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Please help me stop being bitter by a lack of support

(127 Posts)
AngelaMartinLipton Fri 29-Mar-13 11:09:53

I am so disapointed by the lack of support. We live in a different city to our families and don't have any help. I am going between anger and tears when I think about the last few months and I need to let this poison go.

I have been working full time, communting 3+ hours a day whilst my 6yo goes to before and after school club. OH had an operation about 3 weeks ago and so I have needed to drop off and pick up on top of everything else.

A stupid parent I don't know stopped me in the street last week to tell me how sorry she felt for my 6yo as he is being dragged out of the house in the early morning. Her lovely little girl was with her and so I just said a lame 'aren't we all just trying to do our best?'. I feel so guilty and tired. I don't have it all; I'm doing it all.

I asked my parents for help and they said they would if I lived nearer. I last spoke to them 2 weeks ago when they rang to tell me how tired they were after looking after my sister's kids. I told them I was hurt and frustrated by their lack of support and that this was insenstive. OH's parents are coming over Easter and I feel so bitter. Nether set of parents have helped and so I can't be fecked having them as visitors.

I am quite blunt but feel ready to explode - I understand this is unfair.

I now have a break and can't understand why, more than ever, I feel so hurt and frustrated. We are now over the worst and I should be enjoying time off with my lovely family and friends. I want to get to a point that I can let insensitive comments aside.

The situation isn't going to get better. They aren't going to change and I need to change how I feel about this. Has anyone been able to put negative feeings aside?

Iwaswatchingthat Fri 29-Mar-13 17:42:24

Buy a load of stuff that can be heated up for tomorrow's meal and get your OH to put it in the oven too. Shove all the mess from the house in a cardboard box and chuck in garage. Don't bust a gut when they don't. Run a bath and Relax.

whitecloud Fri 29-Mar-13 18:45:16

I really feel for you. Things like this are always worse when you are exhausted. I think the worst thing is seeing that other people get more support and you don't get any. In my experience families can be very selfish, very biased towards one member or members and really oblivious to the needs of others. But if the boot is ever on the other foot and they are finding things rough they might start thinking you are going to run after them all the time. You won't have to feel guilty then for withdrawing and letting them get on with it.

I remember meeting someone when my dd was little who had in laws and parents very near. All she ever did was moan about them. I had no family help and it used to make me so angry. Many people have absolutely no idea what it is like to cope alone and not much imagination either. Hope you feel better soon. If you can pamper yourself and get a bit of help, I would.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 29-Mar-13 18:57:54

Because you are exhausted and you are doing your best and other people are making you feel it isn't good enough. It's more than good enough it's awesome.

We didn't have any help either and it used to irk me too but our DC are 14 and 18 now and there is a certain satisfaction in owing nothing to anybody else.

If you are exhausted - why are you having them for Easter? Couldn't you have said I'd love to but I haven't had a break since, Xmas, DH has been ill and I need some me time just with the family.

Good luck - try to have a nice Easter and remember you have held it together this long and you will continue to hold it together selfish bastards

NothingsLeft Fri 29-Mar-13 19:31:34

Bit late now but I agree with married about having people over.

I made this mistake for a while then got really stressed and bitter before realising when you're struggling, your down time is for napping, resting, whatever it takes to recharge a bit. Sod other people.

I have even said 'if you are not coming to help then you are not welcome here at the moment'. They still don't help but taking control helps with the resentment.

I don't think its unreasonable to be very clear when you see them about how hard it's been and that some help would be appreciated. If not, look elsewhere for it. As you say, they won't change and you will make yourself ill keep thinking about it. I know I did.

Really hope you get to rest and take it easy smile.

Kat101 Fri 29-Mar-13 19:51:35

If YABU then so am i, with bells on. My IL's live 200 miles away and only like to visit, not get involved in anything that constitutes work. We have taken a big step back, not invited them for ages and not been up there much. We are 8 years in to parenting with several young children and bloody knackered. I have decided this year that if I'm consigned to do all the graft then I'm at least going to do it on my terms without 2 extra lazy fuckers sat on my couch waiting for cups of tea

Yama Fri 29-Mar-13 20:00:16

What a horrible comment from that school parent. How very dare she comment on your child. Please don't let it get to you. Allow me to be angry on your behalf. My eldest goes to breakfast and after school club. And bloody loves it. Early to bed offsets being up so early.

And yes, you have a right to feel resentful. My parents are 100 miles away and would come down at the drop of a hat if I needed them. So would mil.

I want to be like that for my children no matter how old they are. It gives strength just knowing that someone wants to help.

imaginethat Fri 29-Mar-13 20:10:32

I think you are probably feeling very emotional right now because you are exhausted from caring for an ill/injured OH, a young child, and from work. Anyone would

Give yourself a break. Use a cleaning service for a few weeks. Buy food that only needs heating.

Having people round should be about the joy of seeing them not wearing yourself out.

