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Daughter in law problems

(70 Posts)
des Sun 02-Dec-18 12:09:03

I would be very grateful for any advice. My daughter in law had a difficult birth nearly 2 years ago and also suffers from ulcerative colitis. She returned to work a year ago but suddenly decided she wanted to be a stay at home mum and left her job. I would have no problem with this but the baby goes to nursery one day a week and we still look after her one day a week. She insists she still has to have a cleaner as she will not do housework. My son appears to be the one who now has to pay for everything and so is constantly moaning about being short of money. Not only does he pay for everything now he also appears to do most of the cooking, laundry etc. I am sure my daughter in law is suffering either from PTSD or depression but don't know how to broach this subject. She says she wants another baby but insists she must have at least two baby free days each week. She seems to spend all of her time drawing and being creative which I think is a kind of therapy for her. I could contact her mother but they are not particularly close. She was very close to her father who died a few years ago and my son says he was the only person she would listen to. Both my husband and I feel like we're in a no win situation. We want to help and are happy to help but don't want to interfere. When she resigned from her job she asked if we would still have the little one every week and we are more than happy to do this but I did say that if she was poorly then she would be better to stay at home and we would rather not have her if she is ill. Now my son just turns up with her when she has an awful cold, even when she has been taken to the emergency GP late at night and is on antibiotics.
Has anyone else had these sort of problems. Any advice gratefully received.

silverlining48 Sun 02-Dec-18 14:17:52

Sorry that no one has come back to you. Certainly if the baby has been to the emergency doctor and is clearly unwell and you have said you would prefer not to look after the baby Then you should not have to.
I think the other issues are between your son and his wife to sort out. Two child free days, a cleaner and so on seems excessive given she is at home all week, but try not to get involved and don’t approach her mother especially as you know they aren’t close.
Enjoy the time with your grandchild, it is precious.

Violetfloss Sun 02-Dec-18 14:29:33

I've just googled ulcerative colitis and it sounds absolutely awful.
Is she in pain every day?
The symptoms sound extremely painful which might explain why she needs help.
Added in she's recently lost her Dad and had a traumatic birth.

Sounds like she's had a rubbish few years. She might very well have depression which is bad enough but having ulcerative colitis too, so she's dealing with 2 lots of symptoms for 2 different illnesses and double the fatigue.

I'd stay neautral. Cherish the time with your Grandchild.

I agree you shouldn't have to look after your Grandchild if the poor thing is ill, your son should of had a day off work to look after her if your DIL was unable/ill.

paddyann Sun 02-Dec-18 15:07:06

UC is a nightmare to live, with believe me .Having time away from the baby will be a great help to her when she's having a bad bout.When my UC was at its worst I could easily be in the loo 20 times a day or more ,it makes even simple things extremely hard to cope with .I was lucky that my sister did a lot of my housework when I had my last baby because the Csection on top of the colitis floored me

.Hopefully she'll get some decent medical help to get her symptoms under control but until then your son really does need to step up and do all he can to make life bearable for her.Didn't his vows say in SICKNESS and in health?
Meantime try to understand the pain she's in and the horrors of the illness and just BE there for her .She's not putting this on she is really in need and will be for a long time .

BlueBelle Sun 02-Dec-18 15:08:19

I really don’t think it should be bothering you who pays for what, it’s entirely up to your son, if he’s not happy with the way she’s looking after the family and child I totally agree if she’s home all the time she shouldn’t need a cleaner but again that’s not your business and up to your son to be firmer with her if he feels the same. again if he feels she’s depressed he should be speaking to her about getting help not you
I would have thought you d have loved having the child one day every week so many grandparents don’t get a look in so why not look on is as your good luck not that you’re doing her a big favour
I can’t advice on the illness issue as I always looked after my grandkids when they were ill or well same as I would my own children it never entered my head not to In fact as they got older and at school I would be called on if they weren’t well enough to go to school and that was what I would have expected if they were not well enough to be brought out I d go to them My Mum and Dad would have had mine in that situation

paddyann Sun 02-Dec-18 15:43:10

Bluebelle I hope this isn't too graphic ...imagine having to run to the loo constanly ..and I mean RUN.If you dont you'll be in a terrible state ..if you do often you sit for 10 or 20 minutes get up to leave and the pain starts again so you need to sit back down.Many times you'll be there until all you're passing is mucus and blood .Sometimes a lot of blood.It leaves you dizzy,tired and extremely fatigued.

