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Am I enabling my 22 year old daughter?

(64 Posts)
ffab Sun 09-Jul-17 08:08:20

I pushed her to get a job; scoured the adverts, helped her to apply drove her to interviews and training sessions. She struggles financially yet for the last two months she has not filled in her time sheets so has not been paid.

I have lent her money to tide her over. I sat down with her and helped her budget, work out meal plans, took her shopping for food and helped her come up with an exercise plan as she needs to stay fit to be able to do her job.

I suggested she speak to her manager to ask for more work. He told her that she is unreliable (doesn't turn up for work if she doesn't feel like going in) and therefore he can't give her more shifts until she proves herself. He also said she needs to grow up as other younger staff turn up regularly. I suspect if they weren't desperate for staff she would have been fired by now.

She says as the other staff live at home they have life much easier and that she “shouldn't have to think about money” and she wants to move back home.

She is comes over at least twice week as well a standing invitation for Sunday lunch. We live near her work so she stays over when she has a late or early shift.

I honestly don't want her to move back in because she is lazy, rude and messy she's also prone to emotional outbursts. She has medication for her anxiety disorder but doesn't often take it. I'm on eggshells around her.

She blames me for all her problems. She acknowledges that I give her lots of practical support but says I do not give her the emotional support that she needs.

I'm exasperated with her. it seems like no matter what I do she is determined to fail and blame me for it. I've done a lot of reading and the consensus seems to be that if you constantly do things for someone that they are capable of doing for themselves you are enabling them to fail.

Should I stop providing a safety net and let her sink or swim?

OP’s posts: |
Oliversmumsarmy Sun 09-Jul-17 08:13:48

What is it that your DD wants to do.

Not what you want her to do or what you think she should do.

olliegarchy99 Sun 09-Jul-17 08:14:09

Should I stop providing a safety net and let her sink or swim?
yes - she is an adult.
but maybe she needs an 'outside the family person' to intervene and talk to her?

228agreenend Sun 09-Jul-17 08:17:06

I think you sound very supportive. However, don't let her move back home. She will depend on you for everything, and will probably leave her job.

Maybe don't put on pressure to do more work and let her find her way. se needsto learntomlive independently. Everett or when she needs you, but don't actiely get involved.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sun 09-Jul-17 08:19:35

Op do you think she can change?

If so would you give her one last chance- and tell her that. That if she moved back there will be rules that must be stuck to? That if she breaks these rules she will have to leave.

Tilapia Sun 09-Jul-17 08:22:31

She says you give her practical support but not emotional support. Reading your OP, as someone who doesn't know you, it sounds to me like she may be right (from the wording you use).

She's an adult. You don't have to support her (financially, practically or emotionally), but presumably you want her to be happy and successful? Maybe stop coming up with budgets and jobs and solutions and try listening to her and finding out more about what she wants to do. Is she late often because she hates this job? Does she have a plan to get into a job that she thinks she would enjoy more?

Trills Sun 09-Jul-17 08:24:31

she “shouldn't have to think about money”

Yes she fucking should.

thethoughtfox Sun 09-Jul-17 08:27:45

My friend's mum did this with her sister. She didn't do this with my because she younger children, worked hard and I don't think had the time. My friend has been self supporting for years and is successful and happy. Her sister never grew up. She stayed at home being lazy and never really trying at anything. Her mum practically applied for courses for her and then paid for her living expenses racking up credit card debit to do so but perhaps because she hadn't worked for these things herself, she didn't value them. She never tried at any of her jobs because she always had a home and every comfort she wanted and didn't make the connection that you needed to work hard to pay for things. She has wasted all these opportunities, was working in a low paying job that she liked and has an unplanned pregnancy to a very nice but equally underemployed man. She has already given up that job. Guess where the baby is coming when it is born?

Bluebellsandsunflowers Sun 09-Jul-17 08:31:39

This sounds like my younger sister. She still lives at home, and completely takes advantage of my parents. My mum has to deep clean her room once a week (old food, sanitary products etc) because she won't do it herself. She won't cook or do housework, and practically lives in her bedroom. She works during the summer, but won't look for work for the rest of the year. I love her so much, but she's unfair on my parents and I sometimes wish they would ask her to move out as the situation isn't improving.

Funnily enough, a little while ago she said to me she doesn't feel like a grown up and thinks my parents still treat her like a child. I explained that to feel more grown up and be treated with respect from my parents, she needed to take responsibility but she still hasn't.

