. She's probably trying to give you a break while she can. Take the time for you and Carolyn and re-energize. Go for walks, go shopping, whatever it is that you do that you find relaxing. Please always keep in mind that your mother loves you and she knows she's so lucky to have you.

Gail p-m

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LOL! I logged back on and was going to do a P.S. and say "Also . . . .", but Katie said it first.

I can tell you right now, that as much as I love our son, it doesn't thrill me to think of him ever having to take care of ME!!! It seems like it should be the other way around, but it doesn't always go that way.

It could just be totally out of your mom's picture to have you taking care of her.

I just know your mom loves you with all her heart, Val!!!



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Dear Val,

Your Mom is not turning to others "instead" of you... She is turning to others "because" you are her daughter. She wants to maintain that role as long as possible. The role of her being the "Mom" and you being her child... not her caregiver. When I was dealing with Hospice, they told me something that really stuck with me... "as long as possible, be the child, not the caregiver". Take these moments you have with your Mom and just enjoy her.... let other tend to her physical needs... you can tend to her emotional needs (which are really whats important now).... Hang tight my friend... take a deep breath and I am right here if you need me. Love, Sharon

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val, I relate to the feelings so much. what everyone has said rings true for me - though its normal, I think, that you feel the way you do. I want my mom to feel how much I love her by how perfectly and completely I care for her. thing is, she already does. her friends want to help and I get SO possessive but, after running myself into the GROUND this past week, I have finally stopped feeling threatened by their presence and grateful for the break!

I can also tell you that I am useless in kitchen, but my mom prefers my company to my godmother's who's like martha stewart!! it's not the DOING we give them, it's who we ARE to them. she is taken care of, don't worry.

this post is incoherent, I just want you to know that I relate, I HEAR you, I have no doubt in my mind that you are doing right by your mom.

your friend,



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In thinking of it all, all of those different 'spins' have come to me too. I just needed to hear other people say it.

Fay, I was not offended, but I do want to reassure you that I am doing all I can to keep it all about her. I also know that though maybe it's silly of me to feel this way, I DO feel this way, so I'm trying to keep that in check and not let a shred of those thoughts cross my face or even my mind when I'm dealing with my Mom or my aunt--just as it hurt you, but you didn't let it show. It is all about her, and at this point if she told me she wanted to fly a rocket to the moon tomorrow, I'd do my darnedest to make it happen. I guess I have sounded pretty self-centered here lately though, huh?

I think part of my frustration is also coming from wanting so badly to do my best for her... and feeling like somehow I'm not getting it right. It's not that I'm hurt by HER... I feel disappointed in myself for not doing better. That's probably too much of a me thing as well, but I want to be doing as much for HER as I can, and the thought that I'm coming up short and not getting that done makes me sick with myself.

amie--your post was not incoherent... I totally understood. Thank you.

I think right now I am going in and out of good and bad head-spaces in general... Most of the time, I know that Mom is just enjoying her sister, and they're both just trying to give ME a break. But then I get the crazies some of the time and have to process through them. Bless all you dear people for listening through the crazies.

I will keep trying to have my head on straight, and take this little break I'm being give with my aunt here... I have a feeling things are going to get a whole lot harder here soon, and I need to be ready for THAT battle. So... from now on I will try to just be thankful that Mom IS enjoying my aunt so much, I'll try to take notes on some of the things she is doing that Mom is enjoying, and I'll be grateful for the breaks I'm able to get right now (to come here and write out my crazies ;)).


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I just wanted to add my 2 cents here as a mother to 6 wonderful adult children. When we received my husbands diagnosis and all the crazies started happening at this house I would sometimes talk to my children about what was happening on those bad days. They would just happen to call during a crying jag. After I told them how I was feeling I would always apologize for burdening them. You see I am the mother and they are the children. I am supposed to take care of them and protect them. Not the other way around. I know that they don't feel this way and have told me. But I have trouble with this role reversal. You have just given me a new perspective. Thank you. I will try to allow my children to help more. But not too much more.

Take the break and do special things with your Mom. Do something with her that you used to do as a child that made her smile. I have 2 boys that used to sing "Mr. Sandman" to me when they were very little. (3 & 4 yrs. old) It always made me smile and brought great joy because they were so cute. Every once in a while one of them will start singing it. (Mind you they are grown men now.) My heart leaps and I can see them plain as day as small children singing it. I guess what I am trying to tell you here is there are many things you can do for mom that only you can do. No one can take that from you.

Sorry for the rambling. Lots of love, hugs and prayers are being sent.


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with my mom when we were in it.

when her sister came from 2 hours away for just a weekend. my mom pretty much shunned me away too.

I now feel she wanted me to pretend, even for a day, that she did not have cancer, and my life was not turned upside down taking care of her.

i know my mom was humiliated when I had to feed her through a feeding tube and wash her with a washcloth.

moms are independant and in their eyes they are the caretakers, not their daughters,

i really feel she just for a bit, wants you to not have to be the adult and just be her daughter again.

you need a break anyway, take it and refule like others have said.

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Val... Here goes my "spin" which has already been "spun." I think your mom is probably just as worried about you as you are about her. She knows that you have beautiful Carolyn and that's a handful for a new mom. She also knows that you miss your husband. I just think she is being a typical mom and worrying about her little girl. By having someone else help her out for a few days, she probably feels she is giving you some well deserved time off. Just take advantage of the situation and use some precious time to do some things for yourself!!!!

