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So angry at taking care of my mother in law, what do I do?

I am right behind you. I have been taking care of mother-in-law for 12 years. I am 62. I have children 41, 41 and 21. Grandchildren 13,10,10. I have difficulty seeing them because I am so tied down. My grandchildren want to see me know, not later when they will be busy with their lives when they are older. Bonds are formed now. Occasionally, when I do see them, my husband stays home with his mother. Meanwhile, husband's sisters are going to plays in New York, skiing, vacations in Maryland, Cruises, trips with grandchildren all over US. Posting on FaceBook what a wonder time she is having with her "family". Becoming very very resentful. Arguing and fighting with husband. My husband has 2 sisters that have helped very very little. We always have to ask them to take her while we go on a vacation (2weeks) or take our son to College which is 1 overnight. (we were told 2 weeks vacation was plenty for us) They give us such a hard time and it ends up in a family fight! Husband's cousin stepped in and watched Mom for us for the 2nd week. They never take her for weekend, days, weeks, etc. Oldest daughter takes her to get her hair done once a month, then states this is her time with Mom, 2 hours with driving time, then comes to our house and I cook dinner for her!. And this is her contribution. I was taking her 2 blocks away before to hair dresser, Mom manipulated this deal to see her for the 2 hours. My mother-in-law is not bed bound. She can get around slowely, she is 86. They do not even bother to call her on holidays, thank her for money presents she sends. This Christmas we took her to my daughters for Christmas. They called our house several hours after we left for our 3 hour drive. (how convenient). Of course, Mom will not say anthing to girls. She feels bad, Marter type. I suggested writing letter, that will not happen.
Youngest daughter said we should just get people in to watch Mom and pay them. I really do not want all kinds of strange people tramping through my house. And the expense.....Mom has some money saved but we are trying to preserve as much as we can in case she needs more and specific care. They have already said they will not help financially either.
I can see this is going to get worse and worse. I complain too much and husband gets mad, after all, it is his mother. Somehow I missed taking care of his mother, for ever, in our vows. Any suggestions on how to handle this. I am becoming so angry, went to doctor to get atavan to control anger.
Status: Open    Dec 29, 2015 - 06:57 AM

Relationships, Caregiving

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Expert Answers

Jan 05, 2016 - 09:25 AM

We are treated how we expect to be treated. Your other family members know that regardless of how much you complain, you will do it. And, you do. They also know that you will pay for it if necessary. Because you will. Only when you make a plan to change yourself first will the others behave differently.

Although your mother-in-law is mobile, albeit slow, she is aging. And, each year after age 85 becomes more and more difficult. You may want to explore an adult day care in your area. If you were to do Fridays and Mondays, you could have a "longer" weekend to yourself.

There is nothing wrong with waving the white flag. Caregiving is a difficult, emotional activity.

You may want to convince your husband to consider a move into a local assisted living community. Some are more affordable than others, especially if she is mobile and continent. HAVE HIM work up a plan to divide "extra" fees among all family members on his side. Maybe $100 each a month would do it and it wouldn't be so financially draining.

Of course, it's your mother-in-law that feels she is a burden. She's part of the 'Silent Generation' who lived through the Depression, WW2, McCarthism, Korea and more. They were taught to "say something nice or don't say anything." They keep their feelings to themselves. But, this doesn't mean that you should sacrifice your life when others won't step up. At 62, it won't be long before you'll be in her place.

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Comments (12) | New Comment

By stelomath on Jul 23, 2016 - 08:12 AM | Like (1)  |  Report

This "expert" comment sadly lacks any compassion!

By vividly50 on Jul 27, 2016 - 05:19 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

agree with you totally. sadly, this is SO typical and common - it's sinful. this woman should be with her children and grandchildren. even after 12 years of being used and abused, if she stops cold turkey, the mother in law will survive. maybe she could leave her husband a note -- taking some me time -- call an agency for your mother. 12 years is enough

By lmadietrich on Sep 08, 2016 - 09:28 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Think carefully before moving an aging parent into your home. It can severely affect the level of care they receive later due to finances. Aging in place in their own place is a good start.

