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Anyone live with parents? Driving you nuts?

(43 Posts)
bigbluestars Sun 09-Nov-14 10:42:40

I try to get along but sometimes it is just not working. How do you cope living with parent/s? I miss private time with my OH. Tips please.

gobbynorthernbird Sun 09-Nov-14 11:47:25

Move out.

Rollercola Sun 09-Nov-14 11:51:39

Unless you're under 18 or so I guess the solution is to get your own place. Are you not in a position to get somewhere with your OH?

bigbluestars Sun 09-Nov-14 11:57:45

No I am not under 18. I own the house, my mother lives with me. She is old and vulnerable and does not want to live alone or in sheletered accommodation.

Rollercola Sun 09-Nov-14 12:02:57

Ah right I see, totally different scenario then. That must be quite difficult, almost like having a child living with you but in reverse.

Have you talked to your mum about it? She might be able to help? Otherwise maybe have some cheap but nice weekends away planned (assuming your mum is ok to be left by herself?)

Artandco Sun 09-Nov-14 12:04:30

Can you adapt house to give you all some more private space?

Ie add a nice armchair and small coffee table in her room. Get her a coffee maker or teapot and kettle or similar in her room, so some mornings espeicially at weekends she might decide to read in own room an hour or so more than usual.

Downstairs can you fit in seperate seating areas slightly? Ie an arm chair one end of room with lamp or in dining area/ kitchen or whatever so one if you can be apart with a little more privacy when you want.

Do you have children?

Is it the fact everyone doesn't know what role in house is? Can you ask her to do x on x day so she feels she has responsibility then so won't interfere with choices on other days? Ie can she cook? If so maybe ask if she would like to choose the menu and cook say x2 fixed days a week

VenusRising Sun 09-Nov-14 12:04:58

Big blue, I feel for you.
I don't live with my DM at the moment but will be in the future as she's getting on, and there's no one else to do it.

I hope it won't drive me / us crazy, as we don't really get on. I meet her a few times each week and stay over in her house when she needs extra help.

We are the sandwich generation- small kids and frail parents. It's pretty shit really.

No tips sorry, except maybe hire a granny sitter to take her out when you want some time alone in your own home.

bigbluestars Sun 09-Nov-14 12:12:54

Thanks for the support. I have put a TV and phone in her room, but she prefers sitting downstairs so she can chat. She has all her faculties, but seems to enjoy the company.She does not cook but does light housework.
I enourage her to meet friends etc, and she does have friends to visit, but chooses days when I am around as she wants to include me in conversation.
I have friends around to visit, but again she wants to be included, so can make conversation difficult. She likes company. When my OH comes in from work he makes himself scarce.

Just having a rant really.

bigbluestars Sun 09-Nov-14 12:27:06

It is the small things that annoy me. I have two teenagers who are great kids, work hard at school, never in trouble and she constantly maons at them for small things, telling them to brush their hair several times a day or polish their shoes - which bugs the hell out of them.
She is also very religious, so insists on saying Grace before every meal, and gets annoy if we say "jesus" or "god" as a swear word.
She gives me £100 a month for her board and lodgings, that includes all her food ( which I buy and cook)I have the heating on constantly which I know she needs, but she has recieved a £300 winter fuel payment from the government- she is planning a shopping spree with the money. I can't bring myself to ask for a contribution.
I know these are trivial things, but they seem to all mount up.
I have tactfully suggested sheltered housing but she gets tearful at the mention of it.

Dowser Sun 09-Nov-14 13:19:19

You have my deepest sympathy. You don't say how old your mum is. I'm guessing about 70.

You have been really big hearted. Lots wouldn't do it no matter how much they love their mum and you also have a three generation household which will add to the problems.

If these has been a long term plan I honestly can't think it would get any better.

Have you thought about when mum really can't manage, how you would feel about carers coming etc when that time comes...

Could you move somewhere where she could have A granny flat.

I dont know what to suggest because all I can see is long term she will need more company and more care and will probably get worse with money :-(

bigbluestars Sun 09-Nov-14 13:29:26

Thanks Dowser. My mother is in her 80s- relatively fit and well, she makes daily trips by bus to see friends, go shopping etc, which is great.

We couldn't afford a place with a granny flat- although we have just bought a 5 bedroomed house with lots of downstairs space so we could accommodate her. Our budget is stretched to the max.

I do get several calls a week from my only sibling, my "helpful " sister who emigrated 30 years ago to Australia- she has been back twice to visit in that time. She constantly nags me to tell me to get Mum to drink plenty water, make sure she eats well and never leaves the house without her mobile phone etc.
Can't help feel she got off lightly.

Margaritte Sun 09-Nov-14 13:46:38

I feel for you. You say you have a 5 bed place, so you & DH in 1 bedroom, DC a room each? Could your DM have 2 of the bedrooms and turn one of them into a living type room for her, along the lines of Artando's suggestions?

Maybe a couple of armchairs, one of those fold up tv dinner tables? A small tv/ radio etc. Then when she has friends round, they could go there? Could tell her so its so she can have space with visitors.

Larrytheleprechaun Sun 09-Nov-14 13:54:25

My Grandmother (RIP) lived with us and was the quietest most inoffensive woman you could meet. But it was hard for my parents. My father for all his faults (and he has many) put up with it without one word. They sat in the sitting room and he sat in the kitchen with his fags and his little 14" telly. My mother had no life, Granny went everywhere with her. Uncle (who inherited everything then basically abandoned Granny leaving her to move into my parents house) would visit every so often and the fatted calf would almost be killed for him. Fancy biscuits, big smiles.

