Struggling to cope with ASD mother

OK, so the title probably covers it!!!

For a number of years now my autistic mother has been living with myself and my husband because we knew that she would struggle to live independently. 

Anyway in January we welcomed our first child and I thought it was a lovely thing to have three generations under the same roof. Mum struggled when baby cried but would just take herself out of the way when it became too much for her. 

Fast forward 6 months and its becoming more and more difficult.

Tonight was the straw that broke the camel's back as my mum nearly gassed us all by mixing together two household chemicals so that she could clean more effectively.

Now she has done something that has actually put my baby in harms way. I'm beginning to think that its not possible to live under the same roof. 

  • I'm an mum to a 10-month-old. To re-cap your mum struggles to live independently, plus she suffers from sensory overload, as such living with a baby has been a difficult time for her. Despite this, she's used strategies to cope without adding any further burden onto you and she is also finding time to help out the house hold by carrying out cleaning tasks etc. Your mum sounds great!

    Looking after a baby is hard. In the last ten months both I and my husband have left naked flames on the cooker numerous time, gone out and left doors unlocked etc. These mistakes are normal.

    Subconsciously do you think the change in circumstances has made you re-think your life and now your looking for any reason to justify asking your mother to leave?

  • I feel there's a lot more to this - you also have to remember that your mum was just as autistic when she had you as a baby but her being younger, had the physical strength to power through your crying and all your needs as a baby - she appears to be coping very well with the randomness and stress of having a new baby around by just excusing herself from an uncomfortable position.       I suspect she'll be a lot more comfortable when the baby becomes interactive and can be played with and taught things.

    The accident is just one of those things - even I've done that - it's a learning experience.

  • Thanks for your replies, you've made me think. Perhaps I was being a bit harsh in the heat of the moment last night, I guess it was only because we could have all ended up in the hospital with breathing difficulties had I not figured out what was going on quickly as I did and moved us away from the danger.

    Its hard for me to understand as well, I wouldn't mix two household chemicals together without checking the instructions first to make sure it was safe. This is not the first time my mum has got herself into trouble trying to do things around the house and I've bailed her out so I'm not convinced that she could live independently anyway. 

    That's why I'm not sure what to do. I love my mum and have been her carer since my dad died in 2014. She was diagnosed with mental health problems at the time and has only received an ASD diagnosis within the last 18 months. She's 64 so has lived all that time without knowing, I can't imagine how much she must have had to struggle and find coping strategies over the years.

    But I just want what's best for us all. I know my mum loves her granddaughter and I don't want to take her away, but I know that she has struggled living with her in some ways especially when she cries. I said to her, well I must have cried as a baby sometimes? She just tells me that her mum and my dad took most of the caring responsibilities.

    I suppose in my ideal situation then my mum would be able to be in supported accommodation nearby where we could visit her regularly and she could have her independence with someone there when she needed it but I know that there's probably a shortage of that kind of accommodation and its probably reserved for those with physical disabilities, and apart from having arthritis in both ankles my mum isn't doing too badly for her age. She is beginning to struggle with things like getting out the bath and up and down the stairs. She has aids to help with these things but she has told me that she is worried that she won't be able to do these things eventually. 

    If I'm trying to justify her leaving then its only because I'm struggling to take care of baby on top of giving her the support she needs. My husband works long hours and so doesn't really help me much. I just feel like I'm going a bit crazy sometimes, I don't think the lockdown has helped as the support networks that my mum has built up have gone online and she struggles with zoom from a sensory perspective. 

    Anyway, sorry for the long reply, I know its selfish but I really just wanted to get it all off my chest. 

  • My husband works long hours and so doesn't really help me much

    My husband often works long hours too. He's a senior manager, therefore, the MD thinks it best to arrange meetings for 6pm when the rest of the workers have gone home . He'd often be out from 6.30am - 7.30pm. Despite this, he took on the night feeds as he wanted to spend time every day with the baby, plus he compressed his hours to 4 day weeks so he'd be at home one day a week to give me a rest. Even with this support mummying has still been hard work.

    If your husband isn't stepping up and pulling his weight you will be under incredible pressure and its normal to lose your temper at times and want for a different life. If you'd like any support with getting your husband to understand the consequences of his actions and to encourage him to be a more supportive husband + father the 2nd episode of Super Nanny, which is currently on C4 might help.

    As lockdown has closed all the baby clubs in my area, I've just started my LO at a childminders for 5 hours, 2 days a week. It is absolutely amazing to have some time to myself and especially to have some responsibility-free time. Is this something you could afford?