My Mother is healthy and has announced she will be moving IN with me when my father passes away. I am an only child and they did not finacially plan for their retirements.

I usually ignore these comments, because who knows what's going to happen ten or twenty years down the road. My Mother suffers for anxiety which is poorly managed, and I'm sure she's mostly ruminating on an uncertain future.

I was divorced a few years ago, and had to sell our house. I've carefully managed the proceeds from the sale and lived below my means to nuture a nest egg so I may purchase my very own house! I'm very excited to finally have something of my own that's not dependent on anyone else.

When I announced my plans, the very first response from my Mother was a list of demands. "Make sure I have space. We will need parking and no stairs!"

My feelings are hurt. I didn't even get a congratulations or any excitement. Besides she knows the neighborhood I want to live in is all old brownstone townhouses. I'm not moving far away from my job now so she maybe can have a flat home to stay in someday. Oh, and I also never invited her.

How do I handle this over the holidays? She will inevitably bring it up. She sulks and pouts and holds grudges if you are firm with her at all. I also want to be humane because I know anxiety is hard. I have no siblings and children, so I'll eventually be in elder care myself, which is something I'm also saving for. She's put a real damper on my holidays and home shopping.

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Go right out and buy yourself a ONE bedroom, ONE bathroom condo with no room to expand! Also, invest in ONE knife, ONE fork and ONE spoon, and likewise ONE bowl, ONE plate and ONE cup.

Gee mother, I'd love to have you but there is just NO room at the inn!!

Seriously, though. When my mentally ill anxiety ridden mother told me that she and dad would be moving in with ME rather than spend 'all that money' in Assisted Living, I let her know IMMEDIATELY that such a thing was NOT an option. Period. I too am an only child, and not interested in cohabitating with my mother again. Once was MORE than enough, as a kid, and all I ever wanted to do was get OUT of there. Anxiety and depression and sulking and pouting is just TOO MUCH nonsense to bear.

Don't do it.

Let your feelings be known NOW, and let your mother alone to sulk and pout. She can make an appointment at the doctor's office for some medication to help her with the issues she suffers with, unless she enjoys the conditions and uses them to her advantage. Hint hint.

Lay down the law. Your mother is healthy and probably relatively young. Think about it.......she may have 20 or 30 YEARS left to live. Do you want no privacy for the next few decades? And to deal with these histrionics??

Your mother's 'financial planning' for her elder years includes Social Security and living within her monthly allowance, as it does for MANY, MANY senior citizens. It is not written anywhere that a parent automatically moves in with their children! Do not let her bamboozle you and make any 'announcements' to you. It's YOUR turn to make an announcement to HER!

Best of luck
Helpful Answer (27)
Love it! Great answer.
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Look into 55 and up income based senior apartments in your area and put her name on the wait list. You may also want to place her on a section 8 wait list for the elderly. You don’t have to go along with her plans
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What a great idea! These places always have waiting lists. She can know that she has helped her mom plus solve a problem for herself too by showing her mom that she is not abandoning her.

Not that she owes her this. Of course her mom may not approve of it either but oh well... Worth a try! OP still doesn’t have to back down and let mom move in. If her mom brings it up she has tell her that she is not going to change her mind and allow her to move in.
I agree with the above answers given here for you! My mother had the nerve to have all her items boxed up and sent to my house about 15 years ago (not even warning me beforehand that she was going to do this!). I refused to accept the shipment; my mother was ticked off with me, but then bought her own home about ten miles away from us. She developed dementia/Alzheimer's about seven years ago, and I stepped in to take over her affairs, placed her in a home, and made sure she was well-taken care of. She passed away about a year ago, and I do not regret my decision to not accept her into our home. She was looking for someone to take care of her and we simply did not have a close relationship; it would have been an overwhelming burden for our family and a strain on our already tenuous marriage.
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Beatty Oct 2019
Respect to you. Common sence prevails over manipulation or guilt.
”No” is a complete sentence. When my MIL health declined, my wife insisted we move her in. I was fully on board with this. Didn’t think MIL would last 6 months. But we nursed her back to health. During this time it became clear we could not live with her.

My wife came to the decision that it just could not work. I had the 2 hour talk with MIL that she needed to respect our home, and live within our rules or go back to her house which she was preparing to sell.

Once she realized I was not budging on this decision she lashed out and attacked for an hour. Attacked me, My marriage, her daughter, her grandchildren. Everyone around her was just terrible. I did not respond directly to any of her complaints, I just calmly kept saying “it sounds like you aren’t happy here”. She chose to go back to her home over living with her own daughter.

We dodged a bullet. Our lives would have been miserable, my wife was already filled with resentment for her mother after just six months. This grieved her so much. She loves her mom but if we lived together the relationship would have been destroyed.

After she moved out, things were pretty frosty between us for about a year. But now wounds on all sides have healed a bit, MIL is still healthy in her own home, and now we get along very well. When her health declines again some day, we will find her assisted care somewhere, we know living with us is not an option.

Keep your our eye on the long term relationship. Your misplaced sense of duty or guilt may destroy the very relationship you are trying to protect. You can ensure she is safe and cared for without being under the same roof.
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"You can ensure she is safe and cared for without being under the same roof."

DING DING DING DING DING!!! This is something those who stipulate that we ALL have a duty to and should (?must?) take care of our parents need to understand!

If one can take a parent in and all goes well, fine. However this is not for everyone. There can be many reasons why it can't or won't work! Many like you and your wife found out the hard way. Some also find out the hard way that they are stuck in the mire with no way out.` Some demand kicking parent (or whoever) to the curb without even considering anything else! The happy place is what works best for all.

While it may be a noble gesture to want to do this or try to do this, it doesn't always work out like in the movies or for those few that it does work for. If one wants to and it does work, great. If not, well at least you tried. Personally I knew even before the dementia that there was no way I could take care of my mother in my house or her condo - myriad reasons, including physical health on both sides, but one CAN advocate for and see to it that a parent gets a safe place to live and the best care for their own situation.

Hats off to you, first for having the courage to take on the awful task of telling MIL it isn't going to work (2 hours!!!) AND second for being able to tolerate her backlash for an hour, calmly! Wow!
Buy the house you plan for yourself, and enjoy your life there. If Mom won't be comfortable there it is irrelevant. If she complains that she won't be able to live there say, "I understand; when you are ready we will find you a place (nearby?) that you will be comfortable in" and do it. Keep to this a simple conversation and don't let her debate about what you should do and why. If she fusses at you, just explain concisely that you have to plan now for your own senior years. Say as little as possible. She is old and insecure and not thinking about you in any way other than what she perceives as your responsibility to care for her. She is forgetting that you must first care for yourself.
Helpful Answer (20)

You do realize that your mom is mentally ill, right?

This is not normal behavior. Call it narcissism, lack of boundaries, no filter, it IS mental illness.

It will get worse as she ages, especially if dementia sets in.

Is she seeing a psychiatrist to manage her anxiety?

Have you read a book by Townsend and Cloud called Boundaries? You need to start setting good ones. You need to develop a thick skin so that her comments dont hurt you. Consider individual therapy.

I would also strongly advise travelling for the holidays this year. Dont give her an opportunity to pout.

Were you allowed to pout as a child? Was your every whim catered to?
Helpful Answer (18)
lealonnie1 Oct 2019
Awesome advice!!! I second it, wholeheartedly. And LOVE the 'travel for the holidays this year' suggestion! I actually took a job where I will be WORKING for the holidays this year, thank you God.
Please tell us you have no intention at all ever of having her live with you! The tone of your post kind of hints at you maybe giving in later on? Don't do it!
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Congratulations on saving up enough so you can have something of your very own! GOOD ON YOU!
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You tell her, "I have no intention of moving you in with me. I will always be around to look after your well-being but you are NOT moving in with me. Let's look at your finances and start making a plan now for your future needs." Then, investigate local senior apartments for her that will be somewhat closeby to you.
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AlvaDeer Oct 2019
I wish I could be this beautifully concise and compact in my answers. Please tell Tiger I am TRYING!
Short and sweet. It’s your life, your money, your house!

Congrats on buying a house, by all means enjoy it. You’ve earned it!

Just be honest and tell her it isn’t in your plan to have her live with you.

You sound pretty damn smart to me, a responsible grown woman. I don’t think you will have an issue articulating your feelings.
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