Should've kept my mouth shut

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, May 12, 2011.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    So, difficult child called me a little while ago, as I'm racing back to work from lunch - already late. She's all PO'd because the job she was let go from didn't have her check ready today as stated and said to come back tomorrow. She and boyfriend are so in the red it's scary so she's freaking out. Complains about how boyfriend doesn't even have enough gas to get home from work or to go pick up his boys for dinner, her gas light just went on, they have no cigarettes and had to pool their change to get coffees this morning.

    Im sorry, but I just need to vent. First of all, STOP SMOKING!!! Right?! That will save them easily $100/week between the two of them. Second, and not to sound cold, but GIVE YOUR BIG DOG AWAY TO A GOOD HOME!!!! He is a pitbull, and I love him, he's a sweetie, but he's cooped up in an apt all day, other dogs have attacked him while out on walks. Now they are moving into boyfriend's parent's house and the mom doesn't feel comfortable with the big dog living there. She doesn't mind the little one, a dacshound. And Im thinking food - omg, how expensive must dog food be?? Not to mention boyfriend is paying child support to his wacky ex, not that he shouldn't but, $900 a month for two little boys? That seems outrageous to me, but his life, his kids, whatever.

    Any way, the point is - STOP SMOKING AND SAVE $400/MONTH, GIVE UP BIG DOG!!

    I ended up meeting her at the gas station and putting $20 in her tank, but darn it, that really pisses me off. I have my own obligations and my own constraints.

    Last month, we joined the gym as a family because it was cheaper. Now with my back and knee issues it's been difficult to make it in there as often as I'd like. Meanwhile, easy child has been going every chance she gets, which is great, but that means she's not helping me with our pups at lunchtime so that I can take a lunch break off without running home - she works closer to home than me, but I get an hour, she only gets 1/2 hour. Also, this past month, the vet reminded her that her puppy needs a checkup and her lymes vaccine so I tell easy child to call and make an appointment. She calls me back complaining because it will cost $140. So she won't schedule the appointment. However, she has money to buy clothes, shoes, go out for drinks and dinner with friends and not pay me her measly rent for May...but she can't vaccinate her dog?! WTH? When she complained about the vet bill, I stupidly offered to pay half, but have since watched her throw money away on things she doesn't need and then cry the blues about having money issues.

    So, when difficult child called me, I felt like a steam train - my head was about to blow. No more loaning money, no more helping them with a little here and a little there. No wonder I never have money for the things I want like a getaway weekend with H. Yesterday, after easy child spent an hour at the gym, she called me to ask if I wanted to join her for a pedicure. I asked if she was paying (because I can't afford that right now) and she laughed. I said I would have to pass BECAUSE I CAN'T AFFORD IT!!!

    Stupid-behinds. Who is the stupid behind? Me! Back to class for me.

    Okay, I feel a little better. Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. troubled

    troubled Guest

    It's hard to say no and it's even harder when they don't have any common sense and won't take good advice! ((HUGS))
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    lol you feel better?? i hope so. sometimes it helps to just get it off your chest. and release it.

    ((Hugs)) have great rest of the day
  4. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Vent away. Where would we be if we couldn't vent? We certainly can't actually control most of what happens with our difficult children but, dang it, we can let go every once and awhile and vent.

    I feel your pain, I really do.

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It's eating me alive right this minute and H is purely oblivious. Argh.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you need to sit easy child down and let her know that rent is not optional and that going to the gym is nice but she STILL must help with the lunchtime potty breaks. Set up a schedule and if she does not go home to do it she must do the clean up after the dogs and pay you your hourly wage. Or let her pay you what you earn per hour to go home and let her dog out. Also tell her that vaccinations are NOT optional and if she doesn't keep them current then the dog will not live in your home. Period. not negotiable.

    She is living with you so she can save money and get on her feet and get her own place, right? So blowing all her money on pedicures and clothing and eating out and going out is NOT saving. Make her create a budget and share it with you. Then let her know that you expect her to follow it and save $X per month. Doing so will mean she can move out by a certain time - set that date and make showing you her bank balances and that she is saving as planned a part of the conditions for living with you - part of her rent, so to speak.

