7 Best Gifts For Your Mother-In-Law | presented by UOB
How to Get Your Mother in Law to Move out of Your House
Whatever reason your mother-in-law moved in, you're obviously at a point where you want her to move on. You may just want more family time with your spouse and kids, or you may find living with your mother-in-law stressful. You may have even fallen into the role of caretaker for your mother-in-law, which puts you in a difficult position. Whatever way, it's going to be a tough road to ask your mother-in-law to move out, mostly because it comes with a good deal of emotional baggage for your spouse and you both need to be on the same page.
Talking With Your Spouse
Ask your spouse to sit down with you.Tell your spouse that you'd like to have a serious conversation about your mother-in-law, and ask him or her when a good time would be. Letting your spouse know in advance that you want to have a serious talk will keep them from feeling blindsided when you do sit down to talk.
- Don't avoid the talk for too long, as doing so builds resentment.
- In addition, if you want too long, your stress could come out as you snapping at your spouse because they're the person you can take it out on.
Tell your spouse what you want.You want your mother-in-law to move out, and you need to be upfront about that. Remember, though, your spouse may not want to hear it, especially if they enjoy having their mother around.
- You could say, "I love your mother, I do. I think it's time that we have our own space, though. I think it's time to ask your mother to move out."
- Don't forget to give your partner some breathing room before launching into why.
Bring up any extra work.Make a list of everything extra you do because your mother-in-law is in the house. This step isn't to be petty. It's to show your spouse that it really is taxing for his or her mother to be there. Your spouse may not even realize how much of a burden it is putting on you.
- You don't want to blame your spouse for the extra work. Rather, you just want to bring his or her attention to it.
- For example, you don't want to say, "Your mother is so much work!"
- Rather, you might say, "I'm working longer hours with her in the house. I love her, and I like doing things for her. However, there's only so much of me to go around. You may not realize how much extra I do because she's here, so here are some of the things I do for her."
Talk about the stress.You also need to discuss what stress she brings to the household. It could be intentional stress, such as her criticizing your choices, or could be non-intentional, such as her constant presence putting a damper on your sex life.
- Once again, try to bring it up in such a way that you're not blaming your spouse for it. Try using "I" statements instead of "You" statements.
- As an example, you could say, "I enjoy spending time with your mother. Sometimes, though, it puts stress on us as a family. It makes me upset when she criticizes the children, and we don't get to be intimate as often as we used to."
Discuss finances.Another important topic to bring up is how your mother-in-law is affecting your finances. If this point is your main point of contention, then maybe you can discuss ways it can be alleviated.
- If finances are the only reason you want your mother-in-law to move out and you can afford the extra expense of having her there, you might not get very far with this argument.
Agree on common goals.The point of this discussion is to make sure you're on the same page. Discussing your mother-in-law moving out is a sensitive topic, but if having her around is hurting your family and your marriage, it's a discussion you need to have. As you have the discussion, you need to agree on what some common goals could be.
- Of course, when agreeing on common goals, you may need to compromise. For instance, one compromise could be buying a house that has an apartment in the back.
- Try to set up dates for your goals. If your goal is to have your mother-in-law move out, by what date will she need to move out?
- Discuss how you can help her to move out. Maybe you can help her find a place or assist with finances if you are able.
Understand where your spouse is coming from.When it comes to having parents in your house, emotional baggage is involved. Your spouse may feel like they aren't doing their duty to their parent if they ask them to move out. The best you can do is come up with a compromise you can both live with, which may include assisted living if you can't continue to care for an elderly mother-in-law by yourself.
Talking to Your Mother-in-Law
Sit down together with your spouse and mother-in-law.This conversation isn't one you can have alone with your mother-in-law. In fact, it's probably better if your spouse leads the conversation, as she may take it better coming from him or her.
- If your spouse isn't on the same page as you, this conversation isn't going to work. You're going to need to work together.
Bring up what you've decided.Now is the time to discuss the goals you've come up with together. You need to lay them out in as polite a way as you can, but there's no way you can hide the fact that you're asking her to move out. It's best to give her more than one option if you can, and try to end on good news, if possible.
