Combining households.

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It was suggested I start a thread on combining households. My Mom and I live together in a 4 bedroom home. I moved out of my three bedroom home; downsized what I could, but still kept many of my belongings when and if I needed to have my own place again. My Mom moved out of a two bedroom apartment. There was not one inch of carpet nor one inch of wall space void of pictures or furniture. My Mom is 85 and unable to live on her own as she does not drive, take public transportation or manage her own finances.We moved in together as her husband was wheelchair bound and she needed help caring for him. His children lived in other states and did not have much to do with him. He passed one year after we moved in. She is very forgetful and misplaces items and does not remember to shut off the oven/stove. Yesterday after two years of living together, she wrote me a letter demanding I "get rid" of my boxes in the garage. My boxes contain pots and pans, dishes, flatware, books, clothes and keepsakes. 1/4 of the boxes are hers that were never unpacked. She also wants me to get rid of two pieces of my furniture (armoirs) that are in the spare bedrooms. The family room and two bedrooms contain her furniture (expect for the armoirs). All the kitchen items are hers. The living room contains both our furniture. The garage is a three car, and our storage boxes combined do not take up one car space. She has always been controlling and manipulative. She literally "ambushes" me when I come in the door after work. I clean the house, pool and do the yard maintenance. I also pay her bills and help her out financially. When I ask her why after two years she is telling me to get rid of my personal belongings, her comment is she feels like she is being buried alive (drama). Does anyone have experience with this? I've already asked her if she wanted to live alone, then she can have the whole place to herself. Under no circumstances will I downsize even more.Thank you in advance for your suggestions and comments.

7 Comments

Curious, why are you paying your Mother's bills and helping her out financially? How was she living when she and her late husband were in their own apartment?

I find it quizzical that your Mom wrote you a letter asking you to get rid of the boxes in the garage... instead of talking to you about this situation that is bothering her. Sounds like she wants the house to be "hers" with only her items like it was back when her husband was alive. Sure sounds like she want to be on her own. Maybe go back to living in an apartment, the same one if one is available and affordable. She could be missing her friends there.
Hi freqflyer
Mom was doing fine financially after my Dad passed, he left her well situated. However, not having a budget and continuing to live like when Dad was alive, she blew through the money quickly. She remarried and was able to still maintain a comfy lifestyle. Her second husband only had his social security, nothing else. Thus, she lives on my Dad's social security combined with hers. Plenty if you want to be thrifty. She does not want to live in senior housing/apt. even though the rent would be far less than the mortgage. It makes no sense. I'm wondering if there is some dementia or mental illness going on.
Sort of the same thing happened when we combined households with my mom. The living room furniture is hers. The den furniture is hers, except for some nice file cabinets we contributed. We selected the dining room furniture together. The kitchen table and chairs was ours (she gave them to us). We each have our own bedroom sets, of course, but when it came to stuff in the kitchen, we had doubles of everything, and of course Mom preferred her stuff. I finally said to her, "Don't I get to keep any of my stuff?" She looked shocked, then apologized, and we kept my silverware and toaster lol. And coffeepot. My coffeepot was much better. I liked my dishes better, too, but gave them to my son. He had just divorced so needed stuff anyway. The thing is, I'm in this for the long haul. It doesn't matter whose stuff we use as long as we both like it. I'll be getting it all eventually anyway. I'm not going anywhere. If it makes her feel better to be surrounded by her belongings, let her. Some of them have memories of my dad attached to them, so she couldn't let go. I can understand that. I'm attached to our salt and pepper shakers because it's the only thing I remember that we still have from my childhood.
Whose house is this? She moved out of a two bedroom apartment to a house with gardens and a pool to care for. I had assumed it was your house initially, is it actually Mom's house? Why did she decide to move? Maybe she is thinking about moving out, selling the home, if it is hers to sell, and going to a senior living community. So, she wants some boxes and things gone so she doesn't have to think about moving that stuff. You could always rent a storage unit.
I am curious how she kept her SS and your dads?? We were told mom got the "bigger" amount, which was dads. SS took his deposit back for the month he passed and she now only gets the larger amount.. not both. Have we been "taken"?? This also was the case with my Aunt when her hubs passed, two different states..
pamzimmrrt, you are correct when it comes to Social Security... once a spouse passes on that SS no longer exist... the surviving spouse would get the higher of the two, not both. Maybe hobeclaire's Mom had her social security plus her late husband's pension.
It sounds like you both (three originally) moved in to a house new to both of you. Is that correct? Whose name is on the deed? Who pays the mortgage? Why does Mother think that the third garage stall, used for storage, is hers?

I'm sure this all makes sense but it is confusing to me. Could you explain a little more about the ownership of the house? And how much "caregiving" you provide.

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