Musings on my mother living with me..Input needed

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marcie Mac, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    She lives in an assisted living home now in Ohio near my Aunt and Cousin - she moved there from SC after my brother died.

    She has pretty much been in a depressed state since January and isn't liking the home, and feels all alone, even though they come to see her a couple of times during the week. Everytime I talk to her she cries, shes all alone..sigh.

    Am trying to weigh the pros and cons because of course, I feel gulty (and dang Fran with the comment of taking the high road she once made years ago when she was dealing with her father has attached itself to the inside of my head).

    I haven't made any committments due to my job situation - If I get to keep it come the end of August when my lease is up, will be working out of the house. If not, I had plans to sell the house and maybe move to Arizona (well that was before the housing market hit the skids). She 87, not in the best of health. Shes never seen her great grands or the boys who were like 12 and 13 last time she saw them. And time has a way of passing before you know it. With my job and working solo, its really hard for me to get away, but I do have the flexability of taking some time off during the day to get things I need to done and make up for it later that day.

    I don't know. If anything, I would bring her out to spend a few weeks BEFORE any thing was agreed on. Or I could find an assisted living place here.

    SO is no help in sorting what to do out - he is worried about his own mother = if SHE got ill, he was going to bring her out here (but I only have one spare bedroom left thank god unless one of the boys moves out (yeah right)

    Am I crazy for even thinking about visiting this issue??


  2. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    I can only say one thing (actually, I rarely say one thing). There will be a time will you will NOT regret spending this time with your mom, whether it be in your house or assisted living. She's elderly and might be a 'burden,' but you'll look back at that time and be glad you had it.

    You can have jobs here and there, move here and there, but you can't take back your mom when she's gone.

    My dad was an abusive arse growing up, but I'd sleep on the couch and give him my bedroom now. Chuckle...he could sleep in the room next to carpenter Dave. I guarantee you he'd teach him a lesson or two!

    It's tough getting old.

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Marcie, go carefully on this one. She's whining about where she is now and that could simply be her way of saying she misses you. You don't know if she is as miserable as that all the time. Find out first. Some people carry on like that as their way to show you they love you. You might have her living with you, and she might be on the phone to aunt and niece about how lonely and bored she is, with you.

    And how about the difficult children? Is your mother going to begin telling you how to raise kids?

    I could be wrong, this could be the best thing you ever considered doing. But I agree with your thoughts, try it out first before you even suggest it. Don't hold out hope of anything until you are fairly sure you could cope.

    Also, if you do go down this route - make sure you have really good health care in place for her. Get a copy of her file transferred to your local doctor even if she's just visiting, so if an emergency arises your local doctor has her history.

    We've got mother in law living around the corner. She was adamant she didn't want to live in our pockets, although I would have accepted this. I'm glad she is independent, though. I think she is happier that way and there are times she really gets on my nerves. I'm good at ignoring it, though. You have to be. And most of the time, because I work at it, she and I get on really well.

    Whenever sister in law visits I try to fade into the background, because I'm only daughter in law, not daughter, I don't want sister in law to ever feel that I'm in competition in any way. besides, when she's visiting I feel they need their private time together.

    On our honeymoon, husband & I visited the Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore and acquainted ourselves with Chinese mythology. One particular diorama had a strong message - it showed a young woman breastfeeding a very old woman, while a baby cried in the corner. It is a story about how important is filial duty - the daughter in law is feeding her mother in law with the only nourishment the toothless old woman can now take in, and feeds the old woman before even her own son. This is the Chinese ideal of filial duty.
    You need to keep this in mind during the really annoying times. Whenever things get at you, remember you're not having to go that far!

  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Many years ago, when my great-grandfather died, the "girls" (my grandmother and her three sisters), decided that their mother should sell the farm and take turns living with each daughter in turn. She would spend three months in each home before moving on to the next. While my grandmother didn't regret the time she was able to spend with her mother, she did come to regret that her mother had no place she could call her own, and she felt guilty for not letting her settle anywhere.

    This has stayed with me, and I would not have my mother or mother in law living with me because of it. I believe everyone needs a place of their own, even if it's an apartment in an assisted living complex.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Marcie...I really can empathize with you. This is one of the hardest things we have to do as adult kids. When I made the decision to bring my mom here to live with me I could only do it because she was out of her mind. If she had remembered anything it would have been a disaster. It was still extremely hard on me because I did remember everything and I had some feelings I wish I hadnt had.

