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Living with a parent- any tips?

(17 Posts)
bigbluestars Fri 12-Dec-14 21:20:03

I would love to hear of anyone anyone in the same position- how to make it work. It's the simple things that drive me mad.

CupidStuntSurvivor Fri 12-Dec-14 21:37:59

I had to do it for a few months recently. If I'm honest, my best tip would be to firmly grit your teeth and endure. Is it a short term arrangement?

bigbluestars Fri 12-Dec-14 21:40:15

Thanks cupid, it is probably a long term arrangement. Just trying to figure out how to make it work.

sillymillyb Fri 12-Dec-14 21:40:59

I am currently doing this. I find it works well if I drink heavily, keep my mouth shut and have lots of early nights.... That maybe isn't what you wanted to hear though?!

Ok, I find it helps if I do nice things like make dinners up for the freezer / bring my mum flowers etc.

Def have your own space. My mum thinks I am a fan if early nights, but I retreat to my room like a teenager and relax.

Sort out money - who pays for what?

Try not to revert to being a teenager. I've struggled with this, as has my mum, we both seem to revert to our roles from 20 years ago.

Good luck!

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 12-Dec-14 21:46:34

Definitely separate living spaces. Mum's in her own completely separate annexe in our current place. In our previous house she used to specialise in opening a door between our living spaces, leaving it open then shouting for me as the mood took her angry She honestly couldn't see why this wound me up 'because I'd just phone you otherwise' (yes, mother, but I can ignore the phone if I so desire...)

bigbluestars Fri 12-Dec-14 21:57:03

We don't have separate living spaces unfortunately. My mother also has a very puritanical attitude aboout alcohol and hates to see anyone drinking, even a glass of wine over dinner would send her into a hissy fit.
I do all the cooking and her laundry- she does some light housework. She seems to want to engage in conversation constantly which does drive my OH mad.

CupidStuntSurvivor Fri 12-Dec-14 22:00:54

Are you moving in with them or them with you? I was treated like a teenager quite frequently. My DM would get arsy if I went somewhere without first letting her know. I also found it extremely difficult to accept the dynamic between her and her DH (not my DF) as he's retired and though not lazy, the day to day cooking and cleaning always fell to DM, who works full time. He'd occupy himself building things they didn't need, decorating rooms that were decorated less than 6 months ago, that type of thing.

Ideally, get your own space if it's long term. Establish ground rules beforehand. Ensure you contribute financially if possible as it puts you on a more equal level with them. Split the chores...take certain tasks and try to take their lifestyle into account.

But if they're moving in with you, they should respect your day to day life while fitting in around you.

bigbluestars Fri 12-Dec-14 22:09:53

My mother has moved in with us. I don't feel she contributes enough financially -she gives me £100 a month and pays no bills, she gets all her food for that too. She says she can't afford any more as she just gets state pension. Pissed off as she announced she has been given £300 elderly winter fuel payment and I haven't seen a penny, particularly as she needs the heating on constantly as she feels the cold.
But then I feel guilty for asking poor old mum for cash.
I am buying wine for tomorrow night.

OH and I have been really busy recently and have hardly had time to snatch a conversation for the past few weeks, so we will have a couple of hours chatting tomorrow.

CupidStuntSurvivor Fri 12-Dec-14 23:20:15

Definitely have a word about the fuel allowance...She gets it so that she can afford the increased heating costs, not to keep the cash and have you foot the bill. I know it's a difficult conversation but needs must...having the heating on all the time is probably costing more than she's giving you and that's before food costs.

Also, your house, your rules on alcohol wink.

Walkacrossthesand Fri 12-Dec-14 23:21:15

Surely the winter fuel payment should come straight to you, as you're paying the fuel bills and keeping the place warmer than you normally would, for her?

heyday Sat 13-Dec-14 08:25:06

Not sure how old your mum is but is there no way she could find sheltered accommodation, perhaps nearby, so she can have her own home but also have the services of a warden if or when needed?
Unless you establish some sort of rules about finances, personal space etc then your relationship with your mother will very quickly lead to huge resentment and the stress could have a very detrimental affect on your own relationship with your partner. Most of us hate these conversations that will almost certainly lead to confrontation but I cant see how you will possibly be able to cope living under the same roof unless you do. I find it hard to believe that she didn't offer you at least half of her winter fuel payment. That shows that she is obviously quite selfish and not thinking about your needs at all. You need firmness now (in a non aggressive way) to have any hope of this being manageable long term.

ElphabaTheGreen Sat 13-Dec-14 08:32:04

I agree with heyday. Mum moving in with us initially was horrific because of a lack of clarity over ground rules, and you're already expressing difficulties over finances. I felt trapped and it ultimately sent me into a terrible, terrible bout of suicidal depression and mum's and my relationship has never really recovered. She is still living with us, although completely separately. The 'niggles' you're talking about here could spiral into something major unless you sort them out ASAP or get her into her own space.

bigbluestars Sat 13-Dec-14 08:33:15

Thanks heyday- I need to approach her. She is unwilling to go into sheltered accommodation, hence her coming to live with us.
She seems to think I manage my money so well I don't need any extra and because she has a small appetite that her presence isn't costly.

I will speak to her soon.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-Dec-14 08:43:34

Not soon re talking to her, but today. And with your man present as well to back you up.

She is not willing to go into sheltered accommodation (why exactly?) but is more than happy to impose on you people?. Its not at all acceptable behaviour on her part.

Ground rules should really have been properly thought out and established before she moved in. There were no proper discussions beforehand over what is expected of the other person was there?.

Your mother has probably also played on your own feelings of guilt (totally misplaced) to get her moved in with your own family. From what you have written this is not working out and will not work out either because she remains at heart both uncooperative and selfish.

What is the position now re the council tax?. Has that been established?.

pinkfrocks Sat 13-Dec-14 08:57:08

why is council tax an issue? Surely the same applies regardless how many adults live in a house- eg if it was adult children and not an adult parent?

OP it sounds as if she moved in without any of you discussing the rules.
This should all have been thrashed out at the start- how much she pays, what it covers, etc- same as if an adult child comes back post-uni for example.

Unless you have a mortgage still, I'd say her contributions ought to cover food, fuel and a percentage of other utility bills- think about extra things like washing bedding and clothing which uses electric.

What were her outgoing before? Did she rent or has she left a house standing empty?

You need to arrange a time for a serious 'meeting' and have a chat with your DP to decide beforehand what is reasonable.

pinkfrocks Sat 13-Dec-14 09:00:01

I am still struggling to see how you and your partner accepted all of this as if by accident- with no discussions on how your lifestyles would be affected or how it would work.

How old is your mum?
Do you have children at home or what?

Somethingtodo Sat 13-Dec-14 13:41:51

OP - I am sure that you started all of this with the best of positive intentions - and hoped it would all work itself out naturally - so dont feel bad that you didnt see this coming.

But now as things have gone astray it is time for a meeting to tweak some behaviors. She seems a little entitled? Ask her how things are going for her and try to resolve/meet in the middle. Might be good to put in place a monthy household meeting.

So I would try to break it down to groups of issues, 1) bills & admin, 2) time & space & privacy (emotional and physical) 3) chores (cooking, cleaning, laundry)

What has she spent the winter fuel allowance on if not winter fuel?
What does she do with her money - is she saving it..?...will these savings be distributed equally amongst your siblings when she dies?

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