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is anyone else pulled between looking after young kids and their elderly parent?

(21 Posts)
ssd Wed 16-Jul-08 15:23:41

my youngest is 7 and my mum is nearly 81

I've got no help apart from dh who works full time looking after anyone

mum needs me to visit, there's no one else here who visits her and my kids want to be out and about

I can't do it all, I'm so jealous of other mums with young kids who have in laws helping and letting them do their thing I've forgotten what my thing is. my time is totally taken up with young kids and an old mum, with no help and no one in between that want to help

sorry to moan, just feel like I'm bursting with it all sometimes

girlywhirly Wed 16-Jul-08 16:43:58

How much assistance does your mum get from social services - home help, carer, etc. Has she ever been assessed for her needs? Or is it down to you? Or is it just that she is lonely and expects you to visit daily?

My mum was 76 when DS was 7, and she was infirm so needed a wheelchair when out and about. We visited her for a week one half-term and it was quite hard going trying to sort the needs of them both, especially as the home help was on holiday that week and I needed to do the housework too! Although Mum had a gardener as well and relatives living in the same town, I was hundreds of miles away, and did worry about her as she had been widowed that same year.

There used to be respite carers who come and just keep people company for a morning or afternoon. I don't know whether that is still available.

Elibean Wed 16-Jul-08 18:31:22

I should think you need to let off steam regularly, don't apologize for it!

My Mum is 80 this year, and my youngest is (gulp) 20 months. My Dad is 82 this year and has prostate cancer, but he has a younger wife so there is far less pressure there - Mum is alone, and not happy about it.

Do you have siblings, even if they live further away? Is it the practical side of it that feels overwhelming, or emotional, or both?

Minniethemoocher Wed 16-Jul-08 18:43:59

Hi ssd - I am in a similar position, I have a 5 year old daughter, and I am 6 months pregnant with my second child. I work 3 days per week and I also have to look after my disabled mother, after my Dad died last year.

She is fiercely independent and receives no help from social services ect, only from me.

I so am worried about how I will cope when my baby is born. It is very hard caring for an elderly parent and having children! You have my sympathy, sometimes I feel I have NO time at all for myself sad

InARut Wed 16-Jul-08 18:51:33

I am nearly in your position but as DD is only 5 at the moment she is happy to visit grannie once or twice a week - I am struggling however, as I work and find that I am juggling everyone but my own needs come last. I have a brother but he lives a long way away. my mum is late 70s and quite good for her age but makes no effort to see anyone else but me even though she gets invites from the church etc, so I am constantly torn between feeling bad that she is spending her days alone and annoyed that she makes no effort to see anyone else.

Does your mum live near? mine lives 5 miles away, I am wondering if life would be easier if my mum lived nearer, then she could pop in and visit us at home while I am getting on with the things I need to do, kind of killing two birds with one stone iyswim. I know what you mean about seeing other families out and about though, every Sunday we see my mum and, though she is well she can't walk very far, when the weather is nice DH gets very resentful about not getting out and having fun outdoors.

ifeelsleepy Wed 16-Jul-08 19:45:36

I don,t feel as though I am quite in such a bad situation as you but I can totally relate to what your saying.

My parents are 75 and 80 and have had their fair share of health problems of late which are only getting worse really.
I find myself having to take them to and from hospital, doctors appointments, shopping, etc due to increasing mobility problems.
Although I do only have one ds aged 7 he is quite demanding on my time and I do find it awkward at times.
I do have siblings but unfortunately they are all out at work all day, I work 2 nightshifts a week so I am the only one around in the day.
I realise that as my parents get older they will need me even more. Has much as I love my parents the input of me they may increasingly need as they get older does concern me a little.

dizzydixies Wed 16-Jul-08 19:54:45

ssd please don't feel like you're moaning its sooooooooooo hard

I have 2dds (5 & 2) and am 38wks pregnant with dc3

my mum is only 68 but has been fighting cancer for 6yrs now and is now in a hospice, dad is 69 and not really coping with it all, never mind his prostate cancer

we live 2hrs away and I've had to tell them this weekend that I can't go through anymore as I'm too tired and need to get organised for baby coming before its too late

you can't be in two places at once and you HAVE to remember to make time for yourself for the sake of your own health and sanity

can the social work dept not provide you with ANY help at all or is it that she just won't accept it?

