to think that someone with depression can walk a dog!

(199 Posts)
madmacbrock Wed 19-Feb-14 17:19:21

I am not ignorant to the plight of people with depression and recognise that it is a serious illness. However I am 7 months pregnant with 2nd child and suffering really badly with back and pelvic pain, I cannot walk to the kitchen without the aid of a crutch let alone walk my dog. She doesnt need to much walking as she suffers with athritis. I asked my MIL, (who was diagnosed with depression in June and has been constantly saying she needs to get out of the house and do something) if she would walk my dog for 20 mins twice a week whenever she felt up to it just so she can get out and my husband can spend a bit of time with his daughter as he comes in from work at 6.30 she goes to bed at 7.30 and if hes walking the dog misses out on that time. She said no she didnt feel like it. I feel really bitter about it as myself and dh have bent over backwards past few months to help her out and she cant even do this one little thing for us. Should I talk to her or just ignore it and put it down to frustration and pregnancy anger and forget it?

Famzilla Wed 19-Feb-14 17:20:59

Oh my god.

Do you even know what depression is??

TalkieToaster Wed 19-Feb-14 17:21:46

YABU. You have no idea the stress that just a small request can cause for people suffering with depression. Committing to walking a dog twice a week, even if she gets to pick the times, is a big ask for someone with depression, who might be struggling even to get up and get dressed.

VelvetStrider Wed 19-Feb-14 17:22:34

Why can't your husband walk the dog at 7.30?

Depression has many forms. It isn't your MIL's responsibility to walk your dog. Your DH will have to do it for the time being, or maybe ask a neighbour?

Sorry but yabu, I have had depression, I struggled to get out of bed made loads of excuses to stop me leaving the house and seeing people, I wouldn't have been able to cope with commiting to let alone forcing myslef out of the house twice a week to walk your dog.

Hire a dog walker

SeaSickSal Wed 19-Feb-14 17:25:16

YABU. Totally YABU.

I'm actually astounded someone can be this ignorant. To be honest I think with your attitude she's done quite the right thing. If you're like this about her saying no what would you be like if she didn't feel up to it some weeks and had to let you down?

She's done the right thing. Pay a dog walker or get a mate to do it. Don't expect someone who is ill to become your unpaid lackey when they're not feeling up to it either.

She's ill, so no, she may not be able to walk your dog for you. You say you're suffering badly with back and pelvic pain, well, she's suffering badly too, with a different kind of pain! Can't your dh walk the dog after your child's bedtime?

CorusKate Wed 19-Feb-14 17:25:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 19-Feb-14 17:25:34

Depression is an illness it's no more unreasonable of her to not be able to walk your dog than it is for you not to do it in your current condition.

Clearly you are ignorant and don't recognise it as a serious illness.

It wasn't unreasonable to ask her, and I can see why you might have thought her saying she needed to get out of the house meant this was a helpful request to make.

But I suspect if she's really struggling, she's just not up to it. It might sound daft to you, but people can get really stressed about the idea of leaving the house if they've got depression - even if they know they should. Sometimes having a specific thing to do like walking the dog would help, but it might also make her feel more scared that she's not going to feel up to it, and she'd have to cancel.

I'd try really hard not to see it in terms of her owing you one for what you and your DH have done, because it does sound like the sort of thing her depression would make more difficult.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 17:26:43

yabu depression can render people unable to do many things that people who do not have it or any experience of it so walking the dog maybe a big deal to her your mil is ill not just sad or lazy and anyway it is your dog your husband can do it or pay a dog walker until you are able to do it again

canyourearme Wed 19-Feb-14 17:27:10

Yabu and unfair

But even if it wouldn't be a pretty unbearable strain that would drag down her day, even if she said no even not having depression, it doesn't mean you should be as angry as you seem to be with her, sorry OP.

SelectAUserName Wed 19-Feb-14 17:27:48

YABVVU. What is "one little thing" for you would be a huge stressful commitment for your MIL. It would be on her mind all day, a huge immovable black block on her horizon. She would be worrying about it from the moment she woke up. Am I up to it today? I have to be, DIL is relying on me. Why would anyone rely on me for anything, I'm useless. What if I have to talk to sime

Its up to her if she wants to walk your dog or not. She has said she doesn't want to, if that is down to depression or not it doesn't really matter, it is her choice to make.

You have someone that can walk the dog for you. YABU

Joules68 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:29:25

Well she acknowledges she needs to get out of the house.....and isn't exercise supposed to help depression?

BrownSauceSandwich Wed 19-Feb-14 17:29:49

Sorry, but does your husband have to go to bed at 7:30 too? Why can't he walk dog after that?

Whatever MIL's reasons for not walking YOUR dog, they are really none of your business.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 17:30:23

your husband could put his dd jacket and wellies on and take her he gets to spend time with her and walk the dog give you a break for half an hour win win really

lunar1 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:30:40

Does your husband go to bed at 7.30?

Laquitar Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:02

How old is your dd? If she is preschooler she can nap in the afternoon (which gives you a nice rest) and then she can have a late bed time.
Or pay a student or a neighbour.

SelectAUserName Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:23

Oops...someone strange while I'm out? Oh God, I can't do it. I'll have to ring her and tell her. I can't even manage to walk a dog. I'm pathetic.

It isn't a simple thing for her OP. You say you understand but it doesn't sound like you do, not really - and you should be very grateful for that.

ColinFirthsGirth Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:33

YABVU - getting out of bed and out of the house can be extremely difficult for someone with depression.

Cravey Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:54

Your husband should be walking the dog. You might want to do some reading up on depression, it's not as simple as you seem to think.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 17:32:11

yes she needs to get out the house maybe she does want to do something but being responsible every other day for a dog can be hard for people it is an extra responsibility for somebody without depression I would imagine a person who was ill it would be harder, if she said yes i will do it then a day she doesnt feel like it then she will feel she has let her family down etc etc, I think she was wise to say no outright

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 17:32:59

yes she said she needed to get out of the house*

Varya Wed 19-Feb-14 17:33:30

I believe some depressed people can benefit from exercise but a commitment to do so might be too great a challenge just now.

zeezeek Wed 19-Feb-14 17:33:33

Whilst you do show a complete lack of sympathy and empathy for someone who is suffering from an illness, there is something in the argument that spending time with a dog (or cat, or whatever your persuasion) can help people with depression - not cure it, of course, but maybe just give them something to smile about for a couple of minutes in a day. Obviously they would have to actually like dogs!
However, the responsibility of making this arrangement with you, might just to too much for her to cope with at the moment. Why don't you ask her over to spend some time with you or why don't you ask your DH to call in and see her when he's out with the dog and ask her if she wants to join them.....she might realise that she enjoys it so much that she wants to take the dog out herself.

whossauhnafuffafwayay Wed 19-Feb-14 17:34:10

YABU. Routine like this is exactly the sort of area of your life where depression hits you.

Depression is, among a host of other things, knowing there are things you should be doing, wanting to do them, and without a glimmer of laziness, not actually ever doing them.

Viviennemary Wed 19-Feb-14 17:34:17

It is your dog and your responsibility. YABU to exect this from somebody especially a person with depression. She may not feel up to this kind of commitment.

