Advice PLEASE - my mum is ruining my own mothering experience
This is the first time I've logged on in easily a year but I don't know who else to turn to, I need help. The background of the situation is that my mother lost her job a couple of weeks before my 14 month old was born. For a while she vaguely looked for a job then ended up moving out of her rental, going on an extravagant 4 month holiday then came back with no job or house. That was 4 months ago now and although she has found a few house sitting jobs in between she has essentially stayed with us for 3 of those months. We moved into a townhouse literally two days after she returned and we've barely settled into the place as a family because she's in and out of here (it's 2 bedroom so she stays in what would be our daughters room and our baby stays in our room. It's open plan living and kitchen so we're literally just all together all the time she's here). Every time she has stayed with us she says "it's just for 2 days, I have a house sit booked" and then it'll turn out actually being 2 weeks. My mum and I used to be the best of friends and lived alone together from when I was 15 to 23, we never had any issues but it's so different now. She is basically tarnishing my experience as a parent. If I so much as leave a used cup on the kitchen bench she talks like I'm an awful mother. She goes through our trash to check we are recycling correctly (which we are by the way...). She moves things around, changes things in our house and if she suggests changing something styling wise and I say no she will go on and on about how much she hates it. She criticises EVERYTHING my fiancé does or says, we often cook dinner for her and she never says thank you - particularly if my fiancé does it. She tells me how to parent in every way you can imagine - from telling me I am giving my toddler the wrong water (she's insisting on buying us a $500 filter when she apparently can't afford to stay elsewhere...) to saying I am breastfeeding her too much etc. She is always around, never goes anywhere, just hangs around the living areas being critical and acting like its her house. She has literally nowhere else to go, until she finds a job. Today she got accepted for a temporary job role (4 weeks) which starts in 2 weeks. It was my knowledge she was staying with us for ONE week then going to see her family for 2 weeks that live a few hours away and then would be back to do a house sit job. She accepts the temp job then tells me she will cancel all those plans to stay here for the next 6 weeks because it's easier for her. I was genuinely surprised and couldn't hide it... I tried as kindly as I could to say we just don't have the space for that duration. She seemed sort of okay then later I heard her on the phone to someone saying I didn't want her here etc etc. I had to get my child to sleep and am now doing some work in the room so I messaged her trying to apologise and explain more clearly and she has just ignored me. I genuinely just don't know what to do. My fiancé is going through a significant struggle with mental health at the moment and having her around is making it so much worse. I love my mother but to be blunt I am so unhappy when she stays with us. I don't know what to do, or any way to fix the situation. I feel so trapped and it's making it worse knowing that now I've most certainly made her upset when I was just simply trying to explain that this house is only okay for very short stays as its small. Any tips AT ALL appreciated
I really just wanted to give you a huge hug. I'm not sure what to tell you. I hope someone can give you advice that can help.. That's an awful place to be in. But honestly, you need to do what is right for your family and if she is making you all miserable and your mom does have a place to go, I think it sounds reasonable she leaves. I know she might be upset now but I can't imagine it would be forever. You all have been very generous to her already. You and your fiance need to make a decision and back each other up but as kindly as possible. If you already told her the house is too small (which is does sound like) then you can apologize if she is hurt but you need to stand beside your first decision and let her leave. Now if she is homeless that's different but it does sound like she has someplace she can go and you have every right to be happy. Boundaries are important and it sounds like she feels she can come and go as much as she pleases like it's her house.
Also if I was letting my mom stay with us and she decided to give me parenting advice.. I would have to say something. Great reason for her not to be there. We had to stay with my parents for awhile and it was horrible.. My mom was constantly on me about how I parent and talked badly about my husband constantly so we moved out before we were actually ready but thankfully it worked out OK and we are all so much happier. Good luck to you!
I think you just have to sit down with her and be really upfront that living together is not working out and you feel like it's a bit of a strain on your relationship and you would like to have the house to yourselves, particularly as your daughter is getting old enough now that she should have some space of her own if she needs it, even if you plan to continue to co-sleep (we co-slept until ours was 3.5, which was great, but definitely by that age, we needed a room for her and her things just to keep on top of the chaos, regardless of where she actually slept at night). I don't think it's healthy to have a family member coming in and out with no consistency and disrupting everything every few weeks. I think you probably have to put your foot down, tell her you want to be honest with her about what you need right now and that you understand she may be hurt, but she needs to start living on her own again. Give her a firm date and ask her to arrange something by then, whether that is getting her own place or moving in with a friend or family member. Health and mental health issues aside, which can of course impact on work, at her age, there's few excuses to not have a job, especially if she could blow a lot of money on personal travel and other expenses. But like that adult child who keeps coming back for a cheap place to stay, unless you put your foot down, it doesn't sound like she's in a hurry to change anything. If she's entrepreneurial enough to be arranging these house sitting jobs, she should be able to launch herself into being successfully self-employed if she wants to be. But I think what you're feeling is very normal and healthy. My mum lives overseas and when she comes to see us, she stays for a week. I love her, but I want to strangle her by day 5. There's a reason why we don't carry on living with our parents as adults in our culture. We would all go crazy.
