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Son & his family want to stay with us until he finds another house. Worried about how to deal with this given our situation.

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

As discussed on other threads I have been struggling with anxiety,  depression & exhaustion while caring for my husband who is blind & has a chronic illness which has led to frequent episodes of illness. In desperation I rang for help last week & arranged for a carer to assist so I could go away for a couple of days on a family camp over Easter. Unfortunately I developed a stomach bug so haven't been well since coming home on Sunday so fatigue is still a major problem. My husband has gone away for 5 nights with MDA & I promised I would try to rest & recover while he is away.

Today my son rang to say they had to move out of their house on Friday & have nowhere to live so can they stay with us. We downsized a few years ago due to my husband's condition so there is little room for 2 adults & a 2yr old & 11mth old. I feel like I'm in a no win situation. If I say no they have nowhere to live so I'm a terrible parent. My son also has a history of depression & has only recently started work again after a long period of being too unwell to work & being suicidal. If I agree to have them I can't rely on them to stick to any agreements. DIL is good at promising but never follows through. I find her very stressful. She yells at her son frequently which I find upsetting. They are both very messy & I would find it hard to prepare meals due to her mess. Having them here will also make it impossible to keep the house in a suitable state to ensure my husband's safety given his blindness.  Tiredness tends to lead to my husband becoming ill putting extra pressure on me. I don't know what to do.  

75 Replies 75

pipsy
Community Member
Dear Elizabeth.  Lynda is my name.  I think under the circumstances, I would be inclined to tell your son, kindly, but honestly, that 'no, staying with you and dad is not an option because of your father's condition'.  You don't need to go into lengthy details as to why it's not an option.  If son asks, explain, truthfully that you have your hands full with his dad, and neither of you could take the added stress of another family.  Also, explain that you honestly don't have the room.  Perhaps getting a caravan might be another option for son, DIL to consider.  Could you put a c'van on your property, do you have the room for a c'van?  Sometimes, we have to say no to our kids in order to preserve our sanity.  Looking at the overall picture, saying 'no', now stops any further discussion on the topic.  If the c'van idea is not an option, don't even discuss it.  It was just a thought on my part.   

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Thank you Lynda I want to say no but I'm worried about the consequences & dealing with the guilt feelings. I'm unsure how a caravan would work. I wish I could get the courage to say no

Starwolf
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Elizabeth,

Sorry you haven't been feeling well and missed out on your Easter family camp. I hope you still can get a bit of much needed R & R.

I agree with Pipsy. Having another family under your roof is the very last thing you need at the moment. Having to look after yourself and your husband in already difficult circumstances has nothing to do with being a "terrible parent". You seem aware that nothing good could come out of this situation. You know your resources have been stretched to the limit as it is. Going beyond would put everyone concerned in the danger zone. This could well be the proverbial straw... 

Sometimes, we all have to say no to our children. Depending on the situation, it is part and parcel of wise parenting and also of salvaging our own sanity. You are already doing a stressful carer's job  and don't have the space to take on another family. Your son should understand the logistics of your situation and accept the fact that there's just so much you can ask of people.

I wish you all the best. My thoughts are with you.

Hi Elizabeth.  I feel that the guilt you're experiencing at the thought of saying 'no' is nothing compared to the tiredness you're going to feel by having them come.  If they react angrily, sorry, but that's their problem.  They should've had something lined up if they knew they were moving.  Kids are extremely good at making mum and dad feel guilty even when they know 'no' is the answer.  I have 2 grown up kids, much as I love them, the thought of having them live with me is horrifying.  Mine are both married with families, as I said, I love them dearly, would lay down my life for them, but their lifestyle is world's apart for mine.  To overcome the guilt you're feeling, explain that dad has sleepless nights, coughing fits.  Let them know he would keep them awake and this doesn't make for a 'happy family life'.  You have a small house, overcrowding is not good for health reasons either.   Your son is being the selfish one here, not you, Starwolf is right. 

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
I don't feel I have any option. My DIL rang to thank me for letting them stay & I didn't have the courage to say she couldn't. She made all her usual promises of keeping everything tidy & helping with the cooking & housework. She even offered to pay board. Pity her good intentions won't last in practice. I rang my older son who was sympathetic but agreed I had no choice & then reminded me not to plan any holidays to escape because that would cause even more problems. If I went away they would take over the house & it would be impossible to get under control again once I returned. My son offered me the use of his house to escape during the day when I need. I have a key & his wife & kids will be out during the day most of the time.

JessF
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Elizabeth I am confused... at what point did you say yes? Did you DIL just ring up and saying thank you for letting us stay when she knew full well that you hadn't actually said yes yet? If so that is infuriating and selfish.

And as for your eldest son... what business is any of this of his?

It is still possible for you to say no.

What does your husband think about all this?

JessF
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

If your eldest son is offering you a key to "escape" to his house, then why isn't he opening his doors to his brother and family?

I do agree with Jess. What right does DIL have to make that assumption, or your son if he told her it was OK. Elizabeth, I do worry what will happen if your son and family move in.

If you really feel you have no option, at least mitigate this by making them hire a caravan. You can insist they stay in it and only come into your home when they are invited. It makes me so cross when someone just assumes they have the right to mess up the lives of other people.

I would expect your older son would have said he would tell them they could not stay with you but maybe he was afraid he would have to house them.

Look, the babies are going to cry, that's what babies do. Your husband is going to be made more unwell by the tension and confusion in the house. Please, pluck up your courage and tell them no. On second thoughts I believe even the caravan solution would not work.

We are all holding your hand here. I know it will be difficult by please say no. And if you really feel you cannot say yes, then charge them a proper rent and insist it is paid every week.

Oh my word, I am getting almost as anxious as you. Can you say no just to relieve my feelings? lol.

Mary

Elizabeth. I agree totally 100% with Jess on this one. To have son, DIL and g'children to stay now is totally out of the question. Your eldest son has absolutely no say in who stays and who doesn't stay. My brother used to try to pull these guilt trips on me. I wanted my mum to come over from N.Z when I married 26 years ago. I offered to let her stay with us, rent free. All she had to do was pay her own way over. My brother jumped on the bandwagon demanding I foot the fare over as well as having her stay. Needless to say, she did not come for the wedding. It's YOUR home, with your sick hubby to look after, your own health is not good. Tell your son, firmly, but gently, it's just NOT possible, nor practical for them to come. Stand firm on this, if you don't, you'll lose any hope of peace. As I said earlier, sometimes we have to be firm with kids. I know you love them, but they're taking advantage. If they get angry over this, it's really their problem, they should've lined something up when they knew they would be moving. They would've had notice to move, this is not something that's just happened. They're trying to make you feel guilty, don't accept it. What happens if you do go to your other son's to 'escape' what about your husband. Why can't son, DIL and g'children go to his brother? Think of your health, your husband's health. Maybe discuss with hubby, but I would say no way.