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Can you help me with how to put this to my DD? I'm still failing miserably.

(81 Posts)
DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 12:51:50

On going issues with DD. I have posted about our problems before. This is long so I will apologise now.

DD and her DH have a baby. They live at the opposite end of the country. They struggle financially and she struggles with emotional support as there is no family around them. When she gave up on college and a future career at 18 to get married and have a baby we did not see eye to eye. We were NC for a while.

Yes things have improved since my GC was born but she still puts constant emotional pressure on me.just little things like posting on FB that she's so ill and just wants her mummy. When mum was dying last month she attempted to make it all about her. We have given them over £700 since December, one thing or another. I do try very hard to be non judgemental, or at least appear non judgemental. The truth is I do judge. I am still reeling from when she put us through hell and left us owing thousands without a backward glance. It is very hard not to say I told you so. Everyone said "give her a chance, this could be the making of her." But I feared it would be like this, and it is.

She has just asked for more money. The dog needed to go to the vets. They now have no money and the car needs work. She has not received an outstanding payment from her previous employer. It goes on and on. We were away last week and so all these texts started up. The cynic in me feels it is because we were away. I've just had a conversation about prioritising their money and of course she's flipped out and said I need to speak to her DH about it. Well, I don't, do I? It's not for me to do. I'm not emotionally strong enough to deal with her at the moment.

I always make sure they have enough for the baby, I will not see him going without, we managed to get through their extended stay at Christmas without too much drama and I stood firm then. But I dread the phone ringing, I have done too much picking up the pieces for her over the years and I hate that she makes me feel guilty for having a nice life when she has so little. I'm feeling very down right now, recently bereaved, the holiday was to have a bit of respite and just relax but I've come back feeling stressed and under pressure. She's just been crying on the phone, I'm all kinds of wrong and don't understand how hard it is apparently. But I do. I've been there. So now she's texting, "right I won't ask for anything again." The only thing she wants to hear is "yes, how much?"

JackyDanny Wed 26-Feb-14 13:05:01

If you have the funds could you loan the money to her?
You could say something like, Having thought about this, I would like to help you and can offer you a loan?
Ask what she could agree to pay back, talk with her and her DH about repayment and sign something so that you are all very clear about the terms?

I think this is fair to you both.
If you don't have the money, it will have to be a no.

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 26-Feb-14 13:10:10

I'm sorry to hear about your mum Op . She shouldn't be doing this to you , and especially not now.

It's not your job to support her , her husband ,or the baby . They are supposedly adults and its their job to support themselves . What sort of man is ok being supported by his in laws ? Don't do this anymore . If
They're short of money then she needs to get a job . It might be helpfully if you mentally add up what their income is , it's probably a lot more than you think.

Do you feel you have to give her money to keep your relationships going ? How would she react if you told her to bog off ?

DinoSnores Wed 26-Feb-14 13:16:02

I think you need to leave her to it. While you are bailing her out and making sure that the baby wants for nothing, she has no incentive to sort her life out. I wouldn't lend her money as jacky suggests. She is an adult, her DH is an adult, they have a family and responsibilities and need to start taking those seriously.

Nocomet Wed 26-Feb-14 13:18:26

Sorry I'm an old fashioned person, you go off, get married, have a DC, you sort it.

It's lovely if your parents can help out(DHs parents lent us a bit of money when we bought our second house), but they are under no obligation to do so.

cozietoesie Wed 26-Feb-14 13:18:44

I remember your thread from before Xmas.

This is all just more of the same isn't it? I think you have to do something to change the situation between you - because she's not going to as long as she can tap you for what they need.

Where are her DH's parents in all this?

(I'll return to the thread later. I have to leave at the moment, I'm afraid.)

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:27:31

Ok. Firstly, she asks to borrow money. However they never pay it back. Now, I don't want it back but if she ever offered I would probably tell her to keep it. I know, I have allowed this situation to develop.

There is a problem with her getting a job. She has no transport. There are no buses. Her DH needs the car. They live nowhere near anywhere, they live in accommodation tied to his job. Any job would not cover her childcare. She has been accepted on a college course later this year with a bursary that will pay for childcare. So she is doing something but it won't help their situation in the near future.

She received a reasonable gift of money before Christmas, £100s, which was supposed to pay for driving lessons. I think she has spent it.

I know this seems like it's all to do with money. It's not, but it has a lot to do with it.

Meerka Wed 26-Feb-14 13:28:21

downton i remember your thread too.

Im sorry for the loss of your mum.

You're in such a hard position, I feel for you.

She's taken money from you before, a lot of it, and never repaid it. While this is a really difficult situatoin, I feel that enough is enough. At the same time, you don't want her to suffer, or to close the door completely.

If you can afford it, what about offering max 200 pounds if she's asking for 800? and the time after that, again just a small proportion of what she is asking for. If you're willing. It is partly showing some support for her and not closing the door, partly showing her the Bank Of Mum is not there just to be taken utter advantage of.

No doubt from what you've said before she'll kick off. But I guess she's unlikely to turn it down somehow. Possible, but not likely.

Though if you're completely unwilling by now, my goodness no one reasonable could blame you at all!

Just a thought about the baby - when / if she asks for money for him, could you offer instead to place a Tesco internet order to be delivered to her flat? Becuase it sounds like you couldnt be quite sure that it'd end up being spent on him.

I hope you are alright today wine

Fairylea Wed 26-Feb-14 13:28:42

I would tell her you cannot offer her any more support financially. You don't need to explain yourself, you've done more than enough and she is a grown up with her own family. Harsh and difficult I know but the truth.

