My Mom Is Making Me Crazy

Updated on June 22, 2011
S.H. asks from Troy, TX
16 answers

My mother is driving me crazy and I have no idea how to handle it. There are two parts to this....sorry if it gets long. First of all right after I got married the first time when I was 18 my parents took a job where they traveled and lived onsite so they decided to sell their house. They gave my brother and I each part of the money from the sale to put a down payment on our own houses at the time( I did my brother didnt). Since then I got divorced, sold the house. I tried to give my parents some of the money back but they told me to keep it since I was 21 still in school and now a single mother to three. Fast forward four years I get re married. My parents end up leaving where they are working and moving in with my brother but they are not happy there at all. They are paying my brother rent at this time. After living there for a few months she asks if she can stay with us I told her they could even though it was alot harder for us ( we have 4 kids my brother has 1 and makes more money). This was 4 years ago now. They dont work and have never paid us rent. We have been struggling some financially for the last 6-7 months and I am a SAHM. I am looking for a job but I resent the fact that I have to go back to work so that they dont have to. She even tells me I need to get a job and sicnce my kids are school age there is no reason for me to be home anyways. While I agree that I could work part time I do not want to work full time my hubby doesnt want me to either. She says she can stay with the kids. She constantly argues about this even though she wont look for any job.I am getting where I am always upset an a frustrated its also causing strain on my marriage but if I say anything to my mom she cries. I dont want her to be upset obviously or feel bad....I do feel like I owe her some for helping when I was young but how much is enough? The 2nd part is that in Jan. my husband will officially adopt my kids...yay. My mom doesnt like this either. She thinks she should get my kids if anything happens to me since she has been around them longer and she always underminds him as a parent. I am super frustrated....I could go on theres more but I wont....I feel like a 12 year old in my own house always having to answer to my mom and do things her way....or she cries and cries and makes me feel terrible. Please help.

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So What Happened?

A couple.of things I didnt say. They are both under 60 and completely capable of working. They have no money right now already blew through savings....we have paid all of their expenses the last two yrs( since they ran out of savings). Also, I do want to go back to work but I am picky because I want something that I can be home when my kids are home for the most part....this is super important to my hubby and I. Also, I just want them to get jobs and move....they can move close but I NEED my house back. I dont want to be told how to raise my kids or do laundry the "right" way. Also she loves my husband and has no valid reason for not wanting him to adopt my kids other than she thinks she should have more " rights" to them than she does. We have given it ALOT of thought and he has been in my kids lives most of their life but obviously not as long as she has. The major issue is I feel guilty for wanting my life back because they did help me when I was a young single mom.....over 10 years ago. Oh and the money she gave me then was less than $10,000 I thik it was around $8500.

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answers from St. Louis on

This is why I would have never let my mom move in with us. Oh I toyed around with it when she was really sick and my dad needed support but in the end it would have driven me to insanity.

I have no idea how you can get them out of there.

Is she at least willing to watch the kids if you work. That is working as well, ya know?

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Detroit on

1. You don't OWE your parents anything. They chose to give you the money. (Whether or not it was a good idea to accept it isn't the issue anymore because it's all said and done.)
2. If you feel obligated to them because of the money, you could pay it back and that would take away that feeling of obligation.
3. YOU are not responsible for your mother's emotions. Crying is a great way for her to manipulate you, and it's wrong for her to do that. DO NOT feel responsible for her emotions if what you are asking is done in a kind way. (Obviously if you were yelling and saying mean things, that would be another story.)
4. Your mother has no right to tell you who gets to raise your children should you die. That's all your choice. That sounds beyond crazy. However, since I don't know the situation, I would suggest you honestly ask yourself if your mother has a legitimate reason for being concerned about your husband. Is there something about him that makes her worried for your children's safety. Is she worried that without you around he would harm your children? BUT, if it's just that she WANTS the kids for herself, forget that.
5. Suggestions for how to get them to leave your house...

"Mom, we are feeling the financial strain of having two extra adults in the house (food, water bill, electricity bill). We just can't afford it anymore. Do you think two months is enough time for you to find a new place?" If she responds that you aren't working, tell her that you and your husband make plenty of money to care for your family with you as a SAHM. It's supporting two extra adults that is causing the strain.

"Mom and Dad, thank you for giving me that money a long time ago. I can pay it back now, and I see that you need it to get yourself a home."

"Mom and Dad, we are struggling financially and can't afford the current living situation. Would you prefer to contribute to the expenses here, or would rather move into your own place?"

If she tries to go off on a tangent so she can cry (like talking about your kids and the money from the past or the fact that you aren't working) just stick to your guns and don't waver. Say, "That's not what we are talking about right now. We are talking about the fact that we can no longer support two extra adults." Just keep repeating that if you have to. DO NOT let her draw you into arguing on another loosely-related topic so she can have an excuse for crying.

Ask your brother how he got them to move out. He obviously did it successfully. Maybe he could give you some pointers.

Good luck. I hope it works. No fun at all, but you need to do what is best for you, your husband, and your kids right now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Shame on your parents for putting you through this.
Your marriage comes first. You need to have a sit down with your parents and tell them that this arrangement is just not working for you and that they need to make an exit strategy. Do they have any monthly income at all? Help them find an apartment asap. Your mom is using an emotional guilt trip on you by doing the crying.
As far as the decisions you and your husband decide to make about your children, it's none of your parents business at this point.
This is a good example of being "too close" with family. They shouldnt know all of your business.
"Mom, I need my house back. You and Dad had your own place and had your freedom, your parents didnt live with you, and I want that for my family as well. We love you and will help you with what we can, but I need you to find your own place and this needs to happen right away".

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

They need to move and get their own place. No matter how hard it might be to approach them with this, it needs to be done for your sanity, for your marriage and your children. They are hurting your whole household and it needs to stop. Your brother got out of it and you can too. If they can't care for themselves, there are nursing homes they can move into but it sounds like they are fine to live on their own. I wish you the best!! Hang in there and Good luck!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Glens Falls on

You don't mention your parents' ages but since you are fairly young, I'm going to assume that they are in their fifties. You don't mention how much money they gave you when they sold their house but I'm going to assume it wasn't a six figure dent in their retirement savings. That said, you need to get them out of your house. Please take it from someone who has spent more than thirty years helping, supporting and being overly involved and integrated with an emotionally manipulative mother....get out from under now. Live your own life. This has no good ending. It hurts your relationship with your children, it hurts your relationship with your spouse and it hurts your relationship with your parents as the resentment grows. My mom is 90. I never expected her to live to be 90. When she was in her late 50's, I thought she was too old to work. Now I'm in my late 50's, I realize that it wasn't too old to work. She could have had a life, too! Even if they take low paying jobs and live in an apartment, it will be their life based on the choices they made.

Listen to me, sweetie, because I'm talking to my younger self, you have a right to your own life. You have a right to a family life with your kids and your husband. Imagine how you are going to feel 20 years from now when your kids are all grown and gone and your parents are still there. You have a right to be a SAHM, or work part time or work full time or whatever you decide...but that decision does not involve your mom. You cannot get these years back. You cannot waste another minute on providing for your parents when you should be dedicated right now to providing for your kids. You cannot invest any more energy in your parents, when your energy should be going to your kids. Move out of state if you have to. Sometimes you have to make parents stand on their own feet.

Ignore the tears. Be strong. Tell them that you love them dearly and always will but you have made a decision that with the adoption, you want more than ever to be a family unit with your husband and kids and part of that dream means that they need to step back, get their own place and be loving grandparents from their own base. This is what is best for your family and your marriage. This is "your time" to enjoy being your own family. Please don't give these years up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

The goal of a parent is to raise their children so they can themselves go off and raise their own children... not as a glorified retirement plan...

If your kids did this to you, what would you do? I suggest the same reaction to your mom, even if it means sending her to her room.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You have more than paid your parents back for that money. And it is awful that she is pushing you in a direction that both you and your husband don't want you to go in. It sounds like you have a great guy who loves you and your children. Don't let this ruin your marriage. I don't think it is unreasonable to give your parents a timeline for moving out, and expecting (and helping) them to stick to it. This is your life and you deserve to be happy.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Wow, what a living nightmare! I'm surprised your husband has put up with it as long as he has. They have got to go! They are intruding in YOUR life, and why they can't see that is shocking. Your Mom is playing you like a fiddle, she knows you feel bad when she cries. I know it sounds awful, but she is manipulating the heck out of you. I speak from experience... My Mom does that too and I had to toughen up and cut her off. I chose my marriage and to have a healthy family. I know you want the same, you gotta toughen up and give them a time limit. It's just not normal or healthy to have your parents living with you. If she uses the money she gave you... Thank her, and remind her that she is YOUR parent and you appreciated it very much, but it's time for you to live your life ALONE! Do they expect to stay with you indefinitely? You poor thing, start digging out of this TODAY and stop avoiding it. Just because you're an adult and have a roof over your head, does not entitle your parents to what you have because you're their daughter and have helped you. Stop feeling so guilty, it's their free ticket their riding on! Good luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Okay. Financially, I think you've fulfilled your obligation to your parents. Now your mother is emotionally blackmailing you. And living with you, she's exerting her power in the parent-child relationship to manipulate you. There are studies showing that when an adult child lives with their parents, the relationship reverts back to when the adult child was a very young teen emotionally. This isn't healthy at all because while she doesn't know this intellectually, she's using this fact to control you.

Your mother has no say in whether your husband adopts your children. Leave her out of the decision and the process. Ignore her. She may offer her opinion but that's all it is.

If she's undermining your husband as a parent then you need to sit down with your children and reinforce with them who the authority is in the home.

If you and your husband wish for you to continue to be a SAHM, then there's no reason for you to work in order to support your parents. Give your parents a date to move out by and then follow through. Hire a mover for that date. It will be up to your parents to have a place to move into and to find jobs to pay for it. It's not your responsibility to continue to support them when they're capable of doing it themselves. If they refuse to move out then get a lawyer involved. Get a lawyer. Get a lawyer. Get a lawyer. Start the eviction process legally.

