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Issues with my mom - multigenerational living not working - Page 2

post #21 of 71
This might be already and definitely WILL be damaging to your daughter. Is this really the dynamic you want to model to her? Also, do you want to send the message that you will tolerate someone being cruel and disrespectful to you and her? I think you need to lay down some boundaries immediately and include some consequences. It seems absolutely wrong that you should let your mom ruin your life .
post #22 of 71
You don't owe your mom this. You don't owe her anything.

How much is a studio apt. where you live? Here, it's about $400/mo. That's all she needs--a roof over her head.

If you can't kick her out for your sake, do it for your dd. Do you want the ENTIRE REST OF HER CHILDHOOD to include this woman in her home?
post #23 of 71
AND you said that your mom is "bad with money." This is what dh said about his mom and her bad spending habits:

"She refused to make sacrifices and save her money. So, why should I be the one making sacrifices instead?"

I think it's good advice.
post #24 of 71
Well...you can't make anyone else change you can only make changes yourself. You are choosing to do all the things that are making it possible for her to behave and live this way. On a practical note, you might want to read Love and Logic for Teens with your mother being the teen.
post #25 of 71
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone for the responses.

I have written down all of the books suggested and will look into them at the library.

I agree with those that say that there needs to be a better environment for our dd. She really loves my mom and the majority of the time, there are no issues at all with them - it's when things happen that I just get my mama claws out. Dd is 8 now, and knows that if my mom starts talking short with her, she can walk out of her rooms and come talk to me. I've had many talks with my mom about it. She did say last time that she is going to try to work on that. I asked dd last night at dinner (mom's gone visiting) and dd said that my mom has not lost her temper with her for a very long time. Dd also needs to step it up a little and not trash my mom's rooms with her toys and crafts as much. My mom gets most frustrated with dd's messes and since she never learned how to discipline, just punish, she doesn't handle it well. I've told her that rather than yelling at dd, like she did us, to tell dd that until she picks up her toys, she can't play out there any more. Clean up the mess first, then they can play. Works for me. If my mom would stop yelling, that would be 80% of the battle right there. Other than that, she actually does respect my parenting decisions... she's never tried to spank or punish the way she did us.

As for kicking my mom out... dh just won't do it. We put on a $$$ renovation/addition to our house for her. He's not going to pay rent as well. That is certainly something I would consider, but I'd have to go back to work full-time and I can't do that with dd's school being an hour away. It's also not a sacrifice that I will make for mom. Dh and I planned our lives for me to be a SAHM. I work 15 hours a week in a job I love at a library. I will not go back to the daily grind I hate and not get my summers and vacations off with dd just because of my mom. That is not something I will compromise on.

There is a subdivision for >55 in our area. It's quite nice, although they are all trailers. Definitely *not* your typical trailer park neighborhood... it has a HOA and everyone must keep up their places immaculately. We could, by sacrificing our savings habits, buy a place there, then the lot rental is only about $250/month. I've contemplated that, but dh nixed it last night. So mom moving out will not work.

My sisters (they are half-sisters) are not able to help. One is going through a nasty divorce and is barely making it on her own and the other (oldest) had a mid-life crisis when she hit 50 and took off. I'm not even sure where she is and haven't known for a couple of years. I do NOT have a good relationship with the her and the middle sister is too selfish to help out even with her time (as is evidenced by her comment last year when I asked her to take mom for 2 weeks).

So, in talking with dh and telling him some things mentioned here, he said that I'm just going to have to put my foot down with Mom. I can't MAKE my mom help out around here more. In truth, she doesn't make ANY messes in the main house because she's only in here to eat and use the bathroom. It would just be nice for her to help out that way, just because she appreciates that we're supporting her. I will talk to her about this.

Dh is from a country where you take care of the elderly no matter what. They literally do not have nursing homes... the families take care of their own. His sister took care of their mother for 10 years until her death. He takes this responsibility very seriously. He said we can sit down and talk to her and just explain that we need to set some boundaries (especially about the food), but that asking her to pay us is not something he's comfortable with. I respect that... the key is getting my mom to respect that as well.

The thing that I think *I* need to get over is feeling guilty when she pulls her passive-aggressive stunts. The comments like "I can't do anything right in your eyes", I need to follow up with something like "when it comes to the way you treat my daughter, it's my right to ask you to interact with her with respect" and just leave it at that. I'm not going to respond to her passive-aggressive behavior anymore. It's something I have to do... even if I have to go to a counselor to learn how to do it. I've not ruled that out!

Anyway, this has helped me think through this a lot more. I don't necessarily agree with everything everyone has said, but it's ALL good food for thought and I appreciate every comment. I'm open to any and all ideas on this, so if there are additional thoughts, please let me have them.
post #26 of 71
It seems to me that the first place to begin is to get your dh on the same page as you are. This isn't working for you, and eventually you will (if you aren't already) become resentful of his stance on this situation. This can't be good for your marriage.

Set aside time for you to discuss this with your dh. If you need to, I would suggest counseling to bring in an impartial 3rd party to help you sort this out. You have options, but unless you and dh agree there will continue to be friction in your family.