    As for difficult child, if she is still smoking then she doesn't need help with money. Yes, it IS hard to quit. No doubts about that. But it is also hard to pay bills. One is optional and the other isn't. IF she wants help then make it contingent on not smoking. Otherwise, let her live on what she makes or figure out how to get by without it. yes, the child support sounds very high, but usually it is based on income and a formula. It is boyfriend's problem and if he wants it lowered then he needs to go to court and arrange it. LEt go of things like that.

    Learn to commiserate with difficult child and easy child without rescuing them. They create the problems and will only grow by creating the solutions. Not nearly as much fun as blowing all yoru money and getting mom to bail you out, but you learn a lot faster.

    I do think you need to have a long, hard talk with easy child. If she wasn't living in your home then I would advise to commiserate but not give her any money the way I advise with difficult child. But living in your home means that you are covering many expenses. I am sure her rent is not covering all of the food, utilities, trash services, etc... that she uses. This means that you have the right to give her some guidelines to how to spend her money. She clearly NEEDS these guidelines. IF she has credit cards, I would aks her to give them to you to hold onto. It is super easy to spend your way into bankruptcy on eating out, clothing, movies, etc.... Living on what you earn is a LOT harder and a LOT more satisfying. Ask her to go on a month of "abstinence" meaning spending no money that isn't for bills or stuff that is truly essential. THis means packing lunch and fixing coffee at home, doing your own pedicure with a pediatrician egg, etc...

    Where were YOU at age 23? I was living in the first home we bought with my husband and child. He worked, I was a full time mom and student. My parents did pay for tuition, books and the sitter because it was one of my gma's last requests and they used money that gma left to them. We did not go out to clubs, or out to eat much. We stayed home, counted our pennies, paid our bills and played with our baby. We sure were not out getting new clothes and pedicures. My mom did pick up clothes for me at garage sales and she bought ALL of Wiz' clothes for most of his first five years. The first three years she couldn't even go into the gas station with-o buying him a shirt - I am NOT exaggerating. ANY clothes, household items, etc... that we bought were on super discount or were from garage sale.

    It isn't going to be fun to put easy child on a budget or to let her know you disapprove when she blows it. But I think that you are going to have to if you ever want her to move out. Plus it is time for you to have the luxuries. You sacrificed for years so that the kids could have what they wanted and needed. Now you are still sacrificing while they are living high on the hog. Seems off balance, doesn't it?

    I would also increase her rent to include a manicure, pedicure and hair appointment for you each month. At least eh mani and pedi. That is to make up for the stress of having to stay on top of her budget and spending. It is also FAIR. I hope she is paying part of the gym fees. Divide the fees up by the number of people in the family and let her pay her share or let her pay the indiv fee minus a discount for letting her be on your family plan. She needs to learn that spending the time at the gym means she has to give up something else - NOT taht mom will take over her responsibilities so she has time to shop and go out!!
  7. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    difficult child is 23 and you're fretting about all of these problems she has created for herself?? Detach! She's 23! You can give her Xmas and birthday gifts, but that's it! The cash faucet shuts off at 18 unless a child is in college full-time and doing well and thus merits whatever help you can provide. I have 4 PCs: the oldest is almost 25, a very nice guy and a smart, wonderful fellow, but he has been Ferdinand the Bull for the last 2 years or so, just smelling the flowers and enjoying life without any real drive to move on in life. I love him to death, but when he asked me to co-sign a loan for him for college a year ago, I nicely said no--"you're a man now and can manage your life yourself, and I have younger kids who haven't dilly-dallied around for years and they need college money too--good luck and god bless." I said this cheerily and with love, and that's how he took it. Past a certain age, and especially if a child hasn't shown the requisite effort/drive on his/her own, you don't step in and help out anymore, except with love and encouragement. No cash. My older daughter has been working hard to get into and halfway through a nursing degree at her college, and I've given her lots of financial help, because she deserves it--has been focused and driven the whole way, and deserves whatever help I can provide. My 3rd is on full scholarship at MI State and I buy her textbooks and give her $300/semester for spending money. Her scholarship and work/study job and summer savings covers everything else, and she deserves whatever help I can provide. My youngest is 15 and doing very well in high school, so I buy him stuff and give him spending money from time to time and he is always grateful, never asks in advance, etc etc. The previous year, he made lousy grades and I was on him all the time to get his act together academically, and I didn't give or buy him squat while he was underperforming like that. So they all "get it": Dad is generous when you're trying hard and doing things right, but when you're not, he loves you hard and is encouraging, but also critical if you're making mistakes or not trying hard enough.

