SAM commented on my last post about SB sounding so arrogant and condescending. I had been in the process of writing the below, which pretty much talks about the same thing.
I'm not typically a person who spends a lot of time analyzing life, people and things as to the how and why. But, I was kind of trying to figure out why SB (and his wife) would think I shouldn't be the one handling my mom's life, as she ages, given that fact that I am her (only) child and we have a good/close relationship. We had one little blip in our relationship, about 6 years ago or so, and it really wasn't much. It was mostly me just feeling upset and I did tell her how I felt about the situation, but we certainly have never even had a falling out in all our lives. I was a good teenager and we got along great through those years, too.
My mom has always been a very independent and busy gal. Always was out and about doing stuff. Busy for many years taking care of my dad, then my grandma. And while I moved and she was still doing ok with her memory, we didn't talk every day. Usually caught up once a week. She was busy doing her stuff and with her BF. And usually she and BF would spend like Fri (sometimes Thurs) through Monday together, usually at his place. So, I usually just made my weekly call earlier in the week (or she would call me just as often), when I knew she might need the "company", rather than when I knew she was busy with BF. I just figured she'd appreciate the call more when she was all by herself, and maybe feeling lonely for those days, with no one around. Maybe BF just thought I never called her. (now that she needs "more" I call her every day, at least once a day)
The family history:
As I have mentioned, I was 11 and SB was 21 when our parents married. He was an adult, off living his own life and I was just a kid, so of course we weren't close. He got married in his early 30's, still married to her, and no kids. By the time I was an adult, there just had never been a bunch of interaction with each other, other than family get togethers a few times a year. We had always lived a good 50-60 miles apart. The same goes for my 3 other step siblings. His older brother we saw even less. He lived abroad or out of state almost all of those years. My youngest SB spent most all his 20's and early 30's as a professional student, so he was always over a couple of hours away, for many of those years. The step siblings all lived 50-60 miles away from where I lived (I lived close to my parents).
I basically grew up an only child. My youngest SB (2 1/2 years older than me) did come and spend weekends with us/his dad quite often, but the other 3 were too old and doing their own life. Of any of them, I was closest with him growing up. But he was always an odd duck. Very slow to mature. I had my driver's license before he finally went and got his, at 18 or 19. He never really had many friends, was a good student, and never dated. Then he went off to college and would have stayed there even longer, but my parents were paying for it and finally cut him off, after like his 3rd degree, LOL. He then got a scholarship to law school and did that for 3 more years (never did become a lawyer). Then he met a woman in law school and they got married when he graduated (at like 35) and had two kids. I hardly know his wife - she hardly ever came to our family get togethers. It was either she was "sick" or she "had to work".
My step sibs all got college degrees and went into white collar jobs andmarried white collar/degreed spouses. Me, while I got a degree and went into a white collar job, I married into a blue collar life/construction worker. My youngest SB is the only one of the 4 of them to have kids (and he did much later in life). So, while they had nice homes, comfortable lives, were already established in careers, I was working on getting my degree, having kids, working (and being a SAHM for 5 1/2 years) and DH trying to make a go of being self employed. We lived in a mobile home for 27 years. We didn't drink wine and go on vacations to Europe, or skiing in Aspen. We just didn't have a lot in common with them.
For some reason, I'll always remember a comment SB made to me, one time at a family BBQ. I was pregnant with my 2nd and had just taken the CPA exam, but I was going to be a SAHM for a few years, after DD was born. He said something like "why bother taking the CPA exam if you aren't going to work?" I think I said something like "well, I do plan to go back to work in a few years and it will be good to have on my resume". What I should have said was "why did you bother getting a degree you have never ever worked in or used?"
SB (or his wife, both now retired) didn't have a job any "more" than my
job/career I have. I'd say they were on the same job type/level I am on. Not
managers or higher ups. They were probably on a similar salary level I am on,
but granted there were 2 of them earning that.
I have also always been a quiet, reserved person, even as a kid. So, I don't come across as "in charge" type of personality. And I can be especially reserved around people I don't know really well (or just don't feel comfortable with). I'm always nice and friendly, but I'm not the type to be opinionated with people. I don't go around bragging about what I do or know.
As much as I don't know inside their lives, they don't know mine either. Other than my step sister, none of them are on Facebook (you know, that's kinda above them, I'm sure) and my step sister posts very infrequently. She and her dh retired early and moved out of state, shortly after we did, but are now only 90 minutes from us and his family lives on the other side of us, and it sounds like they visit them fairly often, so I know they pass through here on their way to visit them every. When she moved to their new place and had sent me a message through Facebook that they realized they passed by our new town on the way to visit her Dh's family, I messaged back, stop by anytime! we'd love to see you. That was over 2 years ago.
I was trying to remember the last time I even saw SB. I'm thinking it was about 2015. Must have been the last time my mom had her annual Christmas get together with the "steps". She always had a get together around the weekend before or after Christmas for them and we'd have it in my parent's community clubhouse. She tried to continue it most years, after my dad died. Anyhow, that's the last I recall sitting in the clubhouse, talking and eating with them all. And the reason I'm thinking it was end of 2015 is because politics came up and my (really) snobby sister in law (married to oldest) who is a journalist (so you know where she stands....wayyy Left....) said if Trump or Cruz gets in, she's moving back out of the country. (she didn't LOL)
I found the post for the get together, LOL: https://onefamilyoneincome.blogspot.com/2016/01/why-i-like-dogs-better-than-most-people.html
This was my oldest SB's wife. The step sibs aren't that bad, LOL. Or maybe they are, and just aren't bold enough to actually say stuff like that out loud.
And I'm quite sure they all have always looked at me as "less than" them and what
they accomplished. Hence, the condescending attitude. While, of course, they would never voice those
kind of thoughts out loud, let's face it, people judge. I'm sure they
have the impression in their minds that I'm not good enough, or
competent enough, to handle my mom's affairs. In their minds, they are a
step above me. I'm just the lower class daughter, who couldn't possibly
know how to handle all these things, like they could. My DH didn't go
to college, so we can't possibly be as intelligent, competent, or trustworthy as they are.
Anyhow, it is what it is. I know who I am and that I can manage for my mom just fine and she will, in the long run, be happier and better for it. I also try to fast forward 10 years from now. She'll be 88 (and I'm sure her memory will be worse, if not her health, too). If SB was in charge, he'd be 75 and having to deal with all my mom's needs and decisions on a regular basis. And the way the DPOA had been set up, if for some reason he couldn't do it anymore, then my uncle was next. He'd be 85 and living 2 hours from her, trying to handle it all. I love my uncle, but he's not the one to take care of all that. The 3rd in line was my oldest SB (seriously?), who would be 77 by then and has seen my mom less than SB over the years. Good grief! I'll be 65 by then and hopefully a little more capable, physically and mentally to help her, than these guys near 80 or in their 80's. I'm sure it's enough for a person that age to just take care of themselves and/or their spouse, let alone another older person. We've seen how that has worked out for my mom at 78, trying to care for her BF at her age. Just too much!