Mom just moved in and is driving us crazy.

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I feel like I shouldn't complain, some of you guys on here have it REALLY tough with mentally and/or physically ill parents. I am lucky, my 81 yo mom is healthy and active. That's part of the problem, really. My wife and I are very much loners, always have been. Our best 'date' night is steaks and a movie - at home - and we like it that way. That's why we get along so well, we are both introverted and extroverts make us a little crazy. I don't think we realized that Mom would talk, 24/7, about anything and everything that enters her mind. "Time to make some coffee now!"; "Guess I'm going to have a banana!"; "Going out to get the mail!"...that sort of thing. In addition to this, she's VERY passive aggressive. We are accustomed to saying what we think when we think it, asking for what we want when we want it, and are very unused to someone forever asking "Wouldn't you guys like it better if the coffee maker were over HERE?" "Wouldn't it help you if I would organize under your sink?". This is constant and we are about to go crazy. NO, we like the coffee maker where it is, thanks and NO we don't need our shelves 'organized', thanks. Our new constant phrase is "No mom, thanks, we don't need for that to be done". We have tried to make her feel useful by mentioning some things she CAN do to help, but that is usually met with resistance. She's also wanting us to go places and do things with her that we just have no interest in. She lived alone prior to this and went out on her own all the time to make friends and be social. Keep in mind that she is completely physically able to be out by herself, so that's not the issue...would be a different story if she weren't. Sorry for the rant but we could really use some advice from anyone who has experienced a similar problem. We HAVE tried to talk with her, nicely, about how we just really like to be left alone most of the time and she says that is a "cold" and "unnatural" way to live. Uuggghhh. Nooooo, not for us it isn't. No children living with us, I'm 46 and my wife is 60. She has grown kids living in another state, I do not have children so at least that's not an issue! Again. .sorry for the rant.


A person with strong social drive and a need to be doing things does quite well at Independent Living or in Assisted Living, where there are activities morning noon and night, social dining, bus trips and entertainment. Like going on a cruise that never leaves the dock. Have her try it for a month.
My mom was always wanting to "do stuff" and rearrainge.. after awhile we just left her. She was bored and trying to keep busy. My hubs and I are like you,, we rarely go out. had just gotten daughter moved out..... opps, here came the folks. We do take her to the casino once every 6 weeks or so. Could you get her a church or a volunteer situation so she has some outside interests, and you get a break?
Thank you for the suggestion - we did discuss it. Problem was that she 'wasn't ready' for IL or AL and we had recently bought a house. We would have done that anyway...but probably would have gone smaller if she didn't want to move here to be closer to us. She moved across country with a million boxes of stuff that we just got moved in and still have tons of stuff piled in the garage (another issue, we are minimalists, she's a pack rat). The original plan was for her to come stay with us a few months to see how it went but the expense of her going back and forth and keeping her residence there proved to be quite a bit so she just...moved here. She does go to events at the places you mentioned, though.
"Wasn't ready" for AL or IL? Actually she sounds like a perfect candidate. Given that she's gregarious and outgoing, perhaps it's time for a nice casual, nonthreatening chat to explain your lifestyle and YOUR home life vs. what she wants. If there's enough room for her to have a little apartment in her own area of your house, she could manage that to her heart's content, but clearly she's a dominant personality in terms of the way she wants to order her surroundings, so some accommodation needs to be made if she's to continue to live with you.

If she's really uncomfortable with the way your house is arranged, it might be time to re-introduce the concept of AL or IL.

The idea of finding activities for her is a good one though; sounds like she's fairly mobile, so she could find not only activities in which to become involved, but charitable work as well.

Meals on Wheels needs help delivering meals to homebound seniors; they might need assistance in packing the meals as well. Hospitals sometimes have need for people in gift shops; the VA in our area has someone to go from one area to another in the outpatient building and offer reading material to patients and family waiting to be seen.

Food pantries need help sorting and assembling (and perhaps organizing, which your mother might enjoy). Some senior centers also need staffing help.

Animals shelters might need help working with the animals; some libraries have programs by which children read to therapy dogs; an older person might be appropriate as well if she has a soft, comforting voice.

There are groups that make crocheted, knitted and quilted items for military personnel, for babies in NICU units.

She could also call 211 and ask which charities might need volunteer help.

I'm not clear - has she actually sold her house?
She's not really a church person but we are trying to get her out and about as much as possible! Part of the problem too is that I work from home and my wife works nights. So I'm on my own all day with her - and it's difficult to explain that while I'm in my office, I'm working. If I were to go to a 9-5 she certainly wouldn't call me every five minutes with questions but it's ok to come in my home office every five minutes!
Why did she move in with you in the first place? You all sound like very nice folks but I think you made a huge mistake. It's just a matter of incompatibility. I would be trying to figure out how to undo this.
She moved in because she lived thousands of miles away and I am her only child. She has buried two husbands. All of her friends are dying and we couldn't move back to be close to her ad still make a living. We have had the nice casual, nonthreatening chat to explain our lifestyle and our home life vs. what she wants. She has her own wing, where she can do whatever she wants to her hearts content. I was speaking more from a psychological standpoint. I guess this is not the place for me to talk, I did not mean to offend anyone.
Sansnems - I certainly can't see that you have offended anyone. To better offer fitting suggestions to help, commenters may be asking questions in hopes of understanding the "big picture". For my two cents I agree with Pamstegma. Independent Living could be a great fit for your mother. I know it took a lot of work getting mom moved in but being as at her age she is unlikely to change - a perhaps even get more clingy and dependent on you, wouldn't it be worth the effort to move her into IL if that could solve your problem? Do some homework and find a couple nice retirement communities in your area. Tour them and if you think it's an even remote possibility mom would like it - take her for a tour. Maybe mom just needs to see one up close and in action to erase any nursing home type fears. The one my mom lived in was so posh I actually hope that if it comes down to it - I can live in a place like that. Small putting golf course, health spa with pool and state of the art equipment, hair salon, art studio with classes, movie theater - and not a dinky one either, coffee shop, ice cream store, on site bank, non denominal church, two restaurants/dining room, housekeeping, bus trips to the beach, casino, symphony, museums, botanical gardens...I could go on and on. All the ladies I saw who lived there took pride in their appearance and looked fabulous. They lunched, played bridge, had book clubs - did that Red Hat thing. Are you sure that type of life couldn't temp a social butterfly like your mom?
You have every right to expect privacy in your office. Make it off-limits.
Spring is coming, set her up with a garden-and a garden companion to help her. You all will adjust. This is doable.
She sounds so lonely! I agree that touring some senior living places would be a good idea.

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