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I am here to ask advice how to manage this hard situstion our family is having to face. We are family of 5 , my first born is very hurt physically and require 24/7 care I do it all myself at home, therapies, personal care, homeschool her and her 2 younger siblings. I dont need to explain how financially, physically and emotionally draining for a family with medically challenged child. Before kids, my husband looked after and supported his parents even helped his brothers when they needed him. Now both his brothers have good life earn well, kids graduated from uni and working unlike us who struggle daily to pay bills. Their mum is 85 need their financial support. After her fall over Christmas and broken hip , she stayed with us and my husband cared for her till she recovered and was ready to go home but cannot be on her own and must provide out of pocket assisted living for her. My brothers in law didn't bother sitting and talk about. They just sent my husband, their brother an email with a list of their mom's financial expenses, house rent, live in carer, medication... and suggested it is only fair the total to be split among the three of them as their duty to care for their mum for the few years left for her to live happy. Now please know that we always provided and still physical and emotional support, send meals over, we help as much as we can, but is it fair to be asked to share the cost of care when they know our financial situation and what we go through? My friends with Special need kids rely on family friends for support . We never asked for anything. But it always helped when my thoughtful mum and siblings who live in another country and only speak to them on skype because I cannot afford to travel to see them send monitory gifts, nice clothes for my kids on various occasions, even some of my close friends help out treating the kids, taking them out, preparing meals and coming over, because they know what we go through. Not my husband's family, they live close by but they never offered any help. Still they relied on me hosting family dinners paying for it all... my nephew will come with an envelope offerinng help for christmas dinners, my kids first ipad, most of their clothes, my special need daughter hot tub... all were gifts from my side of the family and few close friends, nothing from the uncles. And I was fine with it. I watch them travel overseas on holiday, eat out, party... and never considering helping us. And now they are asking us to help them care for their mum. I feel so sorry for my husband he aged so much in last week, stressed worried, and complaining about anything we buy even a 5 dollars floating ring I got my son before we go on a local boat trip in the river. I asked him what is bothering him and I found out about their email to him. He told me we need to be super careful because he has more responsabilities now. He thinks he has to do it because he is her son too, even if he cannot afford it, even if it meant possibly stopping some of our daughter therapies so we can pay our share of care as the brothers requested. Please don't think I am selfish and trying to run away from responsibility, the load on us all these years is not easy and we cannot carry more. It is very important for my kids, and for me to stay in good term with the family, I live overseas far from my own family so I don't want to lose this one. How I can make them understand that we cannot help without upsetting them. I mean what to explain if they cannot see it themselves my husband said, if all these years they cannot see what we go through, they don't get it. I am reaching out hoping you can advice me what to say how to approach them and avoid family troubles.

If it were me, I would have husband say something to the brothers like this--

As you know, our daughter has special needs, and we have done our best to handle this without being a burden to the rest of the family. I guess in handling it this way, we have shielded all of you from knowing the full extend of the financial and emotional load we are carrying. If you would like to sit down we can show you a little of our finances and you will see that, although we love mom, there is just no way we can be part of her financial support. We will continue to help as much as we can with: (fill in the blank of what you can and are willing to do)."

Like others have said, your own family -- and your daughter -- are your first responsibility. I presume that she will not "recover" from her medical situation? That means you will be caring for her for many years -- and you need to be prepared for that. If you give to his mom's care now, you may find yourself in a terrible financial situation down the road for your daughter's care.

Sending some [[[hugs]]] your way, because it is a difficult situation, two hard things - and no good answers really.
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Vivianeb Jan 23, 2020
Calicocat i loved your answer and almost copied it word by word . The one brother didnt say anything , the other still arguying eveeybody got his own financial burdens even if they dont talk about it . You know this makes me sad when he says we are all in the same soup. They dont count their blessings 2 grownup healthy kids , he considers maybe soending 3 weeks in holland or italy in hotels on holliday is financial burden he struggles to soet out . But no i am not taking away funds from my sick daughter so he can enjoy his summer holiday and keeo his life to a ceetain standard . I dud mention if it is really hard for him maybe one option since he lives on his own with his girlfriend /partner in a big house and they are barely home he can save on rent and bring mum to live in with him. I know this is going to piss him off , even my husband said i shouldnt have said that . Now i know what his answer will be why dont you take her yourself since you cannot contribute financially. I did it when i had 2 whe she broke her hip and was recovering , she slept in my bed and i slept on a mattress on the floor , i dont have the space to make her confoetable while we maintain good life . My kids are still young and have friends over and it can be busy and loud for an eldery but the thing is i like it busy and loud for my disabled daughter so she gets some fun and is surrounded by other kids so yes we do playdates sleepovers we are loud ,.. and in the time she was with us all this had to stop. I ecplained to kids that this is temporarely because we need to care for grandma, but it was hard for them. U know if my husband was the only son and we had no other choice she will come live with us however hard it can be , we will learn to adapt. But it is not the case , she has 2 other sons who can do it their problem they want to maintain certain life standards and thinks their mum got 3 sobs not 2 so paying third is easier than paying half .
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It seems to me in a situation like this, the family should look into governmental support (if there is any) and then, if there needs to be a family contribution, it should be based on each member's ability to pay.

