Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“We Moved in With His Grandma And She Doesn’t Understand I’m The Boss Now!”

I am 22 years old and ten weeks pregnant. When my boyfriend, “Daniel,” and I found out, we moved in together into a house owned by his dad where only Daniel’s grandma lives… and now us. She cannot pay her bills, so Daniel’s dad was picking up the slack. He encouraged us to move in, knowing we could pay the bills. I was warned about living with Grandma, but the rent is free, and we only pay utilities and property tax, so I thought it was a fine bargain.

Family members mentioned that Grandma would say rude things, never address me personally, only address Daniel, and do crazy household chores such as putting dish soap, rather than detergent, in the dishwasher and burning all her trash, including plastic, in a can outside. I decided to overlook it, thinking after all we would be paying bills, not her. Currently we have only been in the house one month, and I am fed up. I want to prepare for my future child, my first baby, and she is seriously stressing me out. I have turned the other cheek and ignored her.

For some reason we have not yet proven to her that we are essentially the “bosses” of certain household things being that we are taking care of the bills. I never wanted it to come to this because she is my elder! I never thought I would have to speak up for myself, and I still haven’t done so. Daniel does tell her to stop doing certain things, but she refuses to listen. She tells me not to put my decorations up, not to move my dishes into the kitchen (I suppose she wants me to keep them in storage?), not to bring furniture, not to put my planner on the living room coffee table, and she burned her old mail in the furnace smoking up the house! It took two weeks to get her to quit lighting her cigarettes on the stove and leaving the door open while she smokes. She says, to my face, that my asthma isn’t such a big deal, even though I take oral medication and a preventative inhaler twice a day. She often comes in our room late to talk to Daniel. I honestly thought all of this was something I could overcome with kindness and patience, but my pregnancy hormones are raging, and I am afraid that bringing a child up here would be a nightmare. Daniel and his father tell me to ignore her and just do what I want and that in time she will understand.

I have lived on my own for five years, but Daniel has not. He previously lived with his father and does not fully understand my need to have control over my home. I believe he doesn’t worry about the future as much. I especially need to be respected in my home in order to raise a child. I try to tell Daniel we might have to move out, but he gets upset because he wants to raise his kids in this house (sigh). It has been his dad’s property for Daniel’s entire life. But I believe feeling comfortable in my home while raising a child is essential. I need to feel at ease and free to nest. He said he wants me to be comfortable, but I have to fight with him to try to get him to agree to move out if this does not get better. I can barely handle it now. Should I give it time or come to an agreement and arrangement as soon as possible? How can I avoid confrontation and meet my needs? Do you think a grown woman (Grandma) is capable of changing? I don’t! — Who’s The Boss

You say you want to feel comfortable in your own home, but the house you’re living in isn’t yours. You’re not paying rent or a mortgage and you moved in with someone who has lived there much longer than you have and already has her way of doing things and isn’t interested in changing to accommodate a couple of freeloading kids with a baby on the way. If you want your own place where you can feel comfortable and like the “boss,” move out and find something you can afford. As for how to do that without a “confrontation” with Daniel, you probably can’t avoid that. Confronting issues, disagreements, and conflict is sort of a basic core necessity of living with someone and certainly of raising a child together. Instead of trying to avoid conflict, what you should be trying to avoid are fucked-up situations like having a baby when you don’t have your own home or can’t afford your own home.

Honestly, even if Daniel wants to stay in his dad’s home with his grandma, you need to move out. Move out whether Daniel goes or not. Move in with a roommate or your family. If that’s not a possibility and you really have no other option besides basically squatting in your boyfriend’s dad’s place with a cantankerous old lady who clearly doesn’t want you, let alone a crying newborn, there, I’d encourage you to consider putting your baby up for adoption. If you can’t provide the very basics for survival, like a home, you have no business becoming a parent.

I read a lot of entitlement in your tone; you are owed nothing. Paying utilities doesn’t entitle you to rent-free comfortable living. There’s no such thing as rent-free without some strings attached. The strings here are dealing with a roommate who doesn’t want to share her space with you and has zero intention of ever abiding by your rules (which you are not entitled to have in the first place, the house isn’t yours!). If you can’t deal with the strings, move out. You’re owed nothing here. But your baby… your baby deserves a safe and comfortable home. If you and Daniel can’t provide that, then the loving and responsible thing to do is to find someone who can.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

65 comments… add one
  • avatar

    blink14 October 31, 2016, 8:12 am

    Move out! Besides the fact that you feel like she disrespects you, the smoking alone should have made you think twice on this. If you take that much asthma medication (I have asthma myself), then you shouldn’t be living with a smoker at all. Besides that, second hand smoke is detrimental to children – even if you’ve convinced yourself that you can live with it, your child shouldn’t.

