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Woman Wants to Know If She’s Selfish for not Wanting Mum to Move in With Her

Woman Wants to Know If She’s Selfish for not Wanting Mum to Move in With Her


We’ll all have aging parents at some stage in our lives but what happens when they expect to move in with us? Sometimes it’s just not a good arrangement. How do you break the news to them?

One woman found herself in this exact predicament after her mother showed interest in wanting to move in to her spare room. Unfortunately this arrangement wasn’t going to work for the woman’s family but she wasn’t sure how to break the news to her mum. Here’s what she wrote to Reddit:

I’m (57) female married male(65) with a 15 yo M and 19 F away at college. It is a nice 3 bedroom with a full basement. I have a guest room in the basement for company but my husband also uses that room as his music room and my kids use the rest of the basement as a friend hangout. My mother (85) wants to move in the basement with her yippy dog. My well trained dog just died younger than expected and we also have 3 cats. My mum’s dog wakes her between 420 and 530 every morning and barks until she goes for a walk. My mum’s hearing is not great so there is a lot of barking every morning.
My mum still drives and is very social. We live roughly 2 hours apart and we tolerate her dog when she comes to visit and I also dog sit when she travels. Mum is just tired of ‘adulting” and wants to not have to manage her bills and townhouse upkeep. She seems sad that my sister and I keep suggesting she move into a smaller apartment and sell her townhouse, but she keeps suggesting she moves in with me. My parents did not have a great marriage and it took me years of therapy to be able to put that behind me. I know my mum didn’t have a great life at times, but she mentions it when we are together and all those old memories bring back my anxiety. I love my mum but I don’t think it is good for my mental health plus my family dynamics to have her here all the time. Of course if she fell ill or couldn’t drive, I’d take her in- but hopefully by then, my kids will both be in college. We never took in any grandparents when I was growing up, so it seems strange that she just thinks because I have a nice guest room that I want her and her dog all the time. My daughter also has a chronic autoimmune illness, so when she is home from college she needs good rest so she doesn’t need a dog waking her at 5 I’m the morning every day.

I think I may be the asshole because my mum is older and had a hard life and I could accommodate her but I don’t think it would be great for my family and our stress level.


Sounds like this woman has legitimate reasons for not wanting her mum to move in. In fact she’s very happy to help her mum find a smaller apartment but moving in with her in the basement with that noisy dog doesn’t sound ideal for the rest of the household.

But the fact that she’s older and has had a hard laugh has made the woman think she may be acting selfishly on her behalf. Which is why she took to the internet to ask if she was in fact the a**hole in this situation.

Comments on her post were mainly in support of her decision with the consensus being she was absolutely in her right to say no.

NTA – once your kids are grown and have their own lives and responsibilities, it’s selfish to ask them to take care of you, accommodate you in every way, live with you, etc. Your home is your safe space, your place to rest and relax, and for your daughter to grow up in. Adding in another person, especially with these concerns in mind, is going to make you stressed out and uncomfortable in your own home. Put your foot down and don’t budge, it will be better for your marriage and your child that way.


Even if she didn’t have a dog, was completely unobtrusive, you had a 20 bedroom house, she had the perfect life, you had a best friend relationship, etc. You are under no obligation to take her in.

Also, she doesn’t want to manage bills/upkeep? So…does she plan on selling the house and living completely rent free in your basement? With an extra six figures just chilling in the bank?

If she’s tired of “adulting,” she’s going to put that all on you. Paying utilities, good shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc?

Your sister is right. She should sell the place and move to an apartment or senior community. Less space to take care of, maintenance that takes care of things, certain bills included, etc.

NTA. Are there any retirement communities in the area? My mum lived in one for a couple of years and she loved it – plenty of activities, outings (they had a bus that took them places since she did not drive any more), and all lawncare was included.

While some commenters suggested she could perhaps move mum into an assisted care retirement village instead.

Nope. NTA, and don’t let her guilt you into this. This is exactly what assisted living facilities are for–they provide meals, transportation to stores, activities, etc.

Many have step-up care as someone needs more help with day-to-day activities. There are a lot of bad ones, but there are a few nice ones. Maybe look around on your own and then take her to visit some. A bonus would be if her new place was closer to you than 2 hours.

In an updated post, the woman says she did suggest a retirement home for her mum but again explained why that didn’t go down well.

I actually wasn’t thinking my mum was an asshole either… I just wasn’t sure if I should just suck it up and be a good daughter. I think a lot comes from me feeling like I had to protect her when she and my dad fought and a kid shouldn’t be expected to do that. It took lots of therapy for me to get over that and I think it’s a pattern for my mom to look for someone to take care of her.
We did discuss it yesterday and looked up places for her to move into and made appointments for her to look at places.
I know she’d be lonely here because I work all day- from home ( and have had to hide in the closet on the phone when I watch her dog because she barks through my calls). My mum belongs to 2 senior centers and lunches 4-5 times a week with friends. My sister lives 30 min from her so that would be a better distance so Mum could still see her friends, but my mom and sister have some friction because my mom thinks my sister treats her like she is incompetent. However, my mum acts helpless a lot, so she plays it both ways. My sister and I have also cleaned out my mom’s house multiple times but she doesn’t have the time or energy ( actually the desire) to keep it that way and just accumulates more stuff. She does walk her dog multiple times a day- always a mile in the morning and afternoon with a friend. So, she is not really lonely as much as wants someone to take care of her. Even though she and my dad had a volatile relationship, he did care take her and the house- did all the cleaning, cars, maintenance, etc. and she just doesn’t want to be bothered. So we have tried communicating, but I can tell from her facial expressions that our suggestions are not what she wants and that makes me feel like bad daughter— even though having her live here right now would make me a bad wife and mother.

What would you do in this situation?


Images: Pixabay


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Chrystal Lovevintage

Chrystal Lovevintage

Chrystal is a writer and blogger who loves nothing more than watching back to back episodes of crime shows. Should she ever find herself needing to cover up a crime, she'll know exactly what to do! Her dream is to one day live in Palm Springs where she can do her writing poolside while drinking endless gin and tonics. Mum to the cutest twin boys in the world, she loves nothing more than the sound of their laughter (usually heard when they're conspiring against her). Entertainment writer and pop culture junkie, she will be bringing you all the celebrity gossip and news that your brain can handle. You can follow her blog at and on Instagram at Chrystalovevintage

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