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Are you part of the "sandwich" generation? (Sort of a vent)


TheAttachedMama
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PLEASE don't quote because I might delete.   

Is anyone else out there a caregiver to both their young children and their parent(s)?    If so, how do you find ways to cope?   I feel like I do not cope well with the stress at all.   I know it is affecting my health negatively.  I live in a constant state of worry...even when I am not directly caring for my mom I am worrying and fretting over it.   (Trying to figure out ways of spreading myself among all of the needs.)   I also see that my stress levels are affecting my children and my spouse.   I often will lose my temper with them after dealing with high stress situations with my mom.   Or they can just sort of tell that I am feeling depressed/worried---they sometimes miss their happy mom.  My 5 year old asked me the other day, "Mama, why don't you ever smile anymore?"   That about broke my heart.  

My mom is only about 65 years old, but she suffered a traumatic brain injury which means that she requires a lot of care.  She has both physical and mental limitations. (And will probably require more and more care in the future.  The fact that this isn't a short-term problem and is likely to get harder and harder also causes me stress.)   She cannot drive and she has many many doctors appointments.  That sometimes equates to 24+ hours in driving and waiting around for doctors appointments.  She needs help with food, budgets, medication, household chores....and so much more.  She does not deal with stress well and calls me constantly exploding with hysteria and anger.  Or just needing/wanting to talk for hours and hours. 

She has also decided that she is getting a divorce from her current husband, so she wants me to go and listen in on all her legal meetings because she might not understand fully what they are saying.  And that is a real concern. (Oh yea and she needs rides to those too....and I guess I am just supposed to bring all of my kids??)  Time and money are one side of the coin.  But mostly I feel like I don't have enough of myself to give emotionally.  I try my best to screen the calls when she is going through a rough patch (hysteria and anger outbursts stress me out)--but even listening to her voicemails causes me all sorts of worry/guilt for the rest of the day. 

My kids also have various learning challenges.   (DS12 is a bit of a 2E child; he has various problems with executive functioning skills.  He also has dyslexia.   DD10 has dyslexia and attention problems.  And DS5 is 5...and well, that means he needs a lot of care and attention.  He also has some kidney issues that require some special care/apts.) The kids are doing really well with homeschooling, but sometimes things take them longer than it would for a typical learner.  They also need routines and stability.   (If you have children with special educational needs, you know that homeschooling alone can be stressful...but when I throw my moms needs into the mix, I just feel so overwhelmed.)   I often don't even dare schedule my kids occupational/speech therapy appointments they need because I feel like one more thing to add into our schedule is going to be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back.

Another thing that makes me stressed is that homeschooling really isn't seen as a "job" in my family or community.   Whenever my mom asks for help apart from me, no one else wants to do it.  So I hear things like, "Well, I have to work.  You don't have a job, so why can't you do X, Y, and Z?"  I also hear, "Why don't you just put the kids in school?"   (And the answer to that is because it isn't so simple.  Our school district is failing academically.   I don't feel that my kids would be given the educational support that they need.  I am also not so sure that dealing with IEP stuff would make things any easier. )  

I am typically a problem solver.  So instead of feeling bad, I look for solutions.   I know that things are not sustainable as they are.  The problem is, I just don't know how to make things better.

     I've been trying my best to take care of what I can.   My health has really suffered.   So I have decided to make working out in the wee hours of the morning a priority no matter what is being thrown at me.  I am trying to eat better and not stress eat.  I am also trying to watch my financial health.  (I know that I will probably be supporting my mom financially while trying to put the kids through college, etc.)   It is so easy to want to hit a drive through when I have three kids in the car waiting for an hour-long appointment to be over just to keep everyone happy, but we just can't afford to eat out on top of the added cost of gas.  So I just say no---no matter what goes on that afternoon.  (We pack food/entertainment or we just go without for awhile.)  I have been trying my best to take advantages of any social services in my area.  But even setting that up takes so much time you wouldn't believe.  Often playing phone tag with several different agencies all morning. etc.   And social services will only meet about 1/3 of the needs of my mom.  (She lives in a very rural area.)   However, I really don't have any good long term solutions.  

