Holiday blues...vent

lovin'fl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
I am in a bummer of a way. Kinda blue. Here's why...

First, my mom. She is 71 and lives alone in a house she's been in for 26 years. It is high maintenance and she cannot keep up. She has been having a multitude of health issues for the past few years. And she can no longer take care of her home and property. My DH and I moved away 2.5 years ago (well, DH took job in another state over 5 years ago and he commuted for 3 years while the kids and I stayed put so they could finish HS). I have had to go stay for weeks at a time to help her with things. Stayed a month when she had knee replacement 18 months ago. I take her to DR visits, do yard work, laundry and dishes, lug things she needs moved, clean things, run to dump, take her on errands...etc. When we moved we bought a townhome where the HOA maintains all outside stuff so as we didn't have to do that crap anymore and here I am driving 5.5 hours to do my mom's. She also expects me to come in for holiday meals where I shop and cook and clean up (and rake leaves and lug her Xmas decor out for her....).

I just did Thanksgiving and was sad that this was the 3rd year our DS could not be with us as he moved where we did and got a job in a hotel (as well as was going to college). I informed her that I would be cooking at MY home next year...and I'd be glad to fly her down. She replied that my brother would not be able to come (he owns a small business) and she needed to also be with her son. To which I said...yep, I ALSO need to be with MY son. She said 'Oh'. She later said she didn't want to be at my house because it's too tiny. I told her she needed to be more flexible to which she replied that no, she did NOT have to be as she put in her 71 years. She also mentions that we are the ones who moved away so we should be the ones to come to her (we also lived out of state from 1998-2007 and had to always pack up the kids and go stay for holidays then too. We lived back in town from 2007-2017). My brother, who lives about 30 mins from her, does none of the stuff to help that I do. He visited her for 30 mins about a week after she had her knee replacement. While I was wiping her butt and bathing and feeding and clothing and medicating and icing and making her do PT exercises...etc. All while doing laundry and getting groceries and cooking and cleaning and taking out trash and going to pharmacy and....

We are going to Disney for Xmas with friends. My in laws, who live near my mom, agreed to do the family Xmas on the weekend after Xmas so we can be there. My mom refuses. Says that is NOT Xmas. And my brother cannot be there as his store is open that weekend (but he closes for Xmas so that's when they will do it). I, out of frustration, snipped 'well maybe brother can cook and host for you...ha ha...good luck with that' (as we have NEVER been invited to his place for anything, ever...my mom once was for Thanksgiving when we decided to go to in laws one year...ONE time. But I never have been invited). She replied she didn't want to go to his house and she would just spend Xmas alone as she is used to being all alone like on Mother's Day and her birthday every year. Um, her 70th Bday (which is also around Mother's day) I took her and my DDs to HHI for a ladies trip....and her 69th us girls also went to Disney for her birthday and for my DDs' HS graduation trip. What the heck ...forgetful much?!?!? This past year I was not with her...this one time (I won't be next year either as I booked HHI for MY family for MY Mother's Day).

As far as all this going here and there...driving up 5.5 hours to where our family is and driving to HHI or Disney. I am tired of that too. We just drove up for Thanksgiving. Have to drive up again in less than 2 weeks to pick up my DDs from college (they go 4 hours north of our family...9 hours north of us). Will meet up at my mom's...uggg, so I will also be doing work too. I may just let them drive all the way down here. Though they have to bring old crappy car because it's due for annual state inspection this month (actually was due in Nov). I worry about them breaking down. Then we drive to Disney on the 18th and back home on the 26th where I will do a dinner with DS (who can't come to Disney...and I didn't want to go but DH pushed). Then drive up to family for in law's Xmas on the 28th. Not super stoked for this Disney trip, cannot lie. Then, DDs booked a trip with friends to run in the Disney marathon in Jan. They fly from where all our family is so... do I stay at my mom's from the 27th through Jan 11th? Or drive home and back. This also bugs me because my DH pushed my girls to go to this school instead of one in the state we now live. Because they were recruited to play ball there. They didn't REALLY want to though. I knew that. They played just freshman year and then quit.

This brings me to DH. He is, I don't know what it is but it's exhausting. We are empty nest. And he can't just chill at home. He goes to happy hour almost every week with the work guys (sometimes twice a week). On the weekend we have friends we go out with about once or twice a month. Sometimes I am busy or tired (with all the trips to family) and I don't want to go but he pushes and insists. And if we have nothing going he tries to add stuff. He bought tickets to football game and flew his parents down to go, claiming his dad really would love it. It was freezing cold that night and his dad requested we leave right after halftime and he seemed miserable. He did a hockey game with his parents and sister (I was up at my mom's for that one). We did a baseball game with his other sister and parents again, in the 100 degree sun of the day (outfield seats). He also looks to do games out of town...sometimes pretty far away. Like Tampa or Edmonton (hockey), we did Tampa in May for play-offs and NONE of his teams made it so we went for nothing. Now he is pushing Buckeyes championship game. He was also looking at a trip to NYC (in cold weather, ick). We just got in from Thanksgiving and last night he was asking about this weekend. He mentioned a work friend wanting us to watch Buckeyes play against the friend's team. I was like 'nah'. Then this morning he mentioned same work friend asked us to go to local college basketball game which in NOT any team or sport I thought DH liked. I was like 'nah'. I just want to rest and recover before heading back to deal with my mom and DDs. He also has me booking cruises, we have 3 booked. And pushes last minute trips to HHI. I just don't know what his deal is...seems ADHD or compulsive or mid-life crisis or what? But it's relentless. Admittedly, I am a homebody and would be all too happy to never go anywhere. But there has to be a happy medium and we are NOT living it.

