I'm so disheartened and angry.


I've posted before about in-law care-giving. Aged mother in law, lives in same town.

We are at the tail end of a visit from sister in law from several states away. Sister in law has been here for 3 weeks caring for her mother. A much welcome respite.

It had been discussed, prior to her arrival here on the scene, she would be talking it over with her mother, to try and get her mom to come up to her home, for a stay of maybe a few months.

This, in my opinion, is absolutely essential, as I am expecting twin grand-children, due in about 1 month (if they don't come sooner, as is the case a lot of times with multiples pregnancies). The expectant mother also lives locally here, and has a 4 year old daughter. I will be on that front, helping .. as much as is needed. And not on the front with mother in law and care-giving, and have made that as obvious and apparent as I know how to make it. It would be great if mother in law would agree to go to her daughter's home (several states away) for a period of a few months .. and allow me the latitude to put my energies where I want them to be, on my daughter who will have had a c-section .. and my grand-daughter (4 years old) and new twin babies.

Nothing doing. Mother in law has dug in her heels, and will not hear of it, going to stay with her daughter for any period of time.

What are her reasons?

In mother in law's defense ... her daughter ... I don't even know how to describe it. I will say that when her daughter comes here to visit, she all but breathes for her mother and if she could find a way to do that, she'd do that too. She is the most nervous nelly, never sit down - ever ... worry wart, do everything, all the time .. person that I've ever encountered.

A great example, as I was taking her to the airport yesterday for her departure, . I reached into the fridge to grab myself a bottled water and shut the fridge and turned to walk away, as I've done for all of my 50 plus years living on this earth .. and she said to me, "Oh make sure that fridge shut". WTH???? Like I don't know how to shut a fridge? That's just a small, very small slice of what she is ... how she is.

She is so very hyper-vigilant, seeing to every minute details down to it's finest most minuscule point, fine tooth comb, questioning every point along the way, "should we do thus and so, but maybe if we do thus and so, then such and such will happen, maybe we should do it thus and so .. but then so and so might happen, maybe we shouldn't do thus and so, but do "x" "y" and "z" instead, but if we don't do it that way then ..........", on and on and on and on it goes. And usually in hyper warp speed, as to every single friggin thing.

If her mother moans .. "what's wrong mother?, why did you moan, are you alright?".

Mother: "Yes, I'm fine, I was just sighing out loud".

Sister: "Why did you sigh? Are you hurting, are you sure you're alright, why are you sighing what's the matter?"

Mother: "For God's sake __________________, I was just sighing, .. calm down, I'm fine".

Sister: "Are you sure, .. because if something is wrong you need to tell me".

Mother: "Everything is fine, I'm fine".

Sister: "Are you sure, we did a lot yesterday, did we do too much, maybe we shouldn't of gone to two doctors in one day .. was that too much for you, are you too tired now, maybe we need to move those other doctor appointments so we won't have two in one day, is that too much for you, for one day .. is that why you were sighing .. what's wrong, are you sure you're alright".

Hopefully that kinda gives a little bit of a snapshot of what goes on when sister is in the ring directing things.

So in mother in law's defense.. I do get it, why she wouldn't be chomping at the bit to go to her daughter's home.

BUT ....

The only experience she has with her daughter, in the last years as mother in law has aged and been unable to go anywhere much, has been the daughter coming here, periodically, for periods of about 3 weeks at a stretch. When her daughter comes here, she moves heaven and earth for her mother and then some, and doesn't sit down, doesn't stop .. the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME.

Is there a possibility maybe (as I said to mother in law, when she expressed that isn't happening - talking to me - her going to her daughters .. ever) .. could it be possible that maybe if you would go to where she lives .. she'd be more busy managing her own life in that setting than your's and she would get out of your backside .. and not be as hyper-drive-vigilant as you experience in her, when she's here, could that be possible.