    Burning trash is definitely a generational thing, and she sounds like she’s being cheap by using dish soap in the dishwasher, but mostly it seems that she sees it as her territory being invaded. If she can’t pay her bills, her and Daniel’s father should be working that out, or a much more in depth conversation about you two moving in should’ve happened. It seems like you both moved in almost immediately after finding out you are pregnant, kind of jumping the gun there.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie October 31, 2016, 8:26 am

    You need to move out. You have moved into someone else’s home. Put yourself in her shoes for just a moment. You’ve lived in your house for years. You don’t have a lot of money. Suddenly your grandchild and his pregnant girlfriend are moving in, are in your space and are putting their things around your house and telling you to deal with it.

    You’re invading someone else’s home. And why would you, who has asthma and is pregnant and will eventually have a baby move in with someone who smokes? Did you think she would just up and quit? Maybe start vaping with cherry bomb juice or something ridiculous like that?

    If you can’t afford to move out to your own place, then accept that you are technically a long term guest. A guest. Not the owner, not even a renter. I don’t know where your entitlement comes from but you need to take your head out of your ass.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 8:31 am

    You feel the need to have control over your own home. Guess what, his Grandma has lived as an adult for a lot more years than you have and she also feels the need to have control over her home. No one her age wants to suddenly have a 22-year-old bossing them around.

    This isn’t your own home. You are freeloading just about as much as grandma is and that’s because you can’t afford to take care of yourself. You pay utilities and property tax meaning you aren’t paying very much. Daniel’s dad eased his burden by putting his two sets of dependents into one home. That makes it cheaper and easier for him. As long as you are dependent on someone else to provide your home you get the home they provide with the roommate they provide.

    If you have been independent for five years why move into this situation? Why didn’t you stay where you were? Where you had a choice of roommates and could keep your own things. Is it because Daniel isn’t capable of supporting himself and can’t pay his share so that the two of you can provide your own place? Why move in with a man who is actually a boy who needs his daddy to take care of him? This situation has suddenly put you in the position of a dependent child. Dependent children don’t get to be the boss.

    If you want to be independent you need to get out of that house whether Daniel agrees to move out or not. He apparently isn’t capable of pulling his own weight and doesn’t care to start now. He can make babies but he certainly can’t raise them. You have to start thinking like an adult. Where can you live without cigarette smoke? What can you afford? How will you support a baby? Who will take care of the baby while you work? Have you priced diapers yet?

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 8:36 am

    ” I try to tell Daniel we might have to move out, but he gets upset because he wants to raise his kids in this house (sigh).”

    Please make sure that you stop at one kid until you are totally self-supporting. I can see Daniel move an entire string of pregnant girlfriends into this house. You are probably only the first.

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    • avatar

      Ange October 31, 2016, 6:49 pm

      I felt so sorry for poor grandma reading that line. Her whole life has been disrupted by two rude kids who don’t even consider her feelings one jot.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 9:04 am

    ” I especially need to be respected in my home in order to raise a child.”

    The way to get respect is to earn it. You haven’t earned it and you aren’t even close. Grandma sees two young kids who can’t support themselves and couldn’t even figure out birth control. Why would she respect either of you?

    If you want respect in your own home you begin by providing your own home.

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  • findingtheearth

    Findingtheearth October 31, 2016, 9:28 am

    This is her home. Imagine how she feels with two young people just barging in and demanding things change.

    Also, if her behavior is possibly damaging to herself, it might be worth talking to Adult Protection Services. They may also have suggestions for her to live safely in her home.

    And I completely agree with Wendy. If you can’t support this baby on your own, then you need to consider other options.

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  • avatar

    Ron October 31, 2016, 10:02 am

    If you’ve been independent for 5 years, why are you suddenly dependent upon Daniel’s father for your housing? You say little about Daniel, but the obvious explanation is that Daniel isn’t working a steady job and being supported by you and his father. Daniel sounds extremely immature and, frankly, you don’t sound a whole lot more mature yourself. You need to move out, with or without Daniel. You need to consider how you will collect child support from Daniel, support a baby on your own, or put the baby up for adoption.