By cecygm1980 on Sep 12, 2016 - 08:59 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Hi I'm 35 years old with two children 18 and 12 I have been caring for my mother in law for the last 15 years on and off and now living with me for the passed 8 -9 years it's not easy I have t been able to enjoy life with my kids because we are always stuck in the house we can't go no where with my mother in law because she pees all over herself and poops and when she does that it's a huge mess I clean her I bathe her I feed her I do everything for her im the daughter in law not her daughter and I just see this as unfair she has a daughter in the same town as I live and she don't even bother to help out or even visit her I lost a xxxx good job to care for my mother in law I was making 1600.00 /2weeks and went from that to 0.00 😞 Not fair her family don't help and yes I know my husband is my mother in laws son but you know what still it's just not fair at such a young age I had to give up everything and I mean everything there are times we can't pay rent because things just get to expensive with buying her diapers pads wipes etc I feel like I'm going into depression I cry so much no one understands me I've been under so much stress I've been having pains in my left side scares me at times because I don't know if it's my heart or not I have literally let myself go I haven't gone to a doctor because how I have no help from no one

By dlovely2 on Sep 17, 2016 - 09:26 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I have a question not a comment I just started taking care of my mother-in law 6 months ago I have a 12 year old who is very active, a husband that's here but absent. We have a provider that comes for 4 to 5 hours a day , my question. Is do I let the provider cook in my kitchen I already feel as though everything has been taken from me because my mother in law has moved all her plants and some of her belongings here so she can feel comfortable, I know it may sound petty but how do I cope I am used to having my own space . Someone please help . In my feelings

By donttreadon on Oct 14, 2016 - 08:11 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Twelve years! Wow I am just at four years and sometimes fear for my sanity. Unfortunnately my husband doesn't have siblings to help out. My mother in law still has eight years on her mortgage, really has no savings or real assets and het pension is too high to qualify for medicaid and not enough to pay the monthly nursing home cost, can't even afford respite stays and bately adult day care. I am 56 and barely get to enjoy time with my young adult children and my two young grandkids. I pray fora miracle cure for this disease or my mother in law just passing on. In the mean time I drink more than ever have and am angry and depressed. I feel for this woman and all these other care givers.

By vividly50 on Oct 14, 2016 - 01:37 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

there is help 'out there', supposedly. though i personally have not had luck with outside sources.

does your mother in law have any religious or other affiliations that would or could help even in a small way? (she probably will resist help from anyone but you), but (from personal experience) she'll most likely at least pretend to be gracious if someone just 'shows up' to spend time with her when no one else is there. my old boss once told me, 'valerie, put yourself on the back burner -- they need you.' that kept me going for quite a while.

By skellyk50 on Oct 17, 2016 - 09:50 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

I've take care of my mother in law for 20yrs and now I'm having to take care of my father in law when can his children take care of him. I have my dad that needs me I'm so upset with this family it's killing me. The only daughter told me it was my job to take care of her parents. I didn't marry her or her family just her brother. When do I get to morn my mother's death never because she has mourned her mother's for 6yrs. Mines been dead for 16 yrs. But I know the ones that haven't been there for their parents morn long because their conjences are get to them. But when,do I get to spend time with my only living parent. I want to see my dad but I can't because I'm taking care of theirs.

By dmcbland on Oct 19, 2016 - 05:14 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I managed senior housing for several years, so I met the family members of our senior tenants (this was not assisted living, rather these were apartments with rental subsidies). Let me be clear -- I'm a woman, I have been the full time caregiver of my father with cancer, I admitted my mother to a nursing home, and I have a ton of experience on this thread's subject. The first thing I am going to say to all of you is this: STOP BEING DOORMATS. Your husbands are supposed to be handling care and scheduling of that care for their mothers. YOU are supposed to have a job, not live in poverty because everyone expected you to step in as caregivers, and you have your grandchildren to love (and spend time with!!). I have a grandson now. There is no way that my ex-husband would have ever expected me to take care of his mother. HE did all of that. He wanted me to raise our son, to raise the children from my first marriage, and to keep my job -- we needed my paycheck! So here is how I suggest some of you start changing your situations:

1) You have no obligation to be the full time caregiver of your mothers-in-law. There is no law in any of your states forcing YOU to take on that role. You DO have the obligation and right to tell your husbands: FIX THIS PROBLEM, ARRANGE care for your mother, I must keep my job/get a job, be a grandmother, get out of my house for vacations, and NOT receive postcards from your relatives about THEIR great holidays. If you do not assume responsibility for YOUR mother, I will not either -- you will see me walk out the door tomorrow in a suit, off to a job interview, or off to visit my own blood family, and if that xxxx you off, too bad. I am not your slave and I did not marry you to have my entire life end in order to stay home and clean up your mother's body. She is a wonderful person, but professional help and the help of your siblings is in order. I am not your slave. When you are in the mood to act like her son and do what YOU are supposed to do, give me a call. (and then leave the house -- go visit a friend, visit your grandchildren, etc). Your husbands are ENTIRELY wrong for dumping all of this on you, BUT, you are also ENTIRELY WRONG for allowing them to do this to you. Stop with these paragraphs of self-sorrow and ACT.

