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What Happened to My Sweet Daughter?


My daughter is what you would call my caregiver.  Once a week, she takes me grocery shopping, helps me with my bath, runs errands for me, and cleans.  She seems to have become a bit short with me.  Some days she says very little, and some days she seems rushed.  Lately, she makes little remarks, like "Hurry up!" or "Don't talk to me."

I am not sure what is going on or in what way I bother her. She still works, though her children are grown.  I am quite talkative, and I do live alone.  So her visits mean a lot to me.  I am a bit worried and not sure about what to do.  What happened to my sweet daughter?


You are describing a very classic "mother daughter dance," as I like to call it.  You want to know what is going on in her head. You may be afraid to ask, and she may not be ready to share.

The most likely scenario is that she has more going on right now than she can handle.  Try to remember back when you were working, maintaining a household, and helping to maintain a second household, yours.  That amount of running around is very tiring.  If she is doing it without the help of a spouse or sibling, she is going to get tired and worn out.

Now, add in any drama in her life such as an ill spouse, children or grandchildren issues, or a job problem, and you have a very frustrated daughter who may not be able to handle one more thing. With all of the conveniences we have nowadays, we expect ourselves to fit in everything. It sounds like she is trying; she is likely just past her limit.

Consider just listening the next time your daughter comes over.  If you are very talkative as you say, your daughter may not have an opportunity to share her story.  Are you enjoying the visit so very much that you are making her usual visits much longer at a time when she is struggling to keep it all together?  I recommend that you give her a little space right now.

I can only speculate here. 

Another option is to ask her this, "How has life been treating you?"  Then be silent.  While she is your caregiver, it may be time for you to be her mom.  If she asks why you are so quiet, tell her you thought she might like a chance to talk. Remember you are still her mom, and a willing ear can sometimes work a little bit of magic. 

I wish you the best.