Criticized by Sister in Law on How we are Taking care of Her Mom, but She Won't Help!

by Jen
(Florida)

My 86 year old mother in law had a stroke 2 months ago and the doctor said she would now require someone to be with her all the time.


My husband, me and MY mom moved into her home to care for her. We did this willingly and without hesitation because we love her. She also has a serious heart condition and insulin dependent diabetes.

During the day, my 82 year old mom takes care of her. She gets her up in the morning, checks her blood sugar, assists with her injection, prepares her breakfast, gives her her medications and records her stats in her medical journal. But, more importantly, she keeps her company throughout the day.

She does this because she wants to and because she's a caring person. Me and my husband work and take over when we get home and continue with her care during the weekends.

The problem we have is that my Mother In Law is very headstrong and wants to do everything like it was before the stroke...maybe she takes her medications, maybe she doesn't. Maybe she takes the shot, maybe she doesn't. Sometimes she will eat and other times she pushes her meal away.

Her memory is hit, or miss, each day is different. She forgets her shot frequently, gets the medications mixed up and can no longer remember how to drive for fear of getting lost or in an accident. Believe it or not, my mom really handles her well, even when my MIL can be difficult and not friendly.

The biggest problem we have is one we never expected...my sister in law! She is 62 and works part time. Her idea of helping out is to visit and have fun with her mom. This means that she comes over whenever, takes her out to eat lunch, runs her all over town shopping and simply wears the poor lady out. Then, she brings my MIL home exhausted for my mom to deal with.

This can mean that she didn't take her medications, she eats the wrong foods that mess with her blood sugar levels and then start a whole series of medical problems that we end up trying to keep under control for the rest of the day. Add to this that she's a weirdo health NUT and I do mean NUT.

You see, she doesn't believe in doctors! She believes in vitamins and magnets! Yes, I said magnets! She is totally against her mom taking her heart medications and thinks that insulin is a sham. Plus, my Mother In Law has very bad swollen feet, requiring ice packs daily and the use of a walker and my Sister in Laws 'cure' for this is to place magnets on her legs! I'm NOT making this up!

So, now the sister in law has her mom convinced that she needs to get off the medications, insulin and that she can do whatever she wants.

She expresses this to my mom every chance she gets and pretty much undermines anything my mom tries to do to keep the poor woman on a daily routine of simply getting up, taking her medications, eating and ambling safely in the house and keeping her company. Now the routine has turned into a battle between our regimen and the daughter's regimen.

Of course, which do you think the MIL prefers? So, now when the daughter arrives during her mid day visits, they chat at the table and whisper/giggle, take off for lunch and shopping...without any consideration or appreciation for what my mom is doing for her.

I feel horrible about how they are treating my mom. She has tried so hard to help. We even tried to get the daughter to stay over one night to be up in the morning to learn my moms routine and see what she accomplishes with my MIL in getting up, medications, shot, etc. So how did she do?

She stayed up that night late talking on the phone, dragged out of bed at 6am when we all get up, looked around the kitchen, turned around and went back to bed! So much for helping...and she's the woman's daughter!!!

When I asked her why she didn't want to learn what is required to care for her mom, she said she didn't believe in the medications and couldn't watch her get a shot. I realize that not everyone is cut out to care for someone, it's a special gift.

What I don't get is that somebody would actually resent someone who is able to do it, plus be unappreciative and mean spirited to my 82 year old momma who IS willing to do it without hesitation.

I can only guess that she behaves this way because she is embarrassed and jealous. What started as making a required sacrifice and change in our lives is turning into a huge hot mess. My husband is caught in the middle of four women and no one is happy.

I'm at my wits end trying to figure out what to do, but all I am coming up with now is to simply pack my mom and my stuff up and go back home and let the three of them figure out what to do. I had recommended that we consider bringing in a home health nurse, but EVERYONE freaked out because the MIL doesn't want a stranger in her house, my hubby wants US to care for her and the sister says she doesn't need any care!

Why are people so difficult? Thanks for letting me vent! Peace and Kindness to Everyone!

Signed, A Daughter In Law Who Just Wants To Do The Right Thing and Help!

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From UK - Siblings/elderly parents
by: JIll C - UK

I am the youngest sibling, only female and my brothers expect me to do virtually everything. I am a stay at home mum, but when I did work, with 3 children, they still expected me to do everything. However, it's a different story when it involves money! Can't keep them away then!

I am so bitter, that I plan to have nothing more to do with them, when Mum is no longer around.

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I Appreciate Your Sympathy
by: Anonymous

It's so funny that you mentioned getting away. Me and mom are going on an overnight getaway! It's only one day, but I am hoping it'll be enough to refresh and regroup.

My hubby, sister in law and Mother In Law will need to deal with each other. My mom deserves a break and to be treated nicely by someone who really appreciates her and loves her...me!

I already feel better just writing and venting my family situation online. When I re-read what I had written, it really looks crazy, but, all of it is true and real.

I'm hoping that mom can express her feelings in a gripe session over a glass of wine and a nice dinner and let her hair down over this crappy situation. Lets hope it helps! Again, thank you for your input! Jen

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Daughters Turn
by: Anonymous

Wow, that sounds awful. It is hard enough to have to do what you do, without the added negativity and problems the daughter is causing.

Maybe you should take your mother and have a break telling the daughter it's her turn, and let the chips fall where they fall.

I am tired of unfairness and no appreciation.

Good luck!

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