You're not powerless here. They're treating you the way they have been because you've taught them that they can. It's time to change the rules of the game. When that happens there will be yelling and shouting and probably name calling. Your parents will be angry and your mother will cry a lot. Expect it, but don't cave in. Be ready for it and be determined not to be manipulated.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

You have more than paid back the money the GAVE you from the sale of their house. And remember, that was a gift that they made to you, not a loan.

So, look into subsidized housing for them. Look into aid programs that will help them get back on their feet. Make them get physical with a doctor - maybe there is an organic problem. Make a plan, present it, and give them a dead line.

Preface it all with "I love you guys very much" BUT, my marriage is suffering; my sanity is suffering; I am thinking of running away and entering the witness protection program; anything that helps get your point across.

Mom cries, it pushes your guilt buttons, and you back down.

You have paid "debt".
Take your life back.
It will not be easy, so "gird your loins" ~Devil Wears Prada.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Poor you. I really feel heart broken about the position your parents are putting you in.

It sounds to me like your mother is using her tears to manipulate you. That is really not cool at all. I know my husband would be asking for an exit strategy for your parents. It is time for them to get back to working and taking care of themselves until they are too old to do it any longer.

You are going to have to make a decision. You are going to have to choose between yourself and your parents. Would it be worth the risk of divorce to allow your parents to continue to live with you and drain your resources? What are you teaching your children by allowing your parents to manipulate you and stress out your home and drain resources from your children. You help your parents by steering them towards independence by being encouraging and developing strategies for them to have success.

Do what you must to get back your sanity and peace. Your mother is doing you and your family a disservice by continuing to live there, undermining your husband. disrespecting your home by not contributing, and making you so very unhappy. Yes she will protest and cry and throw an adult sized tantrum but you must get your house back or move to someplace else and just don't take them with you. It is very heartbreaking but she is an adult too. You have done your best by her by allowing her to live there rent and responsiblity free for too long.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You have a couple of choices. One, tell your parents that they must start paying rent and pay for their expenses concerning their upkeep in the household, water bill, eletricity, food. If they say they don't want to do that then tell them they have 30 days to find new living arrangements. You know going into this conversation that she is going to cry and be upset, steel yourself. It is time to think about your family. Yes, they are your parents, but your first priority is you husband and children. Remember, you are the mom now. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I think its time to tell mom&dad to pack their bags. It sounds like them living with you isnt helping anyone. Sure you want to help your parents, but not all families are meant to live together, once children become adults. I know I could never live with my parents again, we would all go nuts. It is wonderfully that your husband is going to become your kiddos legal guardian. Your mom is a lot out of line assuming it should be her.

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answers from New York on

Mom needs to move out, tomorrow. This isn't going to be an easy conversation, but the bottom line is life is about choices. I know that is becoming my mantra on this site, but it's true.

Your parents CHOSE to sell their home. They CHOSE to gift the money to you. You CHOSE to accept that money knowing that there could be strings attached. You CHOSE to offer your home, despite the fact that it wasn't in the best interest of your family. You CHOOSE to stay home, despite the need for increased income and the fact that your children are not home during the day. You CHOSE to have your husband adopt your children (which is wonderful, by the way) and become a legally-recognized family. You are CHOOSING to allow your mother to make you miserable.

It's time to put on those big-girl panties and let mom and dad know that they have over-stayed their welcome and that it's time for them to find another living arrangement OR that they need to find a source of income and zip it. Either way is fine with you (if it is), but they have until ___ to decide and ____ to act on it. If they don't meet those deadlines, then YOU CHOOSE what will happen.

I'm all for supporting your extended family when necessary and possible. It doesn't sound like either contingency is applicable here. You have to take care of your little family first and then help others if you are able.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

You and your hubby need to show a united front against your parents. It's time to sit them down for a talk. Set a date on Sept 1st you need to be in your own apartment, the homeless shelter or a camper. You don't care where they live as long as it's not with you and your family.
Next they need to understand that you and hubby are the parents of these children. Tell Mom zip the lip.
Explain to them that they are a BURDEN to your family. Show them the bills and the receits from the grocery store. Explain how much further that money would go if you were not supporting two capable adults.
If your Mom has a better way to do household chores-----tell her to do them. Let the laundry pile up and the house get dusty and dirty leave dishes in the sink. Look at her as if she were a 10 yr old and say 'you constantly tell me how to do these things so I decided that until you move out -- you will do them'.
It kinda sounds like your Mom may have an undiagnosed mental illness. Contact Social services and see waht it would take to have her commited on a 3 day hold. That will give them enough time to get a diagnosis and start medication. Explain to her that if she is to live in your home she will take her meds.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Your mom sounds depressed. You should encourage her to talk with her doctor. What about your dad? Why is he not getting a job? Do they not have any savings? Sounds like your dad needs to step up, get a job, rent an apartment and take care of his wife. Sorry you are stuck trying to do this for him.

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