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my mom my roommate
December 16, 2010 8:13 PM   Subscribe

My mom has moved in... (long post)

i moved back home about a year ago. purchased an apt got an awesome job and now am in a stable relationship with mr. octomato. Problem is.. for about the same time i moved back home, my mom has moved in on and off. when she's not at my place she's at my uncle's or her friends.

I have a 2-bedroom 2-bathroom apt. one TV in the spare room, one computer and well i haven't had a roommate in umm 5 years. My mom is great, in good shape helps around the house. She's 58 on and off on production local gigs. all in all she's the best mom in the whole world. but right now. i dont need/want her here.

When i get home i want my laptop on my lap so i can read mefi and some digg and reply to emails. she has the capital to buy a place and gain her independence and stop drinking my wine and not replacing it.

I tried taking her to some real estate appointments in her budget and giving her pep talks, but i'm done. It's been a year. i'm structured and make decisions and live with them. she doesn't. AT ALL.

I appreciate all her help and her support but, come on. after 7 years of living away and now this. Id like my naked time and my quiet time.

Basically this is my cry for help. What other ways can I motivate her to get her shit together. I'm done with the pep talk and the nice metaphorical back rub to the soul... is there anything else? PS mom is VERY SENSITIVE...

THANKS!!
posted by octomato to Human Relations (14 answers total)
 
You say you've had the pep talk, but have you told her "I don't need/want you here. You need to find other accommodations." ? Might be time to be blunt.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:24 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm unclear as to why your mom moved in...?

And why haven't you set your mom a deadline? As in, "Hey, Mom, Mr. Octomato and I are gonna need the spare bedroom back by because of our planned ."
posted by magstheaxe at 8:25 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know the answer already, you just have to have the guts to do it. No more pep talks, no more nice metaphorical backrub to the soul. Say, "Mom, it's time for you to move out." And give her a firm deadline. 30 days from now? 45 days from now? (Maybe you're gonna cut her some slack 'cause she doesn't want to be apartment hunting between now and New Year's?) But you have to say explicitly, "I love you but I don't want to live with you anymore."

You've been childish and wanted her to do the adult thing. Now you have to reverse it: you are an adult. An adult who is in charge of her own life. So, be in charge.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:25 PM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tell her you're serious about your partner and need the space to be together and see where it's going. Give her a generous deadline to move out and then help her find real estate agents etc, and do it all with love. Maybe find her somewhere close by so she knows you'll be in regular contact and she's not being abandoned. And try to get her excited by this new phase of life for her! It's all in how you frame it. Surely she wants her space too, this is just a sign that she's done a great job raising you and now she gets her life back. Win win.
posted by Jubey at 8:25 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ugh.

That should have read, "Hey, Mom, Mr. Octomato and I are gonna need the spare bedroom back by [date] because of our planned [office renovation/baby nursery renovation/whatever you come up with]."
posted by magstheaxe at 8:26 PM on December 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


You mention the wine, and lack of motivation.... not to be blunt, but could it be time to point her to a psychiatrist or AA?
posted by schmod at 9:16 PM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I really don't think there's any non-blunt solution.

Tell her to move out.
posted by Quadlex at 9:17 PM on December 16, 2010


OR, be really blunt and go

"Remember when you were pregnant and all you wanted was me to be out so you weren't pregnant and uncomfortable and sore and big and disadvantaged all the time? Well now I want YOU the hell out of MY womb. My metaphorical womb. By which I mean my house.

... Yeah."
posted by Quadlex at 9:18 PM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


You don't have to be mean, just tell her clearly that you and Mr Octomato really need your alone time in your own place and that by X date she will need to move out. She will be welcome to come and visit at times but as for actually living with you, it is not something that you and the Mr want to be happening at this time in your relationship.
p.s. I heard that the book Boundaries is all about this topic and has been well reviewed (although I haven't read it yet) so you might want to read it for some moral support before you have this conversation with your mom.
posted by MsKim at 9:25 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


You could try to be rational with her, but it probably won't work. At some point you'll have to just rip off the band-aid.
posted by cellphone at 9:54 PM on December 16, 2010


Do you mean moved back home as in your home town or your parents home?

Why is your mother moving in and out? Is she in perhaps a financial crisis?
posted by gomichild at 11:16 PM on December 16, 2010


If she has the money but not the motivation, maybe it is because she is lonely or worried about being lonely. If she is constantly staying with someone and living their life with them, she probably doesn't have a strong idea of what she would do alone.

See if you can do a little real estate searching so she could be right near your uncle/her friends etc.

Or set her up with an activity/meetup group so she can meet new people and feel more independent and sociable. Once she feels like she has more of a life of her own, I bet she will be more into the idea of living alone.

It is a lot to take on to help someone start a new chapter in her life, so you could just set the boundaries and let her take care of the solution herself like some are suggesting here, but if it were my mom, I think I would feel the obligation/desire to see her be ok with the solution in addition to me being happy she was out of my house.
posted by rmless at 6:57 AM on December 17, 2010


I would be careful of using the words "we want more alone time". My first reaction to that phrase would be something like "OK, I'll make myself scarce on Tuesdays from 6pm to midnight and on Fridays all night. Does that work for you?"

You might try talking to the Uncle - does he want her to live with him? If not, then go forward with the real estate planning and the deadline and then you'll just have to tell her. Maybe talk about how she makes you feel like a teenager but you really need to feel like an adult. Talk about how often you plan to see her when she doesn't live there - you'll get together twice a week for dinner and you'll go shopping with her (whatever).

If that doesn't work, either change the locks or move to a new apartment and don't tell her where it is.
posted by CathyG at 8:19 AM on December 17, 2010


First try, "Mom, it seems like you don't want to move out. Why is that?" And try to pin down the real answers. If the reply is to the effect of, "why do you want to get rid of me?" The answer is that you love and need her, but you also need your own independent life, and absence makes the heart grow fonder. And, "Mom, how do you feel about moving out?"
posted by Bongotrance Rabbitfriend at 12:25 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


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