    If I remember correctly, your mom didnt exactly treat you the nicest so you need to think about if you can put that aside. In the end I am glad I did what I did because I know I did what I had to do but it was so hard on me. I could only take her for a couple of years though before she went into a nursing home. I also couldnt have done it without the help of my kids and Tony. They were so much help with the actual care of her.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Personally, if it were me, I think I would find someplace close for your mom to live. I'm the only child for my mom and step-dad and the possibility is there that someday one or both may live with me. I both welcome that and dread it too. I know that someday I will miss being able to see my mom or take 5 calls from her in one day like I do now. But I also know that if we had to live together again (especially if not so good health is involved), we would get on each other's nerves. Even now that she's a 1/2 hour away, I don't tell her everything about difficult child. When we first got him she would try to tell me how to parent. She wasn't doing it to be interferring, just being a mom. But without seeing our lives 24/7, she really didn't have a clue.

    Even without the difficult child factor though, it can be really disruptive. After my grandpa died and grandma got her place sold, she spent some time visiting family. She wound up moving in with my aunt and it was not a good thing. Their lifestyles are totally different and with grandma's health issues, she couldn't get out and around on her own. She's now with an uncle and looking into getting her own place.

    For you situation, I would think long and hard about having her move in. How will she act towards your parenting style, will she depend on you for everything or will she do things on her own?
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Marcie, I'm going to answer this from the position of remembering how vehemently you felt about keeping your distance from your mother the last time she visited your house (was it for a week or a weekend) and you kicked her out mid-visit because she was awful and undermining you as a person and a mother.

    I think that before you decide anything, you should thorough investigate all of your options, and all of hers as well. A couple of things come to mind when I'm reading your post.

    1) Your mother is unhappy where she's at, but your aunt and cousin go to see her a couple of times a week. Isn't it in your mother's general nature to be unhappy? If you move her to California, where she's never lived, and put her in assisted living there, will she be able to afford it, and will anyone go visit her a couple of times a week? I think she will be more unhappy with you, because she'll realize that changing places didn't change her life for the better. It only made it unfamiliar.

    2) You two have been talking about Arizona for as long as I have known you. The real estate market is tanking there, too. So it may be t-i-t for tat to sell in CA and buy in AZ. You must know someone in real estate who can thoroughly research your comps in your area, and find some houses in AZ that you would like that would help you decide what's right for your long term.

    If you really think this is something you might want to do - not out of guilt but out of love - have your mother come visit for a week after you have researched living centers in your area and see what you think. Don't tell anyone that she might be coming to live, or they'll pack her apartment and send it on an express truck to you and you'll be stuck.

    I really get the part about feeling guilty, but it's a horrible thing to get tripped up on. If you think you want to have her in CA because you love her and want to spend time with her even when she tells your kids and grandkids what a piece of c#@p you are, then you should do it. If you feel guilty and don't love her enough to keep her in your home (or go visit her in the living center) when she acts out, you aren't doing either of you any favors. See if you can find her help where she already is at.
  8. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Marcie,
    just want to say I think Witz brought up some very good points. I would not do anything out of guilt, it will only make you resentful. Also, as Witz pointed out, maybe it is in your mother's general nature to be unhappy, she will be unhappy no matter where she is. Please be careful and please, it is okay to put your own needs first sometimes!
  9. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, she was living in a boarding home two hours away (she was schizophrenic). I found an assisted living facility closer to us, and set up a room for her to stay with us on the weekends. It worked out well for us because taking the kids to visit her usually was a nightmare, and we were never able to stay long. She didn't come every weekend, but it was enough that we got to spend more time with her, she got to know the grandkids, and then we could send her back home on Sunday nights and it wouldn't interfere with the school/work week. I also tried to visit her once during the week.

    But the others are right, if she is unhappy wherever she is, it may not change things. My Grandma was like that. She was in St. Louis and complained to my aunt in Florida all the time about noone coming to visit (not true!) and being all alone, and not ever getting to know my aunt's kids and grandkids. My aunt moved her to her house in Florida and she complained to family in St. Louis about arguing with our aunt all the time, and not being able to see her friends like she did in St. Louis at the retirement community, and having little kids running around all the time. My aunt moved into a nursing home, and Grandma complained about noone visiting (not true!), arguing with my aunt all the time, and missing her St. Louis friends and family.

    She was just never going to be happy. My aunt doesn't regret moving her to Florida, even though it seemed so bad at the time, because she got to spend the last years with her and Grandma got to know the kids and grandkids, and they were able to know her.
  10. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    I'm in favor of leaving a little distance between you.......sometimes that makes for a better's a fine line to walk when roles are reversed, she is used to being the parent and what she says are not used to telling her what to do for her own health......I would give her a little more time at the place she is now.....until she makes at least one good friend it could be rough listening to her complaints, but I'm thinking dealing with her everday won't build your relationship. As long as the place she is living isn't a financial burden I would wait it out to see if she can't adjust to the place. I don't envy your decision.