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Should parents be "paid back" for sacrifices they made when raising their children?

(311 Posts)
FurtherShowers Fri 02-Aug-19 06:35:53

My sister's MIL expects to be paid back financially and emotionally for raising her (now adult) DS. She will openly say "I sent you to a good school, I made sacrifices" etc and believes it is the job of her adult children to support her financially. This includes paying for her holidays, credit cards for discretionary spending, paying various non essential bills etc.

My sister and her DH have two children and my sister is sick of family money being spent on her MIL's luxuries. MIL has another son who is single and gives her a proportion of his wage. I think it's crazy that MIL accepts this, she is young enough and for enough to work and does work part time and has more than enough to cover all of her bills. The money she takes from her children is purely for luxuries and it's upwards of £10k a year (at least).

My sister believes all their spare money (they have less than her MIL and many more outgoings) should be spent on their children, but MIL insists mothers should be financially "looked after" by their sons. To clarify my sister and her husband, and her other son, are financially less secure than MIL.

I am angry on my sister's behalf and want to support her talking to her DH who I believe doesn't realise this isn't normal, but first of all wondered if it is normal in some families and if people see it as the right thing to do?

OP’s posts: |
Sunnyjac Fri 02-Aug-19 06:39:15

Totally NOT normal! It was her choice to have children and her choice to make whatever sacrifices she made. She should have planned for her future, if she can work now then she can do so. Your sister’s efforts and spare money should absolutely be focused on her and her family. The MIL can take a flying leap

WinnieTheCat Fri 02-Aug-19 06:39:19

How ridiculous. The lazy woman needs to get a job of her own.

JohnandMary Fri 02-Aug-19 06:40:15

Is it a cultural thing? In, for example, Singapore and Malaysia its quite common to kick back a proportion of your salary to your parents. I knew of people who had more kids in anticipation of this.

Wildorchidz Fri 02-Aug-19 06:40:17

It’s not normal.

Wishihad Fri 02-Aug-19 06:40:48

Why is your sister expecting this?

stucknoue Fri 02-Aug-19 06:41:28

On some cultures this is the norm, though not in Britain. I don't think we have a financial obligation but I do think we have a moral obligation to a certain extent, too many older people I know are ignored by the families, it barely costs anything to call, and making time to visit (frequency depends on distance) should be an obligation. I do sometimes pay for my parents if we eat out for instance and we've taken them on holiday with us., but giving her money seems odd

TitianaTitsling Fri 02-Aug-19 06:41:41

How many years is she expecting this to go on for?

1300cakes Fri 02-Aug-19 06:42:06

No definitely not, of course it's nice to help out your parents if you can, but in the words of every teenage brat out there "I didn't ask to be born!"

However MIL can't force them to do anything, if your BIL won't (politely at first) stand up to her then your sister has a DH problem not a MIL problem.

Applejack5 Fri 02-Aug-19 06:43:26

That is ridiculous and over never heard of anyone doing it.

She chose to have children and "make sacrifices" for them. You don't have children expecting them to support you financially when they're grown up.

No way on earth would I agree to my husband giving his mum money like yours if he ever suggested it!! He should prioritise his own family.

imip Fri 02-Aug-19 06:44:03

Fuck no!

I’d be demanding a refund from my shitty parents!

Applejack5 Fri 02-Aug-19 06:44:14

Sorry hers, not yours!

FurtherShowers Fri 02-Aug-19 06:45:02

Not a cultural thing (well everyone involved is white British). Sister's MIL expects this to go on forever and will often reference her friend's who have "good" children who in her words "support them financially" and "take them on expensive holidays".

OP’s posts: |
TeachesOfPeaches Fri 02-Aug-19 06:46:20

My friend is Hindu and lives with her MIL and pays some of her bills like her mobile phone bill even though MIL is only in her fifties. I thought it was very odd.

Eastie77 Fri 02-Aug-19 06:46:27

It's not normal but many parents expect this. It's not a opinion only held by the older generation though. A friend of mine (mid thirties) recently said she was so glad she had girls as "daughters look after you in your old age, they know it's their duty"confused

CheeseCakeSunflowers Fri 02-Aug-19 06:46:59

I think the normal way is for each generation to support the next until they are able to support themselves. How was Mil supported when she was a child? Most likely by her parents, that's when she got her payback. The choices she made about paying for good schools were hers not her child's so it is unfair to expect to be repaid. Giving help to elderly parents in terms of time when they get older is different but demanding money for luxuries is completely wrong.

FurtherShowers Fri 02-Aug-19 06:47:06

Before my sister married her DH he used to give at least half of his wage to his DM which he has stopped now, but his DM still expects quite a lot of financial support from them for the sacrifices she made when he was young.

OP’s posts: |
AuntieAvocado Fri 02-Aug-19 06:47:31

Really bizarre. I’ve never heard of anyone doing this.
It’s not normal at all.
She chose to have children, she chose to be a good parent....her children never signed up to pay for her luxuries.

ColaFreezePop Fri 02-Aug-19 06:48:47

Not normal.

The MIL is not ill, can cover her own basics and can work for any luxuries she wants so should.

In fact she is selfish and should be helping out her grandchildren.

Sister and husband simply need to say "No" and concentrate on their children. In regards to the other son it's up to him but he should be investing his money for his future. If in future their mother is too ill to work so can't cover her basics and a few luxuries then yes they should all help her out.

yikesanddang Fri 02-Aug-19 06:50:18

What would happen if your DSis and her DH simply did not have the money? If they were mortaged to the hilt and had some financial catastophe occur that meant they genuinely had no money?

AConvivialHost Fri 02-Aug-19 06:52:43

I would suggest that BIL tells his mother he now has to make some sacrifices for the sake of his children and one of those sacrifices is no longer financially supporting his mother.

topcat2014 Fri 02-Aug-19 07:00:48

They are children not indentured slaves so a no from me

Doormat247 Fri 02-Aug-19 07:02:36

My great-aunt married a man who was forced to give his entire income to his mother. The extended family also travelled each Friday to stay for the weekend and his wage was expected to pay for their food etc.

When they got married, the family turned up at my great-aunt's house expecting to transfer the stay to hers now the wage had moved!! She promptly shut the door in their faces. His mother then came over to collect 'her' money from his wages! They had to drop all contact and refuse to answer the door to them to eventually get them out of their lives for good.

Maybe your sister's mil had a similar experience when she was young so thinks this sort of behaviour is normal? Clearly it doesn't just happen in other cultures, there must have been a small percentage of people that have always thought it was normal life 'back in the day'.

QuitMoaning Fri 02-Aug-19 07:05:40

When she was raising her children (your husband and his brother) did your mother in law support her own mother and mother in law?

QuitMoaning Fri 02-Aug-19 07:06:29

Sorry, I meant your sister, not you. Got a bit confused when writing my reply.

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