Why I Refused My Parents’ Request to Move In

Deciding whether aging parents should move in with you is tough and full of emotions. It involves cultural, emotional, and practical considerations, and can test personal boundaries and financial stability. This is the situation facing one woman in particular.

Here’s her story:

I’m 33 years old and have been living in my own home for a while now. I bought it with my own money and worked hard to make it a safe and comfortable place, especially after a tumultuous upbringing. My parents, who are in their 60s, have always struggled with money. Despite my attempts to help them budget, they continue to make poor financial decisions.

Recently, my parents lost their house because of foreclosure. They asked if they could stay with me temporarily while they get back on their feet. But adding two more adults to my house would really strain the space, and I highly value my privacy and independence.

What’s more concerning is that my parents have a history of being intrusive and not respecting my boundaries. Last time they stayed with me, they criticized my lifestyle choices, rearranged my furniture without asking, and even argued with my neighbor.

I offered to help them find an affordable rental and even offered to pay their first month’s rent. I also found government programs they could apply for. They turned down my offers, saying family should support each other and that it’s my duty to help them now. My siblings have different opinions — my older brother thinks I’m being cold-hearted, while my younger sister understands my concerns. Both of them live in smaller places and can’t host our parents.

My parents are now making me feel guilty, saying they took care of me when I was growing up, so now it’s my turn to take care of them. They’re spreading the word to our extended family that I’m abandoning them, and I’m getting messages from relatives about it. It’s making me doubt my decision, even though I know my mental well-being would suffer if they moved in.

Was I wrong to refuse letting my parents stay with me after losing their house? Should I be more willing to accommodate them, or am I right to prioritize my own well-being and boundaries? I’m feeling torn and could use some outside perspective.

People stood on her side.

  • “Your parents were LEGALLY REQUIRED to take care of you when you were a child. Don’t let them use this as leverage for you to take care of them now.

 

  • “See, in my opinion, a child would ordinarily be responsible for helping their helpless parents, but in this particular instance, I don’t feel like that applies. The parents mismanaged money. The parents were unkind to you the last time they lived with you.
    They need to grow up and spend within their means, and/or live by the proverb ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.’ When you move into someone else’s home, it’s a good idea to try to be as helpful as you can/inconvenience them as little as possible.

 

  • “If the brother’s apartment is really that small, they can choose any of the relatives that are sending messages.

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