Bare with me people, this is a long and messy tale. But I need some support and guidance.

My husband and I have a beautiful 6 month old daughter. My husband lost his job before she was born and we decided he would try to start his own business from home and be a stay at home dad. This means I will be going back to work earlier than anticipated, which is fine.

Except we just found out my mother is very ill. She had been diagnosed with cancer and various other smaller illnesses surrounding the cancer diagnosis. It broke our family’s hearts. Everyone is doing all they can to help her, but I am the only one off work. I love my mother more than I can explain, so I am doing everything in my power. I go to treatments, take her to specialists, bring my baby over to make sure she eats dinner and is okay at night time (she is a widow and lives on her own). But it is starting to take a toll on me. My body is beginning to wear out, I am having chronic back pain, fevers, headaches etc.

My husband is doing the best job he can, looking after the baby while I am gone, but I am still a mother. I can’t help it, when I am at home, I do everything. I am the only one in my family with a baby, so they don’t understand. They think that when I come home after appointments, I can rest and relax. But I get home at 4pm, which is the start of ‘peak time’. Bathing, bottles, playing, feeding, etc etc. Not to mention our dinner in there somewhere.

When I’m with my mum, I feel guilty I’m not with my husband and baby. When I’m with my husband and baby, I feel guilty that I’m not with my mum. This then leads to be feeling angry and resentful that I am taking it all on. Every time someone goes to the beach, or a movie, or out to dinner, I get angry that I can’t do it because I’m too exhausted and sore. Then I feel guilty for thinking about myself when my mum is so sick.

I am stuck in a bottomless pit and need some support. I can’t return to work in this mindframe, I will never survive.

Posted by teacup83, 16th February 2014

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  • juggling it


  • it sounds very hard and tiring and I think you are doing an amazing job,
    I hope and pray your Mum is doing ok and she pulls through this, i would be inclined to say that maybe at this time it is not the right time for you to return to work, your mum needs you as does your baby, but also I feel you will burn out if you return to work. Can hubby do his new business in a year or so or even part time around an outside job?

    I am so sorry that you are going through this especially when you should be enjoying your baby and family.


  • I hope that everything is better now.


  • it a a great and exellent story


  • You haven’t said how many brothers & sisters you have. Even if there’s only you and one other sibling, I would be talking to other family members, and asking them to help out a little with your mother. There are only 24 hours in each day, and you can’t risk stretching your own health (mental & physical) to breaking point, as you know that you also have a family to care for. And you won’t be any good to your mother, or your husband and child, if you break down. As much as your mother is your major focus, please don’t forget to take care of yourself.


  • how has it been going since?


  • awwww hun, much love and support going to you, this must be a very difficult time, but try not to let guilt creep in, there are only so many hours of the day, and you already sound like you are spreading yourself thin


  • This is a sad situation and i hope something comes your way to make it better and I’m wondering if your mum could stay with you for a while?


  • Returning to work I think is something you need to keep in mind for the future but not a right now thing as you will burn out. As hard as it is to let go of the feeling you need to be the one to do it, I think contacting the council for some home help or another agency would be a great idea. I have had experience with these people and they are great. They can offer a variety of services to help you out ( or you and mum). I hope this helps.

    • Yes, I agree. I don’t think returning to work at the moment will help.


  • Is there any chance your mother could move in with you for a while this would help you out as you could then be with her and your family and you could make sure she’s eating and drinking all the time which will also stop you from worrying.


  • Seek advise from counselor or maybe sign up for some classes every now and then when your hubby is looking after the baby. I’m sure there’s ways you can work out if you try hard.

    All the best.


  • I’m sorry to hear that you are so overwhelmed. I hope you are able to find a happy medium to keep everyone happy (as well as, most importantly, yourself).


  • OH goodness… Is there a local support there you can seek hekp from?


  • This sounds like a truly difficult situation. And I hope that you find the strength to continue doing the amazing job you are doing!!! I wish you all the success with the business from home and I pray the treatments help your Mum.


  • I went through similar and we are ourselves our worst enemies. We put so much pressure and guilt on ourselves to handle anything and be superwoman. You may just need to put yourself first for a little so that you can be better for everyone else. And that may just mean going to that movie or getting a manicure but it has to be something for yourself


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