Then repaet the scenario up to or more than 20 times in a "normal" day ,sometimes you hardly leave the loo at all.It is the most awful illness,when you do manage to step foot over the door you need to take a list of loos along your route and have a card that allows you to queue jump when necessary in public loos.That often leads to tut tutting and remarks about how you dont LOOK disabled .I've been there, its very unpleasant and this young woman has had other major issues to cope with as well as her UC .

She needs support and help ,she may not find it easy or be able to tell even her OH how bad her health affects her and her "therapy" will keep her calm as stress can exacerabet the symptoms.I did all the cutting things from my diet to try to control it.The medication made me put on weight ,I became what my GP called borderline agrophobic....I didn't tell my parents as I didn't want them to worry about something they could do nothing about.
Thankfully ,for me its under control although I have very rare bouts that leave me a shaking, weeping mess.If the OP's DIL feels even half as bad as I did then a cleaner and a couple of days babysitting is just a fraction of the help she needs .I hope she gets some medical help very soon and I hope the OP doesn't judge her as she cant help being ill .

Stansgran Sun 02-Dec-18 16:03:08

Sensible post PaddyAnn

Lynne59 Sun 02-Dec-18 16:06:10

The condition your DIL has got is nasty, so why on Earth would she want another baby? She only has the one she's got for 3 days a week.... and before anyone says anything, I'm not slating her for that.

Can you talk to your son about your concerns?

paddyann Sun 02-Dec-18 16:26:38

Lynne59 maybe she doesn't want UC to win,to rule her life .Sometimes pregnancy can make the symptoms ease off a bit so maybe she 's willing to take the chance and have the family she wants. She should be able to control the symptoms with the right medication ,but its trial and error .What is important is that she gets the backup she needs while she needs it .

des Sun 02-Dec-18 21:38:27

Thanks for the advice. I understand about living with a long term condition, I have a rare neurological condition have undergone several brain and spinal surgeries and suffer with chronic pain. Hence the reason I am not so keen on looking after a child who is unwell. I have a rubbish immune system so also catch the infection. It would be different if my DL was working but as she is at home dragging a child out in the cold is not ideal. It is also difficult when they are both constantly moaning about being short of money, despite the fact we have given them thousands of pounds this year to help them get their house in shape and it would appear that it has all been spent with very little to show for it. DL lost £5000 of it in some share dealing scam.
We have tried advising our son that she needs to get help with getting UC under control but she seems reluctant to consult her doctor. I guess we just have to continue being supportive but ultimately there is probably little else we can do but it is always interesting to get another perspective.

BlueBelle Mon 03-Dec-18 05:05:22

Paddyann I hadn’t read between the lines as you have and hadn’t picked up that the daughter in law was so ill, my fault and if the daughter in law is as ill as you believe of course she can’t work and of course she needs lots of help and support in the housework etc Des made it sound as if she’d left her job to be a stay at home mum by choice

Then we get the next bit where Des now tells us she herself has a compromised immune system which is the reason she can’t have the child when it’s ill and that now makes sense too and of course you can’t Des

Perhaps you should pull back from giving out thousands of pounds so willingly Des but otherwise just be as supportive as possible and hope that your daughter in law will get the medical help she needs before she has another child, and as you say perhaps there’s not a lot you can do

morethan2 Mon 03-Dec-18 06:56:15

Perhaps your son tells you all his troubles. He doesn’t expect or want you to help/ interfere. He just wants you to listen. He needs somewhere safe to vent his feelings. The problem with that is although he will feel better, you who love him are left wanting to stop his hurt. The only way forward is to be honest and say your not in the position to help financially and explain that if your granddaughter is contagious you can’t look after her. As for wanting another baby and being reluctant to go to the doctors perhaps she wants a ‘normal life’ like everyone else. I might be wrong and she might just be a selfish women who wants everything her own way. I know it’s hard but if you can try to take a baby step back and stop being so very available. I hope your DiL and your family find a way through this difficult time. Somtimes us mums think we have to solve all our adult children’s woes when all we can reasonably offer is a listening ear and a hug.

