I Know This will probably seem trite to many


#1

But it is taking its toll on me…
A little over a year ago, my then 81 year old Mother In Law took a spill (I never understood why that meant fall…) and broke many of her ribs. My wife left Texas and went to take care of her Mom in the Midwest. After a couple of months, and after a lot of physical rehabilitation, it was determined she could leave the facility and go home, provided there was someone to watch her all the time. The Dr. told my wife… she can not live on her own, anymore. She now resides with us. Lots of things bother me about this arrangement… we raised our children and looked forward to this time in our lives… so I get a little resentful occasionally, and am mpraying for deliverance from that awful state.

For a lot of years, I was a lapsed Catholic… but, while my wife was away, I went to Confession, and began to attend Mass very regularly. My wife and Mother are both Catholics. I am the only one that attends Mass… and a lot of things bother me about that. This is partly my fault for even complaining, but Ma in law has been attending the Saturday Vigil for years in her hometown. I have never been comfortable going to that Mass, and many times, it is darn inconvenient… but, I say ok, we can do this… but for many weeks I said to them… let’s get ready for Mass, and either one or the other weren’t up for it. They will always say “We will go with you in the morning” They can’t/don’t get up even in time for late morning Mass… so I have taken to going to early Mass, and come home and see if I can roust them into getting ready, and I’ll drive them. Doesn;t happen. At all.

I arranged for a Eucharistic Minister for the home bound to come on Sunday late morning. The wonderful gentleman arrived, and Ma in law recieved the Scriptures, teachings for the Day, and Holy Communion. He says “See you next week!” and she says… No… I’ll be at Mass from now on… but, if I need you, I’ll call you. Arrgh. That was months ago, and I;ll bet she has been to Mass twice in that period of time…

I am at my wits end… Seems that if I go to Mass early on Sunday, I am not being gracious… I really want us to worship together, not telling them everything Father had to say each week…
Thanks for listening to my vent/rant…

Vivat Jesus!


#2

I am sorry for your situation and I will pray for you. I am Catholic and my DH is not. I attend Mass every Sunday with my son alone. I pray for my husbands conversion every day, I can only imagine how difficult it is for you to have a wife that is catholic, yet refuses to practice with you. Having a non-catholic spouse is hard for me so I can understand how you must feel. God Bless.


#3

As frustrating as this is, you can’t force your mother-in-law or wife to attend Mass with you. Pray for them and continue to attend Mass yourself. They might come around and they might not - it’s up to them and God.:shrug:


#4

That is a very difficult situation. I have been in a similar place with my mother who fell and needed lots of care. How mobile is Ma in law? Does she get out to other places or events? How tired out is your wife from caring for her? Do either of them get up early on a weekday? It may be that by later afternoon Saturday they really are tuckered out from the day and that getting up early on a Sunday seems like a chore.

God bless you for wanting to be sure you all worship together! Perhaps your best bet is to work out a routine where you all go out for an early dinner and then Mass on Saturday. Or find an even later Sunday morning/early afternoon Mass. By combining Mass an a meal, you give the ladies a treat and it means that no one has to worry about cooking a meal or cleaning up.

I know it feels contradictory to eat before Mass, but the ill and their caretakers are exempt from the fast. You have more energy, but adding even one more thing to your day can feel overwhelming to a caretaker. Pray for your wife and mil, ask God to give them the strength they need. I will pray for them also since attending Mass will help them get through the week in love and patience.


#5

Some people feel they are imposing by having someone come to them at home. It’s possible that is part of the issue for your MIL.

But if they don’t want to go, you can’t make them want to. I would be careful not to nag about it though, as that can be a source of conflict itself.


#6

No, this is not a trivial thing, any more than the strain on a marriage when a newborn comes home is a trivial thing. It is very tiring, asks for a lot of love, and very few get through it without the temptation of resentment.

Well, first off, you were the same as your wife is now not so long ago. You got the grace first, so be thankful for that. Do not be too hard on her for coming around a bit more slowly. While you were “on retreat” (and let’s thank the Lord for it!!) she was immersing herself in becoming the child caring for her parent. That is a* really* hard adjustment to make, quite apart from the physical work of it.

This is your mission field, and a right penance for the many years you did not take the faith seriously yourself. (I say that from a been-there done-that place…we didn’t find ourselves in this spot after never missing a Mass our entire married life, did we?) Look for ways to share with your wife concerning what a blessing it has been for you to return to the Sacraments, that may help bring her around.

Having said that, as implied already I’ve been in the position of being the church-going one. It does get lonely, and you are being asked to do something hard. It does not help when there is lots of intention but no follow-through. I guess all I can say is that when Paul rattled off the qualities of the virtue of charity in 1 Corinthians, the first thing he thought to say was “patient”. That’s the command, to love, and it starts with patience.

I’ve also been in the situation of providing in-home care for a relative. It is exhausting for everyone involved, but particularly for a parent-child duo. Get some respite care for the benefit of your wife and your marriage. If her MIL doesn’t like it, well, you aren’t the doctor who said she needs someone there 100% of the time.

My dad is one of the most faithfully-church-going people you’d ever want to meet, but since his stroke he simply does not have the energy. I think if you talk to the people at your church, it could be arranged to call them to have someone bring Holy Communion to your MIL on the weekends when she does not feel up to go to the Saturday Vigil. Check that out. I would also suggest that many spouses at our church bring Holy Communion home. If you get yourself a pyx, you could get Holy Communion for your MIL on the weekends she cannot make it. Then all you have to do is find respite care for your MIL so that your wife can go with you. That might be the late Mass or the Saturday Vigil, but you’ll live.


#7

My parents looked after my grandfather for six years before he died. He didn’t make it easy for them, but to their credit, they took their responsibility very seriously. They sacrificed a lot of their own freedom to take care of him - would go home every night to make sure he had dinner (he wouldn’t eat if they didn’t prepare it for him, and even if they did, he wouldn’t eat it unless they served it to him). A couple of times they went away and asked us, their kids, to look after him. He wasn’t very happy with that arrangement.

After he died, my parents were still not able to take their freedom back, because my brother had returned home with serious medical and psychological issues. He died last year and they can now, at 65, come and go as they please. It has made my husband firm in his resolve never to take in any parents in their old age. He has said that he will look after them but not in our home. My view is different, but I was brought up with the idea that sacrifice is beneficial.

Seeing how my parents were affected by their experience, I would say as others have said, that you need to arrange respite, and to offer up the hardship of caring for your MIL. I wonder if you might be able to insist that your wife goes to Mass - don’t allow them to say they’ll go the next day, but be a bit pushy in convincing them to go (Cheerfully pushy, but a bit annoying too). Make it easier for them to go than to stay home.:wink: Maybe put on some loud music so they can’t stay in bed, or do as my MIL used to do - vacuum the hallway when you’re sick of those still in bed!

I offer my kids a donut after Mass so they’re more keen to go. Perhaps that would work! :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

I agree with the posters who have recommended tying the Mass in with another activity that they enjoy, such as going out to eat. Treat your MIL like you would a recalcitrant child. Not that she IS a child, so always remember to give her dignity and respect, but sometimes we grown-ups like to be treated with as much care as our children receive!

;)

If you can't get them to go, just pick your favorite Mass and go anyway. And when you come home, let the joy of the Lord SHINE out through you!! No pouting or fussing at them, just laugh and be happy and yes, tell them about what happened. Maybe they will eventually get curious enough about what Mrs. Brown is wearing, or what Father says in his homily (after you've told them how enjoyable it was), they will decide to come with you.

But if that never happens, you still need to go for your own sake. Pray for your wife and mother and let it go.


#9

[quote="Mamanurse, post:2, topic:245361"]
I am sorry for your situation and I will pray for you. I am Catholic and my DH is not. I attend Mass every Sunday with my son alone. I pray for my husbands conversion every day, I can only imagine how difficult it is for you to have a wife that is catholic, yet refuses to practice with you. Having a non-catholic spouse is hard for me so I can understand how you must feel. God Bless.

[/quote]

Thanks very much for your thoughts and prayers...


#10

Good advice, certain sure. Thanks for your prayers…


#11

[quote="Mrs_Sally, post:4, topic:245361"]
That is a very difficult situation. I have been in a similar place with my mother who fell and needed lots of care. How mobile is Ma in law?

she needs a walker, but is still walking.. though I do wheel her into church on those rare occasions that they come with me...

Does she get out to other places or events? How tired out is your wife from caring for her?

My bride of 31 years is VERY tired. It's not just Mass that Mom in law doesn't go to.. it's like pulling teeth to get her to go anywhere...

Do either of them get up early on a weekday? It may be that by later afternoon Saturday they really are tuckered out from the day and that getting up early on a Sunday seems like a chore.

Valid point, but no, I have the run of the house in the mornings as I get up and go to work.. when I am here. I travel for a living...

God bless you for wanting to be sure you all worship together! Perhaps your best bet is to work out a routine where you all go out for an early dinner and then Mass on Saturday. Or find an even later Sunday morning/early afternoon Mass. By combining Mass an a meal, you give the ladies a treat and it means that no one has to worry about cooking a meal or cleaning up.

I LOVE that idea! Thanks very much for showing me a simple solution to a complex problem. Perhaps I was just over-thinking it....

