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Frequent Social Butterfly

Re: IN THE MIDDLE

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Message 1 of 5

Hi Christine! i love your first paragraph especially! Wise experience and words here, thank you for sharing them. Lord, people do have a lot of opinions. Sigh. You have made your way, staked your claim, and decided you are fine where you are. AWESOME.

 

I 'll say one thing that occurred to me as i read your wonderful post (please write more.)  I understand the deep heartfelt need to follow promises to someone on their death bed and the desire to keep loved ones who can't live independently anymore at HOME instead of a , god forbid, nursing home. HOWEVER. I don't think that promise of love has to mean martyrdom, and i do think a few more things (oh opinionated me):

* everybody needs to take part because it does take a village to care for an older person, or anyone disabled of any age. no excuses.

* it is not a sin or a sign of selfishness to avail oneself of what the community offers, like meals on wheels, or to hire an aide one or two days a week to be a companion or give her/him a thorough washing or whatever

and finally

* sometimes it is for the best for everyone including the loved one to go into a nursing home. as my father did. and both is daughters and his wife visited him and advocated for him and got him old war movies to watch and massaged his feet with baby oil and loved every moment with him as he lived there.

 

love takes many forms. put the oxygen  mask on yourself before you put it on the other person. and all that jazz.

 

write more?

Jane

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Frequent Social Butterfly

Re: IN THE MIDDLE

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Message 2 of 5

jp662647 wrote:

Hello, My name is Judy

My father had passed over 2 1/2 years ago, and we moved my mom in with my husband and I.

Everything started out ok, but as time has passed it has been becoming more and more of a challenge for me.

You see my husband is here at home with mom more than I because I work full time. When I get home I get hit with she's driving me crazy or she says something about him.

She is 88 years old and I am just trying to enjoy whatever time I have left in this life with my mom enjoyable. Does she drive me crazy somethimes, yes.

I do have older siblings and they just aren't dependable for anything. I schedule all of her appointments around my work and when I can't my husband takes her. My husband is retired from one job and works part time in a psych ward at a local hosp.

My mom is still very active and I try to let her do some chores around the house to make her feel like she is contributing. And I feel that she enjoys that.  

But at times she treats us like we are 10 and don't know what we are doing.

I guess my biggest issue is that when I come home my husband explodes that he can't deal with her anymore- and my response is what do you want me to do. I made a promise to my dad that I would take care of her.

We do try to plan weekend overnight dates just to get a break, when possible.

Is there anyone else feeling like this, and any suggestions.

I love my mom and I love my husband, but at times there is no pleasing anyone no matter how hard I try.


Hi Judy,

 

You've received two really awesome bits of wisdom here. I hope i can add something to the conversation. I really cringe when caregivers say that their siblings just won't step up and pitch in. Who gives them the right to flake out like that?  They have just as much responsibility to help out as you do, and if they 'can't see them like that' or whatever excuse, then pitch in some money to help with hiring a helper to give your husband a break, or pay their slacker teenager to drive her to the movies once in a while! We are all in this together! Family meeting?

 

I wonder, just quietly and privately to myself, if your husband has parents and if so would he have a different take if it was his mother or father? just mumbling to myself over here...

 

She sounds like a spitfire. What do all 3 of you enjoy doing? Matinees? Bowling? Something goofy and once a month for all 3 might really help loosen the roles of 'son in law' , 'daughter in the middle' and 'don't call me old i'm just fine thank you very much!'

 

what do you think about what we've said?

 

please write more.

jane

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Silver Conversationalist

Re: IN THE MIDDLE

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Message 3 of 5

Dear Judy,

 

     Your mother is very fortunate to have you step up to provide care for her. I hope she recognizes it. Surely, your husband does. 

 

     That said, I have seen similar situations in my clinical practice. I don't think the solution is to just ask your husband to be more patient and empathic. Speaking as a psychologist and a man, I think that wears thin after a while. I would suggest you decrease your husband's caregiving burden in one of several ways: You could have someone else stay home with your mother at times--another family member or a home health companion. You could cut back on your work hours in order to provide more care for your Mom. Or your Mom could spend one or two days a week in an adult day care program, if one is available in your community.

 

I think your husband would appreciate any of these efforts and then would be able to better bear--and possibly enjoy--the time he would still spend with your mother. I'm also glad to hear that the two of you continue to spend time together apart from you Mom. I wish you luck in balancing all of your responsibilities. Take care, Barry Jacobs, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

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Info Seeker

Re: IN THE MIDDLE

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Message 4 of 5

Unfortunately, I do not have any solutions to give you.  I just wanted to respond to give you moral support!  I believe you are 100% right in what you are doing.  Two things you said compelled me to respond.  "Does anyone else feel like this?" and "sometimes there is just no pleasing anyone."  I have had different, yet similar experiences.  First off, there is NEVER a time when everyone will be please with you.  Get that straight right now and you will be all the better for it!  I grew up with a mother and older sister who always criticized me.  I spent my life just trying to please everyone.  I based decisions on, "well if I do this they will say I did the wrong thing or I am stupid, so I will do this and then they won't complain."  I would do it, and they would STILL complain!  When you are dealing with people who are critical of you or complainers, or just people in general, they will always talk about you, they will always appear unhappy with your decisions.  I finally learned that when I tried my best to keep people happy, nobody was happy.  When I just did what made me happy, then we had at least 1 person come out of the deal happy.  That was 1 more than the other way around!  What really got me was that when I did what I wanted with confidence and conviction, those people who criticized me the most, had the nerve to take credit for my success!  LOL.  How dare they admire me when they did all they could to hold me down.  Forgive and forget.  I am not as bitter as I sound, I am trying to prove a point to you and show you how they work.  They make it difficult for you, but are pleased with your outcome when you perservere and succeed in spite of the roadblocks.  So don't not do what you think is best, just to please your husband, your mom, or anyone else.

