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Issues with my mom - multigenerational living not working - Page 3

post #41 of 71
Completely agree with Needle in the Hay! No way should one person in the house be catered to. There are times when I make something that I know DH isn't crazy about, oh well! He can either eat it or fix a sandwich. Also, part of living together as a family is giving each other space and your mom isn't doing that for you. You need to take it.
"Mom, I need 30 minutes alone to wake up and have coffee", I'll give you a shout when I'm done. This is not unreasonable!
post #42 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
Completely agree with Needle in the Hay! No way should one person in the house be catered to. There are times when I make something that I know DH isn't crazy about, oh well! He can either eat it or fix a sandwich. Also, part of living together as a family is giving each other space and your mom isn't doing that for you. You need to take it.
"Mom, I need 30 minutes alone to wake up and have coffee", I'll give you a shout when I'm done. This is not unreasonable!
I am going to talk to her about having some more time to myself. I'm thinking of how to approach it. Part of the problem is she doesn't have any friends at all here to just go hang out with. She doesn't really have anything to "do" outside of the home.

In the mornings, though, I really can't tell her to not come in and use the bathroom. She takes a water pill for her high blood pressure. She usually comes in 3 times in the first 30 minutes alone. I'm not making excuses for her. I'm just telling it like it is. I can't tell her that she can't come in through my kitchen (where my computer is) to pee in the morning. It actually is quite unreasonable and it would be cruel because she'd have to use a bedpan. As much animosity as we have between us, I'm not going to ask her to use a bedpan in her bedroom rather than use the toilet so her presence doesn't bother me. That's something I think *I* need to get over.
post #43 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
The thing that I think *I* need to get over is feeling guilty when she pulls her passive-aggressive stunts. ... 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.
this is a situation where the right counselor can really help. you have a well-defined problem and the counselor can help you learn a new more positive emotional response to your mom's behavior. we are all trying to get to the same point, but the pro will be so much more effective
post #44 of 71
What about moving your computer to another, more private area of your home (for instance, your bedroom)? That way, she could come/go as often as she wants in the mornings, and you wouldn't be bothered. You could tell her you need to have a little time to yourself in the mornings and that's why you're doing it.

I'd bet that after living alone for so long herself, she would totally GET why you'd want time alone (maybe she also does and feels that she can't say anything when your dd clutters up your Mom's rooms b/c she does feel grateful that you've spent this money on her......)........I think it would be very hard to live with somebody and be dependent on them after being on your own for so long.........maybe that's why she's so frustrated and is then, in turn, taking that frustration out on you?

Just trying to put another guess on things here..........
post #45 of 71
Wow, I can't even imagine. I am sorry for the situation but like pp have said-its your home. So if you want to eat certain stuff, eat it. She knows where teh kitchen is if she doesn't like something. She also knows where the mcdonalds is from what you say. Have family night out once a week just the 3 of you. Does you mom have any hobbies that you can help her find a group to join to get her out of the hose sometimes? And I hear ya on the not asking for help thing, but its something you have to learn to do. Sometimes the other person thinks they are helping more by staying out of the way. They don't want to make you think they are taking over. Not necessarily teh case with your mom but another perspective to consider.
post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I am going to talk to her about having some more time to myself. I'm thinking of how to approach it. Part of the problem is she doesn't have any friends at all here to just go hang out with. She doesn't really have anything to "do" outside of the home.

In the mornings, though, I really can't tell her to not come in and use the bathroom. She takes a water pill for her high blood pressure. She usually comes in 3 times in the first 30 minutes alone. I'm not making excuses for her. I'm just telling it like it is. I can't tell her that she can't come in through my kitchen (where my computer is) to pee in the morning. It actually is quite unreasonable and it would be cruel because she'd have to use a bedpan. As much animosity as we have between us, I'm not going to ask her to use a bedpan in her bedroom rather than use the toilet so her presence doesn't bother me. That's something I think *I* need to get over.

Maybe you've tried this already, but I wonder if you could encourage her to sign up for a class or social club? This would expand her social group a bit more and give you a little time alone in your house.
post #47 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannettea View Post
What about moving your computer to another, more private area of your home (for instance, your bedroom)? That way, she could come/go as often as she wants in the mornings, and you wouldn't be bothered. You could tell her you need to have a little time to yourself in the mornings and that's why you're doing it.

I'd bet that after living alone for so long herself, she would totally GET why you'd want time alone (maybe she also does and feels that she can't say anything when your dd clutters up your Mom's rooms b/c she does feel grateful that you've spent this money on her......)........I think it would be very hard to live with somebody and be dependent on them after being on your own for so long.........maybe that's why she's so frustrated and is then, in turn, taking that frustration out on you?

Just trying to put another guess on things here..........
Dh and I are going to do some remodeling to move my computer sometime this summer. I think that's a great idea and yes we had thought of this. Right now, there is no place for it anywhere else.

As for counseling that others have mentioned... it's something I've considered before. I was hoping to get some free advice first.
post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
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.
I agree with this. I don't think you are doing a bad thing by having your mother live with you, and you are certainly not being a victim in helping out your family who needs you. But it does sound to me like you are kinda letting her run all over you and take advantage instead of setting clear boundaries.

Quote:
She doesn't pay for anything... including the car we bought for her, insurance, gasoline, food, utilities, her cell phone, etc. We pay it all. She uses her SS to pay for her medicines, supplemental insurance, clothes, junk food (which I will not buy), and fast food (which we will not eat) for lunch almost every day. She blows a lot of her money on junk...
Why are you paying for her car, her insurance? Her cell phone? Her meals when she goes out to eat? There are luxuries, not necessities, and SHE should be paying for them all.
I would suggest sitting down and having a financial conversation. You should not be paying all of this money to support your mother's lifestyle, especially when she has money of her own!
I would give her a one or two month "warning."
"Mom, we can't keep paying all of your bills this way. It is hurting our family. We talked it over and starting in July we are going to need you to cover your own cell phone service, insurance, car payment, gas, and restaurant food.
If she doesn't like that...well, to be frank... Too Bad! What can she do about it besides throw a tantrum about it? A tantrum that you should not give in to, just like you wouldn't give in to a child's tantrum.

Quote:
She has come to EXPECT everything from us without feeling any gratitude for what we do for her.
Then it is really time to stop bending over backwards and doing things for her. With some people the more you give the more they take. It doesn't matter how much you give of yourself, your time, your money.... they come to believe that you OWE it to them. it doesn't sound like she is going to change.
It is one thing to buy your mom dinner out every so often. It is quite another that she invites herself out to eat with you, pouts if you want to go without her, dictates the restaurant every time, is rude and demanding at the restaurant, and then requires that you pay for her EVERY TIME.

You can't kick her out of the house, but you CAN say, "We're going out just the three of us. We can plan another evening to all go out together." Or, "We're really in the mood for Greek tonight. Come if you like, but that is what we are eating." And if she complains about it...." Mom, no one forced you to come with us." And, "I don't know if you realize that I have been paying for all of your food. I am sorry, but this is not working out financially for us. When we go out to eat together you are going to need to cover your own costs from now on."

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. It is simply horrible that you have been beyond generous and loving with your mother, only to have her throw it back in your face and demand more.
post #49 of 71
Wow, I admire your strength and kindness, OP! Lord knows I'd need a pair of 24hr on call counselors if I were to invite my mom to live with me.

As for your situation, alot of the advice here sounds workable. Boundaries, having her help more with her own expenses, helping her get into some sort of volunteer work or even a paid part time gig if she wants to continue buying crap (if she's able bodied enough to drive herself to a fast food joint, she's able bodied enough to do part time work imo!). She needs to understand that ANY money that you spend on her is directly taking from what you can give to your dd for activities, lessons, sports, college fund or whatever.

I grew up in the USA (midwest) and its quite normal to have only 1 or 2 generations in the home. Then, I moved to Miami (very high South American pop/culture) where many many Latin families (99% of my friends there!) had at least 3 generations in the home, some had 4. I actually have always enjoyed talking with the grandparent-aged generations & its neat to see such close relationships btwn my friends & their grandparents. Its more unusual to live with our elderly parents here in the US than it is to ship 'em off to an "old folks home", but there is a great opportunity for more meaningful relationships btwn gkids/gparents in your extended family living situation, IF you can lay some boundaries that your whole family (including your mom) are able to follow. Its great that your dd knows that if g'ma starts talking rudely to her, she can leave the room w/o punishment.

I'm sorry that your mom is not more grateful and respectful, you deserve to be treated better for all that you're sacrificing to help her. The comfort that you're trying to provide your mother despite having a not so comfy childhood says so much (positive!) about your character. I wish you courage to find that delicate balance between her wants and her needs very soon. You ARE doing a good thing, don't get discouraged, just keep firm about what you need from her in order to give her what she truly needs.

Give and take. NOT give and suffer & then give more to try to have peace but suffer anyway, etc, yk?
post #50 of 71
I think your best bet is to start the process of changing your responses to your Mom. It won't happen overnight, it will take awhile, but as others have said you can go out with just the 3 of you or go to the restaurants you want to go to or make the food you want to. And yes, your Mom will likely complain and gripe and all the rest, but you can slowly start learning to let it not get to you. Again, I definitely understand that it will take time to get there, but you can't make your Mom change. Hopefully she will, but all you can do is change yourself. So yeah, I would figure out the things that are bugging you the most and get started. It will suck at first probably, but it will be better in the long run and your Mom might even come around a bit too if you are lucky!

And yeah, her moving out would be great I'm sure, but it doesn't sound feasible.
post #51 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
We need to start a support group for daughters with challenging moms that we love, but wouldn't mind dropping a water balloon on sometimes.
Oh I would join that group, my mother moved in in September and it has been challenging, to say the least!!!

OP, I empathize 100% and wish you good luck with the boundary-setting. Our mothers are quite similar, but we don't pay for her expenses like her car, etc, we could not afford to do so and I don't think I would, it would make me way too bitter. Sometimes I feel guilty that we do things/eat things etc. without my mother, but then I think about the fact that she is my mother, not my child and that I am not responsible for feeding her, taking her everywhere along with me, etc. I have one little person that I want to cater to and I refuse to make it one little one and one old one!! My mother still works and tried to suck me into waking her for work (she works different shifts) but I pretty much refused. No one wakes me for work, be a grown-up, I am not your snooze alarm! Sounds mean but if I agreed, I would be the snooze alarm, she would say, "give me another 10 minutes" for an hour. I encourage autonomy as much as possible in her, she looooooves depending on people and if I didn't draw the line, believe me DH and I would be doing her bidding. But the price for that is she sees me as a b-word. Oh well.
post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
... I was hoping to get some free advice first.
free advice:

when you go out to dinner, and leave her a frozen pizza and she complains.
say to yourself: "well, the mercedes did not make her happy, so it is nothing personal, of course the frozen dinner won't either."

when you make a healthy dinner at home and she complains:
"well, free housing didn't make her happy, so it is nothing personal, a healthy dinner won't either."
post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy View Post
free advice:

when you go out to dinner, and leave her a frozen pizza and she complains.
say to yourself: "well, the mercedes did not make her happy, so it is nothing personal, of course the frozen dinner won't either."

when you make a healthy dinner at home and she complains:
"well, free housing didn't make her happy, so it is nothing personal, a healthy dinner won't either."
post #54 of 71
My mom lives with us too and it's been challenging lately. Mostly having to do with the kids and her interactions with them.

Though I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL for mornings like today where all the rest of us slept and she (naturally an early riser) got DS up and off to school before any of the rest of us were up!

I *love* things like that don't get me wrong. It's like you said, the yelling. My mom *has* threatened to spank my kids. (but then so have I, and I'm not saying that is right. It's just like it's a license then if *i* have done it...even though I am moving away from it.)

The yelling makes me CRAZY I would LOVE a day without it!

But I am much in the same situation as you OP, my mom makes only about $800/mo. to live on. She can't survive on that. Nor do we want her to. And since my dad passed away, we are literally ALL SHE HAS.