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  • othy

    othy October 31, 2016, 11:11 am

    “For some reason we have not yet proven to her that we are essentially the “bosses” of certain household things being that we are taking care of the bills. I never wanted it to come to this because she is my elder! ” This line REALLY bothered me. You have moved into someone else’s home, where presumable she has lived by herself for a long time, she didn’t invite you to live with her, and she probably barely knows you. And you think that because you’ll be paying utilities (which, since you’ve only been living there a month means you probably haven’t even paid yet!) means that it’s now your way or the highway. NO, that’s not how any of this works.

    Paying a small fraction of the shared living expenses doesn’t make you anyone’s boss. You have zero business making any of the rules in this house. The only thing I read in the letter that is remotely reasonable is asking her to light up outside. There are much better ways to handle this than trying to boss her around. You, as an adult, can talk to her, as an adult, and ask her to consider this for courtesy’s sake. If you continue living with Grandma in the future, you need to treat her like you are a guest in her home who is paying a small share of your expenses in exchange for her sharing her home.

    Honestly, I doubt any of this (your relationship included) will last long term. Find an apartment you can afford, save every penny you can for your child, and honestly, don’t expect any support from your boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 October 31, 2016, 11:28 am

    I think Wendy’s too harsh with LW here. LW is not some freeloader who can’t provide for a child. It sounds like LW moved in because Daniel wanted to. Rent money isn’t the problem. She would move out and pay her own rent in a heartbeat if Daniel would agree, and in fact she has asked him to.

    LW, I do agree that you should move, with or without Daniel. He sounds pretty selfish in my opinion. He cares more about his idea of the family home than your reality of smoke and asthma and burning plastic. This is an extraordinary level of unwillingness to compromise.

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 12:02 pm

      I think Wendy’s responding to the entitled tone. LW does seem to think that paying taxes and utilities entitles her to bully this old woman into doing things her way. And she IS freeloading at the moment, since she isn’t paying rent. You can’t let someone else (the dad) support you and then complain when there are strings attached. Especially when you knew exactly what those strings were.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy October 31, 2016, 12:44 pm

        Except it doesn’t sound like she’s trying to bully the woman, it sounds like she wants to not be bullied herself. She’s not allowed to unpack any of her dishes, or put up any of her own decorations, and the grandmother is letting cigarette smoke into the house, which is unhealthy for a pregnant woman who also has asthma.
        None of the things she’s asking for are at all unreasonable. She wants to feel like she’s at home in the space she’s living in, and that she is contributing to financially.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 12:59 pm

        It would be one thing if the grandma had welcomed her in. But if I were in this situation, I’d treat it as the grandma’s house. The grandma has been living there for years, she doesn’t seem to have agreed to have the LW move in, and now the LW thinks the grandma should get rid of her furniture so the LW can have hers? I don’t know, I wouldn’t dream of even asking my bf’s grandma to do that. Of course I would never have moved in in the first place, so there you go.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy October 31, 2016, 1:17 pm

        It sounds like the LW gave into pressure from her boyfriend and his dad (who actually owns the house). And it doesn’t even sound like she wants the grandmother to get rid of her furniture, she just wants to be able to bring in some of her own as well? And to be able to also have her dishes? Essentially to be treated as a roommate and not as an intruder, since she’s, y’know, financially contributing to the household. I think everyone is being unnecessarily harsh on the LW for wanting to feel at home, that’s all.
        Maybe the grandmother wasn’t consulted, but even then that isn’t the LW’s fault.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 1:41 pm

        There may not be room for two sets of dishes and two sets of furniture. Most people have cabinets that are full. I know that in our home I feel that something must be thrown away in order to put something new in the kitchen cabinets because they are full. What should grandma do with her dishes and her furniture in order for the LW to have room for her own?

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy October 31, 2016, 1:46 pm

        Maybe they could all act like reasonable adults and share the space. Like… compromise, or something. I dunno. Probably just me being crazy.
        My grandmother was having a tough time paying her own bills, and so her son, who was also having trouble, moved in with her so they could split costs. My grandma did have to get rid of a few things to make room for my uncle’s stuff. He had to get rid of some of his stuff too.
        When you cannot afford to pay any of your own bills, that can sometimes mean sacrificing certain things, like personal space and privacy and having everything the way that you like it all the time. That’s how life goes.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 1:57 pm

        Yeah, but it sounds like your grandma willingly let her son move in. To me that’s a totally different situation. It’s “let me move some of my stuff out to make room for you” vs being told that you’re having people move in with you and then they try to get you to get rid of stuff.

