My husband doesn't understand how stressful caring for Mom is.

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Mom doesn't live with me. She live in a nearby county. In her own home with my brother. However, Brother won't help mom much. Mom has one problem after another and looks to me to help. There is no one else. Been going a few stressful weeks with mom. And then the blizzard. Mom snowed in and we are snowed in. I.had to get snow shoveling arranged for mom. Keep talking to physical therapist to find out when she can get out of neighborhood to go to mom. My husband and have been out three or four times a day since the blizzard started shoveling two
feet of snow. And I have been fielding phone calls from mom and about mom everyday.
I said to husband " I need a drink." He just looked at me. Then joked that I could get a cocktail at Hooters. It's so upsetting and frustrating that he just doesn't get it.
He has it easy with his father compared to me. His father is in Assisted Living. Only five minutes from our house. He has a brother to discuss issues or problems. about his father with. My brother just adds to the problems. He is also a person that feels you just do what you have to do. Life is hard sometimes. Just do what you must. No emotion. Except when his father becomes annoying or difficult my husband does get emotional. He can't. see. It though.


Barbara


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Barbara - Correction, Life is not hard "sometimes". Life is difficult to quote Dr. Scott Peck from his book, The Road Less Traveled. The way girls are socialized is different than the way boys are, and boys just fall down, get hurt, and get back up again without running to mommy. Stop whining and take care of your mother like she took care of you, or get added professional help. If your brother does not help, he is expecting you to. So, try not helping and see what happens. You only get abused when you ALLOW the abuse.
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No one understands until they've walked in the caregiver's shoes!
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Hadnuff, please don't waste your energy for any one to understand. If you do you will end up with depression and health problems. My sister and brother told me lies for 9 years that they will do every thing for mom. They give me impression caregiving is our responsibility and they will support mom when she needs to. I am acaregiver for mom for 9 years. After 9 years being caregiver for mom who has dementia and other health issues I collapsed. My health went down like a hell. I collapsed mentally, emotionally and physically. I asked my sister and brother to help , to take mom and take care of her couple of months to get my health back a little. I told them I am really exausted. Guess what they said . They were rude to me. They said they have responsibility. They said they have health issues. They refused just to help couple of months. Not helping me. Help mom. I did not ask to help me . Even I am sick. Please please do what you can to help mom. Do not exaust yourself and do not wait in any appreciation or understanding from family. I learned in the hard way family members will play game and use your loving to mom and manipulate it. Once you will stop they will give their back and be rude to you because you no longer do benefit to them. The good thing about my situation I seeked my other brother help who was rejected by my sister and brother to take mom to help just because they did not Like my SIL. My other brother who is the one helped me. He stand by me to help mom and me. He walked with me to help me in my depression. Believe or not I was going to kill myself. My brother who saved me. He stand by me helping mom and me. I am not sure what I was going to do without him . I may by now will be dead. Again do not listen to family listen to your concious and your needs. Balance between your needs and mom needs. I still have health issues . Caregiving is very hard job. Just a thought your husband may be in your side. He does not want you to collapse. Please do not understand me wrong. Yes you need to help your mom no matter what . You will only have one mother in this worlf. But also balance between your mom needs and your needs. Love you , you are really a good person who suppose to be appreciated for life. God bless you
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I can only speak for myself. I find that the more seriously challenging a situation is the less talking about it offers any gratification. A brief summary is all or you lose people. Few really have the time or concern for an in depth talk. They are usually only being polite. Some people mindlessly believe they should offer a form of condolence. They really are not there to offer counseling or to receptive to your vent no matter how gentle. When you are in the thick of it there is no room to complain. You just do what needs to be done. Only people who think like this understand. The flippant remarks some people dish out are responses to perceived whining even if you are absolutely certain you are not whining. Just know there are people who do understand what you are involved in.
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Yeah Bay-Bee ! A lot of that gain' on here too ! I guess I'm blessed to be in a sort-of better place: while the 10 year best friend/'boyfriend' gets tired and annoyed...he's a funny fella. Puts on a bathrobe and goes over to Mom and bows like a monk and blesses her. She giggles. Never giggles for me ! He makes her a grilled cheese-tomato sandwich (something we never had at our house) and she makes a big stink about how fabulous it is. Sometimes zany distractions are good.
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I am getting to the point where going to the supermarket is like a mini vacation. At least they play nice music there and I talk to people. Getting out for the day and hiring a caregiver is worth it, too. If I don't get out, then the caregiver I am paying for will have to take care of me, too!
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Mom w/ Dementia wants ice cream....then 10 minutes later asks if we have any ice cream. I said that you just had ice cream. She says that she doesn't care...she's not a diabetic or a child. If I give her one more teaspoon more, then 10 minutes later....you guessed it. She asks for more ice cream. At least I remember she just had....so no more for today! Or I say that we ran out of it...
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My husband's relationship with his own mother and sister was - ' what's that got to do with me!!!' Neither of them drove! Can you imagine? They would call and ask for rides, and of course that was a maddening, stressful thing even if they weren't demented. But it would all depend on how Il Duce felt once a month. If too drunk or lazy or tired, 'they'll find someone else to take them'. So you can well imagine the grand support *I* got with my mother! "Go do what you have to do, but make sure I have something to eat later, and my work clothes ready." No sympathy, no compassion, just me-me-me.
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I have come home, or taken phone calls, trying to arrange care for my mom or trying to get her into assisted living (2 year waiting list) or a nursing home (go through the getting-on-Medicaid wringer.) Dealing with agencies who are LIARS about Medicaid. Dealing with caretakers, who simply were not sufficient for the problem and who would call me FIFTY PER CENT OF THE TIME THEY WERE OVER THERE. "You better get over here, your mother is on the floor/fell on the floor/found her on the floor/sh*t all over the floor/ and we are not supposed to lift her up by ourselve." And I would burst into tears on a weekly basis, driving half an hour to and from mom's house, taking her to doctors appointments (which took over an HOUR just getting her into a diaper, dressed, and into the car), doing the shopping, cooking, cleaning. Waiting by the phone for that call....And what did that PRIZE I was married to do? Go up and shut himself in his bedroom because he "didn't want to hear all that sh*t" after the long, hard day HE had. No help whatsoever, no sympathy whatsoever, all 'me me me'. He makes a ton of money, and so I have stayed, but that's his only redeeming virtue. He is self-centered and very stupid. I dread the day he retires.
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Looking back on it, I think it would have been unfair for me to expect my husband to fully understand the stresses on me of caregiving (made more complicated by the dynamics of my relationship with my mother). I didn't have a full grasp of how tough it would be on me until I was knee deep in it myself. As to gender and empathy, I've had female friends who were less than supportive until they found themselves with elder care issues. Then, magically, they had a clue.

It is a difficult and delicate balance to care for a parent, while also maintaining our relationships with our spouses and children. It saddens me to read of marriages failing because that balance was elusive. Caring for an elder often has us in a reactive mode, constantly putting their need or yes, want, ahead of the healthy, able bodied spouse or child. Looking back on it, this was an unfair way to treat my own family.

No one wants to have their parent in NH. Period. But as we all get older, needs of all must be a significant factor, not just wants. I know my limits, finally, and it is not possible for me to care for all the people in my life, personally, hands on. I have to triage out what I personally need to do, and what can be done by others. And for me, one of those needs has to be being a wife and mom, not just a daughter.

And sometimes men, like my husband, end up being really good caregivers once they're in the thick of it and have someone helping to teach them.
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