To think i'm not being too hard on DD?(6 Posts)
DD is 21. Lived at home until May when she decided to move in with a school friend casually- some nights she will come and stay at home when she decides too. No warning- I will just wake up in the morning and her car will be on the drive and herself in bed and will spend some days here eating our food, using our hot water etc.
She is currently unemployed- left her job as her supervisor took a dislike to her and said she was bullying her. She worked part time 3 days a week. While I understand being in that situation- DD couldn't see the bigger picture that she would have no money and would be unable to support herself as we told her at 18 that while she could stay at home rent free and 3 meals provided a day- other expenses such as running her car, phone, social life etc would be her own responsibility.
She has had anxiety and depression issues in the past and while I sympathise with her- she needs to realise that me and DP aren't always going to be here to support her and she needs to try to get another job but lying in bed all day doesn't achieve that. She just doesn't have any ambition and keeps using her depression as a black cloud for her life.
She has started to realise that life is expensive- her friend is paying the rent and some other bills for where they are living but she has recently had her hours cut back at work and can't afford some things so DD keeps asking me and DP for money to pay for their food, petrol and electricity. The problem is as they both smoke and like to drink- we are concerned that the money is just going on the cigarettes and booze. That coupled with the fact we don't see why it is our responsibility- she is an adult and she chose to leave a job and doesn't seem to accept that.
when I was 21 and I used to smoke (such a ridiculous habit, now know) I was always desperate for cash to buy them. And if any adult ever gave me money, I'd spend it on fags (rather than food).
You're enabling, not parenting. You need to parent.
I've just realized the key point in my above paragraph is that at age 21 I talked about "adults" - I didn't see myself as one at that age.
For her sake, parent her. Let her fall. (be there to pick up the pieces, of course) but let her crash and burn.
If you just swoop in and make it all better, how will she learn any kind of resilience or independence?
No YANBU. Why should you support 2 households. You are not saying you won't feed her and give her a roof over her head, but why should she pick and choose where she lives if she doesn't have a job.
If her anxiety and depression is in the past (as per your post) she needs to move on, otherwise she needs to focus on getting better and that involves living at home and not spending money she doesn't have. Her friend will then have the opportunity to get a proper paying lodger and be better off too.
I agree with Granny above, though I can understand your concern about drawing the line when depression is involved.
Possible compromise: could you say that if they get desperate you'll do an online shop for them, and then you can exclude booze and fags from that?
Is she on meds and/or getting counselling for the anxiety?
Can´t you just say to her that while she is welcome to come and live at home if she needs to, that you can't provide her with money? That way she has a warm house and meals on the table available to her, and you are not left feeling guilty at letting her down (she is only 18, after all, and it is completely normal not to have the money to move out at that stage) but you would also be giving her a bit of a push to start taking responsibility for her finances, as a young adult needs to learn to do. I think it´s good for an 18-year-old to have the incentive of "no job means no social life, no phone, no petrol" as a shove to start making plans, without the fear-factor of worrying about rent, bills, food on the table from the word go.
And if you're really worried about her not having food, you can take her grocery shopping and buy her food, instead of giving her money that will go on cigarettes and alcohol. My mother used to do this for me when I first left the nest: she'd take me to the grocery store and explain to me, say, how to make a lasagna. Then she would buy all the ingredients for me, and let me have at it. She would even sit on the phone with me and talk me through assembling it etc, but she made me do it myself. Gradually, after a number of successful meals made "all by myself", I branched out and got a little adventurous, and now I'm a mother who can cook for my son without having to call my mother!
Judge Judy tells a story about seeing a homeless lady one day who asked her for money, because she was so hungry. Judge Judy went into the nearest cafe and bought the woman a tuna fish sandwich and a cup of coffee, and brought them back out to her. The woman angrily asked, what is this? Judge Judy replied, you said you were hungry, I wanted to help. The woman threw the sandwich back at her. Judge Judy said, if you are hungry I would love to help you, but I have no intention of giving you money to fuel your habit.
She's your daughter and obviously your natural impulse is to help, but she's at an age where your help has to start tapering off, similar to how my mother gently shoved me out of the nest. You don't have to cut her off cold turkey, but you do need to start nudging her to stand on her own two feet. Otherwise she could end up the kind of woman who tosses a tuna fish sandwich in Judge Judy's face - feeling entitled to money from people, angry when she doesn't get it, and ultimately unable to care for herself.
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