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Old 02-14-2016, 12:02 PM
 
16,992 posts, read 20,618,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayland Woman View Post
What would happen if you told your long-distance sister-in-law that she is now in charge of keeping her mother supplied with the add-in the dog needs and the lotions or creams her mother needs? All those kinds of things are available online and could be mailed to her mother. It's not rocket science for her to figure out how much and when your M-I-L will need restocking of basic supplies. Heck, now days a lot of groceries can be ordered and shipped. It seems to me the sister-in-law wants to be helpful to her mother (thus all the calls to you) except the way she tries to help is really doing more harm than help because it adds extra stress on you. She needs a firm mandate and some directions on HOW to be helpful i.e. take on some responsibilities, however small.

To me, it sounds like your husband is long over due to talk to his sister and give her a list of things that SHE should be doing to help out including her trying to get her mother to be more patient with those of you doing hands-on help. "Mom, be patient. They are doing their best and won't forget." Even long distance there are many things she could arrange, track down, do to help like paying for like a Home Companion to spend an afternoon with your M-I-L running errands. Anything that could be done by phone could easily be taken over by a long-distance daughter including her becoming the point person in charge of researching what kinds of help and services are available where her mother lives and passes the list on to you to use if needed. I just heard yesterday that a friend set his mother up with Uber rides so she can go run errands on her own.

You have to be creativity when dealing with a long-term care situation like yours. Your husband should also tell his sister that she could/should show some appreciation for you and your daughters occasionally by sending something like gift certificates for massages, pedicures, nice restaurant or a movie theater. The bottom line in this post is it would really reduce your stress level if your deal with the sister, head on, in a more productive way than just saying "I am aware of it" or ignoring her calls. Give her something to do beside trying to remind you of things you already know. Besmides, wouldn't it be fun to call her and say, "Hey, your mom needs her cream. Did you order it?"

^^^^ This. I also don't understand why the SIL who is retired can't come and stay for a month. Her husband is Bilpolar, so what? I have Bipolar in my family, it's easily managed with meds, it's not like the SIL has a husband at home that is a paraplegic and needs constant care.

That sounds like an excuse to me.

The SIL seems to have a lot to say, it's her mother as well as the OP"s husband. They should be the main players in this. Not the OP.

I think it was mentioned somewhere the SIL's husband and mother don't get along, so he can stay home. A long time married couple can use some time apart.....LOL.

Let the SIL come and stay for a month, not these quick visits. A month will give her an idea what her SIL and her nieces are doing for HER MOTHER.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,941 posts, read 17,243,367 times
Reputation: 40965
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
^^^^ This. I also don't understand why the SIL who is retired can't come and stay for a month. Her husband is Bilpolar, so what? I have Bipolar in my family, it's easily managed with meds, it's not like the SIL has a husband at home that is a paraplegic and needs constant care.

That sounds like an excuse to me.

The SIL seems to have a lot to say, it's her mother as well as the OP"s husband. They should be the main players in this. Not the OP.

I think it was mentioned somewhere the SIL's husband and mother don't get along, so he can stay home. A long time married couple can use some time apart.....LOL.

Let the SIL come and stay for a month, not these quick visits. A month will give her an idea what her SIL and her nieces are doing for HER MOTHER.

Seain Dublin, you missed where the SIL's husband needs 24/7 supervision and can not be left alone. He even needs his food cut up, due to other health reasons. So he has to go wherever his wife goes.

I do agree that the SIL probably should stay for a longer period of time.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:14 PM
 
237 posts, read 160,247 times
Reputation: 946
With men, actions typically speak louder than words. You can tell your husband it's a problem until you're blue in the face and the cows come home, but he's not going to believe it unless he himself is neck deep IN IT. Then you can bet he'll be all about finding a solution. Men like to solve problems when they believe there is a real problem. If it's affecting him directly, then it's a real problem. They're generally not ones to go looking for problems where they don't believe there are any. (Ask me how I know )

This is HIS mother. You have your OWN mother. Why not pay her a good long visit from you and your daughters? The fact that he has his own business and you no longer work at an outside job is neither here nor there. Nor is the fact that your MIL is a lovely person. The fact is, you are at the breaking point. If your husband doesn't listen when you tell him, then you're just going to have to show him. Something's got to give. You can't keep doing this, or you're heading for a health crisis and a marriage crisis. Wanting some outside help is not selfish on your part, it's for the good of the entire family.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:12 PM
 
1,613 posts, read 1,512,588 times
Reputation: 3814
It really sounds as if MIL doesn't want to be alone - hence the makeup counter "emergency" foolishness and similar. If she won't/can't afford to go to an ALF, can she come on a permanent "visit" to stay with the OP and her husband?