Sorry I don't have too much to say, other than keep doing what you're doing as it's what's best for her even of she doesn't see that now. You don't want life to become what it is for my parents and sister, as things are extremely tense there.

AvoidingCallenetics Sun 09-Jul-17 08:32:29

I don't think you sound emotionally unsupportive. To me you sound like a mum who has done everything she can to help her child get on in adult life and your dd is throwing all that help away.

Working isn't a choice - it is what adults have to do if they want to eat! If she hates this job, it's upto her to get off her arse snd look for another one. Not just whinge to and blame mum.

Don't let her move back in. She will give up totally and you will end up with a 35 year adult sitting on your sofa all day, expecting full financial support. The best thing you can do for her imo is offer practical help to help her help herself. But stop giving her money. If she cba to file her time sheets, then she doesn't get paid!

ffab Sun 09-Jul-17 09:27:26

Thanks so much for the support guys.

DD and I have many nice evenings where we cuddle up on the sofa, order a takeaway and watch a movie. When she is in a good mood she is funny and thoughtful but it never lasts long.

I think I have been emotionally supportive but I know this may not be so. I probably spent too much time working and noy enough time with her and her older sister when they were younger but I was a single parent for much of the time.

When I ask her what she wants she usually says she doesn't know! I paid for (expensive) therapy while she was waiting for an NHS appointment but she didn't go much. The one thing her therapist did say was that she must get a job, any job to begin with to get her out of the house.

After long discussion a few weeks ago she said she didn't want to move back home but needed more support to live independently, hence the meal planning etc. After the meeting with her manager on Thursday she decided she does want to move back home after all.

My partner of seven years (not her father) thinks we should let her live with us as long as she wants to as his parents did that for him when he hit a rough patch in his early twenties. He thinks she will eventually mature but I may have lost my sanity by then.

OP’s posts: |
AvoidingCallenetics Sun 09-Jul-17 09:53:52

Lovely, don't feel bad about working. It gave your daughters a home and all the support they continue to enjoy. You have done (and are doing) your absolute best for them.

Often it is better for a relationship if you don't live together. My ds is 20 and a student. I am finding that we clash a bit when he is home for the holidays because he is used to being more independent and not sharing the space/having house rules.
We are a lot more harmonious when he is at uni - we talk nearly every day.
To me it sounds like she wants to grow up but is aprehensive and having lots of wobbles. I don't think it helps if you give her too much financial back up. She does have to learn that handing in time sheets etc is really important.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sun 09-Jul-17 09:58:19

as I posted up thread, do you want to give her one more chance?

Could she change and stick to some "rules".

if it were my dd, I woudl let her move back in as its closer to her work, she can sort herself out. But she would have to go to work, tidy up after herself etc.

ffab Sun 09-Jul-17 10:16:10


I have given her last chances before and she never sticks to any agreement. After I paid for therapy she agreed to stop smoking marijuana in the house but then I found a stash. She very rarely cleans up after herself and almost never keeps her promises. The smell from her bedroom of used sanitary towels unwashed underwear and piles of mouldy washing up became overpowering. Even when I paid her to clean the house she rarely did it.

OP’s posts: |
IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sun 09-Jul-17 10:18:15

That sounds very difficult.

Has she had therapy since leaving the house? How is her house kept now?

ffab Sun 09-Jul-17 10:22:45

Yes, she has been offered therapy and I have driven her to some appointments but she always fails to follow up. In one case she didn't like what the therapist told her which was that he didn't think she was actually depressed she just needed help managing her feelings. She has also turned up so late to some appointments that she has been unable to see the therapist.

She lives in a room in a shared house and her room is a complete tip she does, however, keep the communal spaces clean.

OP’s posts: |
SeekingSugar Sun 09-Jul-17 10:25:43

She sounds very dependent and I think that will only worsen if she moves back home.

Not turning up for work is extremely immature, not filling out time sheets - why not?! Madness

She really needs to develop her life skills and independence, but I suspect she will be resistant to your advice. Is there anyone else who can guide her?

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sun 09-Jul-17 10:32:58

I think I'd tell her you a re worried moving back in would make her more reliant on you, when she is actually starting to become more independent.

I think you have two choices,

1. Tell her you will help in whatever way you can, but she has to live away from home

2. Tell her she can move back BUT not for 2 months. In those two months she must - go to therapy, turn up for work on time, fill in time sheets etc etc. She has to prove she can move back and things won't go back to how they were.

