Difficult Child taking advantage of wife

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DoneDad, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    D c daughter 25 living at home with 22 month old son. My wife loves grandson. She is also having medical problems (in the process of getting diagnosed, vision problems, weakness- maybe autoimmune or MS, is on methotrexate).

    Difficult Child is working 30-35 hours/week at a grocery store. My wife babysits, which wipes her out. I got upset and told Difficult Child she was going to have to make other arrangements - so she texted wife and told her she was quitting job. Wife freaked out, lots of crying and yelling. Since then I've stayed out of it. I've made it clear I'm not doing childcare (baby daddy has called DCFS on us for abuse so I make sure I'm never alone with grandson.). Baby daddy is in jail and is a total loser.

    I tell my wife she needs to stop fixing and enabling, but like people on here say - there's only one person I can control, and that's me.
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    DoneDad, I'm so sorry your wife is having health issues. I hope they figure it out.

    I agree with you, your daughter is taking advantage of your wife. Do you talk to your wife about how your daughter is taking advantage of her?
    It's just so unfair the way your daughter is treating you and your wife. I'm guessing your wife doesn't want to upset daughter and risk not being able to see your grandson.

    Your daughter knows exactly how to get to your wife. Manipulation at work for sure.
    Have you ever shared this site with your wife?

    I think you are very smart to step back and to be very careful around grandson.

    Hang in there and keep us posted.
  3. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, Done Dad. A 22-month-old is a lot of work to keep up with in the best of health. I understand your wife wanting to spend time with your grandson and wanting to help with child care, but of course it should not be at the expense of her own health. I agree that it sounds like your daughter should make other arrangements.

    It is doubly unfortunate that you can't even help with caring for your grandson because of the unfounded DCFS allegations. It sounds like a truly impossible situation in the long run.

    But your wife and your daughter seem to be ok with the arrangement for now... so unfortunately what can you do? None of this is under your control, other than voicing your concerns to your wife and your daughter about your fears. Perhaps there is a middle ground somewhere as far as her watching the grandson only a couple of days per week?
  4. Hopeful97

    Hopeful97 Active Member


    If your wife would be willing one thing that may help is if she takes a look at this site. It has helped tremendously. I just read a lot for several weeks. Once I started talking and sharing on this site I have discovered tremendous wisdom and support and ideas that have been invaluable on this journey concerning our adult d c s .

    I do not what I would do if grandchildren were involved. There are other warrior parents on this site that have experience with having grands involved.

    I encourage you to keep posting it helps.

    Stand Strong,

  5. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    How about talking to wife about having grand-son in a daycare center 1-2 days a week or even half day. This way your wife can a break and rest. Care for grand-son is split up. If daughter can't pay due to income, is it possible that you could financially swing it for 1 or 2 days a week or even half days?

    How long is baby daddy in jail? Is she wanting to be with him when he gets out or is it over?

    I am so sorry that your wife and you are having to go through all of this- especially when wife has health issues.
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi DoneDad, I am sorry for your wife's health concerns, that is tough. I am sure the stress does not help, either. A nearly two year old is a handful for even young parents, so much more so for grandmothers with health issues.
    Oh, that is a classic one.
    This is not babysitting, it is childcare.
    We helped our daughter out with childcare and had them living at home. Boy, was that a rough ride. Of course we love our grands, our d cs know this, Tornado ended up using them as a bargaining chip. I also found out, that because she got food stamps, she also qualified for childcare monies.
    There are resources out there for low income single parents, but why use them if grandma is willing to do everything, and doesn't know any better? UGH.
    You may want to check with your State, to find out what is available in your area.
    UGH, again. What is wrong with these people?
    Good thinking DoneDad, no one needs to go through that.....for trying to help.

    She must be a wee bit frustrated?
    I am wondering whenever her diagnosis is confirmed if you might gently talk with your wife about your concerns for her health, maybe even the doctor might help with this?
    Keep posting and let us know how everything goes. It is hard enough with d cs, grandchildren in the mix makes it extra challenging.
    Wishing you peace
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Only wife can decide. Only she can come to see it is too much.

    Like other parents on the site, there are 3 generations involved. Wife wants to be a good mother and grandmother. If she can, she wants everybody to be okay, and to keep everybody close.
    The reality is that your wife may choose to sacrifice herself and in the end, lose anyway. Your daughter has parental rights, I assume. At any point daughter can take the baby and deny access.

    I would guess that is what your wife most fears. That a disgruntled daughter will decide to take her toys (baby) and leave.

    There is no win here for anybody. Until wife accepts what is at stake, nothing will change. You are in a no-win situation in that anything you do or say will be used against you.

    I feel for you. I feel for your wife. I feel for all of us. Including me.

    My health is what forced me to turn the corner. I was sick all the time when my son was nearby. When I have minimal contact, my symptoms recede. I have a chronic illness, too.

    Maybe when wife gets a diagnosis she will face her limitations, and choose differently. But nobody, most of all you, can make her change before she is ready. I wish it were different. I really, really do.

    I think ironbutterfly's idea about childcare a two or three days a week is great.

