A Job? School? Me? A baby sounds like a good solution.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I do need advice here, but, please understand and respect that I've obtained information about her that I've needed to know. As long as she is under my roof, there are certain things I will check, so PLEASE no well-intentioned advice about "not looking". Someday, blessedly, I will not.

    difficult child is still voluntarily unemployed (since end of June). She is earning her keep by doing a number of things around the house, from cutting the grass to scraping and painting outdoors. I have an older home, a yard with lots of trees and flower beds, and there is always work to be done.

    I thought a few weeks of this would be enough to send her looking for an actual job. I don't pay her, I don't give her/lend her money, she cannot use my car (unless running errands for me), and I'm here most of the time so goofing off isn't easy. Mr. Ostrich took her on vacation last week (all expenses paid) and I thought she was holding out to find work until she returned.

    She seems completely uninterested in finding real employment. A friend suggested a job fair (friend works two jobs). difficult child put her off and finally said "Please understand. I have to do this my way." WFH?????????

    She has a boyfriend and this one girlfriend who seems to be perfectly happy to pay if they go out, pay for gas, etc. I pay for the roof over her head, her meals (the basics), and the utilities. She has to do her own laundry and contirbute to the general upkeep of the home, in addition to her "jobs".

    So, now I find out what her "do it my way" seems to mean. She wants to get pregnant.

    Now THERE's an answer!!! boyfriend (really nice guy) is a psychiatric major (oh, the irony) in his senior year of undergrad. Decent working class family - no Daddy Warbucks funding all of this. They use no birth control. She currently has a home test that she is waiting to take. Waiting for what?

    Good God in Heaven.

    I'm assuming she's not pregnant,so I'm not wildly concerned abou that ...now at least. ... it sounds lmore like one of her typical ploys .... But, really, it's only a matter of time. What I am wildly concerned about is her fractured fairy tale thinking ..something I know I am powerless to stop.

    Where I need the most advice is: She does not seem to care a whit that she has no money. She's found a system to fulifll her small wants (boyfriend and enabling friend buy booze, DEX is taking her to the Browns game Friday, mom provides basic meals) and this seems ok. She does do the work I "assign", but in all honestly, it is draining. Every job entiails a mess of difficult child "I need help" and "come inspect" and attention, attention, attention.

    I don't mind her living here under normal circumstances. Even through this, she is pleasant and respectful to me (behind my back, I am psycho-slave-driving-crazy-woman, which is ok). But I feel this is going to go on forever and - GOD HELLP ME - involve an innocent child being brought into the world for the sole purpose of keeping difficult child from having to deliver pizzas.

    Do I insist she get a job? How does one do that? This is the kid who put on a uniform and "went to work" for two weeks.

    I need serious help.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    In what alternate universe is having an infant NOT work?! OMG. She thinks YOU're a slave driver... Ugh.

    Here's my $0.02, take it for what it's worth... YES, she needs a REAL JOB. REAL means pay check, taxes, getting herself up and there and doing it and getting home. She has to FIND said job within X amount of time. She's an adult... Time to act like one. Yeah, she's respectful and pleasant to your face - so was Raven, to me and husband - but having a place to sleep and free food in exchange for being asked to do chores and stuff around the house was working for him. Notice I said "asked to" - I can count on one hand, with leftover digits, how many times this actually happened in 3 months. When it stopped working for him - he was OUT.

    You can give her an ultimatum. Not fun, and you WILL worry. But... She's an adult... Can make her own choices. SO CAN YOU - YOU can choose not to enable the babymaking scheme.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yikes! A baby? What a scary prospect!

    in my humble opinion - I don't think you can force her to get a job. You can only force circumstances that will REQUIRE that she gets a job. Is there anything that you are currently providing her? Clothes? Phone? Transportation? If so - you can stop providing that and see whether that need is enough to make her go out and earn her own money.

    If you are not providing those (or if that is not enough) - you may have to give her a deadline for moving out. Let her know you will be happy to help with furniture (or whatever) for a new apartment...but she will need to have $ xxx for a security deposit, utility deposits and first months rent.

