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Baby due in 2 weeks..... juggling caring for elderly dad..... no support

(10 Posts)
poppyXsmile Tue 25-Mar-14 09:03:52

Sorry I just need to write this down somewhere. Over the past 14 months, my mum died who I was really close to, I had an ectopic pregnancy, I have been diagnosed with a mild hearing impairment, I moved house twice, I no longer speak to my mum's side of the family due to a number of issues, I had to leave my job, and my husband and I moved in with my dad to a new area as my dad has health issues and is losing his sight. I am an only child, so have no siblings to help, no one on my mum's side of the family help, and my dad's family all live far away. I am due my first baby in two weeks time. I am 30 years of age and my dad is 68.

My dad has always been someone who has mood swings and can be quite controlling and aggressive (he puts on a face for other people like he is mr wonderful, but behind closed doors it can be a different story. He had a very successful career where he has managerial responsibility and this met his needs for control, adoration, power etc). It is like there is two of him - the normal, pleasant, rational side, and then the grumpy, mood swinging, verbally aggressive side.

He has diabetes which is affecting his eyesight. He has had to give up driving and lacks confidence to do things and go places on his own. I know it is very difficult for him and a big lifestyle change, but I am sick of his aggression and mood swings and swearing being aimed at me when he can't do something or doesn't have the patience to learn to do something differently. He also won't monitor his blood sugar properly which is making his eyesight worse. He is only 68.

The house we have all moved into together has an annexe, so he has his own living room, kitchen and bathroom, and upstairs, a huge bedroom with an ensuite. This was so my husband and I and the baby and our two cats would have out own space in the house, but my dad would have his own space too. We share the office, where I hear my dad shouting and swearing at the computer. He is now refusing to sleep in his bedroom saying he doesn't like it, and sleeps in me and my husband's livingroom, using my good cushions as pillows. I worry about getting up through the night when the baby is here and having my dad sleeping in me and my husband's livingroom. My dad goes in a huff and marches out the room if I say that it is a livingroom and not a bedroom.

My dad has done well to attend social groups in the area and groups for people going blind, however he relies on me to transport him to these groups. I keep on saying to him that he should get a support worker to help him go places as I will not be able to take him everywhere when the baby is here. He just dismisses this. I worry he will see the baby as an inconvenience when he gets here, and will say things like "I won't bother going to the group then if you can't take me there". How is this fair? I will have a baby to look after yet he doesn't seem to understand that my baby will be my priority and I cannot just go here there and everywhere with a newborn baby in tow? I will still do as much I can for him, but I want to have time for me and my baby.

My husband is getting annoyed at the situation too. I am dreading today as my dad gets his computer back from the repair shop, which will involved lots of swearing and aggression as the settings will have changed and he will need me to help him with it. Also he has only slept for about 2 hours which will put him in a bad mood. He has talked of getting a futon for his livingroom area, so again it will be me who has to take him from shop to shop or look online with him. I wish I had someone else to help me. My husband is brilliant and helps my dad as much as he can too, but my husband works 40 hours per week and it is not fair that I burden him even more.

Sorry for moaning, but it is really hard some days. I miss my mum, my dad has major attitude problems, I am worrying already about juggling my dad and my new baby. I find it hard to talk to my friends who have just had babies as they have their mums, sisters, grans, aunties etc to help them and I don't. My husband's mother lives 15 minutes away but she doesn't drive and doesn't like my cats. They are very nice in laws though and they are really looking forward to the baby coming.

Thanks for listening to me, I know a lot of other people have it tough too.

notadoctor Tue 25-Mar-14 12:31:23

No advice but just wanted to send you sympathy. Sorry things are so tough. Hope sharing has helped!

Look after yourself

AlwaysDancing1234 Tue 25-Mar-14 12:46:39

poppy first of all, sending you unmumsnetty hugs.
I have some experience of a family member with an illness such as you have described and I know it's not easy, especially if you live in the same house and are expecting a baby.
Without wanting to sound harsh I think you need to get tough with your dad and sit down with him and make things very clear that although you appreciate it's hard for him, he can't carry on treating you and the house as he is.
I appreciate he may be feeling anxious or depressed about his illness but it sounds like he's not helping himself.
Maybe try contacting AgeUK for advice or diabetes chantries also.
Hope you feel a bit better just for getting it all off your chest. Thinking of you.

Crazy8 Tue 25-Mar-14 12:47:16

Hi. I have been in a similar sutuation and you have my sympathies and also my admiration. Not sure if you are in London or even if its still available but you may be able to get a taxicard for your dad if his is registered disabled. Also does your dad get all tax benefits available as these could also help towards taxis. He would then have means to get to his groups.
Also consider getting in touch with help the aged as they may have volunteers who could take your dad out.
Would your dad listen to your husband more than you? Would your husband be able to have a chat and explain your situation with regard to caring for the baby being your priority.
I would also try and make time for yourself. Easier said than done I know but please still try. You will be no good to anyone if you don't look after yourself.

Tomkat79 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:17:34

Jeez poppy I'd put him in a resp home! Only joking.

What a situation to be in. I sympathise as I'm an only child and altho my folks are in good health i anticipate a similar situation one day.

Def agree with other comments...you need to be assertive and explain how his behaviour is making you feel.
It's very unfair on you and your own family and whether he likes it or not he has to come your way. He is extremely lucky that he has your support and living arrangements that he does. I work on an elderly ward and can tell you it's very rare. Good luck OP xx

Tomkat79 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:17:55

Resp home?! Meant resi home!

ruth1104 Tue 25-Mar-14 17:44:46

OP what a difficult situation sad you have my sympathy, I think I would be very very stressed in your situation. I think it's important to remember that for you to be able to really help your dad (and be able to be a wife, mum, etc) you have to look after yourself too! And not feel guilty about that.

Like PP said maybe get in touch with some relevant charities to make sure your dad's getting all appropriate benefits to help him to be as independent as possible. Sounds like maybe your dad is struggling to cope as well, would he consider talking to someone from a diabetes charity?

In any case, sounds like you do need to talk to him about finding a way of living (together or separately) so that he can do everything he wants to do, you can be in his life and still live yours. I hope you manage to sort things out or just feel better!

Tomkat79 Wed 26-Mar-14 08:15:35

Jeez poppy I'd put him in a resp home! Only joking.

What a situation to be in. I sympathise as I'm an only child and altho my folks are in good health i anticipate a similar situation one day.

Def agree with other comments...you need to be assertive and explain how his behaviour is making you feel.
It's very unfair on you and your own family and whether he likes it or not he has to come your way. He is extremely lucky that he has your support and living arrangements that he does. I work on an elderly ward and can tell you it's very rare. Good luck OP xx

Madratlady Wed 26-Mar-14 08:21:54

Can you get carers in for a few weeks? Or find him a respite place in a nursing home? Just to give you a while to focus on you and your baby.

poppyXsmile Wed 26-Mar-14 08:25:36

Thanks for your replies i really appreciate it. X

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