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      • avatar

        Ange October 31, 2016, 6:53 pm

        Plus grandma probably sees the writing on the wall that these two have an expiry date. Why get rid of stuff when you may need it back later?

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 1:42 pm

        I don’t know, for me, I wouldn’t be treating my bf’s grandmother like a roommate. It’s not really a “roommate” situation when it’s an older member of the family. It’s really no different than if she moved in with her bf’s parents. And yes, I know they’re contributing money, but personally I don’t think that matters in this scenario, where they’re essentially moving into someone else’s home, most likely against that person’s will. I know the grandmother doesn’t own it, but I’m sure she sees it as her home.

        Also it sounds from the LW’s language that she expected to walk in there and be in charge. “I decided to overlook it, thinking after all we would be paying bills, not her”, “we have not yet proven to her that we are essentially the “bosses” of certain household things”, etc. My guess is that the grandma didn’t want them there, the LW walked in like she owned the place, and the grandma pushed back. The LW’s attitude is that they should be in charge because they’re paying more money, while I’m sure the grandma’s attitude is that this is her home and she intends to keep it that way. There’s no winning here. They should move out (or at least the LW should).

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy October 31, 2016, 1:54 pm

        I’m curious what happens to the grandmother in that circumstance. The impression I’m getting here is that she can’t afford to pay any of her own bills, so what happens when LW moves out? Does the home owner, her boyfriend’s dad, have to find new tenants, because he can’t afford to 100% support his mother?
        I think if you’re sharing space with someone out of financial necessity, that makes you roommates, regardless of your familiar position.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 1:59 pm

        The dad’s trying to save money for himself, but it doesn’t say he can’t pay if they move out. Regardless, that’s not the LW’s problem to solve.

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  • redessa

    redessa October 31, 2016, 11:38 am

    “She tells me … not to move my dishes into the kitchen (I suppose she wants me to keep them in storage?)” Yes! That’s exactly what she expects you to do. Same with your furniture and decorations. Why would you think otherwise? You don’t actually think she’s supposed to move out her stuff to make room for yours do you?

    You don’t get respect by moving into someone else’s home and taking over. And make no mistake, regardless of her financial situation, this is her home. She has every right to expect to keep her things the way she likes them and you have no business changing/adding/moving anything without her permission. You and Daniel and his dad worked out this arrangement, but not once did you mention anything about any of you asking grandma how she felt about living with the 2 (soon to be 3) of you.

    If you want to have your own things, and do things your own way in your own (smoke free) space, move out – with or without Daniel.

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  • avatar

    Onebigpixie October 31, 2016, 11:59 am

    Wow… Where to start…? I’ll start with this, I’m appalled by “advice” given by Miss Wendy. I’ll also take a moment to point out that the small fact, and apparently ignored by everyone from Miss Wendy some commenters here, that her boyfriend’s father encouraged them to move because Grandma can’t pay her bills? That alone tells me that the boyfriends father, sick of dealing with his mother, found the perfect pair of suckers to move in and deal with Grandma. And I am the only one who sees that Grandma is dangerous? Grandma is dang over the top lucky she didn’t start a fire by throwing her mail in the furnace! Which brings me to my next point. The letter writer doesn’t say how old Grandma is, it is most definitely was past time that Grandma got evaluated because frankly, she may be in the first stages of dementia. Furthermore, am I sincerely the only who finds it vastly appalling that Grandma doesn’t even have the common courtesy or humanity, to respect that a housemate’s medical problems? A lack of respect is mentioned by the “advice” of Miss Wendy, but frankly I’d ask, where is the common courtesy that Grandma should be showing the letter writer, period? And I am sorry but I know what my opinion of Grandma is and it isn’t a good one. Grandma should have been evaluated and her mental state dealt long before the letter writer and her boyfriend moved in. I’ll also point another vast error in Miss Wendy’s assumptions. I’m sorry but have you paid property taxes before, Miss Wendy? I ask because property taxes these days are beyond terrible and if a young couple actually has the wherewithal to do so and manage the utilities, they’re not exactly welfare folks as your snarky advice comes right out and says. You seem to ignore everything this young woman has to say, especially when she comes out and admits that she has turned the other cheek several times and I am left to wonder, were you actually taking Grandma’s side because she has the right to act like a shrew or because the letter writer finds herself pregnant at 22 yrs old? Should the letter writer move out? Hell yes, run baby, run as fast and as far as you can from Grandma and the con artists who convinced you to move in with this elderly piece of work would be my advice.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy October 31, 2016, 12:07 pm

      I completely agree that people who show signs of mental illness should be evaluated and get the help they need…

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    • avatar

      dinoceros October 31, 2016, 12:10 pm

      What is up with the “Miss Wendy” stuff? Trying to be even more condescending?

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy October 31, 2016, 12:13 pm

        Exactly! It’s Ms. Wendy to her, thank you very much.

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      • avatar

        Ange October 31, 2016, 6:56 pm

        Ms Wendy if ya nasty

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 12:12 pm

      Found the LW.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 12:17 pm

        I’m thinking the same thing. She sounds like the letter writer.

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      • avatar

        Essie October 31, 2016, 1:22 pm

        Oh, definitely.

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      • Ginger

        Ginger October 31, 2016, 12:28 pm

        Hahaha. That’s exactly what I thought as soon as I read the comment…

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 12:27 pm

      I’ve been paying property taxes for years. We saved enough money for a down payment on a house and then had all of the associated costs like property taxes and utilities and food and appliances and we had a baby a few months after moving in and we paid for all of it ourselves. We didn’t have a parent doing the big chunk, which is the mortgage. If the LW wants to be the boss of her own home she needs to provide the home. I did mention that Daniel’s dad was taking care of two sets of dependents by putting them all in the same house. Grandma is probably paying some expenses too, maybe groceries and dish detergent. Maybe she’s paying for gas or oil for the furnace. The bottom line is that the LW knew that grandma was part of the deal and knew that she was difficult and went ahead and moved in with her without asking grandma if she would mind or working it out with grandma what would be used and what would be stored.

      Grandma has been around long enough to know that most relationships at this young age don’t last and she knows that the LW will most likely move out within a year or two at most. Why should grandma upend her life for her grandson’s latest girlfriend? Grandma knows she probably won’t last very long. The LW will move on and grandma will have her house with her stuff still in it just like she likes it.

      Grandma has probably always burned papers in the furnace just like she has always burned trash outside. It saves money by not having to pay for a trash service. Since they are living in an area where she can burn trash outside the property is probably not prohibitively expensive and the property taxes aren’t too bad. The LW is free to move out and pay rent instead of property taxes at any time.

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      • avatar

        Ange October 31, 2016, 6:57 pm

        Should have scrolled down, I thought the same thing! Grandma probably knows what’s up.

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    • FireStar

      Firestar October 31, 2016, 12:27 pm

      Why do you sound like you are 22 and living with your boyfriend’s grandmother?

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    • avatar

      Unwanted_Truth October 31, 2016, 12:32 pm

      Try a dictionary for starters @onebigpixie

      You, if you’re not the original LW, two should shack up together , you sound perfect for one another.

      “‘Miss’ should be used when referring to an unmarried woman, while “Mrs.” is the proper title for a married woman. Many are often confused about the correct usage of “Ms.”, which does not depend on marital status at all and can be used as a title for both unmarried and married women.”

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    • mjmaim

      mjmaim October 31, 2016, 2:40 pm

      Definitely the LW posing as a Pixie here. Btw, property taxes AT THE MOST are probably $300/month plus utilities…… I’m not sure what makes you think this qualifies you to be a high roller, but you’re wrong. Maybe you should spend a little more time being grateful to have this opportunity to save money, instead of whining about how you can’t be the boss in someone else’s home. Your bratty attitude is exactly why the grandma doesn’t want you in her home and doesn’t respect you, it has nothing to do with her mental health. Get your act together, recognize the world doesn’t revolve around you, and start acting like an independent adult if you want to be treated like one.

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      • othy

        othy October 31, 2016, 4:27 pm

        The property taxes really do depend on the state. I have an uncle who lives in a modestly priced home (for the area) in NJ, and he pays around $12,000 annually just in taxes.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros October 31, 2016, 12:14 pm

    Next time, listen to warnings and think things through. The other advice is good, but please learn how to come to reasonable decision with your boyfriend prior to raising a child. It sounds like he isn’t mature enough to be a father.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant October 31, 2016, 12:19 pm

    So, I agree and co-sign all of Wendy’s advice, but also want to add, is Grandma in the best of health, mentally?

