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Long Rant

amyburemt's picture

  I am starting to get burned out. My DH and I have a farm, 3 teenagers, 1 grandchild, and my inlaws.  My DH is in the military and also has a "civilian" job. I run the house and farm during the day and every other week I watch sd16's baby until she gets out of school at 4pm. The teenagers are very adept at helping to run the farm so it's not a big deal if we have to go out of town for a short time occasionally. Recently , we had a weekend anniversary trip and everything was ok. This week, my DH had to go to D.C. for some work training and I was going to fly out there for 2 days to decompress and go to some of the museums.(I really want to see the Smithsonian ).It was our family's week to watch the baby so I asked SD to see if she and the dad could switch weeks. I was supposed to leave Tuesday or Wednesday and literally had to keep asking her all weekend to check and see if this was going to work. I found out on Monday night that I couldn't go, baby's dad wouldn't switch weeks. I am resentful of this. I feel like I was told a bunch of b.s. in the beginning when they found out they were pregnant about how stuff wouldn't fall on me. The baby's dad has multiple relatives that could of helped out , he just didn't want to have to drive the baby there. He's lazy. He's 18 and sd is 16. They were both dumb and she ended up pregnant. My dh was always open with her about protecting herself and sex ed. Anyway, so I find out I can't go on the trip and I'm now disappointed. 

  The other part of this is that my inlaws live with us. My father in law has Parkinsons and he has good days and bad days. On the bad days, he can be confrontational, paranoid, and do bizarre things. A few weeks ago, his stomach hurt and he wrote "call 911" on windows and cabinets in toothpaste, then went outside and started honking the car horn repeatedly. My inlaws are having a small addition built onto the house so that they can have their "own house". Every day I get to hear from my FIL how they aren't doing it right, or not doing it fast enough, or he did it better back in his day. With me having to go out a couple times per day to somehow get him back in to quit harrassing the contractors. He also has a paper product issue. I have ended up with multiple rolls of papertowels in all the rooms of my house. He tears each sheet in half and I usually find the unused half someplace random. I am so sick of picking up papertowels. 

  My Mother in law, is stubborn. She wants to lay in bed and read romance novels all day. She makes her husband make breakfast and lunch and do laundry.  I had my dh and SIL talk to her and a couple of weeks ago she started getting up to do these things and help take care of her husband. Then she fell.( she is supposed to use a cane or walker and doesn't like using it so she doesn't). She hurt her knee and the dr. told her she needs a knee replacement and soon. I feel like with my inlaws I am having to deal with toddlers. Common sense just flies out the window and I am growing more and more frustrated. Things like not using the walker or laying in bed all day really are starting to bug me.They keep leaving their coffee pot on and it keeps burning on the bottom but somehow it's a mystery as to why it's left on. I have repeatedly told them to get the auto shut off one, order it on amazon or someplace else online, but getting things like this done are always last on my MIL list of stuff to do. Instead it's reading or using  She can't seem to take care of him and they want their independence but continue to just ignore the common sense stuff. Or if we tell them" hey, driving when you need a knee replacement probably isn't a good idea until after your surgery is finished" my MIL deflects. I had my SIL lay down the law about that one. My DH talked to my MIL about hiding the car keys so that FIL doesn't go missing. I turn around and he's at the car opening all the doors. 

  I really have no idea how they are going to function in the addition. I have ordered some magnetic door and window alarms and some "fall" buttons on lanyards for them. we are going to see what their state insurance will allow as far as maybe getting someone to come in once a week or so to help. One of my problems is that I am starting to lack empathy. I feel like I am always doing their dishes, cleaning up messes, ending up with things in my house broken, on top of just regular farm work, dealing with teenagers, dealing with baby. I know that self-care is important but I don't know when to get a chance to do it. I did one of those 2 hour painting classes with my daughter last month and scheduled another for this month. but thats 2 hours out of a month. What are some small things I can do at home to de-stress? I feel like I  don't get a break. I try to watch a show on Amazon at night but then my husband complains because he has to get up in the morning early. I need to de-stress and fast. 



ESMOD's picture

I'm really sorry that your trip seems to be off.   I would have strongly considered makiing your SD responsible for watching her child for those two days though.. she might have to miss school.. but the baby is her #1 responsibility.

Merry's picture

I agree with this. SD is not the backup Mom -- she is THE Mom. You TELL SD when you and DH are going to be out of town and she figures it out. You're a saint for stepping up as much as you have, and you are being taken advantage of because it's easier for everybody else.

