How can I avoid family members who stress me out?

My mother takes care of niece whom my sister abandoned. She calls me every day complaining, but I don't want to hear it anymore.

Pamela Suraci
Pamela Suraci
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Both you and your mom are in a tough spot.  She has returned to parenting after she thought she had raised her kids, and while I am sure you'd like to be supportive, you recognize that listening to her complaints really does not help her and drains you.  In addition to that, it sounds like Mom's complaining has become "the" conversation she has with you, leaving other, more fulfilling conversations out of your relationship.
Think about what you want instead with your mom.  More time with just her?  A chance to offer true help,not just listen to complaints? When you have some idea of what you want, tell her.  You can do this kindly and respectfully, with a concern for both her and your relationship with her.  It might go something like this...
"Mom, you really have your hands full.  Sis dumped your grandbaby on you and I bet this isn't how you imagined grandparenting would look.  It's got to be hard and I am not sure how I can be helpful.  Beyond that, I really miss talking to you about other things.  So, Mom, is there something I can do that would be helpful?  If not, let's talk about something else".
In addition to that, if your mom is open to other resources, help her find them - she needs some emotional support from a non-family member.
Good luck to you both - and to your niece.  It is a hard situation for you all.
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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