Here is the bottom line. You fear your husband and his family's anger. Guess what, they're going to be angry -- until you fire right back at them and TELL them it is NOT your job to be THEIR mother's full time caregiver. Who put them in charge of your life? Get off this self pity train and stand up for yourselves.

If your husbands and the rest of her family have meltdowns because you stop breaking your back to care for THEIR mother, too bad. That's another thing you all need to do -- and I saw this work again and again and again. No divorce judge is going to punish YOU for demanding that your husband arrange care for his mother. A lot of husbands do that -- they go berserk and threaten to divorce wives who won't be their caregiver slaves any longer. So what? Let your mother-in-law's adult children have their temper tantrums. Leave the house and take care of yourself. Go see your personal physician, tell him/her what is going on, get help for your stress and your physical needs. You need to grow a backbone, ladies. This sh*t will not end until YOU end it.

And no, your mother-in-law will be fine. Call elder services in your country, make an appointment to meet with them, and tell them that you are unable to care full time for your MILs any longer due to YOUR own health issues now (stress and depression in care givers is absolutely common and they will know why you have the issues that you have).

I pinned down many, many, many adult children of our tenants who marched into my office to raise hell about something that the one other in-law or niece or whoever didn't do for their precious mother, and then I freely told them "You are never here. It's not that person's job or my job to take care of your mother/father. This is not assisted living. This is not a nursing home. No one is obligated to take care of your mother here. Either you do that, or you make arrangements to pay a person who will do that."

Stand your ground. If some of these other relatives start yelling and fussing at you, tell them to shut up. It's your house, your life. They do not run it. Your husbands are being complete jerks -- own that and face it and fix it. Some of you wrote "I'm having to take care of..." and who said that? WHO said, what LAW says, that YOU have to do all of this work with a person who not even YOUR mother or father? Seriously, why are any of you allowing this to be done to you?

People who use you will use you as long as you let them. Get a grip. Stand up for yourself. If people get mad at you, so be it. Let them have a fit. Tell them to leave your house and tell them you'll call a lawyer if they harass you. Tell your husbands to pick up a %&#@( phone and make appointments with people to arrange care for HIS mother. YOU need a job, a life, and your own health to be maintained, and from what I'm reading, some of you are letting these situations drag on for 10 years? 20 years? Who put other people in charge of your life?

Really, ladies, you might not like what I say, but it's the truth. I have seen NO exceptions to this truth. It's real life that has unfolded in front of me. Women took their lives back by standing up to people who were sitting on their heads and "making" them do things they literally could no longer do. STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES!!!

One last thing -- if your husbands leave you or threaten divorce because you suddenly grow a spine, so be it. That is certainly not a man who loves you or respects you. Get on with your life without him. No divorce judge is going to punish you for not taking care of HIS mother full time.

By casperh04 on Oct 26, 2016 - 06:19 AM | Like (1)  |  Report

I am orig post. Thank you for much good advice. Update, Talked to MIL told her how angry I was with her because she would not even talk to her daughters and ask them why they did not want to spend time with her, (Are they mad at her for something she said or did, are they mad at their brother? We have asked but can not get answer) or if she could not do that, then at least tell them how unfair they are to their brother and me. No what does she do, sends them money that she cannot afford. I told my husband that he needs to monitor checkbook, she has been making mistakes lately.

I have sat down with both of them and told husband and MIL that I am going to spend more time with my grandchildren. Several weeks ago, I went to VA, left Friday afternoon, came back Sunday afternoon, a 3 hr drive each way, husband started calling me, wanted me to come home a day earlier. He said he had too much to do with work. He seems to get snippy and sarcastic when I come back from visits. I told him, keep it up and I will turn Around and go back down. That is totally not fair that I have to endure this.

We are acting as an assisted living place. Two weeks in a row, I wanted to go to a local town festival, just to get out for a few hours, he would not go, made excuses. I will have to start going alone. But going alone does not do anything for our marriage, so I am starting to resent this too!

DMCBLAND your comment really hit me.

I had another talk with husband, person from place with mom had a talk with him. He agreed to go see a local assisted living. She is a little short of money to qualify for entering. They want 3 years of guaranteed payment. She is a little short, i.e. 4.8k. But does qualify for veterans benefits her husband was in Korean War. I spoke to another one which was cheaper, but it was 22 miles away. The first place was very nice. One problem discussed, if she lives past the 3 years and does not qualify for a nursing home, then what do we do? I think husband is using that as excuse. This process has now stopped, he says he is too busy with work this time of year.