I don't mean to vent so much.   I am very, very sorry.  I know that so many others have it so much harder than I do.   So thanks for "listening" to me.   

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It's ok to vent. You are where you are and it's a hard place regardless where others are. I'm sorry that you have so much on your plate and that your family lacks understanding. I have done elder care while my children were home albeit older. That being said it was short term with extended family pitching in. 

I think you will have to draw some lines in the sand early on, somehow. Knowing that it is a long term situation does change things and changes how much your family can give. I wish I had more advice on how to do that. 

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Ooooh, I hear you.  It’s hard.

DH and I care for three parents in the 78 - 81 age range.  I thought our hands were crazy full with two of them nearby and us as primary, if one  isn’t having an emergency the other is, you know?  We’ve had months and months of hospital time, and doc appts, and moves, and financial help, and paperwork help and on and on.  Then ... my mom ended up scammed now penniless and has moved in with us.  In the three mos she’s been here ... holy cow!  She has just been released from the hospital last week, a 5 day period that wasn’t really a respite for us, and I am trying to cling to any shred of normalcy available. 

All of that was to let you know that you are not alone.

My plan, FWIW:  work outs (if I don’t, I get depressed, so it’s a mental health thing here); keto-ish diet (because that’s what has worked for me for 3 years); strict bedtime so I can have adult time with DH and my night time ritual of a hot bath and a glass of wine; prioritizing school hours is hard, because of alll of the appts, but I try to set boundaries re: I’m available during X hours for driving duties.  

My thoughts for further protecting my family from negative impacts:  (though not free, some areas have lower cost options through churches, etc) ... Transportation outsourcing.  Uber or Lyft.  My mom is legally blind, but I think she can learn to use Iber to get around.  DH has taught his dad (wheelchair bound, no less) to use the local “taxi” for wheelchair bound people. He can record doc appts and DH gets doc notes.  

Housekeeping,  I’m giving in and getting help in this department.  I can’t school plus full time caregive, and keep us all fed, laundry done and clean.  

And other than that, I am working on simply being fully present wherever I am, and not worrying about where I’m not.  Ha!  I’ll let you know how that goes, it’s a new thing after realizing our whole family is suffering.

Not sure that any of that is helpful, but at the very least you’ll know you’re not alone.  

 

 

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I am so sorry to hear about your stress and about your mom's TBI. 

You have every right to make choices that make this easier for you in whatever way is the most pressing. If it's money, you have every right to avoid fast food, etc. You are making the most of a very difficult situation with no support from others about your choices. If they don't want to understand, then you have to do the right thing for your family.

I think any peace you gain for yourself is going to be gained by chiseling it off a piece at a time, so kudos to you for starting with exercise and other things that are important to your present and future. It's hard to do that under pressure, so give yourself a pat on the back!

If the rest of this is too advice-y, just ignore me. Short version--You owe me nothing. I just heard your frustration at being a problem-solver by nature and wondered if you wanted some fresh ideas. You might already be doing all of this anyway. 

-------------

Please don't feel like you have to respond because it's in question form--that's just how I throw out ideas. What if you start choosing specific time slots that are off-limits to your mom--even one or two times a week could start adding up. Or schedule her into a corner so to speak in way that helps your schedule--you can do a bunch of her stuff at once (if that is easier), or always help her set up her meds on x day at y time? Maybe you are doing this already, but I am picturing something fairly draconian (in its firmness) that you hand to the other people who should be helping, with the words, "I can do this, and no more." Or, "I am doing this right now, and in two months, I will be dropping these two responsibilities; you'll have to work it out. I researched x and y to make it easier, but since it's no longer going to be my job, feel free to find your own solution."