    Is wife open to posting? We would love to "meet her."

    I hate that the baby's daddy did that to you. There is another thread right now with similar threats. My own son has called the cops on us multiple times with the intention of getting us arrested. Great.

  8. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    The thing is the alternative is she will be a stay at home single mom supported by the state. Are there no state run childcares like in my country where is free and payed by taxes?
    At 22 months I think there let there if the child can go to the bathroom or can say he needs the bathroom I know my a young niece of mine was let there because she was bathroom trained.
    But to be fair until my children where 2 I let my parents take care of them while me and my wife where at work so yeah was kinda like your daughter and my parents let me with my grandparents and so did my grandparents for my parents so yeah its a long long long long tradition of having free childcare in our parents.
    Who knows we might continue this tradition if I have grandkids but at the way my son's are with commitment it will take 10 more years or so. Thank you god for blessing me with boys.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just chiming in to agree that you can't control your wife, although I know you are worried about her and I'm sorry. But she will do what she will do.

    We can only change one person...ourselves.

    by the way Head Start is free.

    Good luck and hope wife has a change of heart for her own sake.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    HI, DAD

    I am sorry for your wife and the difficulties that your daughter is causing for her. I hope she will focus on her health first.

    There is a lot of help out there for your daughter, including childcare, paid for by the state.

    My daughter worked in a national chain store as an HR person (worked in the local store, not the corporate headquarters) and helped many employees get these types of services. If she doesn't know where to get help, she can talk to her local HR.

    However, if she won't try, maybe you can make some phone calls yourself, to get some info. Childcare, housing, utility subsidies, food stamps, etc. are available to her.

    I am sorry that you both are being help hostage by your daughter. I hope that you can regain your life. If I were you, I would take control of my household and take back my power. Many of us have had to do this. We finally did. When you are ready, you will find the strength. It will be a blessing for your daughter, and your son as well. As long as he sees how you are continuing to do things for his sister, he will want things done for him, too. Sibling rivalry.

    Hang in there, let us know how your wife is doing.

  11. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Hi. Thanks for all the responses. They can get subsidized childcare, so I suggested they do that, that I would drive gs there (I'm the only driver). So that could be an option.

    Difficult Child sees no need to do anything -it's easier to have us support her. Before baby daddy was in jail I talked to her about getting child support, but "the line at the courthouse is too long." Childcare - "they're too far away." Taking her son to the doctor - "i don't have time." She didn't even bother to buy him a Christmas present. We don't want gs to suffer, so we take up the slack. I can see letting her suffer the consequences of her behaviors, but what do you do when it's a 22 month old baby suffering the consequences of her behaviors? We're taking him to the doctor today because he has bad eczema.

    Anyhow, thanks for the responses and we are going to work on the childcare idea.
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    This sounds all too familiar. We stayed in the "game" with Tornado, because of the grands. They were babies, too. Someone called CPS (wasn't us, that time) and reported Tornado for smoking pot while nursing her young son. I was shocked. She gave birth naturally, so drugs would not affect her unborn child, why would she poison her breast milk? I didn't believe it, then they tested her.....Well, it was true. We ended up taking in all three. That is another story.......
    Point is, and I know I am preaching to the choir....but this may help your wife think more about it, these d cs have got to learn to take care of their children. We will not be around forever to pick up the pieces.
    There is counseling and parenting classes. From what you wrote of your daughter, she is dropping the ball here. Since your wife's health is at stake, it raises a flag for some sort of intervention. Our State works with Catholic Charities for family counseling services. This may be something you might want to check into, to get your daughter help to understand her responsibility. I know, this is one more thing on your plate, but geez, if you folks just keep going status quo, one day the bottom will drop out.
    I hope your State agencies will have some answers. It doesn't hurt to make a few phone calls, to see what your options are.
    You are not alone. I remember those days, when my grands were just babies, what a nightmare.....
    God Bless you both, for taking care of the little guy.
  13. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    So we took gs to the doctor for his eczema yesterday. Difficult Child daughter couldn't because she was working 6am-3. He has bad eczema.

    Anyhow, looked at her Facebook and she had checked in from the gym at 1:00. She probably got off at 11 and could have gone to the doctor with her son, but instead lied to us about it and went to the gym. This isn't the first time she's done this kind of thing. I'm so sick of her lying and sneaking around. At the gym she apparently meets up with a 58 year old married man to have sex - maybe not this time but usually. My wife and I are devout Catholics and all of this is SO not the kind of stuff we want to be living with.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I so understand, DoneDad, when people you have to have something to do with do things that are so out of your own experience and comfort level that it's mindboggling to you.

    My son's ex went on a dating site while they were still married and ran off with another man and was gone for about a month. Son was shocked. No warning.

