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Sandwiched between my parents and teenage daughter

(8 Posts)
MrsMiniver Sun 23-Nov-14 11:16:13

My dad's 87 and very ill (probably terminal) in hospital. My mum (who's still relatively healthy) is looking after him as best she can and we're hoping to have him home soon for palliative care so that he ends his life at home. I live an hour away (sometimes two because I rely on the M25!), work 3 days a week and am a single mum to 14 year old DD. I have two brothers, one of whom actually lives with my parents and the other is local to them. All they do to help is give mum lifts to the hospital and take her shopping. I do everything else - support them emotionally, talk to the medics and arrange dad's care, pay their bills etc. I've been going down twice a week but can only afford to do it once as I struggle to afford the petrol (I'm on a very tight budget) so from next week it'll just be the once unless there's an emergency. DD is lovely but a teenager and all that goes with it and she gets no financial help from her father. I feel bad that I can't buy her the things that her friends get.

I feel that I ought to be doing more for my parents. I'd like to be able to stay with mum for a while and really help her but with DD and job combined, it's just not feasible. Am I doing enough to help? Has anyone else been in the same situation? It's such a shame that my brothers don't do more but nothing's going to change that. The one who lives with them can't even change a lightbulb! I'm beginning to feel I don't know where to turn and thought here might be a good place to start....

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 23-Nov-14 13:13:51

Are you doing enough? Yes, you're doing everything that you are able. That's more than anyone could ask of you.

DO NOT feel guilty that you aren't providing all the material things to your daughter that you think you should. You are giving her a whole lot more than that. Showing her that love and care for others is important and worth personal sacrifice. And that's a value that's a whole world more important than another pair of shoes or some other ephemera. Her turn will come later, if she's lucky and things can be afforded then.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 23-Nov-14 13:22:41

Would your parents' budget run to paying your petrol cost for the 2nd weekly visit, if it's cost that's the only constraint?
Try not to feel bad about your daughter - there's always someone who has more, and someone who has less - happiness is wanting what you've got, not getting what you want!

Matildathecat Sun 23-Nov-14 13:23:25

That's very hard. Only one suggestion, if you are able to fit in more visits but simply cannot afford to would you be able to ask your dm to help with the petrol money? I know it would be really difficult to ask but if she doesn't realise how hard this is for you then she will be misunderstanding your reduced visits. If I were your mum I would jump at being to help in this way.

Can your brothers really not be trained to do a bit more? Is there something wrong with them or do they just have you well trained?hmm

I'm sure your dd knows that she is loved and cherished. That's all that matters.

Scattrercushion Sun 23-Nov-14 13:33:28

Is there a charity related to your dad's condition who may be able to offer support?

You are doing a fantastic job under tough circumstances.

InnocenceAndExperience Sun 23-Nov-14 13:38:03

Could you try talking to your brothers again?

Be really honest about the strain this is placing on you and your daughter.

Do either have children?

MrsMiniver Sun 23-Nov-14 13:45:43

Thank you all so much for answering. It is purely cost that makes the second visit difficult so may mention it to mum, it will be difficult though because they don't have that much either. Neither of my brothers have children, although one of them does have a partner who's recovering from illness herself. Unfortunately the one who lives with them was always a mummy's boy and has a condition called learned helplessness!

It really helps to know that people think I'm doing as much as I can and that DD won't suffer from not having the iPhone 6 smile

Castlemilk Sun 23-Nov-14 14:04:21

Does the one who lives there have a job? If so, I assume he's sitting quite pretty, unless your parents charge him market rent?

I would have to speak to him. Tell him you can't afford the petrol any more. You don't mind doing the practical stuff, but come on - he lives there and benefits from them far more directly and yet he does little to help. The need is becoming greater: he needs to step up now. Either he comes forward and takes on more practical stuff OR he funds your petrol to do it.

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