I don't want mom to move in with my family. Does that make me a bad person?


Q: Am I bad selfish, daughter if I don't want my mother to move in with me, my husband and our two children?

A: In an ideal world, we'd all have unlimited money, health, time, and energy—enough to do all the things we want to do. In the real world, there are rarely enough resources to go around, so we spend a lot of effort trying to balance needs and responsibilities according to our values and beliefs.

It would be nice to think that it's always possible to work out a painless compromise, but that really isn't always the case. More often than not, to give to one you must take from another.

From the way you word your question, your primary focus right now seems to be your husband and children, and the life you have together. You believe that adding your mother to the mix would disrupt the life you've worked to build, but you also seem conflicted about choosing which of your responsibilities should get priority right now.

Only you can decide what's right for you, given your particular history and circumstances, and what works for you might be different than what would work for your friends or siblings. Not wanting you mother to disrupt your family's life isn't selfish—but it may be something you need to explore with a therapist, clergy, or trusted friend to air your feelings and feel comfortable with your decision.

Dr. Mary A. Languirand, PhD is a clinical psychologist who co-authored "When Someone You Love Needs Nursing Home, Assisted Living, or In-Home Care." Read her full biography

Dr. Mary Languirand, PhD

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Mary A. Languirand, PhD, is in private practice in Garden City, NY, and counsels individuals, families, and health professionals in skilled nursing facilities. She co-authored (with Robert Bornstein, PhD) "When Someone You Love Needs Nursing Home, Assisted Living, or In-Home Care."

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It is very difficult to have someone move in so that you can help them. My parents were both ill and we agreed to let them stay with us. We didn't think about what that would turn out to be! My Dad was with us for two years and I then had to put him in a nursing home due to Alzheimers. My Mom became legally blind and so we let her stay with us. My husband and I were just starting as empty nesters in a new condo and here they were. My Dad lived 6 yrs longer and my Mom has been with us "FOR 16 YEARS" she is now 96 and is in very good health other than being blind. My husband has sacrificied so much for me and my parents. We are in our mid 60's and our lives have been noithing like we dreamed of. We love Mom and she has become one of us but it still is hard to realize our lives are passing us by while we are taking care of her. Think long and hard and exhaust all other possibilities before making that final decision. Without the Lord in our lives none of this could have worked!
Gosh, I'm struggling with this one myself and I have a teen-ager; not two young children.

I do feel that your husband and children should come first. Not that you don't love your Mom or want to help her - but loving her and helping her don't necessarily mean she has to move in.

My Dad has lived with us for one year now and it has been one hard year. Things are finally settling down - he has a caregiver come EVERY DAY while I am at work and my son at school. This helps a lot - she takes over all the doctor appointments; scheduling; and chauffers him wherever. He loves to eat out; so he makes lunch his big meal so I don't have to worry about cooking dinner every night.

It has impact my relationship with my son but I feel we have all adjusted. My Dad has a big master bedroom with TV and I think he considers that like his apartment; he is careful not to always intrude on my son and I if we are watching a favorite show together. (You know how rare that is with a teen-ager).

Sorry for rambling. IF I had it to do over again - I would probably consider AL right off the bat. Honestly, I think he would be better off there with other activities and social contacts besides just myself, my son, and his caregiver.

Good luck and you are not a bad person whatever you decide.
Do not do it. I know I am being harsh and of course you need to weigh both sides. I had meeting after meeting with my family prior to moving gma in. We/I had no idea what I was getting into. My experience has been that everyone who had said they would give respite care disappeared. My children are now miserable, depressed and my daughter is failing school. I regret doing this and am now interviewing nursing homes. Every situation is different, my gma chooses to be difficult. Regardless of the patients attitude, you may become a prisioner in your own home. I used to be fun loving, had a professional career and was an active 35 yr old. I knew it would be difficult but, had no clue as