Helping my husband care for his mother.

Sarah - posted on 01/09/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My husbands mother is slowly showing more signs of senility. She has been alone for almost three years since her husband died and she has never taken charge of her life. We live close and have always visited regularly and been a part of her life. So when my father-in-law became ill and was hopitalized my husband and I stepped in and started helping her keep things going. Once he died we continued and got deeper involved with her care, traking doctors, bills and finacials. I am not new to this I had grandmothers until I was in my thirties. My issues are that my husband never makes her do anything for herself if she doesn't want to, including finding the lost TV remote. And my husband has a brother and sister-in-law that have not stepped up once to help. We have asked them to do things and his brother says no he can't handle it. Now to add to the mix we have two children and the brother has none. His mom has never really taken care of herself and I can accept that. But when she calls upset about a lost remote and my husband drives over to her place only to find that she has found it(of course) this bothers me. And when his brother goes to see her almost every week and does nothing and I'm not allowed to ask him to, that bothers me alot. At the begining we wre taking time off from work to take her to see his dad and getting her to doctors appointment and the brothers wife said they couldn't do these things because they had jobs, Well what does she think we had? So I guess what I'm looking for is support and a sounding board for my frustrations. I try not to let my husband know how bothered I am as he has plenty on his plate all ready. My kids have been great and very understanding about all of this, they try to help when they can and they never openly complain. They are good kids. Am I wrong to have developed a real dislike for his brother and his wife?
A side note: my husband and his brother have never had a relationship, not even as little kids.

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Jane - posted on 01/10/2011

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You're not wrong in anything. My 82 year old mother lives with my husband and I. My olddest brother passed away 12 years ago and my other brother (older than me as well) lives several states away. He makes his obligatory visit once a year but that's it. It's all on my shoulders. I've given up trying to get him to do more. He's just not going to. My mom is arthritic and needs a walker for short walks or a wheelchair for longer stints but still manages to drive herself to the grocery store, her hair appointments, doctors appointments, etc. Some people think we're mean because we don't drive her or shop for her but it is of my opinion that the longer we make her do these things on her own (as long as she safe driving, which she is so far) the better off she'll be with having some sort of independence.



Your frustration with all of it is completely justified but do realize that things will probably not change. So, what you have to do is express your feelings to your husband but then let it go and deal with it. It's hard, I know but I'd think of it this way...you have an amazing husband who is willing to take care of his mom..maybe too much but still...who wouldn't want a man with that kind of caring and sensitivity? Find yourself fortunate...trust me...you could have a man who doesn't give a rats ass and that would be even worse.

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Sarah - posted on 01/22/2011

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Thank you both for your replies and support. It's always nice to know that I'm not completely crazy.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/09/2011

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I definitely think most responsibilities end up on the shoulders of one child...and his/her family. It seems that it's easier sometimes to just jump in & do it than to ask others for help...I know I don't ask as often as I should. I find it more of a hassle sometimes to ask than to just do things myself. However, we all have jobs, some have kids, and regardless of proximity, job & family situations...we all have our own lives. I do think it's important to let your husband know how you feel...maybe don't think of it as adding to his plate...but trying to find a way to empty both your plates a little. You are thankful for your kids as I am of mine...it makes them well rounded & caring individuals...who hopefully won't take anyone or anything for granted. I don't think you are wrong to be miffed with your brother in-law. Maybe you can find some respite care to help with your mother in-law...even if they accept payment...so that you & your husband can have some time. When it comes to money...maybe if your brother in-law learns that some of mom's money is being used to pay for some care...he'll change his tune. Good luck to you & take time for yourselves & your children. Chin up.

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