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My in laws have moved in with us, because it became apparent to their daughters that they could not care for themselves. I am OK with taking care of them. But it is frustrating at times because they rely on me for everything. Even things they did for themselves when they lived on their own..(hanging up their phone, looking up phone numbers for them, shopping online for gifts for other family members, finding her a new watch, calling their bank, finding things they have misplaced, etc.) I understand that, but they expect me to drop everything. I am setting boundaries and working through the frustration. The problem is that I was trying to discuss it with my husband (their son), and vent while at the same time state my issues out loud so I can find a solution.. He became so angry and 'threatened' to tell them its not working. He was angry with me!! Of course that made me angry and I said, 'clearly you have no idea the work that goes into this.' He got even angrier. What the hell?? I didn't respond after that. I'm curious as to why he is not superbly grateful that I have agreed to let his parents move in, and I made their space lovely. I cook a beautiful meal for all of us every night. My mother in law is gluten free so that is even more work. I'm confused by his outburst, and by the fact that he 'threatened' to tell them they had to find other arrangements.. Does he think he's doing me a favor by having them here? Did he think I was going to back down and say, "oh please don't do that!" They are not my parents and I've been kind enough to treat them with loving care, and patience. I have worked very hard to make them comfortable and he yells at me? I don't want to cuss but I am feeling like a *&^%$ secretary, cook, house keeper, chauffeur, therapist, and social committee all at once. And to boot, after I was discussing our day, before he freaked out, he said, "just so you know, Im going sailing on Sunday. And I want you to take pictures." EXCUSE ME?????? (And it's Valentines day) #$%@&^*

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Frustrated, it’s great that you are finding ways to stand up for yourself. It could be even better if you could find ways to make your parents in law uncomfortable. The sooner they choose to leave, the better for all of you. DH wants them to be cared for, but what jobs could they do to help?

1) Is your MIL incapable of cooking anything, or organising clearing up the kitchen? You shouldn’t have to cook a ‘wonderful’ meal every night. What could they prepare themselves for all of you?
2) Could you and DH eat separately, at least once a week? Cook your wonderful meal with candle light etc for you and DH, but served separately – in your own area, or at a different time. Cook a very simple meal (eg pasta with tomato sauce) for parents in law. Boring!
3) Could you and DH eat out regularly, without them always coming along? You deserve it!
4) What else could they do – could FIL rake up leaves (or shovel snow), clean your car, mop the laundry floor.
5) Could MIL organise the washing? Or any other tasks?

All of these things are reasonable ways for them to contribute, and for you and DH to get your own married life back together, without passengers. If the parents don’t like it, THAT isn’t reasonable, and may encourage them to get back to Florida. Caring doesn’t mean abandoning your own lives in order to make them as comfortable as possible. Good luck!
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frustrated45 Mar 4, 2021
Thank you for your ideas and compassion Margaret,

