Issues with my mom - multigenerational living not working - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 71 Old 04-14-2010, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been talking. I'll update when I have more time. She *is* being more receptive this time.
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#62 of 71 Old 04-14-2010, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
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!
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Yeah, I was surprised by you posting this, too, velo!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#63 of 71 Old 04-14-2010, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, she is my mom. I have a strong sense of family. My grandfather lived with us, so I guess I grew up with a bit of skewed sense that it's natural to have parents move in. I've probably been too lenient with the situation out of a sense of obligation.

Anyway, we talked some today. She was actually receptive to what I had to say. She said that she's been wanting to go to the Senior Citizens center to use some of their equipment. She has peripheral artery disease and had to have a bypass surgery about 20 years ago. The doctors have said that some leg exercises would help to keep her mobile. She went today and seems to have enjoyed herself. I was proud of her to take that step. She's more introverted than I am. She said that she'd like to go a couple times a week - that would give me some time to just have MY home to myself. I hope she will continue this.

We talked about the eating out. She even mentioned that dh and I never get to go out by ourselves and that she should maybe take dd for the evening once a month so the two of us can go out alone. This really surprised me. This is probably the most generous gesture she's made in 4 years.

However when I told her that the dish I was making tonight was a rice-based casserole that dh loves, that I hadn't fixed in a year because my mom *doesn't like RICE* (how can someone NOT like rice?!?!), her reply was, "Oh. Well, I'm not hungry anyway." Went on my merry way making dinner and the next time I went out to her rooms to check on dd in the side yard, she was eating some of her junk food. THAT'S the problem when I do this... cook what we like that she doesn't. It seems to me to be a passive aggressive way of getting back at me for doing so. It's like "Well, if you won't cook what I like, watch me eat crap and kill myself a little more". But guess what, dh was so happy with dinner tonight that I didn't really give a crap what she did. I'm not going to worry about it anymore. She's an adult and can eat what she wants... even if it is Ding Dongs for dinner.

One thing about the car I wanted to clarify. My mom picks up our dd from school the majority of the time. This is a huge help to us. We couldn't be a 2 car family. What she said was that she felt most comfortable driving the Mercedes. (Of course... they drive beautifully.) We don't make payments. We bought the car, we own it, we can sell it when we want to. She just drives it. When my precious cargo, dd, is with her, I want her in a car that is safe and my mom feels safe in. I just wish mom would realize that she's driving the nicest car we have and appreciate that fact.

We're not going to ask her for any money toward the utilities, etc. Honestly, we can afford it. Yes, technically we could save more money, but we do fine. We don't have debt, carry a mortgage by choice, have adequate savings, investments, etc. And technically we could cash in some investments to buy her a place, but we've already built onto our house for her. It's not that we're in dire need of her helping... it's about feeling appreciated. This is something dh feels strongly about. Where he is from, everyone takes care of their family and this would just not fly with him. I respect that. The amount she could give us would just not make a difference. It would be a gesture, only. If she would just say thank you once in a while, it would be worth a hell of a lot more than she could possibly contribute.

On a positive note, she said she'd try harder in general, try to be more patient with dd and I told her that if I hear her or if dd tells me that she's raising her voice or threatening her (for example a few weeks ago she threatened to throw away some of dd's toys because she hadn't picked them up ) that dd would not be allowed out there with her. I reminded her what Gentle Disciple is (IME) and that threatening is not part of the package. I told her that if she asks dd to do something and she won't, then to come get me if she can't handle it gently. My mom actually enjoys the time with dd, so I hope it's incentive for her to try to be more patient.

I think those were the highlights of the conversation. I think we progressed some today. It's a matter of time. We'll see what happens. Gotta get the kiddo to bed.
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#64 of 71 Old 04-15-2010, 12:38 AM
 
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{{HUGS}} Just want to say that I am so impressed with you and your dh- what wonderful human beans you both are! It's just so rare to see people willing to put themselves out like that. Good luck with everything!
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#65 of 71 Old 04-15-2010, 03:15 AM
 
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It sounds like you guys had a really good conversation -- that's great!

It really is wonderful that you and your DH have such a strong sense of respect and familial responsibility. It's just that it's okay to expect/demand the same respect in return as well.

DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
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#66 of 71 Old 04-15-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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That sounds like an excellent conversation - good for you! I'm glad it went so well, and I hope you two are able to keep the lines of communication open like that.

I think the approach you took to your mom eating junk food for dinner was perfect. It's OK (but so, so hard) to say 'I don't like her choice, but it is her choice and I'll let it be.'
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#67 of 71 Old 04-15-2010, 08:24 PM
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Her eating crap isn't passive-aggressive. She's a grown up and that's just what she has chosen to eat--perhaps what she really likes to eat!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#68 of 71 Old 04-18-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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I think you are being a doormat and she is taking advantage of you so often, and in such a wild way, that you don't even realize the extent of it. Regardless of her skill set, you do not need to feed her all meals, take her out on all exercusions (including dinners out), or spend a lot of time with her.

Consider the following:

Planning a menu a week in advance and post it on the refrigerator. Perhaps post it next to the family schedule, made up or not. Everyone who is going to be there for a meal signs up. If she doesn't like what is being served, she can eat elsewhere. Make a point of making your family a meal that she doesn't like at least one night a week. It isn't personal, you aren't trying to exclude her, but yes, your immediate family and HUSBAND like these foods and that is really very reasonable. Don't engage.

Choose one night a week, maybe on the weekend, when you do something with your husband and child only. Make it routine. Make it not personal. Do it. It should not be the dinner night. Don't engage.

Restaurant dining is a treat. If she would like to join you, that is terrific, but if you are treating, you will choose the restaurant. If she is treating she will choose the restaurant.

I think you've made real mistake by not asking her to contribute to household expenses. It doesn't have to be proportionate to her actual expenses, just her income. She *can* afford to pay for certain bills (utilities?) or something for food or something for rent.

How many sibilings do you have and why are they not participating in her support? Really, if they can, I think they should help subsidize the expense of living with you. If they can't than they should be open to extended visits or other support. Consider carefully why they are not. Do they think she is selfish and doesn't deserve it? Do they think that they have no obligation because of her parenting (pretty reasonable to me). Have you asked and how?

I think you might find it helpful to determine what it really costs you (financially, emotionally, your relationships with kids and husband) to live with your mom. Perhaps a better option is to subsidize another living situation. $1000 in a senior living compex might be a great option for you gives you a lot of freedom.

Finally, is she happy with you or is she just unhappy?
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#69 of 71 Old 04-18-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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I don't really think people were suggesting that she contribute financially (utilities or whatever) because you can't afford it. It isn't really about your money so much as hers. She needs to value her living situation and it doesn't sound like she does. Making a financial contribution according to her means is a good way to do so. You can keep the money or stash it in a savings account for her or donate it to charity. The point is that she wastes a lot of money AND lives for free AND doesn't really seem to appreciate it.
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#70 of 71 Old 04-18-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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Are you living with MY grandmother? She's the same exact way, only she doesn't live with my mom, but what you are talking about is what she's like.

Senior low income apartment like now. I know she's your mom, but honestly she will probably go right back to her old ways once things simmer down again, JMO.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#71 of 71 Old 04-29-2010, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

As for counseling that others have mentioned... it's something I've considered before. I was hoping to get some free advice first.
Not free advice, but I'll be happy to start with the "questions"...

the situation you describe is truly extra-ordinary....
- why do you do it? B/c you love your mom is not a good enough answer.... alot of people love their parents but would not subject themselves to this situation.

- I know you have a good mind for figuring out the pros and cons from your financial posts... so what are the pros of your mom living with you? I am sure those "pros" have to be huge, but you have not yet voiced them. You don't need to OL, but so far what you posted does not make "sense." Once you work those out, then the negatives of your situation will be easier to tolerate. Once you explained the Mercedes situation, it makes sense. We personally would also buy the safest car we could afford if my mom was picking up my kids (although my parents are not in the same situation). It also sounds like most of the mileage accrued on the car is for the purpose of picking up your dd.

- why do your half sibs not help? Really. Why. do. they. not. help?
Why are you doing so much, but they nothing? Is there something in your (all) collective past? Things to explore: perceptions, realities, guilts, preferential treatments.
Why do you feel so obligated? But they feel absolutely nothing? This is very interesting.
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