Also, talked to places about respite care, they say it is available, but the hopes you have to go through, doctors examination, doctors, note, paperwork for each place and then all based on availability, so I will probably have to register with a bunch of places and see if any have a ability at that time. Pretty difficult if plane tickets and hotel reservations are involved. Any tips on this would be helpful

Thank you

He has written letter to sisters, but has not sent it. He says it is good oing to create a sh*t storm, I said so what, let the poop begin. Letter basically says, that the three of them are resoponsible for their mother, not me and they need to make decisions. The real truth, when he sends the letter, things will have to be started and de died. I really liked your comment - who put them in charge of your life...well I guess I allowed them to. They are making me to do something that they are not willing to do themselves....so why am I?

I am 6 years older than husband, I feel like my live is on hold and actually waisting it away. Which makes me furious. Also found out the medication I was on, Buspar and Atavan, which cause dementia, so I stopped taking that. It reduces Acetylcholine in brain, lots of info on drugs that reduce this chemical.

I am going to make appt with family doctor, I do not know how much more I can take. Also, several friends my age have recently died, that is putting a reality on this.

By radhathijm on Nov 14, 2016 - 07:25 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

It is a life-honor, a lovely -life- opportunitie to be able to help. Especially a mother in old age.
Mothers took care of us when we were born.
A Morher in law is the mother of the husband, because of her you have your husband.
One day we will be old too, and you don't know how and what... because you are doing this divine act: caring, giving, loving of a mother( in law) God will multiply your blessings for generations to come... to your kids, grandkids...
See and watch.
That what you give, comes back in multiple times... that is the circle of life. All rolls back to love.
What you are doing is watched by your kids, your grand kids, and that is the best rolmodeling ever.
Compassion, love & patience as a care giver, even for a family is a Godly Character

It doesn't mean though, that you should do all the work, talk to other fam members to take turns...because you do need rest and recharge as well.
Caring for a mother is a team duty, not work, with love, compassion and patience .
God bless.

By joann.luksich on Nov 29, 2016 - 02:20 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

Have MIL staying with us now for 2 years. I do work, I do take time for family, and for myself. She is able to function, although hygiene is lacking, and guilt gets me as I feel she needs company after I am at work all day. However, my husband does help. He tries, we'll say that. Assisted living is atrociously expensive, and would take all that she intends to leave as inheritance to husband's family. Some relatives won't help, some are too far away. But in the end, I know it's the right thing to do. You just have to find balance. It's your life too.

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Jan 06, 2016 - 03:11 PM

First let me start off by saying, I totally understand, been there... however, what I've learned is that we teach people how to treat us. My brothers-in-law stayed far away when their mother and father became afflicted with dementia. We had a family pow-wow. Set up a conference line for all those out of state. You cannot move your mother-in-law around like a piece of heirloom furniture, but they certainly can come to you since she lives with you. In addition to that, create a bank account that everyone is expected to deposit into so that a caregiver can be hired. Let them know that as of X you are not the caregiver. It's tough love, certainly, but it has to occur. You can also look into having your MIL move into an appropriate senior living community, again with everyone paying for it. There are also communities out there that offer respite care (the respite is for YOU, however, your MIL will live there for a while, short term). There are also lending companies that allow of multiple people listed as guarantors. If you're afraid it may come down to an argument, ask your pastor or minister to sit in, or engage a senior living advisor for assistance. I hope this has helped.

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By ntcnat82 on Oct 13, 2016 - 03:17 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

My 74 year old father in law has always been a very stubborn man. 4 years ago, he first moved in with us as he was having problems with his third wife. He immediately started bad-mouthing and insulting every relative that came nearby. He is very racist, misogynistic, and manipulative. He has 3 daughters and 1 son (my husband). None of his daughters want him in their lives as he has been very abusive to them. He has tried to get my children to refer to people by their skin color; which I found deeply offensive and unacceptable. My husband is from the US and I am from Cap Verde. My father in law makes fun of my family and claims we just “sit in the US” (I am a supply Chain Manager, my sister is an Attorney, my older brother is a Sr. manager at an aerospace firm and volunteers as a rescue pilot when he can. My younger brother is a graduate student and also works part time) My siblings and I are all naturalized US citizens. I really don’t see where the “just sit in the US” came from.
3 months after my father in law moved in with us, he started calling our son, his grandchild, derogatory names and I complained to my husband. My husband asked his father about the incident and he got verbally aggressive and called me names too. Things went downhill between my father in-law and me from there. I did not want him in our house and I made this clear. My husband finally agreed that he had to find an apartment. He left out of the blue one morning without saying goodbye and gave my husband the silence treatment for about 6 months. We later found out that he had gone back to Tennessee.
Almost 2 years to the day he moved out, he fell off a ladder and hurt his ribs and right lung. He needed surgery. While he was in the hospital he was so aggressive and combative that the staff called security to his room several times. After he left the hospital, he needed help getting around but was alone even though one of his daughters lives 25 miles away from him (We live in California). My husband felt bad for him and asked if his father could move back in with us to recover from his ailments. I said yes and insisted that it be temporary, 8 weeks.
My husband flew to Tennessee and brought him back about 2 months ago. The week-end he arrived, he started bad-mouthing everybody in front of the kids. I calmly told him I did not want to listen to any of it. I have started to notice that his mental abilities have changed for the worse. He has always been a tortured soul who spits out hatred to feel better, but there is something else going on now. He has become filthy, does not bath, and hardly washes his clothes. He eats and keeps old food in his room and leaves toothpick and trash all over the house. His room smells really bad and I found ants in there this morning. He also wets around the toilet every time he uses the restrooms in the house. I have to clean the house twice a day on top of working full time and taking care of 2 kids.
My husband took him to the Hospital 3 days ago because he was complaining about having trouble breathing and a stomach ache. The physicians determined that he had pneumonia after doing some tests. He spent the night at the hospital but got very upset the next day and asked us to come get him right away. While he was in the hospital, the doctors told us he was not mentally stable and they had to get security to his room several times. We were going to have him see a psychiatrist but he threw a fit. He sees conspiracy everywhere and tells so many lies. Basically he left the hospital without finishing his treatment or getting a prescription slip. He still has pneumonia and moans mostly during the night and early in the morning.
His daughters want nothing to do with him. My husband and I work full time and have 2 children. I usually get home before my husband so I have become the care taker by default. This is very exhausting. I have to cook, clean, review homework, and drive my kids to soccer and basketball practice, then, I need to make sure my father in law has everything he needs. I also have to clean all his mess. This is very stressful and irritating. I always runaround and deal with headaches all the time.
My husband seems to be in some kind of denial. I have told him so many times that he needs to follow up with his father’s Medicaid and get him to the doctor ASAP. He keeps saying he will do it but nothing comes of it. He does not say “no” to what I suggest; but he never follows up (cleaning his dad’s room, washing his father’s clothes, or helping him make appointments). His father gets combative when we talk about doctors and says they all want to kill him or rip him off. He claims he needs to be taken to the hospital urgently yet, asks to get picked-up right away after he gets there. This situation is affecting me terribly and my blood pressure is high even though I am 32. I jump from one chore to the next after work while my husband watches TV or sleeps because, “he needs to relax”, Excuse me, what? His father has been very rude and disrespectful to me since day one and I now have to take care of him alone?
I have decided to sit him down and put an end to this circus. I am not going to ruin my health over this.

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Voted Best Answer

Jan 03, 2016 - 06:58 PM

Some long term care facilities or Assisted Living facilities have Respite care, which would allow you to leave you mother in law in a safe environment for a week or so. Once she got to know the place, it might be a vacation for her as well. We had been looking for Assited Care facilities in our area when we came across this possilbity. It is generally so much less expensive that paying for someone to come into your home.
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By grandmamoses2005 on Jun 11, 2016 - 06:20 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I live in Stafford va. Are there any Assisted Living facilites with Respite care in my area or near by?

By Angel on Jun 13, 2016 - 08:10 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

If you have questions about senior living communities please feel free to give us a call at 866-568-2989. One of our knowledgeable Senior Living Advisors will be happy to explain the senior living and care options available in your area.

By campbelldaroga on Jun 13, 2016 - 10:02 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I would go by each one in the area and talk to a person who you think will give you the best information . Ask if they specifically offer it at their facility, and if not, would they have any recommendations I find you get better information if you go in person with pen and paper in hand Good luck

By usheroes on Oct 15, 2016 - 06:24 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Do you and your husband have Power of Attorney? If not, go see a lawyer and have one drawn up. They are not very expensive. It is YOUR husbands responsibility, and I agree with a previous writer that people will run over you IF you allow it. In my situation, I have become stronger than I have EVER been! Mostly because I've been overwhelmed enough to say something I would have never said years ago- lol.

Once you have POA, you can get a "Doctor's opinion", and share it with his siblings. The "Doctor" said, "She needs more care than you can giver her, and in that event, you need to hire a caregiver, therefore, it is the responsibility of all siblings to pitch in the funds to hire someone." This should come from your husband (unless you have a better relationship with them). If they are not available for care (as you are), then they can help financially.

Contact local churches and tell them of your needs. The local church found a wonderful woman that works for $10 an hour! She's retired and can't have a large incomes, so it worked out perfectly! Many won't work for that low an amount, but if you have financial help from siblings, you can afford Visiting Angels or someone from a local facility that can come to give you breaks. Your M-I-L might appreciate some time away from your home as well. If there is conflict there, it is probably weighing on her as well.

