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'Tis the Season

Posted by on Dec. 27, 2017 at 7:29 AM
  • 7 Replies

SD (21) and SS(19) are home from college. Their college is only about 1-hr away. DH is paying for each of them to live in their own “house” with friends . . .  So, SD comes home two days earlier than she had said because “she misses us.”   Later in the evening she starts talking to DH about how broke she is and would like to go out with some friends.

DH flipped his lid because SD had said she was going to get a job as Christmas help. She never followed up and didn’t get a job. She blew the last of her money from her summer job going to NY City with friends. DH gave money to his sister so SD could go on a weekend Christmas trip to Boston with her and grandma. Also, keep in mind DH is paying the bulk of their college expenses with some help from me.

SD was put-out by DH’s comments.

The next night SD tells me she is picking her mom up from work because her car is in the shop. Me- fine. .. not sure why she is telling me this. SD gets home and comes and gets SS out of his room. She wants to loan her mom her car (really DH’s car) and then she (SD) use SS’s car (really my car) to go back to her house for the night to hang out with friends who just finished their finals. SD told me that DH said it was OK to loan to BM the car for the night and next day. I said fine (all the while thinking, you told us you were broke), if he’s ok with it no big deal.

SD told SS she would have his car back the next afternoon. This was last Tuesday. SD didn’t come home with SS’s car (my car) until late Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday-night, SD didn’t answer her phone, texts, emails, etc. SS started texting like crazy to SD’s roommate and THEN SD finally called DH at 11:00 PM Wednesday-night. SD said she would be home the next day.

Thursday-- same thing. SD said she would bring the car back Friday-afternoon.

Friday afternoon--- can anybody guess?! DH flipped his lid again and told SD if she didn't have the car back by Saturday afternoon he would go get the car from BM and she wouldn't be getting it back.

It was a huge fiasco.

If SD wanted to stay at her house and party with friends, fine. We don’t really care—BUT, she had SS’s car while her mom had her car. If she had worked out these details with SS- that she was keeping the car for a few days and simply told us that was the plan, then that would have also been fine.

SD finally came back Saturday, got her car from her mom, etc.

DH had a conversation with SD and then we dropped it because we wanted to have a nice Christmas. For which—no help with anything from either SD or SS. DD (11) and DD(9) helped clean the house, bake cookies, prepare food for meals- the whole 9-yards (the youngest helped the most- go figure!).

Christmas Eve was good. We all went to church together, ate dinner afterward, and then  SD hung out and sang Christmas carols and was just silly with Christmas Fun. SS stayed in his room playing video games all evening after dinner.

Christmas Day was nice . . . but a little strained. DDs (11 and 9) of course had the time of their life with their gifts. SD and SS got up and opened presents as well—which was like a Christmas Miracle that they got up and out of bed in the morning. It was a nice morning. SD and SS had plans with their mom for the afternoon. They were all going to SD’s house, BM would cook for them, and they could open presents there with her. All sounds great, but DH and I have been down this road with holiday plans and BM many times before. As the day wears on SD and SS are not able to contact BM. BM would not answer her phone.

We had family friends come over to eat at 2:00. SD and SS were still home, but didn't want to eat because they were getting together with their mom. They kept trying to reach her with no answer. 

Around 3:00, SD and SS decided to eat some of prime rib and fixings from our meal. Of course, then BM calls them- it is nearly 4:00 pm. SD and SS leave to get her and they go do their thing.

So, the good and the bad. At this point, I am seasoned SM and I didn’t let any of it bother me much. DH is more bothered by their actions and lack of involvement than I am.

Our holiday season isn’t complete until a family gathering on New Year’s Day, after that, if SD and SS are just lounging around, not helping out, DH is going to tell them to go back to their houses that we are paying for them to live in. He is tired of coming home from work to them lounging around all day, doing nothing, and then asking, "What's for dinner?"

by on Dec. 27, 2017 at 7:29 AM
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by Platinum Member on Dec. 27, 2017 at 8:33 AM
2 moms liked this

Have you guys considered making them be more responsible for their expenses? it won't go over well but it may save them some real world shock down the road and let you guys enjoy the money you're working hard for. 

by Member on Dec. 27, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Those are my thoughts exactly. DH is on the hook for the rent and some of the utilities-- their room mates reimburse for their share of those bills covered by DH.

I had suggested that DH give each of them a set amount of $/month for groceries and gas and make them budget it. That is how my parents did it with me and if I ran out of money . . . well, it only happened once. But, ya know, I am ONLY the Stepmom. I am ONLY suppose to help pay for everything and not really say much.

I am rather enjoying not saying much right now-- DH is completely frustrated and he created alot of this by not giving them more serious consequences. He is too soft because their relationship with BM is estranged to say the least. BM chose not to be part of their lives for about 5-years. She only started coming back around the last couple years. They did have a hard time with all that, unfortunately, life isn't soft and as you become adults, you do have to be responsible.

Quoting tiafez:

Have you guys considered making them be more responsible for their expenses? it won't go over well but it may save them some real world shock down the road and let you guys enjoy the money you're working hard for. 

by Bronze Member on Dec. 27, 2017 at 5:12 PM
So neither of them have jobs?
by Member on Dec. 28, 2017 at 7:12 AM
1 mom liked this

DDDaysh- No, neither of them have jobs right now. SD did work full time as a camp counsellor over the summer. She did this the past three summers. SS worked part time over the summer washing dishes at an assisted living complex. That was his first job. DH and I are paying for most of their college expenses.

DH is having each of them take out $5,500 in loans each year to help pay for college. That is the most they can take out without a co-signer. We would rather help by paying up front than sign off on crazy loans with interest. We don't qualify for them to get subsidized loans so the loans are unsubsidized. Over the years we have talked with them about how the loans work. Of course we are the dumbest people there are on the face of the earth . . . according to them.

Well, we had the talk again two nights ago along with them needing to help out around the house and not just come home and lounge and expect us to cater them after working all day. I did most of the talking this time instead of DH. SD finally looked up her loans (like we have been telling her to do for the past 3-1/2 years so she knows what is going on with her debt and she was shocked at how much the interest adds to it. So was SS and he is looking up his.

I got home last night and they had each cleaned up some of the house, taken out the trash, and did some generally easy things that make it so much nicer when you get home! Then SD tells me she has a job interveiw next week!  Hopefully, this is the start of a good and long term change!

by Ruby Member on Dec. 28, 2017 at 11:40 AM
2 moms liked this
Hope they continue to improve and maintain it.
by Battler on Jan. 2, 2018 at 6:00 PM
So mom doesn't help out at all financially?
by Member on Jan. 11, 2018 at 8:37 AM

Their mom contributes minimally. She will occasionally bring them groceries at school or take them grocery shopping. Buy a few clothing items for them. That is it.

Quoting pusheen-kitty: So mom doesn't help out at all financially?

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