I imagine when she said she wanted to get out of the house she meant a coffee at the garden centre not a trudge round with someone else's dog scooping poop on the way. sad

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 17:35:34


I suffer from depression and although i am now betyer than ive been for about 5 years i still wouldnt commit to this yet. I would get extremely anxious about it throughout the day building up to it and end up letting you down by cancelling which would add to my anxiety and feelings of being a let down. There are still days i cant go to work.

madmacbrock Wed 19-Feb-14 17:35:36

Ok I feel I need to defend myself a little here Just to be clear I am not ignorant as I suffered with PN depression after my first child I recognise that it may be different but have also witnessed family members suffer with anxiety which again is different but as stated am not utterly insensitive. I might also mention that she still manages to bend over backwards for BIL who has done nothing to help her over the last few months with babysitting and doing his shopping for him. she has also been told by a doctor that she must take exercise (she has not) and start to push herself into doing things she feels uncomfortable with (again she has not).

YABU, she may be physically capable but that doesn't mean she is mentally.
Have you thought about a dog-walker?

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 19-Feb-14 17:37:23

OP, it wasn't unreasonable to ask her at all.

I've been depressed for the best part of 15 years. Sometimes I can't even get myself out of bed. Actually dressing and brushing my teeth was beyond my ability. But there have been other times I've been much more able to get out and about.

The past four years have been a particularly difficult time, and the thing I've struggled with most, is simply not knowing how I'm going to be from one day to the next. There have been many, many times when I've been unable to do something planned.

It might be (not saying it is) that this is what your MIL is struggling with. The commitment of two days per week might simply be frightening.

When I've committed to doing something, even something small, I'll usually feel anxious for a few days before hand. I need routine - getting up, going to work, doing the school run, collapsing in a heap. And this is during my good times. During my bad times, that's not even possible. If there's something extra, that needs planning. Sometimes it needs valium.

So in your position, I might be able to say 'I might be able to help, but won't know until the actual day.' But I wouldn't be able to commit to say, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

After the first couple of times, I might be able to do more, but there still might be a crisis and I'd end up letting you down, and I'd then feel worse and want to bury myself somewhere...

You see how it goes.

I'm not saying this is how your MIL is - it's just one way that depression can take a person. But in that sense, having depression might well rule out being able to commit to twice a week.

NaffOrf Wed 19-Feb-14 17:37:34

OP, I wouldn't want to be stuck walking someone else's dog twice a week and I'm not even depressed.

Weegiemum Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:06


When I was depressed I would say I needed to get out because people wanted to hear that.

What I could manage was staying in bed with the covers over my head.

Gruntfuttock Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:36

Is there anyone who can accompany your MIL on these dog walks? That might make all the difference. She will no doubt benefite form a little exercise and the company will be an encouragement to her.

I'm speaking as someone with depression who very rarely leaves the house, but I know I should go for regular walks, so I'm able to see your MIL's point of view btw.

But, forgive me ... you're making out you're doing this to be helpful, because her doctor told her to exercise, or because it'll help her depression - but you're quite obviously wanting her to do it to help you.

Fair enough to ask, but don't dress it up as concern for her health. When her refusal has made you this cross, it clearly isn't that.

It sounds as if you're angry with her for a separate reason, to do with BIL, so don't let it get mixed up with how you feel about her depression or you'll put yourself in the wrong.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 17:43:35

Fwiw OP i understand how frustrating it must be for the people around me when they just dont 'get' how i can be singing down the street one day then hardly able to manage full sentences the next. It frustrates the fuck out of me too. Much like my back pain does when it is gone for weeks then suddenly reappears and i have to cancel plans. Depression is an illness just like my back pain is.

Punkatheart Wed 19-Feb-14 17:44:10

Oh dear. So many people have explained it to you and you still don't understand. Depression is a serious and debilitating illness. Yes a doctor may suggest things to help but a person with depression may still be paralysed by the illness and be able to face/tackle certain things.

My daughter is suffering from depression and some times cannot function at all. She cannot work or attend college. It is very hard on both of us. It is your dog and your responsibility. Whatever she does for your BIL then that is her business and entirely irrelevant.

Good wishes to everyone on this thread too who are suffering. There needs to more understanding.

I hope you get your dog situation sorted out, OP but being angry with a woman who is ill, is not the answer.

VenusStarr Wed 19-Feb-14 17:44:22

I think you've had a bit of a harsh time on here. Walking is one of the best things someone with depression can do. You mention the GP, but has she had any type of therapy? CBT would help her to understand what things she does which help her mood and what other things she might be doing which might not be helpful. Going for a walk is a great, immediate way of improving someone's mood. Setting a goal such as walking the dog is something which may give her the motivation. However, that said, goal setting approaches are not for everyone and she might find it too much pressure at the moment.

I'd suggest she revisits her GP to see what support is available, ie talking therapy and maybe for now see if someone else is able to walk the dog.

Cravey Wed 19-Feb-14 17:45:55

Could you and mother in law not do it together ? Just a small walk. May do her some good.

NinjaCow Wed 19-Feb-14 17:47:57

YABU. That would stress me out. On my mind all the time. Getting out of the house is important - but often impossible- and is often easier if there isn't the expectation/routine behind it. Because you feel more pressured- you know you can't escape it iyswim, or it will be stressful to not go if you can't cope. If it's irregular and to your own timetable, then if you honestly can't cope (which could be very often) you feel less pressured, which in turn usually means you cope better as you have an escape route.

Walking is indeed good for depression, on a good day when the sun is shining, and you feel up to it. Not so much with a dog and poo bags in February in the rain.

jammiedonut Wed 19-Feb-14 17:48:58

Yabu, my first bout of depression at university I was able to function and appear fairly 'normal'. Pnd crippled me to the point I couldn't wash, contemplate getting out of bed in the morning or do anything that would make me feel better according to my doctor. Just because you've had depression doesn't mean you understand your mil experience of it. Why can't your dh walk the dog at 7.35 by the way?

SaucyJack Wed 19-Feb-14 17:59:57

She doesn't want to take your stinky dog to do toilet. Her prerogative. YABU to make it about her depression, but actually YANBU to feel resentful that she's all take and no give.

Floggingmolly Wed 19-Feb-14 18:01:46

You still haven't explained why the dog must be walked before the witching hour of 7.30?? confused

Cranky01 Wed 19-Feb-14 18:04:23

It would piss me off that she helps bil, but depression is difficult to understand and action are difficult to apply logic.

Hopefully the new baby will give her a bit of a lift

WorraLiberty Wed 19-Feb-14 18:05:08

No don't put it down to pregnancy and anger, put it down to ignorance.

Also, ask your DH to walk the dog after 7.30 or send your child to bed a bit later.

LynetteScavo Wed 19-Feb-14 18:09:22

I've noticed on threads like these, there is always another relative involved, who is getting more attention than the OP.

It is your dog, OP. You really shouldn't be bitter because someone else won't help you out walking it. If I took that attitude I would be a walking lemon.

SeaSickSal Wed 19-Feb-14 18:09:36

That second post makes you sound like a monumental bitch. She hasn't felt able to exercise so therefore the depression is now all her fault and she deserves no sympathy.

Even if her doctor has told her to exercise that doesn't mean she is obliged to take on the responsibility of walking your dog.

If she doesn't feel up to it she doesn't have to do it.

Perhaps she feels more able to help out bil because he doesn't put pressure on her and isn't demanding? Your attitude alone would be very hard for a depressed person to deal with.

Bloody hell, is MN actually on the side of a MIL for once?! grin

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 18:10:54

tbh your explanation doesnt make it any better your mil for whatever reason has said no to walking your dog regardless what she does for her other son you are pissed off at her and thinks she should just pull herself together , as spakrlingbrook said walking a dog in february is kind of grim,

I think I am on the side of the dog. Poor thing just wants a bit of a walk. sad

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 18:14:01

I know sparkling op put a card up in a shop window somebody will do it for you

BrianTheMole Wed 19-Feb-14 18:16:07

Why doesn't your dh walk the dog after 7.30? confused. I wouldn't want to commit to walking someones dog. Yabu to expect her to and then complaining about it when she refuses.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 18:22:12

Perhaps your BIL is a lot more understanding about her illness and doesnt put any pressure on her to help him. There are people we enjoy helping and people we resent helping- for various reasons. Maybe think about how BIL talks to her, treats her etc.

LynetteScavo Wed 19-Feb-14 18:22:48

I think the DH should be walking the dog, am and pm, and still find time to see the DC. But that's just because that's what my DH would do, and he wouldn't dream of asking his DM to do it.

FloozeyLoozey Wed 19-Feb-14 18:23:32

Maybe she doesn't want to clean up its dog shit? Honestly I would refuse to walk a dog for my nearest and dearest on that basis.

StickEmUpBigStyle Wed 19-Feb-14 18:27:56

Look after your own damn dog! Sheeesh

pussycatdoll Wed 19-Feb-14 18:30:51

Don't get a dog if you can't look after it

Maybe she hates dogs but likes the grandchildren she's babysitting ??

Cakebaker35 Wed 19-Feb-14 18:33:18

Wow OP have a biscuit

Hope you've got your flame proof suit ready.

Hedgehead Wed 19-Feb-14 18:34:41

You think you are asking her for something very simple, but you are not. If she does more for your BIL it may be that she feels she can 'manage' more of what he asks? Or maybe he asks differently? Or there are different people involved, or maybe he doesn't want it as "regularly" and as "time-specific" as you do? Maybe in his requests he allows her more freedom? All these are huge factors, this is not a "simple" thing.

There is a painstakingly difficult process involved with everything for a depressed person: Waking up, getting out of bed, eating breakfast, getting dressed, showering, travelling, seeing people, dealing with a task... and all the self-consciousness and self-loathing that goes along with it.

wigglesrock Wed 19-Feb-14 18:37:11

I couldn't leave the house when my depression was at its darkest or talk on the phone or do most things that involved stepping outside where I felt "safe". Maybe she feels safe with your bil but encountering strangers out walking a dog is not what she wants to do. Fwiw we got a dog when I was recovering & it really helped getting me out, but I couldn't have done it until I was ready.

You're too ill to walk your dog - so is your mil.

hackmum Wed 19-Feb-14 18:42:23

So, no-one has a remnant of sympathy for the OP, then? " I am 7 months pregnant with 2nd child and suffering really badly with back and pelvic pain, I cannot walk to the kitchen without the aid of a crutch let alone walk my dog."

Sounds to me like the OP is having a really rough time and perhaps people could cut her a bit of slack.

I have sympathy for-

The OP-sounds like she is having a tough time of it.
The MIL-for the same reason
The dog-it wants a walk.

Sarahschuster Wed 19-Feb-14 18:53:28

Oh. My. God. You're thinking of having a "talk" with her because she won't walk your dog for you? Despite knowing that she's suffering from depression? Even if she wasn't you'd be way out of line. It is true that depressed people benefit from getting out there and doing stuff, but putting pressure on her to do so for your convenience, when clearly motivated by bitterness about a completely separate issue, is really grim.

Sarahschuster Wed 19-Feb-14 18:57:14

And I think, hackmum, that suggesting there hasn't been enough sympathy for an OP who clearly doesn't have any for her MIL, and has other solutions she could look to (getting her own husband to take responsibility for his pet, for example) is not really fair. Being pregnant and having a bad back doesn't give you carte blanche to make unreasonable demands of somebody with a mental illness.

Aelfrith Wed 19-Feb-14 19:01:53

In order to 'get out and do things' and even to 'do exercise' (both of which are very beneficial to depression sufferers), the worst of one's depression has to have receded, and you have to be on the road to recovery.

If you are severely depressed you will be trying to survive each day. This may mean staying in bed, staying in the house, trying to force yourself to eat something, possibly getting together the energy to wash, change your clothes or clean your teeth.

Walking someone else's dog to their specific timetable is about a trillion miles away from this.

whiteblossom Wed 19-Feb-14 19:06:22

yabVu. You don't have a clue.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 19:07:44

5 out of 7 days i torment myself over the decision anout whether or not to have breakfast- and if i decide that yes- my body does need it today then i have the joy of deciding what to have. Most days i decide not to just to avoid having to choose what to have. It can take a few hours to get to the point where ive made that decision. Going out for a walk with someone else's dog can be complete torture if its a 'bad' day for me.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 19-Feb-14 19:10:13

OP you keep saying you aren't insensitive and you have experience of depression and yet you keep posting utter rubbish. You have no clue.

Your Dh can walk the dog or get a dog walker.

I agree with all that has been said.

I would like to add the YABVU to even equate your MIL spending time with her GC, who no doubt give her a lift and walking your Dog.

Baby sitting for relatives isn't always a favour, the favour works both ways.

whiteblossom Wed 19-Feb-14 19:12:57

I have been in OP's situation. I am in OP's situation again currently (though not on crutches this time/yet). I still think YABU. My dh takes the dog out at 6am. I figured if I got really bad this time I'd hire a mobility scooter. grin

Here's an idea OP, pay a friends teenager to walk your dog after school. I used to do that as a kid. Lay off your MIL.

TheDoctorSandshoesAndGrandad Wed 19-Feb-14 19:13:01

Why can't your dh either walk the dog before work or after your child has gone to bed? hmm

ProudAS Wed 19-Feb-14 19:16:55

Depression can be very debilitating. Getting out might be good for your MIL but I doubt she feels up to committing to it.

LondonForTheWeekend Wed 19-Feb-14 19:16:57

OP. I'm not going to flame you. I would offer wine but would have to drink it myself. Have some cake and brew instead. Hopefully the little one will make an appearance at 37weeks to end the misery that is SPD

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 19-Feb-14 19:18:49

OK TBH I would suspect it isn't the dog walking it is the commitment to walking the dog.

I have suffered with depression and anxiety related to PTSD and although I may have at times felt able to say yes to walking someones dog I would not have felt able to make that commitment.

try not to feel too aggrieved perhaps go back to her and say you realise that it was a big ask and if she feel able to you know the dog would always love to go out at any time she was able.

coffeeinbed Wed 19-Feb-14 19:20:03

I think she probably doesn't want to commit to a regular long term arrangement.
She would have no idea how she will feel in say a week or ten days time.
Sorry, but YABU.

