How do you cope when you have to care for your mother-in-law because your husband's family won't?

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I'm the daughter in law and have taken on the majority of the caregiving because none of my husbands siblings will step up to the plate. We have gone to them and asked for their help now. Two weeks after this meeting I let everyone know that I would be taking a week off for a breather and family time. The other siblings are giving me grief about it saying that my husband should pick up MY slack during this time off. When in reality, I am still "on the job" even if he does take up my slack. Are we not supposed to have a weeks worth of family time without the responsibility of his parents? They all think that just because I don't work that its my responsibility to take care of their parents. I'm also pretty sure they are resentful of me because I have been the one to get the ball rolling on things, but its because none of them have taken the initiative to do it. For almost a year now, my husband and I have been doing the primary caregiving with very little help and now that we have asked for help its getting down to nitpicking things that they are throwing at us.

As a daughter in law in all of this how should I handle it with the parents as far as backing down from most of the responsibility but not all of it. How do I let my mother in law know that I'm backing down from my position without making her feel like its because of her being a burden on me? Thats how she feels anyway even though I've assured her that is not the case...I just need some help to take care of them. And how do I let her know all of this without having to let her know its because of her kids actions? I respect this woman too much to badmouth her kids to her. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place because she has depended on ME for the last year with my husbands support instead of the other way around, but in the same since I don't want to lie to her either.

As far as the rest of the kids, I have come to the conclusion that they can think whatever they want to of me....they are no longer a part of me. Its my mother and father in laws wellbeing that is my primary concern after my own husband and kids.

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God bless all you in-law caregivers. I am an in-law caregiver (retired now for 1-1/2 years), and I am stressed beyond belief. My husband is supportive but still works and does not really know how to help me. I don't love or like my in-laws. They are rude and selfish and don't care how demanding they are. I want to make their lives pleasant, but they are so unpleasant. I cry on a regular basis and wish it would all end. Anyone who is going through this has my sympathy; i just wish I could stop feeling guilty for hating the position I am in.
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GRRRRR You don't HAVE to caregive Why do we all think we do have to. It's not right, it's not fair and it is certainly not reasonable to EXPECT a businesswoman to give up her job to care for her mother in law. I don't care WHO earns the most money. It simply is not about the money here. Firstly its not the responsibility of the children to pay for their parents care for starters. Secondly caregiving comes as a package of emotional turmoil and stress as the caregivers suddenly gets transitioned into a situation they have no experience of and even less knowledge of how to manage. It's not even like childbirth where you have 9 months to prepare - this is sudden transitioning.

My personal view and it is personal not judgemental at all is that all partners should consult through mediation on this so both feel able to speak without resistance and both people's view should be HEARD. Assisted living is likely to be the end outcome so sooner rather than later would be my advice in tis type of situation. Who am I to comment.? Im the businesswoman who DID give up her job to care for my own mother and I find that incredibly stressful, financially ruinous and totally unsupported by professionals who will tell anyone who cares to listen that they care about the people in their caseloads....twaddle....they care about ticking boxes and getting you off their caseload as soon as possible and if you even dare to disagree they will send in the big guns to tell you what to do.

If that happens to you make sure you have your own big guns there too and then they have to listen. My big gun was my daughter......she just sat quietly and took notes as did their associate and said periodically....please have the courtesy to hear my mother out her viewpoint is quite important in this you know since you are expecting her to do all the caring. She never wavered once in what she said just kept repeating that phrase because they KEPT interrupting me.

Just a word of caution for those of you who are or are about to embark on this route and some of the tricks along the way that I have learned
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Oops sorry, just saw added new post!
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This post is from 2011
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weesheart, I completely understand what you are gong through! My situation is nearly identical to yours except that my husband is an only child so there are so siblings to fight with. My MIL has a brother that lives out of state and no other family. My husband and I owned a business and I was working from home when my MIL's dementia started and had to stop to care for her. I had no choice because my husband earns more and we needed his income. She was hospitalized for s few weeks after overdosing on insulin and other prescriptions and recovered at our home for two weeks. As the female I was stuck with bathing, and personal care. After she returned home (prior to dementia diagnosis) I ended up having to take her for Doctor appts, shopping, cleaning, and managing her medications. I was a Business Manager so naturally all the paperwork, research, insurance issues and her finances fell on me also. He tries to help but he couldn't do that after working all day. It seems some have bashed your husband a bit but I understand that as a team sometimes one of you has to take the harder part so one of you can continue to work and earn a living. But if I were you I would be super upset with your husbands siblings! And upset with her husband for not setting them straight. It sounds like they don't respect him and he needs to stand up to them. I have had some anger with my MILs brother for his lack of help. Although he did step up and agree to pay for an aide 4-6 hours a week to help me out. But now the argument has been that she desperately needs more care and it has taken me months and months to convince my husband and his uncle of this. Finally at Christmas the aide had 4 days off, my husband also had 4 days off work so he went with me to handle his mothers care. All of s sudden the state of her dementia hit him like a ton of bricks. We usually discussed her care on a daily basis but apparently experiencing it made it real. He has since been way more supportive and very emotional. I also gave him s scare because I came down with a heart condition that requires me to reduce my stress. We have taken steps now to get her into Assisted Living soon. A few days ago I emailed him and his uncle quotes from the amazing people on this forum along with a chart of the stages of dementia to help convince them that she needs more care. His uncle is still not on board but it doesn't matter because we have the POA not him. You may have to take drastic measures to get some help. Go away and see your family TAKE YOUR WELL DESERVED BREAK and tell your husbands useless siblings that your husband is going with you! Leave them no choice! Secondly you need an Aide to help you. If your MIL can't afford it, could she Qualify for Medicaid? If not tell the siblings they must each contribute $100 a month to help pay an Aide. Bottom line is you have to stand up for yourself and your husband needs to stand up to his siblings. It won't be long before she will need Assisted Living or a Nursing home and they will have to contribute then. Don't try to protect them with your MIL, a harsh word from her may guilt them into helping. Just feel fortunate that you actually like your MIL. Mine has been using me, playing me, and taken advantage of me for nearly 30 years, never done a damn thing for me or her son except cause us grief and now I have to do everything for her! That will mess with your head. I feel for you and wish you all the best!
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I think you need to look ou for your yourself and if you want to go see your family do it. Ask your family dr for respite and you can get a week off and send the person to a home. My birthday is at the end of month so i called dr, nurse and social worker and told them im leaving for weekend. Im not telling my boyfriend or family until everythings in place. Then if they dont like it they can deal with it.
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That is what I am afraid of.. However, I do believe you might have it harder than myself. Sorry for that.. I have also figured it out on lost of wages and what they should of paid out for the services I have provided so far. I have family back home that could use my help too. I feel guilty because I am here taking care of my MIL as my family back home needs me alot more as my Mother is seriously ill and my grandmother who is now 92 needs me also. I wish you best of luck in your situation.
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Its going to be hard cause they are going to turn on you bad. My boyfriends brother told me i was lazy and if i didnt like it i should kill myself lol. I got mad and gave the family two invoices for my services and one for lost wages if i was working outside the home.
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Tacy022, I have been told the exact same thing. It is just getting up the nerve enough to open that can of worms. But , I do know that is what needs to happen. I appreciate your advise..
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Frustrated, i am/was in the same situation. My boyfriends brother and i have gotten into it and my boyfriend has had to step in the middle. My advice is quit asking for help because your not going to get it. They are complementing you to manipulate you into doing it. The word that has been put in my head lately is enabling. You are enabling them to push their responsibilities off on you. Today my boyfriends mom was wet and i was told by his brother to change her. I told him shes your mother, your responsibility, deal with it (i used quite a bit of profanity in the statement though) and i walked away. Im not trying to tell you to neglect her but when others are around, push the responsibility back to where ot belongs
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