Thank you so much ladies. It feels good just to hear others acknowledge the problem! She stayed with friends a few times before she went overseas and they all basically stopped talking to her afterwards (now I know why...).Unfortunately we genuinely only have one small group of family that live 3 hours away - this would inhibit her job hunting and she doesn't want to be that far away from my toddler for too long. In saying that... She's been unemployed 14 months and I know for a fact she's applied for less than 10 jobs, she hasn't really tried. She's been extremely picky and at first refused to apply for full time work because she didn't want that lifestyle anymore. Now I think she's realised she does need to find a job and her own place but God knows how much longer than could take - where we live finding a job is seriously hard. It's the next day and she's ignored my message still and I heard her go out about an hour ago (it's 7.30am) so I'm sure I'll be facing plenty of tension when she gets back...
Honestly it sounds like your mother has boundary issues. I'd start setting firm boundaries for her behavior e.g. recycling trash that you are doing it correctly and that she really needs to stop checking because you're an adult and can perfectly well figure out how to do it yourself. It'll be difficult at first but I think if you don't start setting boundaries, she'll continue to cross them and it'll hurt your relationship.
I'd just set a date for when you at latest want her out of your house. I feel for her if the job market is tough but she's currently putting no real effort into it which just guarantees she won't find a job. In all honesty, it isn't your problem, your mother is an adult and needs to be able to figure out her own life and take responsibility. Letting her stay isn't motivating her to do either. I'd just be honest and say that you love her but that living with you isn't working for you and your family and you really need her to find her own place by a set date. If she starts guilt tripping I'd stand firm and say that you're sorry if she sees it that way but you feel it's best for everyone this way, including for your relationship with her. Truthfully you aren't responsible for her feelings, if she chooses to see it as you being a horrible daughter, let her!
Also your mother sounds a bit manipulative if she's telling people that you don't want her there when the fact is there's not enough room for her. It sounds like she's doing this to pressure you into letting her stay. I'd frankly not care what she's telling people (especially if it's her own friends), I'd stand firm and say she needs to move and find a job ASAP. If anyone in your family (assuming she's also telling family members) starts guilt tripping you because of what she's tellling them, I'd be honest and say that you don't have room for her and that while you love her that living together just isn't working for you or your family, your first priority, and you feel it'd be better for your relationship with your mother if she moves out. If people keep pressuring you I'd tell them that it's not up for discussion and change the subject. Stand firm, don't buckle and don't start doubting yourself during any of this, your mother and people she's manipulated will seize on it and start making you feel like a bad person to pressure you into letting your mother stay. Don't believe any of it and don't let them do that to you!
Lots of luck and I hope you get her to move out soon!
How difficult for you. It really hits you when you become a parent yourself how mums can be hard work. Although my mum has not moved in with us she has trouble accepting anything done how she didnt do it. At times i have felt extremely down feeling judged by the person who should support me. It started out when i was pregnant trying to control what to buy and what not to buy. Telling me not to find out the gender and not to pick a certain name. She didnt approve of the way i announced her birth either. She still has to much to say now my daughters two. She often accuses me of spoiling her. Even though we dont! When
She was born alot of people got her toys and teddies. So she tried to say dont get her anything much for xmas and birthday. I ignored her and we spent £100 on each occasion on her but i have to hide toys when she comes around etc. we have money and are comfortable. We are not rolling in money mind you but weve never borrowed a penny.
I think when we become parents its hard for our parents to back off and accept they had their turn at it. But its probably not done intentially probably more that its hard for them to accept their children are able to do things themselves. Also parenting has changed alot. My mum thinks babies will be spoilt if you hold them too much where as now we know that you can hold them as much as you want as they need to feel secure. It is very hard getting through to parents that we know whats best for our children.
As for the living situation. You need to do whats best for your family and your mum should be able to realise theres not enough space. She is taking advantage. She may well need you to provide a roof over her head for abit but she should be respecting your home and ways and thanking for meals etc. try not to let it eat away at you too much. She needs to move out and she will gwt over it. If she doesn't then she is unreasonable. I genuinely understand how it feels when parents spoil a great time in your life. I hope things get sorted soon xx
I'm so sorry Hun. Similarly I've always been close to my mum but we've had issues recently, mainly due to how overbearing she can be although thankfully she didn't move in. I ended up emailing my mum, we had a massive row and it has impacted on our long term relationship. But now she's overstepping the boundaries again I feel more comfortable saying something. I think the issue with us is I let things drag on for fear of hurting her feelings (and my auntys-it's a complicated situation). But the longer it went on the more resentful I was and it ended up with neither of us seeing the others view. So my advice would be nip it in the bud now. Yes it will be a difficult conversation and she'll be upset but it needs resolving sooner rather than later. Try to avoid blaming her and just explain you need your own space for your own family.
Gosh hard situation , maybe try sit her down and ask her what her plans are ? Maybe start by saying mum can we have a coffee and a chat . I'm sure you have plans to move on soon just wondering what timescale etc as we need to think about moving baby into her own room etc ....
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