View Full Version : How Much Should You Do?

the UNwanted
Jul 30, 2013, 08:35 AM
These are thoughts I had overnight I will put here. Just meant as a starting point for seeing things different maybe. I really relate to the things you brought up. These comments are very much meant in support of you but I am not a very good writer so I want to make that support clear up front.

"Do you have a way or a strategy for figuring out just how much you are willing to do/give?" How much are you willing to take from your family and give away. What you give comes from somewhere.

"Do you ever feel guilty not giving them what they'd like, or what they expect?"

I reminded myself they made their choices. Think about the choices they made and still make. They had money to spend and boy they spent it how they wanted. I figured I am allowed to do the same.

They always drove fancy new cars when they were working. We drive used. We drive used because I am planning for us. We don't drive used so they could drive new then later they get to spend the difference I saved. They were allowed to make their choices.

Think about the choices they've made. They knew their retirement years was coming. Just like we all do. They went on fancy vacations because they "deserved" it after working so hard. We go camping. I like camping. I also like that it's within our budget. I figured we "deserve" to have money when we retire after working so hard. I don't camp so they could go on fancy vacations then spend the difference we save by not doing it. How selfish and entitled that would be of them! What's theirs is theirs what's mine is theirs to? Good people don't do that to other people.

They threw big parties. They lived in a big house. Even when just the two of them. The property taxes alone insane. We didn't and don't do those things so we can save and plan for retirement and have the cushion unexpected expenses. They spent their money how they want. I didn't get a say in what they spent then. They get a say in what I spend now...cause they want it to be spent on them? Good people don't do that to other people.

They gave lots of money to the loser lazy adult child. Now we're supposed to give them money? We would not have given it directly to the lazy child. But that's what spending our money on them that they spent on her is doing isn't it. My husband goes to work so I could give his money to the lazy child? Follow the money. Actions speak louder than words... again, they get to spend their money and our money? Does loving them mean letting them decide how to spend our money. And how is that loving to our own kids. Every cent we give to them costs uis that plus 10 or 20 years worth of acrewed instrest.

How much time did they offer for babysitting and ways to offset adult costs for you? (The cost to raise you to 18 or so doesn't count because children don't ask to be born). I can count on one hand my parents babysit when our kids were young and money was very tight for us.

"Do you worry about what will happen when they are even older? What if they are broke and alone, and reaching out, constantly?"

That worry is anxiety. I know it's realistic in that it could happen. Also realistic to happen is you'll be dead or disabled. Do you worry about that (disability insurance is important) all off the time? Also realistic is they'll die before that happens. Many different things could happen. All I mean is prepare for the worst but expect the best. No use in 'worrying' about what if's before they happen. But 'planning' and discussing plans is useful. Ask them if they have long term care insurance. If you're worried you are their long term plan, have a serious conversation where you ask them what their long term care plans are.

Ask them what social services for the aging in their community are available. If they don't know, ask them to do some research and let you know. It seems if they are asking you to do things for them, you asking them to just find this out is not asking for much is it. And if they don't bother to look, it is something that you can use to help offset any guilt. They don't "need" what they that much or they'd be looking into it ways to get it. That or they see you as a human ATM or free cabbie which is not very nice of them is it.

What do people who don't have adult children do? I think often they use senior services. Especially for things like ride to doctors. Medicare or Medicaid covered help cleaning house. Federal, state, local. Government and charity and community. What does their church offer?

You can think of it this way. If they don't look into other ways of getting what they need because they think you'll give it, it is probably more fair for you not to give it so they do eventually look into it.

Take their "not planning" personally. Realize "not planning" is actually them planning for you to do it all for them. Nice, huh.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm expected to solve somebody else's problems, to the extent where I can't even concentrate on my own."

I have found people will take advantage of me exactly as much as I let them. In all realms especially family. This is something I cope with myself. I have to be the one to set limits....they sure won't. I have to be the one to respect myself and my time and energy...they sure won't. The truth is if I'M not respecting my personal limits and my time and energy, how realistic is it for me to expect somebody else to do it for me?

"My kid SHOULD be entitled to most of my attention at this point."
"Do you ever feel guilty not giving them what they'd like, or what they expect?"

It could be asked, shouldn't we feel guilty for not putting our KIDS before other adults who have lived their life and made their choices as adults? Shouldn't we be devoting our time and energy to help insure the kid makes good choices. Especially if it's a family tradition to make poor choices.

"shouldn't there be a time when I do get some time to focus on just ME - or just me and my DH?
"But no -- poor planning on other people's part, seems to create emergencies on my part."

From the Mother In Law Stories perspective (which I figure you understand well), as a spouse of someone whose parents make constant demands, when does "DH" (I'm actually using "DH" as shorthand for you and your marriage) get priority for a change. Remind yourself constantly - daily, hourly if need be - your family SHOULD be your priority... your family being yourself your spouse and your kid. Yes, your extended family should be important too but certainly not AT the expense of the commitments you made when you got married and had a child.

A MIL - say one who's as nice as your parents are - doesn't plan... does that means a DH is "supposed" to bail on time (money, energy, etc) with his wife and kid to enable even more poor planning from MIL in the future? How is that right.

"Do you ever feel guilty not giving them what they'd like, or what they expect?"

It could be asked, shouldn't we feel guilty for not putting our marriage and families before other adults' poor planning?