My husband and I decided to move in with my 61 year old mother when my 26 year old sister left home for the first time in May of last year. This was intended to be a 3-6 month ordeal; my mother has never lived alone and we were worried as she had recently broken her arm and we figured we could save a bit of money and find a home we really loved in the process. We we're hoping to just help her get on her feet and a bit more independent... and this has completely backfired. A couple months after we moved in she quit her job and does not intend to find another one (told me she did, fessed up later that she is not looking). We also found out around the same time that we are expecting our first child. I am doing my best to help her, but this has become a complicated pregnancy and I am stressed to the max. She does not clean up after herself or her animals, she does not eat unless she is served, she sleeps until noon and watches TV all day. There is no one left to help her, most of my family keeps their distance from her and she's the type to only keep friends that give her things. I am 29 weeks pregnant and devoting the majority of my time, effort and remaining strength to keeping her afloat. She inherited a decent amount of money from my grandfather that she is trying to live off of as well as our assistance, but I have no idea how much it is or how long she can dip into it because any talk of finances turns into lashing out, yelling and scolding because it is "uncooth to talk about money". So far we've gotten her set up with social security upon her turning 62 in November (which was like pulling teeth to get necessary information for from her) and she will only be getting 400-500 a month. I have also started the process for medical coverage for her and attempted to try and get her to talk to a financial advisor to no avail. My husband wants to work toward a POA type of situation as she refuses to take care of herself, but I'm not sure if that could work because she is not disabled in any way and is able bodied and sound of mind at first glance, and I doubt she would relinquish any control. I'm putting my health at risk from taking care of her, but I know that if she won't she WILL NOT do anything to help herself; she has already in her life destroyed a home from hoarding and pet damage/negligence, and that was with more people available to help her. Her current house was stacked halfway to the ceiling with mess in some areas, we now have the place to presentable shape. My sister is out of the question for any help, she has asked me to stop talking to her about my mother and has all but stopped talking to me since I got pregnant. Any advice on where to go from here? I feel completely stuck and am not even sure where to start with a real solution.

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I'm 61 and this is unbelievable to me......My kids come first and foremost & I know I taught them that THEIR kids come first.


Seriously, your mom is 61 and unable to work or do anything? You must put your family first, hubby and new baby.

I'd want to see you walk away from this altogether. She has proven she can't/won't take care of herself and she'll let you feed into that as much as possible.

The dream house can wait. Your sanity and health and the baby's health are far more important than fussing an able bodied woman. Move out as soon as possible. STOP helping mom, she doesn't appreciate it and will use you until you drop.
Helpful Answer (4)

I am so sorry that you are experiencing this stress.
I think you have Stockholm Syndrome : ) that is when you start to empathize with your captors! Just a little joke, I know it is no joke what you are experiencing.
But I have been in the situation where I was SO close to it-I could not see the reality. You say that your mother is competent mentally. So that means you have no option of trying to control her choices. Trying to do so will only hurt your emotional and physical health.
It sounds like she is depressed. She might be able to benefit from counseling and medication-but she does not sound open to that option. I hope that you take the advice here and plan to move out asap.
She has resources, she has the ability to live on her own. She has just decided to dump this on you and sit and refuse all advice on how she can make a better life for herself. This is very sad. But you will not fix this-and to continue to try is to sacrifice yourself, your marriage and your baby to insanity.
I would not engage in any arguments. Just let her know you love her and care for her to be happy. Also, you and your husband are moving out on X date and you really appreciated the chance to live with her but now it is time for you to start your own home before the baby comes. Any argument or name calling or anger can be responded to with as much (brief) compassion as you can muster "I'm sorry you are so frustrated, Mom" "I hope you can understand, Mom" "We care about you and hope you will feel better about this decision" etc. DO NOT engage in argument or an explanation. Just a kind smile and brief response.
Best of luck to you, please do not get absorbed into this madness.
Helpful Answer (5)

Make plans to move out as soon as possible. Have you found your dream home yet? Move out even if you have to temporarily rent an apartment.

Your mother can fend for herself. That baby is 100% dependent on you. Your family unit MUST come first. You must maintain a strong marriage and good health. No one else can do it for your baby.

Stop enabling your mother. I feel sorry for her; she probably has mental health problems. But you haven't been able to fix that so far and there is no evidence that will change.

Try to maintain a relationship with your sister -- baby's aunt! Don't talk about mother. If it bothers her (why?) don't talk about the pregnancy. Talk about books or movies or the weather. Just keep the lines of communication open.
Helpful Answer (3)

OK...your first obligation is to your unborn child - the stress you are under could do real damage to that child's health in utero. To say nothing about your health, your husband's health, your marriage and your child's future. No question here, morally you must take care of yourself. Now as you describe mom, she is competent and there is no question of guardianship. Do you really want POA? This does not really give you much power if your elder is competent and rejects what you are trying to accomplish. It just gets you further into the morass. I think you have done what you could and it is not working and if is going to get MUCH worse. I know you mean well, but you are enabling her. Probably there is mental illness involved and you are not a professional - don't imagine you can fix her. Make plans to get out as soon as possible. Start a decent and happy family life. Mom is going to do what she wants anyway, whatever you try to do to help her. She will sink, or swim, but you must not go down with her.
Helpful Answer (7)

You cannot control another person, you can only make decisions about yourself.

You now have a family of your own, and you need to do what's best for your husband and child. OR You can wait for years as the situation deteriorates, your husband may leave, your child gets sick from eating dog poop, etc.

Set a deadline of when you are moving out and start making plans.
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