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caring for mum-in-law

(11 Posts)
smellycoat Wed 01-Nov-17 20:57:52

I am caring for my dying mum-in-law in my, and her son's home, and she seems to be near the end. But I can't seem to get it through to her only son (my man), that he should be with her at this time, and to hang with his work. He has a pretty high powered job, and I think he is coping by being in some sort of denial of the inevitable. Last night I heard her calling out, and went to her bedside, but she was shouting his name, so I called him through from his bed. She called out his name and "my son", in a frustrated way, and I feel so sorry for her that he refuses to take time off work for her. She has reached the stage where she can only drink if you drip water into her mouth with a syringe, and is palliative care. Has any one else had this problem?

GreatStar Wed 01-Nov-17 21:01:18

So sorry for you all are going through. Everyone deals with these things differently I guess, some of us want to squeeze every last opportunity with a loved one, others want normality to continue as long as possible
She's lucky to have you and I hope all is peaceful when the time comes xx

smellycoat Wed 01-Nov-17 21:04:05

Is it normal then.... I am really so surprised, because before she got ill, I had spent over 30 years with him hardly off the phone to her, it seemed.

smellycoat Wed 01-Nov-17 21:07:24

It's like he has handed the responsibility over to me, when in the past he he did not even let me in to their conversations. Feeling worried, sad and weighted down with the effort.

GreatStar Wed 01-Nov-17 21:12:05

I've had very similar experience.
Mil ... 5 sons. 4 of them continued to work near the end and just pop in for a quick check up on her. Only one of the sons actually spent time holding her hand and talking to her. Very sad.

Ausparent Wed 01-Nov-17 21:12:38

If they have been so close it may be really painful for him to see her this way. If you are able to keep her comfortable and he needs to keep his distance, it may be what he needs to do.

It sounds like he is trying to avoid facing the situation rather than a lack of caring.

Losing a parent is shit. We are never old enough for it to feel ok. Hang in there x

BewareOfDragons Wed 01-Nov-17 21:21:20

What do you think would happen if you forced the issue ... as in telling hi you're having the weekend off, and he must take care of his own mother...

BoobieHolster Wed 01-Nov-17 21:37:32

My mum passed away last year. We were ever so close. While my siblings and I took turns looking after her when she was ill so that we were always with her and all did our fair share....I hated it. She wasn’t her any more; I was scared and anxious being around her, and couldn’t bear to see her feeling pain and sadness. That said, I am glad I did spend time with her before she went - I think I’d really regret it if I hadn’t.

So i think it’s understandable for him to want to distance himself...but at the same time, its not fair on you. You need support and time away from it all. They both sound very lucky to have you around flowers

birdladyfromhomealone Wed 01-Nov-17 22:32:34

He's scared cut him some slack and you are a good DIL xx

notquitegrownup2 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:40:33

Oh bless you. It's so tough, isn't it?

Can you encourage him to do the night-time visits, even if he is out at work all day. At best, being tired all day may focus his mind on the fact that work can wait. If not, at least he will spend some time with her even if he then battles through the day at work.

FWIW some employers also expect their employees to keep going in, and may only grant a day or two's compassionate leave, so his attitude may be reinforced at work, and he may not feel as if he has an option. Or he may just be in denial/expect you to do the caring. sad

HeddaGarbled Wed 01-Nov-17 23:00:42

When my dad was dying, we all spent weekends with him and as many evenings as we could individually manage but none of our employers would have given us open-ended time off to be with him. One of my siblings had a particularly strict policy of 2 days compassionate leave so saved one day for the day after he died and one day for the funeral.

However, he does need to step up and take over the bulk of caring duties from you at weekends and evenings and some overnights.

It is utterly unreasonable of him to exploit your kind heartedness in this way. Insist he takes over from you some of the time. And use that time to rest and look after your own physical and emotional health. You must be utterly drained flowers

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