My mother asked me to do her a favour. I don't want to anymore...
March 17, 2014 10:39 AM Subscribe
My mother routinely asks me to 'check on' her place when she is out of town. This has become very burdensome for me. Details below.
posted by JoannaC to Human Relations (41 answers total)
I love my mother and am fully prepared for the hive mind to tell me that I have to suck it up because this is one of the things we do for family. But I am not sure my mother understands how much of a production this is for someone like me who does not drive. Her place is about 15 minutes away by car, but it's double that by transit; I have to walk a fair ways to the bus stops on either end and stand outside in the cold; the path at her apartment building is often not plowed; we are looking at an hour, start to finish, to get this done.
I do have a partner who drives. But he has a chronic health condition and is very protective of the energy he spends on chores like this. She is a very social person and lives in a large building full of people her age; he can't believe she really doesn't have a single sweet old lady in the whole place whom she can trust to water her plants, empty her mail box and run the faucets for a few minutes. When I tried that one and was told she really didn't, he shrugged and pretty much said 'your mother, your problem.' If he is going out somewhere anyway, I can sometimes get him to drop me off there if I agree to make my own way home. But even then, I am left with standing in the cold after my ten-minutre shore and waiting for a bus to come and get me.
Maybe I am making too big a deal about this because it's been an unusually harsh winter and I dread the protracted journeys to get this done more than usual. Maybe it's taken on extra weight for me because I don't like fighting with the boyfriend about my mother. Or maybe my mother truly doesn't understand what the world is like for the car-free person, and doesn't appreciate what a huge burden this has become for me. How can I explain it to her? Do I have to just suck it up and keep on doing this forever, or is there a graceful way to gently ask her to start making other plans?