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Old 07-25-2014, 02:04 PM   #121
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Kayelle, that's what I was thinking. RB, is she on any medication? Has there been a change in the dose? Some meds can cause anxiety or an increase in energy. Even if not, you could approach a suggestion about getting help as a concern about her health and encourage her to see her primary care physician for a check up.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:21 PM   #122
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Okay...you began this thread almost exactly 3 months ago. That's a relatively short time for so many things to have transpired. Your household has been reconfigured as far as occupants are concerned and your physical space has changed as well. Add to that, the extra work and the increase in daily interactions among the three of you. Whew! I'm exhausted already just typing what I said.

Your wife is going to burn herself out if she doesn't rein herself in a little. You mention all the laundry that seems to "have to be done." It really doesn't, but she may be using all her busyness to medicate herself. As someone already mentioned, the adrenaline rush may be her fuel. Whatever is the case, she really should scale back and allow herself to come up for air.

Is there another family member or a close friend who could aid in getting the MIL's house prepared for sale? Perhaps there's a teenager who would like to earn some summer spending money who could help. I know, you had said a while back that finances had to be managed carefully, but how much is one's sanity worth?

Are you going somewhere on vacation that might warrant an immunization review? If so, this would provide an easy "out" to suggest a visit to your wife's physician. Just a thought.

At any rate, for whatever reason your wife is displaying this current behavior, you recognize it as abnormal for her. That's a good enough reason to set some quiet time aside and voice your loving concern for her.

She needs to be at the top of her game so both of you can have an enjoyable and memorable vacation.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:32 PM   #123
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I know for myself, if I have someone following me around the house I tend to keep busier than when I'm home alone. Since MIL seems to be improving health wise under your care, perhaps she can start to do a bit more. Also find a senior center. If she can get out and meet some new friends at least one day a week would help. I think your sweetie is not thinking long term. You need to try to incorporate MIL into the every day rhythm of your home. Good luck RB. I know you will take care of your family to the best of your ability.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:44 PM   #124
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I agree, a senior centre sounds like a great idea.
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:45 PM   #125
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Yes, totally agree with the senior center.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:08 PM   #126
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So glad to hear her health is better, RB. I hope you and your sweetie have a great vacation, sure sounds like you both need it. I'm sure you have arranged for MIL's care while you're away.

I was a full time caregiver for my mom for 5+ years before she passed away in 2012. Looking back, I was trying so hard to be an over-achiever and pay back all that time she took care of me while I was growing up, but I didn't realize that at the time. It took a good talkin' to for me to realize that caregivers need care, too.

I can't stress enough that your wife needs to let go a little...let the laundry build up, and try to get her to give MIL little jobs, a little at a time. I know with my own mom, she wasn't interested in the senior center no matter how I tried to encourage that. She wanted me to go with her, which would have totally defeated the purpose. Maybe your MIL would be, and that would be a good thing.

Best wishes to all of you.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:07 AM   #127
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First off, Happy Anniversary a day or two late to you and your "girl". I hope the two of you had a little private time on your special day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
...My wife can go nowhere without my MIL expecting to go.
She even asks my wife where they are going the next day, when my wife has no plans to go anywhere.
The only time my wife has alone time is in the basement laundry room or out in the garden.
My MIL is helping too...
OK, now to the issues you mentioned. I'm guessing that your wife did not take her Mom with her everywhere she went before Mom moved in with you guys. IF your wife can find the courage, she needs to let her Mom know that she was used to having free time to herself before Mom moved in and she still needs "me time" even though she knows her Mom wants to spend all their time together. That it will be better for the two of them to have a break from each other.

The senior center idea is good, but is there a daycare center nearby that partners seniors with the kids? I don't know if that type of program works on an individual basis, but the nursing home my aunt was in also ran an on-site daycare center. All the senior residents had a child assigned to them for companion activities. I know my aunt didn't interact much at all with her kid companion, but she did like getting the drawings and homemade cards her little one made. Then again, "putting up with kids" might be the last thing your MIL wants! I just hope for all your sakes this issue can be resolved and fast.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:23 AM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
Update:

MIL is settled and is doing well. But I am very concerned about my wife ......

We are going on vacation next week and hope to discuss this with her then.
Why would she all of a sudden turn into a tornado?
I found her doing laundry when she should and could have been in bed.
I have not seen her sit down or rest since my MIL moved in.
She is also working her fingers to the bone at my MIL house as they are trying to clean it up to sell it.
In addition I have been doing more myself. To be of some assistance.

Any ideas as to why this has happened and is there anything I can do.
I am very concerned she will not make it one year at this pace.
At a guess I would think that it may have something to do with being under her mother's eye and (possibly sub-consciously) feeling she has something to prove to her mother about her home making capabilities and skills. And there may be a slight feeling that if she isn't super-wife she's letting you down (I'm sure you don't think this).

When all is said and done three people make 50% more dusting, vacuuming, laundry, tidying up, cooking, dish washing, etc.etc., than two people.

What about co-operating with her to draw up a time table for household tasks with "me time" built in eg sitting down with a book, or going for a walk, for a couple of hours one or two afternoons a week.

You could also discuss priorities - some items of clothing such as socks, underwear, etc., have to be changed daily but if an outer garment isn't dirty does it have to be washed after a single wearing especially if the wearer showers every day? Ironing can be kept to the minimum - underwear, night gowns and pyjamas, bedding, jeans or sweaters doesn't really need ironing, Shirts hung on coat hangers after washing need less ironing and instead of Mrs RB having to iron a load at a time, one could be ironed as required and, as I suspect you're old enough to have been in the military, you should be expert at doing that

Bathroom towels don't really need to be changed everyday. Bathrooms and kitchens need to be cleaned daily both for hygiene reasons and because it's easier than it would be if they were left for days but unless you are a really messy family the other rooms should only need a bit of daily tidying with a turn out once a week - perhaps one room a day. Would MiL be able to do a bit of light dusting, veg prep for dinner, setting the table for meals, etc?

If MiL needs a lot of assistance with showering, , etc., is there any help you could get for that? Say through a referral from her doctor or an organisation or older people.

Just a few ideas if they help. It's important that you take care not to come over all judgmental when you raise this. You don't want your wife to misconstrue and think you are criticising her rather than trying to help. The really difficult thing for your wife will be learning to say "No" to her mother. If MiL wants to go out you wife should be saying "Well, if you help me do ..... in the mornibg we can go out in the afternoon"
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:33 AM   #129
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Sounds exactly like my mother when stress and anxiety take over. My mother can't sit down for more than a few minutes and will rattle off a list of things that HAVE to be done.

It's tough being there for her when she is 1000 miles away. She is in that cycle now. She wants to move here (in her own house) to get away from it all; her business is wearing her out, she's 65 and I couldn't keep up with her. I keep telling her to stop trying to sell the business and just close it (she can afford to do so) but she's worried about what her clients will do without her. There always seems to be an excuse to run herself ragged.

I deal with anxiety and when it goes through a rough patch, my mind takes over and all of a sudden EVERYTHING needs to be done and done NOW, it seems to be a way of distracting/not having to deal with things because I'm so busy doing other stuff.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:39 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
You're a good guy in my book RB. I sure hope you're going on that vacation without MIL.
I think I can relate to your wife's behavior around her mother. There's an old book/movie I recall called "I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can". While the story of Valium addiction does not apply, the title does. It sounds to me like she's overdosing on Adrenaline. She could very well be suffering from prolonged anxiety/panic attacks, and that's very serious as I know only too well.
I don't want to sound like an alarmist RB but if this continues I know you will insist on getting her some help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Kayelle, that's what I was thinking. RB, is she on any medication? Has there been a change in the dose? Some meds can cause anxiety or an increase in energy. Even if not, you could approach a suggestion about getting help as a concern about her health and encourage her to see her primary care physician for a check up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
Okay...you began this thread almost exactly 3 months ago. That's a relatively short time for so many things to have transpired. Your household has been reconfigured as far as occupants are concerned and your physical space has changed as well. Add to that, the extra work and the increase in daily interactions among the three of you. Whew! I'm exhausted already just typing what I said.

Your wife is going to burn herself out if she doesn't rein herself in a little. You mention all the laundry that seems to "have to be done." It really doesn't, but she may be using all her busyness to medicate herself. As someone already mentioned, the adrenaline rush may be her fuel. Whatever is the case, she really should scale back and allow herself to come up for air.

Is there another family member or a close friend who could aid in getting the MIL's house prepared for sale? Perhaps there's a teenager who would like to earn some summer spending money who could help. I know, you had said a while back that finances had to be managed carefully, but how much is one's sanity worth?