Your children come first
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Vivianeb Jan 20, 2020
Thanks but we live out in Africa so no governemental support at all. All care cost out of pocket . In our situation it is even more challenging because i cannot get care for my daughter locally , i travel for therapies learn them and come back home and work with her so you can immagine our financial strain , not only we have to pay for therapies but also we have to cover travel expenses , accomodation , and back home cost of special diet , oxygen , medical equipment rental , grateful and thank god we are able to do it but we basically live for that and had to set our priorities so all the money we make we put toward taking care of our daughter and our 2 younger kids who are amazing in how they are handling our family struggle , their love for their sister . I work hard to keep it balanced so they also feel loved and happy . But i think we are doing already a lot to be asked ro do more .
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Viv, your original question is how to cope with this situation without upsetting the others. You probably can’t. They don’t seem too worried about upsetting you. They also don’t seem to have considered other care options – just continuing the current expenses, which would be unaffordable for most people, not just you. You might tell brother how sorry you are to hear that he is also in financial difficulties, which you didn’t realise. Then you just say No, you can’t do this. You don’t have to prove all the details of how hard up you are – he doesn’t seem to think that he has to do that himself. You don’t have to deal with whether or not it’s fair. The details get you into an argument that you don’t want. ‘No’ is not judgemental or unfair, just make it final.
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My work mate from Ethiopia sends a percentage of his wage back home. He was expected to send a fixed dollar amount but this was causing stress as he earnt less than the other families contributing. He worked out with his Church Pastor the fairer solution of a percentage range for each family - depending on their expenses & circumstances.

Maybe a trusted third party could be asked to help draw up a money agreement so any resentment is avoided.

Maybe one of the more well off brothers could take MIL in to live?
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Reply to Beatty
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First stop worrying about upsetting them. Just tell them, "We can't afford to help out right now. Our daughter's needs come first and our first priority." Don't argue, just state the facts.
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kdcm1011 Jan 24, 2020
This was going to be my suggestion as well. No need at all to provide everyone your financial information, that is really no one else’s business but you & your husband. Your husband needs to find the backbone to just keep saying NO to money and here is how we can help (or are helping) in other ways.

My parents, now both passed, faced this same situation with my mom's mother who was widowed. This was before Social Security (in the U.S.), pensions, & all the financial assistance everyone seems to think has been around forever. My grandmother had absolutely no money coming in & her 7 children felt it their duty to help her. Some could help financially while others could not. Those that couldn’t help financially helped in other ways — ways that entailed time & effort. It’s actually easier to send money & be done with it than it is to help by doing.

My suggestion is to just keep doing what you can, do not give anything that would take from your own children’s needs/welfare, and realize that whatever you & hubby do will never be enough as far as his brothers are concerned. So what if they get upset? No one seems to care that your husband is upset.
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First of all, I want to say that you and your husband are angels, no make that living saints! You have done more than your share, don’t you think? Your daughter is your first priority. You cannot continue to over extend yourselves like this. Please set some boundaries with your family. Please learn to say no to all of their requests.

Stick around, others will share their viewpoints. Blessings to you and your family. Sending a million hugs your way. 💗
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Vivianeb Jan 20, 2020
Thank , i might use your answers for my husband to read so he can feel at peace and stop feeling like not a good son because he cannot pay . He is a wonderful person with big faith , very loving and caring person so this is really affecting him emotionally .
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+1 Govt supports & *ability* of each family to assist $.

I'm sure MIL would not want to take funds away from her grandchildren's upbringing. Put it like that to the brothers - they may not have thought about it like that - but should!
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Love calico's response. Just tell them when all the bills are paid, there is nothing left over.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Your priority, your husbands priority is to YOUR family.
You will up set them if you do not (they may not comprehend that you can not) help out. You can not be expected to do more than you can.
Do not let them guilt you or your husband.
Be there in ways that you can.
As you say you bring meals and help out in other ways. That is all you can do at this time it will have to be enough.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Your husband needs to reply by sending them your budget back, this will show that you can’t afford to help out financially. Then he can state while he can’t do financial support he is willing to continue providing the physical support he has been doing all along.
If the brothers can’t accept these facts shame on them.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 24, 2020
Their financial situation isn’t anyone else’s business. They don’t need to share that. They can if they like but I seriously doubt it that they sway them. Selfish people will take someone’s last dollar!

There is no need of a future promise of money either. That will only set them up to keep requesting money.
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