Maybe another possibility to gain wiggle room is to see your time as money and ask the other supposed-to-be-caregivers to pony up with $$ for some streamlined solutions. They could purchase one of those timed pill dispensers, for instance. Anything tangible that would give you less to worry about might help a bit. If you are genuinely worried that they will not treat your mom well, then maybe you can ask them to hire someone to clean your house, or they could bring you a meal/portable lunches a couple of times per week. Keep a mileage log and tell people you need gas and wear and tear money so that you feel like you don't have to be as strict with your own funds. (I am assuming the other people who should be helping are family.)

About your kids' appointments for speech and OT, etc. Sometimes you can get multiple therapies in one practice. If you can find a place like this, maybe you can get some block scheduling with them. It might take time (weeks or months) to work it in, but if they offer such a thing, maybe you can pick a start date and tell other family members, "These days/times I am completely unavailable. You will have to help mom if something comes up in this time slot." While you are waiting for the opening, you can start shuffling things for your mom out of that block of time.

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It was hard.  Dueling was undiagnosed asd, and my mother had many health problems that led us to take away her car.

They both took a considerable chunk of my time and energy.  Towards the end of my mother's life, there were times I had to be in two places at once.   There wasn't a way to reschedule, and no one to whom I could delegate the "less" critical one.  Then 1dd lost her job, and she was able to help for those most critical few weeks. 

Then I got things stable, i could breathe, and mom died.

 

ETA, if it wasn't crucial, someone else did it,  or it didn't get done.

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We are there too my parents don't need us quite that badly at the moment but they have and probably will soon they both have multiple surgeries they are putting off because of the time to recover mobility.  Also my husband is currently in an incredibly hard program to get licensed at higher level at his job.  I am homeschooling the 2 girls and am having a high risk pregnancy so yea we are in survival mode a lot of the time.  I have managed to carve out a little time for myself a friend and I go for lunch and $5 movie on Tuesday.

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If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anybody else.

Your family doesn't just fob off elder care on you because you homeschool. That's a convenient fiction everybody has bought into to justify their actions. They do it because they don't want to handle this and they know that you'll step up no matter how overburdened you are.

So first you need to sit down and realistically assess how much help your mother needs and how much you can provide. If the help she needs outstrips what you can provide while still handling all your other necessary tasks and taking care of yourself, then you need to speak to the rest of the family and offer them an ultimatum. Either they agree to take some of these tasks off your plate (and you need to be very specific about what help you expect and how often) or they chip in to pay for a home nurse and a housekeeper for however-many days/hours a week. Or both. And then you start saying no. Nobody will take you seriously if you don't start saying no. "No, Mom, I can't take you to 15 doctor's appointments all over town next week, I have too many other things to do." "No, sis, I can't do Mom's grocery shopping for her, I have to educate my children." "No, Uncle Steve, I can't scrub Mom's house top to bottom, I'm gonna be doing my nails. You'll have to find somebody else."

This won't be fun, and it won't be easy. You'll feel bad and everybody will try to make you feel worse. But the sooner you start refusing to do more than you can handle, the sooner everybody else will be forced to step up and the easier it will be.

One practical note: As much as possible, chores and errands should be clumped together. If most doctor's appointments are in the same building, for example, it's better to spend half an hour trying to get four of them scheduled on the same day than to run around on four different days. If her pills are consistent, it's better to get everybody together as an assembly line and fill up a whole month's worth of pill planners at once than it is to do it week by week (or, god, day by day).

As for constant calls, the best thing is to set a daily phone time. You will call her at that time. You will accept no non-urgent calls outside of that time. If she calls to vent, listen for five minutes (set a timer!) and then say "I'm sorry to hear that, Mom. I'll talk to you more about it tomorrow" and hang up. If she calls to chatter for hours listen for a minute and then say "Listen, I'm really busy now. I'd love to talk, but I just don't have time. Why don't you call Aunt Sue, and you and I can talk tomorrow?" and then hang up.