I have given them tasks, which rarely get done. I will say that I am a bit impatient with allowing this to happen. My mother in law is to dust the floor every day (we have two dogs and as such, constant fur to deal with). She insists on simply picking the fur off of the disposable cloth and reusing it over and over, which becomes inefficient and
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So, I find that many of you are correct. It only gets worse. They depend on me for everything. Mostly my mother-in-law. Everything is urgent and a catastrophe. They keep saying they need to go back to Florida, which I am very happy about, to be honest. I know they will not be able to care for themselves, but they have the money for an assisted living facility. My father in law refuses to entertain that idea. So, I will not be miserable just to make them comfortable. That is my bottom line. I'm venting. I am a person who requires a lot of alone time, and my mother in law freaked out because I lock my door to our bedroom area. We have a master bedroom/bath area with a room that is just mine. NO ONE is allowed in, and we designed our house with that purpose. She insists that I leave the door unlocked, which of course I will not. It makes me feel so violated and disrespected to have people in my home who think they can tell me the rules.. I have not given in to anything, and I will not. But their lack of respect has my skin crawling and I want to flee. I hope that my insistence that they follow MY rules gets old for them. My husband told me tonight that I have to keep reinforcing the rules, but I just want to lock my door and say 'screw it'. But that means I will be shut up and they will have the run of the house. I do find, however, that they retreat to their room when I am locked away, then when I go out to enjoy my house they rush out. Again, I'm venting. I really just want my house back. We just moved in last May. We are in such a peaceful setting, but I am miserable. I do empathize with my husband, he loves his parents and wants them safe and comfortable (with me cooking dinner every fucking night.) So I told him tonight that I give it a month and if they are still here, we are hiring people to do everything. Driving them around for doctors, groceries, etc. I will not be responsible for entertaining them. And yes, they have another son and three daughters. And they are at my house sucking the life out of me. I did offer to give it a try. And I think that is very generous of me. But I had no idea of their decline, and the fact that my mother in law would demand my attention all of the time. It is a good thing I stopped drinking, because I'd have a stockpile in my room if I still drank. I don't know how else to explain how this all makes me feel except that I am uncomfortable in my house every day, all day long. F@#$
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Reply to frustrated45
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Thank you for all of the great perspectives and advice. I will say posting this allowed me many different views, which is appreciated. I have stepped back enough to realize a few things. First and foremost, it is never in anyones best interest to say, "F you" to me or anyone else. So we have dealt with that, or at least begun to. I have determined that I cannot be at my in laws beck and call. That is not good for me or them, as many of you pointed out. I am absolutely not from a subservient culture, I'm from the midwest, and lived for a while in California. I did have a very lucrative career, which I gave up (by choice) to be home with my children. I do enjoy caring for people and making a nice home. I really do, however, when that is not appreciated, I choose to make a nice moment, day, week, whatever I need to, for myself. So I did have a discussion with my husband, who is taking on a lot more tasks now, because of this outburst. I don't think that this is at all finished. His outburst and anger were so out of character, I'm wondering if, as some of you said, it is hard for him to see his parents aging and feeling troubled. This by no means makes his reaction acceptable. And I will still move forward with that reaction, meaning allowing more to fall on his shoulders. He is a very hard worker, and typically and great husband. Again, that is why this was so confusing to me. I have spent the week letting this situation settle in my mind, and have come to the conclusion that right now, I am stepping back to what I am OK doing. I will not go above and beyond what I feel like doing at any given moment. And if he speaks to me that way again, I will be out of here and on a plane to somewhere beautiful ASAP. That is my conclusion. Based on his typically lovely behavior, I will not hit the road based on that one incident. But he is aware that if it happens again, I'm on vacation. So at this point the ball is in his court. If he wants them here, he will have to step up and show me that he understands an appreciates my choice to help his family out this way. (Not being a martyr, or saint. It is something I typically enjoy, but not when I'm treated like its expected.)
Thanks again for the input. (smiley face)
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PandabearAUS Feb 19, 2021
Good thinking. Maybe he doesn’t really want them there at all. Do you really want them there? you have settled lives. Is it possible to build a granny flat or extension. Everyone needs their own space. Stick to you guns. Your husband must step up
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The only thing you can do is leave, and make him take care of them.
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Reply to NinjaWarrior3
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The first mistake of course was letting them move in but that is water under the bridge.

I would list some benchmarks in areas they need to change or they will get booted out to a living situation that is equipped to handle this.

I have found hard enough to care for my own mom, I would not want to be burdened like you are with a MIL
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Reply to Karsten
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Easy. You do less. Their son does more. Take a holiday for a couple of days. The rapid change in his attitude will be amazing and move them up to assisted living
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Reply to PandabearAUS
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The first mistake of course was letting them move in but that is water under the bridge.

I would list some benchmarks in areas they need to change or they will get booted out to a living situation that is equipped to handle this.

I have found hard enough to care for my own mom, I would not want to be burdened like you are with a MIL
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Is it possible that you are living in a culture where the son is responsible for parents, meaning son's wife will be doing the work? If so, might explain hubby's anger. The other possibility is what you said - he would have said no, but you welcomed them (so now he will look like the bad son if he asks them to leave).

He needs to be a little more involved because they are his parents (unless, of course, the wife is expected to do all of this from a cultural point of view). When hubby is in the room and they ask for something to be retrieved, get yourself out of the area and holler back at hubby - could you help your mom, please? I'm working on this or that. What does he do to participate in your household? The online shopping, banking, etc? He can do those things for them. --- Could you help your mom find a new watch online and order it for her?

