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Anybody caregiving for a parent as well?

Poll Results: In addition to your children and possible partner, how many other people do you caregive for?

Poll expired: Nov 8, 2008 This is a multiple choice poll
  • 75% (3)
    One parent
  • 0% (0)
    Two or more parents
  • 25% (1)
    One other relative
  • 0% (0)
    More than one realtive and/or parent(s)
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure if there was a support thread for mamas and papas who also caregive for a relative or parent. I could use an outlet!

My mom moved in with us two months ago after having to leave her home, and it is a rough adjustment.

I know I'm not the only one, but maybe none of the others have keyboard time.

Can't wait to hear from y'all!
post #2 of 8
I technically don't fit into your poll, but I am a previous care-giver for a baby and an elderly relative.

I lived for four years with my step-father's father, step-grandfather, if you will. I didn't grow up with him, but met him when I was around 15 years old. He had Parkinson Disease for about 12 years, and I was his primary care-giver for the last four years of his life. He passed away last August.

My dd was born the February before he died, so she was six months old.

It was super challenging being pregnant and having a new baby while caring for him. Thankfully he had some other supportive family members and some hired help...he was on 24-hour care by the time I was pregnant.
post #3 of 8
I was just going to post trying to start a tribe like this!

I don't know I'd actually say I'm taking care of my mom, but she did move in with us at the beginning of the month.
It was planned a couple months in advance as a definite when she gave notice to the senior apt. my parents lived in at the beginning of August.
My dad had become suddenly very ill, unable to do basically anything independently, and spent the last weeks of his life between the hospital and a week here and there in a nursing home. He passed on 8/13.

The good thing in our situation is my mom is happy about the situation, she says she would go crazy living alone now, especially this winter. And I'm not having to 'take care of her' like some here probably are. Sure, she's likely benefitting from the fact that DH and I both like to cook, as that wasn't her thing. But she's also able to do things like entertain DS while I nap with DD, dishes, help with laundry. It's so far a win-win thing.

Our latest adjustment though just hit us today---Mom went to renew her driver's license and could not pass the eye test. So...she is without DL now till she can get her eyes checked again and probably have cataracts removed, as I guess she was told 3 years ago that one was starting to form.

the major challenge I see is things like she liked to go to the library just to get away, get out, whatever, and now we live in the only section of town where there is NOT one, so we will have to drive her.

She does have her own room of course, to go into and get away from us when she wants to, and I do take the kids out and go do things with other moms independently...but I can see where having all of us have to go EVERYWHERE she wants to go could get to be a big PITA for all involved.....
post #4 of 8
On and off. My mother is 75 and has had some severe health problems (lung cancer, acute necrotizing pancreatitis.) My father is 84 and is slowing down.

While they are OK now, down the road I can see my care giving increasing.

Glad this tribe is here -
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for writing back; it's good to know that I'm not alone out there!

So what would you say are some of the biggest challenges of being in this role?

I would have to say, like any other parent, it is finding time and energy to be myself. My husband and I recently instituted a mandatory once-a-week date, just to reign in some of the craziness. It has made so much difference.

We go out after the kids are in bed, just something low key, and since ours don't usually wake anymore, my mom is there for any emergencies.

What do you do to stay sane and positive?

post #6 of 8
you know, I can't say as we've got any REAL challenges at this point. Though the driving thing is new to us.

We have minor moments when it comes to disciplining the kids but my mom is a MAJOR support to me and totally respectful of my place as the kids' mom. (Meaning that I am the one who determines what will happen in a given situation and she merely backs me up.)

Like here is a prime example---lately the kids just go NUTS when it is time to get dressed. Running around all through the place screaming, jumping naked on the bed. *sigh* (I guess not such a huge deal if you are not in a hurry to go somewhere but the other day DS was late to preschool because of it.)
And I have a little hang-up with them running and jumping naked in front of a full length window in our door. (call me paranoid I guess)

My mom and I are the ones at home in the evening at bathtime. So we now each take a kid directly from the bath by the hand and get them into the waiting pajamas. (that she kindly gets out while I referee splashing and wrangle children who don't WANT to wash their hair, thank you.)