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53 minutes ago, kbutton said:

I am so sorry to hear about your stress and about your mom's TBI. 

You have every right to make choices that make this easier for you in whatever way is the most pressing. If it's money, you have every right to avoid fast food, etc. You are making the most of a very difficult situation with no support from others about your choices. If they don't want to understand, then you have to do the right thing for your family.

 I think any peace you gain for yourself is going to be gained by chiseling it off a piece at a time, so kudos to you for starting with exercise and other things that are important to your present and future. It's hard to do that under pressure, so give yourself a pat on the back!

If the rest of this is too advice-y, just ignore me. Short version--You owe me nothing. I just heard your frustration at being a problem-solver by nature and wondered if you wanted some fresh ideas. You might already be doing all of this anyway. 

 -------------

Please don't feel like you have to respond because it's in question form--that's just how I throw out ideas. What if you start choosing specific time slots that are off-limits to your mom--even one or two times a week could start adding up. Or schedule her into a corner so to speak in way that helps your schedule--you can do a bunch of her stuff at once (if that is easier), or always help her set up her meds on x day at y time? Maybe you are doing this already, but I am picturing something fairly draconian (in its firmness) that you hand to the other people who should be helping, with the words, "I can do this, and no more." Or, "I am doing this right now, and in two months, I will be dropping these two responsibilities; you'll have to work it out. I researched x and y to make it easier, but since it's no longer going to be my job, feel free to find your own solution."

 Maybe another possibility to gain wiggle room is to see your time as money and ask the other supposed-to-be-caregivers to pony up with $$ for some streamlined solutions. They could purchase one of those timed pill dispensers, for instance. Anything tangible that would give you less to worry about might help a bit. If you are genuinely worried that they will not treat your mom well, then maybe you can ask them to hire someone to clean your house, or they could bring you a meal/portable lunches a couple of times per week. Keep a mileage log and tell people you need gas and wear and tear money so that you feel like you don't have to be as strict with your own funds. (I am assuming the other people who should be helping are family.)

 About your kids' appointments for speech and OT, etc. Sometimes you can get multiple therapies in one practice. If you can find a place like this, maybe you can get some block scheduling with them. It might take time (weeks or months) to work it in, but if they offer such a thing, maybe you can pick a start date and tell other family members, "These days/times I am completely unavailable. You will have to help mom if something comes up in this time slot." While you are waiting for the opening, you can start shuffling things for your mom out of that block of time.

3

No, your post was not too "advice-y" at all.  In fact, thank you for being so kind and so caring in your response.  :)

The problem is that I don't really have any other supposed caregivers.  I don't have any brothers and sisters.  My father has passed away.   My mom has a brother (who has broken off all contact from her pretty much) and a sister who lives in Texas.   All of these advice-givers are her friends and doctors (who she talks to in counseling sessions.)   

 

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You have every right, and every need to vent. There is no safety net for seniors, little community assistance. It is hard enough if the seniors are doing their best, but in the case of my mother, she doesn't even try and has HUGE expectations of me, just huge. My sister lives in France, and my brother had a stroke and a heart attack in the same year and never fully recovered, so it ALL falls on me. This began when I was still homeschooling full time, and continues now since I've gone back to work. I ended up on blood pressure and anxiety meds due to the stress.

I now have it down to 4-6 hrs per week and no more. I refuse to do more which is NOT an easy thing to do. This forced her to enlist her retired brother in law to help do some driving, and low and behold, he likes doing it! It forced her to contact the county commission on aging and while they don't do much, they do provide two hours per week of light housekeeping for the aged and disabled. Now I don't worry about disinfecting her bathroom or vacuuming and dusting. I can combine her laundry with mine and do it here on my own schedule. She used to insist that I do it there. Nope. Not anymore. I also made her join a local church support group for widows. It is only a few blocks from her house, and she is safe to drive that far. If she wasn't, there are other women who are willing to carpool. This gave her an outing and social activity each week. When I say that I made her, what I mean is that I told her that with the hours I work, I could not be down at her house or on the phone all the time so she had to find some way of meeting her social needs. She eventually got the message, and chose something from the list of options that I gave her. 