I'm sorry about the inlaws. You need a break from them too--that doesn't mean you and DH don't love them. Does your DH take responsibility for them when he is home? Can you hire someone to come in even once a week so you get a break?

notasm3's picture

You are living with a whole bunch of selfish aholes who are USING you big time.  No wonder you are stressed.  None of these people are even your family.  I'd go on strike if I were you.  What would these people do if you were not there?   

You might need to get social services involved - sounds like your FIL may need to be in a home with care.  My uncle's wife refused to leave their home and he wouldn't make her.  We had to get w services involved.   It was a horrid situation - her bed was urine soaked.  She actually was quite happy once she moved to a nursing home where she got to lie in bed all day with people waiting on her.

I WOULD NOT have cancelled my trip for your SD.  She and the father are responsible for that child not you.

Stop being a door mat for these user/losers.

ETA - I am in my 70s.  Lately I have been in a wheelchair.  I still manage to cook, clean, etc.  I have a great DH who would do everything - but to me part of true independence is not staying in bed all day expecting people to wait on me.

Siemprematahari's picture

You need more help especially from your H. He needs to finds some extra resources so to take off alot of the burden off of you. If you don't take care of yourself how are you going to be of use later on. You have too much riding on your shoulders and no one is doing the heavy lifting.

Can you have your SD find other arrangements because you really need this for you? The baby is her responsibility and she needs to handle this situation.

tog redux's picture

If I had your life, I would pack up my dog and drive off, never to be seen again by any of them. 

There is zero chance I would spend my time taking care of someone else's kid, grandkid and parents.   DH needs to find a way to help you more.

futurobrillante99's picture

Dude at work has been interested in me since before I met stbX. He's 62 and raising his grandaughter. She's 18 months. Her parents are drug addicts.

I think I scared him off a week ago by being really cold and unfriendly. I hope he gets the message - "NO! I do not want to help raise this baby or any potential future babies from said drug addicts, and I do NOT want to have to simultaneously be wiping your chin and wheeling both of you around in "strollers." No. NO. NOOOOO!!

I would so go on strike in this situation. Taking care of a bunch of people who are not related to me? Oh, hell no.

tog redux's picture

Seriously. In-laws can move into Senior Living.  My mother has a lovely apartment in an independent living community and likes it very much.  I wouldn't move my own parents into my home and care for them, much less DH's parents.

SD's baby is her responsibility, or if DH wants her to graduate from high school, a nanny can be hired.  He can parent SD himself and the other two as well (unless they are her kids, then that is her only responsibility here).

bananaseedo's picture

Can I ask about what it costs for this type of arrangement? I"m getting increasingly concerned about my MIL honestly-the house is too much for her to manage/stress over. 


tog redux's picture

It depends on a lot of factors - where you live, the type of place, how big the apartment is, etc.

My parents moved in there 2 years ago, my mother went kicking and screaming. My father has since died, and she's now happy to be there, and glad not to have to worry about a house without his help.

bananaseedo's picture

My dad passed 2 years ago- the house for my mom is too much sometimes but so far we're able to keep it afloat-my mom is also in optimal physical health- not sure about mental ha-sometimes I wonder if she's becoming a tad senile.  For now my mom is ok being on her own.  My dad wanted her to keep the place on her own for as long as she was able to handle it.  She is 76 but still drives, no major health issues, ideal weight, active physical and social life, drives fine (not much at night) and is independent in how to handle life/the home/bills, etc.

My MIL on the other hand- Gosh don't know where to start.  My FIL who passed 4 years ago did EVERYTHING for her. Driving her, cooked for her, medication reminders, take to appointments.  She is younger then my mom by 8 years but much older in both physical/mental health.  

Then you add the burden my BIL and damage he did to her financially and emotionally (he's now in hiding from a warrant money owed from his divorce) - then having SD a way it helps as her friends often take her where she needs to be.  But the house is too much for her and even when BIL was there he did NOTHING to maintain it.   She wants to keep the home and has set up life insurance to pay it off and pass to my DF - (BIL stole every cent from my FIL's life insurance and then some) -  at some point if she deteriorates he's going to have to go over and take care of her as SD alone doesn't do much good-not that my BIL did any better when he was there.  I can't move in there unless we dumped a ton of $ to fence the yards entirely in for the dogs.  Part of me things she'd be SOOO much better off in assisted living -especially as her health declines and vision is going.  Not have the stress of the house.  Don't know what we will do to be honest.  She would totally refuse to sell and leave my DF with nothing...and since FIL's life insurance was taken by his brother she will not rest unless she knows she has something to leave him behind.  