The daughter is retired, lives several states away. Does come here, generally, every few months .. and stays for a period of about 3 weeks at a stretch. I wish I could make a list of everything the daughter did when here this last time, but it would take up the whole character allotment:



1 2 3 4 5
Round and round and round it goes.

Some of you all may remember, back when MIL was digging in her heels on any visit to IL, to her daughter's. One of her reservations .. was that her daughter would be dragging her up and down the roads to doctors .. and that's nothing she wants.

If you all remember that, .. I asked of MIL at the time, .. "have you told your daughter this". She responded that she has, but .. (very true of her daughter), .. MIL's words: "You know her, you can't fight her, she's gonna win every time .. I just don't want that .. at this point in my life ... I can barely get up and function, I don't want to be having to be dragged back and forth to doctors all the time, .. it's not what I want ... ", she'd follow that with .. not wanting to go to her daughter's .. as her daughter will have her in a doc office being prodded and poked at every turn.

I leaned on her daughter on this premise .. and explained the above (her daughter is very guilty of that). Her daughter assured, .. "No, I'm not about making her do things she doesn't want to do ... I always let her take the lead, if they recommend she see a specialist .. I let her make that call, I don't force it".

(ahem .. yea .. you do, I've been there, seen it, you twist arms).

Told her, told SIL ... "I sometimes .. when I'm with her, remind her of the fact she has said so frequently that she doesn't want that, and then let her make the call, .. that she doesn't have to do this .. and sometimes she opts not to).

SIL said she'd talk to her ..

Next thing I knew, SIL said to me that she'd talked to her mom .. and persuaded her mom that she wouldn't be dragging her to doctors at every turn .. that she's not going to do that.

Guess what's going on in IL? You guessed it.

She's been to the gastro doc ... and there was sent for CT Scan on her gut .. now has a follow up appt with same doc. Also an appt upcoming with ortho doc .. for knee injections (that one is a must .. she has to have those steroid shots every few months). Wants to see the neurologist that SIL's hubby sees.

I asked of SIL (yes, being a smart azz) "is she taking the Gabapentin rx'd on this end by the neuro doc? I know they fussed at her when I had her there, an rx that was over 1 year old and she hadn't taken the first pill.

SIL said that no, with this diahrrea she's had (seems to be abating finally) .. that she had taken her off of all meds except the Lasix .. every couple of days instead of daily and the A-fib .. and her antibiotics rx'd. Said she complains she can't take the Gabapentin .. it makes her light headed.

I didn't say it, because it doesn't matter .. but I know from having been with her at the doc office, .. it was said that Gabapentin has the lower side effects of any other options available .. and that she should've worked herself up to "x" doseage .. something she couldn't remember if she'd done .. she just knew she wasn't taking it .. makes her light headed and her nice can't tolerate it .. (was fussed at ... your niece can't take it but that doesn't mean you can't).

I just .. I know, not my fish to fry.

But what was all that lamenting .. and complaining that she doesn't wanna go there, her daughter will drag her from pillar to post to doc offices.

And what's she doing?

SIL says it was "her wish" to do these things.

I don't know, I'm not on site there, .. how much arm twisting is ongoing .. any ..??... I don't know.

But damn .. I mean, .. thanks for the aggravation MIL ... lamenting and complaining non stop that you don't wanna go there for that very reason (among others) and now .. pointless .. she's doing just what she complained she didn't wanna do.

No patience for it.

SIL states that MIL is very very weak behind all this gutt issue. I told her, in response ... "she's been weak .. maybe weaker now, but that's not new .. ".

I didn't have a lot of help either when mine were young. MIL did help, she was the best of the best, to come and get the kids for adventures to the beach, to go hiking, to hit tennis balls, .. you name it. Just something to do with them. And then to also take them when per se, .. DH and I, had somewhere to go, a weekend away or be that some other something we needed to go do. But just to contemplate lint and why it exists, or any other something .. no ... I didn't have that.