- For example, you could say, "We've decided that we've liked you to move out. We've really loved having you here, and we still want you in our lives. However, we need space to figure out our own family."
- Include a time frame and the help you're willing to offer. "We'll help you find a place, but we'd like you to choose one by the end of the summer. We want you to stay close by, though, because we like having you around."
Be compassionate.Just because you're at your wit's end doesn't give you permission to be mean. Your mother-in-law deserves your respect and kindness, even when you're asking her to do something difficult like move out.
- Reassure your mother-in-law of your love. Let her know that just because you're asking her to move out doesn't mean you don't care for her and want her to be a part of your family. You just want space to make your own family.
Give her enough time.You don't want to push your mother-in-law out the door in a month. Give her an ample amount of time to find an new living arrangement, especially if money is an issue. Three months is a good amount of time, but a half a year may be better.
Find a place for her to live.One way to help make the transition easier is to find options that are within budget for her if she will have trouble doing this herself. Go and view them yourself before you take her to see if they're her taste.
- Make it close to you. That way, she won't feel like you want her out of your life completely.
- Don't decide for her. Even if she needs some help with care, it should still be her decision where she lives, unless she can't decide at all.
Consider a house with a backyard apartment.Many families are in mult-generational housing, which can take on many forms.One option is having a separate apartment for your mother-in-law, so she has her own space. If that's the option you choose, you'll need to find a new house that has this option.
- In this instance, she'll still be close by, but you can have more separate lives.
- It can also help alleviate the guilt your spouse may feel about abandoning his parent.
Look at assisted living.If you are being the caregiver for your mother-in-law, the next option may be independent or assisted living. These options allow your mother-in-law to have some independence, while still getting the care she needs.
- The problem is these options can be very expensive. Nonetheless, if your mother-in-law has exhausted other options, Medicaid will often pay for some form of assisted living.
Considering Other Options
Use home health aids.One option for a mother-in-law who has declining health is to use home health aids. You can hire home health aids to simply be with your mother-in-law to give you a break, or you can use them for more hands-on care that you can't handle.
- However, this option can be costly to use on a regular basis, so you need to consider your financial situation before deciding on a home health aid.
- It may be possible that your mother-in-law can pay for the aid, but many elderly people are not keen on outside help, even when they need it.
Think about adult day care.Another option for older adults is adult day care. Adult day care is much like day care for kids. Your mother-in-law goes to a center during the day, where she'll be provided with meals, activities, and sometimes, physical therapy.
- Once again, though, it can be expensive, and your mother-in-law might not be very amenable to the idea.
- The plus side is it frees up your days to do things outside the home, if you've been staying home caring for your mother-in-law.
Ask family for help.If your spouse has other siblings, they may be able to provide some help, even if they can't invite your mother-in-law to live with them. Asking for help can be difficult, but it can take some of the burden off of you and your family.
- For instance, your family may be able to stay with your mother-in-law once in a while to help spot you. They may also be able to invite your mother-in-law for short stays, such as a week or two, to give you a break.
- Church friends and other close friends may also be willing to offer some relief by giving you an afternoon off.
- Family may be willing to chip in a bit financially. If 0 would make a difference in how you feel about having her there, maybe some family members would be able to help out, since they can't take her themselves.
Ask for space.If your mother-in-law is independent, ask her if you can have some alone time with your spouse so that you can grow your marriage. Suggest that she give you an alone night once a week by letting you go out with your spouse or by having her go out.
- Another option is simply taking a break yourself. That is, when you feel yourself getting stressed, get out of the house. Go take some time for yourself away from your mother-in-law.
QuestionWhy do some people have to live with their mother-in-law?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt may be by choice, custom or necessity. Some people do it because their culture dictates that the mother-in-law be cared for in-home by the children. For others, the costs of having the mother-in-law live alone after her husband's death cannot be met, and living with the children is financially helpful. In some cases, it is a choice because it suits everyone best and the mother-in-law is available to care for grandchildren, pets, the house, and so forth.Thanks!
My mother-in-law can financially take care of herself but decided to move in and now I'm stuck with her?
- Deliver the request for your mother-in-law to move out with love and care. Keep your temper in check and be patient. She may need to digest the news for a few days before anything can be done.
Sources and Citations
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