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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!

MyDarlingClementine Mon 25-Mar-13 20:30:12

stick it in a savings account.

you do not know whats round the corner.

tell them, say i am grateful you are helping me out- however its difficult for me to accept this money, however if you choose to keep giving it to me, its going into savings.

i wouldnt look a gift horse in the mouth just yet.

TheCraicDealer Mon 25-Mar-13 20:31:50

Re. the jeans thing- my Mum does this. It's just because she's nosy and she loves knowing her Matalan jobbies were half the price of mine. Yes Mum, but mine don't have diamanté on the arse.

Nagoo Mon 25-Mar-13 20:33:15

Tell them that you are saving it.

Then they might realise that they are not supporting you. It's up to them then whether they continue to give money to you.

MumfordandDaughter Mon 25-Mar-13 20:38:24

Thanks again for the advice.

My parents don't have any savings. My sister constantly tells them off for this, and I think this is why my siblings resent them giving me money so often.

I've told my mum she ought to save, but she says that she much prefers to live in the moment.

So, although they do seem very well off, and living a nice lifestyle, the reality is they have little to no savings for their elder years, or if my dad's company ever went tits up.

In my opinion, they have only really come into money in the past decade or so. So it would seem they've went from nothing to loads in a short space of time, and now feel they're floating around in an excess of cash. They're totally blowing their money, which is their right, but i don't want to be one of their financial regrets if anything bad was to happen.

Again, I'm not sure i'm explaining myself properly. If my dad could build up his company from nothing, with no financial help - why do my parents not have the same faith in me?

I just wish they'd respect my wishes and back off. I wish they believed that i would not be too proud to ask them for help if ever i needed it.

MsVestibule Mon 25-Mar-13 20:38:42

YANBU. You are a grown woman and they (particularly your Dad) are trying to infantalise you. You work, you can provide for yourself and your daughter, you do not need their money, especially when accompanied by comments such as "we wouldn't have to do this if you had a proper job", etc.

Your mum says he would be insulted if you didn't take the money, but she doesn't mind insulting you by forcing the money on you? Quite how you refuse it, I don't know. Could you write them a letter or sit them down together (not when they're trying to give you money!) and explain calmly what you want them to do/stop doing?

flumperoo Mon 25-Mar-13 20:39:41

Your parents sound really caring, thoughtful, helpful and generous. How lucky you are!

MsVestibule Mon 25-Mar-13 20:40:47

but mine don't have diamanté on the arse. Never mind, Craic, don't be too sad - maybe the next pair you buy will wink.

Hassled Mon 25-Mar-13 20:41:02

I think the existence of siblings changes things - my worry is that if they carry on, they're setting you up for a falling out with the siblings further down the line. Siblings may be OK at the moment, but circumstances can change on a sixpence - if your parents can't/won't bail them out too, there's bound to be resentment.

Have you spelt out to them how it makes you feel? Or would that make no difference - is it really a control thing?

Jojobump1986 Mon 25-Mar-13 20:44:54

I get where you're coming from. My PILs aren't as forceful about it as your parents but they do occasionally offer us money for various things. We've always made a point of telling them that we want to be financially independent & can just about manage to get by with just DH's salary. Thankfully they respect that & only occasionally check that we've got enough to cover us in emergencies like when the car broke down a couple of years ago. The only non-emergency time they offer any money is when it's a large expense that will benefit the children & even then it's very much a take-it-or-leave-it offer. I think I'd be banging my head against the wall if I were you! Yes, it's lovely that they're in a position to be able to help but that doesn't mean it's necessary! I think the teapot idea is good, although maybe a clear jar would be better so they can see without actually looking in it.

MTSgroupie Mon 25-Mar-13 20:46:09


I could understand your reluctance if the money came with strings but, as far as I can tell, you are free to spend the money on spa weekends if that is your wish. If it's such a big deal to you, bank it and one day just stick all the money back into their bank account.

