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How to Control Well Meaning Family? How to Control Well Meaning Family?

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  #1  
Unread 01-20-2010, 12:57 AM
How to Control Well Meaning Family?

I have a problem that I know some people would kill for, but maybe some others understand. I am an introvert and it is stressful for me to have people other than my husband around all the time. So far this year I have had to host my family in my house A LOT and it always wears me out. Now my TAH coming up and my gregarious mom wants to come and help. I reluctantly said 'ok' after stipulating that it had to be for only a few days and no sooner than my second week of recovery ... my husband is taking off from work during week one and I think the alone time with him will be the best medicine (I'm actually kind of excited to have him all to myself for a week, even though I know that recovery won't be fun).

But now my mom has decided to schedule some things to do in town during my alone week and extend her stay to a good ten days. She was quite upset when I tried to turn her down so I relented, but I'm uneasy.

She's actually staying with me right now, and she shuts me down any time I try to talk about my feelings regarding the upcoming procedure. Before her visit I felt confident that I could handle the hysterectomy without psychological help, but after a few days of being scolded any time I mention my feelings, I'm ready to call my old shrink! I love my mom and I know she loves me, but at this point I want to tell her not to come at all ...

Has anyone else had a problem like this? Would it be a mistake to tell her to stay away or a worse one to have her come out? If I should tell her not come, how can I break the news to her without hurting her feelings?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Unread 01-20-2010, 03:28 AM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

That is a tough one. Of course you have to decide for yourself, but if she is already shutting down your feelings about everything you are going through then I wouldn't personally want to be around that person for a week to 10 days. Maybe if you sit her down and express yourself with what you have written here she would be more understanding? Good luck sister!
  #3  
Unread 01-20-2010, 07:35 AM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

Ignatz

Wow, this is a tough one. I can understand that you are feeling very overwhelmed with all of this. My sisters don't like to talk about feelings either.

  Quote:
she shuts me down any time I try to talk about my feelings regarding the upcoming procedure. Before her visit I felt confident that I could handle the hysterectomy without psychological help, but after a few days of being scolded any time I mention my feelings, I'm ready to call my old shrink! I love my mom and I know she loves me,
While she is there with you now, try to sit her down and very politely tell her that it is your turn to talk and let her know that if she is uncomfortable giving you the emotional support that you need, it may not be a good idea for her to be with you before surgery or even a few weeks after. Hopefully she will then get it. Maybe she thinks by shutting you down, she is helping you. (Some people have a hard time with emotions.)

Failing that, how does she get along with your DH? Maybe he would have a chat with her and tell her that you need to vent your emotions.

I really hope you are able to get her to understand that you really need emotional support now. The Dr. will be looking after the medical side. Your DH is helping. If she wants to be included, it would be nice if she could find a way to help in this way too.

And if that fails and you can't get out of having her there throughout this, spend lots and lots of time here with us and we will do our best to help you through it!!!!!!!
Hugs,
Suzanne
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  #4  
Unread 01-20-2010, 08:50 AM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

I feel the same way. I would rather have DH as long as possible and then the teenagers, but my Mom drives me nuts!! She is so self-absorbed and needy I cannot deal with her when she even visits!! She just told our 2 1/2 yr old the other day that she'll be sleeping over soon!! WHAT??? OMG!! I just about died! She lives 30 minutes away and that is too close! She is not sleeping here. I am panicking about how I get out of this. I also am pretty ticked since the other day when she was here she smoked a cigarette outside on my front porch while baby was playing, I quit smoking a pack a day 117 days ago. I told her last week that I have been thinking about smoking again all of a sudden due to the stress of the upcoming surgery, DH is convinced she is sabotaging me. She has in the past whether it was smoking or dieting. I can't deal with her, I even take a valium when she comes over and I still can't stand having her here. There's a lot of history I won't bore you with, but I have very good reasons for not wanting to be with her. It's tough, I don't want to hurt her feelings at all, but I also need a stress free environment to heal in too! Let me know how things work out with you. Sorry I don't have great advice, but I do know how you're feeling so you're not alone!
~HUGS~
alicia
  #5  
Unread 01-20-2010, 10:20 AM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignatz View Post
She's actually staying with me right now, and she shuts me down any time I try to talk about my feelings regarding the upcoming procedure. Before her visit I felt confident that I could handle the hysterectomy without psychological help, but after a few days of being scolded any time I mention my feelings, I'm ready to call my old shrink! I love my mom and I know she loves me, but at this point I want to tell her not to come at all ...
Wow... maybe she needs to hear exactly what you said above - from your own lips. I have a daughter and I'm trying to think of how I'd take it if she said this to me, and you know what? I think it'd straighten me up quick. But I know it can be hard to confront those we love... still - this is your life, your HOUSE, your recovery, etc.

Sometimes - I wish that family or friends would check their motives before "helping."

It sounds like you and your husband are the real tonic you'll need for pleasant recovery.
  #6  
Unread 01-20-2010, 10:22 AM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

My mom is in the early stages of dementia and she will surely be over all the time to "help". I am mentally preparing that this is necessary and there is no way she'll take NO for an answer. She really wants to be helpful. SOOOO - I plan on making a list of things that can be done...laundry, run the sweeper, cook and so on.

I plan on sleeping, taking my drugs and staying in bed. I will let my DH manage her if she needs managed.

Good luck ladies and be well!
  #7  
Unread 01-20-2010, 01:32 PM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

That's a great idea. Mom's love check lists!
  #8  
Unread 01-20-2010, 02:06 PM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

I too preferred to recover on my own, without the added stress of my mother or mother-in-law. I do know that they meant well - really - but I wanted to recover on my own terms in my home and not have to worry about entertaining anyone else. I had been through this with both of them when I had my kids and knew I couldn't handle their needs this time. Both are very needy in their own ways. Having them with me would have caused someone to end up angry and upset so we got around it by telling them we would let them know when I was ready for visitors (my mom visited me in the hospital). My mom didn't like it but dealt with it. We spoke on the phone everyday and about a week after I got home she and her boyfriend (she's 77, he's 90!) came for lunch. My inlaws no longer drive so my husband offered to bring them over for a quick visit but they declined and insisted that I visit them. When my husband said that wasn't possible, that ended that.

It was hard - I typically do not put my needs first. But this time I did.

If you find it hard to speak with your mom because she cannot allow herself to listen to your concerns, perhaps write her a note. She will have the chance to read and digest it and not interrupt you. Your feelings are valid whether she agrees with them or not. Your needs are paramount now.

Good luck and remember we are all here for you!
  #9  
Unread 01-20-2010, 02:20 PM
Re: How to Control Well Meaning Family?

This time is about you and your recovery. Your needs come before anyone else's at this time. Since she only lives 30 minutes away you shoud insist that she go home every night. Your husband can help you manage at night. It is unreasonable for her to insist on sleeping over.

I have it 'lucky'. We have a very small house and no guest room. And in the living room we have a very uncomfortable futon. It is perfect for emergencies but not for long visit:-) Yes this is by design.

Good luck.
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