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My mother

My mom recently moved in with us. I love her to death and I'm happy to have her here but we are having an issue. I don't ask or expect her to do anything at all. She wants to help with housework and that's very sweet of her but she wants to do things her way. I told her that if she wants to help that's fine but I asked her to do certain things for example I don't want the carpet swept, I like the carpet vacuumed. So I asked her to please not sweep the carpet, if she doesn't want to vacuum that's ok, I'll take care of it. Well she swept the carpet anyway. It bothers me because I specifically asked her not to. It kinda doesn't matter because we're set to replace our carpet in two weeks so whatever but at the same time I don't want her sweeping the new one. I don't know if I should say anything about it. She does things my kids don't even do. Like she left pen marks in my sand colored suede couch(she was doing a crossword puzzle while sitting on it). Small things that don't matter much but add especially because they are things that I've asked her specifically not to do. I don't want to make her feel bad though. Sigh... Any advice?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 7:53 PM on May. 1, 2013 in Relationships

Answers (10)
  • First, I'd say, pick your battles. Will it really hurt anything if your mom sweeps the carpet? If it won't, let it go. If it will, or if you don't want pen marks on your couch, which seems reasonable to me, then you'll have to speak to your mom in a nonconfrontational way when you aren't upset. If you let everything go, you'll start resenting your mom and the living arrangement may not work out long term, so once you've decided what's important, you do need to set some gground rules.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 8:12 PM on May. 1, 2013

  • Your trying to mother your mother? As in tell her what to do and not to do? LOL! That is funny!
    If my DD told me something like that. I would never help clean. At least when my DD was home.
    I would clean my area and that is it.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 8:46 PM on May. 1, 2013

  • This will be a huge adjustment and will take time, but with calm conversations and honesty about what the ground rules should be, as mentioned already, you can make it work. Remember it is an adjustment for everyone involved. Have open, honest, talks about everyone's expectations on a regular basis.
    silverthreads

    Answer by silverthreads at 8:49 PM on May. 1, 2013

  • I'm reading the responses carefully to learn. My oldest dd wants me to come stay with her all summer and this type of thing scares me. She's not good at setting boundaries but if you cross one she thinks should be there (without telling me what it is) then there is heck to pay! I do ask but she says to make myself at home. Then when I do, I do it wrong. I don't wash the dishes right, I don't fold the towels right, I don't do laundry right, I don't cook the way her family likes...the list goes on. I guess just take it one day at a time or one incident at a time. However, your mom knew better than to use that pen on your couch. I'd ask her if she knew how to get the mark out. That would show her you saw it and make her responsible for fixing it. I'd also suggest a pencil in the future.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:45 PM on May. 1, 2013

  • p.s. I'd also tell mom that sweeping a carpet stirs up dust, germs and other bad things into the air and you and your family have to breathe them so for health issues, tell her to not sweep the carpet.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 10:47 PM on May. 1, 2013

  • Thank all of you ladies for your responses. They have all been very helpful and have helped me see things from different sides. I love having my mom here and I'm ok with her doing things how she likes for the most part. Honestly, I don't expect her to do anything at all but if she chooses to there are a few things I like done a certain way. Everything else I don't care how she does it, but I do expect her to respect the few things I said I like done in a particular way. Is that too much to ask or is that fair? I appreciate her help because she doesn't have to help in the first place but she wants to help me and im thankful for that.The pen thing I let go and said oh well on it, I'll have the couch cleaned and let it be. The carpet I'll talk to her about, I'm hoping she just forgot I asked her not to sweep it and hopefully she'll remember next time.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:52 PM on May. 1, 2013

  • Admckenzie- I think your daughter doesn't want to set boundaries for the same reasons I don't like doing it with my mom. It makes me uncomfortable honestly. I don't want to make her feel like she can't be herself and like she has to give up all independence because she lives here. I understand she has her way of doing things and don't expect her to do things my way. I'm very assertive at work and in all other arenas but with my mom, I just feel like I can't tell her what to do. It just made it that much worse that the few things I asked her to please do or not do, she disregarded. It was hard enough to ask her to do those things in the first place so now I really don't feel comfortable talking to her about going against that. Please don't think that your daughter doesn't want you there or anything, she just probably doesn't want to step on your toes or 'mother her mother' like someone else said.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:01 AM on May. 2, 2013

  • My mother is living with us after the death of my father because I am her only child. Though she has her own way of life and she also criticize our pattern of life but we ( my Dh and kids also) never bother it . And we try our best to obey her advices .
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:29 AM on May. 2, 2013

  • By the way, you are justified in not wanting the carpet swept. Tell her your reasons for wanting it vacuumed. GL!!
    silverthreads

    Answer by silverthreads at 8:30 AM on May. 2, 2013

  • I have lived with my mom now 93 for the last 18 years since my dad passed away. I have learned in order to make her feel at home, I let her do whatever makes her feel useful even if it is not my cup of tea. Someone mentioned to pick those battles, and this is what you need to do, soon the roles of mother daughter will change and become reversed, the older they get the more kinks you will find to iron out..hang in there, you are lucky to still have her, but even our mothers have things we don't particularly like.
    older

    Answer by older at 8:34 AM on May. 2, 2013

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