WooWooOwl Wed 19-Feb-14 19:20:54

If she won't do you favours when you need it, then you are not obliged to do her favours when she needs it.

Depression can prevent people from leaving their homes and doing simple things like walking to the park with a dog, but it doesn't always. I'm sure OP wouldn't expect it if she knew that walking the dog was beyond her MILs capabilities.

This is a woman who is saying she needs to get out of the house, and it's well documented that a bit of excercise can help significantly with depression. Your mil sounds like she just doesn't want to help rather than being unable to help.

She isn't obliged to help, but then nor are you obliged to help her. Remember that next time she wants something from you.

NigellasGuest Wed 19-Feb-14 19:24:00

perhaps she's more of a cat lover?

CorusKate Wed 19-Feb-14 19:24:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 19-Feb-14 19:28:12

WooWooOwl.. Wow!

HannahLaRouge Wed 19-Feb-14 19:28:12

Ok,I hate to be harsh but wow. Please read up on depression,as if you say anything like this to your mother in law then you will,in her mind,just confirm all the bad things she thinks about herself and make her feel 100 times worse. You say you are not ignorant to the plight of people with depression,but I would argue that actually you are,and it might be good to try and learn more about it. I hope you feel better when baby is born though - SPD is horrendous.

Sarahschuster Wed 19-Feb-14 19:28:15

Ugh. Can empathise with that, sillybilly. Depression is so utterly awful. Really hope things look up for you x.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 19-Feb-14 19:30:30

It is your pet and therefore your husband should attend to its cares whilst you are not able to.
Your MIL is suffering, she may feel that twice a week is a huge commitment to make. Because it isn't just the walking of the dog, it is getting from her house to yours, then taking responsibility for your pet and going out in public. She may be someone who worries and gets anxious at even leaving her house. She may fret over even the thought of having to do something for someone else.
You and your husband should not be requesting this of her right now. It is not an emergency situation, it is just to make things easier for you, and that is a little selfish. Your DH can walk the dog once your child is in bed.

Sarahschuster Wed 19-Feb-14 19:30:55

And CorusKate... Me too. What a charmer.

I have suffered with depression several times. One of the ways my depression manifests itself is a social anxiety. I can see some people but the vast majority of people (friends and family) would terrify me and I would not be able to face them.
Perhaps this is why the MIL is helping BIL but cannot face coming to your house twice a week?? Perhaps helping BIL is on an as-and-when basis whereas coming to you is pre-arranged and therefore creates pressure.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 19:33:09

Thank you sarah- they are. Feeling a lot better recently. 6 years ago i didnt give breakfast, teeth brushing, washing dishes, bedtime a second thought. I just got up and went abouty life. I'll be there again one day but it takes time and it helps when those around you are patient.

YABU, but your own condition may have just drained you of patience. Constant pain has a way of eating away at you.

Put it aside for now. People with depression sometimes feel more motivated when there is more sunlight and perhaps she may find she can do more in the spring.

Woowoo, the OP came across as bitter, but she has an excuse in her condition. What's yours?

mrspremise Wed 19-Feb-14 19:35:09

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 19:37:48


Where is the line that says that one problem (depression) is a sacred cow, whereas another problem (SPD, long day at work & then supporting wife with SPD) should 'just get on with it'.

coribells Wed 19-Feb-14 19:38:07

YANBU in my opinion. I have had depression and still suffer from time to time. Families should help each other and as you have said you have helped her. Exercise is good for depression, animals/pets have been demonstrated to be good therapy-and it would probably be good for your for her feel useful. Itd taking the first step that is the hard part.

Stripyhoglets Wed 19-Feb-14 19:45:33

YANBU to ask her as you cannot walk the dog. She is NBU to say she doesn't want to do it. You are NBU to be annoyed as she can help BIL and you have helped her lots as well and now you need help. But depression can make you very self centered, not deliberately as you are ill, but it can make helping others seem like an impossible commitment.

But I would leave it there, your DH. Will have to walk the dog after DD. Goes to bed.

Patchouli Wed 19-Feb-14 19:47:42

Picking up dog poo is quite big ask IMO.
Maybe it'd be nice for your DH and DD to spend a bit of time together walking the dog in the evening. Or, he can walk the dog once she's in bed.

wonderingsoul Wed 19-Feb-14 19:58:42

i dont understand why your dh cant do it before work and after he puts dd to bed?

and for what its worth depression is vile. the only reason i get out of bed is becasue i have to care for my two young children.
the op who said its not the unwilling to do something or being lazy is bang on .. its just that you feel NOTHING your numb.. so you just sit there looking into space knowing that you shoudl be cleaning but not having the engergy to actually do it. and thinking tomorrow ill do it. tomorrow i will have the energy to do it.

or going 3-4 days before realizing that you should actually have a bath.

or knowing that you have this responabilty planned that you dont HAVE to do.. that you cant let them down.. its on your mind constantly..

or spending an hour looking at something in a shop.. walking away than back again becasue people are starting to stare at you .. just looking at this one item for longer than needed.. just working out if you shoudl buy it or not.. thats anxity.. which is often comes hand in hand with depression.

sorry that was a bit of a essay, but you really dont egt depression and to be THIS angry over it makes you look like a bitch.

though i am sure your n ot, and i appricate your in apain to but start looking for soloutions in your dh and buy your mil some flowers.

NinjaCow Wed 19-Feb-14 19:59:51

I don't think anyone has said that Procrastreation - expecting the OP's DH to do it differently, or get someone different to help, yes.

Preciousbane Wed 19-Feb-14 20:07:09

Any domestic arrangements will always be the people that live in that houses problem. If people can help that is absolutely lovely but that is always a bonus.

Your MIL is ill and I do shudder when I read posts like this, reminds me of when people say, well if people just pulled themselves together they wouldn't get depression.

You need to pay a dog walker, my friend does this and it is 12 quid for an hours walk.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 20:08:53

The info we have is

MIL - depression
DD - small active child
DH - @ work

We don't have data on the severity of any of these restrictions.

A lot of posters have piled in to emphasise how debilitating depression is. But it is not evident to me that MIL depression is more limiting that SPD & a child. When I had SPD - I struggled to walk & couldn't lift. I had no choice but to let DD roam feral & then wait for DH to come home to clean the house & give me & DD some emotional bolstering. I expect that that is what the DH would be doing at 7.30pm & 7.30 am. I would also imagine that they have to be careful of money - with two children & 1 salary. "pay someone to do it" is a bit trite really. If I was really struggling to keep afloat - I would also resent being cut off dead when I asked a relative for help - even if that relative had their own thing going on.

monicalewinski Wed 19-Feb-14 20:09:08

YANBU to ask imo.

The OP only says MIL has depression, no indication as to the severity.

As someone who has had pnd and a couple of bouts of reactive depression, I have varied between the extremes of barely being able to function, but during a subsequent bout was still going to work ft whilst keeping everything going at home with 2 kids and husband away for 4 months. I am back on ads again at the moment and have been dealing with a chronic disease and major surgery, and I am perfectly able to walk a dog.

Depression comes in many degrees of harshness, I have been very lucky to only suffer mildly to moderately but I realise that people can be crippled by it for years and are unable to function at all at times.