Also, while we were up at my mom's we had to rush out of my mom's to get to his sister's to see them on Thanksgiving. We usually have ours at 4-5pm due to my brother having his shop (it's a store with a bar). And SIL always had 2pm. So my family could go there while I was cooking for our 4-5pm dinner. This year SIL changed hers to 5pm due to her son's GF working. So we moved ours to 3pm and planned to head over at 8pm (arriving at 8:30). Well, DH started to bug me before 7pm. I had to clean up, get out our dessert and clean that up. I was tired but he pushed us to go (arriving at 7;30). And good thing as most everyone left about 15 minutes after we arrived. But then, the next day, my mom went to work (yep, she retired and got little side job that she has no trouble managing :rolleyes:). My DDs went to visit HS friends for lunch. I raked leaves and did laundry. DH wanted us to go visit his parents. I told him to go alone so I could do what I had to do...at slow pace. Then, the last night there, my DDs left to head back to college. I had made late lunch and cleaned up. We watched some lighted boat parade from my mom's deck. I asked DH to go to bar up the street for a quick nightcap (like 6pm). He tells me 'oh yeah, I forgot to mention...my old childhood buddies and I are meeting up at such and such bar tonight'. So he left and came in at 12:30am. Keeping me on edge, not sleeping, waiting to let him in so he didn't wake my mom. Then, the next morning I had to pack up, clean the room and bathroom we used and put away sleeper sofas and throw the sheets and towels in the washer. While he slept in. Then we didn't get on road until like 10:30am. Any other time he wants on the road at 6am. Ha, not this time. Then we were tired and driving in post Thanksgiving traffic AND rain.

Long winded, I know. I'm just letting it flow out. I am so down about it all. And our dog too...he is 13+. He has been having health problems for about 2 years now. He is very high maintenance. We walk him and he is slow slow slow, smelling every blade of grass to find just the right spot. Even in the cold. He is stubborn and will only go where he wants and sometimes he'll plant himself and not go at all. He has arthritis and can't get up on bed or sofa but wants up. But he isn't allowed to jump off because he keeps hurting a disc in his back and his back leg. Then he has to go on meds...cost money and then a pain to give him on regular basis. He can't take rimidyl (makes him barf like crazy). He is on daily eye drops for dry eye. He isn't supposed to do stairs (my mom's house is ALL stairs so we have to carry him and he runs from us when we try to pick him up and he nips). He wakes through the night and scratches on the side of our bed. I get up every day around 3-5am when he scratches and bring him to living room where I lay on sofa and go back to sleep. Then DH gets up around 6am and comes out to use keurig and wakes me (open floor plan isn't always great). I also get texts from certain folks between 10pm and 12am. Why? I keep phone on and next to me because of having 2 DDs in college and our 2 mom's with many health issues. I have been setting certain folks to mute on my phone. But DDs will text for minor things...at like 11:30. I basically get 4 hours of solid sleep and that's it. And the drive to family, we take him sometimes and can't stop for a decent meal since he's in the car (and gets all anxious when we leave). So stupid fast food it is. Blech!

That's my rant. I feel better. I just dread the next 6 weeks. I wanna run away! Bah humbug!!
 
Last edited:

Pea-n-Me

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
I am in a bummer of a way. Kinda blue. Here's why...

First, my mom. She is 71 and lives alone in a house she's been in for 26 years. It is high maintenance and she cannot keep up. She has been having a multitude of health issues for the past few years. And she can no longer take care of her home and property. My DH and I moved away 2.5 years ago (well, DH took job in another state over 5 years ago and he commuted for 3 years while the kids and I stayed put so they could finish HS). I have had to go stay for weeks at a time to help her with things. Stayed a month when she had knee replacement 18 months ago. I take her to DR visits, do yard work, laundry and dishes, lug things she needs moved, clean things, run to dump, take her on errands...etc. When we moved we bought a townhome where the HOA maintains all outside stuff so as we didn't have to do that crap anymore and here I am driving 5.5 hours to do my mom's. She also expects me to come in for holiday meals where I shop and cook and clean up (and rake leaves and lug her Xmas decor out for her....).

I just did Thanksgiving and was sad that this was the 3rd year our DS could not be with us as he moved where we did and got a job in a hotel (as well as was going to college). I informed her that I would be cooking at MY home next year...and I'd be glad to fly her down. She replied that my brother would not be able to come (he owns a small business) and she needed to also be with her son. To which I said...yep, I ALSO need to be with MY son. She said 'Oh'. She later said she didn't want to be at my house because it's too tiny. I told her she needed to be more flexible to which she replied that no, she did NOT have to be as she put in her 71 years. She also mentions that we are the ones who moved away so we should be the ones to come to her (we also lived out of state from 1998-2007 and had to always pack up the kids and go stay for holidays then too. We lived back in town from 2007-2017). My brother, who lives about 30 mins from her, does none of the stuff to help that I do. He visited her for 30 mins about a week after she had her knee replacement. While I was wiping her butt and bathing and feeding and clothing and medicating and icing and making her do PT exercises...etc. All while doing laundry and getting groceries and cooking and cleaning and taking out trash and going to pharmacy and....

