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My mum lives with me but acts like a guest

(457 Posts)
lookybooky Sat 30-Mar-19 21:35:23

My father passed away 4 years ago and my mum (early 60's) was so distraught that I invited her to move in with my family. We didn't have a spare room so she gave us £80k to build an extension (she has the 2 rooms that we built). At the time she said it was all she could spare but that was fine as it was enough for the 2 storey extension which includes a bathroom and kitchenette. She also pays £150 p/m towards bills. She doesn't babysit or do any housework or gardening but she was a bit miserable for the first year so I didn't expect any help. But we're in year 4 now and all she does is watch TV and go shopping or meet friends. Again, I could probably deal with that but I've just found out that she gave my brother almost exactly the same amount of money (only £10k less) at the same time as she gave me. AIBU that she's living like a guest in my home while he gets to do whatever he wants with the money (he's invested it into property I believe)? I've pointed out that I feel it's unfair but she said it's her own business and if I'm unhappy, I should return the £80k and she'll get a retirement flat. She won't move in with my bro as she hates his wife!

crosspelican Sat 30-Mar-19 21:36:57

Is it a self contained annexe or did you just enlarge your home?

Does she participate in family life - meals etc.?

crosspelican Sat 30-Mar-19 21:39:25

Have you asked her out straight to help with housework or contribute to a cleaner if she won't? Not in a "we need to talk..." way but in a "can you hoover downstairs and unload/reload the dishwasher before you go out? I'm cleaning the bathroom"

What would happen if you said "DH & I are going out on Thursday night. Are you around to look after the kids & put them to bed? No? How about Friday?"

Petalflowers Sat 30-Mar-19 21:40:03

Is she depressed since your father moved away?

Maybe she has just got used to living in a certain way and doesn’t want to intrude. Maybe start asking for her help. She may not realise how you feel.

Petalflowers Sat 30-Mar-19 21:40:18

Passed away, not moved away.

Realitea Sat 30-Mar-19 21:41:27

That is bloody unfair! She gave you the money for her own benefit but your brother was able to do whatever he wanted with his. If you gave 80k back would she ask him for his back aswell? I doubt it.
You’re going to have to talk to her and do something otherwise you’ll be living with growing resentment there. What a nightmare

Princessmushroom Sat 30-Mar-19 21:45:15

She sounds depressed. Can you actually ask her to do things to help out and feel like part of the family?

Nowordsleft Sat 30-Mar-19 21:45:23

Does she live with you as a family or separately in the extension? Does she cook and clean in there?

lookybooky Sat 30-Mar-19 21:54:17

Realitea - you're spot on. She said explicitly she wouldn't ask for his money back and that it was nothing to do with me. Weve been arguing a lot more recently as I just feel really frustrated by her. Our bills incl mortgage are approx 2K a month so her monthly contribution now seems a drop in the ocean. Truthfully she doesn't really use much of the house beyond her extension (it's at the back of our house) so I'd feel wrong asking her to clean or help with "our" areas.
Family life - she talks to the kids and makes them breakfast. She mostly eats in her living room (her choice) but comes out to chat to me frequently. She prefers to use the main house kitchen so is in there a lot as she likes cooking. She likes to tell me how to parent but has explicitly said she will not be used as a daytime babysitter or do school pick ups etc. I work full time so we use nursery and after school club instead.
No, she's definitely not depressed!

burritofan Sat 30-Mar-19 21:55:04

Technically you've invested your £80k in property too – a two-storey extension will add value to your house, assuming it was a gift not a loan. And she's paying for bills so you're not out of pocket her being there unless she eats like a gannet or wacks the central heating up; not sure why she should earn her keep with free babysitting?

Agree it would be nice of her to offer, and certainly she should do her share of cleaning both her and communal spaces (or contribute to paying a cleaner) if she uses them. Garden is tricky as you'd need to do it even if she weren't there. Perhaps she feels her £150 pcm is to cover her upkeep so she doesn't have to make a manual contribution to housework/chores?

DeRigueurMortis Sat 30-Mar-19 21:55:27

I'm not sure tbh.

The extension has presumably added value to your home that you will realise at some point in the future.

You also got more than your brother and she's also contributing to bills at quite a heathy rate.

Equally, assuming she keeps her rooms clean and tidy, it's possible to argue that YABU in expecting her to act as an unpaid live in housekeeper/gardener and child minder with respect to your part of the house and children.

Obviously I would think it's unreasonable if you are expected to clean up her annexe.

Tbh the factor here seems to be you resent the money your brother has been given - simply because unlike the £80k you got it came without strings.

However it is her money to spend as she wishes and as per my point above like your brother you have invested it in property - your own.

WaroftheWorlds Sat 30-Mar-19 21:57:20

Can I just ask for some more information?

How much value did the extension add up your home?

What is it she isn't doing , that you would like her to do?

Do you do all her cooking and washing and things?

Rtmhwales Sat 30-Mar-19 21:58:27

Saying it added value to OP's house isn't really fair though. Brother was giving £70k to do as he wished - he chose to invest in his house but couldn't paid nursery fees, gone traveling etc. OP wasn't given an option with her £80k. It's unfair for sure.

lookybooky Sat 30-Mar-19 22:01:13

She was depressed at first but I've noticed a big improvement in her mood over last 2 years. She meets friends more and goes out to social events. I think I'm getting tetchy with her over the money situation and because we argue over my parenting.