What I am trying to say is that just because someone has depression, does not mean it is always at the most debilitating end of the spectrum - for those with mild/moderate depression it can be beneficial to force a routine and some gentle exercise; I think some people have been a little harsh on the OP tbh.

kelda Wed 19-Feb-14 20:13:58

Agree with Naffoff. I wouldn't want to walk someone else's dog twice a week, picking up their poo, and I'm not depressed.

apermanentheadache Wed 19-Feb-14 20:21:06

I had very serious PND. I used to say to people things like "I need to get out" etc. In reality I could barely feed or care for myself. Walking someone else's dog twice a week would have been completely impossible for me. It was a major achievement for me to manage to take my DD the 15 mins to nursery and that was after 8 weeks of treatment. Depression can be like a horrible, torturous prison and can trap you in your house.

SPD is awful. I'd go with a dog walker.

apermanentheadache Wed 19-Feb-14 20:24:53

Monica is right tho, there are many degrees of depression. It's not always obvious to anyone other than the person living with the sufferer what the degree is in a particular case.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 20:27:40


It's your jeffing dog!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 20:31:21

It doesnt actuay matter to what degree the MIL is depressed- she never bought the dog and made a commitment to walk it. Even without any illness she's still under no obligation to walk it and shes not being UR to decline the invitation to do so without having to satisfy OP that her reason is valid enough. OP however did get a dog and has an obligation to walk it (along with her DH) so if family dont want to help out then its up to the two of them to work something else out whilst OP cant do it. Bottom line is the dog needs walked and only 2 people are responsible for making that happen. The MIL was never on the hook for this one.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 20:32:24

And do you suggest that the OP & DH also take the view that it's MILs jeffing lift/ boiler repair/PC set up/ weeding / hospital appoitment - (as comes up)?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 20:34:58

Of course. confused

They're under no obligation to help her or anyone else if they dont want to.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 20:35:41

The mil has depression. If she had a physical illness would you still expect her to walk the OP's dog?

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 20:35:43

It's a really sad world where people are so zealous in policing the boundaries of their nuclear families. The whole "it's your choice to have a baby/dog/job/house - you deal with it" is not a robust attitude in the face of life's knocks and unexpected events.

We do better if we support our weak - and my view is that, in this situation both MIL & OP family are vulnerable in different ways.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 20:39:42

Just pondering this- OP if you were to advertise for a dog walker and the first one that applied decided after talking to you they didnt want to walk your dog for some reason (lets say its a very jumpy dog on the lead or dog aggressive) would you be so annoyed? I doubt many would- they would accept that this person had decided it wasnt somethkng they wanted to do and that was someone who was being paid to do it yet people have trouble accepting that a person not even being paid to do you a favour mightnt want to.

AngelaDaviesHair Wed 19-Feb-14 20:40:02

It is a shame the MIl doesn't want to do it. It would help the Op and would probably also be good for her. Who knows whether she is up to it or not. The only thing that did occur to me is that the MIL may feel committing to doing it regularly, as opposed to only doing it occasionally and when she felt up to it, was too daunting.

Perhaps she feels more comfortable with what she does for BIL.

Try to be kind to her OP, even if she's annoying you.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 20:40:21

The mil has depression. If she had a physical illness would you still expect her to walk the OP's dog?

well exactly nobody is saying to the op well you have crutches hobble along and take the dog yourself

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 19-Feb-14 20:42:50

It's your dog, pay a dog walker.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 20:44:58

The thing with depression if someone says " can you, will you, are you " those words send you into a downward spiral. It's one day at a time, getting up, getting dressed, eating something. You don't plan things. It's too much. You don't want or mean to be unhelpful it's just that you really are struggling.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:03

hmm yes - I would ask someone with a physical illness that didn't directly affect ability to walk to help.

What would you do? Steer a wide course around them while they rotted in front on daytime telly?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:38

Its not so much a case of 'you deal with it' as 'MIL hasnt committed to this pet in the way you have so can opt not to care for it'

We dont know the dynamic between MIL and her other son that makes her want to help him but clearly she doesnt have a 'you deal with it' attitude as a rule. Perhaps there is something in the way he asks or the things he asks her yo do that makes her want to.

For example; i have a lovely friend who would do anything for me and i in return do anything i can for her when she asks. We dont hold tally cards or squabble about who has done more for who, we just do what we can when asked.

My sister on the other hand will ask for favours that tbh i do begrudge doing at times because she isnt a giver without judgement or a lecture if i find myself needing help.

Sillylass79 Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 20:48:27

and if that person said no procrastination would you pull that same face

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 20:50:07

Btw- my friend and i have no problem saying no to each other if its something we feel we cant or dont want to do. No grudges are held. My sister sulks though if i cant help her.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 20:51:15

Well you'd be an arse asking someone who was physically ill to walk your imo.

There's something called a dog walker. They come and walk your dog when you can't. Amazing.

WaitMonkey Wed 19-Feb-14 20:51:31

I've only read the op. YABMassivelyU. You don't understand depression at all. It's not your MIL's responsibility to walk your dog. Hope this helps.

CharlieWoo Wed 19-Feb-14 20:52:15

Yabu! When I was at my worst point I could not physically move my self from the sofa. It took all my strength to just get up! You will never understand if you haven't had depression. People asking me to do things would have made it much worse!

GroupieGirl Wed 19-Feb-14 20:52:35

I'm with SillyBilly on this one.

Also, all the people suggesting that walking someone else's dog might be good for depression? I am - at best - ambivalent to all animals and walking it would probably go a long way to keeping me in my bed for a few days!

MrsDeVere Wed 19-Feb-14 20:54:23

But the OP is not alone. Her OH does not have SPD.

There IS someone who can walk the dog.

I think its the commitment that is bothering the MIL. Committing to regular things when you are ill with depression is very hard work.

Give her a break. You have not come up with a solution to all of your problems although it seems like it.

MIL needs to get out, you need someone to take the dog out, sorted!

No. It just doesn't work like that.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 20:55:58

I have a dog- and i love him to pieces- i would actually panic at the thought of walking a strange dog that i didnt know well and didnt know how it behaved on the lead or around other dogs. My dog is safe to me- familiar and predictable- he knows my commands and tone and where to stop, sit to cross etc. i would be very nervous with a dog i'd never walked before.

trixymalixy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:56:09

I'm sure someone with depression is technically physically capable of walking a dog, whether they are mentally capable is another matter surely and will depend on their depression symptoms.

Or maybe she just doesn't fancy picking up dog shit.

Either way she is under no obligation. Your OH should be doing the walking.

livingzuid Wed 19-Feb-14 20:57:40

Your SPD is horrid but then so is depression. It affects everyone differently. It does seem breathtakingly arrogant of you to assume that the form of exercise she should be getting is the privilege of walking your dog.

She might be terrified of dogs. She might find it too stressful to take the dog to the park. We got me a jrt to help me and the most I manage is taking him to the nearest tree for a pee before we scuttle back inside. I cannot walk him on my own for fear that he runs off/gets attacked/has a pop at another dog.

I'm sorry you are in so much pain with your spd but your mil too is suffering. Yabu.

