I wonder how everyone feels about telling your children all that you are going through. My son lives 30 to 40 min. away and will always come if I call him for help if something breaks down. Other than that I don't hear from him in weeks. The other day I invited them ( son, daughter-in-law two teenage grand kids for dinner, he neglected to tell me it wouldn't be till almost 7pm before they got here, so when I called I told him it was too late, by then my husband, who has dementia was falling asleep. The next time I invited them over, my husband was having incont stools, so I cancelled again. He said, next time we talked, it was becoming a joke as to if they would actually make it over. I e-mailed him (my son) the following day after cleaning him (my husband) up, the toilet, the floor him, his clothes, and told my son every thing I'm going through and what it's like taking care of my husband. How does everyone else feel about what I did? I know my son has his own life and issues that he needs to deal with. I guess I just expect more support from him.

Find Care & Housing
Whenever we had guests for dinner it was always at 4:00, before sundowning was full speed. It was not often, because it was so difficult, all the extra.... Next time you want to invite your son's family set a firm time that fits with hubby's routine.

Nothing wrong with telling your son what all is going on. It might help him to understand a bit better. And maybe you will get some moral support that you so badly need.

Are you trying to cater to son's needs and schedule? You can no longer do that, it is all about your hubby now. Son has to understand that and so do you.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to gladimhere

I’m not sure why you’d be reluctant to tell your son that there are difficulties connected to caring for his dad that you haven’t previously shared with him.

Your son can’t really be expected to offer support if he thinks life for you is moving on as it always has. Unless he has a clearer perspective on how you’re living he has no way to reasonably decide if and how much he can do to help you more.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to AnnReid

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect more support from your son. That being said, it is unreasonable to have those expectations when he wasn’t even aware of the entire situation. All that aside, he knows now. I think it’s good that you told him. He’s an adult and there’s no reason to keep it from him. Sounds like he’s a good guy, helping you when something breaks down. I’m sure he will be more understanding in the future.
‘My heart goes out to you. Hugs!
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Canoe63

As children, we have no idea whats going on unless we r told. My brothers had no idea what my mother was going thru. So, yes, I think it was good u told son. No surprises.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to JoAnn29

I'm sorry it happened like it did, but I don't think that your getting everything off your chest was a bad thing.

Your son is interested in you and does care about you, but he is not a mind-reader and not he nor anyone else can grasp what full-on caregiving is like unless somebody explains! - so now you have, and that's good. It's a new *start*.

How did son respond to your email?
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Countrymouse
Jacalyn Nov 17, 2019
He said, honestly I don't know what to say. That was two days ago and I haven't heard from him since.
See 1 more reply
I think the 'kids' should be kept up to date and I also think we should have zero expectations about 'help' from them.

That way, if they choose to help, they can either ask what they can do or simply show up and help out. In fairness, I have asked very little of them and they have no idea how sick I have been.

My kids have been so disappointing in helping me with my bout of cancer. My son has just ignored me completely, and my daughters are all busy with small kids and jobs and such. They are under the VERY false illusion that their dad was helping and he has done next to nothing.

I'm far from bedridden, I'm just trying to recover from 6 months of chemo. My son expects me to show up for Thanksgiving for a week and when his dad or I say I am kind of really sick, he says "Oh, playing with the kids will be so fun for you!" Honestly, his kids won't put down their phones to talk to us.

But I do keep them up to date, so they can't say they didn't KNOW. Someday when they themselves have stuff like this to go through, they grow up and 'get it'.

And I have really good kids---I think I'm not unusual in this. Mom is ALWAYS healthy and in charge and putting everything together. They still don't 'get' how hard this has been, and how incredibly depressed I am.

Trying to learn how to take care of myself--I'm 63 and have never put myself first. It's a hard learning curve!
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Midkid58
againx100 Nov 17, 2019
That's so sad that your kids didn't help you out.
See 1 more reply
I don’t know if I understand your post. He isn’t a mind reader. How could he know unless you discuss it with him? Do you feel badly about telling him?

I am sorry that your husband is suffering. Hard for you and your husband to be dealing with this. How are you coping? Do you have any help? Can you contact Council on Aging to help?

How long has your husband been suffering? If you only recently told him give him a chance to process it. He is busy with his life, his wife, children, job, etc. Share your feelings and thoughts. If you have a good relationship, I am sure that he would want to know your situation.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Absolutely your adult children should be informed of what's going on. They can't be expected to act like adults if you don't treat them like adults. And yes to the poster who said that the schedule for visits has to revolve around your husband's needs now. I hope you do get some support from your son now that he knows the situation.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to CarlaCB

I have to say that I bet he is shocked by the decline and he will have to process the reality. But I guarantee that you did the right thing. Having a parent that doesn't share anything and then being called on in an emergency is just gut wrenching. You can't even prepare your head for the possibility of something big, then your eyeball deep in something that you had no idea.

Maybe they could bring takeout so it is easier for you and gives you a bit of a break, instead of more work feeding all them.

One thing I know for sure, I am willing to help if I am asked. Being told everything is fine, what do you help with?

I hope that you can get some help for caring for your husband. I am sorry that you are going through this, ask for help and be open, it will help your stress.

Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
gladimhere Nov 16, 2019
Have son bring in take out is a great idea!
Jacalyn, it sounds as though a big part of the problem is that you want to ‘entertain’ you son and his family and make it all nice for them. Then if it isn’t going to be like that, you cancel. That can’t be pleasant for them, as well as for you. Make the invitation “take us as you find us”. If it all goes well, that’s great. If it is difficult, that’s good too – they get to see what life is really like, and get some experience of helping to sort out whatever crisis they find. If Dad’s asleep, you’re exhausted and there’s no dinner ready, well that’s life!

Dropping the worst on your son and family in an email, pretty well out of the blue, could well come across as a criticism for him not knowing and not helping. Let them come, so they know and they find out how to help on the spot.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter