Jump to content

Dad says to stay at home


knw55

Recommended Posts

As some of you already know I've been going to Cincinnati every weekend to spend time with my dad. This past week dad called and said not to come up for awhile, it is to hard on his wife having to wash blankets after we are gone. Apparently she complained to him about our frequent visits. It hurt my feelings and I cried of course but there isn't much I can do about it. I've stayed home this past weekend and I'm staying home again this weekend. When we are there I have always made sure to pick up anything my kids have left lying around. I do their dishes and floors, laundry! She's stealing this time I could be having with my dad. Today is week ten of his last diagnosis of six weeks to three months. I'm so hurt by this, I feel helpless. I don't know what to do. Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Karen,

Could you maybe find someone to watch your kids so you can spend some time with him? It's hard for people (even our parents) to be around small children at times, and even more so during sickness.

Maybe if just you go and spend a day here and a day there it might make a difference and it will also allow time for you to spend with him.

God bless and good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karen

I am so sorry this situation continues to be so hard on you. I have no words of wisdom or advice other than to maybe keep in touch with your father by phone as much as you reasonably can, and as Connie mentioned, maybe spend a day here and a day there with him rather than the whole weekend.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers and please keep us posted.

Hugs

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karen

This whole situation is just so sad for you. I wish I could offer more in the way of advice. Please know we are all thinking of you and praying that things will get easier.

Somehow, from having read your posts from the beginning, your kids do not sound like they are the issue really. It is so sad that you and your father are the ones that are losing out in this while your fathers wife continues to be a wedge between you.

Please keep us posted.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers,

Chris

PS.. you can always PM me if you want or need to vent or talk further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I am sorry that you are being asked not to visit your dad. When I was a child, and my great-grandmother was sick, it was often too hard on her for us to visit (there are 3 of us kids). I remember driving several hours just to visit with her for an hour or two. Literally, we'd drive all day. It wasn't fun at the time but looking back I am so glad my parents made that tough decision. If there is any way you can swing something like that, do it. It may mean the world to you and your kids someday. I missed out on how old your kids are, but if they are old enough to grasp this it may be a good life lesson for them too, as it was for me.

Lisa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This must be so hard on you...and from some of the posts it sounds like your fathers wife may be trying to make it that way.

I do know that as people age it is hard for them to have additional people in their home - they have their routines, and set schedules, and it is uncomfortable for that to be disrupted. Add an illness to that, and the fact that there are children involved, and it can be very hard.

With my in-laws, we find that they do very well with the couple hour visits, but if we tried to stay with them for a whole weekend it would be overwhelming. We are lucky that my sister and parents live close, so we can stay with them.

I am not sure if this is financially feasable for you, but could you go to visit but stay in a hotel, or with other family or friends? Then you could visit with your dad, but not have it be too overwhelming for them. You could go for a few hours, and then leave, and come back the next day after they have had a break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try another perspective:

I'm a stepmother. I've been married to "Dad" for four years now and was NOT the cause of his divorce from "Mom" - I never even met him until after his divorce was final. We are constantly helping his kids out of financial binds yet when the holidays come up, it's "Mom" who is the important parent. This hurts him, a lot, but what's a guy to do?

Were my husband to be dying, I would feel that I deserve time with him myself - since I'd be the one making sure he went to his appointments, made it through weekdays, etc. I don't think it's too much to ask that the wife has opportunity to spend quality time with someone she has an intimate relationship with (and I don't mean "sex", I mean "close"). In fact, with the attitude some of his children take up with me, visitation would be severely limited. There is stress for HIM when his kids are around, and I wouldn't allow that for every last breath he took.

It sounds to me that you have and have had issues with your stepmother. My suggestion would be to talk to him on the phone, maybe take the day trip as suggested earlier in this string, and when you DO decide to "spend a weekend," stay at a hotel. There is a comfort in the familiarity of a schedule, as I'm sure your father and his wife have. To have that schedule turned upside down is probably stressful to both of them. Whether you are doing the dishes and cooking, laundry, etc., or not, you are disrupting the melody of their life.

If things get rougher and your help is needed, I would again re-evaluate what works best for Dad and his wife - after all, if his wife isn't happy, he isn't, either. Realize that he is your dad, but she is his wife and the household is hers. I believe the problem with some of my stepchildren is realizing that in my house, I may not be their mother, but I AM their father's wife and in any circumstance, I have a say.

I hope things smooth out and you get to spend some time with your father. Just remember that his wife is going through the same journey, but will be losing a spouse. You no longer live with this man, he has a place in your heart, but not your home. In many ways, her loss will be far more "in her face" than yours - read some of GinnyDe's and Paddy's posts for an idea of what it will be like for her.

Take care and be kind to yourself,

Becky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't say I've ever had issues with my step mother as she is also my aunt. My dad and her married one year after my mom passed away. When others in the family were angry and hurt over their decision to marry I was the one who stood up at their wedding happy for them. She treats my dad wonderful and if not for her I don't think dad would have made it through my mothers death. I know she is going through hell right now, I've talked with her when I am there, I've let her cry and maybe while I haven't lost a husband to cancer, I have lost one. My husband committed suicide three years ago so I do know what it means to lose a spouse. I know the hole that is left after your spouse is gone and your never completely whole again. As I am remarried now I too am a step mother and get to be the bad guy. I know what it's like to feel disrespected in your own home and in no way have I ever done that to my step mother. I'm respecting their wish, I'm staying away. So while my kids and I may disrupt their lives I guess it's okay that her daughter, boyfriend, their daughter and step-kids are there everyday and most of the time overnight also. I love the woman, I thank God she is married to my dad but I don't believe I am the one who is disrespecting anything. I've never said a cross word to her or about her to my dad. I respect him, I respect her and I respect them as a couple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My apologies. I can only speak from my experience and the short post you posted above.

I guess, since the menagerie is currently hers, maybe a weekend or two where she's STILL doing all those blankets, etc. without someone helping with meals, cleaning, etc. will reset HER perspective on the stress level.

Don't give up on the time with your father. I did not realize there were more "kids" involved, nor do I know your family dynamics. I can only speak from my viewpoint and my experience - and my experience ain't too rosey.

Hang in there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry you are caught so. You need to realize that things are not "normal" now and they never will be again, the way they were. Everyone goes a little crazy when this disease hits the family, and they say and do things they might not otherwise. It takes a lot of patience, forgiveness and understanding to get everyone through it. All of you are hurting in your own way. Keep in touch with your dad the best way you can -- it is important to him and to you. Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was sitting here trying to come up with the words to express how crazy you can get as a caregiver--when Don Wood said it perfectly. Life as a caregiver for me is fairly easy right now, but when things were bad I will tell you I was not myself. So for whatever reason, you have somehow become the object of her stress-- she thinks things will be better if you stay away. Obviously, it won't be.

But....here is my advice- call him (as Tina said), send him something- cookies, fruit, a card, anything to let him know you are thinking of him-- call your SM and ask her how she is doing and what you can do to help her. Believe me it will go a long way.

Is there a relative that is in your dad's town that could watch the kids when you get there? I was thinking that if you went and stayed in a hotel maybe someone would spend the day with the kids and entertain them for you while you visit with your dad.

Please let us know how things go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow. I cannot imagine, as a stepmother, refusing my step-children seeing their dying father. I am the step-mother of two boys, and would allow them to cherish every moment they could possibly have with their father. After all, after they go home I would still have my quiet time with him. With my father it was wonderful. It was his wish to have his family surrounding him....and let me tell you, that's just what we did. :)

I certainly hope things get better for you. I would send him a note explaining how you're abiding by his wishes to stay away, but that you love him very much. Tell him that you're waiting on pins and needles to see him again and that as soon as he's up to a visit to let you know. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jenny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jenny,

I am not going to explain why I would limit visitation for my stepkids, as I make it a policy not to talk about other people in my life on this very public board. I will, however, state that I am pretty level-headed and were I to not allow the kids to see him, there's a damn good reason behind it. It's another facet of being the patient's advocate and looking out for their best interest. If you don't understand it, you haven't lived it, and that's a good thing.

May your life with your bonus kids always be smooth,

Becky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karen,

Don't be bullied. Hold your stand and insist on seeing your father every weekend as you have done. Bring your own linens if this is a problem for your stepmother. How long has your Dad been married to her? He is probably just trying to keep the peace as he has to live with her.

My Dad would dump his wife in a heartbeat if she tried to meddle in our relationship. Fortunately, she is smarter than that. I've been with my Dad through three marriages and I've been the only steadfast person in his life. Blood is thicker than water.

Do not be intimidated by her, your Dad needs you. Offer to take over his care while she enjoys a weekend with friends. More than ever before, your Dad needs his family to support him and be with him. I'm sorry you've been put in this position and wish you luck. He's your Dad, you're only given one father, you can't remarry and get a new one.

Make the best of this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know you want to do whatever you can for your dad, even if it means staying away......BUT.....listen to your heart. This is a hard, awful time no matter what.....whether blankets need washing every weekend or not. You and your family staying away honestly doesn't make this process any less painful and exhausing. When my dad started to really decline, he told us kids not to come back (I live in Wyoming and he was in Florida). When we knew he only had days left, I did come back, even though he said not to. And thank God I did! His grandson made him smile for the last time, and he called me "pumpkin," which was one of his nicknames for me since I was a little girl. He had been pretty confused for several days, but he knew us. He was glad I was there, no matter what he had said before. I know I don't know anything about your situation, and I am so sorry for butting in, but this is something I feel strongly about. I know how much I miss my dad now, and I know how grateful I am that I had those last couple of days with him. Maybe there is another solution. Can you bring your own bed linens with you to use while you're there, and then remake their beds before you leave (just an example)? I truly hope you can spend as much time with your dad as possible. And again, please forgive me if I have offended you by writing this. I do tend to be blunt, not one of my best qualities!

Best wishes,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Becky,

I really wasn't talking about you or your situation at all so you have no reason to be offended by what I said. I was just giving my own particular views of the topic and trying to sympathize with a fellow board member. If something I said happened to hit home with you, then I'm sorry. I really wasn't thinking about you when I typed my response.

Jenny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Karen: My son and DIL do not live that far from me and probably do not visit as often as most relatives of a person with cancer. There is NO normal when it comes to this disease. I realize both of them hold down two jobs and have 4 kids .... 3 of them still at home and one under the age of 2. As much as I love to see the grandkids it does tend to absolutely wear me out physically and mentally. I live alone with my German Shepherd (not the same as a stepmother but maybe somewhat close LOL)and we do, in fact, have a schedule and routine that we basically use to survive. The least little thing can throw me off kilter for the rest of the day. I have asked my son to at least give me a phone call every once in awhile and if I need them for something I can call and I know they will come. Ask your dad if it is okay if you call him every evening or something like that ... he is the one that everyone needs to consider and listen to because he is the one with the illness. I pray that you find peace with this situation.

Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my Mom was sick and I was here in WA, she did NOT want to talk on the phone much at all. It was REALLY hard to not take that personally. I needed to talk to her... because we didn't know how much time we would have.

When I got back to IL I came to realize that Mom's breathing changed so much when she was on the phone that it made her very, very tired. Then I got it. Then it didn't hurt quite so much.

I know it is a different situation... But I feel it relates some because that was my ONE LINK to my Mom for five long months.

Maybe there is more to this than you are seeing. Maybe it is hard on your Dad.

I think keeping the lines of communication open right now is really important. Try not to be offended. DO TRY to work with them. If it means staying in a hotel, bringing your own linens, only being there for one day during the weekend and doing something else the other, going less frequently, bringing along a responsible teenager or adult to babysit, or what... see if there is a compromise that can be made.

And if your relationship is good with your SM, you might (gently) share with her that you are struggling with this. That you are worried about your Daddy and you want to see him as much as you are able to. See if there is a middle ground. See if there is more at work here. Maybe visits are really taking a physical toll on your Dad? Maybe they are both just out of sorts right now and trying to grab at any means of control over their life that they can. I don't know.

I do know how much it stings, and I'm sorry. I hope there will be a good solution for all of you found.

Val

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.