When they ask you to do something for them that you know they can do, get them more involved in their own care. From their perspective. You used to take care of this yourself, if you stop doing little things you used to do, you will not be able to do them. Same as sitting in chair too long, the longer you sit, the less you will be able to do tomorrow. I want to see you both keep moving around, keeping your mind active, doing what you can so we can all continue to help each other. If either of you or both of you don't stay active, it may reach a point where I can't physically take care of you.
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Reply to my2cents
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Is English your first language or from what culture are you originally? I'm asking because your wrote a non-American phrase, "I'm curious as to why he is not superbly grateful." Superbly grateful." is a common google translate phrase for a region across the globe in a culture, that expects women to be subservient to everything male.
Thus far everyone commenting has been assuming that you're 100% from and within a typical Western culture. I'm thinking that you're from Dubai, living in the states, but still tied to a very restrictive culture, that carries enormous wealth, and penalties for non-compliance.
I'll need more cultural background b/4 answering, because expecting anyone to be "superbly grateful," is one of many cultural differences that might be happening,
Based on the wording minimally he originates from wealth, which might be his uper hand so-to-speak. Your background seems to be from a place, that requires catering to in-laws, if you fail to do so, you'll be penalized? It's a guess, but I'm familiar with it So the only thing that seems obvious is that his country club perspective expects women to be a perfectly compliant "secretary, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, therapist, and social committee all at once." Whilst understandably, you don't like being declassified and disrespected, as an overworked member of "the help."
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Reply to Screennamed
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Maybe he should take over the duties? For a little taste of the excitement?
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Reply to Chizzle
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Go on strike. That's what my SIL did. Before I became a part of the family, my SIL was primary caregiver to our MIL. She was always so patient unlike her sons. While the strike was ongoing, the three sons took turns doing things for her (dr. appts, grocery shopping etc.) It was actually funny, the three of them were terror stricken at SIL's strike. My SIL did go back and take on some of the duties, but the sons still had their turns. My husband ultimately appreciated SIL's strike and told her so after MIL died.

Unlike you though MIL had her own home. You'd have to go on vacation and leave your husband with his parents for a few days. Ideally he and his siblings "walk in your shoes".

If any of his other sibling aren't willing to take in their parents, then they should be aiding you. Does your husband feel guilty? Or did he decide this is to be your life's work? When he gets home, does he take on some of the duties/errands his parents ask of you?

Is there any way the two of you can sit and have an Honest, Quiet discussion. Say go out for nice dinner, just the two of you, then when emotions are calmer, talk. Together, set boundaries with his parents (rules of the house) and if you are busy they learn to wait patiently. Set up shared duties - what you do, what hubby does, what his siblings do. Would hiring a care giver a few hours a couple days a week be doable so you get time to yourself all by yourself or you and your husband together. If your husband is just dumping his parents off on you, then yes other living arrangements should be made.

When it was getting that MIL was no longer able to live on her own and discussions were going on within the family, I offered to my husband that we could move into her house - which was not the most realistic offer but I was willing to give it a try.

And I've previously posted that living with my father would have sent me to be committed and my mother living with my husband would also end up with her being committed. Not everyone can do in home care of their LOs. Good Luck
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Reply to cweissp
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Two things:

1. Marriage counseling.

2. Leave him home alone with them for a week or a long weekend.

Try both!
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Reply to Salisbury
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I would tell him that you have been working full time taking care of his parents and that everyone is entitled to have a few days off and that yours is starting tomorrow.  Pack a bag, get in the care and go somewhere.  Go visit family or friends or just go to a nice hotel and read a book.  Leave him to care for his own parents.  Let him know that since he didn't plan anything for valentines day you planned your own.

He's got it made in the shade....his parents are right there and taken care of and his wife puts a hot meal on the table every night.  His world is perfect.  Yours however is not.  I don't know why you agreed to this arrangement, but you need to tell him you have misjudged the situation and have changed your mind.

