Author Topic: Back to the drawing board with my parents.... and still don't know what to do.  (Read 29585 times)

nyxst

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They are only 57..... If they were in their 80's, I'd be more understanding of their behavior :)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:39:48 AM by nyxst »

Candace

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To the OP:

I don't have any wisdom to add, but just wanted to say my heart goes out to you.

Do you have good coping strategies for yourself? Your writing sounds measured and gentle. I hope you're not keeping too much inside. Please take care of yourself.

nyxst

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To the OP:

I don't have any wisdom to add, but just wanted to say my heart goes out to you.

Do you have good coping strategies for yourself? Your writing sounds measured and gentle. I hope you're not keeping too much inside. Please take care of yourself.

Thanks for your concern :) I try to keep a level head.  I have taken some stress management courses and I try to use the things that I have learned to keep stress levels as low as possible.  I have found that, once I have exhausted the issue and decide there is nothing else I can do, I feel better.  I am sure that less stress would be better for my future health. I am rather healthy for now... no high blood pressure or other issues... i could stand to lose a few pound, but chocolate cake is my friend :) :)  Between my kids and my parents, I am DEFINITELY looking forward to moving into a 7x5 cabin by a lake alone in about 10 years... or a house on the side of a mountain that no one can get to... I just need to get through a few more years!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:41:06 AM by nyxst »

MattC

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I would second the Dave Ramsey recommendation.  There has been debate on this site over making people pay $100/family unit for the materials for the classes; paying down debt based on oustanding balance, not interest rate; no credit cards; etc.  And I generally agree with the critiques, but at the end of the day, it's a very psychologically coercive (in a good way) program, especially for folks without much financial literacy and/or who are in debt.  It's a good mix of vision casting and specific incremental steps that, when completed, build buy-in to the overall program, followed by more vision casting and incremental steps.  The Christian component isn't super strong or off-putting.

If you can get them to the first class of the series of classes (which is always free; locations/times are posted on their website), that would be the first step. 

TrMama

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I told them if they don't change and end up losing the house, they can sleep on my couch and I will feed them and they would never be homeless....  They seemed genuinely thankful for that.

I would be very, very careful with that statement. In fact, I would retract it next time I saw them. You've just let them know that the worst that can happen is that they'll live at your house. I bet your house is pretty nice and you cook a decent meal. Since your parents are only 57 they likely have decades and decades to look forward to. You do not want them to spend those decades on your couch.

We've walked a similar fine line with MIL. She already lives in our basement suite, but we have been very upfront with her that this is where it ends. If she spends all her money on the Home Shopping Channel and has nothing left for food, we will not feed her. This gives her the incentive to not spend everything at the Home Shopping Channel and save a bit for groceries. If the shit really hit the fan, then I would feed her. However, knowing her personality if I said this to her face, she would very quickly be on the TrMama meal plan.

okits

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I told them if they don't change and end up losing the house, they can sleep on my couch and I will feed them and they would never be homeless....  They seemed genuinely thankful for that.

I would be very, very careful with that statement. In fact, I would retract it next time I saw them. You've just let them know that the worst that can happen is that they'll live at your house. I bet your house is pretty nice and you cook a decent meal. Since your parents are only 57 they likely have decades and decades to look forward to. You do not want them to spend those decades on your couch.

We've walked a similar fine line with MIL. She already lives in our basement suite, but we have been very upfront with her that this is where it ends. If she spends all her money on the Home Shopping Channel and has nothing left for food, we will not feed her. This gives her the incentive to not spend everything at the Home Shopping Channel and save a bit for groceries. If the shit really hit the fan, then I would feed her. However, knowing her personality if I said this to her face, she would very quickly be on the TrMama meal plan.

It sounds like OP's parents are pretty heavily into their pride, though.  At least that's what I got from their reactions to the suggestion to sell their house, applying for welfare, and asking the brother for money.

There's lots of steps between now and her parents moving in. Downsizing to a condo, renting an apartment, subsidized housing.  And the grandparents-on-the-couch thing is like adult kids moving home: temporary.  If it happens you can insist on contributions to grocery and utility expenses, action plans for them to be out on their own again, and that progress be made periodically.  I can't imagine any parents loving the "my house, my rules" scenario when it's not them making the rules.

(TrMama - you're a good woman to take in your MIL.  In her case it does sound like you almost have to treat her like a child.)

nyxst

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Yes, my parents are very unlikely to ever WANT to live with me... My kids add a level of chaos that my parents don't want to deal with all the time...
And while I do cook yummy meals, my dad already joins us for most of them...
My mom and I don't get along and we have accepted that through the years. I moved out at 17, so we never "learned" to deal with each other as adults.  We have about an hour together before we start making each other uncomfortable and grumpy, that's when we part ways to avoid disaster.

Things change over time and we are a close family, but I don't think living on my couch would ever be an option they would consider.

nyxst

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Seeing some changes being made...
They checked out their insurance bill and changed to a different company that will save them $700.00 per year...
They are looking at getting a prepaid cell phone for my mom and having my dad get a free one for work (ending their Verizon-induced bleeding)...
I'm hearing whispers about side hustles my mom is getting going...

I know it's no where even close to a 180 a this point, and I can hear a whole lot of "well, duh...." from us mustachion-level savers, but maybe as they see the savings from these changes, it will encourage them to make more?  I have my fingers crossed! 

okits

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That is great news!  I have to say, 57 is not too old to change. Perhaps your suggestions did sink in a bit and help motivate them.  Hope they keep it up!

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rjack

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Seeing some changes being made...
They checked out their insurance bill and changed to a different company that will save them $700.00 per year...
They are looking at getting a prepaid cell phone for my mom and having my dad get a free one for work (ending their Verizon-induced bleeding)...
I'm hearing whispers about side hustles my mom is getting going...

I know it's no where even close to a 180 a this point, and I can hear a whole lot of "well, duh...." from us mustachion-level savers, but maybe as they see the savings from these changes, it will encourage them to make more?  I have my fingers crossed!

This is a great start!!! How much do they have to reduce spending to balance their budget?

P.S. BTW, I'm 55, FIRED, and a parent. Fortunately, I had depression-era parents that drilled the "live below your means" lesson into my head from a young age. My father retired at 58 and was a millionaire. I beat my father and retired at 52. I drilled the same lesson into my two adult sons, which they seem to have embraced. Anyway, old farts like me can still change.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 12:49:16 PM by rjack »

nyxst

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This is a great start!!! How much do they have to reduce spending to balance their budget?

P.S. BTW, I'm 55, FIRED, and a parent. Fortunately, I had depression-era parents that drilled the "live below your means" lesson into my head from a young age. My father retired at 58 and was a millionaire. I beat my father and retired at 52. I drilled the same lesson into my two adult sons, which they seem to have embraced. Anyway, old farts like me can still change.

They have a lot of work to do still... but it is definitely a start!  Since they are making interest only payments on their HELOC, and I did their budget using those numbers, and even then they were around $600 short per month.  So they are finding expenses to cut, and that's great, but not enough to fix the problem, just slow it down some.

Its a shame, because my parents were always semi-good examples when I was young.  They saved a 20% down payment for a house.  They paid cash for everything when I was young.  They taught me to appreciate all of the free things in life :) It has been over the last decade or so that they have lost their grip. 

My mom is getting a little bit concerning to me as she gets older.  Alzheimers runs in my family and sometimes the things she does makes me tilt my head a little and wonder if I should really be stepping in a lot faster instead of assuming they are just short on money...  My dad had a stroke about 5 years ago and has been able to fully recover but still is a bit "off" and that is concerning.

