A mother’s love for her kids knows no limits, and she hopes they’ll show her the same care. Roberta’s son didn’t want his mom to be alone after his father died, so he asked her to come live with him, his wife, and their children. Roberta was delighted, but she was surprised by the rules her daughter-in-law laid out for her. She told us her story.

She wants you to be a FREE live in house keeper & cook.

Did you sign the house over to them or did you just allow them to live there & the deed is still in your name.

Tell her that if she insists on imposing restrictive ILLEGAL rules on you then you want your house back & she can go live somewhere else.

Transparent dialogue and mutual concession.

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Sit down with your daughter-in-law and express your concerns openly and respectfully.
Acknowledge the importance of routines and dietary choices in their household, but also discuss your own needs and boundaries. Make it clear that you’re willing to contribute to the household chores and cooking, but you expect to be treated as a family member rather than a hired help.

Also, try to find common ground and areas where compromises can be made. For example, you could suggest a compromise on the vegan meals, such as alternating vegan and non-vegan dishes or cooking separate meals occasionally.

Implement a Chore Wheel.

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To address the expectations around housework, suggest implementing a chore wheel where everyone in the household, including your son and daughter-in-law, participates.

This ensures a fair distribution of tasks and allows everyone to contribute according to their abilities and schedules, eliminating any feelings of being singled out for chores.

Seek outside support and resources.

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If you find it challenging to adjust to your daughter-in-law’s rules and expectations, consider seeking support from outside sources. This could include joining local community groups or seeking advice from counselors or support groups for seniors.

Additionally, you could explore resources for learning more about vegan cooking to ease your transition into preparing vegan meals.

Evaluate alternative living arrangements.

© freepik / Freepik

If after honest communication and attempts at compromise, you find that living with your son and daughter-in-law is too restrictive or uncomfortable, it may be worth exploring alternative living arrangements. This could involve finding your own place nearby where you can still spend time with your grandkids while maintaining your independence and autonomy.

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