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Thread: For those who are a bit older

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    For those who are a bit older

    What do you do when life starts taking more than it gives? You have more years behind you than ahead of you. Family members start dropping like flies your parents are old and frail and need nursing homes. You still work 12 to 16 hours a day for another 10 years . You still have kids at home . You are torn in every direction and everyone needs a piece of your time and attention. People complain you arenít doing enough but you literally have no time to do another thing itís just not even humanly possible .

    How do you keep body and soul together without going over the deep end ?

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    You have special challenges, Seraphim, with your son, so I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that I don't have that situation, which surely tugs at you in a very different way from anything I could imagine.

    That being said, I can relate to the old part, lol. And parents who need special attention. My mom passed away earlier this year, and my dad has had certain health challenges that, even this week, we are all dealing with.

    Here's the thing, and it bears repeating, even though it's said over and over again: "No" is a complete sentence. We can, and should, say "No" when we just....can't. It's ok to say that we are just not up to doing x, y, or z, because care of self and one's own family is Priority 1.

    It's ok to say that you simply can't do this, or that, or put a time schedule on something that you can do. Yes, I can do X, but I can only do it by Y date. No sooner. Stuff like that.

    Also, it's ok to take some time just for you, to do something that just you like to do. Even if it's sitting in a coffee shop with a good book, or getting a manicure. Just for you.

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    I agree with LH! No is a fabulous word. You need to use it without feeling guilt.

    How much does your husband contribute to all of the day to day stuff?

    You must also take time for yourself, or you will not be good for anyone.

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    I'll tell you an anecdote that just happened yesterday, with my sister. My dad had surgery last week, so he's not allowed to drive for a couple of weeks. My sister is the only sibling in his city. He called my sister yesterday to ask her teenage daughter to come over and take him to the grocery store, and my sister said no, as her daughter has a lot of activities going on. My sister offered to take his grocery order and place it online, but he said no, he wants to go to the grocery store. My sister and her husband both work full time, plus they have another child who is not yet driving age, so they have to drive her around. My sister very firmly told my dad that she had looked in his refrigerator and saw that he was stocked with groceries from before the surgery, and realized that he just wanted to get out of the house. So she told him that she will come over today and take him, for one hour. In other words, she was firm in her No for her daughter, but she said Yes with a time frame. My dad agreed. So, even though it wasn't exactly when he wanted, it gave him a time frame, and it also told him that he can't just call a 17 year-old to drop her life that day and take grandpa around. Mind you, my dad is the kindest, most wonderful man on the planet, but even for him, we have to give him boundaries of what we can do.

    It made me realize: when we were kids, our parents gave us these "No's" and boundaries all the time. They didn't just drop their lives to take us places, did they? That's how we learn boundaries. So it's the same thing, in reverse.

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    Originally Posted by LHGirl
    You have special challenges, Seraphim, with your son, so I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that I don't have that situation, which surely tugs at you in a very different way from anything I could imagine.

    That being said, I can relate to the old part, lol. And parents who need special attention. My mom passed away earlier this year, and my dad has had certain health challenges that, even this week, we are all dealing with.

    Here's the thing, and it bears repeating, even though it's said over and over again: "No" is a complete sentence. We can, and should, say "No" when we just....can't. It's ok to say that we are just not up to doing x, y, or z, because care of self and one's own family is Priority 1.

    It's ok to say that you simply can't do this, or that, or put a time schedule on something that you can do. Yes, I can do X, but I can only do it by Y date. No sooner. Stuff like that.

    Also, it's ok to take some time just for you, to do something that just you like to do. Even if it's sitting in a coffee shop with a good book, or getting a manicure. Just for you.
    It has been a rough year. My mom fell 3 times this year breaking her back, her wrist in 3 places and 4 knuckles. She already has significant mobility issues . I will say though that she never asks for my help, ever . And she does have my stepdad who is perfectly physically capable . But even at 80 he still works full-time and he canít stop because an investor lost their entire retirement fund and the place that he worked at years ago went bankrupt and they lost their benefits so pretty much he needs to work until he dies . My mom while only being 73 is significantly mobility challenged due to arthritis and joints that need replacing .

    My father well, he doesnít want my help anyway but whatever..... he is very significantly mobility challenged and has a scooter and is on dialysis is a severe diabetic and has heart and stroke issues and is starting a journey of dementia . Mind you being on dialysis he doesnít have a lot of time . He lives alone and canít afford to go to a nursing home. His sister phones me and tells me how I should step up even though he doesnít want my help and he lives three hours away . And I would add as most people know he was a severely abusive parent which his sister does not know.

    My in-laws are incredibly frail and we also live three hours from them as well as my parents . My mother-in-law has had surgeries three years in a row . My father-in-law has Parkinsonís and severe dementia . He is in hospital right now and has been removed from my mother-in-lawís care and is being sent to a nursing home . My mother in law is having another surgery next week for hip replacement because she is severely mobility challenged as well . My husbandís sister has been looking after them the past few years and has extreme caregiver burnout and has been screaming and demanding things from her brother . Even though her parents have the money for extra care and she has arranged extra care my mother-in-law just keeps cancelling everything .

    At work my husband heís the only person in his department right now when there should be five . Plus he has two side jobs as well as his full-time job . I run a daycare in our home from 6:30 AM to 5 PM which does not include cleanup or prep time . And we have our son with life challenges.

    One of my aunts died a few months ago . A step uncle died 2 days ago. My sister in law screaming how my husbandís first loyalty should be to his parents. Her only coping skill is screaming . My husbandís only coping skill is to knuckle under so she shuts up. My aunt is demanding that I really need to look after my father even though he does not want me there and has told me extremely directly he doesnít want me there . ( you are just a stupid c... woman and I donít want or need you )

    It is not like we are sitting on our bum doing nothing we are busy . every .single . weekend something needs to be done. We really canít take anymore. My husband is getting close to needing to go to the mental health dept at work but with him wanting to commission that will go against him.

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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    I agree with LH! No is a fabulous word. You need to use it without feeling guilt.

    How much does your husband contribute to all of the day to day stuff?

    You must also take time for yourself, or you will not be good for anyone.
    My husband contributes a lot at home. He does all laundry and cooks all suppers and does all the outside work. He has a full time job and two part time jobs.

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    What is everybody else in the family doing for these people? You and your husband are not their only living relatives, are you?

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    Maybe, it is time you shared with your aunt abut your father's abuse. I thought you were going to cut him out?

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    My dadís only one sister is willing to help him and the only one close enough to help. My husband only has a sister the rest of their family is in the UK.
    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    What is everybody else in the family doing for these people? You and your husband are not their only living relatives, are you?

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