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Moms with Adult Kids Moms with Adult Kids

The problem is me, not them...

Posted by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:28 PM
  • 40 Replies

I am a mom of 5.  One of which is an adult, married, living on her own with 2 children.  After reading some of the posts, I guess I should be happy.  However, that is how it has always been ever since my daughter was a teen.  I have always wanted more from her life than what she wants.  She and her husband are horrible with money.  They live paycheck to paycheck.  They do not have any more saved for emergencies.  (My mother and I had to recently pay for car problems because they didn't have the money.)  I watch my granddaughter after school because they can't afford after school care.  I recently bought winter clothes for my grandson because they were going to visit out of state and he didn't have any winter clothes that fit.    Every Time they eat out my blood boils.  Eating out to me is a luxury that is for special occasions, i.e. birthday, anniversary, etc.  Not occasions like, I am tired and don't want to cook or we don't have anything I want to eat.   My problem is what is my role.  They owe my mother and I and total of $400 between the two of us.  They recently ordered a pizza.  When I found out I sent my son in law a message that people who do not have money and owe people money DO NOT order pizzas.  I told him he needed to put on his big boy pants and be a man.  He contacted my daughter and my daughter told me to not send him messages like that.  It makes him all upset at her for talking to me.  I feel that I have a right to speak my mind because they owe me money.  The other issue I have is that my daughter calls me and unloads all her crap about him being a crappy husband/father and I am not supposed to say anything about it.  I am her mother not her friend.  As a mother, I want to teach her how to get out of this situation and not be in it.  This has been an ongoing roller coaster for almost 5 years.  Anyone out there that has a similar situation?

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mac1940
by Mary Ann on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:48 PM
3 moms liked this

Probably the best thing you can do is to quit loaning them money unless you want it to be a gift.  They will not learn as long as you or your mother keep bailing them out.  It is very very hard to not do for your kids but sometimes you simply have to say no.   And to answer your question, I do not have a similar situation. 

DesignGirl450
by Lynda on Feb. 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

No, I have not been through anything like that.  You say that your daughter and husband are horrible with money and spend every penny and then some.  There is obviously a pattern here that they don't need to save for the things they need, as she just hits up family members for car repairs, kids clothes, etc., so ... why try to save anything.  Do yourself and them a favour and stop lending them money.  Also, draw up a repayment plan so that they can give you a little bit of money every payday until the loan is repaid.  And they will be lucky if you don't charge any interest.   

sabrtooth1
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this

Well, you know the answer.  It's the title of your post.  You have the ability to end all these problems with a single word -- NO.  If they had the money to visit out of state, then they should have had the money to buy their kid proper clothes.  If they didn't, that was THEIR problem, not yours.  If they have a car problem, but no money to fix it, then they will have to take a bus, or walk.   When your dd calls and begins to unload, tell her NO, you are not interested in hearing about it.  She married him.  She stays with him.  SHE is not doing anything to change the situation, so since she has chosen to put up, she needs to shut up.  You cannot TEACH her anything, because she does not want to learn. 

As others have said, you are not doing them any favors--you are enabling them.  I have not been in your situation, but I have a daughter who made a bad choice of husband, and the fallout has lasted longer than the marriage.  HOWEVER, we do not feel taken advantage of, because we have set clear boundries. 

We learned long before we even had children, to never give money we couldn't afford to lose.  People always have good intentions when they promise to repay, but things don't always go according to plan.  I will not ruin relationships with bitterness over unpaid loans.  So my expectation is that I will NOT get repaid, but am happy if I am.  So because of that, I will NEVER loan money that I NEED, and I never loan again to someone who has not repaid a previous loan. 

