My mother is only 16 years older than me but she expects me to work full-time, mow her grass and take care of things she doesn't want to. She's frequently hateful to me, yells and puts me down in front of other people. Not to mention, she does not pay me for anything. I hear all the time "this will all be yours someday" so that means I'm supposed to do everything for free but she has a good income. She spends money on people that do nothing for her and has had a gambling problem in the past. She wouldn't give me a dime and has too much money in her checking account according to the attorney. If she requires care, it will all go to a nursing home and here I am working my butt off for nothing. I'm not sure how to approach this and I'm sure she probably wouldn't speak to me for a while if I said something about the pay. Someone told her a few weeks ago that she was tight with her money and she was highly offended. I think she's selfish. Any suggestions?

I would back way off. You are correct in believing “this will all be yours someday” is false. Between potentially picking up gambling again or needing long term care, there is a good chance mom will not leave an estate. You don’t say how old you are, but you have the right to live your own life. I would tell her she needs to hire help. So what if she gets mad for a while?

When I first posted on this forum about 8 months ago, I thought the responses were harsh. Now I see that the same stories repeat over and over; selfish, entitled parents expect everything from adult children, then reward them with criticism or insults. No one deserves that.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to LilyLavalle

“Mom, in 7 days, I am going to be done doing things at your house. No, I won’t explain why. Here is a list of other people you can hire. Please do call, because like I said, I will be finished, a week from today.”
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to cxmoody

You asked for suggestions.

How about keeping it short and sweet?

Pick one of these…

My top 10 list for you!


1) The free ride is over!

2) I am done!

3) Hire someone else to help!

4) I earn my own money. I don’t need an inheritance!

5) See ya later!

6) Good luck finding a replacement!

7) Don’t call me. I’ll call you!

8) Google yard maintenance and home repairs in your area!

9) Your problems aren’t my problem.

10) I am not your slave. Slavery was abolished!

Any of these will work. Wishing you and your husband all the best!

Oh, and if your mom doesn’t speak to you for a while after telling her that you are not going to continue this situation. Enjoy the peace and quiet!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
funkygrandma59 Apr 7, 2024
You Go NeedHelp!!!
Those are GREAT suggestions!
See 1 more reply
I often say that the best place for family is 1,000 miles away.
Sad I say this as my daughter and I are so close, love one another so much, miss one another so much.
She's 19 years younger than me.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe so!

All this "everything will be yours some day" made me laugh pretty hard, because it brought to mind a Woody Allen movie in which he says "My father left me a piece of land" and holds it out--dirt in the palm of his hand.

You have admitted you already know that all your mother promises you for the day she's dead will likely already be confiscated by the federal government who will keep her alive on Medicaid in some minimal care nursing home, then take the house in payment.

You ask if we've any suggestions. Mine is that you are a grownup woman and responsible for your own choices now. You should weigh all your options and do what you think is best and you should take responsibility for your decisions.
If you were asking what I personally would do?
I would move 1,000 miles away.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to AlvaDeer
lorinanderson Apr 7, 2024
I laughed out loud about the piece of land. That's about what I'm expecting. She's had time to move her money or put it in a trust but with age, she gets greedier, more controlling and selfish. It just makes me sad because she'd rather the nursing home have it than her own child. I feel that she has always resented me since she was a pregnant teenager.
I believe you need to walk away for awhile . Create a Boundary - she is being abusive . My Mother could be very abusive too and all I ever did was help her. You get sick of it . Walk away for awhile and when she needs help - Hire help to come in but dont be her servant .
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to KNance72

My daughter and her son are also 16 yrs apart in age. They kid each other about being in a NH together.

How old is Mom? Your profile shows no illness that would keep her from doing for herself. Do you live with her?

If she has money, she can pay someone to mow her lawn. It will be hard but set those Boundaries. Honoring goes both ways. Tell her you cannot deal with the verbal abuse anymore. That for now, you are backing away from her. You are her child not her slave. When she says "this will be all yours". Say "I don't care, its not enough for what you put me thru. If you need anything, ask one of your friends" Then walk away. Don't answer her calls or texts, block her. Give yourself time to get over any guilt. Push that guilt to the back of your mind. If a friend treated you like this you would walk away. Just because this is your Mom, its no different. While your on this "downtime" read Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. Its Christain based.

I do want to say one thing but do not let it change what you do. Your Mom needs boundaries. A 16 year old is not mature enough to raise a child. They have not grown up. My daughter did a good job but with a lot of help. I babysat so she could finish school and go onto to get an LPN degree then her RN. Because of her schedule, we had Grandson a lot on weekends so we did a lot with him. She married in her early 30s and had a son at 35. The boys are 19 yrs apart. At 46 she feels all she has done her whole life was raise kids. My daughter was lucky she had the support not all teen moms do. So forgive Mom for yourself but that does not mean u forget. You need to show her that the abuse is no longer exceptable.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29
lorinanderson Apr 7, 2024
My mother definitely had support. We had a big extended family but my mother has been so mean over the years that she has no friends and only speaks with one sister and a couple of nieces and nephews. I seem to be reaping what she has sewn
Also, Lorinanderson, Dont feel bad about changing your mind or what you might have agreed to in the past.

We are adults and we can change our minds about agreements if they are no longer feasible. I assume you dont have any written contract with your mom to do all this free work? So while you may have gone along with it all this time, you can change your mind now....

My philosophy with my dad is rapidly changing to one of "I'll help out with what I think I can reasonable manage, and reasonably do, nothing more. And I'll be the one to decide which tasks those are" My dad is somewhat "Shocked" with the "gall " I have to back away like this, but.....he's learning to live with it because he has no choice and no one else otherwise.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to strugglinson

I moved to another continent when I was fed up with dealing with my "adults." It was very effective and worked out beautifully :)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to GraceJones
lorinanderson Apr 8, 2024
I love that!
Wiseman say: if you let yourself be a doormat, you can’t complain when people walk all over you.

Just say no
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to ZippyZee
lorinanderson Apr 8, 2024
How do I handle the guilt? It's ingrained in me.
See 2 more replies

You say in a response to Beatty that your mom learned her behavior from her mom. You aren’t responsible for what went on between your mom and your grandmother.

It’s fine to acknowledge how her situation developed. An important thing to remember is that you do not have to excuse her behavior just because that was her frame of reference.

You also state that you chose to break this cycle with your own children. Good for you! That’s wonderful!

I am sure that it hurts your children to see their grandmother treating you unfairly.

For whatever reason your mom didn’t break her mom’s cycle. Don’t accept what she is dishing out. Allow her to see that she can’t control you. You’re not her puppet on a string.

Do you think your mom could find someone else to do everything that you do for her? Ha! No! Not a chance!

Walk away and let see that her tactics don’t work anymore.

I wish you well. Enjoy life with your family. You deserve to be happy. Your mom isn’t interested in having a two way relationship. She’s self centered.

There are consequences for people who are self absorbed. They end up alone. They are responsible for their actions whether they think so or not.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter