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Anyone have any tips getting along with 3 generations in the house? My husband is always saying its US that has to change any time there's a conflict.. MIL is 81 and doesn't let anyone watch anything but the news all day and then gets mad when my kids don't hang out in the living room with her. They prefer their rooms with their own TV, computers and video games.. She thinks they sleep too late (my son works til midnight) and feels they should do more chores. Both have jobs with 30-40 hours a week but are not financially ready to move out . How do we all get along better? I am tired of fighting with my husband about this. help!

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I'm one of those people who doesn't understand a 4-person family moving in with an 81-year-old to help her. You're sure asking for trouble. Her turf...three generations...two matriarchs...a husband/son stuck in the middle. Yikes.

You have invaded her space. Poster above sure has the right idea about your kids. They could be an absolute joy to your MIL...if they each spent just 30 minutes a day with her. As you describe their schedules, working a lot, school, retreating to their rooms...they aren't family, they're boarders.

I don't understand why you are fighting with your husband about this, though. Why is that?
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I had to tell people "No, you are not moving in with my mother." I just knew it would not work out. It was her house.

If I was college aged and asked to get along with my folks AND grandma, I would find somewhere else to live.

Of course, a lot depends on who is paying for what. If grandma is paying for the cable bill, I guess she can have the tv on whatever channel she likes.

I feel like all of this wasn't worked out, before you moved in. Can you all move back, where you were before?
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Michele77, OMG. You thought you would instantly be one big happy family and that moving in to MILs big house would be just great... and hubby did too, or at least agreed with you. No, the right answer is not that you change and adapt totally to everything. No, you and the kids don't need to be criticized and browbeaten non-stop. You don't need them to hole up in their rooms and just stay out of wrath's way. Yes - you need marital and maybe family counseling, but not "when this is over" - now! MILs point of view is undoubtedly that its her house and things should be her way, and I'm sure she welcomes the changes in her life that necessitated someone moving in like she'd welcome a hole in the head, but that does not make her totally right. Nor does it make her always wrong. The little things have to be negotiated for the big resentments not to fester, and you can't negotiate properly if the only strategy is that "we have to change and give in."
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You should be very proud of your children for going to school and holding down jobs. And helping with chores. And spending a little bit of time each day with grandma. Very proud indeed. Good job, momma! They are trying their best to live in an intolerable situation.

When we moved my mother (94 & mid to late stage dementia) in with us, I thought we would be like the Waltons .... one big happy family. HA!

We all had our own spaces, with lots of common areas as well. Stupid big house. Mom had her own bedroom, bathroom, and sitting room on the 1st floor, which was close to the common areas (kitchen, family room). My sons were all working full time & preparing to leave the nest. One (25) lived in our basement with his new bride so they could save like mad for a house of their own. Another (22) and his GF had a large room on the 2nd floor of the house. Third (21) shared a bathroom with them and had his own bedroom/privacy. Hubby and I rounded it out & we had our own bathroom.

They all paid rent, did chores, did their own laundry, paid their own bills, and sometimes we would eat together or watch a movie or have a few beers or just talk. Even when friends of sons came over, Mom was welcome to be right in there & did so at times. Those were the Walton times.

However..........we just couldn't do it. We lasted about 3 months. Mom wasn't really happy, wanting someone -- anyone -- with her at all times. Nope, wasn't gonna happen. We are all adults with lives and interests of our own. Which made that sweet old lady pout and be crabby. Plus, she was up and down all night, which meant no one else got much sleep.

We put her in assisted living about 4 months ago, and we are still trying to recover from the upheaval she caused in our lives. Life goes on and changes constantly. Sounds like your MIL is unhappy and angry at the life she has now and wants her old carefree life back. Yeah, we all do, too.

Please, put your family 1st and figure out something where you live separate from MIL.
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My mantra - your first responsibility is to your husband and children and his is the same; you and the kids. His responsibility is to see that his Mom is well cared for and safe....not to distance his own family. Caregiving can destroy marriages and families; also, the physical and emotional health of the prime time caregiver. If you are determined to live like this, family counseling for everyone is a must. Hopefully you can get MIL involved as well. Communication and respect for each other is the key. If your family and MIL had a wonderfully, loving and close relationship before then maybe it will be okay with help from a counselor.

