To think that my dcs ARE a consideration?(91 Posts)
There have been issues with my family in the past and things are a bit difficult to say the least in general.
Anyway, DM has been very ill. Was in hospital quite a while, during which time dsis made lots of promises of helping her if she got better and how she was going to do x,y,z to help when DM was home etc etc. All accompanied of course by lots of amateur dramatics, weeping and wailing in front of anyone who looked like they may provide an audience as she adores attention.
As DM improved, dsis decided that actually, it was looking as if she may have to keep her promises and she quickly retreated and needed 'days off' from stressful visiting, had to think of her own health and well being etc etc. DB took a week off work so DM had a visitor every day whilst dsis said she was still really not well/too tired.
DM then a couple of weeks later came home (too soon I think as she was really not well). Of course this coincided with dsis deciding to have a 'breakdown' and declaring that she has bipolar and bulimia and is unwell physically so couldn't help at all. She then relented and went to 'try and help' DM a couple of times but ended up screaming and shouting and having huge arguments with her each time. As DM was still unwell db had to then go to help her and at other times I did and it was very difficult.
Db lives a very long way away so was having to drive long distances to help and has three dcs of his own (plus complicated access arrangements with two ex partners to negotiate involving more travel) and I have four dcs with disabilities and dh works so it was difficult to juggle and between us we tried but in the end a relative had to collect DM to stay with them for a bit.
Dsis does not work or have dcs so should, in theory have been able to keep her promises. Db had got exhausted going to help DM and drove hundreds of moles and I spent hours away from my dcs even on Xmas day as DM was so ill and couldn't be alone and needed help even to eat.
DM is now home and luckily seems a bit better but has a lot of appts to attend in the coming weeks which she needs help with to get to and from. Df spoke to dsis and asked could she help at all (df lives even further away than db, and is in very poor health so cannot help). Dsis went mad and said why should she do it, that it makes no difference that db and me have dcs that it is not a factor at all in whether we can help or not and why should she do anything. She said that our dcs should not be a consideration at all and we should not ask her to do anything and made lots of comments about popping a dc out just to have a good excuse not to be available all the time.
When asked specifically about the dates DM has the appts dsis replied with "well, I might be feeling ill those days or I might want to do my craft stall so I won't be able to help"
She keeps saying that it makes no difference that we have dcs and she doesn't and that we are "just as available" as she is. I've had enough of her attitude and can't even bring myself to speak to her as she clearly does not understand at all.
I'm hoping DM continues to improve and will be independent again but really don't see why in the meantime dsis can't do her share.
So, does she have mental health problems or not?
If no, then YANBU and SIBU.
If yes, then YANBU and SINBU.
Sent too soon.
...generally. In an ideal world, I do think you should each take equal turns at helping your DM. You each have lives and responsibilities and for each of you, one of those responsibilities is your DMs care.
Well, children are a consideration - but so are other things, like bipolar and bulimia. I'm sorry you are all under such stress and pressure, but it's not going to help anyone if you end up fighting like cats in a bag. She may be a selfish arse (or not), but you could spend all your energy and emotional resources spitting over that, and have none left for your MIL and kids. You're not likely to change her attitudes or behaviour, so it's important to focus on the issues you can influence (hate her later, when you have the time).
So move away from the 'shoulds' and start working through what needs to be done, and how it can get done. Best of luck to you all.
Obviously the children have to be taken into consideration. But if she has mental health issues, that's also a big consideration too.
Well, it is annoying when people use the fact they have DC to get out of things etc, and just because she has no children this shouldn't mean she should be expected to do more care for your mother.
It does sound like she is struggling a bit, as are you, and neither of you seem very sympathetic to the other's point of view at the moment.
Could the three of you dsis, dB and you get together and decide who is going to do each appointment, who is going to visit dm on each day/week etc. That way dsis will have to be pinned down to something, and she will also be able to see what you and dB are agreeing to, that might help her be more prepared to pull her weight?
I hope your DM gets better soon.
I have to say, I honestly don't know.
I know she does not have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder but she has been depressed in the past.
She said her bulimia is a secret but she says his every so often so iam not sure. She does have some health problems which she has medication for and is only currently mildly affected.
