Do all mothers or in-laws feel the need to criticize everything a caregiver does?

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My husband and I recently moved in with my mother. We were living an hour away form her and when my father died 4 years ago I changed my work schedule so that I could go see her on a Wednesday afternoon, take her out and pay her bills. February 07 she was found on the floor of her house by her cleaning lady. I had not been down to see her that week because I had been sick with the flu. I had spoken to her on Thursday and went back to work on Monday which was when the cleaning lady got hold of my son to say mom was being taken to the hospital. At that time they thought she had had a stoke, she was severly dehydrated and was talking very crazy. She seemed to have little movement on one side which was why they thought she had had a stroke. She had ended up with a broken right hip and they inserted a rod. 6 years ago she had fallen while my father was still alive and broke her left hip and has 2 plates in that hip. 3 years ago she had fallen in her bathrooma nd cracked her head open and didn't tell anyone until Friday when she told me she needed a clenaing lady not mentioning that the bathroom floor was bloody and that she was coated in blood. this happend on a week where I had a dr. appointment and hadn't gone to see her on Wednesday as usual. the blood on the floor was there so long there where bugs flying around. When she was found this time she had the phone in her hand but never called anyone. she went to rehab for 12 weeks. When they sent the physcolgist in to see her she told him to get out he didn't have an appointment and when they first wanted to take her to PT hse held the door frame as she wasn't in the mood to go. I believe for 10 weeks she really didn't know how bad she was. My sister and brother both live out of state. My mtoher has 1 brother who she is not speaking to a a niece that she talks to all the time. My husband and I rented our house to move in with her. i changed jobs so I was closer to her house and my husband leaves the house and drives 1 hour each way and doesn't return home until 6pm every evening. My mother is a very hard person, she has very little interaction with people. she sees the same people when she goes out to eat. She now has her cleaning lady coming 3 afternoons a week to be with her and hse finds fault with everything the woman does. My mother is under the impression that she has the answer to everything ansd the rest of us haven't a clue. She has trouble showing emotion and has never told any of us that she loves us even when we were gowing up. she likes her wine int he afternoon and a manahattan before she goes to sleep, all of which I water down. she also will drink a blackberry brandy when her stomach is acting up. I try to water that down also but can't always do it. when she has the brandy she tends to get very angry over something she usuall invents and it ends up with her fighting with me. I try very ahrd not to engage her in any altercations but it is so hard and sometimes the words are out of my mouth before even I know it. Last week was a bad one where she took an innocent conversation with my daughter and turned it around that my huband and I were bad parents and only cared about ourselves. the only time we get away is when my sister comes for the weekend. We used to stay home hwen she came but now we make it a point to go away. We do go out every Friday and Saturday night which seems to make her angry. Mind you we never go out without making sure she has something to eat. And there are times when she won't eat. And I explain to her not eating doesn't hurt me it hurts her. She is very controlling and what she doesn't know about someone she will fabricate. Friends are nto there becasue she finds fault with everyone and no one wants to be around her for long periods of time. i try to keep my self busy doing my quilting or sewing, but I have to do this on her dining room table and this aggravates her to no end. We went from a 3 bedroom house to 2 rooms. There is very little space around the bed to walk.
thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully this will help me with my frustration. I know I am doing the best for her, but she sure makes it difficult. i have told my brother and sister that i will not go to divorce court over her and if my husband acn't take it any more we will have to leave and another plan will have to go into place. Mom always said she was not leaving her house hse would die in it. We are trying to make this possible for her but she seems so unappreciative of our effort

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Top Answer
OH GRAMA4, MY NAME IS TRACY AND IM SO VERY SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND. WHEN MY MOM GOT DEMENTIA AFTER A DEATH IF HER HUSBAND, I STARTED TAKING CARE OF HER, 5 YEARS AGO. ONE SISTER LIKE YOURS LIVES OUT OF STATE, THE OTHER IS NO GOOD AND JUST MOVED OUT OF STATE BECAUSE ITS GETTING HARDER AND HARDER WITH MY MOM AND HER VERY LATE NIGHT CALLS. SHE SAID SHE DID NOT WANT ANY MORE TO DO WITH IT. NOW SHE SENDS CARDS THAT SAY "I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERY DAY" WHAT A JOKE RIGHT. I WAS TOLD THE FIRST TIME I CAME TO THIS GREAT SITE.... NEVER MOVE IN WITH THEM OR LET THEM MOVE IN WITH YOU... OH NO WHERE WERE YOU FOR THAT ADVICE...IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE TAKING GOOD CARE OF YOUR MARRIAG, AND IT ALSO SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A GREAT MAN STANDIND BESIDE YOU, LIKE ME... BOY WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THEM TO LEAN ON, CRY TO, AND BE HELD WHEN WE NEED IT. AND THAT BECOMES MORE AND MORE... PLEASE DONT LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO THAT SAFE PLACE YOU HAVE WITH HIM. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR SELF ALSO. SO YOU QUILT THATS GREAT THERIPY FOR YOU, I MAKE JEWERY, AND HAVE 3 DOGS, THAT KEEPS ME SAIN. I MOVED MY MOM TO A SIENOR APT ABOUT 2 MIN AWAY FROM ME, BUT SHE THINKS THAT MEANS EVERY TIME SHE CALLS I COME RUNNING, I NEVER DO THAT. IT MAKES ME FEEL BAD BUT IT HAS TO BE THAT WAY. WE HAVE ALSO TURNED OFF ALL OUR PHONES AT NIGHT BECAUSE SHE CALLS ALL THE TIME AND I CANT HANDEL IT. THATS MEAN TO BUT I WANT TO LIVE AND STAY HEALTHY AND I WONT IF I DONT TAKE CARE OF ME FIRST. IM SORRY YOU HAVE TO BE WITH SOMEONE THAT IS NOT NICE TO YOU. HOW IS SHE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER AND YOUR HUSBAND? MY MOM IS NICE BUT SHE CRYS ALL THE TIME AND RUNS TO ME, YOU SEE IM BECOMMING HER MOTHER, AND HATE IT. I KNOW I WAS NOT MUCH HELP FOR YOU, BUT IM HERE FOR YOU ANYTIME YOU JUST NEED TO VENT, OR JUST CHAT. TAKE CARE AND BE NICE TO YOUR HUSBAND AND YOURSELF ALWAYS.