I know it feels contradictory to eat before Mass, but the ill and their caretakers are exempt from the fast. You have more energy, but adding even one more thing to your day can feel overwhelming to a caretaker.

Amen to that!

Pray for your wife and mil, ask God to give them the strength they need. I will pray for them also since attending Mass will help them get through the week in love and patience.

[/quote]

Thanks very much!


#12

Thanks, Bluegoat…


#13

[quote="EasterJoy, post:6, topic:245361"]
No, this is not a trivial thing, any more than the strain on a marriage when a newborn comes home is a trivial thing. It is very tiring, asks for a lot of love, and very few get through it without the temptation of resentment.

True. I pray daily for deliverance from that awful emotion of resentment.

Well, first off, you were the same as your wife is now not so long ago.

That, too is a terrific point. I should have realized that and broached this in a different way...

You got the grace first, so be thankful for that. Do not be too hard on her for coming around a bit more slowly. While you were "on retreat" (and let's thank the Lord for it!!) she was immersing herself in becoming the child caring for her parent. That is a* really* hard adjustment to make, quite apart from the physical work of it.

You are very wise. I am thankful for that. The years I was away and hiding from that grace probably had an effect on her, also.. I was pretty adamant .. to the point of threatening to go elsewhere..though I never did. I am so thankful to the Jesuits that were my instructors on that silent retreat! Even though I go every year, this one had a profound effect on me. Vivat Jesus!

This is your mission field, and a right penance for the many years you did not take the faith seriously yourself.

Profound... and true.

Having said that, as implied already I've been in the position of being the church-going one. It does get lonely, and you are being asked to do something hard. It does not help when there is lots of intention but no follow-through. I guess all I can say is that when Paul rattled off the qualities of the virtue of charity in 1 Corinthians, the first thing he thought to say was "patient". That's the command, to love, and it starts with patience.

I've also been in the situation of providing in-home care for a relative. It is exhausting for everyone involved, but particularly for a parent-child duo. Get some respite care for the benefit of your wife and your marriage. If her MIL doesn't like it, well, you aren't the doctor who said she needs someone there 100% of the time.

Thanks for those comments. Seriously..

My dad is one of the most faithfully-church-going people you'd ever want to meet, but since his stroke he simply does not have the energy. I think if you talk to the people at your church, it could be arranged to call them to have someone bring Holy Communion to your MIL on the weekends when she does not feel up to go to the Saturday Vigil. Check that out. I would also suggest that many spouses at our church bring Holy Communion home. If you get yourself a pyx, you could get Holy Communion for your MIL on the weekends she cannot make it. Then all you have to do is find respite care for your MIL so that your wife can go with you. That might be the late Mass or the Saturday Vigil, but you'll live.

[/quote]

Excellent advice. I will speak to Father at the KC breakfast on Sunday!

Thanks so much!


#14

[quote="admonsta, post:7, topic:245361"]
My parents looked after my grandfather for six years before he died. He didn't make it easy for them, but to their credit, they took their responsibility very seriously. They sacrificed a lot of their own freedom to take care of him - would go home every night to make sure he had dinner (he wouldn't eat if they didn't prepare it for him, and even if they did, he wouldn't eat it unless they served it to him). A couple of times they went away and asked us, their kids, to look after him. He wasn't very happy with that arrangement.

Heh... after all of my children were reared, we probably got a little lax about sitting at the table for meals, preferring to be comfy and eat in the den, while watching TV... MiL has never NOT eaten at the table... after eating alone for several nights, she now allows me to serve her in the den... most of the time...:D

After he died, my parents were still not able to take their freedom back, because my brother had returned home with serious medical and psychological issues. He died last year and they can now, at 65, come and go as they please. It has made my husband firm in his resolve never to take in any parents in their old age. He has said that he will look after them but not in our home. My view is different, but I was brought up with the idea that sacrifice is beneficial.

Your parents both sound like beautiful people. I'd bet when push came to shove, he would change his mind... But,,, maybe not. I have told my 3 kids.. when the time comes, find me a nice place, make sure I have batteries for my remote, and come see me every other Saturday.. :)

Seeing how my parents were affected by their experience, I would say as others have said, that you need to arrange respite, and to offer up the hardship of caring for your MIL. I wonder if you might be able to insist that your wife goes to Mass - don't allow them to say they'll go the next day, but be a bit pushy in convincing them to go (Cheerfully pushy, but a bit annoying too). Make it easier for them to go than to stay home.;) Maybe put on some loud music so they can't stay in bed, or do as my MIL used to do - vacuum the hallway when you're sick of those still in bed!

I offer my kids a donut after Mass so they're more keen to go. Perhaps that would work! :p

[/quote]

:eek::cool::p


closed #15

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