Just after asking a plucky question on here a few days ago about downsizing Mom’s home, my husband and I have, in one weekend, reached burnout. My husband has been AMAZING in all this. My rock, the over-functioner extraordinaire. And now, he’s done. As in burned out. Compassion fatigued. Over it all, can't muster the energy. Livid with my mom (for whom we are caring) for existing and feeling guilty about it.
We have 3 kids. They need us. One is having a mental and physical health crisis before our eyes and we’ve essentially felt forced to neglect that to a degree we would not otherwise have done without this care burden (I know, no one can force you not to care for your kids as well as you want to . . . hopefully there will be no lectures here on that, but you know, life happens and our best intentions can get sullied).
The situation with mom is complex as my disabled sibling is essentially holding her home and only asset hostage by saying he will not and cannot move out (the latter is untrue, though it may possibly be his belief). I have been gathering legal backup to deal with that. But the whole thing has pushed us to our limit.
We have a board and care lined up for mom near my house, even while she declares she wants to go "visit" my brother and has said she might not come back (a friend has agreed to take her for a multi-day visit--I trust the friend but don't trust my mom to not just get unrealistic about the whole endeavor and fantasize that she can somehow make it work in her house when she was corroding there before I brought her here at the start of Covid to shelter in place with us). My brother was also trying to get her to change her trust and leave her house to him, etc. While she has been here he has pitched to me several times that she should get on medi-caid and go to a nursing home (she is not ready for that, functionally or mentally). He wants it so that she will not need her home, will not need to sell it, and so that he can continue as he is. He has other resources through the State, and if he pursued them he would likely raise vs. lower his standard of living. He just doesn't want to upset his status quo and he doesn't trust "the man" AKA the slight oversight of his potentially unsafe "lifestyle" activities that using his State resources might entail.
Anyway, not to get into the weeks with the situation. The point is, we've reached our limit. We must have her out by March 1st. Whether she goes to board and care or goes and devolves in her home, we need her out.
Any tips for burnout first aid? Whole-family compassion fatigue?
My kids have been over it all for months. They are 13, 13, and 17. The 13-year-olds want their chance at their own rooms finally but grandma is occupying the room. The oldest is about to go off to college (if healthy enough--but this situation may have pushed that child past a point that we can get them well in time--especially since we ultimately can't control their wellness timeline, I only know this situation with my mom has made it worse. Something my mom of course cannot understand even if she talks like she can. Her apathy is insidious and maddening.). We are grieving this lost time with our kids, etc, ect.
I am rambling. But my question stands: Any first aid tips other than the obvious of get her out.
Of course I will continue to advocate for her safety and wellness, even if from afar. I hope she ends up going to the board and care because it will be the best care for her and her only able-bodied child will be nearby. But if she doesn't, I'm going to have to let go of that. Even if it feels like this whole year of caring for her in our home, helping her get medical care, surgery, rehab care etc, will be in a sense wasted if she goes back to her house. And to the unhealthy situation there. I will try to prevent it, but she is not conserved.
So . . . any tips RE burnout and utter compassion fatigue? I hope you can avoid judgement—we did not TRY to bring this on selves.