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He had declined rapidly and had been in a facility for over a year. This Friday is his birthday--he would have been 74.


He and I moved from WI to TX to be near family because I could not do it alone anymore. I moved in with my daughter and SIL and DH moved to a NH. Now that he is gone I still live with my daughter and her hubs. That is working out okay. Not great, but certainly doable.


MY daughter and her father were very close. Now that his birthday is near--we are all going out to dinner at a FANCY restaurant to celebrate--she is experiencing serious depression. She has a good job and works from home, but it is somewhat seasonal and now is the 'down' time, so it does not take up much of her time. Her husband is retired and stays home most of the time. In addition, his (unmarried) daughter X lives with us also, and her 5 month old baby boy. SIL is enraptured with the new baby. Understandable. But the daughter is a total slob. Everyone but her recognizes this and agrees that she is a pig, but the only ones who care are me and my daughter. SIL just shrugs and says So What? But picking up after her--she leaves crap around everywhere, both hers and the baby's--places a bigger burden on the rest of us. They are looking to move about 200 miles away so are searching that area for a new home, and go most weekends to scout the area. X is enrolled in nursing school and takes classes online. She actively resists having anyone care for the baby but her dad. She tolerates my daughter holding him, but I am not even allowed to talk to the baby. I know this is her and not me, so I am okay with that. But son in law sees my daughter's not being involved with the baby as a failure on my daughter's part--he does not sees that X excludes others from taking over baby's care. So he makes negative remarks to my daughter re: her un-involvement with the baby. So my daughter--who is a very strong woman, is experiencing depression and has used up her allotment for mental health therapy from her insurance. --3 sessions, which was not enuff anyway. She is sad and miserable. What can I do to help? I hate seeing her like this. I understand the situation, but I try to remain positive and upbeat, although I am still dealing with the loss of my DH myself.

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Not three generations here. Four is what I’m counting. Can’t forget the little boy.

As a couple, your daughter and SIL have had a couple of hard years. First her parents move to Texas so daughter could help you with care taking while she continued to work. Then SIL finds out he has a pregnant daughter X.

Daughter is preoccupied with her fathers care and has her mother living with them and the pregnant daughter also, I assume. That couldn’t have been easy for any of you.

Then her father, your husband, passes. Baby is born. New mother X sounds hormonal. The addition of the baby adds a mixed blessing to a strained household.

SIL has bonded with the baby and is finding his wife lacking.
She is dealing with the loss of her father. Her husband is not there for emotional support. That’s all going to the daughter X and the new grandson.

Ideally your daughter would have some stress free time.
Not likely to happen anytime soon. Even the normalcy of a job is not available as the job is located in the disfunctional home.

The young mother X is exploiting her position as the decision maker for the apple of her dad’s eye.

It sounds like its time for you to get your own life in order. The intense caregiving is done. You are not an invalid right? Are you planning to move with the family 200 miles away, back to WI. or stay in the town where your husband passed? Whose wish is it to move away? Was this part of a long standing retirement plan?

Do you have family back in Wi you could visit for awhile giving daughter an opportunity to get her life in order?

I am not trying to imply that you are the problem. You are probably a support for your daughter but is that where she should be getting her support?

The daughter X has a problem with you and she is calling the shots with her dad.

I assume you are on Medicare? You are eligible for therapy. Have you considered getting therapy? It might help you sort out your life and best steps forward. The healthier you are the better off your daughter will be. And don’t forget that you are the only person you have any control over.

Your daughter needs to be free to make the best decisions she can for own life. Often when we lose a parent or any loved one we tend to consider where we are in life.

She is at a pivotal point. Her career, her health, her happiness and her own retirement are at risk.

I hope for her sake she doesn’t choose to be an unequal partner.

Im sorry for your loss and I hope each person in your family finds a nurturing home.

Somehow you have to meld your separate lives if you are to live together. A little distance might help the real issues to appear.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Buying a new home in a new community never fixes relationships, but many people try and it is a costly mistake.

You very clearly state sil unmarried daughter that you do not feel like you are related to this women. In my family, she would be considered a granddaughter and her baby a great grandchild. How old was she when your daughter and her father wed? Does your daughter also refer to her as he husband’s daughter or as her (step)daughter? How does your daughter refer to the baby?

Therapy can be paid for privately. There are a great many relationships that need healing in this household.
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Reply to Tothill
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I agree, too many adult people living in one household. Seems funny that granddaughter doesn't want Mom involved with baby. Is Mom critical about how daughter cares for the baby. You know, too many suggestions. Was daughter always Daddy's little girl.

I think Dad needs to get on board. He also needs to tell daughter her mess is not OK. That she chose to have a baby out of wedlock and that she is no longer a teenager but an adult. As such, she doesn't leave the cleaning up for Mom and Gmom.

I have been there. My oldest had gson at 16. I stayed home to care for him (he was a preemie) so she could finish high school. She too went to Nursing school. When she came home, the baby was hers. I was raising my youngest who was 8.

Why a new house? Need more room? I would think twice going this root if there is turmoil in the marriage. This will just put stress on the marriage. Trying to keep house clean for showings is going to be hard too. This whole situation of 3 generations living there is not going to work longterm.

Is it possible for you to have a place of your own? Where I live there are nice HUDD apartments. They take 30% of your income for rent. Electric is not high. There is other low income apts that are reasonable.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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cwillie Feb 19, 2019
I'm reading this as the OP's daughter being a step-mom ("his daughter"), and that "X" only grudgingly accepts help from her step-mom and rejects the OP (step-great grandmother) completely - "I am not even allowed to talk to the baby".

I'm also thinking that it is the daughter "X" and grandbaby who are looking to move away.
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Land mines are everywhere in this family dynamic - grief, step parenting and the likelihood of long standing marital issues surrounding that, SIL (newly?) retired, multi-generational living. I think that there a lot of things I'd like to say to SIL and his daughter🙄 but it would be impossible to avoid those landmines. Stay out of this, don't even open your mouth to commiserate with your daughter if it means saying anything negative about the other two. Praise her for everything positive she accomplishes, encourage her to spend time putting her needs first, be ready to help in any way she asks (but don't jump in uninvited).
And just a suggestion - there might be a lot less resentment about the slovenliness of his daughter if the family chips in for a weekly cleaning service.
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Reply to cwillie
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Hmmmmmm…

This three generational living just never works out like the Walton's, does it?

When your son in law voices criticism of her not being involved with the baby, what does daughter say? Does she stand up for herself?

Is she confiding in you that this is what is depressing her?

Does she enjoy having you live with her and her husband?
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