SelectAUserName Wed 19-Feb-14 21:00:32

Procrastreation There is a difference between responding to a short-term emergency not of a person's own making - the broken boiler / hospital appointment type scenario you refer to - and expecting another person, and an ill person at that, to take on part of the regular responsibility of caring for an animal which the OP chose to commit to in the first place.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:02:28

At the risk of going off-topic - this is married-to-the-state infantilising sense of entitlement.

My direct family includes arthritis, slipped disk, polio, depression, alcoholism, autism, polio-triggered mobility problems, hypertension and dementia. Doesn't everybody's? And every single person considers themselves as part of the family machine - helping out where they can - slowly and erratically if needs be - but the basic assumption is of co-operation.

The OP helps MIL. I think she is totally reasonable to be disappointed to be disappointed when her own request for help is rejected out of hand.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:04:16

Username - 7 months pregnant SPD is more of a short term problem than depression!

trixymalixy Wed 19-Feb-14 21:05:02

I don't have any kind of depression but I would find walking someone else's dog quite stressful. I'd do it if they were really desperate and there was no other option open to them. You have another option. Your OH. Stop kidding yourself that you're doing her a favour.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 21:06:00

Disappointed is fine. Bitter and considering talking to the MIL about it (to change her answer obviously) is not fine.

SelectAUserName Wed 19-Feb-14 21:07:10

Ignoring the point that you are now the one making a massive assumption about the severity or otherwise of the MIL's depression in order to make that judgement...then isn't it lucky that the OP has a DH who isn't suffering from SPD and who has no apparent reason not to be able to walk HIS dog?

Sillylass79 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:08:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KurriKurri Wed 19-Feb-14 21:11:17

Actually MIL's depression is really neither here nor there. She doesn't want to walk your dog. If she wanted to walk a dog, she'd get her own dog. If neither you nor your Dh can walk it, then rehome the poor animal. Its not your MIL's responsibilty, it's yours.

What she does for BIL is also a red herring - she can do what she likes, she's not obligated to do anything for anyone.

procrastreation why is 'rotting in front of daytime TV' the only alternative course of action to 'doing what others demand of you?', no one but you has mentioned this - you are a master of the straw man argument.

Also your list of 'people with possible restrictions of unknown severity' needs a second list of 'people with responsibilty for OP's dog' - you will find that only OP her DH appear on both lists.

WaitMonkey Wed 19-Feb-14 21:13:51

I've now read the thread. YAstill BVU. Even if your MIL wasn't suffering with depression, she still is under no obligation to walk your dog. It's your dog.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:16:50

Kurri because IME people that work together are closer. Asking the person with dementia to come and batch cook baby food with me means we'll also have a chat, and I can discretely keep an eye on her. There just aren't enough hours in the day for me to make a 2 hour social call to see her every week. So if I was delicate about imposing on her to help, the ultimate effect would be to isolate her from the family.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 19-Feb-14 21:18:11

Well, if she can't do it then she can't do it.
Depression can really floor some people and she might not be able to manage the conversation/ commitment required IYSWIM.

But I know of ppl with depression who can walk dogs and go to parties every weekend but seem unable to make it to work on a monday.
So Iam aware it effects everyone differently.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 21:23:16

Ok procrastreation- how does inviting your MIL to go out in the cold and rain for half an hour on her own to look at the back of your dog bring you closer to her?

OP wasnt asking to help her MIL. Not at all.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:25:43

OP wasnt asking to help her MIL. Not at all.

no she wasn't not really

Anniegetyourgun Wed 19-Feb-14 21:26:42

My guess is that MIL already regularly helps out BIL so it is part of her routine and therefore within her comfort zone. Walking her other son's dog is new and therefore intimidating.

Speaking for myself, I don't own dogs these days because, among a couple of other things, I don't want to have to walk them on a damp February evening. I'd have no compunction turning anyone down, even one of my own dear DC, who wanted me to walk theirs. (Academic at the moment as we all have cats.)

I've also had depression and anxiety, though pretty mild compared with some previous posters, and in that situation I agree, I not only wouldn't but couldn't. (But then I would probably feel dreadfully guilty and convince myself that DS would be run over or murdered or get pneumonia while walking his dog and it would be all my fault. And then I would cry. But I still wouldn't walk that damned dog.)

However I'm awfully sorry for OP with hideous back and pelvic pain. No wonder she's a bit cranky at the moment.

SelectAUserName Wed 19-Feb-14 21:28:00

Procrastreation that's great that that set-up works for you and yours. That doesn't make it a blueprint for everyone else's life.

Presumably if your relative with dementia really doesn't want to come and help you at any time, you respect that and don't get a cob on about the fact you'll have to cook your baby food alone?

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:28:59

Of course it would bring them closer hmm

1) Just seeing each other every day
2) Having the dog in common

But most of all

3) OP feeling like MIL has her back when she's hit a tough spot in her pregnancy. MIL feeling like she's a contributor to the safe delivery of her grandchild by taking a bit of pressure off OP & her son.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:31:02

well the MIL doesn't want to do it procrastreation so regardless of how lovely it would be for the MIL to help her DIl she either doesn't want to or can't or both, you cant force families to bond and do things for each other it isn't sad it is a fact of life sometimes

LondonForTheWeekend Wed 19-Feb-14 21:31:17

I have to say I have reread the OP and I really do not think she deserves anything like the vitriol she has got on here from some posters.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 21:33:34

Procrastination what part don't you understand about the mil having depression?

She can't just flick a switch and everything is ok.


Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:33:53

No - I'd adapt - but I'd keep asking them for favours - adapting my requests as I get experienced in their comfort zone.

I would get cheesed off if I felt that they didn't feel part of my family. So if the relative had said "you chose to have a baby - you deal with the baby food" I'd be pretty hmm .

Part of the thing about families that you do get an idea of how much you can ask of someone. I don't believe OP would have asked her MIL if it was clearly something that would be too much for her. I don't see evidence on this thread why the conclusion is that OP over-demanded rather than MIL could have tried harder.

bookishandblondish Wed 19-Feb-14 21:36:09

I suspect the OP may have had more success had she asked if MIL could do it once to help out - and waited until afterwards before asking for the commitment.

I'm actually impressed MIL just said no rather than letting OP down by making excuses or not turning up.

LEMmingaround Wed 19-Feb-14 21:36:11

Could you just hire a dog walker, they charge about £10 an hour.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:38:20

So £50 per week - adding up to probably £600 by the time OP is back on her feet. It's not pocket change!

KurriKurri Wed 19-Feb-14 21:39:02

They don't have the dog in common - it is OP's dog, MIL doesn't want to look after it. What they have in common is both being too unwell to walk the dog. OP's DH appears to be able bodied, and unlike MIL he does have the dog in common with his wife.

I would have thought that being guilt tripped into walking a dog when you don't want to, with the emotional blackmail of dog walking contributing to the 'safe delivery of her grandchild' would dirve a massive wedge between MIl and DIL.

What utter nonsense that the grandchild's 'safe delivery' is dependent on MIL walking the dog. Good grief that's unbelievably manipulative talk.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 21:39:55

It's not the MILs dog. Nothing to do with her.
The husband can walk his dog - yes?!?

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:40:45

it is really emotionally manipulative language I agree with you Kurri Kurri

Anniegetyourgun Wed 19-Feb-14 21:41:25

I don't think anyone implied the OP was wrong to ask. Asking is fair enough, as long as you are prepared for the answer to be no.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:41:29

I didn't say it was dependent - I said it would contribute.

I've pointed out upthread that able bodied DH probably has his work cut out stabilising the household after a day of active toddler & disabled mum.

LEMmingaround Wed 19-Feb-14 21:42:40

"So £50 per week - adding up to probably £600 by the time OP is back on her feet. It's not pocket change!" well yes, dogs are expensive and a responsibility. However, it would appear that the OP only wanted the MIL to walk the dog twice a week, for less than half an hour so a dogwalker would probably do tht for £8 an hour.

The MIL doesn't want to, or is unable to take the dog out - i suffer from depression, i have to walk my mother's dog for her, its often a strain on me. At my worst, i can't do it.

EverythingCounts Wed 19-Feb-14 21:42:53

I agree with LondonForTheWeekend that the OP has been on the end of some really savage piling-on here. Ironically, since it's all from people falling over themselves to show how sensitive you need to be to the feelings of others, especially if they have a lot of deal with in life. hmm

SimLondon Wed 19-Feb-14 21:44:20

The OP said that she bends over backwards to help her MIL out, so in return encouraging her to go for a 20 minute walk twice a week isnt unreasonable. If MIL is unable to do that then maybe the OP needs to stop bending over backwards to help her and put herself first.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:45:17

nobody is piling in or on the op people just said the MIL is depressed and depression is quite a serious illness of course it would be lovely if the MIL helped out by walking the dog but she doesn't want to people are just trying to tell the OP she needs to come up with another solution for walking her dog,

LEMmingaround Wed 19-Feb-14 21:45:39

So what about when the baby comes, who is going to walk the dog then? Maybe if the dog is causing difficulties they should consider rehoming it or fostering the dog out until such a time as they are able to look after him properly.

It would have been nice if the MIL could have done it, but she doesn't feel able to make that commitment, depression is a crippling illness. I would imagine its the commitment rather than the task that is the issue here. Also, not everyone likes or is comfortable around dogs.

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:48:23

That's the thing - depression is obviously an emotive issue - but it's not been helpful to have posters separate out the sheep and the goats: the depressed and the able bodied.

If I were a HV administering one of those risk of PND questionnaires - I'd score OP quite highly. Late pregnancy, debilitating health issues, feeling unsupported and overwhelmed - and by the tone of her OP feeling emotionally fragile.

I think a cry for help from a person with that profile should be treated seriously.

"deal with your own dog" is no more constructive than "pull yourself together"

LEMmingaround Wed 19-Feb-14 21:48:31

I was being genuinely helpful, i thought, with the dogwalker suggestion - SPD is no walk in the park from what i understand.

OP - why ont post on "the doghouse" you might get some advice - the cinammon trust is an organisation that uses volunteers to help with people unable to walk their dogs due to illness, generally they help elderly people but they may well be able to help - i'd be happy to walk your dog a couple of times a week if i were doing this.

everlong Wed 19-Feb-14 21:49:55

For the last time the husband can walk his dog.

randomfemale Wed 19-Feb-14 21:51:33

I'm sorry I haven't read the whole thread but speaking as a long term manic depressive (I hate the term bi-polar) and dog owner I think YABU.

LEMmingaround Wed 19-Feb-14 21:51:41

Thread hijack alert : Procrastreation I have to pull you up on something you said on your last post - you can help me with something ive wondered about for some time.

The sheep and goats thing - how does one differentiate and what is it better to be? I have genuinely wondered this since university when one of the lecturers said "This course separates the sheep from the goats" None of us really knew what he meant, or whether it was better to be a sheep or a goat. I have never heard this saying since - so if you could enlighten me, i'd be muchly grateful.

mrsjay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:52:02

are you a health visitor ? are you qualified to diagnose PND over the internet, of course the op is miserable she is on crutches still her dog though if the MIL doesnt want to do it then WHAT is the solution the husband does it or they get a dog walker,

Mmmbacon Wed 19-Feb-14 21:53:27

Imo yanbu to ask, yanbu to be annoyed bil is bring put ahead of other family

BUT yabvvu if you expected mil to help out, you should never.expect anything other than to be left down, that way you get pleasant surprises when things go your way and someone says yes,

EverythingCounts Wed 19-Feb-14 21:53:37

I think they are piling in mrsjay. Some posters have said 'you need to find another solution' but more have said she is ignorant etc. Not necessary for someone in the OP's vulnerable position as procrastreation has pointed out.

LondonForTheWeekend Wed 19-Feb-14 21:54:17

I think a sheep is better Jesus being the Lamb of God and all!
Easy to tell apart by looking!

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:55:13

It's a bible reference - I'm not sure one is meant to be better - I think it's used to describe category a & category b in a general way - since most people are not sheep or goats!

Procrastreation Wed 19-Feb-14 21:57:20

mrsjay she didn't ask for a solution.

She asked AIBU? My answer is YANBU .

Mograt Wed 19-Feb-14 21:58:41

I haven't read the whole of this thread but as someone who has suffered from depression (and no doubt will again) I'm afraid to say that YABU. When I'm in the depths the most I can do is get up, put a bright face on for my DCs whilst I get them to school and then go back to bed until I'm next needed.
Currently I'm in a really good place - fought off my annual SAD with earlier Prozac than usual grin but even when I'm here I can still remember the overwhelming fatigue of depression. Difficult to understand when you've not been there.

randomfemale Wed 19-Feb-14 22:02:57

Well said Mograt - I refer to the 'dark times' as The Black Dog and just sleep as much as I can get away with.

afromom Wed 19-Feb-14 22:03:52

OP do you definitely know that the real reason that MIL has said that she can't walk the dog is her depression?

Is she a dog lover normally? It could just be that she doesn't want to walk the dog? I would never walk a dog for someone either, as I'm not confident with them and have absolutely no desire whatsoever to pick up their poo!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 22:15:48

I dont think any

Adeleh Wed 19-Feb-14 22:17:12

Agree with everything counts. Hope you're not feeling too bashed OP.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 22:18:29


I dont think anyone has said OP over demanded of her MIL- just that her reaction to the 'no' response is UR especially the considering talking to MIL about it.

If someone says they dont want to do something for you then you pretty much accept that they dont want to- for whatever reason. Talking to then wont make them want to- but it might make them feel pressured to give in. Thats UR.

Domenica69 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:24:53

Agree totally with LRDTheFeminist Op you sound like you are just pissed off with your MIL anyway and this is just another thing for you to be pissed off about.

You are trying to dress the dog walking thing up as something to help MIL when in fact you just want her to do it for you and you are now annoyed that she is not complying with your expectations.

Get your dh to go out at 7.30 and leave your poor MIL alone until you want to offer her some actual support. You sound horribly bitter and judgemental.

Adeleh Wed 19-Feb-14 22:29:29

No she isn't . First half of her post is about how much pain the OP's in, not about how it would do her MIL good. She's not dressing it up. And she's asking for advice rather than piling in at her MIL. Her real mistake is to have asked on this forum.

