Mom Doesn't Want Her 22-Year-Old Daughter To Move Back In With Her Because She Doesn't Have The 'Emotional Capacity' For Her

This mom isn't sure she can handle one more thing on her plate, even if that thing is her own daughter.

stressed overwhelmed mother and adult daughter lying on couch Irsan Ianushis and Maria Surtu / Shutterstock

A mom on Reddit recently posted about the incredibly difficult situation she’s in regarding her life as the family’s breadwinner, being a mother, and one of her troubled daughters who wants to move back home with her.

As a mother of five dealing with a parenting issue, she wrote into the “r/Parenting” subreddit hoping to get some answers on what she should do about her daughter.

The mom claimed she doesn’t have the ‘emotional capacity’ to let her daughter move in.

Without any context and simply reading the title of the post, which says “I don’t want my Adult child 22 to move back in,” you might think the mother cruel and selfish, but given the context surrounding the situation, it goes much deeper than that.


“For context, I have 5 children, 2 are still home full-time and my 19yo is home periodically from college. My 21yo son has successfully launched and works two jobs to remain independent,” she claims. “The 2 at home are 17 and 13. My 17yo has a genetic disorder and is developmentally delayed, so I spend a lot of time at Dr offices and occupational therapy with her, working towards independence.”

Next, she describes the issues that she, her husband, and her absent ex-husband have lined up in preparation for the predicament. Her current husband has ADHD, GAD, and MDD. Her ex-husband is “likely” undiagnosed ASD, and she suffers from c-PTSD, OCD, and has just started her journey in healing from childhood trauma.


“This post is about my oldest child who also has OCD, ADHD, and suicidal tendencies. She is transgender MtF and was also born without her left forearm/hand,” she explains. “Aren’t we a barrel of laughs?”

i don't want my adult child 22 to move back in reddit postPhoto: Reddit

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The mom claims that her daughter has been struggling for some time now.

“So, my oldest child is struggling big time. She’s always been fiercely independent, smarter than everyone around her, creative loner… and frankly, kind of an a--hole,” she explains. After graduating high school, she moved out, got a job, got a cheap place, lived in another place with her high school sweetheart, and seemed to be doing well enough alone until things hit the fan.

“After a couple of years, her mental health severely declined, she dropped out of community college, she physically fought with her partner, checked herself into the ER when she was in crisis, spent a few days inpatient treatment, and her partner and her broke up,” she explained.

Since then, she’s been struggling to keep a steady job. Seeing as she, the mother, has started her own business designing websites, she tried to help her daughter out by teaching her how to do what she does and hopefully set her up to take over the business once she finds another job — all to no avail.

In the last year, she’s faced eviction notices, utility cut-offs, car troubles, paying for a psychiatrist, and even looking for a new therapist after her old one retired. She’s run into trouble legally and although she isn’t a drug addict, her mother’s codependency is triggered as if she were her alcoholic parents.


i don't want my adult child 22 to move back in reddit postPhoto: Reddit

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She doesn’t want to let her daughter move back in because she’s ‘out of her league.’

“She just asked if she could move back in, and I just….can’t. I feel so far out of my league, and frankly, I don’t think I have the emotional capacity it would take,” she explains. “I have just started healing my own childhood trauma, am in therapy weekly, 12step meetings 2x per week, have a demanding job as the primary breadwinner for my family, no child support from my ex, and my husband works at Lowe’s mainly just to pay his own expenses.”


Not only is she dealing with her own issues, but she also has two kids that she needs to take care of who may well have issues of their own — she doesn’t feel like she’s capable of being the parent for one more kid again.

She isn’t sure what to do, but she knows that she can’t handle taking her back in. Unfortunately for her, Reddit doesn’t seem well-equipped to handle this predicament either, as the top comment reads “This seems above Reddit's paygrade,” and to be fair, it's above everyone's paygrade.

Access to mental health care and affordable housing in situations like these is at an all-time low.

According to recent Pew Center research, via WebMD, millennial adults are the first generation in more than 130 years to show a larger subset living with parents than with a spouse or partner. Now, more than ever, young adults are moving back in with their parents after finishing college for a large host of reasons.

It's no secret that housing prices have grown to unmeasurable heights. While all of this is happening, wages have stagnated, and now, no one can afford to live... well, anywhere except back home with their parents.


At the same time, access to mental health care and even mental health care affordability are major issues, especially for LGBTQ+ groups. According to Mental Health America, "One study even found that LGBTQ+ people used mental health services at 2.5 times higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts. However, they are also at particular risk for experiencing shame, fear, discrimination, and adverse and traumatic events."

All of these things piled on top of each other create a fine line that this mom seems to be struggling to toe. She doesn't want to enable the behaviors her daughter has shown, but she also wants to help her.

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People offered valuable insights and opinions that may help steer this mother on the right path.

One mother claimed that she had done more than enough to try and help steer her daughter on the right path, but sometimes, parents need to take care of themselves — especially once that child is already a grown adult.

Some suggested certain social services that could provide assistance, or even reaching out to certain networks that may help her find a different place to live. The main priority is that her daughter does not become homeless as a result of her issues, and the second one is that she seeks help for her mental health issues in order for her to land on her feet.

Parents are human too, and if she’s incapable of taking her daughter in with everything on her plate, that doesn’t make her a bad person. So long as she does everything else in her power to make sure her daughter lands on her feet, she’s doing enough.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.