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I am very frustrated. My father passed a while back & my mom has lived with us since. It's definitely hard b/c she's very codependent (lived with an alcoholic 40+ years). I am the last child of the family and left home ASAP when I turned 18. I could not stand to live around the alcoholism & dysfunctions that go along with that. Well, I was out of the house 7 years and that's when she moved in with us. She is financially irresponsible and will gamble or give all her money away. She was lending family members 600+ or probably more monthly and would not get it back. She is an impulsive buyer and does not believe in saving. She does not have health insurance & does not have life either. My husband and I pay for everything but for some reason she still ends up broke & overdrawn at the end of the month. At this point I do not know what to do. Any conversation I have had with her of getting her own place is interpreted as, "you don't love me, you hate me, you don't care". I have a sister who will not even think of taking her in. My mom is physically healthy & capable of managing her own household but does not want to. I'm just tired of this situation & would like to continue on with my own life. I have tried to talk about finances & helping her create a budget and have talked to her many many times about saving & buying herself things & self care. This goes in one ear & out the other. She complains that she has not bought herself anything in "forever" that she cries saying she was finally able to buy pants. She brings in nearly 3k a month (retirement, social security, my dad's pension) and does not pay for a single thing. What can I do? Please help, I feel like I'm stuck in a revolving door trying talking to the glass that just does not get it. :(

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Holy cow! I am 68 years old. My husband died 6 months ago. I am reasonably healthy, except for depression and diabetes (both being treated). How come I don't get to go freeload on one of my kids? How come they don't provide my meals and my entertainment and my lodging while I can do whatever I want with my retirement income?

How come? Because all of my children are smart, independent, loving, and reasonable adults. None of them would put up with my whining two days (if I could stand to do it that long).

You realize, don't you, that Mom may live another 30 years. Is this how you want to spend the next two or three decades?

You don't need to convince your mother. You don't need for her to "get it." You simply need to set a realistic deadline for when she has to be out. Offer to help her find a place, if she wants your help. But one way or another she must be out by such-and-such a date. Don't fall for the "You don't love me" crap. Many a parent has heard that from a child, "All my friends get to do this. You don't love me!" "If you really cared you'd buy me my own car," etc. etc. Responsible parents don't allow themselves to be blackmailed this way. You shouldn't, either.

Was she always self-centered?

How you talk to her is in plain, unemotional English, repeating yourself as often as necessary. "Mom, this arrangement is not working out. Hubby and I need our privacy back. We were happy to give you a little time to get back on your feet, and now it is time for you to find a place of your own. We expect you to be out of here by the end of July."
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Hi bobbyblue12, I hope you can find some peace with treating your mom like the responsible adult she should be. I'm almost 63 and I can't imagine being totally dependent on children. Your mom isn't 85 - she's in her 60s and should be well able to care for herself. Your mom is responsible for her OWN health and happiness, you're not! You're responsible to yourself and YOUR immediate family.

She's got the financial means to take care of herself, but chooses not to. But why should she, since you'll take care of her despite her irresponsible choices of gambling, blowing money, or giving it away. It's NOT your responsibility to bail your mom out of her self-created messes.

Like others have said, give her a date to move out and stick to it. Then set some boundaries around your relationship with her. Offer to help her with resources (counseling, support groups, activity groups, etc.) but let her choose to use those resources or not. Given her history, I imagine it will take a real wake-up call for her to make any changes. Tough love from you is needed here.

And compassion for yourself. You love your mom but you don't have to be a slave to your mom's dysfunction. My mom is 93 and going strong. Imagine the next 30 years with your mom sponging off of you. How does that feel?