Troels Sat 30-Mar-19 22:03:11

What about buying a retirement property (over 60's) and having her live there, she's a bit young to be living with you, she could be there for another 20 or 30 years. Most of us will still be working at her age, not yet eligible for state pension. Does she work?

DeRigueurMortis Sat 30-Mar-19 22:03:56

So she does help.

Making the kids breakfast and cleaning her own areas.

I'm sorry but I think YABU and it's based on resenting the money she's given to your brother.

Your trying to find issues to be annoyed about that really shouldn't be an issue.

Fundamentally you've gained a large asset with the extension and get additional help with bills (which obviously your brother doesn't get).

I think you are being somewhat petty and jealous tbh.

Schlerp Sat 30-Mar-19 22:05:33

OP was given £80k and is now moaning that her brother received £70k. Was the mother meant to dictate to him how to spend it or was he more savvy in his negotiations for it? I’m guessing at the point of negotiating this money, it was discussed in terms of an extension but had you said no then either no one would have got any money or you’d both have been gifted A large sum with freedom to spend as you choose. As it is you have essentially invested that money in your property. When you sell it, you’ll have £80k more than you spent, probably more.
I can’t imagine anyone helping me out like that. Sounds a bit ungrateful to me to be moaning about it.

Sell the house and kick her out if you want your hands on the cash to do as you please...

Chloemol Sat 30-Mar-19 22:05:58

Sorry but she has given you both more or less that same amount of money, and both of you have invested into property. She just happens to live with you in yours. She pays towards the cost of elec, gas etc so I really don’t see what your problem is. It is unfair that she says to you to give her back the money and she will move, then your borther does get a fair chunk you haven’t had. Life’s too short, you have both had more or less the same benefit by way of funds from her. Move on

OKBobble Sat 30-Mar-19 22:06:23

She has invested £80k in your property so has given the equivalent value to your brother to equalise things. Otherwise there would be a MN post from your sister in law about her MIL who has paid £80k to extend the sil's house but hasn't paid toward our property!

You say she keep herself to herself in her annexe which was surely the point, ro keep her independent but close by.

I suspect if she was in your house interfering all the time then I suspect you'd complain about that too.

AnnaMagnani Sat 30-Mar-19 22:08:16

I think your mistake was letting a woman in her early 60s move into what wasn't a separate flat. She was understandably distraught but now the acute grief has passed she is getting on with living her life - watching TV, cooking, seeing her friends. And like many grandmas it doesn't involve on tap childminding, cleaning their daughter's house, doing their garden.

So you have now realised that maybe you don't like living with her as much as you thought in the panic mode in the immediate aftermath of your father's death and possibly the ongoing financial cost is more than £150 a month. Plus she's in her early 60s and this arrangement could go on a looooong time.

Finding out she gave your brother £70K to invest is just the icing on the cake.

I think you have to accept you made what felt like a good decision when you were all grieving but probably wasn't, and now you have to work with the consequences and review it. The £80K probably has added value to your home.

You need to find ways of sharing family life but also not getting in each other's hair. And if the £150 isn't the right figure now, you also need to say so.

OneInAMillionYou Sat 30-Mar-19 22:10:23

But your money situation is of your making, and the choices your family/household has made? It's hardly her fault.
If she is mainly living in 'her' extension and buying her own food, then she shouldn't have to subsidise your lifestyle any further.

You could always arrange separate metering of the extension if you are convinced she isn't covering her utility bills.

It's as if you want to punish your mother for not being grief-stricken, instead of being pleased she is making a bit of a life for herself after her bereavement.

She is also correct that it is not your business if she gave your brother money. If she died, her estate would be willed in accordance with her wishes and that might not be totally equal.
Your house will also have increased in value as a result of the extension, have you had it valued?

I feel sorry for your mother in this scenario and I applaud her for resisting being your unpaid babysitter/skivvy/housekeeper.
Unless you are going to tell us that was agreed at the time?

GPatz Sat 30-Mar-19 22:11:06

It's not additional help with bills, it's paying her way. As for the extension, that was always for her benefit entirely and OP wasn't given a choice what to do with it. She may benefit in the future (depending on the layout) but whose to say that house prices won't depreciate? Also, is OP now somehow tied to that house whilst DM lives there?

Dieu Sat 30-Mar-19 22:11:21

But she paid for the extension, contributes to the bills, and has added value to your home! confused

lookybooky Sat 30-Mar-19 22:12:23

Property wise - yes, the extension definitely adds value - I agree. It's probably a little more than £90K in value. BUT, my brother has chosen to buy a second flat. He could have done anything he wanted. He has a full-paying tenant in there, can sell it whenever he wants etc. No strings. But if I dare to argue with my mum, she threatens to leave and asks for the full amount back.

What would I like her to do? I'd like her to help with the garden or clean the kitchen, because she uses it too. And, I think her monthly contribution could be higher as it doesn't actually cover her share of bills.

She cooks and cleans for herself but she doesn't drive so I take her to hospital appointments and supermarket.

GuineaPiglet345 Sat 30-Mar-19 22:12:55

I can’t imagine that a 2 storey extension would add £80k on to the value of your house unless it’s in London, and if she’d given you that money but moved in with your brother I’m sure you wouldn’t have built the extension on your house, so she is being unreasonable. I think it’s reasonable that if you move in with adult children that you help out sometimes.

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