You and the hubs need time away, maybe a weekend a month. The kiddos are getting ready to leave the nest and that brings a bit of pre-separation before final flight. Your family is in a totally different season than MIL and I am sure it is all more than she envisioned. Start planning now so you don't do this to your children. Good luck!
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Was this husbands idea and is he demanding that you all stick it out? Maggie makes a very good point. Y'all move in to an 81 year old lady's house and change her whole life. How much assistance does she need? Get your own place for your family and get he in home help. I don't see your current arrangements working at all.
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She can no longer care for herself and her house was bigger. Since I pay all the bills I dont consider us boarders..or my kids since they were still living with me. all this was to help her out, i wasnt about to get rid of my family to do so. My kids do chores in front of her, do their own laundry etc, but she always has negative things to say about everything. that starts arguments with everyone and my poor husband get stuck in the middle. Its terribly difficult to get her involved in what we do, We have tried getting her to play board games, or go out to dinner with us whenever possible but she only likes to watch TV.. I am going to need family therapy after this.. I was trying to do the right thing and thought it would be good for us..We never had these problems before
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I'm a long distance caregiver for my parents. I Visit often and stay for a week or two. I care for my folks but I sure as h*ll don't want to live with people in their mid 80s. It's 85 degrees in the winter and 60 in the summer. I'm not allowed to open a window. I can only watch so much today show and wheel of fortune. I'm 60 and not particularly hip, and I can imagine how much teenagers and 20 something's would like it there. My folks are not grouchy or demanding but it's stressful for all of us adapting to these visits. This is a piece of cake compared to what you're going through. If this is not resolved you risk long term damage to you and your family's relationships.
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I am living your life. I tell dad that most of us are too warm and i give him a sweater. My father also likes his own shows. If my daughter comes home from school and sits with him in family room I always tell her to say pop let's find a show we both like. If he is adamant about watching his show and not having company then my daughter will go to another room. Sometimes they compromise and sometimes they don't. Before we bought our new house, my family would spend all our waking hours at my parents then some would go home to sleep and myself and one grandchild would stay the night because they wasn't enough room for all to sleep there. My father would always complain that there were school bags all around the living room. The kids carried their bags from one house to another. Every time he mentioned I would just say there are 7 people living her now not just 2. I got to the point where I would ignore a lot of the comments. Sometimes I would just say we are all doing our best under the circumstances. I also sat down with dad and said if you would like company you need to be a little more flexible with the TV. My father walks around the house for exercise then will say, this is out, put that away, then I would have to say I don't have 3 hands and I haven't sat down all day. I am not kicking my kids out, not an option for me either. Sometimes I have to say I gave you a shower today and went food shopping, the floors will get cleaned tomorrow. I stopped stressing over everything and just let many of the comments go without a response. I leave things for my dad to do. Empty dishwasher, fold towels, shred old papers, this keeps him busy and stops the comments. Sometimes he says I don't feel like doing it so when he says to me that there is a puke if wash in the laundry room I look at him and say I just don't feel like doing it now. Worked for me. I know I rambled on and am typing this in my phone so I can't even go back and see what I wrote. Don't let moms comments stress you out.
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Move out. Being there is causing problems between you and hubs and it's causing problems for your children. I plan to NEVER live with my MIL who I am currently looking after from 40 or 50 feet away. If she gets to where she can't live by herself, she can live with other family if they want her to or she can go into a nursing home. Not trying to be mean but we've had issues with her not respecting us as parents in the past, not respecting that this is OUR home and she can't just show up and walk in whenever she wants, etc. She's finally learned that we will not allow her to do those things but I could see my marriage going straight downhill if we had to live with her. I'll do what I can to help her out from another home but will never live with her. As it is now we want to move but we can't afford it. All that to say, MOVE or you and your husband will resent her and each other, and your kids will resent all of you. Just get out of there.
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