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Old December 17th, 2016, 06:24 PM
Jessspin01 Jessspin01 is offline
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Question Mom moving in. How to say no?

I'm 30y/o, married 4 years, no kids. My mother (50y/o) and I have a strained relationship. My parents divorced when I was 5 and I've never really had a relationship with my dad. While growing up I was passed around from family member to family member to stay with for short periods of time because my mother couldn't always deal with me. I was with my grandparents when I was really young almost everyday for a long period of time. I really do believe that she wasn't ready to have a kid and I also believe she did the best she could as a single mother.

My mother is very controlling and she can be selfish and as I grew up while living with her we argued almost everyday until my husband got me out of her house at 22 years old. We do not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things and she has called me disrespectful and she has said many times that she's disappointed in me. She does not make me feel good about myself and when I'm around her I'm not happy and I think we have a toxic relationship. We have these extremely rare moments when we're both happy and having a good time. I guess despite all of the bad stuff in our relationship still spend time with her because she is my mother.

My mom slepped over Friday night and today we made cookies as we do every year for Christmas. We do spend some holidays together and other times, but it's rare.

My mom lives an hour away and the lease is up on her apartment so her plans were to move in with my uncle in January 2017 to save for a house. She has a job working for a law firm and they recently told her she could work permanently from home so she's choosing to move closer to me and the family. Let me just say that my mother makes more money than my husband and I combined. So she could easily find an apartment around here while saving for a house.

I want to also just say that I have bent over backwards for my mother for years and just because she put a roof over my head and clothed me does not mean that I owe her. I shouldn't have to pay my mother back for doing what she was supposed to do as a mother.

So today out of the blue she suggests that she should live here for 6 months instead of living with my uncle. My uncle is a grouch and can sometimes be difficult to deal with, however a few of her friends offered for her to stay with them. Immediately say no because we don't have the best relationship and we argue constantly and I think it would cause more stress with myself and the relationship between my husband and I. She did offer to pay rent or buy groceries and cook dinner but I don't think that is worth the anxiety and stress that I'm going to have with her living here.

I called my cousin because she knows what I go through with my mom and I was surprised to hear that she was taking my mom's side on this. And just so suddenly after condemning my mother for treating me like garbage on my 30th birthday.

After about an hour of talking about it with my husband I decided to tell my mom that we would think about it and we would need a lot of time and that I was not saying yes. I spent the day with my mom and then she came home and we had dinner with my husband and after my mother left to go home my husband and I talked about it and I said the more I think about it the more I don't want to do this. I know it's only six months but who knows if something's going to happen in her life that she would ask to extend that time. And since we don't agree on anything I can just imagine us arguing everyday and her complaining that the bathroom isn't clean or that I'm not living my life the way I should be or that I don't agree with her on everything. I would end up pulling my hair out and it's not worth it.

I am not great with words when it comes to telling people no and especially with my mom because to her no is not a complete sentence and it needs to be followed up with reasons that she would understand. In this situation no matter what I say if it's not the answer she wants to hear she's going to be angry and I don't know what to do.

Last edited by Jessspin01; December 17th, 2016 at 06:44 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2016, 07:34 PM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

Oh my gosh, you poor thing.

Well, take heart with one thing. She can't move in if you say she can't.

You can start off by being nice and saying "No, DH and I talked about it. If you were destitute, that would be one thing. But you have a perfectly acceptable situation with my uncle and we're at a point in our lives where we don't want roommates." If she pushes (and she will) you can say, "Mom, you and I are getting along fine now and I'd like to keep it that way." She will keep pushing and finally you just say "The answer is no. No amount of pushing is going to change our minds, so NO. That's it. Conversation over." If she keeps going, say "Mom, this is not a debate or a negotiation. Either change the subject or we'll have to end the call/visit." Then follow through if she doesn't stop. Whatever you do, don't attack her. Don't say "You'll drive me crazy." Make it about your wants and needs. It is up to her, not you, to fulfill her wants and needs.

Your mom will have a hissy fit, bad-mouth you to family, and stop talking to you for a while. Just go about life being pleasant about the situation, not letting anyone pull you in to drama about your mom.

