To wish my parents would stop pushing money on me?

(76 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Mon 25-Mar-13 20:04:17

I realise I'm lucky to have 'well-off' parents to fall back on when times are tough, but their current financial interfering is really annoying me.

I've been a lone parent since my child was born. Ex pays monthly via CSA (approx £30) every now and then, as he goes from job to job. I am a self employed cleaner, which is a relatively new business venture for me, so not making millions quite yet.

Ever since my dd was born 5 years ago, my parents have been paying for stuff. E.g. they used to do a big monthly shop for me and have it delivered. They'd go and buy dd a new wardrobe of clothes twice a year. They'd steal my electric key when they'd come and visit, then go and top it up without me knowing until they'd returned with it.

I was very grateful for this help in the early days, as i was a new parent, and really struggling. However, once i found my feet, i felt as if they were babying me and asked them to step back, assuring them i'd ask them for money if i ever needed it.

However, in the past year, it's started up again. Only this time it's proper cash they're giving me. They visit once a week, and just as they're about to leave, they'll whip out £40-£50 and put it on the table for me.

My parents really struggled when my siblings and i were very young. They'd go hungry so we could eat etc. And my mum keeps saying she doesn't want me to be in that situation.

When i first started out in my cleaning business, my mum started hiring me for a ridiculously high amount of hours per week and insisted on paying me double my hourly rate. I told her i felt patronised, and wouldn't be doing it anymore when she refused to take me on as an average customer would.

I've told them time and time again that i don't want or need their money. But my dad says to save it then in case of emergencies (e.g. i need a new cooker/washing machine one day) and my mum says to stop refusing it as it insults my dad.

It's getting to the stage where i'm starting to discourage them from visiting me, as i don't want to deal with the awkwardness of them leaving me money.

And the main reason i'm fretting over this now is because of something that happened last week. I went to visit my parent's house on the Sunday. My dad was a bit drunk and tried pushing money on me again. I told him no, and then he said 'I know you keep refusing, but let's be honest, you'd be raging if i didn't give you any, wouldn't you?'

So, basically, he thinks i expect this money each week!

I knew this would happen. He's gotten into a habit of providing for me, and now feels he can't stop it or it will upset/anger me.

Sorry, this has become a much longer post than i thought it would be.

To summarise, AIBU to want them to stop pushing this money on me all the time? My friends think i'm really lucky and should stop complaining. I feel as though my dad thinks it's somehow his place to step in, financially, for dd's absent father. No matter what i do or say, he won't stop giving me money. On one occassion, he even posted it through the door one night when i was asleep because he knew i wouldn't take it from him.

It makes me really uncomfortable. I've expressed this to my parents yet they won't stop!

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 27-Mar-13 10:05:06

Have the chat. But in reality I think you will end up having to physically give it back to them. Gather it up and pop it in an envelope through their door once a week, little note: "oops, you left this at my house by mistake!" or "Treat yourself to a lovely night out, it's on me".

If you are really, really persistant about not allowing them to force you to take the money they will eventually get the message.

A tiny side note: will your circumstances change when Universal credit comes in, or are you all covered on that front?

Flisspaps Wed 27-Mar-13 09:56:03

I'd post the money back through their letterbox.

Every single time. Don't put it in an account - you're still accepting it if you do that. If DD were to use it for a car or Uni, she'd then be told that they'd paid for it because you didn't get a 'proper job' when she was little.

And the fancy socks, send them in for cutting up. Don't feel guilty.

DontmindifIdo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:36

Then you need to tackle this - talk to your Dad one to one and say how he's made you feel and that you now will consider any money given that you haven't asked for as an insult.

And definately talk to your siblings, can you call one before your parents come over and discuss it? It might not cause a rift if your siblings see it as your parents helping out the one who needs help, but if they get to realise you don't need help, that's then resentment creeps in.

LetMeAtTheWine Wed 27-Mar-13 04:39:26

Have you spoken to any of your siblings about it? Would your parents listen to them?

Yfronts Tue 26-Mar-13 21:38:16

Stop complaining and stick it in an account for your kids future.

EldritchCleavage Tue 26-Mar-13 21:25:11

Well, I can understand your position. They need to have a bit more respect for you as an independent adult. And a mother doing her best. If they don't listen, a period without contact to get them to consider may be best. Would any of your siblings be able to talk to them for you, get them to see sense?