Corygal Fri 29-Mar-13 20:33:20

I totally sympathise with you - you must both be shattered, you have had an awful time, you poor things. No wonder you're grumpy. I would be.

Re the parents - thing is, just because you've got a point, doesn't mean anything will change. But you can make it easier on yourself by letting go. That is so much easier said than done. Give it a go tho'. Whatever you do, let everyone know your PIL and parents are useless.

Allow yourself the odd remark with a tinkly laugh like 'I hope SIL likes eldercare' when they next bang on re favouritism, not to mention the all-time classic 'So sad we're too far away to help each other' if the tables turn. PS When the tables turn.

AngelaMartinLipton Fri 29-Mar-13 20:38:11

ILs arranged this visit with OH; I would have said it was too much this weekend.

I have quite a good job; my peers all seem to cope with the work life balance of managing children much better than I do. They all some have support. I try not listen to their gripes and moans about free childcare.

The horribily judgemental mother and I aren't on chatting terms. She thinks she knows a lot about my life though hmm. She must be nice because her little girl is so lovely. I'm going to be blunt next time I see her and ask her to keep her judgements to herself.

Kat101 That is it exactly; this is a visit for them. Disgraceful of them to expect my hospitality when they have been no help whatsoever. I would feel a smidge better if they appreciated how hard I work at everything. One snide comment like 'gosh if you are working such long hours you must be loaded' and they will see my arse. Over the last few years we have spent at least £35K on childcare.

I feel a little bit better. thanks everyone.

ElectricSheep Sat 30-Mar-13 01:16:12

Perhaps you need to have a word with your OH too about checking with you before he inflicts his parents on you. Does he understand/appreciate just how much you've had on your plate while he's been ill?

Bedtime1 Sat 30-Mar-13 04:19:10

Im sorry for you op. Parents/ills who'd blooming have em hey? I've no advice on this as I'm coping with bitterness/ anger etc towards my parents. Not child related. All I can say is though, if they aren't thoughtful people then they aren't going to change, no matter what you say and the worst thing is having somebody around who resents it. Have people around that genuinely want to be around. I would get help in, even if it costs because you can't do everything yourself, Don't make yourself poorly.

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 07:31:21

I've slept until 7, which is a massive lie in. I feel a bit better but still feel like I could sob or rant if someone says something insensitive.

Being in such a negative place is draining. They aren't worth the time I'm giving them. Not least because they aren't thinking of me. I know this and still can't take my own advice.

I must be mad; I've arrange a weekend away with one of my friends. I feel too tired to make an effort. I'm also going to make time to exercise every day.

I will speak to DH before my next contract. I'm ashamed to feel resentful of my oh. To be fair to him, I think because I've managed, he thinks I'm ok. I feel like this has changed everything. He knows I'm upset but not the extent of it. He probably thinks it will blow over but it's changed how I feel.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 30-Mar-13 08:39:14

What does your OH usually do OP. When he's not recovering from an operation?

I think some people just don't see what others do. My MILs attitude was always "well I didn't have any help". And she didn't but her husband worked shifts and was around sometimes in the day time so she could pop out on her own. My mother had her parents whenever she wanted it and told me I was lucky because on the one hand there was no-one to interfere and on the other I never had to beg for help. she also once told me I was lazy

I do know that the added stress of having a family member recovering from something serious is incalculable though and I have only done it for a week with DH and that was before children and then once or twice with each DC. What you have been through recently is enough to drive you to breaking point and you have my every sympathy. But, I think it will pass and you will feel better as things around you get better.

In all likelihood your DH genuinely didn't appreciate how tired you would be and he probably arranged this ages ago. Parents do forget what it was like and remember all the good bits and I think they do genuinely get tired as they get older and have to pace themselves more; I know I do and I'm only 53.

But a full time job, a 6 year old (do you have other children?), a sick DH, and it's tough. But it will pass. Can you arrange something to look forward to and hang on to it; and when they are here, give them a few little jobs even if it's only taking your ds to the park or buy three cinema tickets and send them out with him for the afternoon.

With love ....and breathe wine bit early brew

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 08:55:20

The idea either set of parents would take my only ds out is laughable. They are coming for a visit and not to help in any way. This is why I'm so upset really. Dh was crazy to arrange a visit on that basis.
We are all off next week and I would have been in a much more positive state of mind if I was less tired. Even a week would have made a difference.

I know he is stuck in the middle but I really need to talk to DH about how upset I am. I am blazing that anyone thinks it appropriate to visit today when they have been no help at all. I am happy to be polite but I have nothing more to offer. They area very demanding and I have no intention of pandering to them. As dh wants them here, he can run around after them or not.

Recipe for disaster. Yesterday I was sad and now I'm angry.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 30-Mar-13 08:59:02

Are they just coming for the day? And then you are off all next week?

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 09:05:36

Oh is a very kind person and is of the opinion you should treat guests as you would liked to be treated and not how others treat you. I'm over that. It means we are good hosts and great guests. They are crap at both.

Oh is a great father and old feel I should be grateful because he isn't down the pub and playing golf all weekend. I earn a lot more than he does and work longer hours. They are very old fashioned. I'm finding it hard to say anything nice about any of them.

I feel more and more that oh keeping the peace is causing more problems. I feel betrayed by his lack of support in this area. He knows they haven't been any help. He is being the bigger person knows ds would like to see them. I want ds to have a good relationship with them. It's the only reason I haven't gone out for the day.

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 09:08:53

Ils not old.
I know it seems unreasonable but they were off next week and door the rest of their lives. I was a working yesterday and this is my first day off since I went back after xmas. I am self employed and so often work at night and weekends.

The timing of the visit suits them and them only.

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 09:12:21

Predictive text is driving me mad. Sorry for the errors.

Basically they could come anytime. They want to come today between x to x time. They want lunch and dinner. They are stopping somewhere on the way, as usual.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 30-Mar-13 09:32:12

Now, brace yourself.

Our DC are 18 and 14 (nearly 15). I work full-time and DH works full-time plus. Neither of us have had a day off since Xmas either (although we aren't having visitors this weekend except for the usual trail of teenagers and probably a few who will sleep here.

DH and I cannot see both our parents anymore - our fathers are now dead. That means DH visits his elderly mother 250 miles away monthly and I deal with everything those weekends.

This is for one day and they are entitled to see their grandchild. Afterwards they will be going home again - ours used to come for the week - yes the whole week and with a host of dietary requirements.

Your ILs did their childcare and heavy duty household management a generation ago; you are doing it now. Your child and your household are your responsibility and it is also your responsibility to see your in-laws and parents from time to time. You have to cook lunch and dinner anyway - today you are cooking for five not three.

Next week you are off for the week (I'm not) I think you need to get on with it and keep a smile on your face whilst you do. It doesn't seem half as bad to me as you have painted it. Whilst I accept that you are tired and you want some time to yourself - you have that next week. Many many people would like some extra help but it doesn't sound as though usually you are having to support more than your family unit.

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 10:01:01

You are entitled to have your views. DH and ds are off for Easter holidays. I'm so tired that I've decided not to renew my current contact because I simply can't do any more. Next week, I'll work 1/2 day in the office and will spend some time looking for my next contract. The rest of the time I'll be sorting the house out and arranging for essential building work to be carried out. I haven't had time to tidy up and now I can't be bothered.

For me this isn't as simple as my ils coming for 7 hours and seeing their ds and Dgs. There is too much history to view this day in isolation. They have not been since way before Christmas. They have avoided coming and offering help. They could have taken DH out for lunch whilst he was house bound. They could have visited when ds's school closed because of snow.

They are coming to visit on my first day off since Christmas. I am resentful they have not helped but expect to be wined and dined. If we needed their help today, they would cancel their visit. I can't be my normal gracious self. I want to feel better about my situation and be less bitter. I feel differently about them all.

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 10:14:02

I know I'm not the only working mother. I am not a single parent and have the financial, practical and emotional support of my oh. I know many people do without the help of their families. Our siblings DO HAVE support. I have asked for specific, practical help during a time i have found challenging and been turned down.

I don't feel like they are entitled to see their GC on a specific day that doesn't suit me. Next week would have been much better.

I will endure this visit in the knowledge we won't see them until Christmas or when it next suits them. I have plans to visit my home city but we'll stay with friends. If my oh makes plans I will join in. I shan't take the initiative and won't be making any effort to visit them.

I know how horrible this makes me sound. I need to concentrate in the positive people in my life.

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 10:29:58

Married I understand what you are saying and do so want to put this into perspective.

I agree my family are my responsibility. Both sets of parents had a lot of family support.

Bedtime1 Sat 30-Mar-13 11:57:17

Angela- I understand . You really need to get some rest and try and look after yourself. I wish your husband would have discussed this visit with you then you could have told him how you feel and that it's too much right now. If he wanted to see them them so be it but it doesn't mean you have to.
It's happening now though and things can't be changed but you could still nip out . You know do the polite hello for a while then say you have to go somewhere. Your husband can manage tea and take care of little one then you go somewhere and do something that will relax you.

Bedtime1 Sat 30-Mar-13 12:01:39

Oh and I think if you take control. Accept that they will be who they are. If they won't offer then no point in getting then to do something they resent. Better to leave it and sort out child care and work. You need a balance. Can you pay for some help? Child care? Cleaning ? Ironing? .

AngelaMartinLipton Sat 30-Mar-13 12:12:22

Thanks for putting up with my self pity. I have appreciated all views. Two things will see me through:
1) I have explicitly said to my oh that this visit is ill timed and that they are unfair to expect to visit without being prepared to help. he has a busy afternoon of running around after them.
2) My lovely, elderly neighbor brought homemade casserole thingy and an egg for ds. I get her heavy shopping on my internet shop. She said I looked like I've been busy. It was a lovely surprise and I gave her a big kiss. I don't think she's on MNwink .

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