Are you going somewhere on vacation that might warrant an immunization review? If so, this would provide an easy "out" to suggest a visit to your wife's physician. Just a thought.

At any rate, for whatever reason your wife is displaying this current behavior, you recognize it as abnormal for her. That's a good enough reason to set some quiet time aside and voice your loving concern for her.

She needs to be at the top of her game so both of you can have an enjoyable and memorable vacation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
I know for myself, if I have someone following me around the house I tend to keep busier than when I'm home alone. Since MIL seems to be improving health wise under your care, perhaps she can start to do a bit more. Also find a senior center. If she can get out and meet some new friends at least one day a week would help. I think your sweetie is not thinking long term. You need to try to incorporate MIL into the every day rhythm of your home. Good luck RB. I know you will take care of your family to the best of your ability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl J View Post
So glad to hear her health is better, RB. I hope you and your sweetie have a great vacation, sure sounds like you both need it. I'm sure you have arranged for MIL's care while you're away.

I was a full time caregiver for my mom for 5+ years before she passed away in 2012. Looking back, I was trying so hard to be an over-achiever and pay back all that time she took care of me while I was growing up, but I didn't realize that at the time. It took a good talkin' to for me to realize that caregivers need care, too.

I can't stress enough that your wife needs to let go a little...let the laundry build up, and try to get her to give MIL little jobs, a little at a time. I know with my own mom, she wasn't interested in the senior center no matter how I tried to encourage that. She wanted me to go with her, which would have totally defeated the purpose. Maybe your MIL would be, and that would be a good thing.

Best wishes to all of you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
At a guess I would think that it may have something to do with being under her mother's eye and (possibly sub-consciously) feeling she has something to prove to her mother about her home making capabilities and skills. And there may be a slight feeling that if she isn't super-wife she's letting you down (I'm sure you don't think this).

When all is said and done three people make 50% more dusting, vacuuming, laundry, tidying up, cooking, dish washing, etc.etc., than two people.

What about co-operating with her to draw up a time table for household tasks with "me time" built in eg sitting down with a book, or going for a walk, for a couple of hours one or two afternoons a week.

You could also discuss priorities - some items of clothing such as socks, underwear, etc., have to be changed daily but if an outer garment isn't dirty does it have to be washed after a single wearing especially if the wearer showers every day? Ironing can be kept to the minimum - underwear, night gowns and pyjamas, bedding, jeans or sweaters doesn't really need ironing, Shirts hung on coat hangers after washing need less ironing and instead of Mrs RB having to iron a load at a time, one could be ironed as required and, as I suspect you're old enough to have been in the military, you should be expert at doing that

Bathroom towels don't really need to be changed everyday. Bathrooms and kitchens need to be cleaned daily both for hygiene reasons and because it's easier than it would be if they were left for days but unless you are a really messy family the other rooms should only need a bit of daily tidying with a turn out once a week - perhaps one room a day. Would MiL be able to do a bit of light dusting, veg prep for dinner, setting the table for meals, etc?

If MiL needs a lot of assistance with showering, , etc., is there any help you could get for that? Say through a referral from her doctor or an organisation or older people.

Just a few ideas if they help. It's important that you take care not to come over all judgmental when you raise this. You don't want your wife to misconstrue and think you are criticising her rather than trying to help. The really difficult thing for your wife will be learning to say "No" to her mother. If MiL wants to go out you wife should be saying "Well, if you help me do ..... in the mornibg we can go out in the afternoon"
First of all, thanks everyone for your contribution to the thread and the thoughtful advice given freely.

Everyone makes a good point regarding this situation.
We are going on vacation alone! My SIL is less than 4 miles from here and has offered to have her as a guest while we are gone. She does not want to go there and thats fine. She is fully capable of taking care of herself.
She is 79.

My wife sees the doctor regularly so i don't think there are any physical issues. I do think mentally this is the challenge.

While on vacation, I will talk to her about this. She will dismiss it as "everyday needed work".
Hopefully we can come to some understanding and to alleviate some of her responsibilities. I have taken over a few jobs she used to do already.
Maybe I should do more? Not sure it would matter one way or the other.

This morning my MIL got a visit from some church people.
She now will be picked up twice a week for at least a few hours each time and we hope she may find some friends.
This church deal could be what we all need.

Thanks again and I will keep the forum updated.
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