As for your dad's comments, my area is full of mums trying to make money out of their 'cleaning business'. Well, unless you land a regular gig to supply cleaning staff to an office block, you aren't going to make a decent living out of it. I mean, my cleaner charges me £10/hour. When you factor in travel costs and time she is earning minimum wage even if she had a full daily roster of customers

It sounds like your dad is trying to be supportive but sometimes his true feelings seep out. Don't blame the guy. At least he tries to be supportive the 95% of the time.

daintree3 Mon 25-Mar-13 20:46:18


purrpurr Mon 25-Mar-13 20:46:47

Seems like a rather clever control technique. After all, how could you possibly complain? Generally, if things don't sit well with you, or something about it feels 'off', that's because for whatever reason, it's not a good fit for you, so you can decide to not have whatever it is in your life. Your parents could be showering you in £10 notes whenever you open your front door out of the kindness of their hearts but if you don't want that, you shouldn't be forced to accept it.

When you add in remarks about you not having a proper job (an attempt to stifle your independence) and comments about you expecting the money (implying that somehow you have shown you are reliant upon their support so this is all entirely your fault) it becomes a murky game of control. The fact that they have no savings themselves just adds a frankly bizarre and irresponsible twist.

YANBU. How to get them to stop without destroying the relationship you have with them - no idea. Have your siblings offered any sensible, helpful advice or are they just whining that you're getting money?

defineme Mon 25-Mar-13 20:58:35

I've discovered that this always goes wrong.
I really do understand op and those people telling you to get a grip can go and answer an op they consider more worthy.
I would have been absolutely mortified by your Dad's comments, just because he's giving you money it doesn't mean he's kind.
My dm is a spendthrift and spend everything she has, which is her business.However, I never accept anything that she offers because she will always snipe about how much money's been given and what it's been spent on.
I would step back.
YANBU and I for one think it's very very rude to push gifts onto people.
Just say 'start an account for dd and put it in there'.

thezebrawearspurple Mon 25-Mar-13 20:58:51

From your description of your mothers reaction to your new jeans, I'd suggest turning up in a new outfit every time you see them, then they might stopwink

Or you could save it for your dd.

Ducklings45 Mon 25-Mar-13 21:31:59


We are barely making ends meet and even havig an extra £10 a week would make a huge difference to us. Sadly my parents cannot afford to do this. If you are not happy, put it all in a trust fund for your dc!

MummytoKatie Mon 25-Mar-13 22:00:12

I have similar parents (except that they have loads of savings, I only have one sibling and they have never made any snide comments.)

It's taken time but over the years we have slowly trained them not to give us stuff. We do let them save for dd though which helps. Generally they put the money in bonus bonds for her.

Apileofballyhoo Mon 25-Mar-13 22:02:07

YANBU. Somebody is doing something you don't like, you've asked them to stop, they won't.
I was going to suggest buying weekly luxurious but quite impractical gifts for your parents with the money as a way of making them stop (designer hats, ridiculous ornaments etc) but now that it's been mentioned they have no savings I would suggest saving it for them. You can tell your siblings this is what you're doing.

aldiwhore Mon 25-Mar-13 22:06:34

I think your Dad's comments come from a feeling of rejection and hurt rather than him actually thinking you aren't someone to be proud of... I hope.

That aside, this is all money you'll probably get a share of one day anyway, perhaps your parents think it fairer to split their will evenly BUT because you earn less want to give you bits and bobs now? I know my parents do that with my brother. (Which is a whole other story, my parents assume too much, a) that we are financially okay and b) that my brother is struggling through not fault of his own when really he'd be fine if he stopped drinking as much! - like I say WHOLE other thread)

YANBU. Though you are lucky to have parents who will never see you without, it comes at a price. Do they take their generousity to the next level where they think they can dictate on all areas of your life?

Or do they simply think you deserve to be better off through your hard work? Maybe they admire you and 'reward' you as they see fit where the world doesn't?

Perhaps you should write a letter, a really grateful loving one that basically requests that they please stop giving you cash? Could you recruit one of your siblings to fight your corner for you? You WNBU if you accepted this cash, and I think YWBU if you refused ALL financial gestures, a bit stubborn, but YANBU to feel awkward. You are proud and you work hard, and people like you prefer to be able to say you did it without help than to expect hand outs... there is NOTHING wrong with that, maybe that is their motivation? Pride in you?

thebody Mon 25-Mar-13 22:20:16

Come back and whine when u r broke, can't afford food or clothes for dd and at risk of loosing your home.

Until then respectfully do one chik.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 25-Mar-13 22:47:49

I'm really sitting on the fence here, as I can see it from both sides!

