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I want my mother to move in with us so I can take care of her

Tagged as: Family, Health<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (11 September 2018) 9 Answers - (Newest, 13 September 2018)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Hi everyone.

My fiance and I are in the process of moving back to my home state and purchasing a house there. It is a relatively large house and we have more than enough space to start a family.

My mom is not in the best of health. She recently had a heart attack and is still working full time. She is in her 60's. She should be retired by now but cannot bring herself to do so because of financial issues. I recently graduated college with a degree in engineering, so I am starting to make quite a bit of money and have been sending some to her per paycheck, but ultimately I would like for her to move in with me and quit her job so she can relax and let me take care of her. I have 4 older siblings who aren't very successful in life. While they are good people, they are very bad with money. They spend and splurge on things they don't need and can't afford. My family is very poor. My SO's family on the other hand is ridiculously wealthy and well off so throughout the years my SO's family has helped me and my SO with many things financially, such as medical/dental/school expenses..

My mom and I didn't have a great relationship when I was younger. She was kind of abusive but has mellowed out as she got older. She came from a different culture and a different time so I do not resent her for it. My SO kind of does. But I want to take it on myself to take care of her because she really shouldn't be working and my siblings aren't dependable enough to take care of her.

I tried speaking to my SO about her living with us. We're thinking about starting a family and I do want my mom around to help raise my children and I want her not worrying too much about money. My SO kind of seemed against the idea because my mom has never helped us financially (like his parents have) and it felt unfair to him. My mom spends what little money she makes from her job on my siblings (like giving them money for things) but not to me because I never ask it from her. I mean, my family is poor. I don't expect them to help me out with things. Yes, I am ashamed my siblings are terrible with money, but there is nothing I can do about them.

I've talked to my friends about it and they called him privileged, which I admit, he kind of is, but they weren't very helpful. I feel like he doesn't get that not a lot of people have families they can depend on. How should I approach this issue?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 September 2018):

If your fiancé doesn’t want to live with her then you two cannot live with her IF you want a happy marriage.. A marriage is about the both of you. It would be selfish and unfair of you to insist your mom lives with the two of you if not both of you are happy with the idea. Once you are married, your husband and kids become your family, and your mom becomes your extended family. Put your family first.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (13 September 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntMy goodness if you want to actually have a life with him you are going around it the wrong way. You say that you want to help her have an easy life yet you then say you want her help raising your children. If she is not in a healthy state the last thing she needs is to be around young children all day, also if she was abusive to you as a child what is stopping her doing the same to your future children?

Your other half is completely right, it wouldn't be fair to move her in. Also she was abusive to you, there is never any excuse for that and now you are financially supporting her while she gives your money to your siblings. Some people would say you are being to soft here. She chooses to work to help your ADULT siblings, this is her own fault not yours. Your relationship will be doomed to fail if you move your mother in with you.

I assume you both plan to get married and start a family soon, so therefore the worst thing you can do is invite a parent to live with you both. Your husband is not being privileged he is being honest. You have told him about the abuse yet you now want him to share a home with her! It is unrealistic. You may not feel bitter about how she treated you as a child but don't allow her to look after your future children if she has a history off abusiveness towards children.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

If you want to kill your family before it starts insist on your mother living with you. You want to buy the affection of a woman who was abusive to you as a child. You say she’s kind of mellowed out. That is because you’re an adult. Why in the name of heaven would you want someone who you don’t have a great relationship with and who was abusive to you as a child helping you raise your child?

If your mother needs help. Help her apply for Social Security and Medicare. Of course your siblings could also help.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (12 September 2018):

CindyCares agony aunt I agree with all the other posters, who think it's not a good idea at all to bring your mother to live under your roof , and that you and your husband need to explore other possible solutions to help her out without having to sacrifice your privacy and marital harmony.

I just wanted to add that you say , basically, that you want your mother to be able to rest, and take it easy a bit, and look after her health ,... but the way you plan to do that is having her handy to help you rise your kids, plural ??....That's the last thing that an older woman ,

( now in her 60s , maybe in her 70s when there will be these grandkids to look after ), in poor health and with an history of heart attacks , needs for rest and relaxation. Raising, or helping raise, kids, is physically and psychologically demanding, at times exhausting- and generally the polar opposite of " enjoying peace and quiet at home ". Not that it cannot also be very rewarding emotionally, yet it's for people who is physically and mentally up to the challenge. Now, I know myself a lady in her 80's who's taking care of her three grandchildren while their parents work- but this lucky lady is in great health and a human dynamo, brimming with energy- I don't think your mother fits this description, unluckily she sounds a bit spent. Not that this should prevent her from creating a bond with your kids, but in her own interest she'd better do it through some " light " grandparenting,- a weekly dinner, an occasional bedtime story , stuff like that. But surely not the nitty- gritty , relentless committment of sharing a house full of young children.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (12 September 2018):

Your mother may have to apply for medicare and/or social security disability.