We had a minor disagreement tonight about DS, my mom says he's 4 years old now and he SHOULD be able to do as he is told and get into the PJ's without this big production.
I said (years of special ed preschool speaking I guess) that while maybe he SHOULD be able to do it, for whatever reason, he is NOT doing it and so we need to meet him where he is, which at this point is that someone needs to physically hang onto him and dress him. (and HOPEFULLY SOMEDAY he will realize that we really do mean he NEEDS to get dressed NOW and do it more willingly and independently.)
I then volunteered to be the one to do this, since it's probably more physically demanding to wrangle him and his sister is usually more easily convinced that it is time to get dressed NOW.
(and then I've eliminated the repeated, escalatingly louder and more frustrated attempts to get him to comply to verbal directions.)

I'm starting to realize that's the way to handle it. I couldn't continue to live with the way she was doing it, I realized she had the more difficult child in that situation, it's my job as the parent to take over with the one that needs *parenting* at that moment. Which is what discipline is anyway.

more often than not she's the one that will say though "oh I should just shut my mouth and let you be the mom" and I'm the one saying "no they need to listen to you too, you are fine."

It's going well. I have to say I am fortunate in the fact that she really does back me, like last night, she was AIC (adult-in-charge) while I went to my midwife appointment for about 2 hours. (including a 30 min drive each way to where I need to go for a legal out of hospital birth)
About 2 hours before I left, we went to the library and got movies. When we got home, I carried S. into the house and DS locked himself into the van and ran around in it. (I had the keys)

DS knows full well what I think of playing in the car. (it's been an ongoing issue, I'm sick and tired of it, your job is to get in your seat and try to buckle it or get out and come inside with us. Plus, call me paranoid but I have horrible visions of DS putting the van in gear.)

So...I said that because he didn't come in the house, he wasn't going to get to watch any of his movies last night.

And yes, he whined and complained. And he tried to get Grandma to give in. But Grandma did NOT give in. (she told me later she almost laughed at him though because he tried, for the first time, "Sophie, YOU want to watch Bear, don't you? Grandma, SOPHIE wants to watch Bear.")

(and yes, I realize that the common theme to much of what is going on in our house also seems to be that DS is testing Grandma. Or maybe he is acting out with her to try to get my attention? I realize anyway that the common denominator seems to be acting up when he's expected to listen to Grandma but I am also present. He actually does better when she is babysitting and I am out of the picture. also the few times that it is just me and him it seems to go better.)

that's why I decided to volunteer to be the one in charge of him after bathtime.

But I imposed a consequence for not coming in the house with Grandma. He's got to learn that he needs to listen to all the adults in the household, all of the time. (he also needs to learn to speak up and ask for what he wants, I will gladly wait a minute if what he wants at that moment is to walk in with ME.)

anyone else have issues with their kids not wanting to listen to all the adults in the house??
post #7 of 8
oh and i wanted to say that we've been in our current living situation for all of two weeks.

and my mom has her way of 'disappearing' during the few hours DH is home. There is some time that it's all of us, I mean she talks to DH and we eat whatever meals we are all here for as a family usually, stuff like that. But she'll go watch TV in her room or something too. And DH and I are night owls on the weekends, last weekend she even was up with the kids an hour or so one day without us, and she's OK with times like that.

So far it is working for us on a 'couple' level as well, and nobody is complaining about anything, like getting up with the kids or anything like that.

I hope it stays this sane when I have a newborn.

with the added thing of my mom not driving anymore I just realized right now I am not even going to have the option of not driving DS to preschool when the baby comes.....I will HAVE to roll out of bed and do it...
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Peaceful Mama,

Good wishes to you and your upcoming big day!

I'm glad to hear that things are going well for you all. The driving thing must get kind of complicated.

You know, it has actually been easier having my mom here than at her own place when I would be going back and forth to check on her.

Other relatives and friends worry about all of our ability to cope, but so far, mostly good.
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