We are going to Disney for Xmas with friends. My in laws, who live near my mom, agreed to do the family Xmas on the weekend after Xmas so we can be there. My mom refuses. Says that is NOT Xmas. And my brother cannot be there as his store is open that weekend (but he closes for Xmas so that's when they will do it). I, out of frustration, snipped 'well maybe brother can cook and host for you...ha ha...good luck with that' (as we have NEVER been invited to his place for anything, ever...my mom once was for Thanksgiving when we decided to go to in laws one year...ONE time. But I never have been invited). She replied she didn't want to go to his house and she would just spend Xmas alone as she is used to being all alone like on Mother's Day and her birthday every year. Um, her 70th Bday (which is also around Mother's day) I took her and my DDs to HHI for a ladies trip....and her 69th us girls also went to Disney for her birthday and for my DDs' HS graduation trip. What the heck ...forgetful much?!?!? This past year I was not with her...this one time (I won't be next year either as I booked HHI for MY family for MY Mother's Day).

As far as all this going here and there...driving up 5.5 hours to where our family is and driving to HHI or Disney. I am tired of that too. We just drove up for Thanksgiving. Have to drive up again in less than 2 weeks to pick up my DDs from college (they go 4 hours north of our family...9 hours north of us). Will meet up at my mom's...uggg, so I will also be doing work too. I may just let them drive all the way down here. Though they have to bring old crappy car because it's due for annual state inspection this month (actually was due in Nov). I worry about them breaking down. Then we drive to Disney on the 18th and back home on the 26th where I will do a dinner with DS (who can't come to Disney...and I didn't want to go but DH pushed). Then drive up to family for in law's Xmas on the 28th. Not super stoked for this Disney trip, cannot lie. Then, DDs booked a trip with friends to run in the Disney marathon in Jan. They fly from where all our family is so... do I stay at my mom's from the 27th through Jan 11th? Or drive home and back. This also bugs me because my DH pushed my girls to go to this school instead of one in the state we now live. Because they were recruited to play ball there. They didn't REALLY want to though. I knew that. They played just freshman year and then quit.

This brings me to DH. He is, I don't know what it is but it's exhausting. We are empty nest. And he can't just chill at home. He goes to happy hour almost every week with the work guys (sometimes twice a week). On the weekend we have friends we go out with about once or twice a month. Sometimes I am busy or tired (with all the trips to family) and I don't want to go but he pushes and insists. And if we have nothing going he tries to add stuff. He bought tickets to football game and flew his parents down to go, claiming his dad really would love it. It was freezing cold that night and his dad requested we leave right after halftime and he seemed miserable. He did a hockey game with his parents and sister (I was up at my mom's for that one). We did a baseball game with his other sister and parents again, in the 100 degree sun of the day (outfield seats). He also looks to do games out of town...sometimes pretty far away. Like Tampa or Edmonton (hockey), we did Tampa in May for play-offs and NONE of his teams made it so we went for nothing. Now he is pushing Buckeyes championship game. He was also looking at a trip to NYC (in cold weather, ick). We just got in from Thanksgiving and last night he was asking about this weekend. He mentioned a work friend wanting us to watch Buckeyes play against the friend's team. I was like 'nah'. Then this morning he mentioned same work friend asked us to go to local college basketball game which in NOT any team or sport I thought DH liked. I was like 'nah'. I just want to rest and recover before heading back to deal with my mom and DDs. He also has me booking cruises, we have 3 booked. And pushes last minute trips to HHI. I just don't know what his deal is...seems ADHD or compulsive or mid-life crisis or what? But it's relentless. Admittedly, I am a homebody and would be all too happy to never go anywhere. But there has to be a happy medium and we are NOT living it.

Also, while we were up at my mom's we had to rush out of my mom's to get to his sister's to see them on Thanksgiving. We usually have ours at 4-5pm due to my brother having his shop (it's a store with a bar). And SIL always had 2pm. So my family could go there while I was cooking for our 4-5pm dinner. This year SIL changed hers to 5pm due to her son's GF working. So we moved ours to 3pm and planned to head over at 8pm (arriving at 8:30). Well, DH started to bug me before 7pm. I had to clean up, get out our dessert and clean that up. I was tired but he pushed us to go (arriving at 7;30). And good thing as most everyone left about 15 minutes after we arrived. But then, the next day, my mom went to work (yep, she retired and got little side job that she has no trouble managing :rolleyes:). My DDs went to visit HS friends for lunch. I raked leaves and did laundry. DH wanted us to go visit his parents. I told him to go alone so I could do what I had to do...at slow pace. Then, the last night there, my DDs left to head back to college. I had made late lunch and cleaned up. We watched some lighted boat parade from my mom's deck. I asked DH to go to bar up the street for a quick nightcap (like 6pm). He tells me 'oh yeah, I forgot to mention...my old childhood buddies and I are meeting up at such and such bar tonight'. So he left and came in at 12:30am. Keeping me on edge, not sleeping, waiting to let him in so he didn't wake my mom. Then, the next morning I had to pack up, clean the room and bathroom we used and put away sleeper sofas and throw the sheets and towels in the washer. While he slept in. Then we didn't get on road until like 10:30am. Any other time he wants on the road at 6am. Ha, not this time. Then we were tired and driving in post Thanksgiving traffic AND rain.

