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My daughter has stolen my home

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 02 October 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I fear I'm being pushed out of my home by my daughter.  A year ago she came to me in tears, explaining that she could no longer afford her rented flat. She was buying cheap food and doing without heating, so her three year old son was suffering. Could she move in with me until she got back on her feet?

Naturally I sad yes, and moved out of my bedroom into the box room, so they'd have more space. But what she didn't say was that her boyfriend was moving in too. I got the shock of my life when I woke up one morning to find him at my kitchen table.

Now my grandson's toys are all over the place and there are clothes on every radiator. They eat different food, at different times, so I often struggle to make myself something to eat. My daughter dominates the cooker and gets exasperated when I'm in her way.

Recently my grandson was ill with a high temperature and cried for nights on end. My neighbour offered me her spare room, so I could get some sleep, and now I only return to my flat for a bath and fresh clothes. Then I make myself scarce for the rest of the day. The only time I feel welcome is when I'm required for free babysitting.

I own a stunning flat in an affluent city location and all my daughter's old friends live nearby. My grandson attends a good local nursery and his mum is very settled. There's never any mention of them moving out. I'm made to feel that I'm in the way. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

By moving out of your home into your neighbour's house, you have allowed your daughter to have the run of your home, which has now become a habit.  Your daughter may consider herself at home in your property, but she needs to have it pointed out to her that this arrangement is not forever. Of course you care about her and her son, and want to keep them warm and safe, but your home is not the solution.

At the moment you are not being shown any respect - not for your space, your routines or your comfort. I urge you to stand up for yourself before this unsatisfactory situation has an adverse effect on your health and well-being.

I feel you have been avoiding the inevitable, but the time has come - you need to confront your daughter, and remember that this is between you and her, so do not allow her boyfriend to interfere, or let the two of them gang up on you.

Make it clear how upset and displaced you feel. Yes, you did offer your daughter a stopgap home but there was no mention of her boyfriend being included or this being a long-term solution.

What are their plans? What is their time frame for moving on? If there is no plan, one needs to be devised.
Has your daughter looked for an alternative place to live or contacted the local housing department? What is her new boyfriend doing about finding a new home?

In the meantime, a proper list of rules and boundaries needs to be drawn up regarding access to the kitchen, cleaning the flat and tidying up. She has to stop thinking about the flat as hers and make way for your needs too. It's possible that she may call you unrealistic and uncaring, so do make it clear that whilst your not throwing her out on the street today, things need to move forward and get sorted very soon, for all your sakes.

Have a dilemma? Please email  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

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