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Feeling guilty

(16 Posts)
bigscarymum Tue 20-Sep-11 22:41:39

My parents are 83&84. Dad great, mum frail. I feel guilty because I am so wrapped up in my life with my 3 young DCs, that I don't really have time for them. I get irritated when they seem to think that dropping everything at 3 in the afternoon to help them out with something that my dad could easily do, resulting in me not getting the kids to one of their clubs etc etc. I know that one day they will be gone & I will feel guilty, but right now I have so much on my plate and they are quite independent really. They only had me, so i really think they have no idea what my life is like. It shocks me every time I see them, when I realise how very old they are. The GP wanted to send my mum to hospital today because her asthma was playing up, but she wouldn't go because she didn't want to go to a geriatric ward.

How do people find time for a job, DCs, DH AND DPs?

SingleMan25b Fri 23-Sep-11 20:02:07

I look after parents of 87 and 77 and have had to stop working for a while as their care demands all the hours of the day. If your able to manage work and three young children as well as caring for your parents then you've nothing to feel guilty about - in fact I think you probably deserve and award!

ssd Fri 23-Sep-11 20:51:46

I agree!

and singleman25b, are you in contact with social services? you need to get your parents assessed for some help from them, you can't do it all on your own, you'll burn yourself out

take care x

SingleMan25b Sun 25-Sep-11 23:56:16

Thank you for your kind thoughts ssd.

Unfortunately, I'm not able to access any help from social services at the moment as my parents are living in denial that they need help. Therefore, all I can do for now is carry on as best I can and wait for something to change.

ssd Mon 26-Sep-11 22:20:25

oh, thats a hard one, you can;t win in this situation

might it be worth asking their gp to have a word with them? The only think that made my mum move was when her gp told her she should move to somewhere smaller, I had been telling her for years but 2 minutes with the gp did the trick, might be worth a try in your parents case?

SingleMan25b Tue 27-Sep-11 01:08:46

It certainly feels like there is no winning to be had. I'm very cautious of the GP route but the practice is aware of the problem - I don't think there's anything else I can do at the moment but carry on and wait. At some point something or someone will give - I just hope it's not me!

ssd Tue 27-Sep-11 08:17:04

i hope its not you either sad

sometimes the old folks can be very selfish, they might not realise it but they are still the same

have you any other family nearby to ever give you a break?

you have my sympathies BTW, I know you're stuck between a rock and a hard place

JarOfHearts Tue 27-Sep-11 08:33:27

I sympathise. I'd been responsible for my dad for so long that it's almost like a can hardly remember there being a traditional father/daughter role. He was life-long disabled and gradually grew more frail until he could not manage alone anymore even in a warden controlled property with a care package and me visiting most days. He kept falling.

So for the last few years he lived in a nursing home closer to me which took the pressure off but I then visited daily and sometimes used to find him quite demanding of my time.. oh I suppose, often felt that.. it's hard to admit now. But of course he became very institutionalised and lost most of his ability to rationalise over all the things I was trying to juggle. and it seemed, all his time waiting for me to arrive.

Over the year his health declined and I lost him in March this year. It was so odd but in his last weeks (which I didn't know were his last weeks until THE last week) I felt like his little girl again somehow.. I even kept wanting to call him "Daddy" - bizarre! And he, although he'd never really been the cuddly sort, kept wanting to hug me.

It's funny how now over 6 months later, and even though I struggled and juggled to find the time spend with him, that time after work every day as remained "his".. and I'm always aware how that I can't visit him.. and I have to consiously FILL that half hour or so even though actually I'm busy with too much to fit into my days...

I'm going on (sorry) and probably not being helpful. I suppose what I want to say is yes its is very hard to keep struggling on with a demanding family and being the "sole responsible family member" of elderly parents.. but it will pass... and when its over you will feel many things but mainly proud that you were that person and you never let them down (and sometimes NOT having time is not letting them down..) You, hopefully have years left with your parents bigscary and over time I'm sure they will become aware of the fact that they need a care package and you will be able to put that in place and relax a little more although of course they will still need you.

Thinking of you. It's a little-discussed difficult time in a person's life when your parents are elderly and needy.

ssd Wed 28-Sep-11 16:28:11

good post jar, have a tear in my eye now.

thanks for being so articulate.

ssd Wed 28-Sep-11 18:24:46

...and sorry for the loss of your dad.

JarOfHearts Wed 28-Sep-11 21:02:37

Thanks SSD.. and it wasn't very articulate!! I just re-read it.. typo city!!!

ssd Wed 28-Sep-11 22:19:05

no, you were

I'm going to use your post to keep me on the right lines when I've been at my mums and its all driving me daft


twentyten Fri 30-Sep-11 08:24:59

Jar it was such an eloquent post-thank us juggler another perspective-thank you so much.Really helps.

sandyballs Mon 03-Oct-11 14:16:12

With the benefit of hindsight, I would say try and insist on them receiving some sort of help. I put this off for years as mum was adamant she didn't need any help and i hated to go against her will and force something she didn't want. She always said she would hate carers coming into her home and she wouldn't allow it, so I didn't force the issue, just tried to juggle my kids, my work etc with her needs, quite badly probably.

Anyway, to cut a long story short she ended up in hospital with dehyrdration and a severe urine infection and chest infection. My brother and I then decided that if she was to return to her home, we needed to act for her and possibly ignore her wishes in certain ways so we set up a system where a carer goes in every morning and every evening and makes sure she has drunk enough and eaten enough and washed/dressed etc. I was concerned that mum would be upset or even rude/obnoxious to these carers but she loves it, she has a little chat every day, looks forward to their visits and it has taken a huge burden off my shoulders to know she is being kept an eye on as I can't visit every day. We should have insisted on it years ago, but i think it goes against the grain to ignore your parents wishes and act for them.

Good luck, it's so difficult to cope with elderly parents when your own children are still so young and dependent.

twentyten Mon 03-Oct-11 20:41:50

Thanks sandyballs!

ssd Wed 05-Oct-11 10:27:22

yes, i agree sandyballs

knowing when to over ride your parents wishes is very hard

then when you do override them and they meekly accept your descicion it makes your heart sink when you realise that you have to be in control now

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