Long winded, I know. I'm just letting it flow out. I am so down about it all. And our dog too...he is 13+. He has been having health problems for about 2 years now. He is very high maintenance. We walk him and he is slow slow slow, smelling every blade of grass to find just the right spot. Even in the cold. He is stubborn and will only go where he wants and sometimes he'll plant himself and not go at all. He has arthritis and can't get up on bed or sofa but wants up. But he isn't allowed to jump off because he keeps hurting a disc in his back and his back leg. Then he has to go on meds...cost money and then a pain to give him on regular basis. He can't take rimidyl (makes him barf like crazy). He is on daily eye drops for dry eye. He isn't supposed to do stairs (my mom's house is ALL stairs so we have to carry him and he runs from us when we try to pick him up and he nips). He wakes through the night and scratches on the side of our bed. I get up every day around 3-5am when he scratches and bring him to living room where I lay on sofa and go back to sleep. Then DH gets up around 6am and comes out to use keurig and wakes me (open floor plan isn't always great). I also get texts from certain folks between 10pm and 12am. Why? I keep phone on and next to me because of having 2 DDs in college and our 2 mom's with many health issues. I have been setting certain folks to mute on my phone. But DDs will text for minor things...at like 11:30. I basically get 4 hours of solid sleep and that's it. And the drive to family, we take him sometimes and can't stop for a decent meal since he's in the car (and gets all anxious when we leave). So stupid fast food it is. Blech!

That's my rant. I feel better. I just dread the next 6 weeks. I wanna run away! Bah humbug!!
Wow. I think my blood pressure went up about 30 points just reading all that!

I was waiting for the dog part, so glad you threw it in at the end there! :lmao:

But seriously, you are under an extreme amount of stress and I am concerned for your health. It sounds like you are taking care of everyone's needs but your own. Not sure you can really stay on this type of treadmill without something bad happening healthwise. I know it's kind of cliche but I see it all the time and have to sit with people (patients who've had actual events) and help pick it apart to see where changes can be made. I'm not going to do that here, but I'll say that something needs to give - and I think you know that. You won't be good to anybody if you have a crisis yourself. I'll just say this. Two words: limit setting.

FWiW, my story is not a whole lot different than yours, other than my mother lives with me, but I've been caring for her for 25 years so I can relate to a lot of what you've said about your situation. She is currently on hospice after a year long health decline for which I've been her personal nurse 24/7/365. (She was sick over Thanksgiving so I stayed with her but sent the family out. Coming up I have to work the next two holidays.) The difference is that I have help from my husband and kids (who commute), thankfully, and I am pretty good at limit setting, but I am also employed at a tough job, too. I am cognizant of my own health, as well, and have been working with my doctor on some things for which I just got a good report last week, but it's something I worry about being under this constant stress, too. (Oh, and thankfully my pooch is more of a joy to me than a hindrance, lol.) So I can relate. :hug: PM me if you want to talk more.
 

Pea-n-Me

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
BTW I think there are a lot of people here who either are, or have been, in similar boats, too, just from reading their stories over the years. And I talk to and know a lot of people IRL who are living it, too. Right now, we're the sandwich generation!

Universally, people have always done this, too - often the women in the family, but many times the men, too. My daughter showed me a little video the other day that choked me up. I will share it here. (I wish this young man had a hoyer lift, but I just love his spirit! Look how healthy and happy the grandmother looks. And the young man does not seem to be bothered or resentful, either.)

 
  • fortwildernessishome

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2010
    Yikes!!! Your life sounds miserable!

    Sounds like it is time for a family meeting!

    Why in the world doesn't your husband pitch in and HELP!!! You are out raking leaves and he is making plans to go out!! Maybe if your husband took a more active role in HELPING he wouldn't have the energy to go, go go! I know its your Mom and all, but my husband and I (we both have elderly Mothers) both pitch in with BOTH Moms. I help out his and he helps out mine. Why wasn't your husband helping clean up after Thanksgiving?? Helping clean up the room you used at your moms before you headed home? No way would I be happy in a marriage like that!

    If you truly have no interest in sporting events, can you not go some of the time and have husband go on his own? My
    husband and I do a ton of stuff together, things that one of us may not really like, but go for the other one, BUT, lots of times we each do our own thing too!

    I don't even know what to say about your Mom. You need to be less available. If she works part time, she needs to take a more active role in caring for herself. If she can't handle her house, its time to sell. It seems you like you are sacrificing your life and happiness for everyone around you!!! What's even worse is none of those people around you seem to be appreciating you!

    Put an end to your daughter texting you non emergency things at midnight!! That's a no brainer right there!! That would happen once to me and never again!

    Honestly, I felt like "pea and me" reading your post!! My blood pressure was rising. No way, could I lead your life. You need to make changes, like yesterday!
     

    ADisneyQueen

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2005
    I'm prob around the same age as you (49). My daughters are in college and grad school. Last year I was under a lot of stress just like you. Family members and friends with health problems, helping daughter with college applications, job stress, worrying about being empty nesters in the next year, etc. I started having a lot of health problems and eventually had to quit my job. I've been focusing on me a lot since late August and things are going so much better. I've lost weight, feel less stress and health is getting better. I think you need to concentrate on yourself now before you have a breakdown emotionally and physically. You are not responsible for anyone's happiness but your own. Start doing things to make yourself happy! It's so freeing after years of taking care of everyone else. Make some changes starting with the holidays. Everyone will learn to deal with it.
     

    serenitynow

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2005
    I'm prob around the same age as you (49). My daughters are in college and grad school. Last year I was under a lot of stress just like you. Family members and friends with health problems, helping daughter with college applications, job stress, worrying about being empty nesters in the next year, etc. I started having a lot of health problems and eventually had to quit my job. I've been focusing on me a lot since late August and things are going so much better. I've lost weight, feel less stress and health is getting better. I think you need to concentrate on yourself now before you have a breakdown emotionally and physically. You are not responsible for anyone's happiness but your own. Start doing things to make yourself happy! It's so freeing after years of taking care of everyone else. Make some changes starting with the holidays. Everyone will learn to deal with it.
    PREACH!
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    Random thoughts in no particular order about your situation:

    1. Time to start setting boundaries with your mom. It took my DH a year to do this. 2 years ago, she had to stop driving because of poor eye sight (she's basically legally blind now). At that same time, we moved about an hour and a half away. For one year, my DH would drive there every week on an evening after work and drive her around to all of her errands. He regularly wouldn't get home until midnight. And my MIL regularly would tack on extra stuff/to do's at the last minute. It finally stopped when SIL (who lives a 6 hr drive away) did the MIL errand thing one time and told her mother, "Mom, this is ridiculous! You're having my brother drive all that way every week?" Oh yeah, she also wanted to be taken out to dinner, too, and would never offer to pay for gas. So he finally put the brakes on it. She got mad and was frustrated and had a hard time adapting at first. Now DH goes there every 2-3 weeks. But those "growing pains" were hard at first. His stress levels went down immensely once he finally told his mom NO!
    2. Stop doing 2 holiday meals on the same day. It's stupid. Everyone, including you, ends up stressed out and miserable with the rushing around. Next year, decide which holiday meal you're going to and then send your RSVP of regrets to the other folks. They'll be disappointed at first, but they will get over it. The following year, swap...don't go to the one you went to this year and go to the one that you skipped this year. Trust me when I tell you that you will have a far more enjoyable holiday as a result.
    3. Your DH needs a hobby that won't require you to participate with him all the time. He's probably bored and doesn't know what to do with himself.
    4. You need to have quiet time to yourself regularly. And to tell people no and not feel guilty about it. This includes saying "No thanks" (like you have been) w/your DH if you don't want to go to every sports game under the sun.
    5. Your mom has no reason to change her ways in her current situation because you are saving her from the consequences. I mean, seriously, it's ridiculous that you are driving a 5.5 hr round trip every few weeks and spending DAYS there doing all of her chores and house maintenance stuff for her. JUST SAY NO! You can do it. What's the worst thing that will happen? Your mommy will get mad at you. It'll be ok. She needs to HIRE PEOPLE to do these things for her. If she can't afford it, then she should sell her home and move into a smaller place that is more manageable.
    6. Stop trying to make everybody happy. You're making yourself miserable in the process.
     
  • ZZBane

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2019
    I am both sad and angry for you. I don’t have anything exactly nice to say or anything overly helpful. The only thing I will say is that when you got married/had kids, that’s who became your family. Everyone else is extended family. If you don’t set boundaries, people will continue to walk all over you. I hope greatly that things calm down for you. I can’t imagine dealing with all this bs. As far as the dog goes, I prefer animals to people, do whatever you can...although sometimes the best choice isn’t the easy one. Also, when you put your foot down with all these people, make sure you mean it. Take a deep breath and be the badass you know you can be.
     

    jaybirdsmommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2008
    First and foremost - tell your husband and daughters that they have to let you sleep. period. set quiet hours and tell them that unless someone is dead or in immediate danger of dying DO NOT CALL OR TEXT. Same for your husband and the coffee maker. Move it to the bedroom if you have to but no waking you up at 6.

    Is the dog allowed on the bed at all? Can you get him a ramp so that he can get up and down safely? Try to figure out what he needs so that he won't be scratching at the bed in the middle of the night.

    For your mother's house - can she pay someone to do the yardwork/cleaning/maintenance that you are doing? If not, talk to your brother. If he isn't willing to actually physically help (my brother won't either and he lives right next door to our mother, I'm 8 hours away and I still do 10 times what he does), then get some estimates and tell him what his half will cost.

    I'm sorry you are dealing with this, holidays and stubborn, aging parents are exhausting. It really comes down to what are you willing to do and how you are willing to let the others treat you.
     

    bakerworld

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2010
    Been where you are and it's not a great time. Horrible person that I AM, I actually said to my husband that I couldn't wait for it to be over (and there is only one way it's over). My husband was so shocked he actually tried to take some of the kid burden. But the sibling burden is a tight rope of ambiguity - unless you don't mind alienation. I managed some what with my siblings but one went 'cold' and the other 'fell away'. Shame but there is a price for everything. Frankly, if I tried to say 'no' then there would've been no one because there was no one to cover to the point that my husband and kids had to occasionally help - which is a hard story in itself. Good Luck :cloud9:
     
  • Welsh_Dragon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2019
    I am in a bummer of a way. Kinda blue. Here's why...

    First, my mom. She is 71 and lives alone in a house she's been in for 26 years. It is high maintenance and she cannot keep up. She has been having a multitude of health issues for the past few years. And she can no longer take care of her home and property. My DH and I moved away 2.5 years ago (well, DH took job in another state over 5 years ago and he commuted for 3 years while the kids and I stayed put so they could finish HS). I have had to go stay for weeks at a time to help her with things. Stayed a month when she had knee replacement 18 months ago. I take her to DR visits, do yard work, laundry and dishes, lug things she needs moved, clean things, run to dump, take her on errands...etc. When we moved we bought a townhome where the HOA maintains all outside stuff so as we didn't have to do that crap anymore and here I am driving 5.5 hours to do my mom's. She also expects me to come in for holiday meals where I shop and cook and clean up (and rake leaves and lug her Xmas decor out for her....).