    Good luck!
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Failure to Launch. It is epidemic and I am concerned that I will have one that I will have to push screaming and kicking out of the nest in a few years.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OMG......can we say our difficult child's couldn't be more similar if they were related? I got goosebumps just thinking about your difficult child and a baby. Mayber ostrich will agree to be a stay-at-home grandpa.

    I don't know what you do dash. Our difficult child's think by having a baby they have someone to love that will love them back and all their problems will be solved....haha look at us, didn't work that way did it. If my difficult child was intent on having a baby there is nothing I could say to change her mind. It was only after she realized she couldn't drink or smoke her pot that she decided she didn't want to be pregnant anymore. My easy child and I have often said we think birth control should be mandatory for all young people who have no means to support themselves let alone their baby. Of course this is said tongue in cheek but you know what I mean. Or they should all have to go to an island where all difficult child's go where they can't hurt anyone but themselves. An island of difficult children. OMG I think I've lost it.

    I wish I had serious help for you. Do you want to raise a baby? Because that is what will happen. I knew I didn't, no doubt in my mind, not at all, nadda. I love my difficult child but seriously she should never have children. Or if she does send them to the guy on the tv ads.

    I think you need to give her a time frame in which she needs to get a job or move out. Now comes the tough part. She may move right into baby daddy's arms, but there's not much you can do about that.

  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have to agree with the others, it's time to give her a deadline to get a job.. a real job. I think quite honestly that her helping around the house and being respectful to you is manipulative at this point. She figures as long as she does that, you'll have no reason to kick her out. Time to up the ante by requiring a job. You can't make her get a job, but you can put the decision squarely in her lap.... if she chooses not to work, she chooses homelessness. You have to be ready to follow through on the threat, however, or it's meaningless. If you're not ready to take that step, to truly kick her out if she doesn't have a job by a deadline, then I don't know what to tell you. It's not easy, I know.

    The only advice I have for you re the potential pregnancy is to do your best to detach from that as well. I know first hand how difficult that is, when you're thinking of the life of an innocent child -- I've lived through it twice with Youngest. I know I can't and won't raise my grandchildren, for my own reasons. I've been through some incredibly stressful and heartbreaking years because of that.. but as of now, Youngest has grown up a great deal and is mostly making appropriate decisions for her children. I've really had to learn to Let Go and Let God in that area.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear she even considers a baby as an answer. Do you know, or what do you suspect is a reason why she doesn't want a job or go to school? I'm sure she could find an easier job than garden and maintenance with better benefits than you give her. What do you think is her real reason? It can't be just laziness because it is not like she is just sitting around and playing video games now. Is the problem in job hunting? Anxiety over making phone calls, having interviews, fear of rejection? Or maybe starting a job and being afraid about not learning, not getting along with boss and workmates, fear of failure? Or being unable to handle uncertainty? Or something else?

    Pretending to go to work, to me, is a major sign of something more than laziness. Wanting to please, being afraid of failure or being seen as such, being unable to cope with the situation all together.

    Do you have any kind of job coaching, support programs or workshops for people having difficulty to find work or young people in danger of becoming marginalized? Could something like that be something that could help?
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You can't force her to get a job. You can't force her to do anything at all. All you can do is decide what the rules of living with you are, and enforce them. It's your house, if you want to change the rules at any time that is your right. If she doesn't like it then it's time to go.

    This is why I had the rule that adult kids from 18 + had to either be in school full time (and passing) or working full time and saving to move out. Because that is the goal, to move out, to become independent.

    Now with easy child, there was no issue. With Nichole, she always helped around the house/yard/cooking and took good care of Aubrey. She did do school full time. When she didn't do school full time she worked full time. So there was never an issue with rules being followed. Problem was.......she was 20 and there were no signs of her taking that next step to independence. Other than the actually moving out doing it all on her own part, she was doing everything required to be a functioning adult. Soooo......I started asking her when her plans to move out were, when she told me there was no rush she liked it here and could live here forever.........Mom gave her a move out date for 3 months later. Time enough to save for rent and deposits ect. It really hurt her feelings until I explained to her why this step was so very necessary for everyone to take. And at first it took quite a bit of explaining to make her see it wasn't her, it was just the next logical step. One can't stay at home forever even under very good circumstances as it stunts the developmental growth of the adult child.

