The comments of ’ I don’t know how you do it’

Hi, I have just signed up today and reading this post has made my day. I provide care and support for my Mum but from a distance away, I hold down a full time and rather stressful job at times too. The comments of ’ I don’t know how you do it’ ring true and I feel like my eye roll is a constant. I do get a lot of comments from my Mum’s friends about how I should be there more and do more, but it’s difficult being so far away and trying to navigate constant calls from my Mum, carers, GP, hospital as well as trying to get up there as often as I can to deal with appointments and general tantrums. I feel guilty most of the time for having a life of my own. Not sure if anyone else feels that way…


Howdy @RachelK!
Welcome…I was going to say the ‘to the rollercoaster’ but sounds like you’ve already been on one for a while!!
I’m glad you found us, and that this post-thread resonates with your experiences.

First-off, yep we all feel the ‘guilts’ for a whole host of different reasons.

Everyone’s situation is different, unique, and fraught - probably because we’re all human and each of us has unique dynamics with our family and friends with a whole host of history that’s defined us…(think my tiredness is making me waaaay too philosophical today!! :crazy_face:)

What I mean is, in my humble opinion - we make our own choices and decisions and whatever that is we are warranted and justified in it. You’re a carer, regardless of distance! You’re a carer because you are caring…people, critics et al can throw comments as judgments but unless they are ‘in the ring’ with you, doing, helping then their criticisms don’t count
(cue Teddy Roosevelt speech It Is Not the Critic Who Counts | Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership) sorry def…tired rant can go on!

How we do the caring, if we CHOOSE to do the caring is mired and made up of LOTS of different things! I’d like to personally make the word ‘should’ a swear word - because for some reason we’ve been conditioned to allow expectations and judgments to define us…we’re free agents.

I’m glad you’re determining your own path! Its your life.
how do you relax, vent frustrations and REALLY have you-time to decompress amidst everything you’re juggling?
I’ll confess that I need to do a short run in the morning (lots of our forum friends will flag how allergic they are to that when I mention it!! :wink: ) I also journal, punch pillows and listen to a lot of music - from calming classical to dance classics…and on-demand TV of course…oh and a little wine!

If you feel comfortable, how about sharing a little more on a separate thread, so that others can welcome you in too? Or jump over to roll-call to see some of our over-the-fence chat each day…
Personally one of my fave threads was started by @Ula - check it out:

BIG empathy & want to see WE SEE YOU caring hard over there!!

@Victoria_1806 , thanks for your response and kind words and I agree with the ‘should’ being banned. In terms of trying to relax I am totally with you on the wine front. I quite enjoy sitting and listening to the odd post cast as well. I think I will say hello on the thread you suggested, there are a lot of threads on here so just finding my way around this. It would be great to share more and learn more about everyone’s stories and journeys with caring.


Try to ignore her “friends”. First mum is lucky to have a daughter, luckier still that you live in the UK! Do these “friends” have daughters with them?
What they may really be saying is that they are worried and feeling mum now needs more help and support than they can give as they too are getting older. Tell us more about mum. Has she had a Social Services Needs Assessment?Don’t feel guilty for what you can’t do, feel proud for what you have done. What are the phone calls about? Put your answerphone on, and tell mum you will ring her at a certain time and day. Most concerning is the mention of tantrums. Is she turning into an elderly toddler?

Neither of these friends have kids at all and one of them lived with and cared for her mum until her death - so expert ‘advice’ finds it’s way over to me. I have tried being polite about them backing off but for some reason they think it ok to tell me my failings, mostly living further away and no being on hand 24/7.

Mum is now back at home and has had a couple of visits from the social worker, who in fairness is good with keeping me in the loop and asking what I think about certain things that go on. She shares the same concerns as me around her being along…just over 2 weeks now and still on several calls a day, mostly complaining about lonely she is, or that the carers that are coming in aren’t good enough. I have got better at telling my Mum I am busy or ignoring her calls while I am at work, but it has taken me a long time to get this point. She is 100% an elderly toddler and think everything should revolve around her!


Then you can explain to her that if she feels she needs more care and more company the solution is a care home. This is the reality of her situation. This is the moment when it’s up to her to either “sink or swim”. To do her best so she can manage at home by herself, or move to a home staffed 24/7. Then she will have very little to do for herself and people to talk to, but will not be in charge of anything, TV, menus, staff etc. If she doesn’t make enough effort and can’t manage at home, residential care is the last option. You cannot do any more than you are already.

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Hi @bowlingbun, apologies for the late reply. I have mentioned numerous times the severity of the situation and what no being able to cope at home will mean. She was in a nursing home for a few months and seemed to get on really well there, has since been on a couple of day trips with the home as well which is nice.


In that case, maybe arrange regular respite there?

Yeah I may ask if that’s an option, there was talk about day centre visits but mum has refused so far and still not into the idea. Managed to get access today to the carers app they use for logging their visits. Not looking all that promising