Just curious...why didn't one of your sister in laws take them in?
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Tell him you're leaving for a weekend, 4 days, whatever, to visit a close friend or relative who needs your help. (I know it's tough in times of COVID, but do what you can while staying safe). Then see how he does when he has to care for them alone. He's being manipulative to turn it into a situation where they have to move because of you. Or why don't his sisters pitch in?
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I am going through the same thing in caring for my mother in law. My husband bought his mom a beautiful home designed especially for seniors. She has dementia and doesn't even need to live alone. She moved in with us 9 weeks after falling and breaking her hip. She had used up her rehab days and the nursing home said at 93 she didn't qualify for permanent residency there. But, she should have been walking but she refused to get up. The real clincher was that I had just had a total hip replacement 13 days before she moved in!!!!! So I was taking care of her, carrying her meals to her and cleaning her when she souled the bed. I had no help. He continued to work and when he came home he didn't help either. My two grown children never once came so I could get out and go grocery shopping. I was a trapped lion!! Now, a year later she went back home, now falling and breaking three ribs. I have to go there at least once a day to set up her pills and keep the house clean. She is writing checks to every person who asks for a donation. Last month 2 checks totalling $175.00 was sent to some animal rescue and she is buying candy and junk from publishers clearing house cause she thinks they are going to give her a job and pay her $5,000.00 a week. I have to get there when the mail runs to destroy all the letters wanting donations. I get no break, and when I tell him what she is doing he gets mad at me for telling him!!!!! I am up to my neck with this, but I have her home health company looking for a placement in a home. Its all fine and good to transfer responsibility to your spouse but is it fair??? Its like "out of sight out of mind". I am not healthy, and what will he do when I can no longer take care of her? I live in fear she will fall and lay there till i go in the house or she will wander outside. We can't afford around the clock sitters or even night time sitters. We are spending more and more of our money for her while she gives it away, but if I mention it, my husband gets mad. I hope you can find help, but in fact there are more and more family members having to care for the elderly. We planned to retire next year and travel, but that's not gonna happen. I had to retire from nursing after 31 yrs because of severe arthritis. I have had multiple back surgeries which have me at least walking good, but I risk messing all that up. Maybe things will get better for you, and I pray they do.
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Oskigirl Feb 17, 2021
Have him take care of her. You need to take care of yourself. If he's too selfish, spend some time at your kids' house.
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Imho, tell him to take care of his parents.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I would tell him that you have plans away from the home to do an activity you choose to do and he is in charge. Leave some notes. When it is time to have him take over, remind him of your plans, and then leave for the day. He will have a new appreciation for what you do. These are his parents and his primary responsibility. He needs to step up. Plan more days off of caretaking duty if he needs more experience.
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Oskigirl Feb 17, 2021
Agreed, but I would do it for more than just one day as he can push off anything unpleasant for a day. Leave for a few days. A week. Whatever.
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When you go away for a long 3 day weekend (which you should do for your piece of mind), they may be wonderful with "their" son so be prepared. You may want to get a camera and place it so your husband can see what is going on. You can say you got it for security reasons so you could leave and still be able to check on them.
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Reply to Inez9618
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Go away for a long weekend with your friends and leave him in charge of his parents.
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Reply to Mollaroo6
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You are right to be bothered. My wife took wonderful care of my father, who was also an angel in his last years. I helped whenever a direct work conflict did not get in the way. I wonder if he is mad at his sisters. Anyway he is being both selfish and lazy in these last years. He needs to carry his load without galivanting off to his "play time" unless you get to be with him. No excuses for him. Start hiring home help and reserving time away for yourself. Do not ask for permission or forgiveness. You are carrying the load so he has no say in the matter except one of appreciation and hopefully participation. Your husband seems to think you are a doormat (at least some of the time).
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Another thought about Valentine’s Day. If DH thinks that you could take the day off from his parents to come and take photos of him, it probably shows that he has no idea at all about what they are demanding from you every day. Perhaps it also shows that he wants to spend more time with you having fun away from the parents. It might even be possible that he had planned a swim and nice lunch for both of you. If he suggests this again, it might be good to go along with it, and see how it plays out. It could be an easier alternative than you walking out for the day. At the very least, it creates a need for his parents to fend for themselves for a day.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Your situation reminds me a bit of my husband. We had a colicky newborn who cried incessantly from 3-10p.m. every single day for five months. My husband worked long hours, which included a fair amount of traveling, and when he came home, he understandably wanted a decent dinner waiting for him at the very least.

One day when he came home to find me frantically rocking the screaming baby and no dinner ever started, he finally said, "What do you DO all day??" so I decided to write it down.

The next day I kept a pad of paper with me all day, and I wrote down every single thing I did. He left for work at 6 a.m. and the baby woke up shortly after that, so I did, too. (I'd been up at 3:30 a.m. to feed her for an hour, too.) I kept track of everything I did -- and at what time to the minute I did it. I kept track from 6:30 until 3 p.m. when the colic would kick in, because we both knew nothing got done from that point on.

I discovered I didn't do one single task that lasted longer than 2-3 minutes without some kind of interruption, and that included eating, showering, and going to the bathroom. I presented that lengthy list of 8 1/2 hours of doing "nothing" to my husband, and he never brought it up again.

