My mom is insisting that she does not want a stranger in the house. She does not need help. She is not old and frail and infirm. Only she calls me a dozen times a day, demanding I come help her with things. I run all of her errands. I check her bills when she asks me to mail them for her, catching endless errors I dare not confront her with.

She keeps calling me at work. When I tell her I can’t drop everything and come to her, she fusses over how it’s only a ten minute drive. As a life-long housewife, she does not seem to understand that I, as a single woman, am not just working this job on a lark.

When the neighbors, who are practically family, ask if she needs anything she tells them no. She’s got it all under control. And then she demands I do this and that.

The one time I brought this up — that it was hard for me to keep up with all the help she needs and the neighbors are more than willing to help — she started bemoaning how ungrateful I am and all that she did for me as my mother. That she may as well just die and get it over with for all I care. It’s her way or it’s histrionics.

I went ahead and paid one of the neighborhood kids to run some of her errands when I didn’t have time. It was busy at work and I was putting in 60 hour weeks, I could barely find time to do laundry or shower. She nearly lost her mind. She acted as if I’d sent a serial killer to deliver her groceries, not the honor roll boy scout she’s known since he was born.

I desperately want to use Lyft to bring her to doctors appointments, since she makes me stay in the waiting room the whole time and won’t make a peep to say what the appointment is actually for, but she might actually harm herself from the hysterics she would make.

I tried to suggest that if I wasn’t spending so much time putting her dishes away, taking care of the laundry, changing lightbulbs, mowing the lawn, taking the trash out, picking up groceries, running to the pharmacy, driving her to appointments, picking up her mail, driving her to friend’s houses, and whatever else comes up we might actually have time to enjoy an afternoon together. She was not moved.

The more I feel like her personal servant, the less I feel like her daughter.


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