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.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].