    Doing odd things like burning trash, using the wrong type of soap (based on my experience, wouldn’t that overflow each and every time she run the dishes repeatedly creating huge messes?), and being particularly surly, if this isn’t how she’s always been, good be a sign of something being amiss for her as she ages.

    Is anyone else in the family noticing or worried about her disposition and ability to care for her self. Does she need to evaluated by a health professional?

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 12:24 pm

      I wonder about this as well, but it kinda sounds like this is just how she’s always done things. If she’s being cheap about the dish soap, she might just be putting a couple drops in, enough to do the dishes but not overflow with bubbles. And burning trash is common (or used to be) in some places.

      As to being particularly surly, I would be too if someone moved into my house and started bossing me around. I’ll give grandma a pass on that one.

      But if she IS being a danger to herself, they should definitely get her checked out. The LW should stay out of that though. Daniel should be the one to talk to his father if he thinks that’s necessary.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant October 31, 2016, 12:30 pm

        Yeah, that could be true.

        And I definitely agree that the LW is coming off bratty here, but I do wonder if this behavior is odd for the Grandma (and if the Dad asked them to move in not just for financial reasons but because he doesn’t think she can live alone anymore), if there’s not also a need to get her to the doctor and checked out.

        And if she does need care, two 22’s with a newborn probably aren’t the best people to provide live in care.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 12:33 pm

        Grandma has probably always figured out ways to save money and burning trash is one of those ways. If she has figured out the amount of liquid dish detergent that will work in the dishwasher she is again saving money. She is also apparently the one doing the dishes because she is the one starting the dishwasher. LW should feel free to buy dish washing detergent and to use it whenever she loads and runs the dishwasher.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 12:35 pm

      My parents have always burned trash and still do because there is no trash service where they live. The trash companies don’t do routes where there are miles between houses.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph October 31, 2016, 4:53 pm

        Serious question though: what do they do about things that shouldn’t be burned, like things that release terrible fumes or are flammable or explosive? Burn it anyways?

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover October 31, 2016, 5:42 pm

        My guess is they have to take it to the dump themselves. In fact that’s even the case where I live, in a major city. They do have one or two days a year where they pick up special things like batteries, electronics, paint cans, and other stuff you can’t put in the regular garbage. But otherwise you have to do your own dump run.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 8:23 pm

        My mom burns everything. She keeps a burn barrel in her garden because she considers the ashes great fertilizer so when we are there and eating something from the garden like cantaloupe I’m always hoping it hasn’t been growing on a spot where a burn barrel used to sit. By everything I mean everything but cans and jars that can be recycled and they don’t put in computers but they burn light bulbs and batteries and toothpaste tubes and plastic bags, etc.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl October 31, 2016, 12:51 pm

    LW – To answer your question, you cannot make your BF’s grandmother behave in the way you want. She lived in the house before you, she is set in her ways, and it is entirely possible that she will continue to do all these things if she thinks it will force you and her grandson to move out of the house. You knew that she was difficult before moving in and it sounds like you thought you and your BF could strong arm but obviously that is not working. You don’t mention if she was even consulted about the changing living arrangement – but it sounds like she did not have a choice when her son offered the house to you and your BF. A woman (likely at least in her late 60s) is now facing the fact that she no longer has a house to herself and is looking at having a new baby in her space in five months. You need to sit down with you BF and explain that even though he wants to raise the child in the house, it is not possible. The smoking alone is dangerous both for you and your unborn child. Luckily you have time before the baby arrives to find alternative living arrangements.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy October 31, 2016, 12:59 pm

    You sound like an entitled, spoiled, selfish brat. You are NOT “the boss” because you pay a few dollars towards electrical bills, wtf?? Grow up. And get an IUD after this one.

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    Bree October 31, 2016, 1:28 pm

    Overall, I agree with Wendy, but I’d like to add a few things. I can relate to the LW in the sense of wanting to feel like she is in charge of her home. My husband and I moved in with his parents soon after we were married to save up money for a house. Being 30 years old and having to obey the rules set by his mom and not feeling like I had freedom was tough on me. Once we moved out into a house of our own, I was much happier.

    While I have some sympathy for the LW, ultimately she needs to realize that this really isn’t her home, and she needs to move out. Not in the way she wants it, anyways. The smoking and trash burning is not only hazardous to her health, but to her baby’s health. Also, the chronic stress she is now experiencing is also detrimental to her and her baby’s health.

    She will not be able to change his grandmother’s mind, but she can change her living situation. I deal with the elderly all the time in my career, and change is far harder on them than it is on a young twenty-something.

    My 2 cents.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy October 31, 2016, 1:41 pm

    LW, I think everyone here is being kind of harsh and that you could have worded yourself better (just stay away from the word “boss” maybe, because it does come off as entitled), but it sounds like all you actually want is to feel comfortable and at home in a space that you are financially contributing to living in, and to not have your asthma constantly exacerbated by cigarette smoke. I’m assuming, here, since I know I probably have the capacity to come off as whiny and entitled when I’m feeling super stressed out, too.
    Those things are reasonable. The grandmother also is behaving understandably, if rather rudely. This is her home (even if she’s not paying anything to live there), and she’s used to having things a certain way, and when you are set in your ways it’s hard to deal with having to extra people living with you all of a sudden.
    There’s no good answer here. The one thing I do agree with everyone else on is that you need to move out. Stop trying to convince your boyfriend, and just tell him straight up that you’re moving with or without him, though you’d prefer “with”. It sounds like you can afford to have your own place, so go do that.
    And don’t let him or his dad pressure you into staying in such a stressful, unhealthy environment.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 1:57 pm

    The lesson to be learned here, and you are definitely learning it the hard way, is to not make babies with a manchild who can’t support himself. He may be legally a man, although I don’t think you told us his age, but he lives like a dependent child. You need to rely on yourself to meet your needs and the needs of your baby because your boyfriend would rather live with grandma than pay his own way in life. The two of you may be paying some bills but you know it isn’t the same as paying rent and utilities and that’s why is seemed like a fine bargain. Financially living in the house is cheap but you’re finding that the attached strings like grandma aren’t worth the cheapness. Find a better living situation and move. If Daniel isn’t willing to move then find one that you can afford by yourself. Even if Daniel is willing to move find one that you can afford by yourself because the odds of Daniel sticking around long term are very low. The odds are he will be gone before the baby turns one. When the baby is born make sure Daniel comes to the hospital and signs the birth certificate because that is the easiest way to make him legally responsible for the baby and the easiest way to make him take some financial responsibility for the baby. If Daniel isn’t willing to move out you will know that he values the house more than he values you and the baby and more than he values keeping you and the baby healthy. You have to value your health and the health of your baby because no one else is. Do what is in the best interest of yourself and your baby and if you are lucky Daniel will be there with you.

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      SpaceySteph October 31, 2016, 3:40 pm

      Yup, definitely a cautionary tale for anyone who hasn’t gotten impregnated by their manchild boyfriend. Contraception is your friend.

      As for the LW, it’s a little late for you to not be in this situation. Abortion and adoption are both options available to you, should you choose to do so. But if you decide to keep the baby, then you need to start planning for a future in which you are raising it on your own without financial or otherwise help from Daniel or his family. Can you do that?

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    Teri Anne October 31, 2016, 3:13 pm

    The self-centered boyfriend is taking after his self-centered, passive aggressive grandmother and father, putting the LW is in a very tough situation because her efforts to plainly and politely communicate her needs are probably doomed to fail. The father, grandmother, and boyfriend are all behaving badly. The father is taking the easy way out to support his mother, who probably needs more care than the boyfriend and his girlfriend can provide with a baby on the way. The grandmother is taking out her frustration by smoking even though the LW has asthma, and forbidding the LW to unpack any of her things. The boyfriend refuses to acknowledge the obvious need of the LW to live in a smoke free home where she is able to create a nursery for her baby.

    There is some truth to the criticism of many commentators, who say that the LW has an entitled tone. But she is in a very difficult position, and is just at the point in her pregnancy where morning sickness is making her feel awful. I think she has the maturity to do what needs to be done, which is to move out with or without the boyfriend. I wish her good luck.

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      Ron October 31, 2016, 3:26 pm

      Teri Anne —

      I think you are basically correct. The father believes that his mother needs looking after and is happy to have his son and LW sharing house to partly cover expenses and to fill the role of watchers of his mother. Based upon what LW says and omits about her bf, I think he is no more able to be independent than his grandmother is and that the father sees LW as also in custodial supporting role of her son. Just something not fully mentioned seems off about the bf. He does what his father wants him to do, won’t stand up for LW, never lived independently, no mention of his working and providing income. In this era of modern birth control, it is curious that LW finds herself having a baby with such an immature guy, whose solution is to live with his grandmother in his father’s house. There is a lot being left out here. I well understand the tone of Wendy’s response. The LW’s take on all of this is kind of surreal and separate from reality.

