Is it reasonable that, less than two years into marriage, husband's five siblings dropped mom off on us with little support?
Others who post questions have far more expansive problems, so thank you for any counsel you may offer. Please know that we understood the need for care when we took her on, we honor our obligations and responsibility, and we love and honor his mother very much, but here are some details and her mental and physical condition are degenerating.
I suppose I am just wondering if we have been totally hustled by his siblings these nine years and, given my own family's and child's needs, has her time with us run its course? Should we be more concrete in our requests (demands?) for support to his siblings?:
1. He is youngest of six siblings. One out of the country has full care of aged aunt. The rest live in the country and only one provides any support (see #4 below).
2. We were 35 and pregnant when we took her in due to husband's sister's divorce (she had lived with them for perhaps six years at that time, in her far more active and less dependent 70's).
3. That was nearly ten years ago and sister is now remarried, but it is not as though we expect her to "reclaim" mother even though her son is grown and the other siblings have no children. They are all in their 50's and 60's and three brothers in United States provide no economic or physical support.
4. Only sister provides any physical (NO financial) support, periodically (rarely) taking her for the weekend, but I can see the strain it creates on her husband so I know that will become even less frequent or even end. They have only done it perhaps 3-4 times.
5. Our own daughter is eight and her commitments/activities are starting to demand more of our time and finances (education, extracurriculars, etc).
6. I feel terrible about this, but my resentment towards my husband's siblings and even towards my husband himself is beginning to manifest itself in my interactions with him and attitudes about them. We are pushing nearly a decade of providing free support and care to THEIR mother. If she lived with any of them, I would insist that they at least accepted $200 or more a month from us for some kind of nominal support and as a simple 'thank you' for taking on this responsibility. They feel NO similar compulsion.
7. Since his siblings are substantially older than us by 7~25 years, it feels as though we will have two rounds of elder care, his mother now and my own parents (very viable in their mid-sixties) later.
8. My support for my own side of the family is reaching critical mass as my maternal grandmother is navigating advancing Alzheimer's (age 87) while my 90 year old grandfather provides the care he can with all the support of my mother and stepfather. My mother's mental state is degenerating as the challenges of caring for her parents intensifies and I provide all the support I can so she does not predecease her parents under the strain of Alzheimer's caregiving.
9. The reason I know it has reached critical mass for me emotionally is that I actually had a conversation with myself that went like this..."If I had known that marrying into this family was to mean beginning a caregiving career at age 35 (with little to no sibling support) that would endure into my own possible 70's with my own parents, I don't think I would have done it." I actually said that to myself even though my husband is amazing and I love our life together. I probably didn't mean it and it was thought under duress, but the fact that I even articulated that thought to myself was unsettling.
10. Since my husband's sister's husband went away for the month of June on a job, she actually took her mother to their home for approximately one month. They will return MIL to us next week. I feel no compulsion to fall over myself thanking her or feel deep gratitude for the 'break' since it's HER mother and we have had her for nearly ten years. I hate myself for feeling this way. I lament that, as soon as my husband shared that she will return next week, I felt an immediate "fight or flight" response that I suppressed straightaway.
11. Should I insist that my husband takes a harder line with his siblings regarding financial support? We are strained to the maximum financially because we were renting a home from a friend at the "family discount," but she had to sell. We had to find a rental that could accommodate four three adults and a child, but the (non "family discount") rental market in our city is superheated so our rental cost increased $600 per month when we moved last August. His mother provides a couple hundred a month in 'support,' but sends most to the church and/or her home country.
It would break my heart if my marriage ends because I am unable to afford to be in his family.
Give it to me straight. How would you advise, friends?