LondonForTheWeekend Wed 19-Feb-14 22:34:32

So what does actual support to her MIL/and depressed person actually mean Domenica69.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 22:35:29

I'd say her thread title didnt help her either tbf.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 19-Feb-14 22:40:20

What advice do you think she was asking for Adelah?

The only thing I can see the OP asking are whether or not depression should stop you from being able to walk her dog or whether she should talk to her ill MIL about why she can't even do one little thing for them.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 19-Feb-14 22:42:07

Quite, you are being silly. The thread title was pretty much guaranteed to get people's backs up.

The second post after she unexpectedly discovered no one else agreed with her was the icing on the cake.

motleymop Wed 19-Feb-14 22:43:58

Good god! Roll up, roll up- put your two penneth here - why don't you take the opportunity to REALLY stick the boot in!

Coriolanus Wed 19-Feb-14 22:44:58

I volunteer for the Cinammon Trust, which means they ask me to dog-walk for the elderly or ill. I'm currently walking a dog for a lady suffering from depression!

Adeleh Wed 19-Feb-14 22:46:14

She's asking if it's unreasonable before she does talk again to MIL. Having seen this thread, my guess is that she won't. She just wanted advice about coming to that decision and has had a lot of grief at a time when she is also vulnerable and in pain. And of course the dog is her responsibility and her husbands. But families help each other out in lots of different ways. It was fair enough to ask, and fair enough to be privately disappointed.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 19-Feb-14 23:05:11

Exactly what i said adeleh. - fine to ask and fine to be disappointed. Not fine to be bitter about it and want to pressure her into changing her mind.

I've also volunteered previously for the Cinnamon Trust and am still a member, however they'd be unlikely to provide a volunteer where there is an able bodied adult in the house who could walk the dog daily.

Another option might be for the dog to have emergency respite care at a local or breed specific rescue - rescues can sometimes arrange this when people are in genuine and temporary difficulty though again, they may feel that the able bodied OH is in a position to care for/walk the dog.

If you can't afford a professional dog walker, and they are often very reasonably priced, it may be worth asking a local teenager who is after some pocket money. Alternatively, if they are keen to work with animals, for instance, they may be glad to do this as a way of getting experience and a reference. If you are a member of a church or religious group, are there any volunteers who could help? Or how about a card at your local vet's surgery asking for some temporary help?

I honestly don't think you should expect your MIL to do this for you.

Adeleh Wed 19-Feb-14 23:11:03

I agree it would be unfair to pressure MIL. But I would also find it hard not to be privately pissed off - especially if I'd been helping out a lot. To me the important thing is that she hasn't actually said this to MIL - she's asking about it. That's vey different to charging right in, and asking after the event.

Punkatheart Wed 19-Feb-14 23:22:35

To be very specific, I actually fostered a dog to try and help my depressed teen. I witnessed her having meltdowns when I asked her to walk the dog. She became very agitated and hated the expectation and the responsibility. Depressed is very hard to understand, unless you have experienced it first hand or even at close quarters. I have wanted to give every person who has told us all about their situation a huge hug. It all rings so true and it makes life so hard.

I don't people have piled in necessarily. It hit a nerve for many but there were other factors that people picked up on - such as there being an able-bodied person in the house who could walk the dog after 7.30. But I think mostly people have picked up on the resentment against the BIL. Now here is controversial thing - in depression you can only cope with yourself but there are certain things you can do, can cope with - and it gives the impression that you are OK. But when you have a regular thing you have to commit to - it can make you very distressed. I have seen it with my girl.

Of course I feel for the OP - poor love, she is pregnant and in pain. I hope she comes up with a solution but if the dog walking is not possible, then she does need to let it go. I am in the camp that family is great but my responsibilities are mine. I have cancer, a depressed teen and animals. I struggle a lot. My family would come down (from a long way away) to help me if I asked - but I never feel resentment. I do not expect it.

Let's all try and understand one another here. Depression can make people touchy, aggressive and they go round in circles in their mind. Exercise, good food and goals may help some but it does not touch the side with others, like my daughter.

Sleep well all of you. I hope tomorrow is a good day for everyone, including the OP. I hope that we haven't hurt you - it was not our intention, I feel. It simply hit a raw nerve for many of us and we could see other solutions, rather than the central one.

Stridence Wed 19-Feb-14 23:37:05

Walk your own bloody dog and deal with your resentment towards your BIL.

Stridence Wed 19-Feb-14 23:38:14

(I meant your husband should walk the mutt, not you).

Adeleh Wed 19-Feb-14 23:54:06

punk that was a nice post, and I'm sorry to hear you and your DD are having a rough time. Don't quite agree about that people haven't piled in. OP has been called ignorant, a monumental bitch, has been accused of being annoyed that someone else is getting the attention, and told to deal with her resentment. So far all she has actually done is ask someone, whose doctor has advocated exercise to walk her dog for 20 minutes twice a week. Someone she has helped a great deal. Of course MIL has a perfect right to say no, and must not be pressured when she is ill and vulnerable, but OP asked for advice before doing that. If she came back tomorrow and said she'd gone ahead and hassled MIL that would be different. And how could you be human and not mind seeing BIL being helped when he's done nothing to help and you're crippled with pain? I know it's not MIL's fault, but it would upset me privately.

pettybetty Thu 20-Feb-14 02:03:18

It's not a nice thing to be on the wrong end of dogpiling (I have experienced it under another name) and I hope the OP is feeling ok, both physically and after the bashing experienced on here. I've often wanted to start an AIBU about being badly shaken by being on the wrong end of MN public opinion and the abuse that followed, but have been put off by the thought of the abuse I would re-attract - e.g. 'get a life' or 'if you can't take the heat....' etc etc. confused

It's like posters think you're the scum of the earth for holding one opinion that may just be the result of tunnel vision due to oppressing circumstances, and an OP not seeing the bigger picture.

Just one point though, in the OP you describe it as "she cant even do this one little thing for us". I am sure it is frustration and pain talking, but it's lots of individual favours you are asking for - each walk would be a separate favour, and as many others have pointed out, in rather bleak and unappealing conditions, and that is setting aside the matter of her depression.

If you recognise this fact, you may better be able to accept her refusal. We have a dog, I don't have depression, and I sometimes have to force myself to go out and walk him in -15*C (we're in US with plenty of snow atm). I'm steeling myself to go and do it now as dh is away and can't palm the job off on him grin

differentnameforthis Thu 20-Feb-14 06:38:32

When my friend was in her deepest state of depression, she found it hard to even walk her kids to school several yards up the road.


I'll walk your dog op!! where are you?

Pagwatch Thu 20-Feb-14 07:59:59

Oh give over.

My DH doesn't get home until 7.30 some nights and can still walk the dogs if they need it.
The op asked. The mil said no.
If she doesn't feel up to it - and it may be the responsibility that worries her as much as anything else if she is depressed - she is allowed to say no without the op sneering at her.

FTRsGotAShinyNewNN Thu 20-Feb-14 10:24:04

I've only skimmed the thread but the way I see it

Yanbu to ask mil to walk the dog
Mil is nbu to say no

Just because she should be getting some exercise doesn't mean she feels up to it.
The BIL thing seems like an underlying issue that you need to deal with.
Solution: get DH to walk the dog and go to bed at 7.45 or hire a dog walker

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