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      • avatar

        Ron October 31, 2016, 3:38 pm

        I will disagree about the smoking as grandma’s way of taking out her frustrations upon asthmatic LW. Smoking is a terribly hard addiction to break. At her age and mental state, I doubt grandma can stop smoking. She insists on smoking how and where she always has, considering opening a door or window to be a major accommodation. I know in dealings with my elderly FIL that empathy for the physical disabilities of relatives is one of the first things to go and that an air of incredulity is often the response to things such as “I can’t tolerate tobacco smoke/perfume/caffeine/peanuts/glutin/whatever.

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        Ange October 31, 2016, 7:03 pm

        Yup. My grandmother is nearly 90 and has smoked since she was 12, quitting now would probably kill her. My aunt has lung problems so when she visits she sits outside, it’s not feasible to try and put that smelly genie back in the bottle at this point.

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    SpaceySteph October 31, 2016, 4:51 pm

    Dude, everyone told you this was going to happen. Your letter literally says that. Grandma is old and set in her ways and nobody in her family seems to take issue with that. I would expect that they are content to let her get her way until she dies.
    You don’t really want to spend your days waiting for your husband’s grandma to drop dead though, so moving out is really the only option. Daniel can move with you or not. Hopefully even if he doesn’t put your happiness above living in the house, he will put the safety of his unborn child (cigarette smoke definitely bad for it, plus if you can’t BREATHE your baby isn’t exactly gonna be all hunky dory) above it, but you can’t really be sure of what he’ll choose. It will tell you a lot about how he’s going to be as a life partner and co-parent though.

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    Unwanted_Truth October 31, 2016, 8:07 pm

    Off the subject, WENDY!!! I’m so sorry i keep being the one pointing out website issues. That being said, thank you for fixing the problems a lot of us were having with the pages constantly being reloaded and errors coming up. I just need to point out, because it’s really annoying, while reading through comments on the phone, unless you are reading a fresh comment, every reply to said comment reads smaller and smaller in the screen. What I mean is, the intial comment will be across the screen in full paragraph for , as it should be normally, but after that, every reply when scrolling down is a strip of words. Most times only one or two words reading across . As more replies are entered you have to scroll down for like 20 minutes just to understand what is being said and piece every thing together. Hope I’m not being a pain here.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 31, 2016, 8:32 pm

    One thing to consider before moving out is how you will support yourself during the weeks you are out of work after the baby is born. Do you have a job that will give you a pay check while you are out or will you have no income for those four to six weeks. If you have no income can you save enough between now and then to pay all the bills while you are out of work. If you can’t you need to think about how you will handle that time period. Who will provide childcare when you are at work and how much will it cost? Will it be a relative? How far would you have to drive to drop off the baby? You need to think of all of these things before picking a place to live and before deciding that you can afford to live on your own. The amount of money you need per month is going to shoot up when the baby is born. If you will have no income and can’t save enough between now and when the baby is born you may have no choice but to stay where you are and try your best to limit the amount of smoke you are breathing by spending most of your time in your room with a window open.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark October 31, 2016, 11:45 pm

    A stupid child having a stupid baby with her stupid boyfriend. And surprise, surprise… it’s all one big fucking mess. Ugh…

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      Stilgar666 November 1, 2016, 9:58 am

      Yep, she should abort.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 November 1, 2016, 9:04 am

    The dad must be so happy to find somebody to finally dump his mom on. I’d run out of there before grandma burns down the house with all of you in it. These two guys treat grandma like crap, and don’t get her the help she needs, just think of how they are going to treat you.

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    Gwyneth6 November 1, 2016, 5:05 pm

    You shouldn’t be pregnant and living with a smoker who burns trash, focus on that first. Couldn’t it make your asthma worse too? Get your own place. Don’t focus on the dishes. Keep them in boxes. Having a baby should be one of the happiest times of your life. You don’t want to be living in this bad situation. Find a cheap safe place and take your boxes. And get some clean and safe furniture for your baby. If you don’t think daddy is coming, one bedroom is enough for mom and baby. Get the safest not smoky place you can. Who are the relatives of this woman that warned you? Probably older more mature adults that have more life experience and know this woman better. So now you understand, it all makes sense, just don’t live with her. Make adult choices, keep a record and if you want Daniel to join you maybe he will grow up. If not, mention and keep in mind that he wanted to raise the baby around cigarettes and trash burning. It shows very bad judgement in my opinion.

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