I’m the daughter; have 3 older brothers. My parents built their dream home on a lake. My fam of 6 has lived just down the street in a subdivision.
Our lives meshed a lot—same church, shared friends, we helped them occasionally. We even purchased “lake toys”and brought them over for everyone to use while there—grandkids thrived and everyone benefitted.
As my Dad’s health failed, my mom would mention that her house was going to be too much for her. She would then ALSO talk about how great it would be for her to move into the town’s brand new senior living facility and get to “enjoy cruise ship living” one day. I got mixed messages for several years.
We had invested in a 50 acre farm, and inherited acreage—and both are places we have considered building our own final home. We aren’t “cashflow rich,” but had plans to build. Within weeks of my Dad’s death, my mom practically begged me to move my family in with her. “Take over the house! Do what you want! I don’t want to do this alone!” My husband and I began to seriously discuss our future and decided that of our choices, we felt most at home on the lake property. We began envisioning the ways we could accommodate my mom’s wishes and yet still forge our own “dream home” plans. (My husband loved my parents as much as his own—we have been together since our teens.) Other days, though, she would almost seem angry with me and even my husband. And I would think that she was regretting her “invitation.” She would even discuss HER OWN remodeling plans, and proceeded to spend several thousand dollars on new kitchen granite. I begged her to attend grief groups or get counseling to help her sort out her feelings, but she would not.
Soon, family dynamics got weird. The first odd thing my brothers did was to NOT SIGN OVER their property rights to our mom. In Louisiana, bc of forced heir laws, “good kids” sign over their rights to the surviving parent. My brothers wouldn’t do it. When she asked, they came up with lame excuses.
Then, my mom shared with them her plans to let me move in and take over all property costs/care of it and her and she was going to sell other properties and give them the money. I had planned to sell land in addition to our home, so I could pay them enough to make our gains equal. They told her how awful it would be if my family moved in with her...that the best plan was for my single brother to retire early and leave his established life and move in with her. They thought my family would crowd the house and prevent their future visits! Brother #3 even suggested she leave her lake house and move with me into my subdivision—which told me he wasn’t against us living together, he just minded MY upgrade! He wouldn’t mind at all if she “downgraded.” (Mind you, some of my neighbors live in mansions; but I don’t.)
Everything has been on hold since then. Nothing was resolved. No one talks about it. My brothers visit when they want. They don’t include me. My kids or myself take care of her yard in between their visits. They socialize there. When I’m with her, I hear of her woes, esp her fatigue in maintaining it all. I don’t believe she complains to them; or if she does, they don’t care.
I must add that each of my brothers has taken care of their own in-laws, to a great extent! Two brothers have their mother-in-laws as live-ins.
It has been 2 years since my Dad’s passing and I’m ready to move on. My mom has mentioned if I build on the farm that she is coming with me. So what then? She sells the home we would have loved to remodel? I’m in a catch 22.....either way, I take care of my mom. My brothers seem fine that she’s been alone for 2 years; I’m bothered by it daily!
I’m ticked & embarrassed by my family for the first time.
Can you all help me see around corners...I need truth and wisdom.
First world problems are still problems.