Really struggling with this day to day existence

I am a single working mum to 2 gorgeous girls, an only child and struggling to cope with what life is throwing at me. I feel like I should be stronger and hold it all together, but as this has pretty much been continuous for just over 3 years Now, it is seriously impacting on my mental health and well being.
My dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015. As he became quite ill, mum would phone me everyday in desperation as soon as I got home from work. Some days I hadn’t even switched my engine off and my phone would be ringing in my handbag. She would be watching out of the window, waiting for me coming home (we live opposite each other). My working day didn’t stop at home time, it just carried on and the days got longer and more difficult each day, giving help, support and care for both parents. Dad became seriously ill in April 2016 and was admitted onto Macmillan ward. It was at this point that we knew he didn’t have long and couldn’t be cared for at home anymore. He chose residential care because he said he did not want to die in hospital. At the same time, mum took ill and was admitted into hospital, in a different town. Juggling work, home, hospital visits just got too much and I went off sick. Dad transferred to res care, mum came home shortly after. Dad deteriorated rapidly and was put on end of life care. I took mum to see him everyday but even in his final days, all she did was moan about her own ailments. After he passed, I had to arrange and sort out EVERYTHING on my own. Funeral, probate, his will, etc.
I supported mum everyday, even after returning to work in mid June. I never had the chance to grieve my father properly as my life had become even more chaotic than before, until I took my girls on holiday that August for a much needed rest, and just broke down one day in floods of tears.
Things have rumbled on with mum since, she is always ill, negative and extremely demanding. She’s always saying she wants to die. A couple of months ago she began phoning me 4, 5 times per day, leaving snotty voicemails and phoning the girls in the same manner. I knew something wasn’t right.
I had pneumonia in late Feb and she would phone numerous times each day to see if I was better yet because she wanted jobs doing etc. I was too unwell to help her at that time so she sought help from a neighbour. In March, her INR had shot up to 5.6 and she was complaining of pain in her shoulder. Her memory had taken a rapid tumble and her g.p believes she may have had a mini stroke or series of strokes. She is now being tested for vascular dementia.
In such a short period of time, she has become extremely demanding and aggressive in her attitude, very negative towards life and very selfish. She puts me on regular guilt trips for working and having 2 children, saying that I don’t have time for her and cannot look after her.
I had a week off at Easter with my girls and I barely saw them apart from in the evenings. We lived on takeaways and snacked rubbish because i was too shattered to start cooking after a long day with mum. After 11 days in total of supporting mum, Drs visits and a trip to the hospital through overdosing on meds, I was glad to get back to work, but felt so guilty that I hadn’t had any quality time with my daughter’s, not even one single day out like we had talked about and planned. Everything was based around my mother again. Towards the end of my week off, I pleaded with mum to go into respite care for 1 week just to give me a break. Within a couple of hours of being there, she phoned me and said she’d been kidnapped and threatened to report me to the police.
I have had an emergency meeting with her care coordinator to try and get home carers in place so that she can come home asap because mum says she hates res care and claims she can look after herself, but she cannot anymore, she forgets to eat, take her meds, doesn’t drink and has overdosed on meds 2 days running because she cannot remember what she is doing.
I’m now having to sort out power of attorney because the company that mum & dad used years ago closed down, there are endless forms to fill in, phonecalls, emails, appointments with health, care etc, and on top of this, I have to go to work, manage my own house and look after 2 children… and then people tell me to look after myself !!? I don’t have time for me, it’s spent on others. My life has become a day to day existence and I see no end to this living hell. I am mentally & physically exhausted and feel like I am dying inside. I feel bitter, unloved and unsupported. I am struggling to sleep with worry and each day there is another problem to sort out. I am just existing on a daily basis to support and care for My mother and my children.
Life is so cruel.

Hi Tracy,
Welcome to the forum. Many of us, me included, have had demanding parents. We can help you manage mum’s expectations of you. It can be done!
The only power mum has over you is the power you let her have. You are an adult and a mother, your top priority is to your children. She has no right whatsoever to ANY of your time.
Top priority is to put your answerphone on, and leave it on.
If she doesn’t like the home, tough. You and your kids need a break.
Ask your GP to arrange counselling for you.

Sadly, nothing you ever do is going to please your mum, and the faster you do jobs for her, the faster she will invent new ones.
How old is she, and what is wrong with her? Has she always been the same?
You say she isn’t eating or drinking. I’m wondering if she is developing long term memory problems? Has her doctor done any investigations?

Hi Tracy
Welcome to the forum, glad you have found us. You are at a turning point but there is light at teh end of the tunnel. You will be able to take control and helped by the fact your mum lives across the road and not in your own home.
It is an important step realising that things need to change as your existence at teh moment is unsustainable.
You need to address the way you think and react to your mum’s demands. Listen to her and decide if it essential or if it can wait or be done by someone else. Press ahead for a swift diagnosis from the memory clinic and see yourself as her campaign manager rather than dogs body.
You will need to contact Social Services and request a needs assessment for her, make sure you are present and that they get an accurate picture. If your mum is anything like my Dad was her stock answer will be “Yes I’m fine and can manage that” qualified by “My daughter does it”.
Your mum may be able to stay at home with domicillary carers visiting rather than going into respite care.
I agree with BB that it is crucuial you need to leave voicemail on your phone so you can sit back and analyse the requests in advance of having to answer them.
Do stay on the forum and keep asking questions, the re is always someone who has walked your steps before you.

When did Social Services last update mum’s Needs Assessment?
When did you last have a Carer’s Assessment?

These are supposed to be updated regularly, especially when a situation has changed. The fact that you are so understandably stressed says it’s time they did a new one.

Your CHILDREN must be your priority from now on, and your own health and wellbeing. After counselling, I told my housebound mum that my brain damaged son had to take priority over her, because he couldn’t speak up for himself, she could. She didn’t like this, but she had to agree that what I was saying was absolutely right.
When did you last have a holiday with your kids, so they had a happy mummy and made happy memories?

You are not good to anyone if you are ill yourself, your own health and wellbeing cannot always take a back seat. You need less work, more fun in your life now.