ESMOD's picture

It sounds like she might be a good candidate to consider a reverse mortgage.. money to live on and what's left can go to her child.. bank will get the house if kids don't want to buy it.

Siemprematahari's picture

LOL Futuro!!! Goodness NOoooooooo

This man who is 62 taking care of a 18 month old, God bless him! But I'd run the opposite direction too.

Step-girlfriend's picture

I really believe that people will treat you the way you allow them to. In your case, you are allowing them to use you for, well, everything, and they will continue to do so until you say stop. You are doing too much for one person, period. 

First, DH totally needs to find a way to help you more. These are HIS parents, yet caring for them is falling mostly on your shoulders. I would tell him point blank that the current situation is not sustainable, and you need help. Help caring for his parents, a maid, your DH to step up more, SD to step up more- all of it. He needs to find solutions that don't involve you doing everything. And yes, SD is a MOTHER now. Most mother's don't have the luxury of having a full-time nanny that can care for the baby, or even arrange care when the nanny is unavailable. She needs to learn how to find care for her baby when you are not available. I know she is in school, and that is great, but SHE is still the mother. You should have told her, look SD, i'm going to be gone Tue/Wed, and you need to figure out care for your baby. Maybe she gets a sitter. The answer can't be that you just don't get to go to DC (I would be livid, btw, I will take any opportunity to go on a trip, and the hell if SD's baby would stop me).

Next- it really sounds like this situation is no longer safe with your FIL living with you. He is going to actually hurt himself. You said you don't know how it's going to work when they're living in the new addition alone- it doesn't seem like that is the best option for him. I'm sure no one wants to put him in a home, but maybe it's time to explore options. Again, this should be your DH doing this stuff! It's not fair to ask you to care for an elderly man with a disease, not to mention his MIL, SD, and her baby.

Please have this convo. with your DH, and stop letting people treat you as if you are the house babysitter. Your life and happiness is important too! You are practically a saint for doing all of this, btw, but it doesn't make you any less caring to say its become too much for you.

Siemprematahari's picture

You are probably good natured and have a giving heart but remember many people will take advantage of your good nature. Some may take it for weakness so you have to stand up for yourself and demand help. Something has to give because all that is too much for one person to handle.

Iamwoman's picture

Everyone here said it all so well, I only have thing to add:

I also used to be a person who would do as much as I could for anybody I could. I thought it was the “nice” and “right” thing to do. Unfortunately, not saying “no” ALWAYS leads to other taking advantage of you.

When you start to say “no” and stand up for yourself more, you will get push-back from all of the people you are serving. They will not want their free-ride to end! 

Put In-laws in a retirement community.

As for SD: most high schools have a daycare these days. Does hers? Perhaps she needs to wake up early, get herself and her baby ready and drop the baby off at daycare before she goes to school. 

You and DH gave her life lessons that she ignored and now she is getting a free-ride. Where is her incentive to not ignore any more life lessons? You are making it too easy on her.

Once In-laws are out, and the baby’s parents are parenting, you won’t be so burned out. 

Kiwi_koala's picture

I'm sorry you're going through all of that with your in laws that's rough. My grandmother has Alzheimer's and it is really hard on my mother and two Aunt's. They had to hire a live in home health aide in addition to the 3 of them taking care of my grandmother. It's a tremendous amount of work. Why isn't your husband taking care of his own parents with his siblings or hire someone to help? That would cut down your stress a lot. 

As for the situation with your SD ... Did you volunteer to watch the baby or did your husband volunteer you? Why is it mostly on you? It's not even your grandchild. You shouldn't have to give up going on a trip to watch the baby. She has a mother and a father. They need a back up babysitter or two. Of course you're stressed out. No one is thinking of what's best for you. It is great to have ways and strategies to de stress but, honestly nothing is going to fix the root of the problem. You're being overworked imo.

notsobad's picture

You have gotten some great advice here. I know we all need to just vent and rant and get it all out sometimes but you really do need to listen to these people and take control of your world.

You are not a bad person for saying no.

You are not a bad person for taking time for yourself.

You are not a bad person for wanting some peace in your life.

amyburemt's picture

why do i feel guilty if i do say no? I feel like I have no tools for doing even some small things to unwind. My neck is in a constant knot. I don't even know where to start.