MumfordandDaughter Tue 26-Mar-13 21:08:17

To be honest, before my dad's drunken ramblings that Sunday, I would have (although not happily) continued to take the money and save it for emergencies/dd just to keep the peace.

But now knowing that he thinks i don't have a 'proper job' (I have at least two customers a day), and that he thinks i expect his money each week, it's made me feel quite sick at the thought of accepting another penny from him.

Ah, i'm just getting myself wound up now. I'll wait and see how the visit with my mum goes tomorrow before i completely lose it.

crashdoll Tue 26-Mar-13 20:57:29

I don't think they are being controlling. Take the money, put it in a savings account for DD.

MumfordandDaughter Tue 26-Mar-13 20:52:39

Thanks, Don'tmind. I think that's what I'm going to have to do, otherwise it will be playing on my mind during the whole visit. No doubt, they'll think I'm being presumptious, pretend they weren't going to give me money anyway, and then somehow sneak it somewhere i don't notice, and then text me once they leave, "By the way, Dad's left some money in the kitchen for you."

They've done it before. And whenever i send dd down to theirs for a few hours, she gets sent back with money hidden in her coat pocket/backpack. I then get a similar text as i've posted above.

MumfordandDaughter Tue 26-Mar-13 20:49:30

Argh! Mum's just called again. I had asked her to pick up some white socks for dd while she's at the shopping centre, as dd's class are making sock puppets on Thursday.

My mum's just said she's picked up a lovely pair from X (a very expensive baby wear shop!). I am furious. I told her they're just going to get cut up and covered in glue, and she said, 'It's okay, i don't want you to pay me back for them. It's on me.'

Seriously, what is the point of that?! Now, I'm going to feel really guilty sending dd into school with these socks (they cost £10) knowing she's just going to chop them up.

DontmindifIdo Tue 26-Mar-13 20:47:17

I think when she comes over, when she arrives say "by the way, I don't want or need any money from you, so can we get that out of the way right now? I don't want to have an argument with you about it."

MumfordandDaughter Tue 26-Mar-13 20:45:56

I appreciate all the advice, and i understand what you're saying about just taking it and saving it etc - but i don't want to. I can't properly explain how it makes me feel, but each time they give me money, it makes me feel really... low. Like a charity case. As if they pity me and think i can't look after my own child without them.

Even if i intended to save all the money up for them - i don't want to. That's not my responsibility. It's theirs. I realise this is a very 'nice' problem to have, and i also realise how lucky i am, but i don't want their money or monetary gestures anymore. It's starting to really affect my relationship with my parents.

My mum's just called to say she's coming for a visit tomorrow evening. Hopefully i'll have 'the talk' with them again, and this time it will be successful.

EldritchCleavage Tue 26-Mar-13 16:52:25

Actually, I would stick the money in an account for your parents, and tell them and your siblings that this is what you are doing. Say you regard the money as held on trust. They are dicing with disaster if they don't keep any savings and are burning through their income, so this way you get to do them a favour and a assert your independence at the same time.

Pigsmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 16:41:01

I am available for adoption if your parents are interested, I can provide references and have a cat and DD that they lavish their lovely money on.

Seriously just stick the money into an account for holidays or when your DD is older. Also think about what you can do for your parents in return, you then don't have to be in the position of always taking, days out, cleaning (for free), make cakes, cook dinner, offeer lifts to the airport etc etc whatever it is. Also do consider that when they pass away a huge chunk of their estate will go to the taxman, so enjoy it now, together as a happy family.

stressyBessy22 Tue 26-Mar-13 16:28:05

would they consider adopting me?

DontmindifIdo Tue 26-Mar-13 16:23:56

something that's worth remembering as well - they know they are trampling all over your feelings, what your Dad said couldn't be interpreted as anything other than having a bit of a go at you/looking down on you. So don't feel you have to worry about theirs to the extent you can't talk to them about it. Be polite, but remember they are not being very polite to you.

yes, your parents are trying to be controlling, and thanks to your dad's tipsy comments, not even hiding it very well.

But I agree, put the money in a bank account.

that way, if your dad ever makes nasty comments like that again, you can offer him it back.

if he doesn't, then your DD has a nice little nestegg.

BarbarianMum Tue 26-Mar-13 15:57:36

Do you have a will, life insurance, critical illness cover, a few thousand in the bank?

If the answer to any of these is 'no' then take the money and use it for them. This will give you and your daughter long-term financial stability.

