Am I selfish and a bad daughter for not wanting my mother to live with me right now?

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My father was diagnosed with dementia and is in a home. Its been very hard on us. My mom is about 62 years old, has a great job, and in good health. But due to my dad's illness is extremely depressed. I live in another state and just got married last month. About 4 months ago, my mom called me stating I need to fly home every four weeks to help her with my dad. I already have been flying there a ton. Then about 3 weeks ago she told me she may retire early and come live with me.


There wasn't really a question if this would be ok, she just said its cheaper to live where I do and she could better pay for my dad's needs here and live with me. I told her I would love for her to be near and that would be ok short term, but I think maybe her living near me, not with me would be better. Keep in mind in the past I have had to move out of my mother's home because she became very demanding of my time and very involved in my personal life. It didn't go well. So I told my brother I had a lot of anxiety about my mom wanting to live with me. I am newly married and that's an adjustment in itself. It also doesn't seem necessary. She is in good health. Makes six figures. She is just lonely. My brother responded calling me selfish and that I should be ashamed of myself. He said he would take care of it and to basically "have a nice life" and doesn't speak with me now.


Then the other day as I was telling my mom to visit, and spend a few days with me. She is off work for a couple months and maybe us spending time together would help. But she doesn't really want to. Instead, she said maybe she would come but wanted to talk to my husband and me about giving her money every month to help. And I honestly was floored-and didn't know what to say. She has money, a pension, my dad's inheritance is pending but she has gotten some of it, and a house almost paid off with a ton of value. I asked her if she had explored these options first and she brushed it off stating she cant tap into that-that would ruin her future. My response was, lets explore other options first. I have things I'm paying off, I'm getting a house, and planning to have a baby soon (I'm 34 yrs old). So I made my decision and ended up telling her I didn't think this was something I can do right now.


Although I do understand my dad's care is very expensive. Maybe later on, but right now I don't think so because I don't think it's healthy. I really feel like my mom is having a hard time grieving and is depending on me to take on her responsibilities. I don't think it's healthy. I suggested counseling to help her through this or support groups. But she just says yeah and doesn't do it. So I feel bad about it because I don't like seeing her in pain. It's hard placing boundaries with her but I feel I have to because I have seen what it has done to me when I haven't in the past. And I am highly concerned if I go along with her requests it will have negative affects on my marriage. In fact, I know it will. If this was absolutely necessary for my mom, that would be totally different. I do do everything I can to help. I make appointments for her. I do research. I'm the one that found the home for my dad. I call insurance carriers. I pay for tickets there. I offered to pay for her airplane ticket to come visit. But it seems like it's never enough to my family and I'm feeling a ton of pressure. So my question is, am I being unreasonable here? Am I a selfish daughter?

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You are being perfectly reasonable, both your mother and brother are being unreasonable.

Keep firm on your boundaries.

Your mother is young at 62, she could easily live another 30 years. There is no reason your mother should not be handling her appointments etc. Her depression will not ease if she comes to live with you, but it sounds like your life would be turned upside down.

Being that you said she has a couple months off now, I guess she works in education. She probably has coverage for counselling through her health benefits. It is up to her to want to feel better and take the next step.

You do not owe your parents any financial support, they have the means to pay their way.

If Mum moves closer to you and moves Dad to a nearby facility, she may decide you have to take over all of Dad's extra needs, so she can 'enjoy' her retirement.

You are 34, you are allowed to say 'No' to your mother. You do not need to provide an explanation.

Let your brother "Take Care of It".
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Reply to Tothill
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To answer your questions, no. I think you are setting healthy boundaries so please stick to them for your own peace of mind. You first owe it to yourself to have a good life. You are a newlywed, and perhaps will soon be a mom. You and your husband are independent and making your own lives and you deserve to have it without feeling restricted by the expectations of a parent who does not seem to have needs beyond loneliness.
What you've already offered in ways of visits, paying for mom to see you, finding a place for your dad, etc. seems great. I worry about expectations and demands that will only get more intrusive if your mom moves in, and risk of damage to your marriage, perhaps relationships with your child and overall "mood" in your home. This site is filled with stories about it. I think your approach so far is a good one.
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Reply to GingerMay
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I don't think you're being selfish at all. You're newly married and your family has to respect that. You're a separate person, not an extension of your family, and they need to respect that too. They can't just tap into your resources at will as if they belonged to the whole family.

I think it's amazingly presumptuous for your mother to just assume that she can move in with you, and to expect you and your husband to contribute money every month. You have your own needs and future to think about. Your brother is trying to guilt and bully you into catering to your mother's wishes, which really is unfair.

Your parents didn't consult you about how they spent their money, and I doubt she'd consult you about her finances even if your were contributing to them. I personally would not agree to give anyone money on a regular basis unless I had access to their financial information and at least some input into how the funds were spent.

I hope you'll stand up for yourself, your marriage, and your own future, and not let yourself get dragged down the rabbit hole.
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Reply to CarlaCB
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That was another hurtful issue. When I told my brother I couldn't do what she was asking of me (even though I understood how hard it is for him being closer to her with more demands), he made fun of my illness. He has never been a believer in phsychiatric care. he always thought I should just get over it. He never understood and I never forced him to. We just don't talk about it really because I don't need him to understand. But when I suggested that mom is depressed and could perhaps use counseling-he told me to look in the mirror etc etc. That he would take care of her. That's so bizarre to me. Whatever he thinks, im taking care of myself. I'm healthier than ive ever been. And i get the feeling they dont like that im finally putting boundaries that were needed long ago.
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Reply to SErickson
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I agree with Shaking, you r the one Mom thinks she can manipulate. Please don't allow it. Do not allow her to live with you "till she finds a place". She will never find it. Stick by your guns and make sure your husband reiterates that she cannot live with you.

Shaking, think brother is manipulated too. Woman is making good money and has son doing her taxes, etc. I think SErickson and brother both have been manipulated by Mom.

SErickson Dads care is Moms responsibility. Maybe Mom should consider not retiring so there is money for Dads care. Did Dad spoil her so now she expects her children to do for her. Time for Mom to get her "big girl" panties on. She should go to a Medicaid lawyer to see how she can protect her half of what she and Dad own. That way his half pays for his care. Once its gone, Medicaid can be filed for.

You have a very good reason why you can't take Mom in. You are entitled to have time for your new marriage and future children. I assume part or all of your stress comes from living with Mom.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Keep your boundaries up. Way up. And a big fat NO to Mom moving in with you.

So Mom is bored? Not your fault. Not your problem.

Mom is more than financially solvent. This means you Just Say No to her crazy talk about how she needs some of your money. Again, NO.

Take care of yourself and your mental health. All day, every day. Nurture your marriage — without family interference.

You know you need to keep your distance from Mom. That’s why you’ve done just that all these years. Self-preservation.

Don’t fall for Mom’s increased drama. She lost her audience and her “cause” (your father). Now Mom is casting about for her “narcissist feed.” (If you are unfamiliar with that term, Google it.)

Stay strong. It is totally OK to reject Mom’s senseless demands. You can be a loving daughter without being Mom’s puppet. But you’ll always have to keep your guard up. Just accept it — and act accordingly.

Don’t mourn the “loss” of your brother too much. If this is all it took for him to turn on you, he was probably never really a caring supportive sibling. No matter how much you wanted him to be.

This forum is full of folks who saw their siblings’ true colors when the parents got needy. Sad, but you are in good company.

Cut your losses and take care of YOU. Don’t dwell on the fact that your family of origin is the way they are. You didn’t break them, and you can’t fix them.

Be fully present for your husband. Build a good life together. ((((hugs))))
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Reply to BlackHole
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Don't do it . Not even for a temp time, as once she is in, you will never get her out. Very selfish of her to demand this of you, and that is only a picture of what it would be like if she were with you. I just don't understand the demandingness of these parents sometimes. Though your mom is closer in me to age than I am to you.
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Reply to Karsten
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You are not a bad daughter and in my opinion you absolutely NEED to be selfish in this situation if you want to survive it.

Be as emotionally supportive of your mother as possible without damaging yourself. I'm thinking phone calls here, not expensive trips because she insists on seeing you. Do not get sucked into financial contributions or the demands will never end. And under no circumstances should you let her move in with you! Your mother is being unreasonable and unfair and would take over your life if you let her.

Congratulations on your marriage! Focus on yourself and your new family. I wish you a wonderful life together.
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Reply to paperlady
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Do not have your mother live with you - you already know this will be a train wreck and could cost you your marriage. Also - do not give her money - she doesn't need it. She needs to manage herself. Tough love. It worked with my mom when my sister and I turned off the tap.
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Reply to Kimber166
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Thanks everyone. Actually my brother has offered to have her live with him (that's why he is so angry with me, because I don't agree and am not offering the same). But she doesnt want to-or hasnt taken the offer. i dont get it. It makes more sense for her to live with him as he is an hour away and I'm states away. But she wants to live with me. And it isn't like she isn't close to him or anything. In fact she sees him 4-5 times a week because she calls him almost daily to do tasks for her. Like help her with things around the house, filing taxes, setting up cable-I mean everything. And he has 2 toddlers and a newborn. And I agree shakingdustoff, in addition to being lonely she is freaking out that she wont be able to pay for my dad's monthly care because she doesn't have a long term healthcare plan for him and is paying out of pocket. It's a mess. I agree-I am going to try hard and stick with my decision (and ignore the guilt trips)!
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Reply to SErickson
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