Minniethemoocher Wed 16-Jul-08 20:13:22

I think that family carers get a really bad deal, there is so little help, support or understanding of the role that we play in keeping older/disabled family members going in there own homes, thus saving the Government a fortune.

dizzydixies Wed 16-Jul-08 20:15:30

I have to say minnie we've had all the support we could have dreamed of but am fully aware thats because of my mothers illness and not just for old age

agree with you completely otherwise

Minniethemoocher Wed 16-Jul-08 20:43:15

dizzydixies - I am pleased to hear that you have had support, it must be very hard to have two parents with cancer.

I think that you are right, with old age and related disabilities, it just creeps up on you and before you know it, you are a carer.

ssd Wed 16-Jul-08 22:10:51

thanks for all replies

mum doesn't drive and can't walk now, so anywhere she goes is in a wheelchair

I have siblings 100's of miles away and they are no use whatsoever

I work 3 part time jobs , going to work when dh comes in eg. evenings and weekends and term time when kids are in school

I just find it so hard mostly emotionally, mum never puts pressure on me and does get a LITTLE help from s services, but its mostly down to me

just feel really isolated sometimes, well most of the time actually, the world seems full of able, youngish, driving grannies who help out their daughters, instead of my old mum who needs help and me wrung dry

ssd Wed 16-Jul-08 22:12:10

don't want to sound like I'm complaining, my mum is great, its just the situation that gets me down

girlywhirly Thu 17-Jul-08 07:52:13

Minnie, you're absolutely right. Unless an elderly person is in and out of hospital, or has a recognised degenerative condition, they are not regularly assessed to see whether their needs have changed. My mother was in receipt of a war disablement pension, which meant she would inform them every time she went into hospital related to her heart condition, and they upped her payments. When she was widowed it went up further to allow for a home help, as Dad was her primary carer. But again this was driven by her informing the department.

I guess my point is, keep on asking for extra help. Get the G.P. to supply a medical report re. mobility, sight and hearimg, ability to care for themselves, to the S.S. Try to gather as much information as you can about other types of assistance for the elderly, e.g. volunteers who drive to hospital appts and bring home again. I'm pretty sure a Dr surgery could supply a lot of the information people require, or point them in the right direction.

ssd, I know what you mean about other peoples grannies being younger, fitter, and able to help effectively with their grandchildren. I felt resentful at times. Especially as she made such a fuss of her nieces children many years before, when she was relatively O.K.

ssd Thu 17-Jul-08 09:06:18

yes, I feel resentful too, a complete waste of time but I can't help it

Minniethemoocher Thu 17-Jul-08 09:45:39

I think it is natural to feel resentful, I see fit grandparents picking up their grandchildren from school, whereas I have to pay for a childminder while I go out to work, which takes a large bite out of my salary.

I feel sad for my Mum too that she hasn't got the quality of life that she would like, that would let her help out with her grandchildren.


ifeelsleepy Thu 17-Jul-08 15:25:04

I know what you all mean about the younger more fit grandparents that help out with grandchildren, the ones that take them to school, pick them up, take them to after school clubs, take them out weekends and on holidays.
I have never had that and never will I feel sad for my ds that he hasn,t had this sort of input off grandparents.

ssd Thu 17-Jul-08 18:34:57

yes, I'd love for my kids to be able to do things with my mum and dad, but dad died when ds1 was a baby and I look after mum now

its just sad isn't it

sarah293 Thu 17-Jul-08 18:36:43

Message withdrawn

ssd Thu 17-Jul-08 18:49:12

god riven, you've got a lot on your plate sad

sarah293 Thu 17-Jul-08 18:52:33

Message withdrawn

ssd Thu 17-Jul-08 18:54:44

yeah, mine are in England, we are in scotland, they visit mum about once a year

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