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


29 Comments

Who has POA? And if brother needs to get out.. can he? If he can, she can too and will be safe in this storm. My hubs is also pretty easy going, and he lives with my Mom and I.. but sometimes he says things that make me want to smack him! But let HIS folks call,, and he is all bent out of shape! I think men just dont get it as well as we do!
I have been taking care of my mom for 5 years,, my one brother died who was living here, but was so drunk or high all the time,, but he was here , If I went out at least I knew he would call,, I would get an hour or 2 fishing,, about a mile away but could get right back,, now I just go to drug store or food store,, My sister lives 5 miles away in last 5years has come about 6 times stays 20 minutes leaves says Mom is ok ( she's 94) falls all a lot trouble bathing,, has Diverticuliis,, repeats everything,,, been trying to get home care I am 67 had 14 back operations so I can't do much,, (at least my neighbors shoveled the snow) I am going nuts I have to lay down like 2 hours a day for my back,, I bought her a bell to ring (a mistake) if I am laying down and she needs help now she rings it all the time,, just to change the channel on TV,, Hospice won't come unless docter signs papers saying she has 6 months to live, Going nuts
Honestly noone gets it unless they have had a similar experience to yours. People ( even spouses and siblings) really don't understand if they aren't actively involved in the caring and I think there is some fear as well. They don't want to know sometimes. . I've figured forums such as these are so valuable because we get it. I used to vent a lot with friends and siblings but then began to realise I was being really negative ( I can see how!!!). I also couldn't mentally escape if all I did was talk about it. So now I read and participate here. Given up waiting for others to understand. I think It's beyond "outsiders" understanding the full situation. I just kept setting myself up for frustration.
3930 helpful answers
I don't know if there is a solution other than to tell your brother that he simply must do more. Unless he has a metal or physical illness that keeps him from helping out, he should be doing the bulk of the caring. As was said about the storm, if your brother can get himself out he can get your mother out. But the storm isn't the biggest issue - it's the whole package.

Standing up for yourself is important. Many women (including me) have a hard time doing this. But you may have to stand up to your brother and even your mom (she does have someone with her). You'll also have to explain to your husband that you know you have different personalities but you could use some emotional support.

Will all of this get you anywhere? Maybe not right away. But if you stick to respecting yourself, you may get a little more respect back.This is a fact that I don't like - what we do should automatically get respect and empathy. But real life says that if we don't stand up for ourselves to some extent we get trampled.

Take care and please keep us updated. We're with you.
Carol
My heart goes out to you!! Maybe, at some point, your hubby will understand. Maybe not, but looks like you need to find some resources for your mom and some rest for you. Council on Aging has resources is highly recommend you find out about for your mom's area. See what's available. Through COA I took a free 6 week workshop on being a savy caregiver. It was a great starting point.
I've been caring for my mom (had to dump my job, move, leave freinds and neighbors) but through this stress have seen her thrive even with dementia. My family is no help, so I found valuable resources like a Dementia daycare through COA; a bus picks her up, brings her back and I have several hours "off" weekdays. I found a local care facility where mom can stay for a weekend so I can de-stress.
If they aren't helping; they can be part of the problem! Your brother needs to pitch-in, if that is possible (it might not be possible).
Don't expect sympathy from hubby. Look for that with girlfriends.
Figure out resources to mom care because this is not something you should try by yourself; you will be worn out quickly.
Take a night off and out!!! You must.
My spouse doesn't get either. His parents were proactive and prepared. They moved into a "age in place" facility. So their kids are set. I not so lucky. I have no siblings and both my parents have no finances excite their social security. I live in IL and they are in FL. They don't want to move to IL. So I spend a lot of time on long distance calls and recently have been here since Christmas. Dad took a bad fall in December and then a bunch of stuff has happened. Mother had dementia so can't be left alone. Respite is a big joke. They only give 2 weeks and it's complicated red tape bureaucracy to try and get her into the same Rehab with dad. I also work full time. Bless all of you because I have been hit with issue after issue. Would love to move them to Chicago with me but that more red tape bureaucracy.
I have been caring for my wife who was involved in a horrible accident that left her paralyzed. I know what you are talking about with your husbands carefree attitude and casual "life is hard" and lace the boots one buckle at a time mentality. I have experienced this many times and find it ironic how it seems to mostly come from people who don't have a clue or ability to really empathize. I don't think you or anyone dealing with very hard situations are looking for a medal but we certainly don't want some patronizing remarks from people we know are fortunate enough to not have experienced real hardship. I do find it interesting when you see these same people complain about what they define as a "bad day". I think this is the primary reason I usually don't get into any deep conversation when asked how I've been etc. It's easier to just say "fine" than to set myself up for some thoughtful but clueless "life is hard and take it one day at a time" reply.
Know their are people on this site and in this world that do really get it and I have come to understand that the reason some don't is because they have not realized they're blessed with the lack of experience.
God Bless
I have family and friends who do understand, do care and will help as much as they can. But, my daughter's youngest daughter has Burger's kidney disease, my sister is 80 years old and my son's work takes him out of town. Sometimes I think AD is the loneliest disease in the world. The hardest part for me is knowing my husband cannot understand that caring for him takes everything I have.Today I will make a gratitude list and find at least one thing that makes me laugh. praying for us all.
I think Perseverance64 nailed it. I have this same problem with my brother, but not my three sisters, which makes me wonder if it's a gender ability of men to minimize emotional stress. My brother is a kind, caring, thoughtful person, but when I tell him how draining it is to care for my parents (both with dementia), he looks genuinely puzzled, as if I'm some weakling with no stamina. He sees a single middle-aged woman (me) complaining about what he perceives to be "a little bit of light babysitting." I'm putting words in his mouth, but that's how his offhand comments always make me feel. I'm fortunate to have my sisters to turn to, and this amazing website. Hang in there, Barbara!
We understand your frustration. Spouses can get both envious of you spending time away from them , dealing with problems they can't fix, and protective of you, spreading yourself so thin trying to run 2 households with no sibling help from the guy who lives with Mom.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, understand that he is on your side, wanting you to reduce your stress. How can you do that?
1. Reduce the number of visits you make to once a week.
2. Reduce the number of phone calls about Mom.
3. Tell your spouse one good story about Mom each day and find a friend to share the daily frustrations with.
4. Get outside help- volunteers, Area Aging on Aging to begin.
5. Write more. We get it. We've been there. We know how stressful it can be and how we need to protect ourselves so we are available for the others in our lives who love us and who count on us to be there for them.

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