    But 23 and malfunctioning? I would give a lot of love and encouragement but also some solid, measured criticism when it's called for, and absolutely zero cash. At 23 I was halfway through my army enlistment, not dithering around making childish mistakes (I had made plenty of those already, which is why I was in the army--my father cut me off big-time when I was malfunctioning, and drove me into the army to fix my life and grow up, and it worked). Giving money to a malfunctioning 23-year-old is just enabling--it makes no sense. Detach and enjoy your life. She needs to grow up, and every dime you give her is impeding that process.
  8. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    In contrast, I have a difficult child nephew who's 19, has been coddled and looked after all his life by his enabling mother who gave him a huge allowance in his teen years and hired lawyers every time he got into trouble and permitted him to laze about the house for years (has never had a job--his mother thinks that, since she can afford it, he should be free of employment until he finishes college, which he'll never do), and now he lives in an apartment she pays for (plus utilities and groceries and car insurance and health insurance and an allowance for spending money) because he's supposedly "in college" at the local community college but he just drops out of his classes and parties and skateboards instead, and she just keeps paying and paying. He's making zero progress toward becoming a functioning adult and it's at least partly her fault--she's making it too easy and comfortable for him, so why should he change? That's what happens when you fund a malfunctioning child past 18: you become part of the problem instead of part of the solution. After 18, only PCs in college full-time get financial help--period. Let the difficult children sink and hit bottom--it's the only way they'll have a fighting chance of pulling out of it.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well Jo, at least you caught yourself. Sometimes we get pulled in even when we try hard not to.

    I was going to save certain coupons I won't use for katie just as I do the other girls. Notice the past tense on that. She's complaining about her tight budget, yet kayla informs me of video games being bought and movies and yeah. It's not my place to tell katie how to spend her money at 31 yrs old. But at this point I see she has a tad more life lessons to learn. I had to chuckle though when she didn't get her forms turned in to welfare in time and lost her benefits.......she says to me that it was a good thing I taught her how to budget or else she'd not have anything left on the food stamp card to hold her until the benefits kick in again. I had to chuckle because yes many years ago I did attempt to teach her to budget. It's good she still has stamps to tide her over.......but give the girl cash and she's like a little kid. I do realize some of this may be due to M controlling all monies for the entire time they've been together. But still. You've got about 700.00 to last an entire month and you're buying video games and movies? She still has a lot to learn. My saving coupons for her is not going to teach her.

    Like easy child said, she can walk to walmart and buy the sunday paper and clip her own coupons. lol

    Both yours and mine will only figure it out when they finally get tired of always running short of cash.

  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thank you everyone! I did speak with easy child last night, it was short and sweet, to the point. Her face got all pruned up, but I put up my hand and made her listen. I didn't say anything accusatory and simply stated the facts. She didn't get it. BUT, she did tell me how she saved up $600. Yay for her. I also told her that since she has money to spend on $80 shoes (I do not believe I have EVER paid $80 for a pair of shoes in my entire life) she has money to cover the cost of the vet for the little peewee pup.

    Susie, you hit on some good points. easy child does pay her share of the gym membership and we do have a schedule set up for lunchtimes to take out the pup. She does it twice a week, I do it twice a week, and I can usually get difficult child or her boyfriend to drop by for me once a week. And no, her rent does not cover all of the costs of her living at home. She packs her breakfast and lunch every day and she helps with dinner usually twice a week, and she cleans the bathroom every week, bathes the dogs when I ask her to, and will sometimes go shopping for me. She's actually pretty considerate most of the time. She is good with her money, always pays her bills on time and usually more than what's due. However, I know that in her head she feels she's entitled to pedi/mani's and buying new clothes every month and constantly surfing the net for new shoes. I mean, I see it becoming a bad habit and H talks to her about it whenever he sees a lot of packages coming to the house. She doesn't think she makes enough money to live on her own, but if she gave up her shopping habit she probably could live in a decent place without a roommate. And we've told her that. The thing is while she's in school and working, I don't mind her living at home because she does help out a bit. That said, however, I do think I should raise the rent a tad - she needs to feel a pinch of reality. I like the idea of her buying me a pedicure! lol.

    difficult child. Hmmm, difficult child has actually made some really big strides this year in terms of being responsible for herself. But as always with most difficult children, she takes two steps forward, one step back...and as always with a difficult child, it's primarily due to the fact that she never thinks things through enough before acting. She bought a used car from a local dealer and has a car payment EVERY WEEK for $88 - not monthly like normal people, but WEEKLY - because she hasn't any credit. She not only overpaid for the car (though it is a very decent car) but she will be paying a lot of interest. On top of that it's a gas guzzler - a 6 cylinder Jeep Grand Cherokee. OMG. We tried to get her to see the insanity of this purchase, but she claimed it's always been her dream to have a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yeah, and my dream is to live in a seaside beach house with a Mazda Miata, but that's not happening any time soon, is it? Youth, ugh. H helped her with two car payments so far, and I have helped her with one. That's nearly $300 - PLUS, we each kicked in $200 a piece to help her buy it because you may recall, her boyfriend spent the money she had set aside for the down payment. Anyway...I did tell her to save money buy making her coffee at home and quit smoking - I know, I know, easier said than done. She even had the audacity to tell me I was one to talk (in terms of the smoking part)...Ahem, she smokes a pack a day. boyfriend smokes a pack a day. I smoke a pack MAYBE a WEEK. Big difference, not to mention that I probably make 3 times what they make put together in a year. And I pay all my bills without assistance. I's sure we will chat again this weekend. I want to speak with both her and boyfriend. His parents are the kindest people and while it's nice they are allowing difficult child and boyfriend to move into their home, difficult child and boyfriend NEED to understand that they are not on easy street - this is a time for them to really save some money in a sensible way by quitting smoking and giving up the big dog. When I say it I'm going to then never say it to them again. And I'm going to tell difficult child that my checkbook is now closed and that she has to begin paying H and me back the money she owes.

    I felt taken advantage yesterday - between the two of them crying the blues about money and me feeling like the roving overdrawn bank account. I got paid today and have to pay all my bills. Whatever is left over has to go into the account for easy child and my vacation in August. I don't want to go to PR without fun money! I gave myself a pedicure last night - I have all the tools I need at home - and my toes look very cute!! I have to go food shopping at some point this weekend and I go to the discount stores and easy child hates that and groans whenever I say I'm going to Price Rite...hahaha. But I make her come with me so she understands how to save here and there.

    I need to practice commisserating without rescuing - thanks Susie. I am going to type that up and put it right next to the Serenity Prayer I have taped up all over the place as my personal reminder to detach with love.

    Thanks everyone for listening to me and all the great feedback. I feel better today.
  11. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Isn't amazing that they always find money for cigarettes???? I feel your pain though because I'm a huge pushover when difficult child calls and says he has no gas to get to work, yada yada yada!! I've met him at the gas station plenty of times. He hasn't asked lately, but....
    He did call me the other night as soon as he got to work to say he had just changed his oil himself the day before and must not have put the oil bolt whatever back in right because all his oil leaked out of his car on the way too work and he was praying he didn't screw up the motor and didn't know how he was going to get oil in it to get home, so I ran up there with a gallon of oil and a new oil bolt thingy. He did text me back and said, supermom came to save the day!! So little remarks like that let me know he appreciates it :)