Dec 18, 2014 - 08:07 AM
Let's start with the guilt. You had only been enjoying retirement for six months when your mother joined the household. Although you did not describe your relationship with your mother growing up or as an adult, I am assuming it was similar to many mother/daughter relationships--as in complicated.
Even if you and your mother have gotten along swimmingly all these years, taking on the role of dutiful daughter caretaker is a huge challenge. Some adult children are NEVER up for the task...but you were. So give yourself a break if you now find that you are suffering from a bout of compassion fatigue.
Today's argument erupted in words that may have been hurtful to your mother, but unveiled a truth that she probably already knew.
My advice would be to sincerely apologize for hurting her feelings. You don't have to say you didn't mean it because you did. But you can tell her that you are going to work on ways to relieve your stress.
Here are some suggestions:
Search for an in home caregiving service or care companion to take over a couple days during the week
Enlist your brother to plan a long visit so you can either travel or have a "stay-cation"
Purchase a personal emergency response system with a pendant she can wear around her neck
Join an online caregiver support group
Be kind to yourself. All things do pass.