Sharing living space with adult family members is a situation lots of people were forced to face because of the pandemic.
Lost jobs and lost homes and closed colleges saw adult children moving back in with their parents. The power dynamics caused conflicts in many families.
Does an adult child have to follow their parents directives? Does their spouse?
Does "my house, my rules" apply?
And what if there are still minor children in the home—the younger siblings? Where should the parent's focus be?
A mother struggling with her adult son moving home with his pregnant wife in tow turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for perspective.
Redditor Kimxxx45 asked:
"AITA For kicking my son and his wife out after they took my daughter's room?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I'm a single mom of two (Dale 22 and Kim 15). My late husband passed away when Kim was 10."
"It was too much because it's hard being a single mom. Everyone in my life has never stood by me. Where I'm from society tends to be harsh on single moms."
"I always felt much stress with all the responsibilities and everyone expecting me to give up. There were MANY times when I felt like a failure and I never want to be seen as a failure in my children's eyes."
"I want them to look up to me. Learn from my experiences."
"And learn to stand by themselves and be strong. Kim is the apple of my eye.
"She went through so much. I tend to be 'overprotective' of her as they say."
"I was with someone (a police officer) who was 'nice' to me but once I noticed how poorly he treated Kim, I told him to leave immediately. I decided to focus on Kim."
"Dale and his wife are expecting. He's been unemployed for months, and they left their rental apartment and moved in with us temporarily."
"However his wife started disrespecting Kim's privacy. Walking into her room constantly taking her things and ruining them."
"They brought boxes of baby stuff and stored them in Kim's room. I told her to move the boxes to the storage room but Dale made excuses that the stuff might get damaged."
"Dale and his wife talked about staying for a few more months (she's 8 months pregnant) 'til after the baby is a few months old. His wife suggested that my daughter move into my room and they take her room and turn it into a nursery."
"I said no it's not up for discussion. Dale understood but his wife didn't like it."
"Kim came to me saying Dale's wife is trying to convince her to give her room to her 'nephew'. I told Dale's wife firmly to stop annoying Kim."
"Yesterday I came home and found Dale moving Kim's stuff out of her room replacing it with their baby's stuff. Kim was in the livingroom waiting for me."
"She was crying. I was livid. Dale's wife made her a sandwich to 'calm her down'."
"I saw Kim's room. Her bed was moved. Her favorite posters. Her closet and graphic art—some were put there by her dad."
"I confronted them. Dale said it was his wife's idea and told him she'll 'work it out with me later'."
"I got into an argument with her. I lashed out at her after she said Kim can take the storage room."
"I told them to leave immediately. They argued for an hour then left."
"My mom and sister called me in the evening. Asking how I could kick my own son out and told me to let them move back in."
"I refused and now they're calling me a bad mom, saying I'm playing favorites."
"Dale's wife talked about putting the nursery together and taking pictures of it to share on a Facebook page for everyone to see. That's what Dale told me which made me feel upset to be honest."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
"NTA. If your mom and your sister feel you were wrong - then maybe they can open up their home to Dale and his wife?"
"What about wife's family? Maybe they can open their home up to them?"
"You were and are protecting your child (Kim)." ~ amberlauren1084
"You are not a bad mom. Being a single mom is a really, really hard job."
"I did it myself. It's a huge amount of responsibility, financial issues, and self-sacrifice."
"You are doing it in a thoughtful and responsible way."
"Be careful about listening to people who don't support you. You have enough on your shoulders without all that negativity."
"Your son and his wife were way out of line. Anybody who wants to second guess can put their money where their mouth is and start supporting the expectant couple themselves."
"But watch out. Dale's wife will move from their guestroom, to their host's master bedroom, keeping the guest room also as the nursery."
"This woman sounds like a first class parasite." ~ JudgeJanus
"Not the first time I see a post like this on here and others in the family suggest letting them stay like... if it's what they want why can't they let them stay with them then?"
"It always annoys me."
"Besides that overstepping their boundaries. OP was nice enough to open their home up to them yet they want more. NTA." ~ atreyu947
"NTA. Full stop. No question."
"Your adult son and his wife bullied a teenage girl and completely disregarded your authority. You had far more patience with either of them than I likely would have had after the wife began intruding on Kim's privacy and trying to push her out of her room."
"Your son is an adult and so is his wife. They've had months to comfortably try to look for a new home and, for Dale, new work."
"Instead they've been trying to take over and shirk their responsibilities as adults and soon-to-be parents. You can not take them back in."
"That will never work out and will send the message to your daughter that you don't care about what they've been doing to her."
"As for your other family trying to berate you for this decision, tell them if THEY are so concerned about your son and his wife, THEY can take the two in and care for them plus baby."
"Otherwise ignore them and focus on raising your daughter." ~ lastwesker
While the OP's family might criticize her decision, Redditors assured her she did the right thing.
Her son and his wife bullied her teenage daughter and disrespected her in her own home.
Any concerned family members should be putting up Dale and his wife or shutting up.