Hi all, I need a bit of advice on how what to do about my mother in law, but mostly just need to vent.
My husband and I have been living in his mother's house for the past three months in a very small four bedroom bungalow. I just moved to England where my husband lives, and at the time we both thought nothing of living with his mum. I like her a lot, she's a really nice woman, have a lot in common, and we get along really well. However as the months have gone by, I've realised that it was a big mistake to agree to live with her, and how much I missed having my own home with my own space. My mother in law is very, very in your face all the time. She doesn't have a social life, so is always home in the house. Every night she comes to watch TV with us, and doesn't leave until we go to bed ourselves. She does the dishes, the laundry, and buys groceries for us despite us telling her that we would rather do that on our own. She's always insisting that she drives us places, heck she even came with us to dinner on Valentine's Day! The house is so small and cluttered with stuff, that we never have any privacy and the two rooms that we do have for our space are absolutely piled to the brim with our belongings that we really can't live in them. She's always coming up with suggestions, always getting into our business, always smothering us with attention and gifts. I feel like I'm 16 years old again and I can't stand it. Being 6 months pregnant, my need to move into our own home as become more and more desperate, I just can't raise a baby in the same house as her. As my husband agrees we have spent the past few weeks deciding how and when we can finally have a place of our own.
My mother in law however is a really clingy, nervous person, and does not like at all the prospect of living on her own. I really feel for her, her husband up and left her about two years ago with little warning beforehand, and last year my husband went to the States for 6 months to visit myself and my family. During that time she became very emotionally unstable, and had frequent panic attacks and health episodes, even having to go to the hospital a few times because she passed out in public. This was something that made my husband and I really step back and consider whether we really needed to move out away from her, and for a while I tried to grin and bear living with her. We looked into moving into a bigger annexed home with her, however England is such an expensive place to buy homes and we just couldn't afford anything that would give us enough room to live comfortably. When we were looking at an annexed home nearby, my mother in law made it pretty clear that she would not respect our space with the annex, and more or less said that she would be in our part of the house most of the time. Those comments made my husband and I really realise that unless we got a place of our own, we would not be able to have the privacy we needed.
So after putting telling her off for a really long time, we finally told her a few days ago that we were planning on moving out into a rental home nearby. She took it really well at first, saying that she understood and that it was fair that we wanted our space. She took it so well that I was really surprised and felt a little guilty about being so nervous and putting off telling her. But then as the day went on, she started to cry, and then she started to say how horrible it was going to be to be all alone, and how she wasn't going to have any pets anymore (My husband and I have two pet rabbits). And then she started to suggest things, like 'what if I put a caravan into the back garden and just lived there?' and 'what about buying a house with an annex that we can all move into?'.
The next morning she told us that she went to go see my father in law who said it was a bad idea to rent because you're just throwing your money away. She said that he would be willing to give her money to make an apartment over our current house, to which my husband said no, so she said that father in law would also be willing to chip in money for us to buy a new house for the three of us. My husband said that there wouldn't be anything on the market that would be in our price range. Later that day, she went over to one of our neighbour's house and after a strange turn of events they decided to swap houses with her- they have an annexed house with a "granny suite". We really didn't know what to say when she told us that, and after hearing about the annexed house nonstop for the next hour, my husband finally said that we would look at it after she asked us to. He said to me later that it would probably be better for us to just humour her and take a look at the house, and we can say we don't like it after we look at it. My mother in law has been going on and on and on about the house for the past few days now, has had the house owners over to look at our house to see if they want it, and she's been over there several times. She said that they would go through a solicitor to swap the house, which would "only" take 3 months. All the while she's been reminding us how bad of an idea it is to rent because of all the money you waste, and because of the expenses, and telling us that my husband's father will be very upset if they rent because he thinks it's a waste too.
Meanwhile my husband and I are still looking for rental properties, and we have a viewing on Tuesday. If we like this house, we would be able to move in within the next week or two, and that will be that. My problem is that I don't know what to do about my mother in law. I know that us moving out will be hard for her, but honestly she's not doing anything for herself to help her, except for trying her hardest to get us to stay with her forever. She says that she can't live alone, but she refuses to let her granddaughter come live with her, despite the fact that her granddaughter wants to move in with her and really needs a good home, and the fact that the two of them get along so well when they're together. She says she needs us in the house because she's scared of being alone in case she gets ill, but she has two sister in laws who live literally right next door, both of whom she gets along really well with and would be more than willing to come over if something were arise. She says it's going to be horrible to be in a house with no pets, but doesn't want to get a pet of her own. I suggested that she try to find an older, lower maintenance dog up for adoption at an animal shelter, and I told her that I could come over every day to walk the dog for her so she wouldn't have to. With the right older, low energy dog, one walk a day from myself would really only require my mother in law to give the dog food and love, and to let it out in the garden if he needs to use the bathroom. But she said she didn't want that because dogs were too much work. At this point my husband and I don't know what to do, short of simply leaving. I feel a bit evil for doing this to her, but I've come up with so many suggestions and solutions, none of which she has been keen on. I simply can't live with her anymore, I still like her a lot but I don't like living with her. I'm a new wife and mom, and I think that our new family deserves our own space and time to grow on our own. My husband and I have never really been able to live on our own together, save for four months last year when we temporarily rented a flat together. We only have 3 months until our baby comes, and then we have the next 18+ years of being parents, and our time alone together will be done. We're never going to get this time back, and I really want some quality time with my husband. We're looking at houses to rent that are a grand total of 5 miles away, we'll see her frequently and she will still be a big part of our lives. It makes me really angry sometimes, because I just moved so far away from my family who I was really close with. It was really hard for my parents to see me leave, but never once did they try to stop me from going. They said that they knew how much my husband meant to me, and were happy to see me entering this new stage in my life and going to be with someone I loved. It makes me mad that they let go of so much and were so understanding and helpful, and here we are now trying to move 5 miles away from his mom, and she won't let us. I'm having such a hard time coping with all of these emotions, and because of it I'm having a hard time stepping back from the situation and looking at what would be the best course of action to make this process go as painlessly as possible for all three of us.
Gosh I ended up writing an essay, sorry!