In my situation, I use the e-mail to my advantage for this. Every family, unfortunately at our age, has to wake up to the reality check that a parent is aging. I hope all goes well with you and love that we can share on a forum like this. It is helpful to be able to hear of someone that is going through the same things. :)

By celmarie1994 on Nov 30, 2016 - 10:27 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

I, too, am going through a very similar situation. My mother-in-law has been living with us for almost the past 1 1/2 yrs. She began living with us after she fell down her outside stairs & broke her wrist. After taking her meds and meals to her while she was still living in her apartment, we began noticing she was giving us a lot of incorrect info, like she would tell us she had taken her meds every night that we'd call her before bedtime, however, the next morning, when we took her breakfast, we'd find her meds still there on her table. When we asked her what she ate for her previous meal, she would say something that was not available to her (remember, my husband and I were the ones taking her all her meals). In other words, she was making up her answers. It was so very sad when we then cleaned out her refrigerator & what we saw in there was the saddest thing. There was food in there, jars, milk, etc. that was so old, that there were gnats both in the fridge & freezer. We then realized she could not live alone any longer & she moved in with us. It turns out, she has frontal lobe atrophy but there is no diagnosis, as of yet. One thing you gotta know about my mother-in-law, she was a well educated world traveler, she worked for the government & had lived all over the world, in Yemen, Japan, Egypt, UAE, Slovakia, Slovenia, etc. Although she was a super successful business woman, unfortunately, I cannot say the same about her being a Mom. She birthed 5 children. Her eldest, my dearest brother-in-law passed away when he was 41, 2 months after she had donated one of her kidneys to him. Let me back up...my husband & I have been married for 25 yrs, so I have known my mother-in-law for about 27 years. My husband had mentioned to me, nonchalantly, how his growing up years were...but it never really sinked in....until now.
My husband was the 2nd oldest. When he was in middle school, numerous times, he was tasked with taking care of his mom due to her many problems, such as trying to commit suicide, drinking, etc. So, he had to miss a lot of school. Why was he the one tasked with this? Well, his dad had to work and his older brother was away at school. The other 3 children were not born yet. When my husband was in high school, after his parents divorced, my mother in law took a job in Mexico MEXICO, I may add. So, she moved to Mexico. By this time, she had had 2 more boys, age about 4-5 yrs of age. But she left my husband to live ON HIS OWN, in their home. By this time, my father in law had married another woman so I guess he did not really think about his high school son living on his own being any big thing. I can somehow understand why a dad would let this happen, BUT WHY WOULD A MOM LEAVE HER CHILD like this? My husband was 15 yrs old, had to get a part time job to feed himself. Oh sure, his parents made sure the bills were paid to the house but my husband had to do everything else. He had to lie on a job application at Skillerns Drug Store so that he could get a job. He had to get it worked out with the principal at his school to allow him to go to school half a day so that he could work the other half....at age 15. When he was 18 yrs old, after graduation, she asked him to go pick her and his 2 brothers up in Mexico, as she was moving back. She did not even attend my husband's high school graduation. That is so messed up. So, needless to say, my husband never had a relationship with his mother until he and I were married and had our son. My husband was then, 30 years old. Does my husband care for his mother? Sure he does, but it is not a mother/son relationship as some people have the privilege to know but rather it is out of respect.
Now, that we are tasked to fully care for her (my husband is age 52 and I am 50), he & I are both having trouble trying to understand why we are in this situation. Of course, we have good days & bad days. Not all of them are bad. He is taking care of a woman who really did not take care of him and who had abandoned him. To top it off, we have no relief, whatsoever. Although my husband has 3 much younger siblings, none of them have contacted her; not on her birthday, not on Mother's Day, not on Thanksgiving, not on Christmas Day, nothing. It would certainly be nice to be able to have our privacy, or at least 1 weekend away alone by ourselves, every once in a great while. Just to go to dinner alone would be awesome....but no one offers to take care of her. Does it not even cross my husband's siblings minds???? Frankly, I think they do not want to be asked to do something, so that is why they do not call her or us. You see, we have 1 child, age 22 & away at college. We were empty nesters for nearly 2 years. However, my mother in law is like our child now. I administer all her meds, my husband cooks her meals, my husband takes her to all of her many doctor's appointments, while running a successful business. She had 15 doctor's appointments in July 2016. There have been several visits to the ER due to her having trouble breathing, pain in her chest or dizziness. However, these pains are caused by her COPD & expanding lungs. But we can never take a chance--we have to take her to the ER everytime she has an episode. This year, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It would have been nice to be able to plan a trip, but we couldn't. This year, our son graduated from college in OH. We live in San Antonio. It would have been nice if we could have taken our road trip to OH without worrying about my mother in law along the way. We had to call EMS after our first day of being on the road for 12 hours, she had a hard time breathing while we were walking back to the hotel from the restaurant, that was just next door. What should have been the most celebratory time in our lives, so far, turned out to be a time of constant caring for my mother in law. No, I am not complaining (am I?) but simply do not understand why we are in this situation. To top it off, my mother in law smokes a pack of cigs every 2 days. ALL of her doctors have told her she needs to stop; we've told her. However, that is her only vice. She refuses to stop. Doctors say she needs to stop intaking caffeine...but she refuses to stop that. Again, smoking & drinking Coke and coffee is what she does. In the past 1 1/2 years, her condition has made her extremely frail & feeble. It is sooo sad. Although her long term memory is spot on, she has trouble remembering new information...and she repeats many questions over and over. Her cognitive thinking is not good. So reasoning & analyzing just are not something she can do consistently. But ask her things about the past, she knows them well & is accurate. We know, from researching her symptoms that her condition will worsen and will not get better. She is regressing and we can see it. I tell my husband that we need to seek therapy. We do not have time or energy to hang out with our friends any longer. Plus, we are no fun because 'this' is all we talk about; this is what we do, 24/7. I feel guilty feeling like this but a little relief would be such a tremendous help. I have had 5 friends tell my husband and I that they would be happy to take care of her anytime we would like to have personal time....but we feel that is not right. Why should someone that does not even know be taking care of her? The people that should be stepping up to the plate are not. I am taking care of your mother. A little help would be appreciated!