paddyann Mon 03-Dec-18 08:59:18

Bluebelle most folk will never come accross Ulcerated Colitis so I wouldn't expect you to know the symptoms or the fact that you can sometimes spend literally hours in the loo.Its difficult to get any housework done and a crying baby can make you so stressed simply because you dont have the energy to pick her up and you feel such a failure as a mum.Its a horrible illness and I'm sure the OP's DIL doesn't want folk to know her circumstances ,she just wants a bit of help.However if the OP is too ill to help they need to find an alternative ,that of course is easy to say but if you're in a bad place mentally as well as ill physically its the hardest thing to accept and to deal with .I hope she gets the help she needs ,poor wee soul.A baby should be a joy and all the joy has disappeared from her life .Hopefully she'll get to enjoy the rest of her baby's early life .

oldbatty Mon 03-Dec-18 09:15:02

I would maybe try to separate out some of what is going on here and possibly book a few sessions with a counsellor.

Because there is a lot.

Your health issues
The daughter in laws health issues/grief
Money
Boundaries between you all
The desire for a second child.

Short term I would kindly but firmly say to the daughter in law that you are concerned, you care and you think a visit to the GP may be wise.

MawBroon Mon 03-Dec-18 09:15:42

Paw suffered from UC all his life, from his teens.
Fortunately a new drug at the time Salazopyrine (later as Mesalazine ) kept it reasonably under control with occasional flare ups.
However it “morphed” into PSC which damaged his first liver to the point where a transplant saved his life 20 years ago.
All these diseases of the auto immune system can be vicious.
Every sympathy.

silverlining48 Mon 03-Dec-18 09:33:30

I have been diagnosed with UC, but the medication I was given has controlled it and allowed me a normal life. I am not on meds now but if it flares up again i can go back on them until it calms again. Your daughter in law really shoukd seek medical advice.

Oakleaf Mon 03-Dec-18 09:45:01

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic auto immune condition which relapses and remits. The charity Crohn's and Colitis UK has a comprehensive and very helpful website for anyone who wants to find out more. www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/

Relapses (often called flares) are awful to have to cope with as others have described. Even when in remission, the body is constantly trying to fight off the inflammation that wants to cause another relapse.

Immuno-suppressant drug treatment is debilitating. Overwhelming fatigue, joint pain and depression are very common symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies and dehydration are part of the disease as the digestive system when inflamed simply can't absorb what the body needs. It can take months to recover from a flare and when you have, you live in dread of the next one because you know how much it is going to take over your life.

Anyone who has it (I do) will know that you have to find strategies to cope with all this life-limiting disease throws at you. I was diagnosed later in life. I can't imagine how someone would cope with a baby, work and UC at its worst.

I imagine this young woman is trying to find her own strategies. Eliminating work stress, managing her time and pursuing a hobby which helps her relax may be part of that.

You don't say whether the UC was flaring during her pregnancy but if it was, that will have taken a bigger than usual toll on her body and therefore the recovery period will take longer.