"My parents really struggled when my siblings and i were very young. They'd go hungry so we could eat etc. ... In my opinion, they have only really come into money in the past decade or so. So it would seem they've went from nothing to loads in a short space of time, and now feel they're floating around in an excess of cash."
I think you may be underestimating how much their past is shaping their present. Really, really struggling financially can leave a hangover for the rest of your life. It's possible that the reason they give you money is not so much because they feel they can afford to, but that the thought of you struggling as they once did sends them both into a blind panic, with the accompanying knots in the stomach.

I can understand your hurt from what your dad said when tipsy, because you probably think 'In vino veritas'. I tend more to a Billy Connolly sketch grin, where he talked about drunks telling complete strangers that they loved them, whilst telling their loved ones to fuck off they hate them. Alcohol is not a truth serum, it produces semi-coherent babbling. Please, try to put what your father said whilst tipsy to one side, it is not reliable. And I would still see fear at the bottom of it rather than any desire to infantilise you. Even the 'proper job' comment - being an employee rather than self-employed can be seen as 'safer' (holiday pay, sick pay), so again motivated by fear.

"However, in the past year, it's started up again."
Has anything changed in the past year, that might have prompted this; either in your life or in theirs? Or even in the lives of your siblings, that could have made them more fearful of the future?

I think the suggestion to open an account with the money could be the way to go. Not for you, not for your DD, but to be kept for your parents. You say they have no savings, maybe you could take the 'parental' role with them over this and make their savings for them? And let your siblings quietly know that this is what you are doing?

MumfordandDaughter Mon 25-Mar-13 22:49:48

Thanks once again.

I see what you all mean by keeping the money in a jar, so they can see it gathering, but in all honesty, the thought of taking another penny from them really makes me uncomfortable. And it's beginning to ruin my relationship with them. I can't see them anymore without anticipating the 'farewell moment' where they'll somehow leave money with me.

I'm going to try and be firm with them next time they attempt it. I'll make it clear that it insults me, i want to provide for my child without their help, and although i'm grateful, it makes me uncomfortable. I'll maybe ask my sister if she can back me up, but i doubt she will. My mum politely asked her last year not to interfere with my parents' finances, after my sister suggested they start saving for their old age.

Thebody - i have been there, thank you. For a few months when my daughter was born. it was terrifying. And that is what started this situation with my parents. But now i've found my feet, I don't want or need them to pay my way anymore. I've already acknowledged how lucky I am, but it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to take issue with this. It's making me unhappy.

VisualiseAHorse Mon 25-Mar-13 22:54:20

Open a bank account and stick any money they give you in it. You may be very grateful for it one day.

Failing that...send it to me!

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 25-Mar-13 23:03:27

This is one of those situations I feel almost entirely different about now I have kids.
If my daughter was working hard to set up her own business, not presumably earning very much in the early days, having to pay for utilities via an expensive meter etc AND she had her own daughter, my grand daughter, to provide for, I'm pretty certain I'd be selling the shirt off my back and wine out of my fridge to help them. I literally don't think I could help myself, and I imagine your parents feel the same way.
As for your Dad, I think he's just challenging you a bit to make you determined to succeed. Obviously you don't need that, bu I wouldn't read much more into it than that!

BackforGood Mon 25-Mar-13 23:10:52

Excellent post by WhereYouLeftIt
If you are convinced they have no savings, and you are too proud to take money off them, then just allow yourself to be a 'vessel' to save for their rainy day. It's just not worth upsetting them over. Put it in a savings account and don't use any of it if you don't want to - it will be there when they might need it in later years then.

dashoflime Mon 25-Mar-13 23:15:11

TwelveLeggedWalk I get you and I feel the same. But I also hope, as a parent, that I would also be able to refrain from behaviour that made my children feel so uncomfortable.

I'm a bit hmm at all the people who are telling OP to be grateful to be honest.

Read the thread again:

They overstep her boundaries by continuing to do something she has made clear makes her uncomfortable
They run down her job and her ability to earn a living
They make comments implying she is entitled (you'd be raging if we didn't give you money) and feckless (how much did those jeans cost?)

Its really controlling and weird.
No amount of money would buy my acquiescence with that kind of bullshit.

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