    This is not my son's nor our experience in our family. She is a horrible mother and my grandson usually runs from her car to his father (my son), hugging him hard and not even bidding mother farewell when they have drop offs. Although son reminds him to say good-bye to his mother, he does it in a half-hearted way and very quickly, then goes back to his dad. He wrote a paper at school about his hero---his dad. Ex must have seen it. This infuriates her. She has always tried to make my son insignificant to Junior, but has failed and in her mind, this is very personal. (She would do better if she were nicer to her son and did not allow her new husband to slap him in the face). My son is always afraid she will take this out on the child. Yes, some people should not have kids.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am sorry DoneDad, you folks are being used in the worst way. I know the sting and ache of it, because it happened to us with three grands. My daughter felt it was our obligation to watch them, nary a word of appreciation, the lying and "selfish time" got progressively worse. We just kept chugging along, trying our best to care for the grands and focus on them. It is hard for you and your wife to see it now, because your grandbaby is so young, but this will not get any better, if it remains the same. When you think of it, usually a mom is more bonded with a young child, more concerned. The more you folks take on her role, the less she will. I know, it is hard because grandson is just a baby.
    Here is a simple suggestion. Start keeping a log of everything. Hours of childcare, doctor appts., issues you have with her. If anything, this will be the history of care, and what mom is or isn't doing. It is something for backup, in case things get worse, and you decide to try and get her to go to parenting classes, or something. This is definitely not working for you, and it is only a matter of time before your wife is just exhausted. Better for baby,and Mom, if there is some thought process in the works. Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
    In our case, CPS ended up in the picture again, because our daughter and baby daddy got more and more erratic. In the long run, the mindset is to rehab the parents and reunite the family. So, after 11 years of back and forth and craziness, the grands ended up with their parents. It has taken its toll on us, but.......they are the parents responsibility. There was nothing to be done about it. So, they are with their parents, and we have no contact. (Daughters choice)

    I wish I had a better outcome to share with you.
    Perhaps, since you are the one posting, there are some resources you can check out to get information on what is available in your State, and get some answers on how to proceed in the best interests of everyone involved.
    We will not be around forever to rescue our D cs or our grands. It is pretty imperative that they learn to take on parenting responsibilities.
    I know I am preaching to the choir again, sorry.....
    You mentioned you are Catholic, see if there is Catholic Charities available in your area. They offer family counseling, this may be a place to start.....

  16. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    I called a child care place that's 4 minutes from our house - we're going to go by there today. Turns out Difficult Child had visited Childcare Resource center and is eligible for subsidized childcare - she just never followed up on it, so she had a list of providers (in a pile of trash). I got the list and called. This is something we've been trying to get Difficult Child to do for months, and it took me two minutes to do it myself.

    Talk about hitting bottom - I'm trying to figure out what to do. Difficult Child is fine with the status quo - we support her and her baby, she works part time for spending money and parties. Wife goes along with it even though it is killing her. I'm basically enabling both of them even though I don't want to be. Basically we have no power because wife won't let Difficult Child leave with the baby. We've asked her to pay rent. She doesn't. The consequence is - nothing. We nag her about this or that - she blows it off. She lies to us about when she's working. She comes home drunk. She drives around in friend's car with baby and no car seat, we see her and she lies about it. She doesn't lift a finger to help around the house. The sink is full of her dirty dishes just waiting for me to do them all the time. When she is home with the baby, she's on her phone and he's crying because she's ignoring him. We're nervous about even going out of the house to church because she might invite a random guy over while we're gone. (Our plans for retirement were to travel, but that is definitely not happening.)

    I hate to even think about it, but at some point I just might be detaching from Difficult Child, wife, and their whole dysfunctional dance.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's hard for moms to get it, but ... at this point, her "help" is actually hurting daughter. All the "helping" is getting in the way of the daughter growing up and moving forward. For a minimum, it's just supporting the daughter in NOT being a mom. Is that really what your wife wants to do?
  18. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    The thing is how the wife will be convinced.Another issue is that we know its not right what we do but we lie ourselves so we think its right because well we get attached with the little miracles and do not wanna lose them.
  19. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member


    You know what we say around here--the only person you can change is you.

    You can talk to your wife about how you feel and what you think should happen, but you can't make her face truth of the situation, or do anything about it.

    Daughter is not going to change the status quo. It's working out to well for her.

    It is really up to you to decide if this is an acceptable way to live, for you.

    You may want to talk to a counselor about the situation. Maybe that person (find one that you trust) can help you sort out your feelings in the situation.

    Your feelings matter.

    Your happiness matters.

    Your needs matter.
  20. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Done Dad, I am so sorry that you are living like you are. You truly are held hostage.

    There are no easy or clear answers here. I don't have grandchildren so I can only imagine the layers that adds to the whole situation.

    I am thankful that I could kick my son out the door when his behavior became intolerable. I reclaimed my peace and that was very good for me and for him.

    I would like to think I could make the phone call to CPS if need be, but I can only imagine how hard that would be to do as well. It sounds like you are getting good advice here about that.

    I would not let this make me lose my marriage if I could help it. You and your wife are more important---the most important, I believe. More than your daughter or the grandchild.

    You sound like you are at the end of your rope. Are you? If you are, I would suggest you start attending Al-Anon meetings. You can go and sit and listen and you don't have to say a word. There are many people in Al-Anon living in similar situations of complete craziness. Al-Anon helps them continue to live with it, and find peace.

    Again, I'm sorry. You are in a very hard situation. Warm hugs.