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Jan 04, 2016 - 07:50 PM

I can understand where you are coming from. The first thing you need to do is seek counseling with a psychologist for your own sanity and health and deal with your anger. Anger can only hurt your health and is no good for this difficult situation. I am a mother-in-law in a simular situation. My best answer to you is to forge a closer relationship with your husband's mother and let go of all your anger. It can only kill you and your marriage. Lay out all your cards on the table with your husband and his mother about how you feel about the situation with your children and grandchildren. There are people around that will babysit for you and won't break your bank account, so you can leave and enjoy activities with your children. Remember his mother is not the bad guy. She is probably heartbroken that her girls won't help her and scared about what her future holds because of you. She is having a hard time dealing with your anger toward's her. Put yourself in her shoes for a little while, it might help you to get a different perspective about your situation. You know Paternal Grandmothers almost always get a raw deal.
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By campybj on Jul 23, 2016 - 06:21 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Although my situation is similar, it is different in that I care for my spouse with dementia. How long this has been going on is really undeterminable - ie. when did it begin?? I am only 4 yrs. younger than he, but in much better health, in fact excellent health, and I never wanted to give up golfing, playing cards, lunching with my friends, bicycling, etc., but I have HAD to do all of that. I feel I cannot afford to have a caretaker come in more than twice a week for about 3-4 hrs. So, I HEAR YOU VERY WELL!

In spite of the fact that I do not have better answers than those already given, I feel compelled to say that most all of the ideas suggested take TIME, which a person in your position does NOT have. People are always suggesting this and that to me, but no ideas on how I get that done. I, too, get very irritated and bitter at times. I try not to complain, but it is impossible to continue that way. RE. the statement that there are people around who will babysit - yes, they say "call me", but no one really comes around to talk to you or visit the patient, do they??

Thanks for the opportunity to vent and I pray that you will find relief from your situation.

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Feb 06, 2016 - 09:27 AM

OMG!! Do I understand this! I'm also taking care of a MIL . I'm 63 & retired due to multiple back surgeries. I was a medical professional. The problem with my mother-in-law is that she is just evil. She never has been a nice person. And 3 o'clock seems to be the drinking hour for her. Scotch straight up to ice cubes.!!
Saying that you want to be treated how you treat people is one thing, applying it to someone who could care less is really difficult. I'm told "if I want something I'll let you know stop talking to me". I thought I was losing my mind. My husband and I had a heart-to-heart, he does help and she will only listen to him. My saving grace was having someone come in twice a week to give her a shower. I was exhausted from the fight of showering. My sister-in-law finally stepped up and will take her for a month at a time. I am starting to check out adult daycare for her, hopefully, that will help me to!
There is a lot of rage and anger when dealing with this problem. I'm open for other answers also! Try granny nannies. That's who I use.

