Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

I’m my moms parent… now what?

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice I’m my moms parent… now what?

  • This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #902392 Reply

    I’m going to do my best to not let this get too long of an explanation, please bear with me.

    My entire childhood with my mother was toxic and abusive. My sister had the same upbringing. After we grew up and moved out, our mother shut down. At this point, we have such a toxic relationship with her that we help in what little ways we can but need to keep an appropriate distance.
    My mother does not work. She gets money from the state but was denied disability. Still, she refuses to get a job for various excuses. So, she lives off of others. She jumps from family member to family member, living in their house for free. She does not help out around the house, and if confronted she will cry and lock herself in your spare bedroom where she is staying. So, constructive conversations are not a thing.

    I am 23 years old. I love with my 25 year old fiancé. We have always lived with roommates, but recently toon over our apartment just the two of us. It has been less than 2 months having the place to ourselves. We also have 3 pets. We work full time and we struggle but we enjoy our happy life together.
    My mother stays with family in their living room. Sometimes, she will visit me and stay over my house for one or two nights. The last time I allowed this, the family she was staying with told her she cannot come back and can just move in with me. In my spare bedroom. That we just set up as a bedroom and a home office space. We used the room often, for the 1.5 months we could.
    My mom refused to ask family if she could stay with them. She asked a few friends, they all said no. So I asked family, and they all said no. Everyone has caught on to this vicious cycle of living off of others for free.
    My sister gave me the advice that I should give her a deadline on how long she can stay so she gets a push and needs to ask more friends and family for help. I gave her over a week. She did not do anything to look for help during that week. The night before, she called all the local shelters and being of the virus, everywhere is completely full and no beds are available. She told me that I only gave her a weekend and it wasn’t enough so she can’t leave yet. I said okay but we need to figure out something out because mentally and financially, my fiancée and I cannot support you this way. It’s not fair to us.
    We are on week two. There has been no progress. There has been no help around the house. We will make dinner, she will eat and go back to her room without helping put anything away or offering to do dishes. I am now parenting my own parent.
    This is driving a wedge between my fiancée and I aswell. He is a saint to deal with this at all, but he can’t understand how it feels to be in my position. I either give my mother what she wants and allow her to live here for free (absolutely not) or kick her out aswell and hope she finds somewhere to go (how could I possibly do that to someone?).
    I’m truly at a loss and can’t find any solution to the problem.
    I don’t even know what I’m asking for advice, but lay your thoughts on me. Any and all advice is appreciated.

    #902405 Reply

    I’d consider talking to your landlord and checking your lease. See what your lease says about subletting or bringing in other tentants. It’s a huge liability to your landlord to have an unknown tenant living on the property without any agreement in place and she may very well be putting you at risk of losing your apartment.

    Tell your mom you’ve informed the apartment and she needs to be out in X (5, whatever) days or she’s putting you all in danger of becoming homeless because you’re violating the lease. Then, stick to your guns. Whether she has housing lined up or not you pack her stuff and walk her out. If you can afford it give her enough cash for 2 or 3 nights at a hotel and call her an uber to take her there, that way you aren’t leaving her literally on the street. But this is a lesson that she can’t come and stay with you even for a night

    #902410 Reply

    Also, depending on the state you live in, the longer she stays there you may run afoul of tenancy laws that establish her as a resident of the apartment. At that point evicting her will become a much longer, messier, and expensive process and could get you in a huge heap of trouble with your landlord, resulting in them evicting you all together. So it’s really important you don’t allow her to continue to stay there. It really is as simple as giving her a date and sticking to it whether she’s got options lined up or not. I know that’s hard to do but you’ve got to

    #902411 Reply

    I understand that you don’t want to make your mother homeless, especial COVID times, but I do want to push the idea that you don’t need to have toxic people in your life – not even your mother.

    It sounds like it will get to the point where you have to throw her out. That’s unfortunate, but as long as you’re giving enough notice to make other arrangements you’re fine.

    You also don’t have to feed her.

    #902423 Reply

    I don’t think you are going to get her out with deadlines. I feel like she is the person who is not going to leave unless you find the next place for her. Is there any family you can contact for help? Could your sister help you brainstorm?

    Can you afford to enlist a therapist? For you, at the very least? Contact social services where you live. I don’t know if you are realistically going to find somewhere that will take her in because all budgets for help are stretched so thin right now.

    I’m sorry. She isn’t your responsibility. It shouldn’t be this way and it isn’t fair.

    #902488 Reply

    Scrounge up enough money (ask your family for help if necessary) to get her a few nights at a hotel and drop her off. It sucks that you have to take on that expense, but she won’t leave on her own. You’re going to need firm boundaries with your mom so she’s not flopping in & out of your house forever. Don’t ever let her stay one night

    #902828 Reply

    Was going to suggest as @Helen has: get her a hotel room for a few days. Move all her stuff there. Tell her she’s an adult and she isn’t welcome back. This is a person who has used every person around her. You know she’s toxic. Yes, she’s a relative, but it sounds like she was never a parent. Change the locks.

    No one in the family is going to fault you. They’ve all been there.

    Don’t set yourself on fire to keep her warm.

    #902847 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    I agree with the others that giving a deadline and waiting for her to leave is not going to work. You have to physically move her. I like the idea of getting her a hotel/motel room for a few nights. Scrounge the money somehow – ask relatives to pitch in, put a night on a credit card if you have to – but get her out of your house and then discuss with your landlord about changing the locks (explaining why).

    Your mother is not your responsibility. She likely has issues that keep her from being a functioning, healthy person and that’s very sad and it meant that you suffered as a child and you miss out on having a healthy, functional relationship with her, but it’s not your fault and it’s not your problem to fix. Lots of people with issues get help. She could get help. She has chosen not to. She has chosen the path of least resistance and least effort, costing you a happy childhood and a healthy relationship with your mother. This is not your fault. You don’t have to pay an even bigger price than the huge price you’ve already paid for your mother’s unwillingness to treat whatever it is that’s wrong with her. You don’t owe her anything. I know that seems unloving and kind, but it’s the truth. She has already deprived you of so much; don’t let her deprive you of safety and happiness as an adult.

    Once you get your mother out of your home, I highly encourage you to seek therapy to work through issues around your mother. What you’ve been through and what you are going through is no small matter. I have friends who have had similar mothers and they spent years blaming themselves or sabotaging relationships in their lives because there was so much baggage they hadn’t dealt with yet keeping them from maintaining healthy relationships. You’re so young that if you get start unpacking the baggage now, there’s no reason you can enjoy a thriving, happy adulthood without the bumps and hurdles typical of grown kids of messed-up parents who put off therapy. (You will still have bumps and hurdles – everyone does – but far fewer of them will be related to mama trauma).

    #902869 Reply

    I think Wendy’s advice is compassionate and spot on. Maybe relatives will be willing to kick in some money if it means they won’t have her showing up on their door. I’d recommend putting the money on a preloaded Visa card, since you don’t want your own credit card on file at a place where you mom can charge extra nights, food, etc. Look for extended stay hotels or motels nearby, they often have reasonable weekly rates. Get her a reservation for a few nights or weeks, whatever you can reasonably afford, then pack her up and move her. Yes to counseling, it’s an investment in yourself and your future happiness. You’ve already made great strides, keep going.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
Reply To: I’m my moms parent… now what?
Your information: