AIBU to want a say in this? Warning MIL related!(70 Posts)
Will try and keep this succinct....
FIL died suddenly a year ok. MIL lives a good 2 1/2 drive from us, in a hosue they had only moved to a year previously which is in a small village and she doesn't drive. She is not an outgoing person nor particularly independent (for example we had show her how to use the oven when FIL died, she sends us unopened post to deal with, she cannot/will not deal with anything that us outside her very small comfort zone). She is not particularly old - mid 60s.
She has decided that she wants to move up near us. We're happy with this- it makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.
We have chosen an area for her which we really likes - decent selection of shops, a GPs, dentists, vets etc - and have shown her a number of properties in the vicinity all of which haven't been suitable for one reason or another.
She has now got an offer on her house and its a very short chain. She is terrified of losing her buyer and in her words is now 'desperate' to move (for the sale to proceed and because she apparently 'hates' it where she currently is). She has offered on a house here and it has been accepted. However I think it's a mistake.
The house is nothing like what she originally wanted. It's a semi and she was she adamant she wanted a detached. It's further away from the town centre than she wanted - a good 15 min walk, she wanted under 10. It's in a poor state of decoration - at the least it needs a new bathroom and the ceilings and walls plastered in most rooms. The biggest thing for me is that it doesn't have central heating. It has storage heaters, and nothing at all in the kitchen, bathroom and hallway.
Bearing in mind that this is a elderly lady, recently bereaved, who doesnt cope well with change and disruption I don't think this house is the right decision.
DH and my BIL both take the view that its her decision and that if she thinks she can cope with it then its fine. I take the view that the move needs to be easy and this is not easy. Added to this is the BIL and his family live abroad and DH works 13 hour days (with his commute) and we have two small children. At the end of the day it will be me who deals with the fallout of the move when she can't work the heaters, needs a lift somewhere etc etc. All of which I am happy to do, within reason. But this house just makes an already difficult move, even more difficult.
AIBU to want to be able to influence the decision and have people listen to my concerns?
Any update on the house buying situation Odfod?
Just sweeping through Threads I'm On and found this one... were you able to get her to have a look at the new house OP?
I think the secret might be to make her think that the other house is all her own idea.
Can you print it out, amid a few other properties that are clearly too small/all wrong and hand it to her? Tell her that you were just about to throw these details away but thought that she should have a look through, just in case you have missed anything...
How's the different property OP and have you 'sold' it to DH or MiL yet?
I can sympathise... MiL recently moved closer to us - I was regularly doing searches for her and sending her possible details. The 'easiest' house was easy walking distance from our house - good bus route, near facilities etc - nice sized south facing garden, detached, 3 bed, own garage - 1930s with big windows. She told me it was horrid (this is a style like our house) and that the garden was too small. She decided on a 2 bed cottage instead - the garden was 20% smaller than the 'too small' one - and she needed to have an extension to get enough room (which I sorted out for her) and recently commented on the fact that she wasn't going to have a big garden left (you don't say!). However, when I dared suggest that she might put up with the existing (perfectly reasonable but wrong colour scheme) carpet for a while until all the building works (through which she has to trail every time she goes in or out) were completed and she could use the front door again I was told I was being unreasonable, interfering and I couldn't tell her what to do.
So I have kept out of it all since then and barely put my foot inside her door...
Ooh Donkeys that's so clever it might just work...
Checking in to see how you got on. You could use the nicer property as a handy example of "what could be done with the first property". Show her the brochure, or even suggest popping over next time she's visiting. Make a list, double glazing/heating, conservatory, "brings the garden into the home for all-year round enjoyment, and smaller garden to worry over upkeep". Surely it would dawn on her, here it all is, available and closer to town.
It may well be that you're thinking of having her to stay over Christmas, whatever her long term plans. If she's round you can introduce her to the bus system.
The OP is a lovely Dil to care so.
There is a generation of women in this age group who have been totally disempowered by good,caring,husbands ,who have not allowed them to make any decisions for themselves,or indeed make any mistakes.
They are very afraid of change and do seem pathetic to the independent.Using a bus ,for instance, is huge if you have always been driven.
The canaries in golden cages!
We have storage heaters and work fine if you know how to use them properly. I do think if nothing in bathroom/kitchen and hall it will get very chilly however. We are the only house in the street that doesn't have gas. Although since moving in a few months ago we got gas put to the house. It cost £750 to go from the street to house. Next is the meter and then waiting on a quote for gas boiler and radiators to go in. So if she has the money to spare - it can be sorted.
