Follow
Share

It's hard. Mostly because I feel like I can't "vent" to him about her because she is his mother. And I resent that his kids (my stepkids) don't offer to help in any way -- and this is THEIR grandmother. I'm in this all alone. I'm trying to find a local support group -- without success. I need help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Hi LoloMojo,
Your husband should be able to listen to you vent some of your frustration without getting angry. More importantly, why isn't he helping you? His mother's doctor, a spiritual leader, a social worker - someone - should talk to him about this. This is HIS mother.

Yes, the kids should probably do more, but much depends on their ages. Also, most kids have trouble seeing their grandparent decline. It's hard enough for adults to handle. I'm not saying they shouldn't do anything, but there is a limit to how much they can contribute.

You're right, however, in that you may want to say some things to blow off steam that you wouldn't want to say in front of him. That's where a support group would help. If you can't find one in your community, maybe you could speak to a local social service agency and see if one can be started.

Please do keep commenting online, as well. You'll get a lot of support on this site.

Take care,
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

With regards to the kids not helping, my mom was bedridden. My nieces - in their high school years, would visit us one weekend day. When it was time to change mom's pampers (their grandma), one of them will automatically get up and help me. When I was constantly getting up and down to suction mom's trache throat, my nieces finally asked me to teach them how to do it. And this way, if we're all in the livingroom talking, and mom starts choking from her trache, whoever is the closest gets up to suction her. It no longer was just only me doing it. I guess because I'm so used to my nieces offering themselves (not my having to ask for help), I think any teenagers can help out. If these kids can watch gory movies where heads fly off or monsters eats certain body parts, then they sure can handle helping with caregiving. Plus, I have a box of gloves handy for them to grab and use. So, I think the stepkids can definitely help if they wanted to.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Hey listen, not everyone can deal with poop coming from an adult. I have come to the conclusion, there is NOTHING that can ooze, flow, leak, shoot or gurgle out of ANY adult, that is good. When they're babies, that's a different thing all together. Then everything is fine and 'normal' because everything a baby does is cute, so who cares right? My mother-in-law while she was still living alone, had this terrible diarrhea episode happen. She starts yelling for me to come to the bathroom and help her. So I did of course, but ended up gagging hard enough that I thought I was going to have to clean up TWO things! Seriously, all I could do was throw towels to her through the door of the bathroom. I had to clean the bathroom up afterwards, so there was more gagging involved. My point is, not everyone can handle that kind of stuff, so we need to cut them some slack. I'm stinkin' old, and I NEVER will get used to adult poop issues. So that tells me that some people just don't have the 'gross adult oozing anything' gene installed that allows them to overlook such things. ♥
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I was driving 2 hours 1 way to do things for my inlaws. I had a rebellious teenager at home and my own life was suffering. I sat my husband down, I got in his face, and talked to him like he was a stranger and a child. I explained how I do love his parents, but his parents are his, and he can't wait forever to accept that they are aging - non too gracefully. The in-laws need their son too. Wow! It was like a light came on in his head! He just didn't realize that he wasn't facing the true reality. I didn't see him most weekends for the next year, but he was there for the parents at a time that was the most important. He is much more understanding now while I'm dealing with my own mother's ALZ.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Hi,
I am in the same boat for the past 3 yrs. Fortunate in that my MIL is a very appreciative lady. My husband does help some with the non personal care stuff. Finally got some help in for personal care and homemaking a few hours a week and that has been very helpful. Her dtr visits about once every 2 months, her son once a year (he's in CA). When she's "in a mess" with her incontinence, or whatever, that is always mine. Is your MIL living with you? Mine did for a year, then went to sr housing around the corner. But I think she will need even more care soon -
My husband does listen to me vent, but I have to be very clear if I want him to help with something related to her care. He just doesn't tend to see the little things that need to be done.
Support groups can be very helpful, especially in seeing possible solutions that you may not have thought of- since they have been doing this too. Best of luck. And - really is important to know your limits, boundaries so you can get help before burnout sets in. For me I was weary of going over for her showers every other morning before work in addition to the other care. Just that little bit of help has made a big difference.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Aahh...I was one of those adults who couldn't handle adult poop. My father's poop is stinkier than my mom's (before she died). The first time he touched it, smeared it, spread it all over, I froze even before I got to the bed. It smelled so bad, I wanted to walk out and tell my 7 siblings that I quit and it's Their turn to watch the parents. It was just as Gross as I thought it would be.

As for my nieces, they have learned to breathe in properly when doing the pampers. Breathe it in wrong, and you gag. Niece accidentally breathed in wrong, and started choking and gasping. I thought it was funny and started chuckling. When she was done, she said that she breathed in too soon. I said, Yeah, I figured. You see, I do that too - hold your breath as long as you can and breath in when you can.

