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I've been married to my husband for 10 wonderful years. Long story short, this past May my husband retired from the corporate world and we decided to buy a condo on the beach in Florida. He started his own company and works from home now. We got a call from his mom back in early September that she was in the hospital in Pennsylvania where she lives. We dropped everything to go up there. She was very weak and obviously not able to stay by herself anymore. We discussed it and decided she should come live with us. She was very excited. We get her back to our place and set her up in her own bedroom and bathroom. She is a high risk fall person. Little did we know! We have changed everything for her. The third bedroom that was my art room, now has her sofa and tv, etc so she has her own sitting room. Only she won't use it! We have absolutely no time for ourselves any more. In the beginning she was nice and polite. Now she is rude, and expects me to do everything for her. I bath her, fix all her meals, take to the doctor at least once a week. I'm pretty sure she is a hypocrondiac. We've made lots of changes to our lives and home and she seems so unappreciative . I really need to vent sometimes, but venting to my husband is not good, because after all she is still his mother

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I really appreciate everyone's comments. It feels good just to vent without making someone angry. I've tried talking to my husband but he gets defensive. I can kind of understand, after all it's his mother. But I really think if I hear one more time "if it were me I would do such and such". I want her to feel like it's her home, but it's still my "house". As far as decorating, etc. same thing about cooking, she never has anything good to say about my cooking. Grant you I'm not a fancy cook, but my meals are healthy and tasteful. Thanks so much for listening.
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..."her sitting room. But she won't use it!"

Ugh, that. I have a similar problem, which I think is the foundation of most of the day-to-day tension. I'm used to living alone. This house has an open floor plan. She wants extravagant meals. I've repeatedly begged for privacy in the kitchen. She absolutely refuses to budge from the common area and acts as if I'm begging her to go lie down on a cot in a windowless basement rather than go hang out for a while in her enormous, sunny, freshly renovated, bed/bath suite with her enormous smart tv and beautiful views.

So, I don't cook to my full abilities (which I would like to do because I miss feeling like I've accomplished something other than getting through another day without jumping out the window). She doesn't get her fancy meals. Nobody gets what they really want because she simply refuses to leave her stinky recliner (as if that would mean she's being "dethroned" in *her* castle) and give me some freaking privacy (while performing my tasks as galley slave.)

I'm pretty new to all this myself, but maybe you could take one small step on your own by getting information on assisted living facilities, without saying anything to husband and MIL, yet.
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So before your MIL moved in, how did you and your husband imagine things with her in the picture? Did you think she'd stay in her room most of the time? Is she able to gt out and about (with some kind of help) at all? Like could she go to a senior center nearby if someone (not you) could take her?

If your husband is home too, her constant presence may be bothering him as well. At a minimum, you need to get some outside help in so that MIL doesn't look at you like her personal servant. And you need to have enough going on outside so that you don't feel used and abused. Can you rent a studio space somewhere else? How is mom fixed financially? Can she pay for her own outside care? I guess I'd have a lot more questions about how things are working to make good suggestions.

But in any event, you need to make some changes so that you feel comfortable (and not angry) in your own home. And that starts with an honest discussion with your husband.
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Dear Babs, It was very kind of you and your husband to help with his mother. And you have been so loving and supportive of her till she became rude. I know its very hard to have an honest talk with your husband and mother-in-law, but I think its a must. Otherwise the resentment and anger will take over and this will also affect the care your MIL is getting. I know its not easy being a caregiver and giving up all your time, money and space to this person. I wonder if she is acting rude because of her medications, being scared of death or being alone or some other fear is driving her behaviour. Its a good idea to discuss all options with her and see if there can be any compromise. I wish I had found this forum sooner and learned to be more patient. I spent the last year of my dad's life being angry for doing so much and never truly learning how to help him or myself. He has since passed and I wished so desperately that I had done things differently. I hope you can get some respite care and find some time for yourself again. Its an important balance to have. Thinking of you.
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It sounds like you and your husband need to have a talk about what to do. I am wondering how his mother became your responsibility. I know you don't mind helping, but it sounds like she has moved into assisted living with you as the assistant. She also seems to be taking over and pushing you out of your space. You really need to talk to your husband to decide how to take some of your own life back.

I sympathize very much with the takeover of your life. My mother occupies her whole house. My only space here is my room. I don't know how one person can occupy so much space, but they can. I hope you can get some of your space back and set up some good boundaries about what you will and won't do.
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Re-purpose the sitting room.
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Babs, it is amazing on how we need to change our lifestyle in order for our parent(s) to continue with their own lifestyle.

When a parent moves in, the family dynamic changes. Mom once again becomes the parents and the grown children are once again "the kids" who don't know anything.... [sigh].

Even though my parents [in their 90's] remained under their own roof, and me under mine, my free time was taken up driving them all over hill and dale for seven years. Every year I kept wondering when will I start having the fun filled retirement that my own parents had for 20 some years???

It's tough settling boundaries, which I didn't know I could do until I got onto the Aging Care forums, but by then it was too late. Everything was pretty much set in concrete. I tried to get my parents caregivers to come in to help, but Mom shooed them out by the third day. I tired to get cleaning crews to come in, but Mom felt insulted that I had thought her house needing cleaning.

Oh, all those doctor appointments, and here I had two elders. I counted 40 appointments in one year, many of which were follow-ups. When I broke my shoulder and couldn't drive, I had to cancel all my parents doctor appointments for at least 6 months. Guess what? My parents lived and were just as healthy :P So I started to stretch out those appointments as going every couple months just wasn't needed.

Be careful, stress can start creeping in and before you know it you will crash and burn. Say good-bye to the bucket list as your health won't let you enjoy anything on that retirement list :(
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