She seems to have always had a lot of allowances made for her and behaviour excused and now thinks she can do and say what she wants when she wants. She is definitely not 'right' but how much of it is illness and how much of it nastiness I really do not know. She seems fine and well when it suits her and she wants to do something but if not then this sort of thing tends to happen
How did I know who wrote this before I even looked at the OP's name?
We did all get together, db and I wrote down all the dates and times we could be available and which appts we could help with etc.
Then we asked dsis what days she was available and she said "none, I don't want to do any" then she left.
YANBU but you can't force her. Aim for doing a third each as having her do a third is better than none at all.
I hopeyour mum is better soon.
Oops, sorry cross posted.
The DC being a 'consideration' or not is completely separate to her refusing to help at all, surely.
It is just very frustrating when she says to me to put ds2 in full time nursery so that I can do it all, says she's too ill on a particular day then suddenly turns up to pick up her post, all dressed up and going out to the pub/cafe/to do her craft stall and I just think what on earth is going on??!
Well, you have tried. You and dB do what you can, and leave her out of it.
Ignore her suggestions about child care. YANBU to make your own decisions about that!
What about trying something different? Backing off and giving her some space and letting her step up to do an amount she is comfortable with. You say she's not right and has had depression/eating issues in the past. That tells me she is very vulnerable and mightn't be feeling strong enough to cope with extra. I think you have to be led by her really and how strong she feels.
In the ideal world obviously she'd just step up to the mark but there are complications that make things difficult for everyone.
We are going to see how DM is over the next few days and as db is starting a new job he won't be able to really help as won't be travelling this way so its likely DM will need to get some sort of care package in place as I have limited capability to help her and dsis won't/can't.
It can be dealt with and DMs potential care needs met by outside agencies its just frustrating as dsis promised to help then decided to completely change her whole opinion on it all and is being extremely difficult.
When we tried backing off she did go round to DMs twice but both times I then got screaming phone calls from her saying my dh needed to pick her up as she hated DM and couldn't cope with her complaining and moaning and being ill and that she wanted to push her down the stairs or hit her.
DM, to be fair was very challenging those first few days but due to the nature of her illness some personality and mood changes were inevitable but dsis was unable to take a step back she took it personally and retaliated when DM got upset/angry/frustrated. DM had needed help washing her hair on one of the occasions and dsis got angry and threw the water all over her.
Sound like she's not really up to helping your mum. Get the care package sorted, maybe then your sis might visit if there's no pressure to actually do any caring.
So your saying pressurising her to help doesn't work and stepping back doesn't work. Your sister is clearly struggling. Let her say what she feels she is comfortable doing. She's more likely to be happier with how she helps DM that way. He last thing I'd want is a vulnerable person with a short fuse giving care to a vulnerable elderly relative.
We did not pressure her, she initially offered and wanted to do it all then completely changed her mind (DM said she did not want dsis staying with her friend and dp like she suggested she was going to) DM said she felt vulnerable around anyone other than family an dsis took offence.
Accept that she has changed her mind.
In your position I'd struggle to speak to a sister who has behaved as your's has. Has she sought/is she getting treatment for her ED/Bipolar?
You know that saying about believing people who tell you who they are well she told the truth when she said "I don't want to" - look after your DM. Anything she does will be spoiled with her anger and resentment. Really it is of no concern to you at this stage whether your sister is behaving disgustingly because of her mental health or because she is an awful person at heart. You have too much on your plate without giving her a second of your time. For now at least I would pretend she doesn't exist and behave accordingly.
You need to not just back off but write her out of the equation and see if SS can provide some additional support. She sounds abusive to your dm and it doesnt matter if thisvis mh problems or nastyness.
Yanbu. They are a consideration. Sounds like you've got a lot of responsibilities.
YANBU but you can't fix people or force a nasty narcissistic person to become a nice unselfish person by reason and persuasion. You only have control over yourself. So, you put in as much time as you feel comfortable with - making sure you don't overcommit to the detriment of your DCs. DB puts in as much time as he reasonably can given his other commitments. The rest gets done by bought-in help.
Your sister is unreliable and unreasonable, and has proved this many times. There is no point getting her to be rota'd in to take her fair share because she would let everyone down at the last minute anyway, and your mum would suffer for it.
Of course it's not fair. Life isn't fair. That's not something you can change.
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