After my divorce, I moved in with my widowed father. The house now belongs to me. It is in my name, all notarized with my father, my brother and me. In the notarized document, of course, my father has the right to live in the house until he dies.
He has been difficult to live with at times… as I’m sure we have been for him as well. I work for myself… and a client graciously allowed me to use some of their office space. They don’t ask for rent or money for Internet. I am very grateful. At the beginning of the year, they moved their offices to another building. They made a space for me as well. However, there isn’t as much privacy or access to conference rooms, etc. Still, I remain grateful… after all, it is completely free. But when I want to work in a team, it isn’t anywhere near as convenient as the old space was. I am working on an important project with a colleague. We have tried to work in the office space… but we feel we are too disruptive to the other people… we have tried to use the common areas… too noisy. We have tried working in restaurants. It’s not very efficient. Today, we had a lot of work to do. It was not possible to work at his place, as he has family visiting from out of town. So, we decided to work at my house. My father was upset enough when I said a colleague was coming to the house to work. He couldn’t understand why I have an office in town, yet we wouldn’t be using it. I tried to explain. I have also set up a small room in the house to act as a home office. But for the moment, there is only small desk. If I had a bigger desk or two desks… we could have worked in that office and closed the door. Instead, we used the kitchen… big kitchen table.
He arrived at around 2:30-2:40 in the afternoon. We were making good progress. Didn’t want to break the rhythm. At one point, we realized it was getting on… it was close to 5:30. We were finishing up when I could hear my father muttering and sighing in his room… not super loud… but certainly loud enough for anyone to hear. My colleague left at 6. My father came storming into the kitchen, telling me I was NEVER to do that again. That it was stupid… he couldn’t believe it… on and on. I said… wait a minute, it may happen again. I need to work… I often need to work in a team, and until I can afford my own office space… or have 2 desks in the small room… it might just happen again. Especially on an important project. He was livid. It was most certainly not going to happen again… I was NEVER to do it again while he was living in the house. I said, perhaps we should just calm down and agree to disagree for the moment. I don’t want to say… I will do what I think is necessary because this is now MY house… and I will do what I need to to earn my living properly. I don’t want to go there with my dad… because he has been very generous to me… and it may not sound that way by this story… but he is a generous man who has alway helped his family.
But I don’t know how to deal with outbursts like this. I can appreciate that he may have found it difficult this afternoon… even though it was only for just over 3 hours, in one room. But his routine was disrupted and I know that is tough for older people. But he always (in this and other situations) immediately goes ballistic. The stress is very hard to deal with… because I always feel like I can’t do what I need to do in my own home. This situation is just one among many. And for him there is no middle ground. Although I’m sure that from his perspective, he feels like he has made so many compromises and he’s living with it… But there is not discussion around this… it is simply no discussion… trying to keep a balance… and then craziness. I’m not sure how to handle it, because I respect my father and all that he has done… but I also need to live my life!! 0423-14
I reread and reread this submission and I keep coming back to the same conclusions. You have bent over backwards to not impose on the employees at the office and your colleague’s visiting house guests but apparently your generous father must bend to accommodate you bringing work into the common areas of what was once his house. And yes, I did note that you twice referred to your father’s former house as now being yours which is a rather interesting perspective for you to have considering that where you are now is directly the result of your generous father taking you into his home after your divorce. There is something niggling in my mind that wonders if Dad had known he’d be viewed as an annoying guest in his own home whether he would have agreed to sign over the ownership of the house.
And I don’t buy it that you lack a second desk in the home office and therefore must use the common living area of the home to conduct your business. I see desks for sale on Facebook neighborhood sale groups all the time and Craigslist.org is full of inexpensive desks. Even a 6 foot folding table is less than $50.00 from Samsclub.com. You really cannot afford a $50.00 table?
It appears you signed on to care for an elderly parent in exchange for owning the house. Welcome to the realities of living with aged parents who don’t deal with changes to their routine and may be in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimers. You have a hard choice ahead of you because I don’t think running a business and caring for an aged parent in the same space is conducive to the success of either. Your submission almost had the feel of you setting up the justifications to remove Dad from the home so that your ability to conduct business was not further impaired.