 

My Mother took her mother in to live with her and my dad when my grandmother was 90 years old.  She was an independent, fiesty woman who was bossy, critical, took over and did things her way!  She always had this personality so my father and her never got along.  When she was 90 and wanted to move in with my parents, my Dad told my Mother no.  My grandmother was living on her own up to that point.  My Mom knew she wanted to take care of her mother.  Her mother was never even nice to her, but she knew that the right thing to do is to take care of family and she wouldn't feel inner peace unless she did the right thing.  So she told my father that she had to take care of her Mom.  She loved him but had to tend to her mother.  If she couldn't bring her mother here, she would move in with her mother.  She will be back when her mother dies.  It wasnt a threat.  It was reality.  She let Dad know she loved him and wasn't like "leaving" him or anything, but had to take care of her Mom and she was already 90 so it probably wouldn't be that long before she was back home.  Dad didn't want to live without Mom and decided my Grandmother could come live with them.  Important fact, Dad had to own his decision.  Mom made him promise that if she and grandma stayed there, he was not going to make her miserable by complaining about her every day to her!  My Mom knew the two of them could easily put her in the middle like they did her whole life!  Dad pretty much stuck to his bargain.  Grandma ended up dying of colon cancer when she was 92.  I moved in and helped take care of her the last 10 months of her life.  Dad vented to me some when she got on his nerves, but he did a lot to help out with her and he tried not to fight with my Mom about her. 

 

Not to jump on your husband, I understand it is his home and he is semi-retired and wants peace, but my advice is to explain to him how important it is to you to be there for your mother.  If you do not take care of your mother, you will never forgive yourself.  He can help make it easier for you, or he can let you live alone with your mother, if you want to go that bold.  Hopefully he will just hold his tongue if you just explain to him that jumping you when you walk in the door with a list of what she did wrong and how she is driving him crazy does nothing but give you stress.  Help him see that you understand she stresses him out but you need this and she is not going to go away.  Ask him to learn another coping skill to destress, not dump it on you.  As for you, try to have a sense of humor if he tells you something that was kind of ridiculous that she did.  Laugh with him or let him know that yes, she was wrong and you are sorry she annoyed him.  Also, do NOT feel guilty or take the blame when he jumps you.  Just because she is your mother does not mean everything she does is your fault.  Let the two of them take responsibility for their own relationship.  You don't always have to smooth it out for them. 

 

Mom and I are both so grateful that we got to spend my grandmother's last days with her!  I would not have given up that time with her for anybody in this world!  My Mother got to have some good times and fond memories of her now, had time to work on their bad relationship. 

 

Sorry this is so long.  One last thing is that I now live with my parents because my Dad has dementia.  I am helping with him.  Mom can be dominant and critical of me.  It is difficult sometimes to have 2 women living in the same house as they say.  Mom sometimes thinks I am taking over her home, if I do anything around the house.  Yet they need my help and I am trying to give it.  It is a fine line to walk.  Your Mom wants to contribute, I commend you for recognizing that is a human need, especially for the elderly to feel they are still worthwhile.  So she may go too far sometimes without realizing it makes the two of you feel that she is invading.  It seems I do that to my Mom by mistake.  I also try to let my Dad do things for himself even if he makes a mess or whatever, just so that I am not bossing him around or always telling him his way is wrong.  He needs that. Spending the end of my father's life with him is something I will cherish forever.  I love that I can give back to him, after he took care of me my entire life!  He is such a good man and was always so good to me, he deserves whatever sacrifices I can make for him now.  So I know you are put in the middle and going through hard times, but don't give up, you will cherish this time and be glad you were there for your mother!  Just ask your husband to be patient and wait for you to be all his again.

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IN THE MIDDLE

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Message 5 of 5

Hello, My name is Judy

My father had passed over 2 1/2 years ago, and we moved my mom in with my husband and I.

Everything started out ok, but as time has passed it has been becoming more and more of a challenge for me.

You see my husband is here at home with mom more than I because I work full time. When I get home I get hit with she's driving me crazy or she says something about him.

She is 88 years old and I am just trying to enjoy whatever time I have left in this life with my mom enjoyable. Does she drive me crazy somethimes, yes.

I do have older siblings and they just aren't dependable for anything. I schedule all of her appointments around my work and when I can't my husband takes her. My husband is retired from one job and works part time in a psych ward at a local hosp.

My mom is still very active and I try to let her do some chores around the house to make her feel like she is contributing. And I feel that she enjoys that.  

But at times she treats us like we are 10 and don't know what we are doing.

I guess my biggest issue is that when I come home my husband explodes that he can't deal with her anymore- and my response is what do you want me to do. I made a promise to my dad that I would take care of her.

We do try to plan weekend overnight dates just to get a break, when possible.

Is there anyone else feeling like this, and any suggestions.

I love my mom and I love my husband, but at times there is no pleasing anyone no matter how hard I try.

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