My grandmother, when she got too frail to maintain her home, "visited" with her daughters. Her condo was left vacant and furnished, awaiting her return, which everyone aside from her knew would never happen. When my aunt became too ill to handle the "visits," Grandma went to my mother. It was very, very difficult for my mother, but it was doable, because Grandma's faculties were good and only started slipping a bit a few months before her passing, and because Grandma, while frail, wasn't truly physically ill until the very end. Grandma was manipulative, but Mom carved out some post-retirement space for herself by taking up another career. It wasn't remunerative, but Gma didn't know that, and having lived through the Great Depression, saw earning money when possible as a necessity. Therefore, she didn't argue when Mom went out to work, and even allowed a paid caregiver to come in for a few hours a few days per week.

It is possible that MIL would be intolerable to live with. It's also possible that surrounded by family, she would be calmer, as it wouldn't be necessary to fake emergencies to get face time with others. And "visits" can end, if things really don't work out.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:22 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,358 posts, read 7,729,971 times
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All marries are different, I know that, but ideally they are a partnership. I don't really understand this "it's your mother" etc., therefore all the care should fall on the sons or daughters without the in-law's help. I helped my husband with his mother (as did my sister-in-laws (she had no daughters). It was important to all of them to preserve a family farm and not see it sold to pay for a nursing home. When the time came when my dad needed help I couldn't have done it without my husband assuming a bigger role at home and financially. He was my rock and he helped too, when he could. I don't think it's fair to lay a guilt trip on someone because in THEIR marriage they have worked things out differently than someone else does. It just adds stress to their palette to have others tell them they are being taken advantage of. All situations are not cookie cutter the same. Now, if a husband truly shows no appreciation or understanding for what his wife is doing for his mother then, sure, that's a problem that needs to be resolved and there I would suggest an outside, professional arbitrator who deals with this sort of caregiver/aging parent kind of issue. It's not going to go away on its own and it can destroy a marriage.
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:32 PM
 
16,992 posts, read 20,618,884 times
Reputation: 33961
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Seain Dublin, you missed where the SIL's husband needs 24/7 supervision and can not be left alone. He even needs his food cut up, due to other health reasons. So he has to go wherever his wife goes.

I do agree that the SIL probably should stay for a longer period of time.

Thank you germaine, well he can either come along or the SIL can have someone stay with him. If they have adult children or if the husband has any siblings.

I think the SIL staying longer will give her a better idea what the OP is going through.

I remember years ago 20/20 did a show on caregiving. A husband was the sole caregiver to his wife.

They sent him away for 2 weeks and her sister and her husband took over. They were overwhelmed, and didn't know how the BIL did it alone.

They were at the end of their rope and the two of them couldn't handle it at the end, it was a real eye opener for them.

While coming for a few days and assisting is helpful, it's not the same as staying for a month and being the one in charge.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:02 PM
 
576 posts, read 852,207 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I was reading some of the things that your MIL considered "needs" that had to be done immediately and I literally laughed out loud! Needing to go to the make-up counter at the mall and both MIL & SIL considering it something that HAD to be right away?!?!

Of course, everyone is different but I'm in my 60s and it is not unusual for me to go five or six months between trips to the mall or a department store. I find it incredible that a woman in her 80s would consider a trip to the make-up counter at the mall as an "emergency". Accidently running out of medication can be an emergency, but IMHO running out of face cream is not.

While I normally go to the bank once a month, my adult children, who use on-line banking & debit cards can go many months, if not a year or more, without physically going to a brick & mortar bank. Both of my adult children do almost all of their shopping (except for groceries & medications) on-line and I know many older people who do that as well.

