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Being an only child sucks

(36 Posts)
MrsWhirling Wed 27-Feb-13 10:08:39

I wish I had a sibling who could help me care for my lovely elderly parents. My mum has an important appointment at the hospital this morning & I cant be with her due to having a newborn baby. English isn't their first language & I'm worried they Wong fully understand what is being said. Feel so sad no-one else could help me to care for them now. Sorry to vent. Just that really xx

DamnDeDoubtance Sun 23-Jun-13 18:36:20

sorry to hear about your mum.

Dh and I cared for his dad when he died at home, where he wanted to be and now we are caring for his mum. Dhs sister was worse than useless when her dad was dying, she just made a horrible situation worse. I have a lovely brother but whenever my parents need help its me that helps, not him.

At least being an only you don't have a sibling who is a negative force in the situation.

ssd Sat 22-Jun-13 19:08:16

dont I know it

allnewtaketwo Fri 21-Jun-13 15:15:06

Assuming that siblings have a relationship such that they emotionally support one another. That's very often not the case at all

allnewtaketwo Fri 21-Jun-13 15:14:21

But you're assum

ssd Fri 21-Jun-13 14:16:15

allnew, you're wrong, you may be hundreds of miles away but if you phone regularly, keep in touch and have a real interest in whats happening, your emotional support would be invaluable, even if physically you couldnt be there

allnewtaketwo Thu 20-Jun-13 22:46:10

I'm very sorry to hear about your mum

But being an only child has nothing to do with it. I live hundreds of miles away from my parents and wouldn't be any help at all to my brother if he was in the same situation as you.

Similarly my dad recently had to real with his elderly father, and his sister was of no help at all. Actually their were rows over his care as the 2 siblings disagreed.

ssd Thu 20-Jun-13 22:41:23

yes that can happen whataboutbob, I was lucky it never happened to me, that would make the pressure worse

whataboutbob Thu 20-Jun-13 13:17:23

But the weirdest thing is- it s often the child who does the most who is the brunt of the parents' frustrations. Whereas the one who does least is often seen as the golden child. I think it s because they don t get associated with all the unpleasant stuff that has to be done, and so allow the ailing parent to preserve their self image- themselves as they were before they got old and I'll.

ssd Wed 19-Jun-13 08:58:42

thats very true rockinD, and IME when the elderly parent dies the person who did everything then has to grieve alone as no one else is too bothered

RockinD Sat 08-Jun-13 20:28:54

MIL is currently in hospital. DH went straight there from work when she was admitted and will visit as often as he can, but missed today because he is working. BIL has not been to hospital or phoned and SIL couldn't go this afternoon because she was going shopping. They both go and see her once a week at home, but as soon as there's a crisis, DH has to sort it out.

It doesn't seem to matter how many there are in the family, this stuff usually comes down to one person.

skyblue11 Fri 31-May-13 11:06:54

Hi Numberlock, no I don't and I work as well, in fact my job was insecure and I managed to do really well and get myself another job which I was really pleased about as it was much more secure, better money and conditions but I actually turned it down due to the inflexibility. I need flexitime and term time to do all I have to, looking back to when I turned down the offer given what's happened this week it was probably for the best but I still feel sad I couldn't do it.

Numberlock Thu 30-May-13 21:49:52

Hi skyblue sorry to hear all that. Do you get some respite from time to time?

skyblue11 Thu 30-May-13 16:21:39

It could be worse.....I have a sibling who is disabled, so I am his appointee etc and have regular contact plus meetings etc. I also supported my Mum and Dad when he was alive and had dementia, I also helped with my Nanan as dad had dementia, and now it looks like my Mum had the onset of dementia and she needs lots of support right now, so I have a double whammy situation!

MrsAVB Sat 18-May-13 10:29:42

mrsw just wanted to post to hand hold. My parents are not elderly as such (in their 50s), but my mum has a chronic heart condition and my dad has enduring mental health problems and has been suicidal. I'm an only child and although I hear what others are saying about siblings not always being supportive, I echo what you feel. It's lonely and burdenful. Although my parents have a very supportive network of friends, the dynamic between them is one that I feel no one else understands because my dad hides his problems, gives a great impression of coping, and then spectacularly bursts!
If you ever want to vent, we are here, lots of love xxx

noddyholder Fri 10-May-13 11:41:45


Numberlock Fri 10-May-13 10:33:48

That's good, noddy, things that will make it easier include getting power of attorney registered long before it's needed and discussing what your care plan might be and what your wishes are. Also, being open about finances/savings so that your son/daughter knows what the options are likely to be.

Hopefully it will be many years away for you though!

noddyholder Fri 10-May-13 10:20:45

Its lovely to hear the stories of only children who are happy wit it thanks smile

noddyholder Fri 10-May-13 10:19:57

I have only one child and have worried about this but have seen my closest friend who has 2 sisters struggle with this and get no help at all! And my mum has alienated all of us bar one (we are 4) and the one son she does see wouldn't do anything for her and is only interested in her money

Numberlock Fri 10-May-13 10:17:36

Sorry to read that Freckled, sounds like you are in the same position as me. (My dad died around 20 years ago.)

Hopefully we can support each other on here.

FreckledLeopard Fri 10-May-13 10:13:31

I'm an only child and my mother is in the early stages of dementia. My father died fifteen years ago.

It really sucks, doesn't it. I wish I had siblings to share the burden. When my grandmother was in a care home, my mother did the bulk of all the help for her (she lived closest), but her sister often came to visit and she could at least talk things over with her siblings.

Numberlock Fri 10-May-13 10:10:54

I am also an only child with an elderly month in residential care and now facing some difficult decisions regarding the next stage of her care (see my thread on here).

But as hard as it is, I am glad that I am an only child as I only have myself to rely on and don't have to deal with the frustration of siblings that won't/can't/don't help out. This is based on friends' experiences and reading other threads on here.

I hope you feel better for coming on here, OP, I find it very reassuring to know other people are in similar situations and how they cope.

ssd Fri 10-May-13 09:46:51

agree chottie

taking a back seat is the easiest option, and phoning once in a while isn't enough

Chottie Fri 10-May-13 04:00:51

Just to add that siblings are not always helpful. Sometimes it is because of distance, sometimes it is because they are very happy to take a back seat......

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 14-Mar-13 21:41:45

Dhs parents are elderly and his Mother has Alzheimers. We have just got her into a care home where they live 250 miles from us. BIL, who lives abroad is ranting that we did not move them both to be near us, whilst having no intention of coming home himself! Siblings are not always helpful!

SinisterBuggyMonth Sat 09-Mar-13 00:06:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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