I'd also recommend you get some counseling to understand that letting your mom manipulate and abuse you isn't fair to you, your mental health and your own family. You deserve a life too! A happy life with your own immediate family. Good luck and please keep us posted!
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First of all, she does have health insurance. She gets Medicare and that pays for 80% of medical expenses. Before social security pays her, they take out the monthly expense of insurance before she receives her amount. Secondly, if she is getting $3K per month in benefits, she can afford her own place. YOU will have to be the adult here and tell her she has one month to find a place because you will no longer be allowing her to live with you. YOU be the grown-up and stop allowing her to take advantage of YOU. When she cries, walk away. She is only 67 yrs. and has many more years to aggravate someone else. Make sure it is in her own place!
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Stop enabling her. Give her the ultimatum of either contributing financially or finding another place to live. Don't feel guilty! Your mother obviously doesn't feel guilty about using you to her own advantage! How is it your mother does not have medicare for health insurance, she is 67?
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Sounds like your Mother has a pretty good thing going with living with you. Why would she want to move. If not then tell her she must pay. This is just CRAZY. Bye -bye and we can have dinner a couple times a week out and have her pay. Your Mother needs to be around people her own age , maybe find a mate. She's still not that old. You've been way too kind to her and she's taken total advantaged of your kind heart. I'm sure has Medicare and let her get some other kind to protect her. She has money. Plus what about her savings since you said she does not pay a dime to YOU? She's a free loader and has you feeling Bad for Her. Toughen Up and give her marching orders.
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Is your mom alcoholic? If she is she needs to find her way to get some help. First things first. If she is codependent and not alcoholic, she needs to get some help. A great deal of problems will resolve naturally from getting help in these areas. She is healthy, great. If she is depressed from her husband's death, get her to a pyschiatric np for help. I would sit down and have a talk with her, it is not healthy for you and your marriage to have her there. She has a healthy monthly income and you can help her get set up in senior housing if she wants that but with her income she should be fine to get a regular apartment. She gave you life, that does not mean you have to give her yours. Time to let her know things must change and now.
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Francis, nowhere did it say the woman supports her children. It is the other way around. They support HER and she not only doesn't contribute, she blows all her money to the point they are helping HER out financially and it is ruining their lives and SHE doesn't care as long as SHE gets what SHE wants! My advice is to move her out and don't ever move her back in and don't give her one more nickel.
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My mother uses the same "you hate me" manipulation whenever she doesn't get her way. Okay, so hate me, if that's what it takes for me to keep my own strength and sanity. Being willing for her to hate you is the beginning of reclaiming your own power in this situation. In fact, YOU are in the power seat and you seem to have convinced yourself your mother is. Courage! All you have to is decide ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
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Bobby Blue, it's a tough thing, the situation. You are certainly not wrong in coming here to ask for advice, as the answers and the methods don't come easy.. Sometimes we have to bounce those things off other people in order to figure out what to do, exactly, and how to go about it. That's why we're all here, in the way of support. You obviously love your mother, or else you wouldn't have taken her in, in the first place. Although you didn't say, I would assume the reason you did was from being distraught over your father's passing, and that's a natural inclination, on either part. You are having to learn how to deal with her playing the guilt card. If your mother is co-dependent, she certainly doesn't have the tools for helping herself, and she's probably been using that guilt method for a very long time.. Looks like you will be having to "help" her live on her own, and I've no doubt you will find a way to go about it in a way that will help her grow, and not hurt her, so that she can stay independent. I finally have gotten to where, when my mother throws her guilt card, I just let it roll down my back. And I feel heartless sometimes, because i don't break down and cry with her, in reaction to her tears,, but I already did that and now it's time to buck up and move on. Life has changed for her, well, for both of us. I've accepted it, now mother has to accept it and move along. It has to be harder for her, emotionally, because she's the one who has lost control. Crying and falling prey to her guilt trips would only be a disservice to her at this point, but she doesn't know that. As children, we sometimes had to learn when to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and we took our ques from others, She will have to take her ques from you, now. My mother pulled a good one this morning. She refused to eat (after I'd given insulin, I might add) and all of her meds were slowly melting in her oatmeal. Medications that she couldn't afford to skip. I just had to be firm with her. It's hard for her to switch her mode of relating to me, I was the youngest, and she never really treated me like anything less than "the baby" of the family. The roles are reversed now, and as much as I don't prefer scolding, of any sort, her behavior prompts it, at times, even if in a very moderate way. As much as possible, I try to allow her her dignity. Doesn't always work out that way, though, just as we didn't always come out of learning childhood lessons, with dignity. In short, she has to learn who's boss. After she'd had her tantrum, I gave her the facts. She'd have to stop with the toddler antics and take her medications, or she'd have to go back to the emergency room, which she did not want to do. Then I sat down and fed her (she usually feeds herself, even if it's a mess when she's done), and gave her her meds. That's all she wanted, anyway. some attention. You might suggest, to your mom, that if she didn't act responsibly, someone else may have to take control of her finances for her... and maybe you should let her know that if she didn't, it may be misconstrued as being a little deficient, mentally, and someone would have to be appointed to manage her things. While you're at it, mention that if she continued to stay there, with you, then she would have to agree to let you manage her finances and she would get an allowance. My guess is that she isn't going to be too keen on that one. But, it gives her a choice, then the responsibility falls back on her. Just like a child, she has to be given choices and consequences. Good luck!
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Why did you decide to have her move in with you? Find her a new living situation. She is not your sole responsibility. Send an email out to all of your siblings (or do a free conference call) and let them know your intentions. Give your Mom a deadline.
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