However, I suspect a lot of this stems from resentment from you being disappointed in her before - that she gave up her career etc. You sound a lot like my mum in that respect. I was accepted into Oxford university and turned it down to be a sahm with a husband earning minimum wage. Mum is always making thinly hidden comments about how disappointed she is with me and she has no right to do so. 13 years on I am very happy and have no regrets. I would never ask my family for money however, we budget and manage carefully.

I'd suggest try to build bridges emotionally. Even if you know the answer would be no why not suggest they move closer to you so you could look after your grandchild for them so she could perhaps work part time? I'm only saying that as you clearly adore your grandchild and it might help her financially and give her some sense of responsibility.

Why did they move so far away anyway?

I think the money thing is a way of her having a go at you. I don't think it's all about the money itself.

Fairylea Wed 26-Feb-14 13:29:51

Sorry, cross posted with a lot of your post answering my points... oops.

wellcoveredsparerib Wed 26-Feb-14 13:31:17

op, you say she asks for loans but never offers to pay back. Have you ever asked or discussed repayment before giving your dd money?

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:31:17

Thanks fairylea

They're forces unfortunately, so they are where they are.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:36:14

Also, I'm not disappointed in her, but I am disappointed for her. If that makes sense.

She has huge issues in that our preteen gets to go on holiday with us, bought nice things etc etc. that used to be her. DD2 gets no more than DD1 got, in fact she costs us much less, but she makes me feel so guilty with all the little comments and digs, and calling me mummy. It's just emotional blackmail.

JackyDanny Wed 26-Feb-14 13:43:50

I think if you put proper terms in place, and sign, this is the way forward. Ask how much and on which day they can make payments, ask that they set up a standing order.
By not helping you could isolate her which I don't think you want.
This will put a much needed boundary in place, she gets the money, you get repaid / won't be asked in future / can refuse with a clear conscience as everyone is completely aware of where they stand.
Then, stick to it.

Fairylea Wed 26-Feb-14 13:48:28

Do you think her relationship with her dh might be financially abusive? Just also seems really odd that she would ask you to speak to him when you suggested prioritising money. Why would she ask that?

Does she have access to family income / equal spending money as her dh?

I am just clutching at straws but perhaps she is very unhappy and just wants you to ask her to come home maybe? Maybe the money is a way of letting you know that she still needs you...?

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 13:55:28

It was her choice to move away and have a baby op. Her life choices are not your problem.
It is awful of her to so this when you are so recently bereaved.
I'm so sorry x

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:55:43

Of course she wants to come home. It's lovely here. She gets to do nothing, I cook, shop, clean, wash, help with baby and she swans about being a child again. Setting up those boundaries so that it wasn't like that would be a nightmare. It's ok for a week or so- she's a guest then but long term? No.

One of the sticking points is their dog. They can't afford it really and she can't cope with it and the baby but her DH won't rehome him ( she found somewhere.) It causes a lot of arguments.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:01:08

Badvoc Thank you. How are you doing?

I know she's made her choices but she has such a way of twisting things, she makes it my problem. It just gets me down. After talking to her I'm left worrying and feeling guilty. It's ridiculous really. Our hastily arranged holiday, after the last few months with my mum, should have been chance to rewind. Instead DH got ill, and ended up on a drip and I feel worse than before we went away. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself right now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 14:02:44

"I always make sure they have enough for the baby, I will not see him going without"

I think you have to take a big step back from all of them, baby included, and let them manage their family as a family. It may mean baby goes without or - more likely - they'll find someone else to sponge off.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:04:43


CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 14:05:57

I'm sorry you're sad but the current strategy really isn't working for anyone. As the song says, 'if you love someone, set them free'.

fishybits Wed 26-Feb-14 14:07:30

Downton, there is sooo much more to your relationship with DD than you have written here.

Enough, step away and let her get on with it.

debka Wed 26-Feb-14 14:10:40

I was your daughter for a while, OP. I can honestly say that when my parents stopped handing me money it gave me the incentive to sort my life out. So long as there's an easy option she will take it. She needs to learn to stand on her own two feet and she won't learn when you are bailing her out constantly.

I am now 34, about to start university, financially independent and proud to be so. She will grow up and grow out of this flowers

gamerchick Wed 26-Feb-14 14:10:57

It's very hard when it's your own offspring... believe me I know and I also know that saying no go to a request for help goes against all natural instincts.

But you have to say no..she has to grow up and learn how to look after her own lot.

It'll be a nightmare but it's for her long term benefit. If you want to help out for the baby then arrange deliverys of practical stuff rather than money.

I'm sorry about your mum sad

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 14:15:15

Ah yes.
My sister is very good at that DT!!
For sister and her family go abroad EVERY school holiday. Yes, that's right. Every one. They have just got back from their half term break.
This means that I get no break from caring for mum. At all. (Well, I will get 3 days in may when we go to wales but you get the drift)
This morning she saw me at the school gates and asked me to tell mum she was feeling ill and wasn't going to pop in after all.
So...My day so far has been spent taking mum to the shops, going to the cemetery to do dads flowers, spending over an hour on the phone to HMRC sorting out a cock up with one of her pensions and then taking her to see my aunt in a hospice 30 miles away.
But....if I ever mention how tired I am she just tells me to stop.
Yes. That's right. Abandon my recently bereaved mother.
I think that you perhaps are expecting too much of yourself. I'm so sorry your dh was ill...what rotten luck.
I have come to the conclusion (it's only taken me 40 years) that some people are all about themselves and dont really give a toss about anyone else. Easier to accept when it's not a loved family member sad
Please look after you x

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