The walking distance to town is prob going to end up being a pain as she gets older though.
I take it she is downsizing and will have funds to decorate?
Nice of you to say Strumpetron but I find her difficult, manipulating and demanding (at times!) so having her close & in a good location and property very much works in my favour as well
AnyoneforTurps, yes generally she'd listen to advice from any Tom dick or Betty rather than me. Good thinking. Wonder if I could get an article in the Daily Fail that this second property was the better one. She'd certainly believe it then!
LisaMed, yes already drawing up my boundaries. Hope everything is ok with you. Sounds difficult. Can certainly relate to dramas being created from seemingly very little. I think it's the lack of interest in anything else. Easy to become detached from reality then.
She sounds a lot like my DM and I really feel for you but I think you are going to have to let her make her own mistakes. You are in a lose-lose situation because, if you do succeed in persuading her not to choose this house, I can guarantee that you will never hear the end of it: wherever she ends up - even if much more suitable - will be compared unfavourably with this place.
One thought though: is there anyone outside the family that she listens to? My DM blithely ignores the carefully reasoned advice of her loving relatives but will randomly change her mind on the advice of her hairdresser/the nice lady in M&S/the AA man.
My 69 yr old uncle is far, far more elderly than my 82 yr old father. Uncle is also very keen on others to run around after him. He has managed to create a crisis and is now in hospital. It has been horrific.
You need to get cast iron, concrete, reinforced boundaries in place and stick to them.
I would also suggest that you make all the project management your DH's problem. That way he can appreciate the pain.
Well OP I for one think you're lovely having everyone's interests at heart and you sound like a nice DIL.
There's no way on god's green earth I'd be opening a fully capable adult's mail for them
this may make me a cow but ay well
One of the benefits of this latest property is that she wont need to
get buses. It is literally minutes away from the centre. So I won't need to have that battle
I can get the agent to call her directly but I want to see it first just to check that it is right that we push her towards this one instead of the other one. They're on with different agents so that helps.
Strumpeton, yes we've considered that. But balanced against her living in a big family house, in an isolated village, two and a half hours away, having no family near, we really do think that having her closer is the best thing. Both for her and for us. We will need to carefully manage how she makes demands on our time when she is closer but I feel better doing that knowing she is closer and in a home that is better suited to her.
By the sounds of it you're setting yourself up for a nightmare. If she can't even open her own post and expects to be driven round everywhere, have you thought about how dependant she might be on you now you'll be much closer?
Can you get the estate agent to call her directly?
I think that you need to get her on public transport.
When she moves, tell her that you will take her into town one day. BUT, turn up without your car (get a taxi there?), then take her on the bus.
The idea of 'not doing buses' is ludicrous, especially in a single person who does not drive.
Thank you. Yes I'm trying hard to keep low key and casual. Hard for me as I wear my heart in my sleeve but keeping sight of end goal!
Ooh fingers crossed.
Might be an idea to be ever so slightly casual about it, if it does turn out to be suitable.
Thought I'd update as was grateful for good advice earlier. The perfect house has come on the market today. Great location, better street, modernised inside, new kitchen, bathroom, conservatory, central heating (!). So much better in so many ways. Only negative I can see is that the garden is about half the size but its a blank canvas...
I'm viewing it tomorrow. In the meantime the full survey is booked for the
shithole other property I was not so keen on, solicitors are instructed etc etc.
Now I need to persuade MIL and to a lesser extent DH that this is the one to pursue. Wish me luck......
It's not far from a good bus route but she's said she doesn't want to / won't do buses. She is used to being driven around.
Then she'd better learn to drive, hadn't she?
I like the posters who have said that you can state what you will do, rather than what you will not.
So say if you are prepared to drive MIL to shops once a week, then that means she knows she will have to get her head round public transport, or walk the distance. Be very firm on this, that way if she does move in and it proves tricky then you won't be the bad guy then.
We dissuaded my FIL from buying a flat he very much wanted - because it was too far from shops, etc, and we could see that when he gave up his car (realistically, in not many more years) it would be very difficult for him.
He is soooo grateful now that we persuaded him to move in with us for a bit and wait for a good flat in a more useful location to come up.
Could you cope with her living with you for a bit? So that she could look properly, not in a panic stricken 'I'm only here for a day, must choose something now' sort of way? The sale of her house could go ahead.
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