Mother’s Keeper

 Facing our challenges head-on!
Challenges Women Face

May 3, 2016

Dear Julie:

I am 29, I have a daughter who is 12, a sister who is 15, and a mother who is 53. Mom has had 2 strokes, suffers from depression, and is a alcoholic. I’m currently living with my mom and helping take care of them all. I’m not perfect by any means and fall short everyday. I try to always do the right thing and live in a godly manner and help my mom with it as well.

My mom and I have never really had the best relationship. She once was a wonderful mom, she took care of my brother and I the best she could. When I was a teen, everything kinda started falling apart. My dad was having a relationship with one of my friends behind my back. I didn’t know anything about it but from then on my mom swore every time I had a friend over it was for my dad. This was totally not true. I was hurt when my dad was dating my friend and never once tried to hook him up with anyone. My mom and my relationship started going downhill and my mom started drinking a lot.

I had my child at 17. My mom wasn’t around a lot; she stayed with her new boyfriend all the time. My mom and brother were really close. He was mama’s boy but he is in and out of jail, gets on drugs, has stolen everything my mom has owned. But they still remain close while I struggle to get along with her. I would love to live on my own again with just me and my daughter but hate to leave my sister because she has to take in the role of taking care of my mom and she can’t really be a kid.

I guess my question is what should I do? I really want a good relationship with my mom, but I can’t stand even being around her when she is drinking “which is all the time.” She will ask the same question 1000 times and she gets angry and yells and is just plum moody and angry.

I need to know what I should do to try and help our relationship or help my mother. I hate having hard feeling towards her and it’s to the point of her sitting in her room yelling at me in another room for 20 minutes about the same thing I have already heard about over and over. I try to be patient and I pray for us and her every night. But I just don’t know if I’m doing the right thing putting my self thru this to take care of my sister and her. I’m trying to do the right thing in God’s eyes and take care of my mother and sister as well as my child, but I really just need some advice from you.

Please let me know if I’m doing the right thing and what I can do to help our situation or anything really. I love my mom very much she is always there for me when I need her, but I will have it in my face afterwards. I just wanna look at her like the mom she used to be. Please help an thank u so very much u r such a blessing I’m so glad I found you. -Mothers Keeper


Dear Mother’s Keeper:

I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this and that your life changed so drastically based on the actions of your parents. Like your mother, you were betrayed by your dad. Then he left you to deal with the fallout. Sadly, your mother appears to hold you responsible, possibly subconsciously, for the fact that your dad carried on with your friend. And that’s not fair.

It’s the stress in her life that turned her to drink and contributed to her stroke. And, please understand, that stroke victims often have a change of personality. This isn’t their fault, but it is still very difficult to be around.

I admire you for wanting to be the daughter who honors her parent as God commands (Exodus 20:12). Yet I think there is more than one way to honor your mother than to continue to walk this difficult path.

Your mother is only 53 and, barring a fatal stroke, she could live into her 80s. (My mother had her first stroke at 66 and had a good quality of life until she died at age 84.) Do you really want to subject your daughter to the environment you have described? (Readers, I’ve edited out some of the more difficult parts of this story.)

Can you discern whether your mother is medically capable of living on her own? If not, is there a facility/caregiver (often the state has resources to help) where she could receive the care she needs? If so, might you consider getting back on your own and taking your daughter and sister with you? That would put them and you in a healthier environment. You could still visit your mother regularly and love on her and pray for her.

I sense you struggle with guilt. If there is any unconfessed sin, then I urge you to take that up with God. Our God is a loving God and He cares, not only for your mother, but for you and your daughter and sister. I pray He will give you clear direction and that you will know His peace.

Please keep me posted. I’m praying for you. Julie


Remember, friends, as challenges come our way, we can face them head-on
through Christ who strengthens us!

If you wish Bible-based advice for a challenge you face, leave a message in the Contact Me box (NOT below in the Comment box) and I’ll answer confidentially on this page. No one will see your photo or name or any other identifying information.

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