Catch 22


Registered User
Nov 3, 2006

Both myself and my husband are in a quandry....we have over the last few weeks been going to my MIL house every day. Every time we go with trepidation as we never know what sort of mood she will be in. It is generally in the afternoon that we go (work comitments) but now we also go at this time as it means that when the carer arrives in the evening we can go without her storming off to her bedroom because we are going.

Even when we are there the mood swings are aweful, generally when she feels that we might go, with diversion she eventually comes round, we feel too guilty to leave when she is not happy.

At a meeting with the CPN she said she was lonely, but she absolutely refuses to even try a day centre ... this was not helped by the CPN saying he wouldn't go to one....where we were trying to suggest we could go on a visit with her to give it a go. There has been talk of a regular visitor (friend) but this could take months.

My husband is really being dragged down by this, he loves his mum so much and cannot bare to leave her if she is sad, but now he can hardly face the visits. I do everthing I can to be supportive to both of them but I feel that we just are not getting any support.

Has anyone had this situation.... if we visit it seems to make things worse (with the mood swings) just as it does if we don't (anger because we haven't) To add to this with the memory loss sometimes when we have visited she believes we haven't or as yesterday believed that my husband had been there and then dashed off without saying where he was going (he actually had been at work until the time we went to her house.)

If anyone has any thoughts of how I can support hubby it would be so useful as well as any ideas of how to let MIL know we care and we are with her when we can.

Thanks and beat wishes to all


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Sorry Kaz, there is no solution to your problem, unless anyone else has a brain wave. I`m just responding because I`ve been in a similsr situation with my own mother and know what you`re going through.

You can only do what you`re already doing, which is your best. Eventually you may be able to persuade your MIL to go to a day Centre if she sees you can`t be there all the time and be what she wants you to be.

Until then, try to keep going as well as you can. Sylvia

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Dear Kaz,

I have left my own mother in tears on her doorstep at times - goodness - it hurts - and yes, part of me wants to be with her 24/7 but reality is - certainly for me- that work and my ‘other’ family commitments mean I can’t dedicate all the time I would often like to her …..and there are times I HAVE to ’walk away’. The ‘striking a balance’ is STILL a huge battle for me…. (I’d like to be 24/7 with my son but ‘fact of life’ I need to work and he needs to go to school etc ... and ‘fact of life’ I think we all need time to ourselves to recharge - for me that is sometimes just visiting or posting on TP).

In terms of trepidation about visiting ….. my only suggestion would be to have a ‘strategy’ in place …. I certainly have to do it when I visit with my son (12) - never quite sure how ‘grandma’ will be at our time of arrival…. be prepared to leave earlier than planned if necessary, be prepared to stay much longer than you expected….. have Plan ‘A’, ‘B’ (thru to ‘ some days it seems to Plan ‘Z’), about how your time might be spent there …. Be prepared to switch from A to Z and back to B again to suit the moods - hers and yours both - …. I don’t think it matters that the ‘strategy’ doesn’t work sometimes….. Just thinking through the possibilities and finding some element of being confident about handling whatever you may be faced with … (or just a ‘strategy’ in place for how to cope with your own feelings afterwards especially when things seem ‘pear-shaped‘)

I’ve read many posts here which sadden me where someone sees fit to ‘belittle’ themselves as not being the ‘primary’ carer for someone…. I believe every ‘carer’ needs a carer themselves….. Whether we are lucky enough to have that in our personal lives or through professional support (or in the best scenario, both).

My personal thoughts on how best to help your hubby would be show him this thread - show him how much you care …. (although I gather you’re doing that in your own way already!)

Love, Karen (TF)…..

PS: Keep going on the ‘buddy’ front … it is making a WORLD of difference to my mum who gripes about having no visitors - but next day - ‘doesn’t want anyone coming’ …. more on that if you or anyone else cares for me to share……

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