Anyway, at least the conversation has been started, and they haven't completely ignored me, and seem a little proud with each cut they make.


tarheeldan

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It shows a willingness to change :-) This is good! As you said, not nearly enough but it should be some hope for more change being possible.

nyxst

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P.S. BTW, I'm 55, FIRED, and a parent.

rjack - I really hope to get there myself some day :)  I am working hard towards my end goal and I try so hard to keep the motivation going.  I think my household is running at about 80% efficiency right now. Mostly because of the time/convenience factors that come up often in a single parent household.  Still, I am saving a good chunk of my income, so hopefully I can relax later!  It is a hard line to walk, since I want to make sure my kids don't miss out on being kids and having experiences, so I pull out the savings vs. life experience scale almost every day/week.  Right now its baseball season and looking for hand me down bats/gloves is my current mission :)

Sibley

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You comment about the dementia concerns... I have some experience here, dealing with the beginning stages in my family. :(

One thing that's fairly common in dementia patients is that they can't stop. Stop eating, stop spending things, etc and they don't even realize it. To the point that you have to lock food cupboards because they'll get a snack and eat the whole package. If you're concerned, don't ignore it. There are tons of resources out there for information and advice, support groups, etc.

Also, if dementia is suspected (or just in general really), make a push to get legal docs in place and make sure they're up-to-date. Wills, power of attorney, etc. An elder care expert could be very helpful.

nyxst

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Oh, my parents...
It seems that small changes have been made, but bigger walls have been put up, shelling my mom off from the world a little more.  I suppose there isn't much I can do about it. 
It is baseball season and my son and daughter are both on their respective little league teams.  Between working full time, school, and being the "taxi" and "head cheerleader" for my kids, I end up with significantly less time to care for the little things that I feel are less important (i.e. the laundry pile had doubled in size, the dishes fall a half day behind, I neglected running the vacuum yesterday, etc. etc.). Anyway, my mom likes to ridicule my home at every chance normally, but my busy schedule opens me up to EXTRA EXTREME ridicule and critique, which I generally just roll my eyes and sigh and move on with my life.  The other day, though, she stated that she wished that I made enough money to afford a maid, since I obviously couldn't maintain my household, and that the pizza box in the trash can out front was an obvious sign that I don't even know how to feed my family.  So, I snapped a bit.  I told her that she isn't welcome in my home if she can't stop her critiques.  I have a billion things I wanted to say, like "I domake enough money to afford a maid, but I gave it all to you..."; like "There are things I find more important than laundry, like having a caring and supportive relationship with my children..."... my "I should have said" list goes on and on, but I felt that I had said what was sufficient to stop the negative comments and I let it go.  Anyway, now she won't talk to me at all (2 weeks). Oh well.  No matter what, she is never satisfied.  I'm glad they know that I won't give them $ and I'm glad she knows I won't accept ridicule and negativity, but this is going to be a LONG life if peace can't be made :(
Sorry, just venting.

nyxst

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Do you feel like having a relationship with your parents is necessary for your own happiness?  Could you just cut them out completely?

It sounds to me like they make you miserable.  That's a high price to pay for a relationship, given that you only live once (as far as I know).

My dad is wonderful and caring and helpful.  But my mom is just miserable. I wish I could help her.  I don't think I could completely disconnect from them :(

Sibley

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Think of it this way. Your kids push and push and push until they hit a limit, and you lose it and they learn where that line is and don't go there again (for a while at least). They get over it, and after you've calmed down you feel horrible. Am I right?

Your mom did the same and found out where the limit was, but since she isn't used to getting push back like that, she's really angry right now. It's the same process, just taking longer. You can reach out and make peace, but she'll also remember that lesson (applying it is a little different).

Next time, just do what I do when people complain about how dirty my car is - "feel free to wash it for me!" Either they shut up, or I get a clean car. :) She doesn't like the laundry pile - she can do a load of laundry.

Katsplaying

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Family is family and disconnecting is appropriate in certain situations but from parents or kids? Much tougher and it messes with our sense of ourselves as responsible, respectable people.

Medical intervention may be indicated if you suspect incipient dementia/Alzheimers. Please get them to a doctor for evaluation. Some medications can be very helpful & just knowing what's going on can ease the upset for everyone. We don't blame people who get cancer for getting cancer; ditto for age-related failure. But knowing what's going on explains why we have to do x-y-z for them from now on.

Good luck

K


Candace

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Is there any person in their life from whom they would take the advice about selling the house? You said your mom is anti-religious, so perhaps not a pastor. But is there anyone in any community they belong to who seems like a trusted person, who could help? Or would they be willing to see a financial counselor of some sort?

