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To feel like I'm bottom of the list ALL the time?

(64 Posts)
Caramac Sun 04-Dec-16 11:15:48

I'm feeling really fed up as I've had to give up my pre-paid very expensive 10 week gym package due to looking after dgc (I buy extra leave from work to help out) more hours than I used to, poor DH is temporarily laid up and needs lots of help ( e.g. Packed lunches on my work days) and therefore cannot do the errands etc for his elderly father so that now falls to me as he is an only child. I am also trying to keep the house 'visitor ready' as friends are ad hoc popping in to make DH a drink and to chat whilst I'm at work. My health is usually brilliant but I have diabetes which I'm struggling to control and GP has called me in. I think I'm going to be prescribed insulin. I am irritable and grumpy, resentful at times and that's not me. The DGC are delightful mostly, less so when their mothers , my DD's are here. I'm dreading Christmas when everyone is here. My usual wine and music in the kitchen grinis out as I will have to transport FIL (who I don't really like tbh) or his dinner if he declines to come round. I also pay and take all 3 DGC swimming lessons on 2 differ days. I was moaning a bit I suppose when eldest DD (single mum, works) basically said if it's too much don't do it. That wasn't my point and she knows it plus she would not manage without me. I just want 3 - 4 hours a week gym time.

Luckygirl Sun 04-Dec-16 11:30:16

Well - I do not think you are bottom of the list - I think you are top! - because you do it all so well.

I look after GC regularly while DD works and also have an OH with PD. But the rule is that I also have time to do other things that are important to me - singing, going for a walk/limp. My DD knows this and recognises that we are doing her a favour - and saving her a fortune in the process. Organise one thing that is important to you (e.g. the gym) and say to everyone that you are happy to help them all, but this is an immovable feast around which everyone must work.

Your DD CAN make other arrangements if she has to and she must. This situation seems to have drifted along, with extra bits added ad lib. Time for some organisation - sit these folk down and say you love helping with the GC etc but that in order to do that well you need this time for yourself and that you are organising it and that it cannot be changed. It is possible to be too accommodating. If you say what you need to say in a rational/let's sit down and sort this out way, then it need not cause bad feeling, especially if you emphasise how happy you are to care for them.

gettingonabit Sun 04-Dec-16 11:38:52

The trouble is with people who are dependable and reliable is that they are always expected to be dependable and reliable. You don't elaborate on the circumstances which meant you "had" to give up your gym package, but it looks to me as though your daughter is taking the mick. Sorry, but she needs to take responsibility for her kids which includes appreciating why you may have other commitments which trump hers.

You seem to be doing a lot for others too; why, for example, do you feel "have" to take your FIL his dinner?

I can well understand your resentment, but you need to put your foot down.

ginny Sun 04-Dec-16 11:41:35

Why do you have to give up the gym. Just ask your daughter to make alternative arrangement for those times and maybe a few other hours whilst you have so much on your plate.

Christinefrance Sun 04-Dec-16 11:45:20

As Luckygirl said all these commitments seem to have crept up on you bit by bit. I think you really need to sit down with your family and look at what you are reasonably able to do given your health problems. You will not be able to help anyone if you are ill yourself. Your family probably haven't realised how much you are coping with and I'm sure will look at reorganising things. Be honest, it's impossible to be all things to all people. Good luck.

Caramac Sun 04-Dec-16 12:21:26

You are all right that extras have been added on over time. FIL no longer drives (too frail, poor vision) and DH unable to drive for a few more weeks following surgery. The gym is a fairly bespoke one with very small groups but session times are changed along with youngest DD work days changed beyond her control. She works 4 long days in NHS, pays 3 days childminder but due to rota I have DGC 2 long days pw plus other DGC one late night and alternate Saturdays when she can't buy childcare. This means i can only make 1 gym session a fortnight instead of the 3-4 a week I have paid for. Today I will be collecting FIL and his washing, wash dry and fold his laundry whilst he visits DH then take him back . His groceries are arriving with mine so I can take him, laundry and groceries to his house in 1 journey. I can't see a way out of it all. I could pay the childminder an extra day but I like having the DGC and I would still have 1 late evening, after work - feed and bath DGC - and that alternate Saturday. Perhaps I'll feel better when medication sorted but exercise was doing an alright job of that. On a positive note, my sons put the external Christmas lights up yesterday and carried my treadmill downstairs so hopefully I can do a few miles on that today.

sunseeker Sun 04-Dec-16 12:29:06

You sound a lot like my sister in law, who has taken on an awful lot of caring for everyone else, grandchildren, grown children and ex husband. You obviously have a kind heart and are putting everyone else first but you do need "you" time. If everyone is coming to you for Christmas could not someone else pick up your FIL on the way and then take him home again?

Jane10 Sun 04-Dec-16 12:37:41

I was about to say that Sunseeker. Surely if you're doing all the food prep etc then someone else can sort out your FiL.
On a slightly different note would it be possible to organise some sort of home help for your FiL? To visit, clean and do his washing? Could there be any Local Authority input organised?

Jalima Sun 04-Dec-16 12:38:03

"If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.

The trouble is that the busy person often does not know how to say 'No' and if they feel overwhelmed and say 'No' then everyone is shocked and surprised.

You need to re-assess what you can reasonably do and you need also to include looking after yourself and some gym time in that equation.

Linsco56 Sun 04-Dec-16 12:38:51

This is too much for one person to cope with.

Why can't either of your daughters collect your FIL enroute to your house and take him home after dinner. I'm assuming he is their Grandfather after all!

As for keeping the your house 'visitor ready' let friends and neighbours take it as they find it. Few houses are permanently visitor ready and most people don't notice or don't care.

You really should start putting yourself top of your list. It's nearly always the case of the willing worker being left to do the chores. Be a little less willing.