Lolo- I agree that you need to tell your husband what's happening in the home front. Be very matter-of-fact and no hysterics where he feels he's being forced to choose between the two of you and that you're "exaggerating.". We grew up in a very dysfunctional life. My ex boyfriend and my baby sister's husband thought we were exaggerating about our childhood life. When we siblings get together, we always reminisce. BIL thought all these years that his wife was exaggerating and couldn't believe that that was our childhood. So, something as simple as that - and BIL thought she was exaggerating. What more if it's your husband's mother. So, best to be matter-of-fact when updating him. And come here to vent your frustrations, etc....By the way, there are lots of people on this site who are caring for their MIL. Please hop around the different threads and you will see it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I knew from a long way out I would not be able to care for my MIL. My husband is passive when it comes to his mom. Deer in the headlight look overcomes him. He has had to change. I am a very caring person in most cases but not this one. She drives me nuts. We are married 45 years and according to her I am the reason her son doesn't take care of her. She blames me for everything and complains to him about the things I do. ( I have too many lights on in my house, she critiques) Got myself a counselor ($30 a session) and began my fight to not be a caregiver for her. It took 2 years for her to stop trying to make my life her property. It is really hard and you have to overcome guilt. My husband does more and speaks up now with her. He gets angry too because she has no boundaries with trying to take over our lives. She always assumed she would live with us. I have more health problems than she does and I refuse to lose my life because she wants hers. Ugh! Families are so complicated and exhausting when they are dysfunctional. My goal is to keep my health and my marriage in good shape. She (91 yrs old) had her life and made her choices and now I am doing the same. I babysit my 8 grandchildren so that their moms can work and help provide for their families. This is my priority and she is angry that she does not come first. We have her in a wonderful assisted living place that we pay to have her fed and showered and hair done, etc. She is well taken care of and we take her to all her Dr. appts. and handle all her financial issues. We just refuse to be full time nurses or caregivers. The ladies who care for her are trained in what they do and we feel quite confident she is safe and well taken care of. She is still angry we are not doing it personally. Can't win with some people. I am always kind to her but have to constantly say no to her demands that we drop everything to attend to some pretend crisis she has created to get attention. I think some adults just become more child like as they get older. (Please baby me and make me feel secure and loved.) I can love her without giving her a shower or changing her Depends. Of course, that depends on who you ask! Haha!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I appreciate that this question was directed at caring specifically for inlaws. There really is a difference between a mom and a MIL. My relationship with my own mother has always been more relaxed and/or comfortable (even though she is bipolar and we can "really get into it). She's still my mom and it's different. With my MIL, - who was very cranky and always demanded lots of respect - I was a bit wary and cautious. It's not that way now- she's like a child but my comfort level with her will never be the same as what it is with my own mother.
To all of you who have husbands...........you are sooooo blessed. My husband passed away 3 1/2 years ago after a long and extremely painful bout with cancer. I was his caregiver and we fought that disease together. I adored my husband and always will. He was my rock - best guy ever - and he would have been a big help to me now that I moved his parents into our house. (FIL has COPD, 24 hr oxygen, wheelchair, MIL alzheimers and walker. Both are totally incontinent). This is the season in my life where I want to care for Bill's parents. Bill would be appalled at what has happened - but he would be so grateful that I've moved them in. That is enough for me and his memory gives me strength.
Although my motives are strong in caring for my inlaws, I don't want to appear "above the fray." I am currently in the trenches caring for the inlaws and they drive me crazy. But there is no doubt that I want to do this.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If MIL is in a low income bracket, there may be help for not too much money through the "Elder Services" type organization in your area. Finally this year my MIL dropped into that bracket and she is able to receive 3 hrs personal care a week and 3 hrs homemaking a week for a flat rate of about 65/month. Not sure how it works where you are, here each town has a Council on Aging and they could direct you to the right place. My heart feels for you...I know well those days of feeling like you just can't do it. My MIL came to us at age 75 anticipating a short term stay here to recover from surgery - nobody else able to take her - and 3 years later her care needs increase. She is in sr housing around the corner, after spending the first year in our house (I remember the all nighters getting a space ready for her :) but she needs a good amt of help from us and cg noted above help too. She's healthy in most ways but just devastated with arthritis (RA and OA) and the realization that we could be in this role for many years takes my breath away at times. I am 42 and have an 18 and 14 yr old, and work 30 hrs a week as a home care physical therapist. Please keep using this forum to vent and to look for suggestions! We are right there with you!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Your husband is a very lucky guy. Tell him that too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.