TRACY
Thanks Tracy your words are so kind. Unfortunately we had to move in with Mom. She treats my son and daughter good. She seems to forget that she is the grandmother, not the parent and oversteps her bounds. I do have a wonderful husband and he was the one that knew we would be moving in with her sooner or later when she fell and hit her head. I know she doesn't like that we have outside activities, but she could also if she would overlook other people's faults so I have no sympathy there. I know it sounds terrible but if she won't help herslf what can I do. I even joined a gym and go 2-3 times a week after work. that seems to help, even though she doesn't like the time I get home, but she can always get herself something to eat or wait, her choice and she chooses not to get ehrself somehting or when her aid is ther have her get her something to eat. So again no sympathy. My husband and I go out every Friday and Saturday night. Even if it's only for an hour or so. Thanks again and feel free to vent to me also.
grama4
hi, i'm sandra.. do all mothers or in-laws feel the need to critize everything a caregiver does? how can i learn to let the little things roll off. I take care of my 83 yr old mom-in-law and everyday seems harder. I am her 24 hr caregiver and my husband doesnt seem to understand i my just be losing my mind.. how to get him to help?
Hi Sandra -
The best way to get your husband to help it to jokingly remind him on a consistant basis, the type of care he will get when he gets older just might be the type of care his mom is getting.....but the catch is that if you are too worn out to care, he is on his own. (if you have kids, bring them into the mix too.)

If nothing else, it can be a funny saying that gently gets the point accross. Things are always easier if someone shares - no matter how unbalanced the arrangement. If you can keep em laughing, you have a shot at getting him to understand.

Now wait for all the long-time married ladies to weigh in.......
greekgirl, if you have the financial wherewithal to do it, consider telling your husband that you need a girls weekend, or a mother-daughter weekend if you have a daughter and tell him that he needs to take care of his Mom while you are enjoying a temporary break, then go for it. He will learn a lot
thanks for the advice ladies . humor is always helpful. part of my problem is my husband thinks i am crazy that i cant handle an 83v yr old woman.i am her only caregiver, i get no financial assistance from her, which is upseting she does have money and gives kindly to my husband, her grandchildren etc.. for any of there problems. my husband and i cant seem to make her understand i have given a lot of myself to do this and to hire someone here would cost up and around 15 dollars and hour my husband is selfemployed in trade that with the econony the way it is has not been very profitable for us. last night he did ask aaabout this site, he noticed i seemed alittle calmer. i let him read some entries and i swear i saw a hint of compasion for me, maybe thats what i was looking for. for him to notice a change in me is huge and i owe that to this site. it has only been 3 days since i found it and i love it thank you all for being there, love to all.
greekgirl - you need to work together as a unit. I am caring for my mother and the way she treated my father is now the way she treats me. I know nothing, am a terrible parent, am disrupting her house, it's not her house anymore, these are all the things she throws at me. My husband and I try very hard to let what she says roll off our back and believe me at times it is very hard. When we are out with friends it is so hard not to just sit and compalin about her all the time. If she is able to be alone at night or in the afternoons on weekends you need to get out as a couple or as a family without her for a few hours. Make this a important event and something you do on a regular basis for you own sanity. If it means getting someone to come and sit with her - do it.
grama4 when the complaining is so consistant how do you always let it roll off. lately i cannot go up stairs for 5 min without her yelling for me, not for a reason, just wondering. getting out sounds great with peter we just cant get family to come stay for more than 10 minutes. they all seem to have so much to do. mom refuses strangers in the home, this includes personal friends who she has known for years. i geauss we need to just be strong and let her know our relationship is suffering.
i can't believe i've found people going through the same thing i am..!
how do you handle the negativity?
Hey Sandy - glad to hear that your husband has read some of the posts & that it has helped you. I hope he will continue to go on the site - perhaps you can start your posting to your own "wall" (its on your profile) and he can go there periodically to read what you have written, as well as seeing what others say when he is alone. I hope that his understanding will make your burden lighter and your marriage stronger.

May I ask what is your mother-inlaws background - - what was her life like & how was her personality before she grew old & needed help? just curious,

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