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Val... Here goes my "spin" which has already been "spun." I think your mom is probably just as worried about you as you are about her. She knows that you have beautiful Carolyn and that's a handful for a new mom. She also knows that you miss your husband. I just think she is being a typical mom and worrying about her little girl. By having someone else help her out for a few days, she probably feels she is giving you some well deserved time off. Just take advantage of the situation and use some precious time to do some things for yourself!!!![/quote

I agree with Ann your Mom knows that she is taking you away from your family.I know how she feels. We just moved to Florida from living in California for 25 years and our daughter and sil and the three grandkids still live there. When Gary was first diag in late May we didn't want to up set her so we called our son in law to be with her and to have someone take the kids out so they wouldn't see their Mom break down( which she did) when we told her about Gary. I would have loved to cry in her arms and even on the phone with her but I don't want her to start crying also. She doesn't want the grand kids told though gary really wants to see them before his surgery while he still looks like Pop Pop but I am supporting my daughter and her wishes. Being so new to a state I have yet to make friends that I can turn to and I am so alone in my thoughts. But what I think your mom is doing is to give you a break just by letting you know she is in good hands with her sister and then her brother.Please don't take it to heart your mom wants what is best for you always.Just like I want for my daughter.


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I had kind of a similar experience with my mom. The last year before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (she died 4 weeks after dx) she was bedridden trying to heal a hip broken by severe osteoporosis. She had a nurse who came to the house 8-5, but was alone in the night.

My aunt lived within blocks and did most of the caretaking, even when the nurse was there. Since my aunt has always been kind of a controlling person, I immediately felt sort of left out, unimportant, not good enough. I lived an hour away, but offered to quit my job and move in with mom full-time to take care of her. I thought it was a wonderful offer, but my mom said, "No."

I was hurt. I felt rejected. I wanted so badly to do everything for her and make her happy and take away the pain and, in short, "rescue" my poor mother from this horrible situation. I wanted to make up to her for all the times I was a rotten teenager and the lies I told and the hurtful arguments we had. I thought I was denied that opportunity.

Long after mom had died, I realised she wasn't rejecting me in favor of my aunt. She was trying to protect me from what she felt was a miserable situation. All my life, her role had been to be the adult, the caretaker, the protector, the strong one who sheltered me from harm. It was too hard for her to switch roles with me. And she would have felt even MORE helpless, even MORE humiliated about her condition and needed care.

My aunt was her sister - they grew up together. They saw each other through ups and downs all their lives and never had to be perfect for each other. My aunt was also the same age, her contemporary, someone who lived in the same world she did. I think she felt more comfortable, more able to be vulnerable and helpless around my aunt.

I didn't get over resenting my aunt privately for years. And it hurt for a long time. I felt I had never been given the chance to do all the things for my mom that I wanted. But, in the end, I know she had things the way she needed them to be and it made it all easier for her than if I'd had my way. It had nothing at all to do with her thoughts about my ability to care for her or her love for me. And during her last days in the hospital I was there for her, being her advocate with the nursing staff and the doctor. I told her all the things I needed to say.

Take a breather. Your mom doesn't want you to take care of her. She wants you to just bring your love around, share good news about your life with her, and let her know she raised you well and that you are going to do well in life. Then she feels she is a success as a mom. And that's going to help her through this. That's a gift your aunt and uncle can never give.



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Wow so many wise and wonderful spins on this situation.

The only thing I can add is that Val, I am sure you are doing everything right. Anything done out of love can never be wrong.

I understand the desire to be the one to make everything all right, to make things perfect, to make all their life long dreams come true (which believe me is impossible and only leads to an empty bank account and a lot of frivolous shopping; been there done that). It is our strong love that drives us to do this. I struggle with wanting to show my husband just how much I love him. But there are two problems with that... there is nothing, no action, no gift, no words that can express it enough; and the second problem with my desire is that I'm also sure he knows and feels the same way.

I am his caregiver, and although I do everything he ever asks of me without any questions, I sometimes feel jealous when I find out he has been talking to his best friend about his fears and feelings. I want to be the one he talks to. I think, "is he not comfortable talking to me, am I acting inappropriately or getting too emotional" The truth is he loves me as much as I love him, and he wants to take all my pain and sufferings away as much as I want to take his away. He has told me a few times that he feels guilty for how much I do for him, for the burden he puts on me, for being so needed, and not being able to do as much for me as I do for him. The irony is that I don't feel burdened. I think I'd probably hurt someone if they tried to take any of these tasks from me because part of me needs to feel I am helping in the fight, and that I am also expressing my love to him.

So, don't feel jealous of your aunt. As others have said this distancing from you is more than likely the strong motherly love your mom feels for you and her desire to protect and comfort you. If anything I think it is a great testiment to the fact that she truly loves you so much that she would put your life, family, and mental health above her own desires to have you by her side through all these difficult days. I'm sure your aunt and uncle are very comforting and great caregivers, but I also think she would love you with her more than anyone else because there is no greater love than a mother's. Maybe the best idea is to take advantage of the situation yourself. Let your aunt take care of all the duties and caregiving of your mom, which in turn will free up some of your time to just spend with her talking, laughing and spending quality time together.

God Bless


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Val, I know that my mom had a hard time depending on her "child". She preferred others as caregivers than me too. She would constantly apologize for fear of burdening me. Of course it was an honor to take care of my mom and I'm so sad, but at the same time inspired that I was able to give back something to my mom. I don't think she understood that. I'm so sorry that you are feeling this and I just read in a more recent post that you've recently just lost your mom. I'm so sorry. Please try to not feel remorse for this situation as I can guarantee you that your mom just didn't want to be thought of as anything other than your mother, who takes care of you...I think that's a hard thing for a mom to give up. You gave your mom so much love and comfort. You are a good daughter.

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