I can't comment on the family dynamics but knowing more about UC may help everyone involved to understand what this young woman may be experiencing.

harrigran Mon 03-Dec-18 10:16:05

I agree with everyone who says UC is a horrid illness. I have nursed patients and I know people who have had a total Colectomy because of it, believe me you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy.
DH had a bout after being on antibiotics and having his flu injection, he was so ill I thought he was going to die. Losing so much blood weakens the body.
You say that you have health problems yourself and that will make child minding difficult but do try and enjoy your GC as and when you can cope, they don't need us for very long.

trisher Mon 03-Dec-18 10:17:33

I think if you give money to family you should give it and then forget it. Not agonise over what it was spent on. No one will spend money exactly the way you want them to. I am sorry about your ill health and your DILs. In the midst of this is your DS who is trying to keep it all going. I don't suppose his life is ideal but he is doing his best trying to cope with it all. When he brings the baby to you he is hoping you will care for her, perhaps because his wife is unable to because of her illness. He trusts you to do it. If it is a problem when the baby is ill, why not suggest he takes a day off work then and offer to cover another day when she is better.
As for another baby, your DIL may want one but it takes two. I'd have a word with your DS and point out it might just be too much for him.

Grammaretto Mon 03-Dec-18 10:19:01

What a dreadful disease to have. I'm sorry to read these tales and wish you pain free futures.
If I were your Dil I would want all the help I could get.
I employed a cleaner when I had 3 under 5 and wasn't sick. I just wanted the house looking nice occasionally!
I would have loved having GP nearby or a child minder but instead I formed a mini playgroup with other stay home mums so we had an occasional child free morning to go to the library, dentist or hairdresser.
You should certainly not be childminding when she's sick but otherwise, how lovely.

Jaycee5 Mon 03-Dec-18 10:21:22

It can take a long time to get over the worst forms of depression. It certainly took me longer than 2 years and there wasn't a baby and a painful illness thrown in. She should be given as much support as possible. She tried to work but obviously couldn't cope with it.
Your son is going to be worried about money and you are probably the only person who he can moan to about it.
If you can't cope with the baby once a week then you have to let them know that and take him when you can. If you are in a position to help financially then maybe give them something they need but would not be able to afford for Christmas.
I agree with Paddyann. She needs support and I think this would be the case even without the UC.

LuckyFour Mon 03-Dec-18 10:21:43

Don't get involved. Think of it as helping your son, it must be difficult for him. Whatever you do don't start any argument or discussion with her, or give advice, just be supportive and do your best. Your GD needs your support, keep at it. Things will change

CassieJ Mon 03-Dec-18 10:44:23

Oakleaf you have described this very well. My son has crohns disease [ since he was 8 yrs old ] and not many people understand how this illness affects everyday life. Patients are on very strong medication, that in themselves can have considerable side effects. My son is on Azathiopine, Pentasa and infliximab infusions, these drugs can all cause cancer, so none are taken lightly, but he is on them to give him some semblance of a normal life.

Symptoms of crohns and colitis can be extreme and you really need to live with someone with them to understand this horrible disease. If they need the toilet - they need it NOW, there is no chance of waiting or holding on. My son has been known to go 25 times plus to the toilet a day - you can imagine how tiring that can be. Then there is the constant stomach pain --- even with medication it doesn't take it away. The extreme fatigue. My son is a teenager so this affects his life massively. He can't do the same things as other "normal" teenagers.
People with these illness's and with the medication they are on have an extremely low immune system so can pick up anything and everything, and it is often far worse for them than it will be for others.

Crohns is a chronic illness, it will never go away. Ulcerative colitis can be managed if the bowel is removed, but that in itself can also then have added complications. Please do not underestimate just how difficult these illness's are. It is far more than stomach pain and diarrhea.

Des, you need to stop thinking that your DIL is lazy, and start understanding why she is like she is. Do you ever talk to her about her illness? It sounds as though she is possibly struggling with it. Just because someone looks okay on the outside, it doesn't mean that they are well. Crohns and colitis are called "invisible illness's" because no one can see what is happening inside the body.

CassieJ Mon 03-Dec-18 10:45:26

I am not sure why parts of my reply have lines through them, I didn't do them and they shouldn't be there.

elfies Mon 03-Dec-18 10:55:30

It sounds dreadful , and she has my sympathy .
It sounds as if everyone is doing all they can to help. But please try to talk her out of having another baby , Everyone (except your daughter in law) sounds as if they have their hands full already , so a new baby would be an added burden, and no child deserves to come into this world as a burden ....but as welcomed and loved