Really? mother in law, Seriously?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by totoro, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    She e-mailed husband and asked, in her mother in law way. If we would mind, if it wouldn't be to much... after they are here for 2 weeks. (They are showing up today).

    If we could help watch Grandpa, husband's Grandpa for 2 weeks until they come back!!!
    So they would all be here for 2 weeks, me cooking a lot, and then leave him here for 2 weeks, then they come back for who knows how long!

    Ummm, what. Doesn't ask husband's brother, who has no kids, because he will not do it.

    Says, "I don't want to put you out, but he really wants to stay"

    He can barely walk and should not drive... she will fill her house with food for him.

    We just need to check on him.

    Ummm, I can't do that. He can barely walk 10 feet without being in pain.
    Their house is about 10 minutes from ours.

    husband told her about N's apts and that there might be more... she made some comment about, us over reacting.

    So now she is looking into, maybe his Sister coming in from Tempe to help? But that is a huge maybe.

    So now we will not know for a week or so.
    I realize mother in law needs a break, but to put all of this on husband is kind of cr@ppy.

    We will have to basically take care of him. mother in law is with him almost everyday all day. Or he is at her house.

    If we did not have 2 messed kids, I would happily do this, plus he is grumpy, can't hear...

    I will do it and try to be pleasant and not let her know she is not giving husband a choice. husband's brother said he might help. Take him to lunch or something.
    But mother in law is afraid to ask brother in law...

    She might guilt out after seeing how bad the kids are. But she is just afraid to tell Daddy No. Bottom line.

    Ugh, thanks for letting me vent.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I propose a new section on the board dedicated to mother in law's.
    I think some are difficult child's in their own right.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry. You may have to talk with your husband and set a firm boundary with her. If she is not willing to tell her Daddy no, well, your husband may have to tell his Mommy no.

    It is really hard. I hope whatever works out the family can work together. Sorry about the no-help relatives. It makes YOUR life so very much harder.
  4. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Very hard situation. I think that when people get so dependent on others it really PO's them, hence the nasty attitude. I know I would be that way. I can't imagine having someone else asking another to 'watch me' for a couple of weeks. Aside the fact that you need help, you know you are imposing on others. Shame on the rest of the family.

  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    You guys at least make me smile!!!
    Part of me feels guilty for feeling this way... you know, the poor old guy!
    But mother in law took this on herself it was all her idea to take him. She has 3 other sisters and they never help. husband and I have been the ones that have helped in the past. When we lived up in Valpo, IN we helped out all of the time. He still lives in Chesterton, IN.
    But he is sick of the cold. He wants to stay down here. I don't blame him. But he was mean to husband when we were there, thinks we are full of it about the kids. Will not even hear any of it.

    He is rascist and very narrow minded. Which is fine but he has said some mean things to K. (Fat... things about Hispanics)
    mother in law and father in law have done a lot for us and they will most likely give us a day off or 2... they want to help. Even if they do not believe K or N has issues.

    It might not even happen, but I am trying to ready myself!

    I think they are here already, but I told husband no way could they see the kids today!

    K has her first horse lesson and therapist and N has Gymnastics. Grandparents on top of that would be pure overload.

    Plus they get them so worked up. And then leave.
    Maybe tomorrow.


    Yes a mother in law Social Group!!! Too funny
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    One word -

  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    mother in law social group...or survival group?

    Seriously, though, that is way too much to ask, even if your kids didn't have issues. Two weeks is a really long time to have a cranky person sitting around.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The fact that he said mean things to my child would be an automatic NO. Period.
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    I hope he doesn't come! You don't need this. ML
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I know this isn't what you asked, but does your mother get respite from him? Does he get out to any senior activities? I'm guessing that he probably would balk at going anywhere if he's a grumpus. But, it will give him something different to do than just be stuck in his house. Does he have a wheelchair? I know how hard that is to get into a chair, but you find that not being able to walk more than ten feet is a worse once you give aided mobility a try.

    I hope that for a more long run solution you will be able to encourage mother in law to contact Senior Services for some help for him. I'm wondering if maybe I'm not reading the situation right, though. Does he live in the area and/or with her? Wherever he is, he needs some mobility and variety.

    As far as the 2 week period, I don't know what to say. You can't make your brother in law take care of him. I have two friends who had elderly parents stay with them in the last year or so, just for a visit. K's mother (85 y/o) fell and broke her hip. C's mother (87 y/o) fell and broke her back. Just tooting around the house. Our houses are not set up for elderly folks, especially with a volatile difficult child in the house. It's really dangerous for them to be in a different space that they're not used to maneuvering. Can your mom get a sitter to stay with him in his own home? Both of my friends had horrible guilt after their moms fell. K's mom never made it back into her own home and died about a year later. C's mom had to stay here from NV for an extra 8 weeks and meanwhile some crack-head moved into her house and held a garage sale and sold all of her stuff and wrote $10k worth of checks on her account. Your husband's mother in law needs to rethink all of the things that can happen by putting him someplace he is not familiar with. It's not fair to put it all on you, although I'm sure that she had thought it all through and justified it all to herself before she wrote the e-mail.

    by the way - what a passive agressive way to ask you to take care of her dad! An e-mail? What a wimp!
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    On top of everything else you do not need this Although mother in law made need a break she should realize this is too much to ask. Hugs.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    They live about one mile from each other in North/West IN. But he just today said he wants to move in with them. I think he is starting to slip mentally a bit.
    mother in law runs back and forth to his house and gets him set up so he has what he needs for the day. He eats with them most nights.
    She lets him drive! YIKES. He should not be driving.