What we do regularly is have the Sunday noon meal nearly every weekend with dh's mother and mine. We all share the cooking, and they like that a lot. It is our weekly check in session with them. Once we got firm about some things, it was surprising how many retired but in good health folks there are out there that don't mind driving people to appointments and such so long as someone pays for the gas. That's something I can do. Now they each have some drivers for travels they can't handle. We also made a big deal about going to other relative's homes for mini-vacations so we have down time. My mom doesn't have the money, but as it turns out all of her adult grandchildren have been willing to pitch in and split the cost of an occasional plane ticket or a driver. MIL has the money, she just had to be convinced that she needed to do this. So now she takes a week twice a year to go to her daughter in Florida, and two weeks each summer to her great-nieces in Colorado. These are much needed breaks for us.

I used to be completely, anti-nursing home. I don't like them. Unfortunately medical technology is keeping people alive well past when their ability to care for themselves wears out, and sometimes for decades not just a couple of years. This is a huge issue as our nation does not make a priority of helping families care for the elderly while these same generations have to work later in life than previous ones, noting some politicians want the up the age at which the next generation can draw SS to 70! Many people are not physically capable of any job at 70, and most employers don't want 70 year olds. How this is supposed to work I do not know. Seems that our political machinery lives in some alternate universe from the rest of us. So that said, I now see nursing homes as a definite possibility for my mother. I don't know what else we'll do if her health fails much more than it is now. I have to work, and will need to work for another 15 years. She'll be 89 by then. She has no money to pay for caregivers in her home. None. She only has a very limited amount of social security to live on so it seems to me that we'll be forced to put her in a nursing home on medicaid since her financial means will be zilch. 

I get it. It isn't even being sandwiched. Its more like STEAMROLLED!

If she has any money, my suggestion OP is that right now, this is used to get drivers for some of these appointments as well as people to get and deliver groceries or pick up prescriptions, anything that will lighten your burden. Her money should go towards helping if there is any wiggle room there are all. You need to homeschool your children and make that a priority, or then the next generation is damaged by the fall out of all of this. 

Some additional things we did. We bought her netflix so she can watch old shows she likes like Andy Griffith. We bought her a tablet. She uses it for facebook messaging my sister which makes her very happy, and since she has some great grandkids, her grand send her photos of them this way. We got her hooked on Candy Crush LOL. She loves that, and it helps pass the time. We put audio books on it so she listens to those while she putters around the house. We got her a cat whom she loves, and the one thing we make sure we do is change the litter each week for her. Thankfully, she is capable of keeping the food dish full, and adding to the water dish. The cat is a lot of company. I think that may help more than anything. Elderly folks get so lonely sometimes. We found her a volunteer job that she can do from home. She writes birthday messages for veterans which is sponsored by a community group. They provide the cards and stamps; she keeps the calendar, writes the messages, and mails them which is just a matter of walking a few steps down the driveway to her mailbox, inserting them, and raising the flag. This has given her a real sense of purpose. She is proud of her little job.

You may also want to check with your local LCMS church because some of them have Steven's Ministries and people commit to visiting shut ins/disabled folks and even sometimes do things like yard work and what not. The local one doesn't have enough people to do a huge amount, but they can occasionally find a driver on short notice to make a medical appointment work, and they come around with fruit baskets and caroling each Christmas. All of these things add up over time, and give one a little bit of breathing room, increase the quality of life for the elder.

But you must, must, must establish your limits so you don't tank your home, marriage, relationships with your kids, or their educations. That is not easy. However, it has to be done or you'll end up regretting it.