I hope you find some 'me time' soon. flowers

Lona Sun 04-Dec-16 12:40:34

Caramac if your diabetes isn't well controlled, then it will be contributing to your grumpiness. One very good reason to make sure that you can keep exercising. If you become ill the rest of your family will have to make other arrangements, so it's in their interests to give you some more time for yourself.
Good luck flowers

suzied Sun 04-Dec-16 12:41:43

Book a taxi for FIL at Xmas and pour yourself a drink, - if he doesn't want to come the taxi can take the meal. get the kids to all be responsible for some aspect of the meal - veg/ pudding/whatever. If you were ill yourself they'd just have to cope. Your "me time" is important in maintaining your health, tell the kidsthis and I'm sure they'd sort something.

Caramac Sun 04-Dec-16 12:47:46

Suzied the taxi is a brilliant idea! FIL won't ride in one but it could deliver his dinner. He won't come here at Christmas anymore as my (but not my husbands) DC and DGC are too noisy. Eldest DD drives and would drop dinner off as she won't be drinking and is good like that. As for having a cleaner (FIL could afford to pay), he won't have anyone in. Stubborn old man I'm afraid who is very controlling. He's not keen on me as I won't cuddle him grin

Anya Sun 04-Dec-16 12:54:49


Make a list something like this

1. Organise some other dogsbody person to fetch FiL and take him back
2. Delegate starters and pudding to others.
3. Book yourself a facial/pedicure/ massage (or all three) a couple of days before
4. And if I all goes pearshaped pour yourself your favourite tippple and announce
'Who's doing Christmas next year' as you pull the crackers.

I posted this photo on another thread but I think it's very appropriate for you!!

Izabella Sun 04-Dec-16 14:27:00

Someone once told me when I was struggling that "if you don't put your hand up and ask for help, you won't get any." So true. And you do need, and are entitled to, help. I hope you manage to get the help you so need.

Also if you think your GP is going to prescribe insulin the last thing you need is all this stress.

M0nica Sun 04-Dec-16 14:27:30

Stand in front of the mirror and practice saying the word 'No'. Do this 100 times a day for a week and then go out and next time your family make any demand on you, say it.

Christinefrance Sun 04-Dec-16 19:01:51

Someone once said to me - if you never say no what is your yes worth, think about it.

goldengirl Sun 04-Dec-16 20:54:59

I'm an only child and ended up looking after my parents from a distance. I also have a DD who's single with 3 children who is quite fragile at times and grumpy at others. Sometimes I feel DH makes the children a priority - which really they should be because they've had a tough time - but there are occasions when I would like to be the priority. It is hard to say 'no' but with my parents I did learn to organise care and shout if things weren't as agreed. It was exhausting and stressful though so I have every sympathy.

annodomini Sun 04-Dec-16 22:12:05

There is a lot to be said for living too far from family to be of any use; and yet...I wish I lived near to them! The grass is always greener on the other side!
Caramac, I think you are a saint and I hope that when your DH is better, he will take responsibility for his grumpy old dad because I do feel that he has been one burden too far for you.

LottieSweetpea Sun 04-Dec-16 23:16:35

Have you read about the 8 week blood sugar diet ( Michael Mosley) , I wondered if that might help the diabetes ?
Good luck

Shazmo24 Mon 05-Dec-16 09:26:01

Stuff the house being "visitor ready"...they've come to see your OH & not the house so just leave it

Jaycee5 Mon 05-Dec-16 09:29:26

Your DD is right. It is the point. It is getting to much for you but you are struggling on and then moaning to her. You have to learn to say no. This is your life, it is different in emergencies but you are giving up your life for others. If you know friends are coming in on certain days, maybe you could ask them if they would mind making your husband's lunch. You have to admit to people that things are getting too much but before the event not before it or while you are doing it. Don't become a martyr because that will just annoy people and make them feel bad. My mother was good at that.

littlefierce Mon 05-Dec-16 09:42:00

Your story is basically mine a few years back. This is going to sound harsh, but someone had to die before I got any time back, & it could well have been me with the strain I was under. Lots of good suggestions here but I'll just add one:

Ask for Christmas dinner to be at one of your daughters' houses this year as you've enough on your plate, or book a Christmas meal out for everyone as their Christmas present. That'll save shopping too :D

Good luck x

vampirequeen Mon 05-Dec-16 09:43:38

It's hard to say no so you take on more and more. I think there has been some good advice given about FIL and Christmas but you need to sort out some time for you.

Imagine you had been asked to care for a neighbour for one morning/afternoon a week. You would say yes because that's the way you are. So plan it. When/how would you fit it in? What would you have to re-schedule? When you've worked it out then that's your time. No one should be allowed to encroach on it just as if you were caring for someone else.

You are the lynchpin in so many people's worlds but a lynchpin has to be oiled and cared for or it can't do it's job. You need to have time to care for yourself.

Witzend Mon 05-Dec-16 09:44:48

Frankly, if your FiL could afford to pay for help and won't (and there's no dementia involved) then that's his lookout, IMO. If it were me I'd just tell him firmly that I'm sorry, but I have too many other commitments. I would probably offer to help him find someone to come in. .
If he refuses/sulks, let him.

We had a similar problem with an old aunt of dh's - plenty of money but loathed parting with any of it. Other people should run around after her 'for love', never mind that she'd never have done the same on a regular basis. We lived too far away - a 2 hour drive - to be able to do much so she relied on neighbours who were mostly old and pretty decrepit themselves, and I would have the poor old things on the phone wailing that they couldn't cope any more. It was very difficult, but I could only tell them to back off - it was the only way.
We had previously arranged carers for her, but she wouldn't have any of them - too loud, too 'common', or, shock horror, black! But it was really the money the old Queen Midas objected to.