Where do I start.....?

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Your welcome.

I hope you will NOT need them.

If those guidelines were followed , there would be very few unsafe hospital discharges !

Use that bible as a weapon ... beat any deviation with their own guidelines ?
Hi Jacqui
You certainly do have an awful,lot on your plate! So it is not surprising you are struggling. ! few years ago when I was looking after my mother,2 elderly aunts, 2 children and trying to hold down a job I found that stepping back and pretending I was giving advice to a friend in the same situation really worked.

It may sound odd but it really focused my mind to start changing things .

In defence of the advice for your son to "man up" (easier said than done) I believe Jenny meant ..accept some responsibility . Naturally we don't know the full situation but if he has a strong relationship with his girlfriend and her parents are supportive having a child may really bring out the best in him.

Do hope you can slowly start sorting things out and find some time for your own needs.
"Yes “manning up” is not a term to be used with MH issues"

But then, fathering a baby when you are a 'dependent' yourself is hardly advisable is it?

I DO have a lot of experience with mental illness - that is why I believe so much in 'firm love'. We must SUPPORT them, not ENABLE them.

Support is about moving them FORWARD - enabling just 'keeps them where they are'.

And I stand by what I said - it could WELL be (and given that it is 'too late now'!, also inevitable!), that becoming a father WILL be excellent for your son! It will show him that HE absolutely has to be 'the parent' now - that a baby is dependent on HIM, and that means HE absolutely has to 'man up' in the sense of taking on the responsibility for a tiny helpless human being.

The GREAT thing about parenthood - and owning an animal, come to that - is that it is 'empowering'. We HAVE to step up to the plate - we have no option to focus only on ourselves then.

I'm sure you'll be a highly supportive grandmother to your son's baby, and supportive - not enabling - to him as well.

PS - sadly, parents are not always the best people to deal with their children with MH. They can be too 'overprotective' and lapse endlessly into 'enabling'. We love them to pieces, are terrified for them, would give anything for them just to be HAPPY, that sometimes, alas, we cannot 'guide them forward' as strongly as we should. That's why I say having a baby might be JUST the thing for your son after all - but he HAS to step up to the plate. His baby, his responsibility. If he can be sufficiently brave, sufficiently supported by you, to accept that, this could be THE thing that starts to free him from his MH.
Thank you Maxwell - I may try that advice as you suggest.

Thanks for your input Jenny however not helpful - more judgemental than helpful.
Bear in mind what Jenny has said, even if at the moment it doesn't seem helpful.

One day all of us will have to manage without our parents. As the mother of a child with severe learning difficulties, unable to read, write, or do any maths, I have always believed my role was to make him as independent as he could possibly be. At 39. he now lives alone in his flat, with carer support during the day.

I would never have thought it possible, but when someone lives away from home, they realise that there are some things that they CAN learn to do with the right support.
Staying with mum can be like an eternal childhood, where mum does things because she is there.

As your son has fathered a child, then it is even more important for him to try as hard as he can to do the most he can.
I can see I've royally P'd you off by my attitude, so let me turn the question around.

You say my comments aren't helpful. So, what WOULD be helpful?

Serious question!

You are, as you say, absolutely overloaded by everything descending upon you, so clearly you have to prioritise, and 'shed' some of that crushing load.

One thing strikes me. Your son has difficulty finding paid work, or coping with it if he found some. At the same time, you say you are looking after your mother with dementia.

Well, why doesn't your son help you with her - in fact, 'take over' from you! He's got all day to himself, hasn't he? He's not working, not earning, and right now he doesn't (yet) have a baby to look after. (PLEASE do not tell me the g/f and the baby will be moving in with you all!)

If he can't help with your mum, then he should be helping around the house. Doing chores - cleaning, laundry, housework, etc etc etc. Making himself useful.

What DOES he do all day (when he isn't having panic attacks)(and I do understand how debilitating they are - and how it can be hard to understand they are 'self-induced'....the symptoms we panic about are 'self-created' by anxiety, and then we worry even more about the symptoms....viscious circle! Hard to break, but has to be done.

If your son won't/can't help with your mum, or with the house chores, then he should go and do some kind of volunteer work - animals is ideal as they are so 'non-threatening'.

But think about it - he CANNOT live the rest of his life being the way he is now! And whether or not you dislike the term 'man up' in respect of becoming a father, he HAS NO CHOICE but to do so. If he refuses to take his share of responsibility for his baby, at the very, very least by bonding with it, spending time with it, (eg, so the mum can get some time off at least!), then he is dooming his own child to a 'dysfunctional' father/child relationship.

You are clearly a loving, highly concerned mum - so what DO you want for your young troubled son? And if my take is repugnant to you, then what is YOUR take on it. And, far more to the point, is it helping him? If not, time to change your tactics.....

I do wish you all the best, and it could be that you are SO overloaded now that you 'cannot see the wood for the trees'.

PS - only a thought, but do you think that the 'worst' problem is actually your mum with dementia? If looking after were 'off your agenda' would it free up a LOT of your time and mental energy? Sadly, it is very often the case that we can cope with everything else - but not with a needy parent.....
PPS - If your son is already pulling his weight in terms of doing what he can to 'help the household' in suficcient ways, then all credit to him. Or, of course, if he is in full time education. What he CAN'T do is just 'sit around' (and still expect to be fed and housed - aught for naught in this life, and everyone has to make SOME contribution to their own existence, according to their limitations...NO ONE gets a totally free ride.....) (and 'free rides' rot the soul....they truly do.)
Jacqui - just to say, I'll bow out now! Please don't be put off the forum by my posts. I won't post again! So 'over to you'.

Cheers, Jenny

(And I hope all goes well with your poor lad - not an easy time at all, but I do hope he 'comes through' it all.)