Apr 22, 2016 - 11:11 AM

I'm of a bit harsher mindset when it comes to dealing with people who "flake out" on their responsibilities. This is your husband's responsibility and seems he thinks it is up to you because you are a woman, as many men do. His sisters need more involvement. Ask him how he'd do after you're divorced and which sister he'd have to impose upon for help and see if that doesn't light a fire under his butt. Good luck to you!
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By shinelj on Jul 23, 2016 - 04:11 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

The Bible says your husband and his sisters have the duty to take care of their mother, not you. Don't continue to let them use you. My husband is a great help to me in the care of my 85 year old mother who I had to put in a memory care facility due to dementia. It was the best thing for her and me!!!!!! Check into a assisted living facility and her eligibility for Medicare and or Medicaid for help with expenses. My only sister lives a thousand miles away so she cannot help me with day to day matters. The Bible also says we reap what we sew. I will pray for your situation to get better soon!!!!

By stephanie.jackson.1270 on Sep 05, 2016 - 06:51 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I can relate to all of these stories. My situation is slightly different. My MIL has Alzheimer's disease and she lives out-of-state. My husband has POA for her but I do ALL the work. I make ALL the decisions and he just goes along with my suggestions. Do I like this set up...no way! I am growing resentful that my husband and his family defers to me instead of HELPING me make decisions about THEIR MOM!! It's too stressful. I know NOTHING about elder care. Everything I've learned I've had to research and in the process I've assembled my own team of advisors to help eduacate me and guide me through the process. My husband is not proactive at all with his moms care plan. It's bad enough that I make ALL the decisions for OUR personal finances and now I'm having to do the same for his mom because otherwise decisions won't be made and at the end of the day I couldn't live the guilt of letting my MIL be neglected. I have to remind him to call her. Before her memory declined, she would always call me to find out how her son was doing. It's sad because my opinion of my husband is changing. If doesn't care to get involved with the care plan of his OWN mom, how will he treat me! So I step up not because I want to but because I can't stand to see her be neglected. I wouldn't want anyone to neglect my mom and I certainty don't want to be neglected when I'm older. I'm only 45 years old and we have a 13 year old and 21 year old soon to be college graduate so trust me, my cup already runneth over! My MIL has 24 hour care and it's getting too expensive so I had to make the decision to research memory care facilities and basically tell my husband that we need to move his mom to our state and put her in a facility. It's so time consuming working out the logistics of moving her from Maryland to Ohio and I feel like I'm the only one worrying about how this is gonna go down. Meanwhile my SIL, who lives in the same state as my MIL, is only concerned with what items she can take from my MIL house (because we need to sell her home so that she can use the proceeds for her care) it's so annoying. I fear this ordeal is gonna be the death of my marriage because my husband is not involved enough even though I've asked him repeatedly to take a more active roll. I'm so frustrated.

By vividly50 on Sep 12, 2016 - 06:24 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

hi -- your predicament is a hard pill to swallow. you really find out what you are made of -- and at the same time, your husband, the other family. i sure hope your kids take after you.

you do all the work and the rest show up for the spoils. it's sinful. if there were a way to separate yourself, mentally, from the situation, but you wouldn't do that. because that's how you are. shame on the rest. shame that you couldn't have found a good facility in the city your SIL lives. why not seriously check into that?? if your SIL gets upset with you, it sounds like it would be no great loss. (sorry, but it's true - hope you figure out a solution that will be good for YOU.

By ksfolan on Oct 14, 2016 - 08:15 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am the caregiver to my MIL. She lives on her own but I take her to her hair appointment twice a week, take her to all her doctor appointments, cook for her 2-3 times a week. She has had 4 surgeries on her nose and I moved in and took care of her each time including dressing and cleaning wound. If her dogs need a bath or vet. I take them. I'm always fixing her computer, tv everything. My problem is she has 1 daughter and a 32 year old married granddaughter who do nothing. What's worse is she pays all of her daughter and granddaughter bills plus pays them a salary. They do no work at all. I am getting very resentful and depressed. Feel like no one appreciates me. I am also taking care of my mother who has bad memory problems. What should I do

By usheroes on Oct 15, 2016 - 06:42 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

ksfolan__You mention that she's your mother in law, but no mention of the husband? This is his mother. I don't get this generation of men- they should stand behind their wives and also stand up for their mothers.
Does she have any signs of dementia? If so, you and your husband can step in and have her tested (to talk to her doctor). Once something like that is established (dr. advice more binding), then your husband can talk to Mom about a Power of attorney. Hard to do when thy're in their right mind, but she needs SOMEONE to take care of her needs in the event that something catastrophic happens. My brother and I have POA over my dad, and I am legally responsible to pay his bills. That way, they would have to go through you in order to get any funds from her (more people take advantage of the elderly that you can imagine).

I hope you can work that out, but if not, remind them the the Lord put caring for your mother and father and the top of the list of commandments. You will be blessed in the long run, but always remember that God tells us to stand up for what's right. I have become a stronger person and the respect that I have gotten from family has turned around 180.

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