Battle for a Broadcast

Virginia

Battle for a Broadcast

Virginia
(Editor's Note: Today we welcome Virginia, who cares for her mom, to our blogging team. You can connect with Virginia on her profile page: @youngcaregiver.)

referee-1149014_640On days when I work mornings or do not work at all, the evening is my favorite time of the day. Well, it used to be. Although I love when the sunshine is streaming through our windows and the house feels bright, nighttime always hits me with the feeling of final relaxation (at least some of the time). After working and caregiving, or doing chores, running errands, and caregiving, the evening has been my time to collect myself and relax while I read a book. Keep in mind that evening for me is after 9 p.m. because Mom needs me and my dad the most up until that point.

My mom is essentially homebound. When I am not working, I am home with my mom 99.9% of the time. I try to do my best with getting her to do activities and things during the day to the best of her ability. I don't like her sitting in her chair for long periods of time. I help her do physical therapy almost every day, and I print out crosswords for her to do, try to get her to read, etc. so that she's not just sitting in her chair focusing on the two things she'd rather be doing: either watching Netflix, or watching a show she's recorded on our DVR. My mom claims that shows and movies are "all she has" and although I highly disagree, I also understand where she's coming from. Her life can become lonely and depressing and frustrating and shows and movies help her escape. We all know how much of a poison more than medium doses of screen time can be for someone though, especially someone who is not fully mentally and physically capable.

Once my mom, dad, and I are finished with dinner and done with cleaning up the dishes, most of the time around 7 p.m., the battle usually begins. Dad's work day begins at 6 a.m. so he likes to relax after dinner by watching sports. We only have two TV's in the house, the main one in our living room, and then another one my parents have in their bedroom. Everyone prefers watching TV in the living room because up in their room there is no comfortable place to sit while watching. Mom's usually recording so many shows though during that time that he can never watch anything. Our DVR only allows recordings of two shows to happen at once, and you cannot watch a third show while those two are recording. It's so frustrating because they both want to watch things, and even on nights where my mom allows my dad to watch something he would like, she gets an attitude about it and makes comments and remarks throughout the night to us even though she can read or watch something on Netflix she'd like on her laptop. This battle happens pretty much every night, and it's actually made me develop anxiety and nervousness whenever 7 p.m. rolls around.

I wish there could be compromises where my mother's bad moods are not triggered in the process so that both of them could be happy during a night for once. I wish my mother didn't hold shows and movies so close. She's very protective of them, and I wish they could be seen as something that is unimportant and okay to miss out on every once in a while. I am very much the referee between the both of them, but most of the time I end up being the one that's losing.

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Denise

I just had one other thought:\r\n\r\nWhat if you could let go of believing this situation is also your problem?\r\n\r\nWhat if, at 7 p.m., you simply excused yourself and did what you enjoy (read, listen to music, catch up with friends) and allowed your parents to figure out the solution to the problem?\r\n\r\nJust thinking out loud. I wish we could help alleviate some of the stress for you.

Lillie Fuller

Thank you for blogging and welcoming us into your world. Great blog post. I look forward to reading more. We have the same Television programming problem in our house. My mom sets so much to record that when my son, 26, and I try to watch television we usually have to ask permission to stop a recording or find out which program is least important to my mom. I totally get it. I also like to read and that helps a lot!

Denise

Oh, Virginia, I feel for you on this one!\r\n\r\nI totally understand why you think you are losing. Certainly, your anxiety proves just how much you are losing.\r\n\r\nHave you spoken with your parents about the impact of the situation on you? \r\n\r\nCould you move the TV from your parents' room to your bedroom?\r\n\r\nIf you could do what you wanted to improve the situation, what would it be?\r\n\r\nThis is such a tough situation because you are so compassionate toward your mom and her pain. However, you can't give up your well-being because of a situation you didn't cause but are only trying to make better. \r\n\r\nI just love that you started your blog!! Keep writing!

Desiree

Hi, Virginia. I share your concern about too much TV. I don't watch it myself (despite having the biggest flat screen in my room! How'd that happen?!?). But it seems like Grandma always has hers on, at full blast. Sigh. \r\nIf watching the bedroom TV is a drag, could it be moved to another room?\r\nIs it possible your Mom's just using this issue to \"vent her spleen\" on you and Dad? \r\nI look after my Grandma (she's 96) and once in a while, my Mom, so Dad can get stuff done. But I am no longer working a paid job (still working, you bet! Just no $) I really feel for those in your sort of situation. It's good to have you here. Please feel free to vent your own spleen if you need to. We all do too, and we \"get it\" and understand.\r\n(((Hugs)))