    If it were me, I'd make full time employment required to live with you. (ok bad economy, at least part time) AND she has to pay you rent. This "rent" you put back for when she moves out......because then you give her the move out date. Now being difficult child, odds are she might get the job but not save the cash to move, this is when you hand her the rent she gave you and wave good-bye. I wouldn't worry about full time part time work so much because once she's out, she'll figure out fast that part time doesn't cover the bills.

    As for the baby..........I dunno how much difficult child will talk to you. She's got some really immature thinking going on of "playing house" and boyfriend is going to be her Prince. If for whatever reason boyfriend can't/won't live up to her Prince role......well, that baby is not a doll and she's going to find herself working harder than she's ever worked in her life 24/7 AND having to have full time work ect ect. I'd attempt to talk to her, but as I said you can't force her to do or not do anything.....so you'll have to keep that in mind.

    I hope the powers that be prevent her from bringing a child into the world when she's not yet adult enough to take care of herself.

  9. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Thank you, everyone. Only here, would such dialogue even be possible.

    I have no idea why. And, you are right - there is something more going on. I just don't know what. I suspect it is all wrapped up somehow in h er magical thinking. She continually goes through Pinterest, pinning beautiful wedding things, exotic honeymoons, dream homes on the coast. It's one thing to dream ... but I think she actually LIVES in this orbit sometimes. She believes she canb e a writer (however, she doesn't write), and that is one of her answers.

    The baby thing has been ongoing. She has been on because since she became sexually active, but she would have "scares" in high school. Pregnancy tests would come home. Blessedly negative. Were the scares real? Who knows.

    She has - for years - made various claimsof pregnancy. Lost baby in car crash (car crashes are a big theme in her lying), had baby ..name is ______. Boyfriend beat her, lost baby. I'm 99.9% sure she'snever been pregnant. These stories tend to be on Tumblr, or were circulated around and got back to me.

    I doubt that she is on any BC. Have asked, been told "yes, I go to Planned Parenthood". Can't prove or disprove. I am beginning to think she is having trouble conceiving (Thank GOD!) because I am quite sure she's been trying. Recent google history is all about "how to get pregnant FAST". In high school, she'd write letters to her unborn child "Daddy and I were surprised, but we want you so much". Doesn't take a PhD to get why an adopted difficult child might think along those lines.

    About the job. This is a hard one. I don't know that I'm ready to force her out the door over this (though it's driving me mad). She is more than pleasant. She is loving and - yes, manipulative. I do get that. The next step makes sense on many levels, but I'm not sure I have what it takes.

    As to helping her with money. All she has is home (a nice place, granted), food (good stuff, but no extras like ice cream. no alcohol that I provide), she has no cell phone service...can only dial 911 and set he alarm clock, the only time she getrs free transportation is if we're going somewhere together or the enabilng friend comes by. I keep minimal cash around and she hasn't touched it. Jewelery, valuables are hidden. Bank card, credit cards hidden. I bought her a ticket for an Indian's game when her cousins were in town last month ($15), but gave her no spending money. Toilteries are provided, but she has to share with me. Internet when I'm not on the computuer (use it for work, so I'm on a lot), Nicd TV for viewing DVDs, but no cable or TV service.

    I don't get it. Most kids her age would be going insane.

    I know I can't do anything to prevent her from getting pregnant (just pray). No, Nancy, I am not going to raise a grandchild. I'm serious about that.

    It's a mess. Thanks for letting me sort it out - or try to, here.

    Going to FA tonight. Really need it.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand. If you aren't ready, you aren't ready. So, now you have to decide how *you* can live with the situation as it is, since it's not likely to change. This is where your own acceptance comes in; the situation is what it is, she is going to keep down the road she's on, and you can't *make* her do anything. So, what can you do to make it more tolerable for yourself? This is the type of thing I used to brainstorm with my therapist, when Youngest was living with me and I wasn't ready to kick her out because of the grandkids.

