Follow
Share

My dad was ill for years, hooked up to an oxygen tank 24/7 in a hospital bed with my mom as his only caretaker until he died just 4 days ago. It's been very hard mostly on my mom and myself. Naturally the night she and I watched him die, I told her to come stay with me for a couple nights. Please note I have 3 kids and 3 step kids plus I work full time so I have a lot of demands on me. She has no room of her own because we have a 4 bedroom home and 8 of us living here already. When I asked her to come stay for a night or two I did NOT intend for her to move in. My mom is extremely talkative - when with her, you will get maybe 10 seconds of quiet at a time. I'm all she has now and I want to help her and be here for her during this hard time but I HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE. I'm an introvert and I NEED my home to be my quiet safe place to recharge with all the demands of my life but my mom has overtaken my home. I literally can't just go to the kitchen to get food or coffee..I have to have a long discussion with her every time. I did agree to let her stay a couple weeks after she was already here the first night so she could get her life in order after my dad's passing. Now she wants to stay indefinitely and I'm going to lose my mind. I can't break her heart anymore than it has already been broken. I really am a loving daughter and I really do care but I can't live like this indefinitely. PLEASE HELP! How do I handle this??

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Four days? Can I be honest? This may be a time that would be good for your personal growth. If you are ready to put your mother out after such a great loss in only four days, maybe you are not seeing what is really important. Maybe your mother needs help returning to that empty house that holds so many memories. Maybe she needs to consider an apartment in a retirement village where she can be around friends her own age. Your mother is likely feeling lost. If it has only been four days, maybe you should take a look inside yourself to see what the problem might be. If you have always had a good relationship, four days is strange. I used to have friends that would visit for much longer than that before their welcome would wear out.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Becca- I get where you're coming from. I don't think you're being hard hearted or a bad daughter. You are being very self aware and in doing so you recognize that having your mom staying with you much longer could cause irreparable damage to your long term relationship- and your mother is relatively young with many years ahead of her when she will need you and you, her. Take a deep breath and suck it up for the two weeks. But at about the 10 - 12 day point try saying something like "It's almost time for us to start thinking about getting you resettled back in your home. It's going to be really hard for you, I know. I've been trying to think about ways to make it easier - things we can do. Have you given it any thought? We don't have to decide right now - but give it some thought and we can talk about it tomorrow night". When tomorrow night comes bring it up - see what her ideas are and go from there. If she has no ideas be prepared with one or two of your own - stuff like clearing up the area/room where your father passed - getting rid of old medications, etc. I wouldn't suggest big steps like moving to a 55+ community just yet - one big adjustment at a time and dealing with lossing her husband is big enough for now. Offer to stay the night at her place for a couple of nights - this may be tough for you to manage with your kids and all - but I think it's important as the first step has to be getting her back under her own roof. I say all of this considering what's best for your mother - period. At 65 your mother hopefully has a long time ahead of her - a lot of living to still do - she is much too young and healthy to be living her life through you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

It has been only four days. Is there some relative or friend that would stay with her at her home for awhile? Maybe she would like a roommate? Just think of all the things at her home that she has to go through. That is too much for her to do alone. Maybe you would take a week off, go back to her home with her to help with those things.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I appreciate the comments and suggestions. Yes I know it seems probably heartless for me to being feeling this way after only four days and I can appreciate how that probably comes across. I do want to be here for her and I know that she is hurting deeply. I do have a deep need to have my own personal space. She and I deal with our grief in an opposite way. I deal with things alone and need that space. She deals with things by talking non stop and taking up everyone's personal space. It is not a good combination. She does have an apartment to go to but she doesn't want to be alone and it also is a sad reminder for her of their memories there. I do understand. I really do hurt for her and I am heart broken over my own loss of my father. I literally watched him die. This has been very traumatic for me as well. Normally when I deal with trauma and hardships, I deal with them alone but I am unable to get that anymore. I will not hurt her anymore so I will suck it up and deal with it probably for a while but at some point I will have to have my house back.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Another thought - enlist the children to help a "support Grandma" project. Ask them to think of toptics to discuss, activities, etc. Perhaps one child can spend an hour or so with her on one evening, another child takes that activity for the next day, etc.

I really do think you need to get the rest of the family involved; I think having 6 kids in a house is one reason why you need your own space ( who wouldn't??) but your mother needs you now. Let the kids learn how to support that need for both of you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Only 65? My goodness, is she retired? She must be bored out of her mind, being so young with no employment or volunteer opportunities.

I see dad died 4 days ago. 4 days is a blink. ( not to you, I'm sure) but she is still decompressing from caregiving, from grief and the like. Give it another week. But set boundaries for yourself. "Mom, i can't talk right now, need to decompress from work. How about after dinner?"
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

To avoid hurting her feelings ( and that is a very legitimate concern), put the responsibility on yourself - say that you're the one who has always needed space, perhaps it's a shortcoming, but you function better when you have that space.

So what you're trying to do is accommodate YOUR shortcomings so you can help her more and make her life easier. Then she can view the situation as your attempting to adapt rather than push her away.

In the meantime, mobilize those children who are old enough to understand in helping to find ways to interact with her. There's no reason why they can't be part of the solution - go for walks with her, take her shopping, help with the meals to deflect attention from you...

It's important to get the kids involved now. You can even spur some self reflection by asking them to think of what their strong points are, and how they can use them to help Grandmother.

Try to look at the opposite side - unless she has somewhere else to live, try to think of ways that she can benefit from the children and they can benefit from her.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

If Hospice was involved during your dad's illness they will send a social worker to visit with your mom for up to 18 months - and perhaps as mom talks out the grief and PTSD of caring for your dad all the years it will help her get to a level of peace. The talking is just a way of gaining control over her fear and loneliness I think?
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Are your separate needs for space and privacy really so insurmountable? I do understand that you've got 6 kids in the house and that's a challenge for anyone. But where's your husband in all this? Three of the kids are his - what help is he offering? There's no reason why he can't handle some of the childcare chores and allow you to spend some more time alone as well as with your mother.

While you're hurting, so is she. This is a unique event for her, something that's changed her whole life. Whether it's a justified balance or not, you're probably going to have to be the one to make some compromises - you still have your husband, I presume, but she doesn't.

How old are the kids? Personally, I can't help wonder if 6 kids in one house isn't as much of a factor in the need for personal space as anything else.

Perhaps you could try setting aside some specific time for your mother, just the two of you, and let her share her thoughts. If there's a time she can look forward to, that at least helps her structure her interactive time with you.

What about when she returns to her apartment? Can the children stay witih her for say a weekend, just to provide company?
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See if the hospice can get Mom into a grief support group where she can talk as much as she needs to. It could be really good for her and take the brunt off of you. I needed to debrief big time after I lost my mom...my grief support group gave most of the time to the wives who had just lost hubbies, and I totally understood.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

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