I'd love it if my mom was one of those easy going grandmas that would be nice to have here. It would be SOOOOO much easier to combine households. She has however shown herself to be someone who is not going to be a cooperative roommate if she moves in here, very resentful of losing her independence and prepared to take that out on us and our sons. Amazingly enough though, she is just grins, chuckles, and rainbows with my sister and her husband so that is why she may end up living part of the year in France with them.

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I am dealing with this too!  Things have progressed pretty quickly with my dad since Labor Day weekend.  I am getting him moved to a 2 bedroom apartment in 12/1 in the hopes of giving him a longer opportunity to be independent.   I am on my phone sitting at a swim meet so will add more later.

I cry a lot when I'm in my van alone these days.  Need to find a better outlet, but I do feel better after a good cry.

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Hugs, OP. There were years taking care of my parents where I was right where you were and it was horrible. 

I finally blocked my mornings for home schooling.  I was absolutely not available to drive anyone anywhere or make any phone calls before noon. Ever.  They had to either schedule appointments for afternoon or take a cab. 

This saved my sanity. 

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I didn't realize you weren't getting this from family. Still, what I said is true - you need to take care of yourself first. If she legitimately needs all that help, then you need to speak to her now about getting home help or moving into an assisted living situation. Either she can handle this stuff and set it up or it's time to look more seriously at nursing homes.

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3 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

The problem is that I don't really have any other supposed caregivers.  I don't have any brothers and sisters.  My father has passed away.   My mom has a brother (who has broken off all contact from her pretty much) and a sister who lives in Texas.   All of these advice-givers are her friends and doctors (who she talks to in counseling sessions.)   

Oh, my! That's very meddling of them. Her friends need to shut up or help, bluntly. Her counselor might need to be "loyal" to her and support her, but she shouldn't be throwing you under the bus. 

You mentioned local social services--do they also have some kind of local agency on aging in that mix? Sometimes one office is just one office, but then you hit the golden office with helpful people (or your parent hits a specific age range or disability range), and then that one contact gets you in touch with additional contacts. My grandmother has had that experience, which is why I mention it. Not everyone in those fields has the same drive to connect people, but some just do without making you be a squeaky wheel. She has someone that actually comes to her home from time to time to make sure she's getting what she needs--she's generally not running to a million appointments or making a million calls. 

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3 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

No, your post was not too "advice-y" at all.  In fact, thank you for being so kind and so caring in your response.  ?

The problem is that I don't really have any other supposed caregivers.  I don't have any brothers and sisters.  My father has passed away.   My mom has a brother (who has broken off all contact from her pretty much) and a sister who lives in Texas.   All of these advice-givers are her friends and doctors (who she talks to in counseling sessions.)   

 

Are you hearing it straight from them or from her telling you that is what they said?  Because she may just be saying that they think this. Your family comes first. If you can help her out around your kids' needs, do it. If not, help her find the help she needs from paid caregivers.

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You need to think of yourself as working, because you are.  You are a full time tutor/teacher and caregiver to your family.  You can act accordingly even if those around you don't think of you as such.  I have found that having a set time for school is a nice boundary for other people. "No, I can't do that then because we school between 9 and 3. I don't take calls/texts then either. " Now we don't school exactly from 9 to 3, there's wiggle room, but no one else needs to know that.  A school teacher would be able to say no during school hours and you can too. And then you add caregiving responsibilities for your children's therapies. Those are needs, not wants, so you can schedule them as needed and it's perfectly fine to tell people you're not available during those times either. 

If I were in your situation I would look into assisted living because if ever there was a candidate for it, it's your mom.  Talk to social services about all the options for each of the kinds of outside help she needs. If others don't like it they're more than than welcome to take on her care themselves. I suggest intentionally mishearing any complaints they have as an offer to help and it should be responded to with gushing relief and appreciation like, "Oh, I'm so glad! I've been worried about that too, but can't take it on myself, thank you so much for taking that over for me.  I really appreciate you taking that off my plate and handling it yourself." It always worked with my annoying now former SIL.