If she can't work, she really has no choice. A partially-disabled person recuperating from a heart-attack is a liability for a company. Trying to tailor-down a job to suit her medical-restrictions would be very difficult to do for most employers. Besides the fact she's a senior-person looking for work; and the United States is horrid to our senior citizens. They don't offer them much, and job-discrimination for senior-persons is accepted without any penalties or legal-liability to employers.

She has no money to give to your siblings, if she has no job! If she lived on a fixed-income; maybe common-sense will kick-in. The only kind of work someone in her condition can find is being a cashier, retail, or service-worker in a restaurant. Other employers will steer clear of an aging-person with known medical-problems. If she has to file bankruptcy, so be it. She's allowing herself to be problem everyone is helpless to handle. Living with a broke son is no option, when you have no money left after rent.

If you're not married to your partner; I think it is a bit much to make your mother his financial-burden, rich or not.

Buying a home and starting a family without a legal-commitment in marriage might be the modern-way people do things; but it is legally-unsound and financially-risky!

Why do people scoff at or postpone getting married, but get tied-up in debt together for a 15 to 30-year mortgage? Same-thing, if you ask me! Except he'll decide one-day he's done and will quick-deed a house over to himself; that you can't afford to meet mortgage payments on your own, whiling supporting an ailing-mother. Paying her medical bills. Never-mind fighting him for it; if he can afford a better lawyer.

He's got wealth on his side. You've got two hands and small pockets. Unmarried, you've got no rights as far as his assets. You can have kids, he'll support them. That's it, or take them in a custody-battle. Look ahead, sister...look ahead!

You might have to find an apartment for you and your mom. Unless he comes-around and decides to pitch-in and help-out. You can't be restricted by his decisions. You should only assume temporary responsibility for her. Where is your father? Did he leave her his pension or social security benefits? No widow's benefits?

You might also seek a two-family home; or home with an in-law apartment already attached. It can always be reconstructed into a home-office, home-gym, library, or storage room; should your mother decide to move-out.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (11 September 2018):

Hi, op here.

You guys bring up really good points.

I guess I've been too preoccupied with having her stop full time work that I didn't think about my siblings taking advantage of the situation.. my money given to her could easily be given to them.

The house doesn't haven an in-law attachment. It would be her in our home, although she will be relatively close to us, give or take 1-2 hours.

On the other hand, even if she doesn't move in with us, there is still the problem of her working full time and her health/age. Right now she is living with my oldest sibling who is actually charging her rent money because it's his house.. we have tried speaking to him about stopping but honestly he isn't able to pay mortgage without some sort of help from her.

I guess I'll have to talk to my fiance about the future and options. Obviously I want to help my mom but I'm not sure how, but I will respect his decision on not wanting her to live with us.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (11 September 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntYou obviously have a good heart and care deeply for your mother. However, your #1 priority should be your husband and, ultimately, the children you plan to have together.

Is it possible to make a "granny flat/annex" for your mother to live in so she is with you but not in your house? Having someone living in your house can be very invasive, regardless of who they are or how well you get on with them. Put yourself in your husband's shoes. He has already voiced a lack of enthusiasm about your mother living with you.

Is it perhaps the case that your wish to care for your mother goes hand in hand with having a resident child minder for your planned family so that you and your husband can work full-time?

You say your mother was abusive to you while you were growing up. Are you sure she will not display similar abusive behaviour towards your children if she is involved with their rearing? As she is not in the best of health, and also ageing, this may manifest itself purely as a result of frustration that she cannot do as much as she used to, that she is not as young as she used to be, that she is not as healthy and strong as she used to be. I would recommend caution if you choose to take this route.

How will you feel if you take your mother in, and (I assume) give her some financial support, if she carries on giving her money to your siblings? It is highly likely she will do this because mothers tend to support what they see as the most "vulnerable" and "needy" of their children. I totally take on board what you say about their "poverty" being a direct result of their mismanagement of their own finances, but your mother still sees "needy" children and will continue to support them. I predict you will find this very frustrating.

There is so much to think about and discuss. Do not rush into this without your husband being totally on board, otherwise you could end up losing your husband over it.

Good luck.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (11 September 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntDon’t move her in. Move her close by, if possible. It’s great that you want to keep her involved and look after her, but your husband understandably wants his own family space for the family you hope to start (something that will be difficult enough without the added stress of a grandparent living in the same house too).

He’s not being unreasonable or privileged; he’s being realistic. It would be unfair of him if he said she couldn’t move say 15 minutes drive away.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (11 September 2018):

Honeypie agony auntMaybe instead of moving her IN with you and your husband you can find a place close to your house so you can spend more time with her?

I get that your husband doesn't want her living with you. After all you are both grown and have moved OUT of your parents homes.

And I applaud that you want to take care of her, but HE would be part of that... If he is resentful of this, how well do you think your marriage will continue to be?

I don't think he is acting privileged, I think he is being honest.

It HAS to be a joint decision. That is how a marriage work.

So you might want to see what other options you have. Talk to him. See if he has any solutions.

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