To be about to spontaneously combust in DH & SILs' general direction?(97 Posts)
DH and I have had a ridiculous year. Accidental pregnancy, move across continents to have baby, DH having to retrain to stay in UK, DH having to leave me and tiny baby for 6 weeks due to visa issues, me starting own business...
We live in a 2-bed flat and our baby is 8 months old. We can't afford to move because London. I have just about come out the other side of PND.
Since 1 month postnatal, PILs were pushing for SIL to come live with us while she studies. They are from a culture where this was an impossible request to refuse, but I staged a mini coup and managed to push it back til baby was 6 months.
SIL has a serious mental illness. It has become apparent that she is much more unwell than I or dh thought and will likely need to live with someone for the rest of her life. The course she wanted to do is impossible duemail to her MH, and she is unlikely to be able to hold down a regular job. Essentially, it looks like she'll be living with us long term.
I am totally up for caring for her. I would want to do the same if my sis was ill. But. But but but. I feel manipulated by PIL - again this is partly cultural but we have had no actual convo about this, I feel like they've just decided they don't want to care for her anymore and shipped her over to us. Her behaviour is really exhausting - she's my age, but mentally like a pre teen so after a day of childcare and before working into the early hours of the morning I feel like I'm basically doing more parenting (DH is mainly at uni til late). I have literally no time to myself, so while the will is honestly there to care for her I feel super overstretched and resentful. I know it's not her fault and I know firsthand how shitty MH can be...I just feel like I am running on empty as it is, with nothing more to give.
Help? Hand hold? AGH.
You need a family discussion about this. It should not be up to you to cope with a small baby and someone with a serious mental illness, particularly in a small flat. A long term plan is needed which does not depend on SiL essentially being dumped on whichever relative can be guilt-tripped into taking on the task.
Also make inquiries with social services about sheltered housing and SiL's entitlement to social care help.
I think it's honourable that you're so open to caring for her but surely doing so at the risk of your own MH can't be a good thing. It certainly won't be doing your LO any favours if you're completely run down and overstretched. The glaringly obvious question though is this: what's your DH going to do about HIS sister?
What is SIL studying? Is she at uni? Does she attend lectures/tutorials/do the work that is expected?
They are from a culture where this was an impossible request to refuse
There's no such culture.
You're a grown woman and if your don't want to look after your SIL, you don't have to.
I know there are lots of cultures where this sort of thing is expected, but again, you don't have to agree.
Is your SiL legally entitled to live in the UK long term? Are your PiL living in the UK?
I would be apoplectic with rage at your PILS! I know you say that its a cultural thing but they have totally screwed you over. DH should be demanding to know what they are going to do to help this situation. A small baby, a 2 bed flat and you just recovering from PND - how the fuck do they think that this is acceptable? I think you are a saint to even be considering it.
Mega brought up sheltered accommodation, could you look into that? It might be a better solution. You will have to push for it though and speak to her Gp, psych team or care coordinator if she has one (hopefully she does because they can help out a lot) .
Thanks all. I have tried with the family discussion! It is really complex, but basically PIL don't really want to face the reality of how bad her MH is, but simultaneously are knackered and don't want to have responsibility for her anymore. So they literally will not listen when we try to talk about how, for example, a highly stressful MA in a foreign country is unrealistic and can we maybe look instead at a long term care plan.
She is currently doing an English language course. Original plan was to then apply for MA, but that's out of the window now. PIL are now talking about her somehow getting a visa to stay with us and work for my business (if it wasn't already clear, they are not the most realistic people!!)
DH has his hands tied culturally, ie can't go against his parents in anything really, but also very mucheap wants to help and provide for SIL as do I - it's just very hard for us to commit ourselves fully to that right now and without real consultation
For the sake of your mental health and your child's welfare I think you have to find the strength to just say no. It's just not worth it even if your PIL never speak to you again.
You might also be entitled to carers allowance and to be put on the list for social housing if sheltered accommodation is not an option straight away.
But you really need to speak to her psych team and your Gp.
Nothing to with culture - just bad manners. When DH and I bought our first house SIL and mother-in-law decided that younger SIL and her boyfriend that none of had met were moving in with us for the summer. We had been in the house a couple of months. I wouldn't have minded but nobody even asked me - I was just told.
I grew a pair when she wanted to stay while we were away on honeymoon.
I was annoyed because I wasn't asked. If i had been i was more likely to say yes.
And BTW DH is white and his family come from the Home Counties.
OP - you may have to be the bad guy here and just put your foot down - or tell DH that he will have to help a lot more.
Good luck xx
Is Shen accessing any support outside of the family? From her college, or GP or friends or other family members. This sounds very, very isolating for all of you.
Where are they from op?
Sounds absolutely awful, your dh has put you in a terrible position because he won't stand up to his parents.
Sorry - I think I might not be understanding this properly. When you say MA, do you mean a masters degree?
Are you in the UK OP?
Would she even get a visa if she was no longer studying?
Realistically, where is she even going to sleep? Once your child gets bigger there's not going to be any room for her long term.
I know this isn't the point of your thread OP but I am wondering if she'll even be allowed to stay in the UK legally if she ends up dropping out of her studies (which it sounds like she basically has)? I'm not trying to suggest that you use this as an excuse but it might be truly out of your control as to whether your SIL can live with you. If she is from an EU country of course she might be fine for now but who knows how Brexit will affect things. I mention this because it sounds like you could do with some social services support for her and I don't know if she is eligible? If she is still enrolled in her studies can the college provide any support?
I would be tempted to get her a (one way) ticket home to see her parents.
She is not happy and you are finding it difficult to cope. Then tell your husband you will not have her back to stay. Regarding his parents, all he has to do is avoid any awkward conversation, just like they do. So what if they disapprove? Their disapproval does not change the people you and your DH are. Treat them fairly but do what you think is right.
Oh I read your update OP, I think it's going to be very, very difficult to successfully obtain a visa for your SIL frankly and your DH has to make that clear to his parents. Is there no social service support at all in their home country? I do feel sorry for the PIL by the way, I can imagine how exhausted they must feel but this situation is not fair on you and it's definitely not sustainable. At some point in the next year I think you'll find that your SIL will no longer be able to legally remain in the country if she no longer has a student visa.
So how do they propose she gets a visa and healthcare? And if you can't cope, what then?
Agree it sounds like it would be nigh impossible to get a visa to allow her to stay and that dh needs to make that clear to his parents. He can blame the authorities etc but make it clear not an option
Another thing to consider...if she isn't going to be earning, who's going to provide for her financially? If it's you and your DH, will that prevent you from having more children in the future? It may be very un-PC to say so, but "cultural differences" seem to allow some people to be shockingly rude and entitled.
It sounds like they are dumping her on you.
You have a small home, a young baby and stressful lives. You were not consulted and have not agreed to become her carer. She needs more help than you can give. It will put a huge strain on your marriage.
And she is going to run up a big bill on the NHS.
Have you looked into her visa? Sounds unlikely she'll be accepted to stay - let alone work in the U.K.
I think you need to get the facts clear -
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