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to think grown men should cope without their mum for a few months...

(26 Posts)
oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 00:33:09

A bit long....sorry

Dh is one of six. We live outside his home country. His df died a long time ago and his dm lives alone. She's not in great health: diabetes and some other chronic conditions, one of which causes fatigue. His brothers and sister, while still in the country, all work and have busy lives so she's alone a lot and quite lonely., watches tv all day and hardly moves from the sofa.

She's also a hoarder and together with the fatigue and depression, her apartment is a tip. The other thing is that she gives away most of her pension to support some of my bils. She leaves herself the minimum to live on, eats bread and cheese and oatmeal and doesn't heat her flat. Her clothes are all from the 80s, she spends nothing on herself!

That's the background

So she comes to visit us, originally to stay for 6 weeks. We love showing her a good time, take her to museums, shows, concerts which she loves. During the day, our toddler is home with a nanny so she plays with her (but can rest when tired), she loves to potter around tidying etc and some tv and reading. Our house is warm and there's plenty of healthy food. We also have 2 school aged kids who are home by 3 and who adore her. So she's very happy here. She extended her stay once and now wants to extend again so she'd have stayed 4.5 months altogether.

So that's when it all kicked off with dh's family. His nephew went on about how it's not fair and he misses his grandma ()despite seeing her maybe twice in the last year). one bil went off on a tangent about how unfair it is to his ds (14) who is going through a crisis and what an awful uncaring grandmother she is (it is very sad because his wife died 7 years ago but mil can't be a 2nd mother at her age and in her state of health). And another bil who has 2 small children said we're selfish and just thinking of our family and that they need her too. When dh pointed out that it's mil's decision to stay, he accused us of putting undue pressure on her and effectively making the decision for her (not true beyond telling her she's welcome to stay and that we'd be delighted if she did). He's 36 and tells us that he wants his mother! I found it a bit pathetic. And no one seemed bothered about mil's happiness, just what she can do for them

Is it u for mil to put herself first and stay? Surely at 72 she's earned the right to? Or should we encourage her to go home back to the lonely apartment and depression because dh's grown brothers can't cope without her? She will go if we encourage her to. The whole thing has made me so down, we really had the best of intentions and it's caused a huge family fight.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 17-Mar-16 00:40:52

It's probably a huge relief for her to be living with you. Poor love. I think you should encourage her to do whatever she wants.

MaitlandGirl Thu 17-Mar-16 00:41:12

To be honest with you I'd move her in permanently if that was possible.

What an awful situation for her to be in, by herself and lonely and going hungry sad

It's definitely time she put herself first.

Could you set up Skype conversations with the other grandchildren? At least that way she could keep in touch and see them.

PaulAnkaTheDog Thu 17-Mar-16 00:43:23

Surely this shouldn't even be a question? She's in her 70s and is currently enjoying her life with you guys. Good for her and good for you! Yanbu. Glad you're enjoying your time with your mil smile

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 00:46:46

Three of dh's siblings say she should stay and enjoy herself. But it's the other two, they're so angry!! With her and with us. It made wonder if there's something in it, that even in her 70s, after raising them single handedly, she needs to consider their needs as well. Seems wrong to me

PaulAnkaTheDog Thu 17-Mar-16 00:48:32

It is wrong. She's done raising children. Give her the later life she deserves.

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 00:53:19

The bil whose wife died is trying to blame all his son's issues on mil not being a good enough grandmother.

I know it's hard but she's not able to be a replacement. She already raised 6 children on her own, working all hours and saving like crazy.

FlyRussianUnicorn Thu 17-Mar-16 00:59:12

How often do you see her OP? They are BU anyway but if you havent seen her for a long time and she only visits say once a year and they have the choice of visitig much more frequently then have you brought this up with them?

BirthdayBetty Thu 17-Mar-16 01:00:00

Yanbu, it sounds very much like she should stay with you, especially if she wants to.
Your bil should take the responsibility for his son. He's the parent fgs!
The poor woman needs some happiness and peace. Good on you for offering her some respite and care from her lonely, impoverished life smile

MaitlandGirl Thu 17-Mar-16 01:00:29

Are the ones that are kicking up a fuss financially dependent on her?