(No one has mentioned government subsidized apartments - many apartment complexes set aside units that qualify for this based on income, and meals on wheels - just other thoughts.)

ETA: I see that your dh wants you to put your foot down. That's great, but he needs to be a part of this, too. I wouldn't let this message come only from you, but from both of you. Present a unified front.
post #27 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
It seems to me that the first place to begin is to get your dh on the same page as you are. This isn't working for you, and eventually you will (if you aren't already) become resentful of his stance on this situation. This can't be good for your marriage.

Set aside time for you to discuss this with your dh. If you need to, I would suggest counseling to bring in an impartial 3rd party to help you sort this out. You have options, but unless you and dh agree there will continue to be friction in your family.

(No one has mentioned government subsidized apartments - many apartment complexes set aside units that qualify for this based on income, and meals on wheels - just other thoughts.)

ETA: I see that your dh wants you to put your foot down. That's great, but he needs to be a part of this, too. I wouldn't let this message come only from you, but from both of you. Present a unified front.
Actually, I disagree with this. I've read a million times on these boards where people have had issues with in-laws and the advice is *always* that the spouse whose parent it is should handle the situation. I believe that to be so. I don't believe my dh should have to deal with this.

I love that my husband supports me in the changes I am trying to make. Our marriage is stronger than any other marriage I've ever seen. We are on the same page, but it's not his problem to deal with. He doesn't have the past with her. My mom knows that when I speak for the family, I'm speaking for all of us, dh and dd included. He's behind me 100%. Paying for my mom's own place is out of the question. I'm trying to find ways to deal with the situation to ease the tension.

Oh and I did look into subsidized housing. In our town, there is only 1 apartment complex that is subsidized and it's in a bad part of town with a lot of drug traffic. As much as I don't like the living situation now, I wouldn't send my mom to live alone in a dangerous part of town.

Thank you for the suggestions, though.
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Actually, I disagree with this. I've read a million times on these boards where people have had issues with in-laws and the advice is *always* that the spouse whose parent it is should handle the situation. I believe that to be so. I don't believe my dh should have to deal with this.
Typically, I agree with this, too. It just seems to me that you are in a unique situation since your mother is living with all of you. I've know some passive aggressive mother/MIL's that look for a divide and conquer situation. It doesn't seem like this would apply to you.

And it's good that he is supporting you - you definitely need that. He may not have a past with your mother, but he does have a past and a future with you. You will work this through with your mom.
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Actually, I disagree with this. I've read a million times on these boards where people have had issues with in-laws and the advice is *always* that the spouse whose parent it is should handle the situation. I believe that to be so. I don't believe my dh should have to deal with this.
I just wanted to comment on this. It's this kind of thinking (in the extreme) that really made a bad situation terrible in my case. If you all are planning to live as a family, your dh should feel comfortable talking to your mom about issues. If you are planning on physically and financially living like a family, your DH should be willing and able to 'deal' with your mom along side you. I don't mean that he should have to do the heavy lifting, but he should be able to speak up when she complains about the gas in the car, ect.

I know this is not what you mean, but I just wanted to comment on that piece of advice in the situation where you are living with the IL's.
post #30 of 71
Last post, I swear--

We are also from aculture where you can't just cast off your elderly. (even though my mil is not elderly, yet).

What got me some relief from the daily stress of living with her, was to just litterally set boundries like the following:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we have dinner alone.
Please be done with your kitchen stuff by noon.
You have to ask before digging up anything in teh yard.

Just basically told her what we expected. She threw a tantrum, but life became at least livable.
post #31 of 71
So sorry you are dealing with this! I remember your other post a week or so ago from the mutigenerational thread.

We also live with my mom, and even though we (DH my mom & I) all get along and it works, its still a very delicate balance at times, and quite a bit of work on my part.

I would say having my DH support my feelings, and just to be there for me and understand when something to do with my mother is hard for me to deal with, is the # 1 thing, and it really sounds like you have that kind of relationship with your DH, so that is one really great thing you have in your favor.

I would say the second most important thing is boundaries. Anything that consistently irritates you, has to be addressed, no matter how uncomfortable you are discussing it with your Mother. I know its hard, my mom is passive-aggressive, and very, very defensive, and has spent her life being the 'victim' in everything. It makes it so hard to sit with her and say, this has to stop, or we/you/I need to do this... but it has to be done. Sometimes feelings get hurt, or I get the silence treatment for a while, but in the long run its better.

I would really start there. I wouldnt address everything at once, because I know in my house, that would cause a nuclear meltdown. Sometimes things need to settle before you address something new, YK?

Once you get a bit of a handle on that, I would work on the money issues. In our household, everyone contributes what they can afford, so its proportionate. For us, this is fluid and changes. Like now, I am a SAHM with a 4 mo old, and my mom and DH work full time. I thus take over all the cooking and a good bit of the cleaning, so it feels 'fair' to everyone. She needs to contribute, bottom line. Maybe even charge rent for her part of the house, and use that money to cover the extra expenses she causes?

