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Live with mom or move

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Not sure which direction to turn. Feedback would be appreciated.

My father passed away last Fall from a heart attack. He would have been 55 this year and my mom and him were together for 32 years. The week after his death, my house sold and we didn't have any potential prospects. Not having a house to move into we moved into my mom's house as we continued to job search. 

My mom's house is a 2000 sqft house with 4 acres of land. We moved in temporarily as we continued to house hunt and also keep mom company. It all seemed to work out. 

My husband and mom always got along in the past. As the months go by and we continue to live together under the same roof, I feel that our relationships are being strained. 

We explored the possibility of my husband and I buying my mom's house and building an in-law suite for her to live in. She loves this house that her and my dad built. As do my husband and I. We have layouts and quotes from builders and are at a point where a real decision needs to be made. 

Often, I feel that my mom unloads her grief on me. She may not see that she is but I see that she is. I am always trying to include her in things that my family (my husband, my son, and I) plan to do but there also needs to be a line somewhere. There needs to be just family time for us. When I don't include her, I feel like I have hurt her feelings. 

She says how it is so hard for her to bike ride or do anything that my dad and her once did because now she has to do it alone. I want her to feel included but I also want to have family time with my husband and son. 

When discussing the addition, my husband brought up the point that since she is so young and lonely, that one day she could meet someone new. I know that this is always a possibility. I also feel like my mom and husband are constantly complaining about each other, to me, and I am the mediator - here to try and set things straight and make everyone happy. 

My mom recently got home from a weekend away with my aunt and her family. When she returned home she was saying stuff to me about how she doesn't know why she gets up and goes to work in the morning and why does she live, there is nothing worth living for anymore? I said so your grandson and your daughters aren't worth living for? I told her that we still need her, and she didn't agree. It is common that when she hits a down on the roller coaster of grief that it is unloaded on me. 

She also many times, if things are not to her liking then it is not OK. I completely am trying to respect her house and keep everything in order. My husband states it as - if it isn't the way she or my dad would have done it then it isn't the right way. She is often saying how she wont have enough space in her addition and she doesnt know where she will go with her things. (Keep in mind the addition will be aprox. 1500 sqft with two car garage) and that she is more having trouble facing having to get rid of some of my dad's things (which she will probably never use). 

When faced with all of this, I told her maybe it was best to just hold off on the addition. Obviously people are not getting along (which really sucks because everyone had great relationships before), my mom and husband can't even communicate ( I feel this is the stubbornness in both of them), the possibility that my mom could always meet someone in a few years. 


Should I stick this out and go with the addition? Is it just because we've been coped under the same roof for so long? Or do I continue house hunting and look to move?

I know if we move, my mom will have some trouble with upkeep, but she can always get help for that. 

Sorry it was so long, and jumpy, just had to get some thoughts out. Thanks for reading. 

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Dear BBHB17,

I'm very sorry for your loss. I know you and your husband are trying to support your mom during this difficult time. We all want to do the right thing but sometimes its hard to know which direction to take.

I know you mentioned your mom and husband are a bit stubborn. But in the interest of family harmony it would be best to call a family meeting and have everyone get out their true feelings. Whether you decide to build or move away it all depends on what everyone wants and needs. Maybe your mom needs more time to adjust. Grief is such a terrible journey to endure and for so many it could up to 5 years or longer. It might be best to hold off for a little longer before making such a major decision to build a new house or to move to a new house. Or try to engage a family counsellor.

I hope others can add more insight.


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I've very sorry for your loss.

This may be too much of a change for your mom, too fast.  She may need professional grief support, maybe an in-person group if available in your area.

Would she be selling if you weren't looking to buy? What about subdividing the lot and just building a home on it for you? That way your mom gets to stay in the home she built with her husband and you are nearby but your family has it's own space.

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Thank you everyone for your feedback. I feel so torn because my mom is used to having the help of my dad for everything. She is now faced at not only having to having to live without her partner but being faced with doing the things that he supported her with before. I know it will be hard if we move and do not pursue the addition and she will have to get help for things but I fear that if we stay and pursue the addition that it will put a strain on our relationship or my relationship with my husband. 


I don't think her lot is big enough to subdivide or that the borough would allow that. I think she would try and stay in her house as long as possible and would realize she needs help and support to make that happen, if we were not looking to buy a house. 

I have suggested she get professional grief support in the past, because it seems like she bottles things in and then unloads her grief on me. This is hard for me, because I think she is either upset with me or my husband or just adds extra grieving to process. I even suggested an online grief support that she could do via the internet with a counselor and sent her the link and she did not seem receptive to it. I think she thinks if she does some type of counseling she is a failure or something. I just explained that it might be nice for her to have someone to talk to  (in addition to me and my sister) since she lost her main person she talks to. 

Thanks for your input. Any other feedback would be great.

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