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Thread: Living with another person in your house

  1. #1
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Living with another person in your house

    Another person brought this up on another person and got jumped all over for it, so I thought I'd bring it here - a safer place, because I too struggle with this issue TREMENDOUSLY.

    We have a live in PCA, and frankly, I don't like him much AT ALL. But, he does a GREAT job at taking care of Matt (let's call my fiance Matt, whether or not that's his real name, that's what I'll call him). He is very, very reliable, and complicating matters, he is Matt's uncle. So the whole "family dynamic" is there.

    But I have a young son, so the four of us live in a VERY small house (we are doing something about that, but it will take a year to build our new house) and the PCA is just THERE, all the time. And we have constant clashes over little stuff.

    And yes, we talk about stuff, so I don't need the standard advice of divvying up tasks, talking through issues, etc. We do. But my point is - I didn't MARRY a 3rd person, but yet, I did in a way. I was married for 14 years before and I'm in my late 30s. So I'm not used to this whole 3rd unrelated person just being there all the time.

    Yes, I know he performs a vital function, Yes, I'm grateful. But I resent him!!!!

    Can anyone relate???? Any advice or been there done that stories?

    Zillazangel, AB fiance to C4 quad (the PCA lives full time, does 24/7 care M-F)

  2. #2
    Yes, I absolutely can relate, although we don't have a live in; our PCA is here from 8-2:30, then 7:30 to 10 at night. And yes, it is hard having another person in the house (we have a guy, too, which is great for Matt - which is my son's name, btw! ). It's an awkward situation at best, and I'm not sure I could give any advice you don't already know.

    He fixes Matt's meals during the day, and I've had to set limits on what he can and cannot use in the kitchen after he almost ruined some of my best cookware; we've had to set limits on phone use, and when he can do the laundry - he always seems to be on the phone when we need it, and has an uncanny sense of knowing when we're about to do our laundry, and starts a load for Matt!

    The up side, tho, is that it's given me and hubbie our lives back, so that's the trade. Sorry I couldn't give more 'hints', other than just to say I know how you feel.

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  3. #3
    Zilla - Do you think you'd feel the same if his caregiver wasn't his uncle?

    In other words is it because the caregiver is constantly under foot or is it because the caregiver is constantly under foot and his uncle?

    Maybe an unrelated caregiver would be an alternative?

    Either way, good luck. And maybe with more space in your new house the problem won't be so "close" - the caregiver can have his/her own space, phone, tv, etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Hi, Zilla--

    I don't have this situation, but wanted to make sure the question stays at the top of the list for awhile so that as many people as possible can see it.

    It would make me nuts, too, if that helps.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chris Chappell:

    Zilla - Do you think you'd feel the same if his caregiver wasn't his uncle?

    In other words is it because the caregiver is constantly under foot or is it because the caregiver is constantly under foot and his uncle?

    Maybe an unrelated caregiver would be an alternative?

    Either way, good luck. And maybe with more space in your new house the problem won't be so "close" - the caregiver can have his/her own space, phone, tv, etc.
    Yes, I think an unrelated caregiver would be better because I would feel more justified in speaking up and saying "that's not acceptable". But because he's family, there's sort of this tactic acceptance of "oh that's just "Bob" (let's call him). You know?

    For example, he's a NEAT FREAK. I mean, beyond neat freak. A 20 year military veteran and was a Felix Unger even before he was in the military. And Matt never makes a mess - he's a quad!! Then moves in me (a self professed slob) and my 3 year old - a tornado to say the least. I make sure there is a path for Matt to roll through, but otherwise, I don't mind a mess. It drives Bob CRAZY. And I DO compromise, I try to clean up every night before bed, make sure everything is back in its place, but if there is one toy out of place anywhere, ANYTIME, "BoB" gives me a dirty look. (e.g. if my son is playing in the kitchen and there are toys strewn in the living room where he's not currently at, I get a dirty look.

    With an unrelated caregiver I feel like I could tell him him to f*#& off, but with Bob, I feel like I can't because he's family. Or would I face the same problem with an unrelated caregiver? Thoughts?

    Advice????

  6. #6
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    But the other complicating factor is that his family is AGAINST us getting an unrelated caregiver because despite "Bob's" bad qualities, he is VERY reliable and good for Matt. And it would require throwing Bob out on the street - he would be literally homeless.

    And the other thing, is it's VERY hard to get a reliable PCA, so if we had ANY trouble with a new PCA I'd face endless finger wagging and "I told you so"s from his family ......

    ugh..............

  7. #7
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    So I just need to get used to this guy ....

    BUT I HATE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    oK, now I know I'm talking to myself, but it's therapeutic.

    Help ....

  8. #8
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Originally posted by zillazangel:

    With an unrelated caregiver I feel like I could tell him him to f*#& off, but with Bob, I feel like I can't because he's family.
    Advice????
    Zillazangel, you are family too. Your right to be comfortable is just as valid as his right to set neatness standards, isn't it? Would an adult-style, let's-air-this-problem-out and figure out how to make it work be impossible? Does he assume that he's just, you know, RIGHT and what you want is irrelevant? That's disrespectful and not helpful.

    It's funny . . . in our house I'm the one who is always trying to create order, because I have a much lower tolerance for mess than other members of my family. But I don't hate them for this--in fact, I've sometimes wished I could un-learn the neatness thing! There's no assumption at all that my way is somehow by definition just better. Which is not to say I don't wish they'd put their stuff away once in a while.

  9. #9
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    One of my aides spends several nights a week here at our house (not to care for me - it's just convenient for her.) She stays in my old room downstairs (part of a full apartment - it was where my grandparents lived when we had the house built in 1962. I got the room in the early 70s, after my grandfather passed away, and my grandmother could no longer walk the steps.) This woman can be a real pain sometimes, but we manage. We're actually considering letting her move in full-time, if she pays some rent and shares in utilities. It does make my mother feel better having someone here with us to get me out of bed at night in case of emergency.

    Alan

    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    An update if anyone is interested ...

    Matt and I moved in together officially two weeks ago. I used that as an "excuse" to have a heart to heart conversation ... er... not really (one minute) with errrr, what did I call him, Bob? (laugh) about the issues we've had. I wrote him a long, 2 page letter that was VERY polite and just said basically that the two of us have very different styles and now that I'm here officially with my 4 year old son, that we should talk about some options.

    So the 3 of us - Matt, me and Bob are going to talk - probably tonight or tomorrow. We are going to make some major home changes that will help ALOT, we are adding a three car garage to the house with a full apartment over the top of the garage for Bob, including a bathroom, a bedroom, a sitting room and possibly a small kitchen (minimal) for snacks, etc. We are also discussing with him the idea of purchasing a car for him in exchange for lowering his hourly wage (which we pay out of pocket after we get married soon because my income is high). RIght now he doesn't own a car, so he is "trapped" in the house.

    So between more space, possibly a car, and talking honestly about things, I feel alot better and so does he. We also are working out a schedule where he can sleep straight thru some night because I'll cath Matt and put him in bed instead of Bob, and that will greatly increase BOb's quality of life - but not take away his pay for doing that.

    So, all in all, things are much better. Thanks for letting me vent here! And for all the great suggestions!

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