We have lived with FIL for years in order to care for him. We now have two children under two. How does one do this? It is such a delicate topic. FIL (85) is very old school, depression era, all of that. He was raised in families where the elders either move in with their children, who take care of their every need until passing, or with in-laws who would visit for months at a time and were catered to during those often multiple month long visits. They are not from another country, that was just the way it was done back then, I suppose. I came into this situation at 38, having owned my own house, accustomed to privacy and being able to have my own space. This has been an exercise in patience and ultimate love for someone else's father. This is clearly his house, it is full of a lifetime of memories, books, and things from his life and his life with his wife. We have made the best out of living out of a guest room, all four of us now, but my husband found a great job and it is time to move on. He told me that we can start looking for a place in late January or February and probably move the first of March. I have waited for this moment for so long. The condition is that dad has to have all of his needs provided for so he can remain in this house as he wishes.
EVERY indication I get from FIL is that he likes this situation (who wouldn't?) and he fancies the future as all of us living together like a big, happy family in his house with his rules, the way he likes it and has done his whole life.
I have two children whose needs, I feel, supersede or detract from his (imagine babyproofing a house, cabinets, etc which we REALLY need to do and expecting someone with severe arthritis being able to navigate those pesky drawer stops, cabinet locks, etc. Anyway, that is neither here nor there, as we are now planning a move for us.
The question is, how in the world do we present it to him? Us moving? He has been absolutely defiant when approached with having interviews with people who can offer to set up different services and take care of him. I honestly think he imagines we are going to live like children in the parent's house and do everything for what could be another ten years. I can't do that. I have babies. I want an identity of my own, and my husband desperately needs to move forward and grow in his own life. We are stunted here.
I know my husband is terrified of this conversation because, the minute his father shows anxiety, he is going to cave. We have done this for a long time, I know FIL is used to it, but we can't put our lives on hold into old age and ruin our children's childhood just to placate his father's anxiety. We won't even move far.
Any suggestions are appreciated. I want him to see the good in it, not the bad. He has been enabled to the point that he feels this time is all about him, we are the kids an he is the patriarch. I do NOT agree. I am an adult and want to raise my family with my husband. PLEASE help me out here. How soon should we tell him of our plans, and how can we break it to him in a way that doesn't destroy him? I am desperate for us to be a healthy family, my husband and our children, and the enmeshment of son and father cannot go on indefinitely.
I feel awful for him but it seems so one sided and unfair! And we would be very close! We just need our space to be adults and spread out with our babies without his disapproval of toys in the common areas or mess or anything else.