Good luck!! Keep us updated
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
Last post, I swear--

We are also from aculture where you can't just cast off your elderly. (even though my mil is not elderly, yet).

What got me some relief from the daily stress of living with her, was to just litterally set boundries like the following:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we have dinner alone.
Please be done with your kitchen stuff by noon.
You have to ask before digging up anything in teh yard.

Just basically told her what we expected. She threw a tantrum, but life became at least livable.


I know it was frustrating for you, but that was one of the funniest threads I've EVER read in TAO.
post #33 of 71
Even though you asked for ideas and thoughts, I hesitate to post because words via the internet can seem so cold and calloused and unfeeling, and I so don't want to come across that way. So, please know that I hope to express my opinion with kindness and empathy when I say that the words that come to mind when I read your post are "victim", "enabler", and "codependant"--all roles you are portraying to your daughter. Find yourself a good therapist, get yourself well, and everything else should fall into place.
post #34 of 71
Thread Starter 
I appreciate your comments, Pluggingaway, but I do disagree. The fact that I tell her to cut her crap and we fight is what causes the tension. I certainly make no excuses for her and I don't consider myself a victim. I just want the situation to change. If people think I'm a victim because I'm not going to kick a 73 year old woman out of my house, then so be it, I guess. She would be dead in a week if she had no place to live. I'm sorry, but I couldn't do that to my worst enemy.
post #35 of 71
I would suggest counseling - just for you. The goal of this would be to learn how to set boundaries with your mom in a way that you can live with them.

It's very clear from your posts that you won't ask your mom to move out and that she's not going to change. So, the only thing that can change in this dynamic is how you communicate with your mom. You've got a lot of years of ingrained communication patterns to overcome. That's where I think an outside view and maybe some new tools would help.
post #36 of 71
[QUOTE=SleeplessMommy;15276231
When a retired person has no assets, there are state-sponsored nursing homes and subsidized rent apartments which could take her in. You could put her on a waiting list for whatever is appropriate.
[/QUOTE]


I'd kick her out (asap )
post #37 of 71
I understand taking care of basic necessities--a roof over her head and food. Why on earth are you paying for a car and cell phone for her? You don't have to give her everything she wants just because you feel obligated to give her everything she needs.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I appreciate your comments, Pluggingaway, but I do disagree. The fact that I tell her to cut her crap and we fight is what causes the tension. I certainly make no excuses for her and I don't consider myself a victim. I just want the situation to change. If people think I'm a victim because I'm not going to kick a 73 year old woman out of my house, then so be it, I guess. She would be dead in a week if she had no place to live. I'm sorry, but I couldn't do that to my worst enemy.
People over 70 often get moodier and more difficult to live with. Maybe it's just from the discomforts of being that age. I think Texmati had some good suggestions about settings limits. Even some small changes like eating with just your DD and DH sometimes could make you feel better. Also cooking what you want, but maybe having alternatives in the refrigerator just like you would if you had a picky preschooler. I and my older DD lived with my father for over a decade. When he was 77 I was moving out of state and he moved in with my sister and her family. He was on a special diet so I just fixed him different food. My sister even had separate snacks available for him. My sister didn't put him into a nursing home until his health problems were so bad he needed around the clock medical monitoring. Now that he's gone we really appreciate the time we had with him. My older DD really does.
post #39 of 71
does your dd have friends that could invite her over a couple of times a month?, if so you could go on a date-night with your husband and have dd on a playdate at the same time.
post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
If people think I'm a victim because I'm not going to kick a 73 year old woman out of my house, then so be it, I guess. She would be dead in a week if she had no place to live. I'm sorry, but I couldn't do that to my worst enemy.
No, I'm sure no one thinks that. People think you are a victim because of all the stuff you wrote in your first post. All the things you are putting up with and giving into.

People here want you to put boundaries in place so you won't be a victim. I would say that every single post in this thread is supporting you in this because the current situation is more than just annoying, it's very unhealthy.

That said, this is not an easy thing to do. I agree with PPs who suggested counseling, it doesn't have to be long-term, you could even try talking to a counselor online (be sure it's someone who has experience with both toxic family members and emotional abuse). I don't know if it would be sufficient, but it might help you begin.

I don't think anyone wants to point the finger at you and say "you made this situation, so deal with it" but instead wants to say that there is a lot you can do to change things by changing the way you deal with your mom. You can start small, but be consistent (as a PP said, Thursdays--or whatever day--can be stir fry or other meals your mom won't eat and she can fix herself something different). She is just going to have to deal with each small change as it comes and you can start getting your life back.

Oh and if there is any way to get at least a toilet and sink into her living space that would help too. It would be hard to insist on having your mornings completely to yourself if she can't go to the bathroom or get water to make coffee, etc. It might be expensive but it also might be a great investment for the overall happiness of your family.

I really, truly wish you the best. I have read a lot of your posts, you are a strong intelligent woman and a great mom to your DD. You can do this.
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