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a little help - Carers UK Forum

a little help

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Hi I have been caring for my mum for 5 years after her stroke and on times could pull my hair out but my mum is amazing the problem I got is me and my husband now want to try for a family and I was wondering would anyone have advice on how I handle a baby and caring for my mum
Thank you
Start now. Ask Social Services to do a Needs Assessment for mum, a Carers Assessment for you. Make sure before the assessments that you have written a list of everything, and I mean everything, that you do for mum. In the past, I can remember pregnant carers becoming ill, but this hadn't been anticipated, and it caused huge problems, and some resentment. Your role needs to change from doing everything practical for mum, to doing very little, or ideally nothing practical, especially whilst pregnant, or you risk a miscarriage. By starting now, you can gradually introduce carers, maybe once a day to get mum up and breakfasted, so she gets used to it.
Also plan what will happen if you are not there at all. This will keep you safe, take some pressure off you, and ensure mum gets the care she needs. Also streamline the house as much as possible, dishwasher and a tumble dryer are vital. After the initial few weeks, I expect mum will love having a baby around, something to take her mind off her ailments and bring you even closer together. Good luck.
My dad does the nights with mum and is on plan to have a few days with mum when I have a child I'm going to see the doc to as someone said they may advise I go under ss as I care for mum thank you for you advice
My main concern is your own health welfare when you are pregnant, you should be resting and you should not be lifting anything heavy. Pregnancy does odd things to a body, I kept falling asleep, once I was at a steam rally and I fell asleep behind our steam roller for at least 2 hours, much to my husband's amusement!
I'm afraid it's highly unlikely that after your baby is born you will have any spare time at all to do anything for anyone else! Looking after a child single-handed is a full time occupation, despite what you may read in magazines etc. It's 24x7 and involves a LOT of sleep-deprivation.

At the moment, I take it you are looking after your mum 'for free', is that it? Because you are her daughter? But surely she is entitled to some degree of social care (care-workers), or, if she is above the financial limit for free social care, then she can afford to pay care-workers herself. Just because you've been doing it for free, out of love (as I assume!), doesn't mean you have to go on doing that!

As BB says, if the reason you and your dad are providing all her care is because she doesn't want care-workers in, well, alas, that is going to have to stop. If she wants a grandchild, she'll have to accept professional care-workers to do what you are currently doing! (Apologies if I'm wrong, and there are other reasons you do not have professional care-workers in, eg, maybe because you have been happy up to now to have your 'job' being looking after your mum!)

Lots of new mums think they can manage both a job (caring for your mum in your case) AND looking after their baby single handedly. This is not true. Babies are KNACKERING, and they are full on. The most you can hope for is one that sleeps well through the night (odds are against it, sigh!).

THat said, what are the impacts of your mum's disabilities post-stroke? Can she do anything for the baby, do you think? eg, have it on her lap, interact with it? THat might make it possible for you to do things like get the washing up done, cook the dinner etc. Usually with babies even housework is impossible to do, as the baby will simply cry if you don't pay it attention. This lasts a LONG time - right up till maybe they discover cartoons! And then the 'electronic nanny' can take over while you get the housework done.

Babies don't come with an off switch. They are active all the time they are awake. They do not sit cherubically in their chairs and gurgle sweetly while you get chores done. They want your attention ALL the time - or they cry.

(Not trying to put you off - but expect the worst, and if you don't get it, it's a cause for joy!!!! :) :) :) )
Me and dad care fr mum as tbhno one could handle mum lol and the fact I love her and know I could do best by her that I have showen mum can get about in her chair hold a baby and play with a baby so I'm lucky on that and my husband is amazing and the help would be there with him and a few family members I could turn to so I'm really lucky that way. Mum is full on and don't stop my main worry is I have yet to meet anyone who has done both and being told I may have to have ss involved isn't something we even thought I was told this by a pesos maybe making trouble so I'm waiting to see the doc and take his advice on that. I do get CA and money off mam as I don't work now and hubby supports us so I don't have to work.
Thank you all
I'm sorry, but you sound as if you are in complete denial. Social Services are there to HELP you. So if they decide mum needs someone to help her get up and dressed, and put her to bed, you can either let them arrange that for you OR they can give mum a "personal budget" so that you can arrange it for mum, on her behalf. If mum is "full on" then you certainly need some help, it's someone to help you. How you use that time is up to you.
Have you thought a bit further ahead? When your child is going to preschool, you will need to spend time with him/her, getting them ready for school, taking them there. Then you will want to play in the park, down the beach, whatever. Your child has a right to a happy mum who has time to spend with them. How are you going to manage to take your child out for the day? The key word is BALANCE. You will need to balance mum's needs with your own, and that of your child.
May I ask a 'difficult' question. What was your mum like before she had her stroke? Was she someone who liked her family 'all around her', and did your dad spend his time 'looking after her' (cossetting her, fussing over her, doing what she wanted, making sure she was comfortable etc etc etc?) Did you, as her daughter, do the same?

I'm asking this because I'm trying to understand what your mum's underlying personality is, and what the family dynamics were before she had her stroke. What I'm getting at is that if she was always, if not actually 'demanding' then at least 'expecting' - ie, took it for granted that she was the 'Queen of the Family' (!) - then having a stroke won't change that - but her 'needs' will only have increased because of it.

Or are her current needs ONLY because of the stroke - what makes her 'full on'?

Why are you all 'not thinking' about SS etc? Is it your mum rejecting it, or maybe your dad saying 'I'm not having strangers in to look after my wife!', or you saying 'I can do it all mum!'?

I'm only throwing these things in because, to be honest, even if your husband is brilliant, and even if you don't have a baby at all, how long do you think you are going to go on having your 'day job' of looking after your mum? What happens at weekends now, or when you and your husband want a holiday? Or what happens when your dad wants or needs a break?

We all pay lots in taxes - that means that the SS is there just as the NHS is there. It isn't 'free' - it's 'pre-paid' if you like (ie, when we pay our taxes!). So your mum is, if she qualifies financially (ie, if your dad isn't a millionaire or whatever!), to have some care-workers come in to help with her.

You know, even if you had a baby and then hired a nanny for it, so you could look after your mum still, I would agree with BB that your baby/little kiddie has to come first with you, and that means your mum can't come first any more. Like I say, if she wants the joys of a grandchild - and yes, it's great indeed if there are some things SHE can do for you and the baby! - then she has to accept, and so do you and your dad, that you need more 'outside help' with your 'full on' mum.

As for the future, well, new research comes up with new treatments all the time, and that includes stroke, so MAYBE it could be that your mum can improve as time goes by, and become less dependent on anyone.

It's always immensely sad when severe health problems hit families, and your mum was very young to have stroke, but at the same time, you do have to think of your own future. If you really, REALLY are adamant you don't want care-workers in to help, you could get pregnant, and have your baby, BUT having 'prepared' to have care workers in IF it then proves (as, with my own experience of motherhood!!!!!) I expect you'll find it impossible to be a full time day carer for your mum, and a full time 24x7 carer for your baby/kiddie!

Sometimes in life we are so very 'torn' between two people we love (in your case, your mum and your baby-to-be), but maybe one way of looking at it is that the 'next generation' (ie, your baby) is the one to focus on, as they have all their life ahead of them - and they MUST have a devoted mum who isn't fretting and exhausted (by anyone but the baby!!!!)

Wishing you well, in not easy circumstances, Jenny
We have always been a close family like our family time and so on even before the stroke me and mum would always be together around me working so that has never been a big change if me and the hubby go away dad stays with mum or when we plan things to do on the weekend or in the week we do have lives to and that is understood mam has always been a full on person she has always had health problems but the stroke is what made needing care. We have never been given a case worker for mum ever she was sent out of hospital with 12 weeks care but they didn't turn up half the time anyway and after 5 weeks didn't see them again. We don't have a problem with ss what I was told is because I care for mum they would be involved in my child's life not mums (as I said someone may be making trouble out of green eyes). I'm not soft enough to not understand it's going to be so hard with no time this is why it's taken this long (5 years) mum with cares in they would walk out mum isn't one to listen to people stroke has made it worst, I'm not 18 walking in blind I'm 32 and know how hard it is. I am lucky to have a supportive family and people I can turn maybe over 5 years I should of turned more but we could all think what if, I'm not running around all, day mind mam may be in a chair but can clean and do washing Im here to transfer for washing and cooking and getting her out she can't walk without help her home has been adapted to help her get around with the chair
We can only offer advice from our own experiences. You are free to do whatever you feel is right for you. Just remember that we are impartial, seeing things from an outsiders point of view, which may or may not be helpful. From your last post it seems you've made up your mind in advance, and were expecting us to agree with you? If you were my daughter, I'd absolutely insist that you got outside help.