For the record, your cousin probably wanted your mom to move in with you because that somehow would make HER life easier. Don't mention it anymore. Don't get upset, don't fight with anyone.

It will blow over.


ETA: I don't know if this will help you, but I used to have the same issue with saying no to my MIL who just wouldn't ACCEPT no. I came up with the idea to write notecards out with what I wanted to say to her (my 'no' - much like the 'no' I suggested above to you) and keep them by the phone. Having that written down kept me from getting tongue tied, and I was sure I was being kind but clear and she was just being obstinate. Maybe that would help you?
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Last edited by KayKay; December 17th, 2016 at 07:38 PM.
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Old December 18th, 2016, 01:54 AM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

I also agree make it about what you want but in a polite but firm way.I would say that both you and your husband think it would not be a good idea as you would end up disagreeing on things and you want to keep the relationship you have now good. That you are making this decision this way because it the best way to ensure you remain good with each other and getting along well.Say that you need your space. If she tries to change your mind or talk you around,say sorry Mum thats what we have decided and cannot change it.She can afford to rent her own place or or flat with someone else....if she gets mad well thats just too bad, she will get over it, its really her problem for thinking its just going to happen because she wants it to,avoid having harsh words....best of luck.
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Old December 18th, 2016, 03:36 AM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

"I'm sorry. DH and I have discussed this and it won't work for us".

Lather rinse and repeat. I know you can feel powerless but it really is in YOUR control who you let into your personal space.

I may sound blase about it but this comes from having an unhealthy symbiotic relationship with my own mother and feeling obligated for myself and now xdh to have her live with us. Because I was always conditioned that I couldn't upset her in anyway (among other things). She lived with us for 5 years (with two kids). It came to a point where I had to tell her she had to find somewhere to live on her own. It was not working for us. It was hard but I had to do what I had to do. Those five years we'll never get back but it was a huge awakening to myself and a very valuable lesson about what healthy relationships should look like and ours was not one.

We have a much better relationship now and each a better life as non Co-dependants. I wish I'd had the confidence from the outset to not feel guilty and obligated to my mother and realise she was an adult and responsible for her own life as much as I am for mine.

I don't care what input anyone else has about it. What they think of me is none of my business. I know I did the right thing for myself and my kids and it gave my mum better opportunities in the end.
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Old December 18th, 2016, 05:26 PM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

OP here. Because my mom and I pretty much only communicate through FB messenger, I sent her a message saying, "So DH and I talked about you living here for the 6 months and we both decided it's just not a good idea and we don't think it would work out well. I think it's best that we each have our own space in order to continue trying to have a more positive relationship."

My mom replied, "ok." Its her norm for when she's mad or doesn't like my answer and I might get flack for it later, but for now it's over.

She messaged me just now letting me know that a friend she rented from before is allowing her to come back to rent the space again. So she found a place. I'm not going to bring up the conversation again and hopefully she won't as well.
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Old December 18th, 2016, 06:02 PM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

That's good to hear! I'm glad it worked out with minimal drama (for now )
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Old December 18th, 2016, 10:49 PM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessspin01 View Post
I'm not going to bring up the conversation again and hopefully she won't as well.
Good thinking.

I did the mom moving in thing. It didn't work out. You did the right thing.

You already know that though...

Just think of all the peace of mind you're getting from that decision.
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Old December 19th, 2016, 01:21 AM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessspin01 View Post
OP here. Because my mom and I pretty much only communicate through FB messenger, I sent her a message saying, "So DH and I talked about you living here for the 6 months and we both decided it's just not a good idea and we don't think it would work out well. I think it's best that we each have our own space in order to continue trying to have a more positive relationship."

My mom replied, "ok." Its her norm for when she's mad or doesn't like my answer and I might get flack for it later, but for now it's over.

She messaged me just now letting me know that a friend she rented from before is allowing her to come back to rent the space again. So she found a place. I'm not going to bring up the conversation again and hopefully she won't as well.
Good to hear it solved well.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 01:51 PM
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Re: Mom moving in. How to say no?

I know I'm late to the thread - but IMHO - never, ever let your mom move in.


I got along with my mom when I was growing up .... she now lives with me .... we still get along, but have butted heads a few times.

As you don't have a good relationship it could become hellish with her living in YOUR space.
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