I really hope that you start to set some boundaries and limits on the constant demands by your MIL (& SIL speaking for your MIL). I am hoping that by setting limits and making a schedule, perhaps there will be opportunities for you & your family to actually spend some quality with your MIL.

Good luck to you.


PS. I am curious who walks your mother's dog and picks up the poop?

PPS. I wonder if when SIL texts & calls you with Mom's "needs" you can suggest things that SIL can do from her house 1,000 miles away, such as order the special dog food additive or the special face cream on-line and have it delivered to her Mom. As someone mentioned earlier, you could also have the name of local handyman to give to her and if SIL feels that Mom can't wait until your husband has time to fix things then she can hire & pay for a handyman to do the work.

I looked back at one of your posts from eight years ago. What happened to the granddaughter that your MIL loved so much? The one that traveled the world, flying first class & stayed in five star hotels? Perhaps, she should "step up" just like the local granddaughters have done. That granddaughter can plan regular visits to help or maybe handle on-line shopping & deliveries for Grandma.


If your daughters are "doing their share" (actually more than their share) shouldn't the other grandchildren be helping, too?


Mil has extremely dry skin from Sjojourns (sp?) disease. Not a terminal condition, but one that leaves one with extremely dry mouth and dry skin, among other minor issues. Thus, there is a special cream that Clinique sells at their makeup counter, can only be purchased at the dept store ... I suppose online also, if given enough notice.

It's only been within the last year or so that we finally got her to quit going outside, with nothing but her cane, to walk the dog, that can be let out into her completely privacy fenced b'yard to run and romp. The dog is .. I believe 8 or 9 years old and has slowed considerably himself. So he doesn't do a lot of running and romping anymore. But she has a completely privacy fenced b'yard, to let him loose. That was another struggle .. making her realize, after she'd fallen out on the sidewalk in her neighborhood, more than once, walking her dog, ... that walking the dog was a danger to her, and not necessary. She has finally relented, and now lets the dog loose in her b'yard, except his last visit outside at night, she insists on leashing him to take him out, because he "won't come back". SIGH. He will come back, .. where else is he going to go, he doesn't dig out, he can't get out of the b'yard, it's completely privacy fenced, there is no need for you to leash the dog and go out in the dark, into the b'yard, across your deck, .. and down the steps and into the yard, .. let him out, on his own, he will come back. We are working on that one.

Who picks up the dogs poo? No one. It's a small dog. I suppose the poo gets absorbed back into the ground with the daily sprinklers that kick on, .. and or when the lawn people come and do whatever they do with their mower and they suck up the yard waste with that big mower.

As to the whereabouts of the world traveler other g'daughter. She lives in the same city as her mother, 1K miles away. She works for a living, and only visits maybe 1x per year, for maybe a long weekend. That particular g'daughter doesn't even clean her own house, she has a housekeeper for same, much less come here and clean for someone else. This particular individual, while she is a lovely bubbly personality, I term her a primadonna. She hasn't ever been expected to pitch in and help, "she's far too busy, she works all the time" is the answer. She could, if she just would, stay behind in the city where her mother lives .. and look after her dad some, he isn't a complete invalid, .. look in on him daily or every other day to offer her mother some assurance that he's faring just fine .. and free her mother to come this way, absent the husband that mil dislikes so vehemently, .. but no, we can't ask her to do that, she works all the time.

I like the suggestion about having sil order online, whatever extra essentials mil might have a need for, maybe we could work on instituting that kinda thing, that she could, mil could, if she just will, let her daughter know, "gee that skin cream bottle, is getting low .. I'm gonna be needing more of it". She could order it online. I like the idea.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:10 PM
 
576 posts, read 852,207 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayland Woman View Post
What would happen if you told your long-distance sister-in-law that she is now in charge of keeping her mother supplied with the add-in the dog needs and the lotions or creams her mother needs? All those kinds of things are available online and could be mailed to her mother. It's not rocket science for her to figure out how much and when your M-I-L will need restocking of basic supplies. Heck, now days a lot of groceries can be ordered and shipped. It seems to me the sister-in-law wants to be helpful to her mother (thus all the calls to you) except the way she tries to help is really doing more harm than help because it adds extra stress on you. She needs a firm mandate and some directions on HOW to be helpful i.e. take on some responsibilities, however small.

To me, it sounds like your husband is long over due to talk to his sister and give her a list of things that SHE should be doing to help out including her trying to get her mother to be more patient with those of you doing hands-on help. "Mom, be patient. They are doing their best and won't forget." Even long distance there are many things she could arrange, track down, do to help like paying for like a Home Companion to spend an afternoon with your M-I-L running errands. Anything that could be done by phone could easily be taken over by a long-distance daughter including her becoming the point person in charge of researching what kinds of help and services are available where her mother lives and passes the list on to you to use if needed. I just heard yesterday that a friend set his mother up with Uber rides so she can go run errands on her own.

You have to be creativity when dealing with a long-term care situation like yours. Your husband should also tell his sister that she could/should show some appreciation for you and your daughters occasionally by sending something like gift certificates for massages, pedicures, nice restaurant or a movie theater. The bottom line in this post is it would really reduce your stress level if your deal with the sister, head on, in a more productive way than just saying "I am aware of it" or ignoring her calls. Give her something to do beside trying to remind you of things you already know. Besides, wouldn't it be fun to call her and say, "Hey, your mom needs her cream. Did you order it?"
Haha. I plan on doing just that, when I get a reminder text from sil, 1K miles away on a dog concoction that needs to be picked up or a make up skin cream, etc. Will do that, precisely that. Wish I'd of thought of it sooner.

I'm betting the next impediment will be "Can you believe they want $____ to ship that, that's ridiculous, .. can you just pick that up when you're out next, and get that to her, she shouldn't have to pay $____ just so they'll ship it to her".

SIGH
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:12 PM
 
576 posts, read 852,207 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
^^^^ This. I also don't understand why the SIL who is retired can't come and stay for a month. Her husband is Bilpolar, so what? I have Bipolar in my family, it's easily managed with meds, it's not like the SIL has a husband at home that is a paraplegic and needs constant care.

That sounds like an excuse to me.

The SIL seems to have a lot to say, it's her mother as well as the OP"s husband. They should be the main players in this. Not the OP.

I think it was mentioned somewhere the SIL's husband and mother don't get along, so he can stay home. A long time married couple can use some time apart.....LOL.

Let the SIL come and stay for a month, not these quick visits. A month will give her an idea what her SIL and her nieces are doing for HER MOTHER.
Yes, to the bolded point above. But correct, she doesn't feel comfortable leaving him behind, for any length of time. A long weekend, she'll do, .. but much more than that, she wants to make sure he's with her, so she can help look after him.

Last edited by nnyl; 02-14-2016 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:16 PM
 
576 posts, read 852,207 times
Reputation: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by corgifreak View Post
With men, actions typically speak louder than words. You can tell your husband it's a problem until you're blue in the face and the cows come home, but he's not going to believe it unless he himself is neck deep IN IT. Then you can bet he'll be all about finding a solution. Men like to solve problems when they believe there is a real problem. If it's affecting him directly, then it's a real problem. They're generally not ones to go looking for problems where they don't believe there are any. (Ask me how I know )

This is HIS mother. You have your OWN mother. Why not pay her a good long visit from you and your daughters? The fact that he has his own business and you no longer work at an outside job is neither here nor there. Nor is the fact that your MIL is a lovely person. The fact is, you are at the breaking point. If your husband doesn't listen when you tell him, then you're just going to have to show him. Something's got to give. You can't keep doing this, or you're heading for a health crisis and a marriage crisis. Wanting some outside help is not selfish on your part, it's for the good of the entire family.
Yes, and I've been married long enough 36 plus years, .. I'm not going to fight with him over an issue that isn't mine to fight about. This is his mother. I can't adequately get his attention to what it is that he and HIS sister should be addressing (not me, I'm an in law). Thus, I will back out of it, to a larger degree than has been the case, for my own sanity's sake.

Yes, I have my own mother (lives local) as does my father (they divorced when I was a child). And I don't get to spend a lot of time with either. Fortunately both my mother and my father have significant others, or a spouse, in their lives and as such, aren't alone. That doesn't mean they don't wish they could have some of my time though, to just visit and go out to lunch or whatever. And I would like to do "some" of that.
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