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Supporting parents; cancer; finances; living together(4 Posts)
Last year my boyfriend and I sold our house and moved in with my parents with a view to us all buying a place together this year. They hadn't been in great health and financially were struggling, I was sick of too g and frowing. Well within weeks of moving in it was clear my mum was not well. It took until this January to discover her cancer has returned and it's incurable. Her prognosis is, at best 2 years. The house has been very difficult to live in even pre diagnosis, they are incredibly messy, over rule us as parents, very depressive atmosphere. As you can imagine things have hardly improved now. Not all the time, we do have laughs too but not a lot. We have now sold their house and we are all agreed that we continue with the original plan. However as time goes on I am coping less, my dad is a total mess, my partner is working so much and is supporting them quite significantly as well as us as a family. Our little boy is nearly 4, his behaviour certainly is more challenging now (could just be his age but I suspect not). I feel burdoned, my dad does very little housekeeping, he's in another world tbh. I feel like I'm not performing in any role, mummy, girlfriend, daughter, carer. I'm angry, irritable, so tired. My relationship is plummeting as we are so stressed. I want to do right by my parents, they have sacrificed themselves for me so many times in the past, I feel guilty but also that I want to help. My brother is pretty useless, I love him but in reality I may as well be an only child for the support he offers. Yet on his rare visits we are truly the second class citizens. I feel like my life has gone, my dreams are pushed aside. I'm 37, I want to look after and enjoy 'my' family. Then I feel guilty for being selfish. I feel so out of control. I have fantasies about emigrating. I envy my brother, he doesn't deal with any of the day to day cap, they are always on holidays and trips out with his family. We now have no childcare really. Friends all say they don't know how I'm doing it and "I couldn't cope, it's my worst fear" you have to cope, it's not a choice. I just can't handle it. The worst part is that the big elephant in the room that I rarely even discuss is that I'm going to lose my mum. We are so caught up in the daily struggle I feel no one considers this. Even my mum says how my brother needs support to help him deal with her prognosis, yet there is no mention of me. Other than little jibes about me being lazy. I'm not lazy, I'm in a real mess. I feel like my head is spinning. On the mornings my son goes to nursery I sit in a coffee shop just to be away from it all. It must seem indulgent but it's truly my sanctuary. I dread being home most of the time. So we are house hunting, in a different town just to make it even harder, I'm looking at houses thinking I don't know what I'm doing. I can't leave them but sticking by them is hard. How can I manage this situation? I'm so lost.
That sounds like a really tough situation. Unfortunately from personal and professional experience the family members doing the day to day caring are often taken for granted with the family members who are less involved having a big fuss made of them when they visit.
From a practical perspective, if its financially viable a house where there is an anex or where it is possible for you and your parents to have a seperate suite of rooms so you each have your own living space that you can keep as you want and that you can retreat into your own areas when you need to.
Have you spoken to social services to see if theres any support available for any of you. You are entitled to a carers assessment of your own needs as a carer if you contact your local gateway to care they should be able to arrange this. There might also be things like a carers cafe in your area where you can meet with other carers and who understand the stresses you face.
The most important thing that you can do as a carer is to put your own health needs first. If you go under you can't help anyone else. You can also see your GP if you feel you need to for support for you and your health.
Thank you. I watched my mum care for my nan for 10 years with very little thanks and it brought her down massively. Then her reward is a terminal illness.
Yes we are searching for somewhere with an annex or room for an annex. I'm sure it will help. I'm just having a low week.
Caring for others can be really tough, its so easy for it to take you over. Make sure you keep your bits of 'me' time like the cafe.
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