My mom *does* contribute though.

As far as the food, here, DH cooks whatever he wants to make. My mom will *usually* try his/our food. Sometimes we make more 'traditional American' meals too.
If she doesn't like it, she keeps bologna (yuck! but she likes it) around and makes herself a sandwich.
She does not expect us to ONLY make food she likes.

My mom will actually usually have to be 'talked into' our outings, so we get a few of those alone too. (though we typically don't go to restaurants anymore, we don't expect her to babysit so we can, and we don't like paying for food the kids may or may not eat...)

The thing that REALLY gets to me is I think she would totally benefit from some time away from all of us--like a regular outing with ppl her age. She paid to join the Sr. Center last year, but she went to TWO activities that I can recall--the "new members" day, and the Christmas dinner.
I intentionally read the newsletter and point out things i think she might like-- this might sound funny for a 70/yr old woman but I actually suggested the Wii bowling leagues! She used to bowl, and she used to love playing my Nintendo. (we don't currently own a game system, I am waiting to bring that into my house till a child asks for it.)

She has yet to take me up on the idea....but she *did* go to the MS support group meeting I found for her on Google.....so I don't know, maybe there is hope yet that she will start to do some things? I think it would really help her, I know it helps ME to get out.

Oh and also until just recently we didn't have a 3rd vehicle, so I think that was a big part of the issue, even though I didn't *mind* I think she didn't want to leave me without my van.

Here's hoping ALL our situations get better. (and I would TOTALLY start by just cooking whatever it is you happen to be wanting to cook. She can eat it, or not, and she can buy her own alternatives that she prefers. This is what my mom does--like I said, she likes her bologna sandwiches. We don't eat pork. )
post #55 of 71
Please link me to this multigenerational thread that was mentioned. I tried a search and couldn't find one.......at least nothing with recent posts!
post #56 of 71
Just another question... About not feeling appreciated. Have you talked to your mom about that? What does she say?
post #57 of 71
Oh my goodness, I can't imagine! It's funny, because from the impression I've gotten from your online persona, I really can't picture you putting up with that kind of stuff in your own home!

Some other posters have had really good suggestions about laying down firm boundaries and just not reacting or responding when she throws a fit. Tell her which days of the week you'll be having dinner with just your DH and DD, tell her which of her expenses she'll be expected to cover, etc. The worst thing she can do is pout and be angry -- oh well. Just like with a rebellious teen, her choices are to put up with your house rules or find another place to live so that she can set all the rules herself.
post #58 of 71
Any updates, Velo? Have you spoken with your mom or made any changes? How did it go?
post #59 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
Please link me to this multigenerational thread that was mentioned. I tried a search and couldn't find one.......at least nothing with recent posts!
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1036647

post #60 of 71
Hugs to you mama! Like the other posters I think boundaries are the biggest issue here and initially, one of the hardest things to establish. I was terrible at boundaries and still struggle sometimes, but have really learned how to set them well most of the time. The great thing about setting boundaries is that once you do it-it gets easier and easier and very, very satisfying. (Learning NO is very empowering).
For instance, if you tell your mom you and your family are going out for Greek and she gets upset, you will most likely actually feel better if you tell her that you are sorry that she doesn't want to come and that you will see her later, and then LEAVE. This is because you know it is wrong for her to manipulate you into going to a resturaunt of her choice and not ever allowing your family a private dinner. She may be upset because she realizes that her "control" is slipping. But she will be okay.

I have also noticed that many times the most toxic family members are the ones who need their families the most-physically and emotionally. That is why they are always manipulating, guilting, etc. Your mom knows how much she needs you and that you really hold all of the cards. If you set the boundaries she will fall in line-or she will find somewhere else to live.

Also, if your mom can spend money at walmart, she can pay her own cell bill, imo. She can also buy food to keep on hand when you prepare something that she doesn't like. (My uncle gets about 800 SS and lives on his own in a studio apartment. He uses public transportation and enjoys no luxuries. He would LOVE a setup like your mom has.)

Best wishes on your journey!
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