I can’t escape my hyper-critical mother

My mother has always been a strong presence in my life. Growing up, I couldn’t do anything right.

Dear Annie: My mother has always been a strong presence in my life. Growing up, I couldn’t do anything right.

She took things away from me and redid them, or stood over me and directed.

Three years ago, my husband suggested we move my parents in with us because their neighbourhood had become drug and gang infested and we feared for their safety.

Dad has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have greatly slowed his movements.

But he is still able to feed, bathe and dress himself.

However, living with my mom is a nightmare.

She pokes her head into our bedroom many times a day and stands over me in the kitchen, often getting between me and whatever I’m doing. I have tried talking to her about it, but it doesn’t help.

We recently bought a house in another city. I would love to get my parents set up in their own place now, but Mom has repeatedly said she can’t take care of my father by herself.

I feel so trapped and guilty. What do I do? — Wilting in the South

Dear Wilting: There are ways to help your mother care for Dad without sacrificing your happiness and independence.

Look into assisted-living facilities close enough for you to visit often.

Check out home health care options, including the Visiting Nurse Association (vnaa.org) Mom may not like it, but you have to take care of your own mental health.

Dear Annie: I would be grateful if you pass along to your readers some helpful hints when leaving a voice mail message, especially on a cell phone.

I’m a realtor and receive several such messages every day.

Many people leave long, rambling messages and then say their phone number so quickly I can’t get it the first time.

I then have to go back and listen to the whole message again.

Because a lot of the cell phone calls are transferred through my office, there is no original call log number to check and make this easier.

Please tell your readers when leaving a voice mail message to keep it short, say your phone number slowly and then repeat the number.

It would be greatly appreciated by those of us who rely on our cellphones for a living. — Realtor in Orange Park, Fla.

Dear Realtor: This goes for any voice mail, whether cell phone or landline answering machine.

Sometimes the connection is scratchy, and no matter how many times you play back the message, the number is barely audible. Repeating it slowly would help.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar are longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. E-mail questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

Just Posted

Alberta to introduce bills on farm safety, greenhouse gas emissions

EDMONTON — Alberta’s government house leader says new rules will be introduced… Continue reading

Hunger is a real issue in central Alberta

One in six children go hungry in Canada. United Way Central Alberta… Continue reading

To rake, or not to rake, in Red Deer

Providing hibernation habitat for native insects

Red Deer County agrees to provincial oilpatch tax break

Municipal taxes paid by shallow gas producers cut by 35 per cent

‘It used to be non-stop booming’

Red Deer oilfield-related company shutting its doors after 25 years

Your community calendar

Wednesday Red Deer River Naturalists Flower Focus Group Meeting. When: Oct. 16… Continue reading

Advance polls show a 29% increase: Elections Canada

Advance poll numbers released Tuesday show a 29 per cent increase in… Continue reading

Felicity Huffman starts serving prison time in college scam

SAN FRANCISCO — “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman — aka prisoner No.… Continue reading

It’s hard to imagine a majority government

On the heels of the last French-language debate of the campaign, Conservative… Continue reading

Opinion: Dangerous election talk from NDP leader Singh

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh already lacked credibility by ignoring any attempt… Continue reading

City spinning its wheels on better cycling tracks

Re: “No ‘climate’ emergency for Red Deer; Mayor says council prefers action… Continue reading

An appreciation for Alberta’s plight would be nice

I watched with dismay and chagrin, the debate Thursday night of our… Continue reading

Canada’s mixed doubles curling team downs Slovakia at world championship

ABERDEEN, Scotland — Canada remained undefeated through round-robin play at the world… Continue reading

Most Read