And even people who borrow money are entitled to go out for a meal, or have a little fun, AS LONG AS THEY ARE MAKING THEIR PAYMENTS.  You need to set up a STRICT payment schedule, and as long as your dd makes her payments, what she does with the rest of her money is her business.  But the first time she fails to make a payment, tell her that is the last dollar she will ever get. 

jabs54
by Jeanine on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM
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 First I will say I have never and will never tell my daughter in law how to spend her money or raise her children etc. etc.  If I have a problem I would go directly to my child, not their spouse.  IMO you have no right to tell them they cannot order a pizza.   You do however, have the right to not pay their bills.  If you feel you need to talk to your dd I would sit down with her and offer to help her make up a budget and also tell her you will no longer be paying any of her bills so she'd better start saving. 

amonkeymom
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:32 PM
1 mom liked this

It's hard, but the best way to teach them to be responsible is to quit giving them money (I say "giving" because it's doubtful they'll ever repay you).

Quoting mac1940:

Probably the best thing you can do is to quit loaning them money unless you want it to be a gift.  They will not learn as long as you or your mother keep bailing them out.  It is very very hard to not do for your kids but sometimes you simply have to say no.   And to answer your question, I do not have a similar situation. 


EireLass
by Gold Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 3:44 PM
2 moms liked this

I do have an idea of what you're dealing with. I can't really give you advice, as much as tell you how I am or what I plan on doing. When I give money, I only give it if I feel I can afford to live without it. I don't put conditions on giving. When I get the money back, I consider it a treat for myself, and makes me feel really good about loaning again. If they state that they need to by XYZ....then I buy XYZ for them. Then there's no wasting of money.

nana9106
by Darlene on Feb. 15, 2013 at 3:57 PM

 I agree with this

Quoting jabs54:

 First I will say I have never and will never tell my daughter in law how to spend her money or raise her children etc. etc.  If I have a problem I would go directly to my child, not their spouse.  IMO you have no right to tell them they cannot order a pizza.   You do however, have the right to not pay their bills.  If you feel you need to talk to your dd I would sit down with her and offer to help her make up a budget and also tell her you will no longer be paying any of her bills so she'd better start saving. 

 

jules8289
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

 Let them know their family ATM is permanantly out of order for them. Let them tough it out.

Maddie24
by Gold Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM
2 moms liked this

 My DD was 18 and alone when my DGD was born.  It was a struggle for a year or two.  I ended up giving her OVER HALF of my paycheck EVERY payday so they could live.  I had to decide - push them away or support them until she got on her feet.  OMGosh - it took 7 years.  She is now self supporting - barely.  My other daughter barely gets by as well.  I told them I am done - tapped out.  They have to make it on their own.  I have to say no.  It is hard to say no, but if we always support them - they will never learn and we will have to work forever.    Another thing I had to learn is if I give my girls anything - it is theirs to do with as they please - they can sale it or give it away.  I have no control over what they do.  I cannot tell them what choices to make or how to live their lives.  The parental teaching and lessons are over.  I can offer loving advice - but it is just in passing.  I had to figure out what I can live with and set my boundaries.  Sad for them sometimes - but I cannot continue to pay their consequences.  They will learn!  Let them figure it out and yes - sometimes you have to watch your grandchildren do without - but they will live.  Good Luck!

suzeebloch
by Ronna on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:42 PM
1 mom liked this

I helped my daughter out to the tune of some $3500 by the time she finally moved out - but Moms With Adult Kids didn't exist back then where I could vent my frustrations and get advice!  My daughter will be 33 this summer and I don't ever expect her to pay me back - it didn't start out that way - but after 8 years, I've learned to pick my battles.  She is still horrible with her money and yes, it bothers me when she complains about how broke she is but of course she still has to have her Red Bull or whatever, and beer and name brand cigarettes.  I haven't had to help her out in quite some time, other than provide a vehicle for her a couple of years ago for a few months.

It is SO hard to just say "no" but that's the BEST course of action when it comes to "helping" our adult children. But seriously, stick with a "Bank of Mom has Closed" attitude.  I do think you were wrong to talk to your son-in-law, especially about buying pizza.  You should have talked to your daughter instead.  I am sorry they aren't living up to their responsibilties. I would also seriously be reconsidering providing free day care for them, too. 

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