    I just did Thanksgiving and was sad that this was the 3rd year our DS could not be with us as he moved where we did and got a job in a hotel (as well as was going to college). I informed her that I would be cooking at MY home next year...and I'd be glad to fly her down. She replied that my brother would not be able to come (he owns a small business) and she needed to also be with her son. To which I said...yep, I ALSO need to be with MY son. She said 'Oh'. She later said she didn't want to be at my house because it's too tiny. I told her she needed to be more flexible to which she replied that no, she did NOT have to be as she put in her 71 years. She also mentions that we are the ones who moved away so we should be the ones to come to her (we also lived out of state from 1998-2007 and had to always pack up the kids and go stay for holidays then too. We lived back in town from 2007-2017). My brother, who lives about 30 mins from her, does none of the stuff to help that I do. He visited her for 30 mins about a week after she had her knee replacement. While I was wiping her butt and bathing and feeding and clothing and medicating and icing and making her do PT exercises...etc. All while doing laundry and getting groceries and cooking and cleaning and taking out trash and going to pharmacy and....

    We are going to Disney for Xmas with friends. My in laws, who live near my mom, agreed to do the family Xmas on the weekend after Xmas so we can be there. My mom refuses. Says that is NOT Xmas. And my brother cannot be there as his store is open that weekend (but he closes for Xmas so that's when they will do it). I, out of frustration, snipped 'well maybe brother can cook and host for you...ha ha...good luck with that' (as we have NEVER been invited to his place for anything, ever...my mom once was for Thanksgiving when we decided to go to in laws one year...ONE time. But I never have been invited). She replied she didn't want to go to his house and she would just spend Xmas alone as she is used to being all alone like on Mother's Day and her birthday every year. Um, her 70th Bday (which is also around Mother's day) I took her and my DDs to HHI for a ladies trip....and her 69th us girls also went to Disney for her birthday and for my DDs' HS graduation trip. What the heck ...forgetful much?!?!? This past year I was not with her...this one time (I won't be next year either as I booked HHI for MY family for MY Mother's Day).

    As far as all this going here and there...driving up 5.5 hours to where our family is and driving to HHI or Disney. I am tired of that too. We just drove up for Thanksgiving. Have to drive up again in less than 2 weeks to pick up my DDs from college (they go 4 hours north of our family...9 hours north of us). Will meet up at my mom's...uggg, so I will also be doing work too. I may just let them drive all the way down here. Though they have to bring old crappy car because it's due for annual state inspection this month (actually was due in Nov). I worry about them breaking down. Then we drive to Disney on the 18th and back home on the 26th where I will do a dinner with DS (who can't come to Disney...and I didn't want to go but DH pushed). Then drive up to family for in law's Xmas on the 28th. Not super stoked for this Disney trip, cannot lie. Then, DDs booked a trip with friends to run in the Disney marathon in Jan. They fly from where all our family is so... do I stay at my mom's from the 27th through Jan 11th? Or drive home and back. This also bugs me because my DH pushed my girls to go to this school instead of one in the state we now live. Because they were recruited to play ball there. They didn't REALLY want to though. I knew that. They played just freshman year and then quit.

    This brings me to DH. He is, I don't know what it is but it's exhausting. We are empty nest. And he can't just chill at home. He goes to happy hour almost every week with the work guys (sometimes twice a week). On the weekend we have friends we go out with about once or twice a month. Sometimes I am busy or tired (with all the trips to family) and I don't want to go but he pushes and insists. And if we have nothing going he tries to add stuff. He bought tickets to football game and flew his parents down to go, claiming his dad really would love it. It was freezing cold that night and his dad requested we leave right after halftime and he seemed miserable. He did a hockey game with his parents and sister (I was up at my mom's for that one). We did a baseball game with his other sister and parents again, in the 100 degree sun of the day (outfield seats). He also looks to do games out of town...sometimes pretty far away. Like Tampa or Edmonton (hockey), we did Tampa in May for play-offs and NONE of his teams made it so we went for nothing. Now he is pushing Buckeyes championship game. He was also looking at a trip to NYC (in cold weather, ick). We just got in from Thanksgiving and last night he was asking about this weekend. He mentioned a work friend wanting us to watch Buckeyes play against the friend's team. I was like 'nah'. Then this morning he mentioned same work friend asked us to go to local college basketball game which in NOT any team or sport I thought DH liked. I was like 'nah'. I just want to rest and recover before heading back to deal with my mom and DDs. He also has me booking cruises, we have 3 booked. And pushes last minute trips to HHI. I just don't know what his deal is...seems ADHD or compulsive or mid-life crisis or what? But it's relentless. Admittedly, I am a homebody and would be all too happy to never go anywhere. But there has to be a happy medium and we are NOT living it.

    Also, while we were up at my mom's we had to rush out of my mom's to get to his sister's to see them on Thanksgiving. We usually have ours at 4-5pm due to my brother having his shop (it's a store with a bar). And SIL always had 2pm. So my family could go there while I was cooking for our 4-5pm dinner. This year SIL changed hers to 5pm due to her son's GF working. So we moved ours to 3pm and planned to head over at 8pm (arriving at 8:30). Well, DH started to bug me before 7pm. I had to clean up, get out our dessert and clean that up. I was tired but he pushed us to go (arriving at 7;30). And good thing as most everyone left about 15 minutes after we arrived. But then, the next day, my mom went to work (yep, she retired and got little side job that she has no trouble managing :rolleyes:). My DDs went to visit HS friends for lunch. I raked leaves and did laundry. DH wanted us to go visit his parents. I told him to go alone so I could do what I had to do...at slow pace. Then, the last night there, my DDs left to head back to college. I had made late lunch and cleaned up. We watched some lighted boat parade from my mom's deck. I asked DH to go to bar up the street for a quick nightcap (like 6pm). He tells me 'oh yeah, I forgot to mention...my old childhood buddies and I are meeting up at such and such bar tonight'. So he left and came in at 12:30am. Keeping me on edge, not sleeping, waiting to let him in so he didn't wake my mom. Then, the next morning I had to pack up, clean the room and bathroom we used and put away sleeper sofas and throw the sheets and towels in the washer. While he slept in. Then we didn't get on road until like 10:30am. Any other time he wants on the road at 6am. Ha, not this time. Then we were tired and driving in post Thanksgiving traffic AND rain.

    Long winded, I know. I'm just letting it flow out. I am so down about it all. And our dog too...he is 13+. He has been having health problems for about 2 years now. He is very high maintenance. We walk him and he is slow slow slow, smelling every blade of grass to find just the right spot. Even in the cold. He is stubborn and will only go where he wants and sometimes he'll plant himself and not go at all. He has arthritis and can't get up on bed or sofa but wants up. But he isn't allowed to jump off because he keeps hurting a disc in his back and his back leg. Then he has to go on meds...cost money and then a pain to give him on regular basis. He can't take rimidyl (makes him barf like crazy). He is on daily eye drops for dry eye. He isn't supposed to do stairs (my mom's house is ALL stairs so we have to carry him and he runs from us when we try to pick him up and he nips). He wakes through the night and scratches on the side of our bed. I get up every day around 3-5am when he scratches and bring him to living room where I lay on sofa and go back to sleep. Then DH gets up around 6am and comes out to use keurig and wakes me (open floor plan isn't always great). I also get texts from certain folks between 10pm and 12am. Why? I keep phone on and next to me because of having 2 DDs in college and our 2 mom's with many health issues. I have been setting certain folks to mute on my phone. But DDs will text for minor things...at like 11:30. I basically get 4 hours of solid sleep and that's it. And the drive to family, we take him sometimes and can't stop for a decent meal since he's in the car (and gets all anxious when we leave). So stupid fast food it is. Blech!

    That's my rant. I feel better. I just dread the next 6 weeks. I wanna run away! Bah humbug!!
    Good grief. Look after yourself please.
     

    yoopermom

    Come join Bravo by the fire...
    Joined
    Sep 27, 2000
    I can't speak for you, but for me I have to be *me* first, a wife second, a doggy parent third (I have elderly dogs, too, I get it!), a parent of adult children fourth, and a caretaker to my parents fifth. I know that *sounds* easy, but is hard!

    With my DH, it took me sitting down and having a real heart-to-heart, that I needed *help* and, very specifically, what he could do to help me. In return, I promised to give more time and attention to our marriage (which I had been putting behind my parents' needs, I admit). I also had to let my adult child "fly" a little, even if it meant he sometimes crashes and burns.

    Do like the military generals: prioritize and delegate,with a firm, but kind hand.

    And many :grouphug: to you.

    Terri
     

    hereyago

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2008
    Hugs to you OP.
    Why is it that women are supposed to be the bearer of the taking care of everyone and everything? Forget that noise!

    You need a sit down with bro and mom and say this is too much for you alone, if they don't like it tough cookies.

    And no one better be texting me after a certain hour unless they are dying etc.

    Sit down with dh and tell him to either help around house or he gets to pay someone.
    Be a BOSS!
     

    lovin'fl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2011
    Thanks. I knew there were a bunch of us on here in similar situations. Sandwich generation...I like that.

    I will add that I dont do all my mom's home care. She was cutting her own grass this summer and actually flipped her riding mower over so she really needs to cut it out and hire someone. The summer she got her knees replaced I tried to cut her grass while I was there but then told her to hire someone for when I left and she paid a neighbor boy...just for 2 months. Then went back to doing it herself this summer. She has the money to hire out this stuff but she wont do it. She needs a house cleaner too. And she has renovated her entire house claiming she plans to sell and move into a more fitting place with no maintainence but it's been like 2 years and she has yet to list her house.

    DH wont help because he thinks I shouldnt be doing all that I am. Plus he works a demanding job and I do not work and have been fortunate to not have to work most of our marriage. And he deals with his parents' stuff when I cant because I am dealing with my mom. His mom had a cancer battle during my mom's knee thing and I really wasnt there for his mom at all. But this Thanksgiving...yeah he should have pitched in. But he never really does...I guess because I dont work and I think he is bit old school misogynistic 50s mentality.

    I do need boundaries though. Sigh. We get done raising kids and then have parents who need tending. I tried to tell DH when he felt he had to switch jobs to here. Said we'd be needed more by our parents but he can never forsee things, they have to be happening right in front of him. Of course his parents were healthy back when he took this job so it wasnt on his radar. Until it was.
     

    disykat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2000
    I can relate on several counts. I just have a few things to add to the conversation.

    I'm also caring for parents long distance - very difficult!!!

    I can also relate strongly on the brother who lives closer staying uninvolved.

    I hope you find this one amusing. People always say you marry your father (personality wise.) I married my mother. Though the details are different, it sounds like in a "high maintenance" in different kinds of ways, you did too!

    I also want to add that, with your mom needing help starting so young, so may have a LOOOOONG road ahead. My parents are in their late 80's and I've only been doing intensive travel and care for the last 4 years. My parents refuse to move so they are now in a leveled care community, but I still have to travel for financial and emotional support and all drs. appointments and medical issues. I quit/"retired early" from my job 3 years ago because I have to travel to another state every two or three weeks.

    It's easy to say to just stop, and I know I haven't been able to - but with your mom so young you really CAN'T do this for the next 15 years!
     
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    yoopermom

    Come join Bravo by the fire...
    Joined
    Sep 27, 2000
    One very hard thing for we women of our generation (taking care of our own parents) to remember is that they are still adults, and still have the right to make their own decisions, even if they are the "wrong" ones (at least in our eyes). I grit my teeth when I try to practice this with my own mom:

    DM: I can't come with you to do (something fun), because it's Thursday, and that's groceries morning.
    WHAT I WANT TO SAY: You live literally five hundred feet from a grocery store, are retired, and can get groceries at any hour of the day or night. WHY?!?!
    WHAT I DO SAY: That's too bad that you're going to miss out on (something fun), but it's only going on this Thursday at 10 am. If you can't get groceries at some other time, I'll go by myself. If I "treat" you to grocery delivery (five dollars where she lives), would you consider letting them do the work this week so I can enjoy this event with you?

    And, yes, I agree with you that they seem to have a phobia about spending a cent on services, even if they have the money, and it would make their lives easier. I try to tell myself that they don't have any dementia, so have to be allowed to be themselves, but that's not always easy....

    Terri
     

    Christine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    I have way more to say, but just wanted to comment that your marriage sounds like a typical EXTROVERT/INTROVERT situation.

    Extroverts need people and activities (outward) to feel revived/invigorated and introverts need space, quiet, and downtime to recharge. Probably wasn't as noticeable when you were well-rested and some control in your life. The problem with EXTROVERTS is that they can't really emphathize with the plight of the introvert, although we introverts seem to understand them and acquiesce to their needs. You can't really change your husband's nature and what he needs to survive, but he needs to "get" you. I agree that he needs some more hobbies that don't involve you and allow you some downtime.
     

    Pea-n-Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2004
    One of the reasons my mother came to live with us was because we were doing it long distance, too, and it got to be too crazy! I was working an overnight shift, then driving almost two hours to her house, dealing with problems there, then driving home, sleeping a few hours and going back to work the next night. (DH and DB were helping out, too, but we were all overwhelmed.) After a while I couldn't do it anymore. So we built an in-law apt and life got easier in a lot of ways. Sure, it wasn't perfect, either, but it worked out pretty well in the long run. She helped us when our kids were young, and we're helping her now. Fortunately for many years she was mostly self-sufficient save for chores, bill paying, appointments, that sort of thing, especially until she got into her late 80s and 90s. So iit was give and take, not just give. Not saying everyone should do this, but caregiving from a distance is a lot harder in many ways than caregiving at home.

    I've also found that as parents age, they get more stubborn and demanding, even if they weren't that way before (or if they were!). Some of it may be cognitive/neurological - if you look at a 90 year old brain compared to a 40 year old brain, it is overal atrophied (shrunken), so changes in the brain have occurred. This is something seen in so many people, and it only gets worse as they age! (Along with other things that happen!) And also why arguing with them isn't always that helpful.

     
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    Searc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2018
    Random thoughts in no particular order about your situation:

    1. Time to start setting boundaries with your mom. It took my DH a year to do this. 2 years ago, she had to stop driving because of poor eye sight (she's basically legally blind now). At that same time, we moved about an hour and a half away. For one year, my DH would drive there every week on an evening after work and drive her around to all of her errands. He regularly wouldn't get home until midnight. And my MIL regularly would tack on extra stuff/to do's at the last minute. It finally stopped when SIL (who lives a 6 hr drive away) did the MIL errand thing one time and told her mother, "Mom, this is ridiculous! You're having my brother drive all that way every week?" Oh yeah, she also wanted to be taken out to dinner, too, and would never offer to pay for gas. So he finally put the brakes on it. She got mad and was frustrated and had a hard time adapting at first. Now DH goes there every 2-3 weeks. But those "growing pains" were hard at first. His stress levels went down immensely once he finally told his mom NO!
    2. Stop doing 2 holiday meals on the same day. It's stupid. Everyone, including you, ends up stressed out and miserable with the rushing around. Next year, decide which holiday meal you're going to and then send your RSVP of regrets to the other folks. They'll be disappointed at first, but they will get over it. The following year, swap...don't go to the one you went to this year and go to the one that you skipped this year. Trust me when I tell you that you will have a far more enjoyable holiday as a result.
    3. Your DH needs a hobby that won't require you to participate with him all the time. He's probably bored and doesn't know what to do with himself.
    4. You need to have quiet time to yourself regularly. And to tell people no and not feel guilty about it. This includes saying "No thanks" (like you have been) w/your DH if you don't want to go to every sports game under the sun.
    5. Your mom has no reason to change her ways in her current situation because you are saving her from the consequences. I mean, seriously, it's ridiculous that you are driving a 5.5 hr round trip every few weeks and spending DAYS there doing all of her chores and house maintenance stuff for her. JUST SAY NO! You can do it. What's the worst thing that will happen? Your mommy will get mad at you. It'll be ok. She needs to HIRE PEOPLE to do these things for her. If she can't afford it, then she should sell her home and move into a smaller place that is more manageable.
    6. Stop trying to make everybody happy. You're making yourself miserable in the process.
    I agree with all this. We are empty nesters at 45 and have luckily not had any growing pains because of it, but my DH is much more extroverted than I am. I'm similar to you in that I'm a homebody and prefer to stay home, but I know DH doesn't want to do that every single night, so we compromise and go out a couple times a week.

    If your mother can manage a part time job, she can manage everything else YOU are doing. She's manipulating you and you need to put your foot down and tell her no. Yep, she'll be pissed but she'll get over it. And if she doesn't? Oh well, no one (even your own mother) is worth sacrificing your mental and emotional well being.
     



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