If you have all these things, or once you have these things, then you are right - you don't need help. That doesn't mean you can't take it if you want to, but equally, say no to it.

I can exactly understand how their actions (however loving) are belittling and possible controlling (as well as annoying) but please secure your finances before taking a stand.

MansView Tue 26-Mar-13 15:03:48

lucky you...

when I left hone at ~20 years old (early 40s now) - I got no advice and financial help from my parents at all...the only thing got (apart from birthdays etc) were some tatty old blankets, towels, and kitchen utensils (well, my mam was going to throw them out)... oh, and a really out of date chicken kiev - as my mum was on a diet...

DontmindifIdo Tue 26-Mar-13 11:54:42

sorry, that should read;

It also might help reduce the stress between siblings if they think currently think you are ripping of your parents, to know that you don't want this money.

DontmindifIdo Tue 26-Mar-13 11:49:45

thing is with the people on this thread syaing they'd love this are missing is they need the help, the OP doesn't. Help you dont' need or want isn't a help, particularly as it often comes with a view they have 'bought' a right to comment on your life. If you welcome someone giving you money and accept the 'price' you pay for their financial support (or childcare support as often is the case with grandparents) is that they have a right to dictate how you live your life or even feel they can just pass judgement/ask questions - is one you have to accept. If you don't want the help, then by forcing the money on you they are forcing you to accept the 'price' of it without givingyou a chance to reject it.

I would suggest a few stages in this, firstly, can you talk to your siblings, tell them what's happening and that while you needed some help to start with, it's not needed now, they are being patronising with you and you are stopping visiting as you can't stand it. Perhaps if one of your siblings sat down with your parents and told them they are risking you cutting them out as it's the only way to get them to stop, they might stop. It also might help reduce the stress between siblings if they think you are ripping of your parents.

Next I'd talk to your dad when sober, go for a walk with him if your DM will look after DD while you're next there. Say that you were upset about what he said to you last time, that you are following his example and building a business, and it's now making enough money to keep you and your DD - you'd like him to be proud of you that you've been able to do this, but by always forcing money on you and belittling what you've achieved, he's acting like he thinks you are one of those feckless mothers the Daily Mail slags off, not a woman who's got out there and sorted her own life out.

Tell him again, you're finding him giving you money all the time hard, you are ok on a day to day basis. If you need anything big, or if you have a problem with your clients, you are glad you know you can come to him and ask, but for now, you'd rather they stopped giving you money. Say it's not a help because it makes you feel like they don't believe in you and aren't on your side.

My dad also had to be told to stop giving us money, he still does for DS - he collects pound coins, but he knows it goes in DS's account, not for food/bills. It's rediculous, we have more coming in each month than them now, but like your's, my parents were in a mess financially when we were babies, they still think of the hardest part about having babies/toddlers is the cost.

KellyElly Tue 26-Mar-13 11:28:40

I don't mean to sound harsh but I would LOVE to be in your position. I'm a lone parent and am fucked financially. Better off to have the problem of too much help than none. I am really struggling to feel sorry for your situation. Give it to charity and it may go to people who need/appreciate it.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 26-Mar-13 09:40:40

YANBU. I have a similar situation. It makes me miserable that my parents still don't have faith in me to survive unsupported. Have managed to deflect most of the donations by telling them that whenever they feel the urge to give me money they should stick it in a bank account to go towards private school fees for my (unborn) DCs...

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 23:57:37

I think, however you tell your parents to stop they will take offence and if you take the money they will continue petty controlling behaviours.

What ever you do with the money and however nice it is it have a safety net, it is not nice to be babied. As long as you take the money that will happen.

Also as long as you get given money you risk ruining your relationships with your siblings.

The only thing I can think of is do you have a sibling or aunt or uncle who your parents will listen to, who can explain you really feel wrong taking charity.

It's chickening out in one way, but if they've decided you can't look after yourself your going to have real trouble getting them to listen.

aurynne Mon 25-Mar-13 23:32:13

Some posters are missing the point... this is not about the OP "choosing" whether she would prefer to be broke or her current situation. This is the OP not being happy with either her situation, and most likely wouldn't be happy being broke either. The fact that some people are worse off than the OP is not a reason to belittle her feelings and her right to not accept money when she believes she does not need it. Especially when that money comes with emotional blackmail, as it usually happens with family. Yes, it is better to have parents giving you money than having none at all. But it you have the choice, it is better to have parents who respect you as an independent person and do not belittle you by implying you would not be able to survive without their money.

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