ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
to feel that we cannot possibly accept this?(229 Posts)
My BF and I have been together for six months now and have just decided to move in together after finding out I am pregnant earlier this month. While this was completely unplanned, we are now both very happy and excited about having a baby together. I was initially very concerned about finances as my bf still has another 1.5 years before finishing med school and I am in the first year of my (paid) doctorate. However, I have since found out that I am entitled to maternity pay and as I have some savings, figured we would somehow be able to wing it until he starts work, even if that does involve sharing a studio flat and second hand baby clothes.
I met BF's parents for the first time earlier this month, which is also when we told them that I am pregnant. Let's just say BF and I are from COMPLETELY different backgrounds, as in I grew up in foster care and he went to boarding school and goes rowing and they have a freakin' beach house 'for weekends'. So I was already scared witless that they would be less than impressed at him bringing me home.
They had us over for Christmas and have now offered us a flat. I mean, what???? I barely know them, they probably think I am some kind of gold digger and getting pregnant was a ruse to get their son. BF thinks I am being crazy and that it's no problem at all. But I am not, am I now? That's not normal; I don't know them. I cannot let them give us a flat. We will manage somehow.
Our first DC was born a couple of months after BF (now DH) graduated medical school, I was undergrad scientist, similar difference in backgrounds (one side all Dr/PHd's, one side no education/profession) to your situation OP.
I would be wary about terms of this gift of a flat - agree with euroshagmores post of 14.10.51
Ime and imo, people make generous offers often to gain control, or "protect" someone... of course this may not be the case, your BF parents may be genuine and lovely people.
If it is within their means, and they offer it without strings, and as a gift for you as a family/your grandchild...then you'd be foolish to refuse.
Or why not say, ok great, we'll live there whilst DP finishes med school and I finish PhD, then we'll get on with it ourselves. Many parents provide a home for their student kds (wish that I would be in a position to do the same).
If you think it comes with the condition that they decide all sorts of things about the way you live then that might be different. But your DP will be in a good place to know that.
I expect it probably is a little to 'protect' their son. You might not ask him to quit medical school, but there would be nothing to stop him from deciding that he needed to provide for his family immediately and jack it all in.
The PILs are protecting their investment, but it is also a nice thing to do and if it comes with no strings then why not accept?
They were probably planning to give him a property anyway, but the pregnancy has given them a reason to bring that forward.
I would feel a little uncomfortable about it too, but then I don't come from the kind of background where giving your child a house/flat would ever be a possibility either. And personally I've always preferred to be financially independent of parents as soon as possible, because there usually are 'strings' and obligations, especially when such large sums are involved, even if the giver doesn't intend it to be that way. I think it's a healthier relationship when you relate to each other as independent adults.
I agree with the advice to make sure you understand the legal situation, especially as you are unmarried, what happens if you separate etc.
You've done well with your studies and have a nice boyfriend and a baby on the way, you need to just relax and be happy don't worry about the flat. Enjoy your life. I also grew up in care and it's hard to allow yourself to be happy sometimes
Never mind the flat for a moment. I'm worried that you thought they would be less than impressed with him bringing you home.
If you were brought home by my son I'd think you were amazing! You weren't lucky enough to have a family you could live with and you must have worked like mad to get to the point where you're studying for a PhD. Do you realise how few children who are fostered even get their GCSEs? You've done incredibly well and I'm sure they are overawed by how much you've achieved given your start in life.
I'd think my son was bloody lucky to have a child with someone like you. If you are uncomfortable with the flat then say so, but don't make any decision which will make your life more difficult. The next couple of years will be tough work-wise and it would be great not to have to worry about where to live.
Why not thank them for the offer - but ask to pay rent to ensure you have legal rights?
I understand why you might not want to take it. It's a question of pride to make your own way in the world and that's fine, commendable even. BUT it sounds as though they already own the flat and will give the tenants notice so you can move in rent free. To be honest that doesn't stop you saving up to get your own place but just keeps you and your child comfortable while DH completes his studies.
So I guess they are not unreasonable to offer (assuming no strings attached and they are not putting themselves in financial jeopardy to do it) but you would not be unreasonable to say "no thanks it's too much" either. What about renting from them at a lower than normal rent as a middle ground?
You might prefer to live in a studio with BF and baby rather than accept the generous offer, but come on. Your BF has med school to finish, having the baby is going to be hard enough, his parents probably just want the best for their son, grandchild and most likely you!!!
Just because people have a beach house for weekends doesn't make them bad people. They are probably quite excited about having a grandchild even if they aren't super impressed with the timing (before finishing med school).
As a man from a poor background married to a woman from a relatively affluent background whose parents have offered to do the same for us, I say take it.
You are clearly flabbergasted at their generosity and that's not unreasonable, but you have an opportunity and should not turn it down on a point of principle.