Maybe if they hear the advice coming from someone other than their child, they might see the light. The messenger is often as important as the message.

Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Virtual hug.

electriceagle

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They owe
$130,000 on their house (not bad, but not great)
$14,000 in credit card debt (making minimum payments)
$23,000 on a HELOC (they are making interest only payments)
No car payments (wooohooo!)
 
$38,000 per year income.

When it is all said and done, they are short almost $700 per month.  I can only figure out how to squeeze them down by about another $300 per month (cut cable, get rid of a car...etc etc.) And all of that short fall either goes onto a credit card or onto the HELOC.  They got the HELOC to consolidate their credit card debt 2 years ago and it was only $14000 then. 


So, they got a HELOC to consolidate their $14,000 of credit card debt and then went out and got another $14,000 of credit card debt!

You can't make people change. If a person wants to change, you can help them with the technical aspects, but the desire for change has to come from them. From what you're describing, they would rather jump from crisis to crisis than actually change what they're doing.

Of course, this doesn't solve your problem. You care about them and want to make sure that they don't end up on the street, no matter what foolish decisions they make. You also want to make sure that they don't take you down with them.

I recommend that you help them isolate assets and income streams that will survive bankruptcy. I don't know what state your parents are in, but many states will allow a house to survive bankruptcy. Ditto social security and pension payments. 401ks and IRAs will also survive bankruptcy.

Can you sell the house, pay off the HELOC and buy a smaller house? If so, put the new, smaller house in the name of a trust or find some other way to keep them from taking out a loan against it. You absolutely need to keep them from securing a loan with their residence or the same scenario will play out again.

If they have a paid off house, social security and medicare/medicaid will keep them in decent shape. They will continue to spend and run up bills until the bankruptcy, but thats beyond your control.

nyxst

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Is there any person in their life from whom they would take the advice about selling the house? You said your mom is anti-religious, so perhaps not a pastor. But is there anyone in any community they belong to who seems like a trusted person, who could help? Or would they be willing to see a financial counselor of some sort?

Maybe if they hear the advice coming from someone other than their child, they might see the light. The messenger is often as important as the message.

Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Virtual hug.


Thanks! My mom is really hard to get through to. She shuts down almost immediately, and not just with me, but with everyone I think :( My dad is receptive to suggestions, but relys on my mom to implement them, so that's no help.  These last few days have been so peaceful without her talking to me, but it bothers me that it always has to be so difficult with them..
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 10:12:05 AM by nyxst »

StockBeard

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I feel incredibly guilty saving money for my future......
My 2 cents: Don't feel guilty about this.
Through the cold eyes of a project manager, it looks like you need to prioritize your resources on one of your projects (Project 1: helping your parents financially, project 2: helping you + your kidsfinancially) if you don't want both projects to fail. You can split your resources to help both your parents and your household, and end up in a situation where both fail. OR, you can be clear with your parents that you will not help them financially anymore (independently of the "you can sleep on the couch" offer), to guarantee a good financial future for you and your kids.

That's the "heart of stone" answer obviously. I'd be torn as well if it were my parents.

Here's another option:
clearly you do better with money than they do. So every 1$ that you pay yourself will be worth much more in 10 years than every 1$ you give them. It would make much more financial sense to help yourself/your kids first, reach a comfortable amount of financial security, and *then* help your parents.
In other words, and to make it a very stupid example:
Give them 1$ today, it will be gone tomorrow
Give yourself 1$ today, it will be worth 2$ in 10 years. At that point you can give them the extra dollar, everyone's better off.
This means that they can still live "paycheck to paycheck" for the next 10 years or so, until YOU are in a situation that's ok enough to actually help them financially without jeopardizing your own family.

Does that make sense?

nyxst

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I feel incredibly guilty saving money for my future......
My 2 cents: Don't feel guilty about this.
Give them 1$ today, it will be gone tomorrow
Give yourself 1$ today, it will be worth 2$ in 10 years. At that point you can give them the extra dollar, everyone's better off.
This means that they can still live "paycheck to paycheck" for the next 10 years or so, until YOU are in a situation that's ok enough to actually help them financially without jeopardizing your own family.

Does that make sense?

Makes a lot if sense!
 I think if I allow myself to focus on my own house exclusively, then I will easily double the money and be in a better position to help in the future.
 I think that they will ACTUALLY need help in the future as they age more, while right now they have self made emergencies all the time, but their today problems won't kill them, they may just lose things they love (like their house that the refuse to even condsider budging from).
I need to release myself from the guilt and bank the cash...

nyxst

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They owe
$130,000 on their house (not bad, but not great)
$14,000 in credit card debt (making minimum payments)
$23,000 on a HELOC (they are making interest only payments)
No car payments (wooohooo!)
 
$38,000 per year income.

When it is all said and done, they are short almost $700 per month.  I can only figure out how to squeeze them down by about another $300 per month (cut cable, get rid of a car...etc etc.) And all of that short fall either goes onto a credit card or onto the HELOC.  They got the HELOC to consolidate their credit card debt 2 years ago and it was only $14000 then. 


So, they got a HELOC to consolidate their $14,000 of credit card debt and then went out and got another $14,000 of credit card debt!

You can't make people change. If a person wants to change, you can help them with the technical aspects, but the desire for change has to come from them. From what you're describing, they would rather jump from crisis to crisis than actually change what they're doing.

Of course, this doesn't solve your problem. You care about them and want to make sure that they don't end up on the street, no matter what foolish decisions they make. You also want to make sure that they don't take you down with them.

I recommend that you help them isolate assets and income streams that will survive bankruptcy. I don't know what state your parents are in, but many states will allow a house to survive bankruptcy. Ditto social security and pension payments. 401ks and IRAs will also survive bankruptcy.

Can you sell the house, pay off the HELOC and buy a smaller house? If so, put the new, smaller house in the name of a trust or find some other way to keep them from taking out a loan against it. You absolutely need to keep them from securing a loan with their residence or the same scenario will play out again.

If they have a paid off house, social security and medicare/medicaid will keep them in decent shape. They will continue to spend and run up bills until the bankruptcy, but thats beyond your control.

I think I have to wait for them to fall over the bankruptcy cliff before they will even acknowledge that they are really headed in that direction...  They will ask for help from everyone before they get there, and I think once every puts their foot down ,it will naturally crash and burn :(

Drew664

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Have you tried listening to Dave Ramsey even for yourself?  As mentioned earlier,  his style of advise would help all parties involved as it is more than just budgets - he's got great advise on boundaries and the family dynamic.

At some point either you or your parents will have an epiphany about the situation, and hopefully that person is you. The relationship described in this thread reads as toxic at best.

Good luck finding clarity.

fb132

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Your situation is almost like mine. The only difference is I don't have kids, but that fact hardly mathers in this situation. My parents (especially my dad) is very stubborn and they never have and never will change their ways and since I am their only son, who do you think they go after when they need money. At least, it's not on a regular basis, but I just wish they would listen to my advice. They always tell me that they are so much in a deep hole, that there is no way of getting out of it, so when I suggest them to cut to cut cable or even a silly think like the phone line, they got angry at me, because they feel life would be boring and there's no way they can do that.

On YNAB, I even have a category called "Incase my parents ask me for money".
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 12:01:38 PM by fb132 »

Zamboni

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Sometimes you do just have to let people fail.  It sounds like your parents are going to fail and you have to let them as painful as it will be for you. People can learn from failure in a way that nothing else will teach them.

My brother once had a failing business and asked everyone to help him at the end.  I said no, with some pangs of guilt.  But that business needed to fail so he could do something else with his time and energy for awhile, and he learned from it. 

Oh, and you have my sympathy on snapping about the housework comments. I'm kind of messy myself, and I just don't have the vacuuming gene, so I take "gee your house is messy" comments with a grain of salt. They got old from one person and I eventually told her quite directly that she had to knock it off or she wasn't welcome to visit anymore. But if anyone came into my house and made comments about me not feeding my kids properly, then I would show them to the door immediately and tell them why they were being told to leave.

