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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The way I see it, your Mom is on self-destruct mode and should be in a NH; the cleaning lady should go clean someone else's house instead of being made to feel less-than; and you should go back to the home you rented when the lease is up.

A man's primary needs are food, silence, and a little whoopie every now and then. With your Mom's medical needs, constant nitpicking, and the ragey, tipsy Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde behavior that shows her true colors I'm surprised he's not purchased a Winnebago so he can eat his chicken in peace. ... He's had to endure all that madness because he loves you; even if it hurts.

Before you leave, see if you can arrange a support system for Mom. She's a stubborn woman that'll never admit she needs help ... and doesn't know how to show much affection. Maybe to a pet.
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Handling the negativity is such a tough one-- My mother has become very paranoid to the point where if anything happens she sees it as someone is doing it to her ... We constantly moved when I was a child. Now that I have found a wonderful man she is trying to turn me against him. I work a very stressful job and she is so constantly changing in her moods. I see her eyes change and she is not my Mom anymore. I have to get angry and yell at her for her to stop her stuff... I love art and have no time to do it anymore, I love Reiki healing and became a reiki master so I could do self healing on myself.
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Hi Edrex,

Whatever you decide to do can only be based on your own situation and family members. Not everyone on this board agrees with "never let them move in" - many of us have parents or other relatives living with them. I have noticed that recently most of the venting and posting is by people who are unhapot with their own personal situation or have issues which is why this board is here. Caregiving is hard & can bring out behaviour and feelings that usually are supressed which is what you might be picking up on. So, that said - don't get scared off, just take it all as things to consider. If you are unable to do it, then you should be supported for being honest - it sounds as if you will manage to care for your mom in the best way you know how. The fact that you are on this board should validate that you care and are researching your options. Your mom is lucky - as is your family.

To give you a perspective on caregivers who do keep their parents at home I'll say that my mom lives with me and does require care. It is not always easy and as I am single the 'burden' is all on me. I do not regret it and will continue to care for her at home until the end. I am making the choice to do this and add to my skillset and education to accomodate her and her furry companion. I do not expect any pats on the back, it is just the 'right thing' by my own standards.
I am a professional and have had to make adjustments. But I don't regret it & in many instances have discovered that people are more accepting and inclusionary than we give them credit for. So if you can, and are able, take her with you - keep her involved with her family & grand kids.

I sympathize with you about the cat dander - but you do need to do what is safest for your mom. Your wife sounds like she would be willing to support bringing your mom home temporarily while you decide what to do - so perhaps you might consider asking a neighbor to look after the cat or even put it in a board n care for a week. Allergies aside, if it is something that she loves and take comfort from, there must be a way to accomodate her, even temporarily. There are many animal groups you could reach out to for advice.

Good luck.
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First, thanks to everyone who writes in. Glad I found this site. Especially intrigued by the "Never let them move in" advice. It's seems really heartless... and really smart. Am I a bad son (yes, I'm a son and the primary "go to" caregiver of my Mom) if I don't let my Mom move in? I'm married with three small children (all under 8). Mom is 81, still has all her marbles, but she's been recovering from a broken ankle in a rehab hospital for a month. She's always been independent, but now she's learning (slowly) to get around on a walker. She lives alone in a secluded house with a steep driveway she'll never again be able to walk down by herself. My wife is suffering from a severe possibly life threatening depression. She thinks we should take my Mom in at least temporarily. My mom would only move in if she could bring her cat. One of my children is severely allergic to cats and the cat triggers a mild (but unpleasant) asthmatic reaction in me. My mother believes allergies are all in your head. She got hostile when I told her she was welcome to move in but not with her cat. (The cat also triggers her own asthma but she loves the cat too much to get rid of it.) Even though I'm busy taking care of my wife and children as well as looking for a job, I visit her every day, arrange her doctor appointments, run her errands, talk with the social workers, pay her bills, take care of her cat... (My siblings live out of state.) No matter how much I visit her, she considers me cruel because I won't let her move in with her cat. Reading the comments here makes me wonder whether I should exhaust every other possible avenue before even considering allowing her to move in with us -- especially considering how unbelievably stressed our lives are already. How can I feel anything but evil if I refuse to let my own mother move in?
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My
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grama4 and Tracy, you are both outstanding in the balance you seek to maintain as caregivers. Keep living strong, Ladies. grama4, you cannot make your Mom happy, but you sure do yourself proud!
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Hi, sandyw. I just saw your post and question to me today. Sorry it took me so long to be back online. I took a little break. First, I must say thank you for your kind words, friend. Having spent many years now as a caregiver to my Mom has been a real eye-opener, including about myself. Caregiving is not a one-way street for me. Like any other relationship, I contribute just as much to the caregiving relationship as Mom does. We are both human. We are both vulnerable because we care. We simply have very different ways of expressing our caring. As a caregiver whose health is not compromised, thank God, my physical mobility is neither restricted nor impaired. I do not have to see multiple physicians and face the caregiver "police" force daily. If I were to look at my caregiving experiences and responsibilities solely from a point-of-view of what works for me, I would be creating an imbalance in my caregiving responsibilities making both of us miserable in the process. My caregiving journey is about learning, including how to best be a patient advocate for my Mom. Physical decline does not automatically rob an individual of feelings and thoughts even if some cognitive abilities may be affected. In the end, for me, it is about the golden rule
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195, thanks, i stll am feeling anxious that it would be my fault, we made a promise to keep her home, which i thought i could handle, but i feel like such a failure.. there is going to be a social worker at this meeting for peter and i, my geuss is to help deal with those feelings hope the ribs are mending. nice to know the husband apprichates all you do and give a hand when your down. i also wonder about books, hoping thats not seliction for names and authors.also seem to need a good spelling refresher course
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are there any books out there that may help?
seems like I need someone to tell me what to do
how to act or react
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Greekgirl
I hope the testing goes well they may decide that she needs to be placed for her own good of course she will fight like hell about that but at least you will have someone besides yourselves making the decsions. At this point I am able to keep the husband home-I fixed up my bedroom nice so if things get bad again and they will I can stay in there a lot, and he has been helpful since i fell and broke ribs-getting me drinks and such. The aide we have twice a week will be able to help with the doc visits and shopping, and we wre finally following a budget. This site is so great and I feel I have so many new friends.
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