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 01:03:44

They do visit her frequently. The bil with small kids sees her most weeks. The other one maybe once a week. Another bil who lives close pops in most evenings and at weekends (and often brings some food).

But she's still alone most of the day, that's just unavoidable. And with the fatigue she really doesn't get out much.

Since she's been with us, she's really perked up. Everyone has commented on how happy and energetic she looks compare to before.

FlyRussianUnicorn Thu 17-Mar-16 01:15:15

Hie often do you see her OP?

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 01:17:56

We go there a couple of times a year and since she's retired 4 years ago, she has an extended stay of 2 months or so each year

FlyRussianUnicorn Thu 17-Mar-16 01:20:01

So you see her every couple of months, this guy kicking off sees her most weeks and thinks your in the wrong? He needs to give his head a major wobble. YANBU OP

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 01:26:45

He says to dh that he chose to live abroad...

FlyRussianUnicorn Thu 17-Mar-16 01:28:44

Hes spat his dummy out because hes clearly jealous. If hes that bothered OP he will start to make more of an effort when his Mum comes home. Dont answer anymore calls to him. The decision has been made.

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 01:35:47

I guess there is an element of jealousy because dh is a bit of a favorite son. She does love them all and would (and does) anything for them but dh makes her laugh and she really enjoys his company.

During the argument, Dh said something to bil about mil being happy here and that our dc surround her with love and bil got most put out and said his dc do too and how is it that she doesn't miss them? I guess he may have a point although she does miss them but doesn't seen them every day anyway at home.

DamsonInDistress Thu 17-Mar-16 07:42:38

I'd start looking into the legal issues around moving her here permanently. At least then you'd know what you needed to do should you and she wish that to happen.

curren Thu 17-Mar-16 07:44:55

They want her back because of what she does, not because they miss her.

Birdsgottafly Thu 17-Mar-16 07:54:23

I think your DH should change attic and start to ask about strategies for when she gets back, pointing out if they all pitch in she could be back quicker.

Things like, more planned contact, help with finances, overcoming the hoarding and tidying up.

I'd put money on them gong quiet.

She's aging, my Mum was still a support to my children at that age, but your MIL sounds 'older' than my Mum. Either way there needs to be a family plan to support her as she ages.

oohjustgrowupalready Thu 17-Mar-16 11:26:45

Thanks for the responses. Good to know they're being selfish shits!

We can't move her here permanently because of visa issues. She has a 6 month visa and can't stay longer. Also health insurance would be a problem, we're already jumping through hoops to extend her cover.

The frustrating thing is she has a decent pension, she doesn't need to live on the breadline - she choses to give it all away. She says it gives her pleasure to help her children and she's happy this way. It is common in their country for parents to help adult children as salaries are very low at the moment...but not to this extent where she's left nothing for herself!

Mil says she's going to arrange a bank transfer. She suspects this will solve issues with the bil with the 2 small kids who does get money from her. The other bil (who she doesn't give money to) is just looking for a scapegoat for his problems with his ds...

The bils and sil do see her a lot, mostly. But they all work and have their own lives. It's just lucky that at our house there's someone around all day

oohjustgrowupalready Fri 18-Mar-16 02:23:58

Well, they fucking pressured her so much that she's going back next week.

Stormtreader Fri 18-Mar-16 09:40:54

I wonder if they think you're putting their source of free money at risk sad

Owllady Fri 18-Mar-16 09:48:34


I feel very strongly that we should let our elderly relatives make their own decisions and to do so as independently as possible. So many families start to treat their older relatives as if they are stupid and incapable. Your MIL is a person, a life lived and experience gained. She should be proud and strong to make her own decisions. Your BIL should be ashamed of himself

JustABigBearAlan Fri 18-Mar-16 09:49:19

Gosh, I read this thinking you were going to say how you'd had enough and wanted her to go. And I was going to say how sad that was, when your mil sounds very selfless and as if she has had a hard time of it.
No wonder she wants to be with your family, when you actually treat her nicely. It's appalling that the rest of the family let her give away so much money she doesn't have enough left to eat well.sad

Good on you though, for being such a nice dil. I read so many awful stories on here sometimes (and yes, I know there are some awful mils, but there's certainly some awful dils too!)

At least you'll know she's going back home having had a lovely time with you.

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