Housework comments from one woman to another are usually an "I'm better than you" statement. It's probably the only area where she feels she can outdo you, but of course she doesn't work outside the home so it's an irrelevant comparison. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean you need to put up with her rudeness.

begood

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Do you know what their social security income will be? If they only have to hold on for five more years (both taking social security at 62), would that help? If they sold the house in the next couple of years and moved into an apartment, cleared their debt and started taking SS at 62, what would those next few decades look like for them?

okits

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It sounds like your mother has a poor grasp of reality if she derives her primary income from you (getting at/above-market pay for childcare), but still dishes out criticism like that.  I'd be super pissed, too.

I empathize that it weighs on you that your relationship with your parents is never smooth or easy. I recommend you accept that they and your relationship may never change. You can keep trying, but if things don't get better you haven't counted on any improvement and won't be disappointed if it doesn't happen.  A more distant and infrequent relationship might make you happier.  You'll still have contact but you'll both have more freedom from each other's judgment/criticism/involvement (while you are trying to help your mother's refusal to implement your suggestions for savings could mean she feels your particular advice or involvement is unwelcome.  Not rational but perhaps true anyway.)

pbkmaine

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Do not let them drag you over the cliff too.

TaxChick

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Are you an only child?  Also, what are your parents plans once you no longer require daycare? Do they realize that their monthly income will decrease further, or do they expect you to continue to subsidize them?  Maybe when your youngest is in school all day you could use a different provider for afterschool care. This would free up her day so that she could take on a different job. (I realize that she will not like this idea, but it may help you.)

nyxst

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Are you an only child?  Also, what are your parents plans once you no longer require daycare? Do they realize that their monthly income will decrease further, or do they expect you to continue to subsidize them?  Maybe when your youngest is in school all day you could use a different provider for afterschool care. This would free up her day so that she could take on a different job. (I realize that she will not like this idea, but it may help you.)

I did mention to her that I couldn't keep paying once the youngest was in full day school (this August!) . that was part of the reason I had the talk with them in the first place. Once I pull my money back for no child care, they are going to fall flat on their faces and I didn't want that to happen, so I made sure to bring it up. It made her mad, and she said I would still have to pay her at least half. I plan on finding someone else just to avoid the aggrivation :( we will see what happens when that time comes.
And yes, I'm an only child.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 03:03:31 PM by nyxst »

Runrooster

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Two jobs that I have enjoyed are

1.substitute teaching for a local private high school with minimal discipline issues.  I was able to walk to work, the kids adored me (like following me around town), and eventually the staff wanted me to apply for a job.  What's nice is that I generally didn't have to teach, though I liked to and often annoyed the kids by insisting on just ten minutes explaining the material.  I also got the occasional office work which started off being reception area but again I sort of demanded to be made useful and they complied.  I generally worked to the maximum below paying taxes or feeling like it cut in on my studies (I was in school at a place most of the students would have loved to get acceptance to), and it forced me to be productive instead of random time wasters.  I estimated that I worked 3 hours and got paid to hang out.  Its also a pretty short day and the assignments could be a day or weeks, and no problem if i turned one down.  Inflation adjusted it paid around $125/day.

2. Security guard. A lot like the subbing, paid to be present.  Handed out packages, went for a look around the apartment building and parking lot.  Tenants were nice, low income artists and occasionally wanted me to see their studios.  I was a tiny, barely 18 year old female, so my being a security guard was kind of a joke, but we had a second person on radio.  Biggest problem was that I worked weekends which is frustrating as a college student and not always as productive if i had been partying.  Not that I ever did that.  A male relative did this as an adult and got a gun license.  I think he may be shorter than me, but if I got $20/hr (inflation adjusted) then I assume he got double that.  An option to your dad?


I went back and read your old thread, and you said you'd been paying your mom $400.  I assume you bumped it up, great, but if she did more than 3 years before that (youngest is 5?) ) then the difference covers your "loan" to them.  Just a thought if you want to justify forgiving the loan (to yourself and them).
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 03:21:40 PM by Runrooster »

nyxst

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I went back and read your old thread, and you said you'd been paying your mom $400.  I assume you bumped it up, great, but if she did more than 3 years before that (youngest is 5?) ) then the difference covers your "loan" to them.  Just a thought if you want to justify forgiving the loan (to yourself and them).