    Glad you're going to FA tonight, maybe they can help you brainstorm.
  11. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    This may be dumb, but would you both consider going to family therapy together, as well as individually? This way, you could express your concerns (fears) about her magical thinking (you don't have to reveal that you think she's trying to conceive), and her failure to launch. The third party (therapist) would encourage her to discuss her thoughts and beliefs and you wouldn't seem like monster mommy. Sometimes, immature people who verbalize their fantasies are jarred into acknowleging how truly ridiculous those fantasies are once they hear themselves speak it out loud. Perhaps it could lead to discussions about getting on with her life, forging ahead, etc. Just a thought.
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with CiV, if you aren't quite ready to force her out, you need to find ways to take very good care of you. Brainstorming with your therapist or your group sounds like a great idea.

    I'm a little further down this road now, with an older difficult child and my two cents are this: After watching my difficult child make very similar choices, and also having some kind of a mental issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a part of my difficult child that knows she cannot be in the world in the way others are and she keeps herself insulated from the real world as a result. Magical thinking, entitlement, arrogance, drug or alcohol abuse in some cases, all of that plays a role I'm sure, however, I believe, they know they're incapable to perform at a job to the level that would be expected of them, so rather then fail, they don't engage. I don't think that my difficult child would admit that in a hundred years, but that's my gut feeling about it. That also gives me some compassion about it too, even though, the choices are still remarkably poor, I just have to accept that her brain does not operate in a normal fashion. None of my wishing, hoping, judging, lamenting, trying, enabling, rescuing or anything I DID, helped in any way. All that was left, was acceptance of her the way she is and setting boundaries around what I could not tolerate. Once I got there, it all got better. I then stopped expecting her to show up in any way that was what "I would do" or "what anyone else would do" because that caused a lot of pain for me and clearly, was an expectation that was not going to get fulfilled.

    For me, the hardest part was to acknowledge who she really was, separate from what I wanted her to be. I think as a parent, we want so much for our kids and when they are a difficult child, and their lives are negatively impacted by their poor choices, we try so hard to get them to make better choices to improve their lives. But, the choices they make don't have anything to do with the kind of lives we live, they really are living in that altered Universe, living a very different reality with very different perceptions of what is right and what is wrong. We know the consequences, but in my difficult child's case, because she cannot "future think" everything is simply about this very moment, nothing else. The future doesn't exist for her, she cannot see her role in that. Sigh.

    I can't imagine having to deal with a baby in all of this, I so hope that doesn't happen with your difficult child. I'm raising my granddaughter and I prayed a long time that there would be no more babies. I think I dodged that bullet. I had decided I would not be a part of any further children's lives. My heart goes out to you, I know right down to my toes, just how challenging this all is for you. I agree with everything CiV said. Hang in there, get support, really look at her and determine what she really is capable of and set strong boundaries which keep you safe and as peaceful as you can get.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wish I could give better advice, but this is EXACTLY what L chose. If he's got enough money to support her and is naive enough to fall for it, then they'll do what they do. She would be well advised that when push comes to shove and he gets tired of her a man with a career is going to get the child before the mom who never worked a day in her life. He's going to have the money for a lawyer, and he's not going to be shy about using it. That's the lesson L will learn, too. Of course, L's dad is an attorney, so she'll have a better chance, but not much. She should be glad I'm not there to testify for him when the time comes.
  14. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Your suggestion isn't dumb, CJane. Unfortunately, difficult child is so adept at the lying dance that I doubt it would do a bit of good. I don't have insurance for counseling and I am currently paying (albiet, at a reduced rate) for hers. I simply can't afford to go for me or for the two of us.

    I really do appreciate the support and the udnerstanding about my not being ready to kick her out ..a nd the very constructive suggestions that I work to make it bearable for myself - having made that choice for now. I do have FA (went tonight), you, some very good in real life friends, and God. FA stresses this very thing, and I've been working it big time today.