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There was a period in my life where my kids were in grade school being homeschooled, I was working part-time as a professor, my NPD mother's dementia was full-bloom, and my husband was home with medical and psychological problems most of the year. I truly thought my head would explode. At times I only slept a few hours a night for weeks on end.

Ultimately I had to make hard decisions for my particular situation that worked for me. Our homeschooling went to just the 3 R's, and we schooled year-round. I got some counselling myself that helped me gain perspective and set priorities. After my dad died, we pushed assisted living for my mom because she truly could not care for herself, and we were too far away. Ultimately it was a family friend who convinced her to go and sell her house. Completely the right thing because she had to have someone else manage her medicines, and they handled her appointments. From what I saw and knew, they did an excellent job.

But at some level, it was like that the whole way through our homeschooling years. I honestly don't know how we got through it, but both are in college now and are doing great. My youngest's senior year and her first year of community college were at an all-time high for crises, but she still got her work done. Both continue to struggle with some issues, but they are both very disciplined with their schoolwork and are resilient in some areas beyond their peers. Just to tell you that you can come through this with kids who are doing well.

As a friend told me last week, every hard period in life has a beginning and an end, so just make it through this chapter for now.

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Thankfully, my parents and in-laws are in good health. However, I do have experience with TBI. My husband has one, it happened 14 years ago this weekend. If I think too much about that time, I cry. It was unbelievably stressful, and I didn’t have kids then.

You really can’t give full time care to your mom. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I think you should have a talk with her primary doctor, or case worker. Let them know what is going on. If she can’t manage on her own and can’t rely on her husband, then she needs to be in care- maybe just assisted living.

I also think you should talk to a counselor for yourself.

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I think where you might need to start is to take a step backwards and decide whether you think she is competent mentally at this point.

If not, someone needs to be POA--you or a social worker.  If she can't safely make her own decisions, then that's where to start.  Once that is in place (for both finances and health, if necessary) then the rest falls into place more easily because suddenly you can get the information and access that you need to be able to manage a lot of this stuff remotely; necessitating less travel for you.  

Next decision is whether you really think she should age in place and whether it is safe to do so for now or not.  if the answer is, 'barely', then decide what it would take to feel like her situation was safer--modifications at home, some kind of check in system, a security camera, etc.  If she wants to leave (or kick out?) her husband, is that a rational decision or not?  Is he a safe roommate for her or not?  At least a spouse in the home can call 911 if needed, and that's huge sometimes.  What is really going on with that marriage?

When you break things down into a list like that, then you can put it in order and tackle things one by one, and that is immensely helpful.

It doesn't sound like putting your kids in school should even be on the table, but you might look at whether you could cut back on the academics a bit for a couple of years, or if schooling year round if you're not doing so already would help take the pressure off of homeschooling.  Also, really try hard to carve out a fun couple of hours weekly with them, even if it's hard, making it a priority.  I will always always regret that I was so miserable when I had to start working while homeschooling that I let my sadness get the best of a lot of relationship with DD, and that is something I don't know whether I will ever be able to fully repair with her.

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Just wanted to check in!  How is everyone doing?!?!?  My dad's move is less than 2 weeks now.  I will be glad when he is in an apartment where his mail, newspaper, and trash are all taken care of indoors.  Won't have to worry about his trying to do all that outside by himself.  I will be glad when I am 10 minutes from him instead of 30+ minutes (we live in No. VA where rush hour is a #$%@# and a 30 minute commute is often much longer).  I will be glad when he is at his new place with just the stuff he really needs or really wants.  I'm not looking forward to going through the stuff that remains at his house, but it will be easier to do without him there.  I will be glad when the house is sold.  Then I just have to deal with the stuff in his 2 bedroom apartment, which is a rental.  I hope he is happier there without all the chaos around him.

Anyway, I'm exhausted...

Edited by mlktwins
editing my poor typing
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