Thanks for the job ideas!
Yes, I started paying her more about a year ago. There was no "loan" or short pay in the past, though. I used to be married and my ex husband didn't often have a job, so he was home when I went to work and I didn't need daycare.
I wish there was a way to rationalize giving them so much, but I would have done it already if there was :(

SU

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Thanks! My mom is really hard to get through to. She shuts down almost immediately, and not just with me, but with everyone I think :( My dad is receptive to suggestions, but relys on my mom to implement them, so that's no help.  These last few days have been so peaceful without her talking to me, but it bothers me that it always has to be so difficult with them..

You haven't said much about the dynamics between the two of them, but I was wondering if you could make more progress if you talked just to your Dad, and really laid it out to him what the next decade is going to look like. Get him to understand that your Mom is spending more than he is earning; that a lot of his income is just going to interest payments, their debt is growing, and their earning capacity is shrinking. Tell him your concerns about Alzheimers. It sounds a bit unethical but I'm basically suggesting that you cut your Mom out of the conversation.

I would hazard a guess that part of the problem is that neither one of them has taken responsibility for their financial situation. I think you'll find that in almost all couples on this board, one person led and the partner followed - either enthusiastically or reluctantly - but someone needs to be the leader in this and at the moment it's you, which isn't working, and I don't think your Mom wants to do it, so hello, Dad. Grab him after work when he's tired and before he's seen your Mom, and show him a vision of a more financially secure, less hard-working future.

Argyle

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It sounds as if you have enough problems with the family dynamics, but I just wanted to say that one way you could be partially paid back for the $6500 you lent them is if your mom did the remaining childcare free.  I know this would leave them even shorter, financially, each month, and so there'd probably be enormous pushback.  But just to say that it's not as if they have no way to pay you back any of that money.  They have a way.  They're just choosing not to do it.  Intentionally or unintentionally, you are now a major source of income for them, and so it's to be expected that they'd put up a huge fight at losing that. I'm sure they love you, but there's also a dependence developing, and I'm sure you're wise to put a stop to that.

nyxst

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Update: over a year later, my parents have finally decided to turn off their cable and internet..... And are investigating cheaper cell phone options...... Sheesh! I wonder if she just really realized anything, or if they were gonna cut her off for non payment or something.... The world may never know.

okits

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Are you still paying your mother for childcare?

nyxst

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Are you still paying your mother for childcare?
No, once my kids were all in school full day, I started using the after-school care offered by the school. It's about $200 less than what I paid my mom, and it saves me about 10+ miles of driving each day.  My mom still decided not to try to go to work, so when summer break came, I paid her to watch the kids for the summer. 
She started watching the baby of a friend of mine a couple days per week. I know they are still going backwards and running up credit cards, but I think it will get better now.. without cable's advertising and internet, my mom won't be tempted into online shopping. I'm hoping it helps!

terratek

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How egotistical of you to think that your parents will take lessons from you, their child.  Which one of your kids know more than you?

Sorry, this was a hard pill my wife had to swallow about her parents.  But seriously, you need to check your ego and let them be.  They likely can't hear anything you have to say - it would need to come from someone/somewhere else.


MOD NOTE: Forum rule #1.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 09:11:06 AM by arebelspy »

ender

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No, once my kids were all in school full day, I started using the after-school care offered by the school. It's about $200 less than what I paid my mom, and it saves me about 10+ miles of driving each day.  My mom still decided not to try to go to work, so when summer break came, I paid her to watch the kids for the summer. 
She started watching the baby of a friend of mine a couple days per week. I know they are still going backwards and running up credit cards, but I think it will get better now.. without cable's advertising and internet, my mom won't be tempted into online shopping. I'm hoping it helps!

Stop enabling her. Seriously, stop enabling her.

