How do we manage this? It's going to be a loooooong three months.(9 Posts)
Dad is in hospital near us - Down South. They came to visit, we realised he had an infection and he ended up being admitted. So now, we are awaiting his move into residential / nursing care. Mum was in the process of selling their house Up North to move to 15 mins from us. We are now stuck. Her new place isn't available until Jan. So she's living with us.
It is polite to say we not getting along. She is sobbing, full on sobbing throughout the day and night. She is being unkind to me, and making sarcastic, unkind, unhelpful comments criticising my parenting - to my Husband who is utterly shocked and doesn't know what to say to her.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose your Husband but him still be alive. I cannot imagine what it must be like to feel homeless. I cannot imagine what it's like to be in our house where we run to a schedule for all the school clubs and activities.
But what I do know, is that this is going to have a permanent affect upon our relationship if we go on like this for the next three months. Help me. How do we navigate this together? Do we set rules? What do we do?
It must be beyond stressful for you all. What was your mother planning to do before she visited, would the sale of the house tied in with the move to the new property?
I am wondering why you mentioned 'run to a schedule' - does you mother feel as if you have no time for her?
CotswoldStrife - fab name.
They were visiting to do paperwork to do with house move. Dad went downhill quickly so was admitted here. As he's going to be in a home here anyway, we've all agreed he'll go to a home here now instead of trying to get a home Up North and then another here Down South.
Mum's new place doesn't become available till Jan - house seller has said she's not ready to move till then. So she needs to be here, to visit Dad.
The timetable is because she doesn't realise that we need to eat dinner by 5pm on a Monday, because we go to swimming - at two different places - for our boys. She hasn't been running a house with kids needing to be in different places at different times for 25 years. She's used to eating when she fancies it. So me, saying "look we have a timetable" really doesn't work for her. She wants to eat with us, but doesn't like us having to do lists and a timetable. I am naturally lazy so I need these things to get stuff done.
I feel like shit typing this. It doesn't sound like much. I should be able to cope. But the snidey comments really piss me off. I am not looking forward to her coming back tomorrow. Sorry. Bad daughter.
If my mum was making snide comments I would pull her up on it. Upset or not.
"Mum there's no need for that. We do "x" in my house and will continue to do so."
I hope to god I'm never in your situation because I don't think I could tolerate my mum in my house for any longer than a couple of days.
Short term let? Any holiday cottages locally? It doesn't sound as though it's working for any of you.
Well yes obviously it's difficult for her - she and your dad had their plans in place and now it's all gone to pot, and he's gone into hospital and won't be coming "home" again. It's thrown her into a tail-spin.
Having said that, it is what it is, and sadly your mum needs to realise that accommodating her for 3 months rather than suggesting she gets a short-term let, is doing her a massive favour. Yes, she's your mother and all that but still, she isn't making her stay pleasant for anyone.
I really think you need some tough love here. Next time there are snidey remarks, pull her up immediately. "Why do you say that Mum?" and wait for her to reply. Don't leave it! Next time "What do you mean Mum?" "I really don't like it when you say that". "That's really no concern of yours though, is it?" etc etc.
As for the household timetable - again, it is what it is. You have children, they have activities, you all have the school run - if she wants to eat at a time that suits her, fine, but she will have to eat alone. If she insists she wants to eat with you, then she eats when you do.
You're NOT a bad daughter. You are stuck in the middle, your mum needs you, your children need you. But the fact that your mum is elderly doesn't give her a free pass to be rude, difficult, and expect you to run your household to suit her.
What would she do if you weren't there? She'd have to manage.
But the fact that your mum is elderly doesn't give her a free pass to be rude, difficult, and expect you to run your household to suit her.
It's one rule for MNetters and another for the elderly on MN, isn't it?
I get that elderly parents are very difficult - I'm on this forum in the first place because my DM is a PITA, as was my DF (I was his carer and it nearly broke me). But have some compassion.
What would MNetters say if a woman their own age had just found out that she was losing her home and husband, was sobbing all day and struggling to adjust? There would be an outpouring of sympathy and a huge amount of understanding if she was a bit snappy or inflexible. But somehow the elderly as supposed to be able to adjust to these massive traumas without making a fuss.
OP, your mother is clearly going through a major adjustment reaction and is probably clinically depressed. No wonder she is difficult. She needs to see a GP. By all means set boundaries - these are helpful for people with mental illness - but you won't be able to move forward with her until she gets help with her understandable grief.
I'm assuming you have an actual timetable on the wall so she can see when everything is without asking you all the time? If not, put one up please. Can she not sit with a cup of tea while you eat early dinner?
Hers can go in the fridge for her to reheat when she fancies it.
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