Anyway, what I am saying is I know how you feel. Its so hard as you are trying to please your kids, your husband and your mother. The only one not being looked after is you. It would have been hard to say anything without Granny being offended - would your mother be the same? If you had a chat about space for you as a family would your mother take offence or would she get what you mean. Has she a sister / friend who could speak to her about it - not specifically saying you asked for them to say something.

Its a difficult situation for everyone. The longer this situation continues the more resentful you will become. I hope you work something out.

WallBox Sun 09-Nov-14 13:55:49

bigbluestars you deserve a big gold star.

There is so much advice people can give, but following it is so hard.

I think that at the moment you are very much in respectful daughter mode, but this will simply breed resentment and cannot work long term.

Is there any way that you can all sit down together and have a frank discussion about your differing needs. (this very much includes the kids)

I am probably nearer your mother's age than yours and very close to my daughter, but I would never live with her. I've got more sense.

Tell her that your home is a democracy, and her wants and ideas do not trump every one else's, if she has different ideas of how things should be done, then she simply has to keep them to herself.

Financially, she is being heavily subsidised, and a bit naughty, she probably knows this, ask for help with the bills, you have large expenses.

I don't know how I would deal with her constant need for company, she will get offended what ever you say, so that's tricky. Just tell her straight.

I suppose that the bottom line really is to let her know that the current arrangement isn't working, and if she cannot be a bit more understanding towards the rest of you, then you will help her to find somewhere she will be happier.

Jolly good luck with that.

ginslinger Sun 09-Nov-14 14:02:17

We had my MIL but it was agreed before she came that she would have 2 rooms for her sole use and that we did not intrude. Our house is old and rambly and allowed a kitchenette so she could be semi - independent. The important thing was that things were agreed before and I understand it becomes difficult to change what has become established. I think you need to talk frankly about money because she really is getting away with things. I think you need a tough-love chat and explain that you all need individual time. I do understand the difficulties and you have my sympathy, for what it's worth

WallBox Sun 09-Nov-14 14:22:20

I've been giving this a lot of thought OP, it's what us oldies do.

Some straight talking is called for here. What's the worst that can happen?

She might have a sulk in her room. Result.
She might decide to move. Result.
She might decide to be more considerate. Result.

Do her the honour of telling her like it is.

DistanceCall Sun 09-Nov-14 14:28:43

Your mother is an adult. Old, but an adult, and in full use of her faculties.

You need to talk to her and tell her that, while you enjoy her company, you also need time on your own with your partner, as a couple, and that privacy is important. Also, you should point out that her fuel allowance is meant to be used exactly for that - fuel.

And next time your sister tells you to make sure that your mother is well hydrated, ask her why doesn't she come and do it herself.

DistanceCall Sun 09-Nov-14 14:30:10

I agree with WallBox. Old people are not children - even if they have cognitive problems - and it's demeaning to treat them as such. Even if some people would actually prefer to be treated as children.

Margaritte Sun 09-Nov-14 14:37:05

Agree that you should ask for the fuel allowance your dm was paid. All of it. Sorry, I know its not nice, it was paid to her for that though and your heating is on more then normal (which of course is the right thing to do) However, she was given money to cover this, and it should be used for that.

LisaMed Sun 09-Nov-14 14:39:41

When father was living with us I was very clear that several evenings a week were 'date nights' and we needed it to keep our marriage going. I suggest you do the same.

It did help that father saw the wage earner (DH) as the head of the household, end of, and also he had a lot of space himself. We also had it in cast iron that Friday night was a 'family' night and we would get together and watch stuff together, chat etc so father never felt quite abandoned.


WallBox Sun 09-Nov-14 14:52:30

LisaMed that sounds really useful.

OP does your mother have similar views on heads of households? You call him OH, so perhaps not married.

I did wonder if your mother contributed towards the bigger house, and if that could have coloured her view of things.

I have made myself laugh by being so nosey. Cliché much.

mayhew Sun 09-Nov-14 14:54:57

God,how hard. But it is your home and you do have the right to enjoy it, as do all the members. It will only get worse if you don't. You have more power than you think you have.

I would use the skills I have had to use at work. I have had to manage people who I like and were previously senior to me , I hope you see the analogy. First establish what the outcomes are that you need, in discussion with your husband.prioritise.

Then the conversation. Plan it. Ask how things are going for her, to get an idea of if she's happy, if she perceives any issues. Then the "shit sandwich". Tell her how glad you are re a, b or c. Lay it on thick. Then your issues and needs, of which she may be unaware. Be prepared for tears. Be clear about the changes you need eg privacy, space, finances. Give her time to respond. Maybe overnight. Don't leave it dangling. Then back to the positives of having her, that she's very welcome etc. then follow up as agreed.

Be brave. Everyone will benefit.

WallBox Sun 09-Nov-14 15:05:12

OP, do what mayhew says. Wow!

skaen Sun 09-Nov-14 15:24:43

Op, just to sympathise. I am in the same position. My mum is a fair bit younger ( just 70) but in poor health. I love her, but feel very uncomfortable inviting people over/ even having DCs friends over etc. I would like time on my own with DH and DCs...

Tbh, We're saving hard and hoping to be able to sell up and buy a place for mum near me and my sister but in a separate house.

secretsquirrels Sun 09-Nov-14 15:38:22

Some brilliant advice here OP. Also there is a board for elderly parents you are not alone.
Those annoying small things are actually huge considering the sacrifice you are making.
I wouldn't hesitate to say this family is not religious. You may choose to be but we will not continue to say grace.
This firms up my guiltily held and secret determination that DM will not come and live with us.

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