    Part of my reasoning, at this juncture, is that I set a boundry when she quit Pizza Hut: You cannot live her for free, but you are my daughter. If you follow the boundaries I set when you moved in: (no drugs, no guys here when I'm not home, contribute), you can stay providing your contribution be in the form of working around the house / yard for an established number of hours per day. She is doing that and I never said she must h ave a job in order to stay (becasue I'm a blazing idiot -let's face it ... I thought she'd cave after three weeks and get a DARNED job).

    This is not to say I won't revisit it. I may say (when the shed is done ... but it is a very old shed and it will take a long time., "Soon, I will not have enough to keep you occupied. You have until _______ to get a job".

    I was also able to be a little more detatached today. I had a project I was working on and the shed is out back. She did keep coming in for attention (a pattern) and I told her after a few times I needed to concentrate.

    As to her becoming pregnant? It strikes fear to the core of my being, but it is beyond my control. Shel'll have precious little opportunity to do the deed here, but that's the extent of my reach.

    And I forgot to comment, Nancy ... yes, it is scary how similar these two are.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This may sound strange, but why not make some lasting form of birth control one of the conditions for living wth you? Something like the hormone implant or an IUD that isn't a daily choice? Reasoning being that while she is living with you she is not in any way capable of caring for a baby, and you are not going to raise one either, so if she intends to live with you then she must have a reliable, constant, unforgettable form of bc.

    Some may say it is overstepping your boundaries to do this, but the worry of a baby seems to be pretty major (and it would be for me too!), and that would at least HELP. You might have to pay for the bc, but it seems you are paying for her expenses anyway, so that may not be a big deal to you.

    Why not loan her out to your friends or start demanding she do x hours of community service on top of her work at home for you? If she has to leave the house and work, she may decide that it is better to get paid than to not get paid for the same work. Many areas have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore or a church run thrift store and those would give her job skills. She could also volunteer at a hospital or library. One thing that volunteer work does is to get her to explore different fields so she might find some career that is a good fit for her. If nothing else, she could clean kennels and play with dogs and cats at an animal shelter - they ALWAYS need help. Just let her know that ZERO animals come home with her!!
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would worry about a baby too. I know it seems like having sons that I dont have as much of a reason to worry but hey, I have 4 grandchildren! Cory gave me my first and when I found out I was sick. Mad as fire. He had only known this girl about 3 months if that and she was known to be a loose woman. Cory was thrilled though. Cory so wanted to follow in his fathers footsteps..sigh. Well Cory turned 20 a month after Keyana was born and he was in no shape to help financially take care of the baby very much. He only got a small amount of SSI because he lived at home with us. He tried very hard to take physical care of the baby but it was a learning experience. Thankfully he did live with us for the first year of her life so he learned how to care for a child, especially an infant. He became very good but we were here for when he needed help like the first time the baby choked or ran a fever and he didnt know what to do. Things new parents need help with.

    The second time he had a child, just last September, we told him flat out that this was HIS baby and we wouldnt be stepping in to help him like we had with his first one. We wouldnt be buying all the diapers, wipes, clothes, and watching her every time he simply got tired of being around her. Well guess what? He stepped up to the plate amazingly. We only keep her when we ask to have her over though I did keep her the other night because Mandy had a tooth pulled. We hadnt bought any diapers until two weeks ago when Cory called me from work and asked me to go get some diapers because Mandy was stuck at home without a car and she was out. He told me to get the smallest pack and he would pay me back. I told him not to worry about it, I could afford one pack. Of course we buy some snacks for the baby when she is at our house and I buy toys for her. Im a grandma. I hit up ebay for a bunch of winter stuff but they dont ask me or expect it from me.

    Cory gets up every night with the baby because Mandy sleeps so soundly she doesnt hear the baby. Kenzie is a daddy's girl.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Dash, it sounds to me like you are doing and have done the best job possible under the circumstances. The status quo is functional evidentally for the time being. on the other hand I remember vividly the stress I carried below the surface when GFGmom lived at home and believed that getting pregnant would result in marriage (a big goal of hers). Obviously that didn't fly. Sigh!

    I was going to ask you if she has had a complete neuro/psychiatric evaluation so you would know what diagnosis. exists but then I remembered that she is content with her life and likely wouldn't want to waste her time. So sad. Hugs DDD