Over the years of raising three children with a husband who traveled much of the time, I learned to turn a deaf ear to the annoying comments -- like the one when he called from a lengthy business trip and said, "I am SO sick of lobster!" while we were eating Kraft macaroni for the third night in a row -- but the main thing is I made sure he understood that I was not a martyr and the job was not easy. I started venting in a journal, but I did tell him all the things I'd done in a day just to keep him up to speed on my lazy ways. ;-)

I suggest you, too, vent in a journal, but let your husband know EVERYTHING you do in a day, and let him know as well when (not if) you'll be taking days off to do things on your own.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Are you financially independent? How far you can enforce your boundaries may ultimately depend on that.
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Reply to Lightbeing
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I can totally relate to your situation in so many ways it’s unbelievable.
If I could relay one piece of advice, it’s to take as many caregiver breaks as possible until they move to a nearby facility. I had to put my foot down finally in my life even if I was sick. The sooner the better.
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Reply to Coleyne
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First of all, I understand completely your anger and frustration and disgust with your husband - I'd be the first to join you in that. I am guessing but I wonder if dementia and the usual aging problems are setting in now that they have a "maid" (you)....or is it just for their convenience because they are lazy. I don't know but perhaps a doctor could give some insight. I am horrified and sickened by your husband's reaction - that is horrible. Is he filled with guilt as he really does "see" what is going on but can't help himself or doesn't want to and doesn't know what to do? Or is he just a lousy, selfish, demanding husband? Only you can answer that but there is NO way I would accept this behavior from them (unless there was a dam good reason), nor from him. He should be supporting you. Sit him down and calmly state your case. If he starts yelling at you and not listening, just get up after telling him that as of this very moment, he is on his own with his parents. YOU are not lifting another finger in any way - and stick to that. Tell him to take care of them or find someone as a caretaker or place them but you have had enough - it has ended. Then disappear by doing something special for you, treat yourself to something special, etc.
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Reply to Rusty2166
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Let him do it. Stop being a doormat.
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Reply to TouchMatters
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Lots of advise, I have not read all the way thru. My first thought, when they ask you for something, direct them to ask their son..... maybe if they place more than necessary things on his shoulders, he will stand up.....
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Reply to babsjvd
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You appear to be suffering from being too good at everything. People let you do everything because they (and you) know you will do it better than they might. You have every right to be feeling the stress of this situation. You also have a tiny bit of blame for it. Your in-laws expect you to do everything for them because they know you will. You are probably a high energy person who loves to stay busy. Surprise! there is a point where even you can't keep up anymore. I agree with others that it is time for you to put yourself first. It may also be time for a little tough love for your husband and his parents. Don't hang up the phone for them. Don't look up the numbers for them. Tell them the book is right next to the phone.

Take that weekend off, and take part of it too make a list of things that you will not do for others. Practice saying polite versions of "do it yourself." You will need to practice because I doubt very much that you have said it very much.

You sound very much like one of my sisters, who always got stuck with more than her share of work simply because she was good at it and did it quickly. She still is and does and sometimes she is bitter about the whole thing. We all love her dearly, and we do help, but if she didn't hop right in there and get working right away the world would not come to an end. Practice sitting at the table enjoying your coffee for a while before you jump up and get at the dishes. Maybe smile sweetly and suggest that it may be your husband's turn to do the dishes. I raised my kids with this: "there is too much work in this world for anyone to get a free ride." You have made life too easy for your husband, his sisters, and his parents. Time to make them take their share of the work.
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Reply to LittleOrchid
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It seems perhaps your husband is in denial. Perhaps he doesn’t want to face what his parents are now going through. There getting older and he is now responsible for them. Maybe he just doesn’t want to face that? You need to get his sisters involved and let them know you can’t do this alone especially if your husband is not being understanding. Goodness, he’s acting like this now, how is he going to act when they actually become sick?? You have your life to live too! There needs to be a balance because caring for elderly parents is very frustrating and demanding and if you don’t have help IT WON’T WORK! His sisters need to come help at least one weekend a month and alternate, it’s only fair everyone contributes, plus it’s their parents! Sisters need to understand that after they have their weekend, once or twice a month they get to leave and go home. You don’t!! I don’t know about your in laws financials, but in ADDITION, THEIR money needs to be used to hire caregivers to help both of you get through this, if you don’t get help not only will your relationship w/ your husband suffer but so will your health. Lastly, perhaps your husband needs to see someone to help him get over his fears of what’s happening with his parents and this entire situation. His parents also should start seeing a Geriatric Dr., who specializes in aging people and this dr., is more flexible w/meds and dosages as their individual needs change for the rest of their life. Oh and if sisters live out of state etc., then they need to send money to help hire caregivers to take their place. Good Luck and God Bless.
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Reply to Moluv4
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Set healthy boundaries and make a list for every member of the family to contribute. Explain calmly, politely and firmly that they are not your parents but their so it is their responsibility to pick up slack and give you time for yourself.

If they refuse perhaps it is time for you to take a little vacation alone and let them experience what you go through. Inform them you will come back when there is a written contract on who does what.
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