    It is that point where he should have his license taken, he needs help more all of that. But he needs the wake up call and to realize it.
    He is happy reading and writing and drawing. He isn't too bad for a day or 2. But he is SO loud. The girls can't handle it. He has a stricter schedule than the girls!

    mother in law's sister lives down near Indianapolis which is not that far. But she does not help her out much.
    He will not let anyone help him anyway.
    So he might try and sell his house and move in with them?
    We have not talked yet about him possibly staying. I might see them tomorrow.

    Already comments like, "Why is K acting up tonight? What is wrong with her?"
    Umm, the same things we tell you every time we talk!

    I am breathing deep...
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Holy cats...
  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Lemme get this straight....they are staying at your house for two weeks and then plan to leave him for another two? So four weeks of non-stop relatives? *faint* I can't handle people in my house longer than a week. After a week I'm ready to throw them to the wolves, even if they are family.

    I love seeing my family and all but to disrupt my routine for more than a week is just too much. NOCANDO.

    I hope you find some way to deal without blowing a gasket. If you do, you definitely need to let me in on that little diddy.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I can't believe i missed this, wow i'm sorry!! I don't have any words of wisdom other than to say i'd lose my ever loving mind if it were me and i'd totally flip out, Yet that's me :)

    your a better woman than I. I'd feel bad too, yet with what's going on with N now, and K always keeping you busy its a bit much.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm probably too late to say anything, but I have ominous feelings about this... yes, Witz, she SHOULD be getting respite, he SHOULD be using a wheelchair, he SHOULD be eligible for hospice care at least for respite.

    BUT - it's a generational thing also, and I'm betting mother in law has been quietly enabling him to refuse most or all of these services, and has been slaving hard to keep him happy, without him having to consider 'distasteful' options. I saw my best friend go through this with her parents - no way would they allow A STRANGER into their home to help clean and help cook. No, they could manage fine, thanks (yeah, right). And no way would they eat pre-packaged meals or subsistence rubbish - it's unhealthy to buy frozen food, we'll cook it all ourselves, thank you.

    What they wanted was for a daughter to move in with them (and suffer the constant verbal abuse) and to do the cleaning for them and to cook meals for them in their own home for every meal.

    Their food - with her parents, he was a chef and her mother also a good cook. But he had dementia and hearing loss. Her mother was in constant pain and was using alcohol to make it all go away. Her mother was also losing her eyesight and her sense of smell. The combination (plus her father's violent temper) was an explosive combination, but nobody could do anything until there was a disaster. As far as food was concerned, they would cook a meal and put leftovers in the fridge. Eventually. Then later in the week they would get it all out, reheat it and serve it up. leftovers would get packaged up, put back in the fridge. Eventually. This would go on until it was eaten, by which stage the food was often furry. Neither parent had the capability to notice if the food was bad; her father's dementia was too bad, her mother's eyesight and sense of smell was too bad (assuming she was sober).

    What the daughter tried to do - she tried to set up respite. No way. Then she tried to set up Home Care (government agency cleaner an hour a week, they do what cleaning you ask for). Her father screamed at her that 'no spies' would be allowed in the door.
    Then daughter cooked meals for her parents and packaged them up in the freezer in pre-bought disposable containers. Her parents were very angry with her for filling their freezer with inferior shop-bought meals; they wouldn't believe her when she said it was all homecooking (I saw her do it, I could vouch that it was all fresh home-cooked). My friend did too gooda job on making the meals look good.
    Next time she visited, it was all still there, untouched. her mother said to her, "We don't eat supermarket food." Again my friend explained that these were her own cooking, her parents' favourites. My friend then got some out to reheat and feed her parents who admitted to enjoying them.
    Next visit - it was all still there, untouched. My friend reminded her mother again that it was good food, home-cooked. Next visit - the freezer was empty. her mother said they'd had to throw away a lot of supermarket food.

    You can't help people who are like this.

    And your mother in law said that grandpa would love to come and stay with you? I doubt that. I doubt he said anything of the sort, I doubt he's even said he wants to sell his place and move in with mother in law. But maybe they've finally persuaded him.

    mother in law sounds tired, exhausted emotionally and physically. She needs a break, for sure.

    BUT - there ARE options and these don't have to include running yourself (or herself) into the ground. Maybe she's too close to the situation and can't see this, but if she's tired and he refuses to go into respite or allow an outside agency to help, then it's time for all concerned to walk away rather than burn themselves out trying to keep him content.

    So I understand your need to say no, just as I understand her desperation to ask you for help. She needs to talk to your equivalent of the ACAT team (Aged Care and Assessment).

    We have mother in law in this category also, to a large extent. Thankfully she will allow home care to assist and doesn't want to be a burden on us, but she will never go into a nursing home or a retirement home if she has any say in it. We sat down as a family and worked out ways to live with this and make all our lives easier. Moving her close to us made it easier for us to keep an eye on her and help her, plus helps us make sure she's still enjoying life and has friends.

    But her generation can be very difficult when it comes to using aids, allowing anyone outside the family to help and in general accessing services. It's selfish, but many would rather a child gave up their profession and career indefinitely, to move home and wait on them hand and foot. In generations past, this was one important reason for having a large family; so ONE of them at least, would be your live-in carer in old age. Unpaid slave. Your mother in law may well have become the unwitting unpaid slave and is desperate for a short rest. It will also aggravate her blinkered approach to your children - if she accepts that you have your hands full, then she has to accept that she can't ask you for help. And she MUST ask you because she is at the end of her tether.

    See if you can find something to put in place to help them all. Surely Grandpa would prefer that when family visits, it's because they WANT to and not because there are chores?

    A person who is elderly and frail can stay in his own home if he wants to, as long as he is prepared to make full use of all available resources. NO family should ever be guilted in to doing this stuff.

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    this is really quite simple.

    It takes both you AND husband full time to keep K stable. And you have N and her anxiety issues on top of this.

    You simply cannot sacrifice a month of their stability to have visitors/take care of elderly relatives.

    You, as much or more than anyone here, knows how hard it is to achieve stability for a bipolar child. Esp when medications don't work well or give such rough side effects as K has had.

    What are you going to do when K spins so far out of control AND you have an angry, loud, mean-acting mobility challenged elderly man to care for 24/7??

    If you agree to take in the grandfather you will do a great dis-service to your children. And your children will be around far longer to make you pay for it. (That sounds meaner than I intended, but I think you get my meaning - the grandfather will go home and the kids stay.)

    Anyway, it is time to ask about hiring someone to take care of him while mother in law is away or whatever. And explain to mother in law that you would love to help but until the kids are much older you just are not able to. But you could research hospice care, senior day cares, senior centers, etc... for her. Most of those have online info around here, surely in IN they do too.

    I KNOW for a FACT that my grandparents were much happier when they got out and did things with others at the Senior Center. And it added a good 8 years to my Grandma's life when we moved her into an assisted living facility. In fact, she lived long enough to meet Wiz when he was 10 weeks old. We flew him to see her. And watching them together was wonderful. She was so impressed with my husband that she instructed my mom to cover daycare of whatever was needed while I went back to finish college. (husband kept Wiz for an ENTIRE day while I worked with movers to move her from a small icky room to a nicer suite of 2 rooms. She said my grandpa would never have done that, LOL!)

    I hope I didn't speak too plainly. I support whatever you decide, but I have been thinking about this all day. I just don't see how you could sacrifice K's hard fought for stability to give mother in law 2 weeks, not when it might take months to get K back to stable.

    Especially when he says mean things about her. That just can't be tolerated, not in her home. The kids have a right not to hear that from ANYONE in their home.
  18. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    They have their own house here. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. They live about 10 minutes from us. They will stay at mother in law house for 2 weeks and then leave him here at their house for 2 weeks and then they will be back until Jan 10th.

    Well they made up their minds and told me (and not husband) today that he is staying! She kept trying to tell me he will be fine.
    She had to help him with his eye drops, (cataracts) make his lunch... his hands were shaking horribly!
    He has to stop and sit after about 5-10 steps.

    I just smiled and said OK.
    What the frick am I supposed to do?
    She has enabled him, like Marg said. mother in law is a martyr. She thrives on people *needing* her.
    This has been her problem with me, I don't *need* her.
    She said, "You guy's will Occupational Therapist (OT) have to come by everyday"
    I just laughed and said, "husband could not do that, we will come by every day and make sure he is OK"
    I will make him food and have him over etc.

    Perfect example of how he acts, I was chatting with him today, he is an excellent artist. He was going on and on about how he doesn't *get* those artist who draw too relax or unwind, if your not getting paid, why bother?
    "I wouldn't paint a picture for my family members without charging them!"

    I just smiled... oye!
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm not sure how 4 weeks comes to Jan 10, but I guess I'm missing something.

    When mother in law announces that GFIL is staying, respond with, "That's nice. What type of services did you line up for him?"

    You do what you feel you need to do, but I'm with Susie. Your kids are more important - there are alternatives for GFIL.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know you have to do what you have to do. I really hope you can line up some services for him though. It sounds like a tough situation.

    Many hugs and lots of support, no matter what happens.