Especially if you want to have any ability to speak into her life. She probably thinks she is doing you a favor by watching your kids. The more you enable her, the more you are effectively undermining your ability to actually speak meaningfully about the situation.

nyxst

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How egotistical of you to think that your parents will take lessons from you, their child.  Which one of your kids know more than you?

Sorry, this was a hard pill my wife had to swallow about her parents.  But seriously, you need to check your ego and let them be.  They likely can't hear anything you have to say - it would need to come from someone/somewhere else.

Wow. It's really a bad idea to help your family when you see them suffering and try to show them there is an easier way. Glad you aren't in my corner.

nyxst

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No, once my kids were all in school full day, I started using the after-school care offered by the school. It's about $200 less than what I paid my mom, and it saves me about 10+ miles of driving each day.  My mom still decided not to try to go to work, so when summer break came, I paid her to watch the kids for the summer. 
She started watching the baby of a friend of mine a couple days per week. I know they are still going backwards and running up credit cards, but I think it will get better now.. without cable's advertising and internet, my mom won't be tempted into online shopping. I'm hoping it helps!

Stop enabling her. Seriously, stop enabling her.

Especially if you want to have any ability to speak into her life. She probably thinks she is doing you a favor by watching your kids. The more you enable her, the more you are effectively undermining your ability to actually speak meaningfully about the situation.

I agree here. It was a conflicting issue. My kids love the pool at my parents and I figured it was better than daycare. Next summer I will probably fly find a different option.

terratek

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Help them if you want - just don't try to change them.  No surprise that someone without the maturity to know they can't educate their parents would get defensive about what I said.  You can get all offended or take in some wisdom.  Much like a teenager, you have been offended.  I don't care one way or another. 

lhamo

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Help them if you want - just don't try to change them.  No surprise that someone without the maturity to know they can't educate their parents would get defensive about what I said.  You can get all offended or take in some wisdom.  Much like a teenager, you have been offended.  I don't care one way or another.

You're taking a pretty bombastic tone for someone who doesn't care.  Telling someone else that they are immature because they don't immediately bow before your "wisdom" seems much more egotistical to me than an adult child sharing serious concerns about their parents' financial stability and asking for advice about how to effectively intervene.

Personally I look forward to the day when I can learn things from my kids.  I do, actually, every day, through my interactions with them.  Age =/= wisdom.   And if, someday, I am doing something financially stupid and my kids notice, I hope to high heaven they will say something to me.  I'd rather have them care/try to intervene than sit there on my pile of wisdom while the money all runs out the door....

terratek

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There's always those parents whose kids teach them.  Pity for the kids. 

Age may not equal wisdom, but it does allow the time to gain experience in which to gain wisdom.   

mxt0133

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There's always those parents whose kids teach them.  Pity for the kids. 

Why?  Ever since my kids were born they have taught me a great deal of things.  Patience, empathy, communication, perspective, and more patience.  As they grow and learn I am learning along with them about subjects that I never had the opportunity to learn or at the level of detail that their curiosity takes them to.

I believe that I will continue to learn from my children as much as they will learn from me as long as I am still of sound mind.

With This Herring

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Posting to follow, primarily.  I hope the cutting of cable and internet leads to larger improvements.

Nyxst, how much of your mother refusing to get a regular job is due to her thinking that her career is as an artist?

nyxst

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Nyxst, how much of your mother refusing to get a regular job is due to her thinking that her career is as an artist?

None, I don't think. She has a social anxiety issue. I've asked her to try talking to her doctor about it, but she has gotten gradually worse over the years. It is even harder for her as she gets older. She has no confidence. My dad is a social butterfly and is always out and about. She rarely leaves the house. That's why the cable thing is such a major issue... I think it's her best friend in some weird way. I see the same tendencies in myself, so I try to force myself to be more social then I would probably be naturally, just for fear that I could withdraw completely. She is not a happy person and I wish I could do more.
Still, she is an amazing artist. The problem is that the easiest way to make fast cash is buy drawing people on request (she can make $50 to pen and ink someone's child for example) but she won't put herself into a position to meet new people, and you can't really draw the SAME people's kids over and over... She watched kids mostly while I was growing up.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 10:37:32 AM by nyxst »