What would you prefer ? That they thought you weren't good enough for their expensively educated son, looked down on you, made snidey comments in your earshot, refused to make you part of the family ?
If they are rich and own a lot of property I doubt they would even think that you would think they were giving too much.
Get the chip off your shoulder and accept the fact that you seem to have fallen on your feet. Or fuck off and I'll go and live in their free flat
Accept. It's not for ever and will really help you with finances when the new baby comes.
These people will be your baby's grandparents.
Unless you have good evidence to the contrary don't bring your child up to assume that just because they are rich they are vile enough to consider an un-monied person a gold digger.
You never know, once you and your partner each have a consultant salary coming in you might well be in a position to give your own child a big helping hand. Because you love them, are proud of them, wnat them to have a great future and because you can afford it. Wouldn't any parent feel happy about that?
My father gave up his PhD three years in because a baby (not me) was on the way. He didn't have to, and I'm sure DM never asked him to, but he wanted to.
Assuming the conditions are fair I think it would not be unreasonable to accept their offer. Then repay the debt by providing an emotionally and intellectually well-rounded human being (or two, or three) to add to their family.
Another thing I would suggest is: if they insist on you not paying rent while you live there, take the money you would have spent on rent and put it into a savings account. If they are as lovely as they seem, then you will simply have a little chunk of money, either to put towards a larger home for your family later on or to treat the generous GPs to a holiday or whatever. And if something does go wrong, you will have a chunk of savings to fall back on.
ImperialBlether, thank you for that.
MotherOfTheBritishEmpire, I don't think I ever suggested that I would bring up my child to think their grandparent's were vile.
BF's parents did indeed suggest actually giving us the flat (as in to own). I presume it would be transferred to him. My BF pointed out that in my version of our plans, he would be 'sponging' (his word - not mine) of me until he starts work - so I do get why he thinks I am being unreasonable. His brother also agrees with him, so am feeling a bit outnumbered at the moment.
You could always say thank you!
Take it. I know how hard it can be being offered something nice when you're used to getting the shitty end of the stick - you must not let that stop you.
Life's too short, love, and you, BF and babe deserve a break.
Some of these responses are uncalled for. The op isn't being rude or ungrateful.
If someone offers you a huge, life changing "gift" like this it's right to carefully consider what you want to do.
I would happily accept their kind offer, what a lovely start it will give you.
If they're fairly wealthy it's probably not that huge a deal to them. I am lucky to have generous parents, I hope we will be the same with our children when they're older.
I'm also doing a doctorate, have a toddler and a baby due in June. I worked before PhD and DH works as well, we live within our means, have a mortgage on a small semi and save a bit each month.
Accept the flat. Say thank you and save what you can for the future.
Nursery costs equal my stipend (15k
annual), our toddler was born brain
injured due to labour mismanagement and we do a huge amount of private therapy whoch is costly. I can buy new shoes without worrying too much, can buy her vitamins and lots of good food for nutrition.
Accept the flat. You never know what's round the corner.
Also. My lovely sibling married into a much wealthier family and was initially embarrassed to accept huge gifts such as a horse, an extension and part payment on a car. They did accept these but saved their money too as that's the way it's done between generations. Younger ones.save pennies, make investments and establish a firm financial base and older ones buy things. Also helps avoided inheritance tax.
Think about what you want for your child. That mobile everyone says helps babies sleep and you haven't slept in months and you are meant to be writing but the mobile costs £20 and that's half the food budget etc etc. They grow surprisingly fast, and they need clothes before they are worn out, nursery or childcare fees,
Do ensure you establish legally what you or you child is entitled to, and don't sign anything without getting it seen by your ow solicitor.
I once lost ten thousand on a house after I'd paid three years rent, that was over ten years ago and would have been more now
Please take it. Focus on your baby, focus on your studies, then once you are in your careers which you have already worked so hard for, you can repay them then if you're in a situation to.
Try and save as much as you can along the way, to ensure you remain independent and confident that you have your own means to get by as well.
Sorry to go against the trend here, but I wouldn't. I come from a fairly well-off family and I have not taken gifts from my parents, let alone in-laws
I might have, to pay for education, but luckily was on a full scholarship in the US. But no way would I take money/accommodation. I have paid my own way through life, and am beholden to no one.
There is no free lunch in life. You will pay for it one way or the other, no matter how nice PIL are.
My motto is to take no more than I can give back. My parents have huge respect for me, more than my sis who has taken a flat and other financial help from them ( they are lovely about it, but nonetheless she feels obliged to listen to them more than I do)
Nothing wrong with a studio flat and skimping. I have had friends who have had babies while doing their PhDs and have managed on their own.
If they want to give their son a flat, who are you to tell him he can't have it? If you don't want to accept, insist it is transferred only into his name.
It's a bit martyrish to insist on living in a studio with a baby and scrabbling for pennies when you could live in a rent free flat with no strings attached.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.