But I also didn't have 1 yo twins that aren't sleeping these days, tag teaming being awake thru the night, .. with teething and being 1 yo's into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, all the time! I can't tell you the number of times I was yesterday, with the 1 yo girl .. and ... in the den per se, . only to see the other 1 yo .. on top of the coffee table in the living room! Having to practically sprint thru the house to save him from falling off the coffee table onto the hardwood floor! This is DD's life every day. And not sleeping a lot.

Yes, I need to configure some way to be of more relief to her, .. and I do so enjoy the g'kids .. they wear me out to a nub .. but .. at least I know there is an end in sight, their mommy is coming to get them.

And I do like to think I am a gracious host .. just housed my brother and his wife for this past wknd and the one before it, and I don't think they felt unwelcome here. I think, in that instance, when it's a guest for the weekend only, if it were .. let's say a show on tv on floral arranging (not something I'd watch) ... that they were really opposed to watching .. I would forgo it, record it, watch it another time rather than put them out.

But when you are a guest here .. and more to the point in residence here, as my mom was for a number of months ... that's a horse of a different color.

My mom when she lived with me for almost a year ... she and I butted heads eventually. Only because .. about the only time of day that I have with DH .. solely .. with DH .. to discuss anything at all, is first thing in the AM over coffee .. outside on the screen porch .. and that's generally pretty early .. like about 5:30 or so in the morning, before he leaves for work. Mom moved in here .. and she would join us each morning (not invited). She, typically a late sleeper .. her cat would wake her .. I think .. in her bedroom .. hearing that there is movement in the house .. cat wanting out of the bedroom .. she'd get up and come join us.

SOME is okay .. c'mon .. but every frickin morning??!!?!? At 5:30 ??! Seriously?!?!?!?

No. She and I butted heads over that eventually, and she took offense when I suggested she give us at least some mornings and not be a party to what we might want to do with our time, talking. That was highly offensive to her.

I don't see why it should be a problem, but it apparently was.

But yes, when my mom lived with me, .. if I wanted to watch something at night .. I watched what I want, or DH what he wants.

She .. loved to have the tv on the game show channel all day every day. I don't generally turn on the tv at all, in the daytime hours, nothing I want to watch. But .. she would have the tv on .. droning on and on, all day every day, game show after game show .. all day every day. I put up with it, .. a minor annoyance in the broad scheme of things, .. when I'd rather have quiet .. to go about my business. But I put up with it and didn't balk.

But that's my point, .. when you are a guest in residence, as MIL is now, in SIL's home .. I happen to think, .. maybe a tv for MIL's room is in order, rather than them forgoing that which they'd like to tune in on the tv ..

Who wants to watch a recorded sporting event ...????.... you likely already know the outcome on the news, .. why bother watching it later.

Oh, Dorker--

You sound so much more relaxed!!

I too have grandkids (14, to be exact) and 8 years ago we had 2 batches of 4 within 4 months and then 2 years later, 4 in 6 months. Chaos. Blessed baby chaos. Then 4 months ago we have our "only lonely" who is 5 years later in coming. What a treat!

I'd fly to wherever my DIL was stationed and stay a week or two, helping out, then come home and give each of the other 3 daughters a half day each week. I would not exchange that precious time with those babies for anything!! I KNOW how much that help was appreciated. I had none when I had my kids...so I knew how much it meant to the girls to know that ONE day a week they had 4-6 hours to "contemplate world order" or do whatever.

Not to sound a saint, 'cause I am far from that....I loved being a grandma they loved and do to this day. NOTHING beats showing up at one of their homes and being attacked with hugs.

These kiddoes have kept me sane, have taught and given me unconditional love and are my reason to 'be'.

As my own mother is not warm and affectionate, and my relationship with her is pretty much over...I find that I have been overly compensated for a narcissistic mother by having 14 terrific kids who DO love me.

I like your idea of taking that CG time and give it to DD. She appreciates it and needs it. Who knows what MIL will do? I really think unless she turns a corner soon, she's never going to be string enough to return home again. Having other things in your life besides her is wonderful. Even when you weren't actively caring for her, you were still actively worrying" about her.

I do think the feelings here about tour SIL have softened. I wouldn't record a football game so my MIL wouldn't be bored by watching it.

How different and more pleasant things are.

Spent the day ...entire day ...taking the 1 yo twins off DD's hands.

That's not anything I've routinely done unfortunately. Oh sure, numerous times if DD needed me to watch one or even all of them for her while she went to do x, y and z ... that I've done yes. Have even taken them over night and all day for her and hubby and oldest to go to a water park or the like.

But just keeping them so DD can go home and contemplate world order or to do nothing at all but relax ... not something that's been part of the scene.

It occurred to me while doing so today, this kinda thing would probably be so useful for DD. Why haven't I done this as any kind of a routine?

Conclusion... at least 1 of my week days (more before I drew some boundaries) were assigned to helping MIL.

That leaves 4 other week days ... why didn't I ever assign one of those 4 remaining days to help DD.

Burn out I suppose. Compassion bucket with rusted holes in it, empty. That and generally speaking there might be occasion in some of those other days that DD and myself and kids go on some adventure or
..maybe some of that time I was assigned to help while DD was off to do x, y or z.

Point being it makes a huge difference when the bulk of one day per week is assigned to CG for an elderly and limits what else you might do with your time. Time you might want to use to be of service in some other useful endeavor.

Many ways that things are very lightened not having the ball and chain of CG and living on the edge of 'What next'.

No I don't feel any particular sympathy for SIL. First off she is living, at present, the very thing ever fiber of her being exists to do ... spin like a top in every possible direction to button up every possible problem and eventualities not even conjured up by the best of the best anal planners.

But beyond that ...no one better than her ...she who would direct from afar as to many rabbit holes and beyond ... can now do so herself.

I did feel a bit sorry for her DH <this is how kind he is>. I asked her the other night if he was watching so and so college game, televised ... on here ...

Her response: "we're recording it to watch later, didn t want to make mom watch football".

Such a different heart for servitude and selflessness.

Not a move I'd make. I am interested in this game, it's what will be on my tv. Don't wanna watch football ... don't....go find a book to read .. go call a family member and chat them up for a while ....but I'm not one prone to forgo that which I find of interest in lieu of accommodating a guest in residence.

Dorker - I'm really glad that MIL is in IL - it sounds like she is very weak and I would be very surprised if she would even have the energy to move back at some point. She is likely weak, exhausted, drained, and SIL is propping her and poochy up. Take care of your self and your family

Back around Christmas time I had a pretty bad intestinal infection - no diarrhea for the most part and a Catscan was the method of diagnosis.

I was put on the same two antibiotics that mil is now taking - about a two week course in my case.

While I consider myself a fairly smart gal - let me tell you those antibiotics can take a rocket scientist level of genius to take correctly. No OTC Tums-like products, don’t take with dairy unless it’s X hours before or X hours after, don’t take with iron supplements, take with food, don’t take with food...

I highly doubt that even if MIL was taking her Ciparo that she was taking it as all the tiny writing on the bottle tells you to take it.

Which leads to playing fast and loose with a strong antibiotic. Which - as most doctors and pharmacist will tell you - leads to the antibiotic becoming less effective until ones body practically becomes antibiotic resistant- and things like C-Diff start to rear their ugly head.

So now it’s two antibiotics for MIL - being properly administered by sil - the antibiotics actually stand a chance of doing their job.

But clearly - “It’s clear that she can no longer live alone”. Lather/rinse/repeat.

Just a thought--

MIL isn't ever going to give POA to either of her kids. Never. The closest they will ever come to having "any" kind of say so in her health issues is about what they have now: SIL directing from afar or near and DH just not wanting to deal with anything. That will be the dynamic for the rest of MIL's life.

"allowing" her into moving back to FL ONLY if she appoints POA's--ain't gonna fly with this lady. She simply isn't going to bend.

I'm feeling like this last health issue is the "one" that's going to take her under. She's played fast and loose for far too long with her meds and non compliance. Eventually, that will catch up with her. SIL may be able to nurse her along by daily 24/7 care, but eventually, she's going to crash. Only then will something "happen".

Dorker--just plan and live your life. It's different, isn't it? I now only speak to my mother if she calls ME, and she cannot remember my phone number (same number, 40 years). It's programmed into her phone, if she wanted me to be in her life, she'd take the initiative--which has only taken me 62 years to figure out.

I'm sure I'll cave eventually, but not in the near future. Been a long, rough summer and I need to take care of me, for a change. As do you. And it's hard, like a whole new dynamic of putting yourself in front of others. But, I realize I am worn down to a little nub and I am exhausted.

I personally am not sorry for SIL. This is very much a monster of her own creation.

My mom lives more inland ... in fact about 4 1/2 hours from the coast. She knows she is welcome to shelter here. Doesn't seem there's much threat that far inland. Rain Yes, some wind Yes, but not perilous levels of either.

No matter what happens going forward, you have good boundaries now, so it won't have to be your problem to solve. I know it's hard not to worry though, like you said decompressing after years of being on hyper alert.

It will be really nice to be able to make plans as a family for the holidays and for you and DH to be able to get away together to go see family.

Speaking of family, I am praying your mom is sheltering somewhere safe. I'm seeing where the SC coastline is being evacuated in anticipation of Florence. You and DH stay safe too.

I can't say what any of the path forward will be. I'm only an in law that cared enough to step n fetch far too long. I have absolutely zero input into what her future will be.

Lord knows I said my piece on it all, countless times.

This .. the whole reason she isn't here at present, .. it's not because anyone had a huge epiphany and "wow .. she sure isn't someone that should be living alone", .. nope. The WHOLE reason she is not in the state of FL at present, is because hurricanes can fire up .. and she was urged/persuaded/cajoled, etc., that she doesn't need to be here to weather such events.

That is the W-H-O-L-E, SOLE reason she isn't here presently. Not at all because there was some keen realization on the parts of her and/or her offspring, that she doesn't need to live alone .. her most fervent desire.

That's why I said, I can only hope that SIL .. now housing/caring for her mom, is seeing for herself, she doesn't need to be living alone any longer.

Or does she?

She spins like a top in 40 different directions, not a lot of introspect .. and so is she of the mindset that her mom will be nursed along thru this latest calamity and rock along just fine, to be left alone again.

What does DH think?

He defers to popular opinion.

If popular opinion mandates that she's fine ..

That's where he settles also.

As to any requirement for POA .. that assumes anyone in this is motivated at all, to see to it that their mother maybe have to have other measures .. measures she doesn't wish to see enacted .. as to her residence and care.

SIL nor DH either one, (which is who matters .. not me) .. haven't shown any real propensity to take that path. They've shown, .. countless times, .. they want their mom to have what their mom wants .. to live alone in her own home.

I really have no reason to believe there's suddenly been any light bulb moments for either he nor his sister.

I am enjoying not having the responsibility here in my neck of the woods. I thought of that when SIL mentioned her husband having left to go join his family for some outing for the weekend. That reminded me ... there was a time .. here on this end .. maybe I'd go join my family and DH not a part of things .. because he'd have to stay behind to care for his ailing mom. But SIL hasn't had that dilemma .. she's been here plenty, yes .. having left her home in IL to come here, .. but .. not necessarily the set up whereby she's had to watch her husband go .. to whatever function may be on their radar, . while she stays behind to care for her mom .. the very thing that has occurred here numerous times through the years.

It's been nice, to know there is no ball and chain anchoring me to any CG role here.

Making plans to go to SC to visit mom for T-giving .. making plans for my whole family to join up and go camping over New Year's ... and all knowing that it's not my problem if MIL should fall off the rails. Something I haven't had the ability to do for a number of years.

1 2 3 4 5