My dd at 19, went to therapy. She was very resistant and in the end I don't think it did her any good. She was still too depressed. She went a few years later and it was much more helpful, but by that point she'd been on Anti depressants for about 6 months and was in a place where she could see what was going in and what had been causing the issues.

ffab Sun 09-Jul-17 10:35:38

She gets on reasonably well with my partner but she might consider him too biased towards me to give her Independent advice.

She complained that the online timesheet system is difficult to use (which is true) but she gave up too easily and claims she has social anxiety disorder so didn't want to approach one of her managers to help her with it.

I say she "claims' to have social anxiety rather than she actually has it because when I took her to see a therapist he said that if she did have it, it was a very mild case. Sadly I think she spends a lot of time on the Internet self diagnosing.

She has a tendency to accuse people who disagree with her of disliking her, (aunts uncle's etc). She doesn't have many friends and I think this is one of the problems.

She gets on reasonably well with one of her housemates but I don't know how much advice he can give her.

OP’s posts: |
ffab Sun 09-Jul-17 10:42:36

if you go down to the woods today I think your option 2 will be better. But whenever I have given her an ultimatum, or you must do X and Y in order to get Z; she has flamed out pretty badly.

Last year she ran up lots of debts I agreed to pay them off to help prevent a bad credit record but in return she would have to work for me for 35 for hours a week . I had planned to find some work around the house for her to do cleaning cooking etc. The next day she promptly took an overdose I genuinely think she had no intention of killing herself she just didn't want to do the work. On that occasion as soon as she came out of hospital I moved her into our home but pretty soon old problems started again.

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StarHeartDiamond Sun 09-Jul-17 10:44:00

Unfortunately you are trying to put into place what should have been put into place years ago. By now, she should be able to self-discipline in terms of money management, time sheet filling and handing in, turning up for work on time etc.

How did you handle her teenage years? Did you try as hard then? Was she allowed to get away with not having responsibilities to live up to, going to school on time, homework etc?

Moving home (in this instance) is going backwards, not forwards. Maybe ask her what kind of emotional support she wants and feels she needs. Start from where and what she thinks she needs. Ask her what she wants from you and how her life:your relationship with her should look, ideally. I think you have to go back to basics.

Lending her money because she didn't complete her time sheets is definitely enabling her. She owes you the money back so I would find out if she can be backpaid, insist on seeing the time sheets completed and tell her she will be paying you back when she gets that money. She is not a teenager in her first Saturday job, she should be capable of knowing no time sheet equals no pay equals not eating/no rent etc.

In time I would ask her what the kind of things are that she wants from life. Does she value any material possessions? Have any hobbies she wants to do more of eg travel? Is there a lifestyle she admires? Try to frame her expectations of life in the future it at least for the next six months. If she's living day to day she won't have reason to strive for anything better.

StarHeartDiamond Sun 09-Jul-17 10:48:34

X posts!!

Don't feel bad for working. It's a normal thing to do. My mum worked, was not at all emotionally available and it didn't have the effect it had on your dd. Lots of people would agree with that I'm sure as so many mums work. So it's maybe a personality thing.

Has she been to the doctors recently?

serene12 Sun 09-Jul-17 10:49:01

Hi, I think the marijuana smoking is a significant issue. Often young people misuse illicit substances to self medicate, if they have mental health issues. The behaviours you describe are typical of substance misusers, such as lack of motivation, childish behaviour and breaking promises etc. Tough love is needed, she'll need to feel the consequences of her poor choices.
I have a son who is a cannabis user and I needed to get support for myself. I now go to Families Anonymous meetings, which are invaluable. Good luck x

Bluebellsandsunflowers Sun 09-Jul-17 10:49:46

Wow, the more you post the more she sounds exactly like my sister!

I think that ifyougos advice about moving back in two months is good. If she applies herself to making changes, then perhaps when the time comes she won't want to move back home again.

Does she have many 'real' friends? I know that my sisters friends are all online, and seem to encourage her behaviour and attitude which doesn't help. Does she have any hobbies or interests? Does seem hounds he have an idea of what she would like to do with her life? It sounds like she's feeling a bit lost.

Bluebellsandsunflowers Sun 09-Jul-17 10:50:47

Does she have any idea* sorry!

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