Mum's becoming very demanding - I'm exhausted!

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Mum's becoming very demanding - I'm exhausted!

Postby Drou » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:19 pm

My mother has had MS for as long as I can remember, but her condition only got bad over the last 3 years. She now needs a mental frame to get around the house and basically has a hard time doing anything. My husband and I and our 1 year old son live with her so I can look after the household chores and cooking, but it's really taking it's toll on me. Since my son was born, with looking after him, my mother and the house, my weight has dropped by more than 6 kilos. I'm gaunt and ill looking even though I eat more than my fair load. If this isn't enough my mother has had a complete change of character over the last few months. It's like the more demanding she sees the baby being the more she is too (example - I was feeding my son and halfway through she began complaining she was hungry too and wanted something immediately. When I told her I'd make her something as soon as the baby was finished she got very angry and demanded food then and there). She's always in the mood for arguements and I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. My friends say she's just angry with herself because she sees how tired I am but can't help, but if thats the case why would she want to make it worst by being more demanding too.
Right now we can't afford extra help for her which is why we are all living together.

How do I deal with this? I don't want to isolate her but she doesn't appreciate anything I do and it is never enough. She wants me to put her needs before the needs of the baby. :cry:
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:40 am

Hi Drou
that sounds like a lot to cope with.
I wonder if you've tried talking to your Mum about how this is affecting you all? Could you explain the impact her demands are having? Can your husband talk sensitively to her if it's too fraught between you at the moment?

I can't come to your Mum's defense per se, coz I don't know what she's going through at all, but as an MS'er I'm wondering if there are a few things going on for her right now that she may need some help or talking with? Do you have an MS-helpline or clinic where she could talk in privacy to them and maybe get stuff off her chest, or access appropriate resources or services? Sometimes when you lose control in your life you can come across as demanding, but it can be fear, grief, anger, depression, frustration etc....but like I said I don't want to presume to know what the issue is for her.

There could also be the situation that with a little one you are not getting enough sleep and rest yourself and your "fuse" is a bit shorter...that is not in any way a negative comment, but I can't take bad behaviour much when I'm tired either and I react quicker.

Also I don't know the situation in your country (I'm guessing US or Canada becuase you use the word "chores") but in Ireland you can apply to get some "home help" - a person to assist with shopping/cooking/cleaning for a few hours a week if you are below a certain income limit, or have an illness/disability - would there be anything like that in your community? It might give you a chance to rest, or even spend some quality time with your son, or Mum, and help ease the situation on you somewhat.

I really hope things improve for you soon.
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Postby Drou » Thu Aug 23, 2007 11:59 am

We are currently in Cyprus where my mother is a member of the MS Society. She has access to a physiotherapist (which she doesn't use), an aromatherapist (the only thing she is bothered with), someone to sun errands for her (1 hour, 3 times a week) and a psycologist (again she doesn't want to use).
I wish I could do something to shake her into wanting something better for herself. She really believes a miracle will happen and one day she'll be able to walk again but until then she is becoming more and more demanding. She even orders her 70 year old mother around whenever we visit her and can be very rude to her too.
Then there are times she just sits and cries and snaps at whoever tries to talk to her. She's even snapped a few times at the baby for going near her when she's in a mood.
Also she no longer cares about cleaness. Before when she was ok she had everything spotless. I can't live up to that with the baby and she doesn't help at all as she makes more mess than him (i.e. dropping food on the floor on purpose, spilling drinks and not saying anything so it gets mopped up, etc). It's as if she doesn't care if she's here or not. I often suggest for us all to go on a day trip somewhere and that it's ok if she uses her wheel chair to get out and about but she always refuses. The only place she'll go is to my nan's.
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Re: Mum's becoming very demanding - I'm exhausted!

Postby NHE » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:19 pm

Hi Drou,
I can really feel for your situation. It can be very painful to watch this disease slowly strip away who we once were. It sounds like your mother is really caught up in a strong depression and she may need some professional psychiatric help. Unfortunately, helping people who don't want help is difficult to say the least if not impossible. I know this all too well from my experience working with recovering addicts. In that situation, sometimes an intervention is necessary to help save someone's life. I do not know if it's possible to do interventions for people with depression. However, you may find it beneficial to consult with medical professionals in that field.

Hang in there, NHE
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Postby Drou » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:15 am

Thanks so much for your message. It really breaks my heart seeing her like that. I really thought having a baby in the house would give her something to want to fight for. It's her first grand child and event when I had him, she was the very first person to hold him (even before me). Sometimes she's ok, but mostly she's down and withdrawn. She won't even hear of talking to someone although she admits it would help.
I feel like I'm getting depressed from this situation.
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Postby carolew » Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:01 pm

Dear Drou, what a tough situation. If you would get help for yourself, it may make you stronger to face this difficult situation. You are also postpartum and really at risk of a real depression if you can't enjoy your new child properly.

I am also thinking of something like respite care for your mom. I don't mean to be impolite or rude here but if she was to spend sometime in a home or place for people who need nursing care, maybe you could get back on your feet again. Good luck with this touchy situation. Carole
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