Speaking of Jumper...I don't know what to do about this

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm fuming mad, not so much at Jumper as this woman who is her best friends mom. I will call her June. June's family has a thriving business and they have money out the wazoo. Not only do they have money on their own, but both sides of the family have money. The mother's mother always pays for the entire family to fly down to visit them in Florida.

    Now there is us. We barely make it, but we so far have made sure the kids don't feel it. They have always gotten what they wanted, even when I held off buying too much food. I haven't been on a vacation since my honeymoon eighteen years ago. I don't even know if I can go to Chicago this summer and it would only cost maybe $300.

    Jumper got a job. The idea was to save for college and to help pay for gas, which she claims she doesn't use up...that it's me doing all the driving. But it's not. My husband has noticed it too. All she needs to do is throw $10.00 in the tank when she drives the car. All my other kids did plus they paid their part of the insurance. She isn't doing that either. Things have never been bleaker for us financially and we will probably have to move to a mobile park or a small rental home when Sonic and Jumper leave next year. We have always cherished our k ids, but never had that extra money for great clothes or grand vacations or a house of our own. So...

    Today Jumper told me she had $250 in her savings. I asked her what she is saving for and she said "the vacation." I had no idea what she meant. I thought maybe school had a vacation. She said no. June and Ward are going on their 25th wedding anniversary to Cancun and if Jumper can save up over $1000, she can go too. All things included!!!!! isn't that terrific? They'll take her if she'll pay them to go.

    Now that probably isn't a lot of money for most people around here. We are in the lower half of the salary curb around here. For example, I just learned her boyfriend's mom is getting a brand new pool, which makes me feel like garbage because I can't provide that for my kids. June also has a pool. Anyway, I have no idea why June told Jumper about this vacation. She didn't ask us first. And she probably thinks we can fund some of it. We can't. Every dime we get in taxes this year will go to moving and bills. If Jumper would pitch in a bit for OUR family, maybe even only $50 every so often, it would be so much easier. She is really being stubborn about this and I feel terrible about having to put the kabosh on her fun. But she has her whole life to marry somebody who can make a good living and travel. This just isn't the time.

    Remember that Jumper is a great kid. She deserves some perks. What would you do if your easy child were doing this? I am still stunned. I just heard about it now. I need to have a talk with June, but that won't stop how disappointed Jumper will be. And I'm so tired of telling other people that "we can't afford to....". Jumper was also offered a spot on a baseball team in Minneapolis to play an important game and it was $500 so we had to say no. I feel like the worst mom, but the reality doesn't match the $$$.
     
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Truthfully? I'd let her save for the vacation but I would not contribute toward it. We live in a fairly well-to-do area and, while we definitely are middle class, most of Duckie's friends are upper middle and upper class. Many live in exclusive neighborhoods, take multiple vacations a year and have memberships at the country and/or yacht clubs. The thing is, as long as the family is kind to Duckie and treats her respectfully, I don't want to undermine her friendships by having her unable to participate fully (she also has friends that have a lower socio-economic status and we've contributed sometimes so they can participate when money is tight in their families). We knew what our community was like when we chose to live here and raise our daughter here. The thing is: but Duckie and Jumper can live in this world at least for now. Their experiences are broadened by their many friends and their families. They are successful. Don't penalize her.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She will never be able to save up for it. And we need her to pay for gas and help with clothes and school supplies or she is going to be shopping for clothes at garage sales and walking everywhere. All my kids did this starting at sixteen. She will not lose this friend if she doesn't go on this family vacation. It's not a group, it's a family vacation. It's not for school, it's for June and Ward's anniversary.

    Money isn't just tight. There is nothing left over after the bills. If it was just tight, we'd manuveer things around and let her go. But that's not the way it is. I'm not penalizing her. She doesn't work often enough or make enough to save up for it and we don't have it to help her go. It's a non-issue.

    This is actually a very middle class area and there's no country club anywhere around. But we are probably more in the working class than even the middle class. We moved here because it's safe, affordable and has a great school. For the most part, Jumper has gone to every school event that everyone else has. She was prom queen in spite of the fact that we rent and almost everyone else owns. We spent our tax refund last year to get her a $600 prom dress. THat's more than our rent. So we do sacrifice when we can. Now we just can't.

    Money isn't necessarily status around here...for THAT I am grateful. Name brand clothes...you don't see them here. Nobody cares what name is on your butt...lol :)
     
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't freak out. Jumper understands that not all friends are on a level playing field socially, racially or economically. Life is an itch but I believe she gets it. If you truly need her to contribute...say so. It seems quite obvious that she can not afford an outing to Mexico BUT it really doesn't matter. She likely already "gets" that you guys are not wealthy and also that some people are. If you honestly believe that she doesn't "get it" then now is the time to have a talk. If she wants the "finer" things in life then she needs to save up for college and opt for a career that will allow her those things. I, personally, grew up in a family that could afford many things and I truly didn't realize how blessed I was until I ended up as a young wife and Mom scraping money for diapers. Don't get involved. She is a self achiever and if you believe she needs guidance...give it without apology. She is blessed to have a loving family regardless of the economic limitations. DDD
     
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    MWM--

    I think the problem here is you assumed that Jumper would behave the way the other kids did and would pitch in for expenses without being asked.

    And you know what they say about assuming....?

    At any rate - if you need her to contribute a certain $$$ amount toward household expenses - then you need to sit her down and spell it out. If you expect her to save a certain amount toward college - you need to spell it out.

    And then, whatever money is left should be hers to decide to spend. Vacations, name-brand clothes - whatever.

    But, in my humble opinion, you cannot sit back and feel hurt and resentful if you were not clear about your needs and expectations. Know what I mean??
     
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I do think you all need to have a talk.

    A grand for a vacation to Mexico sounds awesome. A grand for bills sounds even better. I have not been anywhere on vacation since... A camping weekend in 2010, another one in 2006... That one was 3 hours away... Last time i went more than 300 miles for any reason was training in Washington Difficult Child for 2 weeks in March 2006 and my grandmother's funeral in 2004. Vacation... Um, with my parents in December 2001. Yeah...
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That was actually easy. I went upstairs to talk to her after walking the dogs with hub to talk about it with him. I told Jumper that she'd have to work more and make more if she wanted to go because she also needs to help with gas and maybe other things as they come up. She listened and said, "Ok." I hugged her and said I wish she could go. She said, "It's ok."

    I wish all my kids were that easy.
     
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    She has a family that loves her, a mom that wants her to be happy, hobbies she loves to do and can do, enough food, clothing, good shelter, friends, a boyfriend. She is rich in ways some with lots of money would envy.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much, Li :) You're very kind.
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    ALL of your children are rich beyond measure. They have an incredibly mom who truly 'gets' their struggles and challenges and supports them every way she can, including helping their dad have a better understanding of them. They have parents who would give their right arm or an organ to them without even thinking about the consequences to themselves if it would help their kid or kids. They are being taught values, are allowed to learn from their mistakes, and they are truly, deeply, madly LOVED. Those things are worth a million times what Ward and June are giving their kids. Literally a million times more.

    Jumper's reaction to being told she has to contribute to the house and that she has to do more if she wants this vacation (which is ridiculously expensive beyond all reason, by the way) is solely due to her parents' lessons to this point. She reacted that way because you have taught her that if she is willing to do the hard work then she can have and/or be whatever she wants, that there are zero limits on her potential as long as she is determined enough and willing to work her behind off to get it.

    That is a truly special and wonderful gift you have given to her. Worth a million vacations and all the material goods in the world. I bet Ward and June's kids don't have a clue what it means to work for something they want. I saw dozens of kids like this when I went away to school. Not a single one of them knew how to cope with ANYTHING and many of them dropped out of college or turned to drugs because ti was 'too hard, too much work' and they were sure that mommy and daddy would provide for them so they didn't need to work. Sadly for them, most of their parents DID meet their kids' expectations and the kids grew up to be crippled adults who could not survive in the world with-o their parents. Those of us who were taught to work? We made lives and families for ourselves and we know we at least worked to try to reach our dreams.

    I do think you need to insist that Jumper either contribute as expected or she cannot use the car and cannot do the fun things that she enjoys. If she won't put forth the money, she cannot use the car and that includes paying her share of the insurance,, meaning the amt the insurance went up when she got her license. Period. No money no drivee, as my gma used to tell my aunt (I was in elem school when she was in high school). If she won't contribute to other expenses, she misses out on opportunities.

    This isn't being mean. It is preparing her for the world, where no one will pay for her to do something with-o expecting her to do something in return. She needs to learn to look gift horses in the mouth because that is where the bite comes from. I don't think Ward and June are inviting her out of the kindness of their hearts. they know she cannot afford this trip, and they want help with something or they would not invite her. Many of the wealth people got that way by not paying for things they wanted, but by manipulating people to do things for them for free. I have seen this situation many times in friends who got suckered into going on trips, paying their own way, and then finding out they were supposed to babysit, or do errands, or handle some type of work that the family didn't want to do. Many of them did not have the strength of purpose to say that they paid their own way and didn't need to work for free to repay the family for the cost of going on vacation ith the family. some of those who fell into this trap learned later that the actual cost was vastly less than they paid, and that they actually paid for the family to do quite a bit on the trip - things that they were not invited to participate in because the family wanted them to babysit.

    I don't know if Ward and June have this in mind, but it would NOT surprise me. I also would be very leary of letting my child leave the country with someone who is not a relative. Resorts attract creeps and sex offenders like you would NOT believe, and in many countries the burden of proof is extremely high to prove an assault has occurred, and the police may expect bribes, etc... just to do their jobs. So a trip outside the US needs to be VERY carefully researched right down to running a background check on every person going with your child regardless of what you think you know about them. This means Ward and June and their family because you don't really know if they have a criminal record or not. Predators are so successful because they look like ordinary people.

    Jumper is a great young woman and paying her bills is an important lesson for her to learn.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Susie!
     
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