Author Topic: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)  (Read 15383 times)

Miamoo

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Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« on: November 01, 2013, 12:52:55 PM »
Just put in a bid on ebay for a lunch box with thermos included as a gift for my son's starting a new job celebratory gift  (he's gonna be 34 years old - I know - eeeep!).  New job is quite lucrative and has excellent benefits attached.

Tha boy has always made decent money, always kept just ahead of his bills.  But just ahead.  No savings whatsoever.  No health insurance for his wife or daughters.

My daughter in law packed his lunch daily until she realized that he didn't eat it . . . just used his money from side jobs to buy Subway, sandwiches from the local corner restaurant or whatever.


My DIL is a freak.  Whole foods is her place.   She spends and spends on the kids clothes, dance classes, food bla bla bla  but hasen't bought clothes for herself in the last 5 years
.

They won't take my advice, won't read MMM or even Dave Ramsey.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

I shoulda beat tha boy more when he was young,


Jimbo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 01:04:36 PM »
Well, the good news: You don't sound hysterical.

ok, that was a lie.

What is your question exactly?...

nawhite

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2013, 01:06:29 PM »
You're only enabling if you give them money when they ask. Granted its hard to know if they are one emergency away from needing help or not but at the moment you haven't said anything which makes me think you're enabling.

If they are happy and safe and aren't actively in need of money then I'd say you did a pretty awesome job raising your son since he has a job and pays his bills.

When they have that eventual emergency, you can put whatever restrictions on the financial help as you want (I'd recommend the, "you only get my help if you put $50 per paycheck towards an emergency fund that you only touch in cases like this")

Catbert

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2013, 01:07:21 PM »
Work on shrugging and walking away.  They are grown-up, on their own and paying their own way. 

Eric

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 01:12:04 PM »
First a lunch box with a thermos, later a 40 ft. yacht.  Next thing you know you're enabling them to skirt all of the US laws by boating out into international waters.  If I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times. 

dadof4

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 01:21:02 PM »
Based on your story, the answer is yes. You seem to be enabling lunch.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 02:34:43 PM »
Well, the good news: You don't sound hysterical.

ok, that was a lie.

What is your question exactly?...

Caught me!  Yep, totally hysterical - okay, half way hysterical. 
Not running into the street  tearing out my hair hysterical but very concerned.

Just worried about - more than the irresponsible son - his wife and daughters.  Wife spends more on food and matching outfits for the grand daughters than his income allows.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 02:41:17 PM »
You're only enabling if you give them money when they ask. Granted its hard to know if they are one emergency away from needing help or not but at the moment you haven't said anything which makes me think you're enabling.

If they are happy and safe and aren't actively in need of money then I'd say you did a pretty awesome job raising your son since he has a job and pays his bills.

When they have that eventual emergency, you can put whatever restrictions on the financial help as you want (I'd recommend the, "you only get my help if you put $50 per paycheck towards an emergency fund that you only touch in cases like this")
[/quote

I like this suggestion, thanks.  Have tried this too.  Seems like they always have an emergency of some sort tho and the money is gone.

Boy just doesn't see 'The Big Picture" as we call it.  Even as little as $10/week tucked aside and not spent amounts to something.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 02:44:14 PM »
First a lunch box with a thermos, later a 40 ft. yacht.  Next thing you know you're enabling them to skirt all of the US laws by boating out into international waters.  If I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times.

Yikes!  Trust me it won't go that far!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2013, 02:51:35 PM »
Work on shrugging and walking away.  They are grown-up, on their own and paying their own way.

Except for my grand daughters.  I would just walk but don't want to ever see them.

avonlea

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2013, 03:33:07 PM »
Several of my friends spend about $1,000 a month on groceries, shopping almost exclusively at stores like Whole Foods.  Most of them have median household incomes, so it's not a financially wise lifestyle. They consider it an ethically wise lifestyle. They are super cool people, and honestly I'm just glad that they associate with me, one so tainted by conventional foods. :D  They have their issues with the food system and I get that. 

I don't really understand why your DIL spends a lot of money on clothes for the kids, though.  What was her childhood like?  Did she grow up with having either a lot of nice things to wear or hardly anything nice at all?  It almost seems like she's reacting to something.

From your description, it sounds like your DIL is trying hard to be a good mom.  She's willing to sacrifice for the kids but just doesn't realize that sacrificing financial security isn't the best move.  I hope that she and your son will be able to realize this, but as others have said, it's probably best not to offer unsought advice.

They'll have health insurance with the new job, right?


C. K.

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2013, 05:57:32 PM »
Nothing you've said so far sounds like enabling. I know you're afraid for them. I've got relatives who are very much like that as well, only they are on the downward slope of that ride now.

Anyway, I agree with ShortinSeattle, the lunchbox will go unused.

How about a nice note that says how much you love them all and how proud you are that he's providing for his family (that's what I get from your saying, "he's always made decent money")?

I'm not sure how much his family would appreciate a homemade gift, but how about a nice homemade pie or cake with the note? Just like the lunchbox, it encourages less eating out and someone will use it.

After that, lead by example. There were many things my grandfather taught me that seemed crazy at the time. Then I grew older and -bing!- light bulb moment after light bulb moment hit me.

Keep calm and carry on.

--CK

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2013, 03:58:42 AM »
Um, does he not realize that Subtember's $5 footlong promotion is over? I know I know, I miss my sweet onion chicken teriyaki too. But it's time to move on, and start eating from his lunch box.

Zamboni

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2013, 05:27:24 AM »
Quote
My daughter in law packed his lunch daily until she realized that he didn't eat it . . . just used his money from side jobs to buy Subway, sandwiches from the local corner restaurant or whatever.

My DIL is a freak.  Whole foods is her place.   She spends and spends on the kids clothes, dance classes, food bla bla bla  but hasen't bought clothes for herself in the last 5 years

This is not really your business, is it?

Also, your criticism of your daughter-in-law is very misguided.  If she put her effort into making your son lunch and then he WASTED the food she lovingly packed and also WASTED extra money by eating out instead, then HE is likely at least some of the problem if not the root of the problem.  At the very minimum you need to recognize that your son is an adult, and if he wanted to save more of his paycheck, then he could do it by being an adult and working to build a partnership with a saving and spending plan that he and his wife construct.  It has nothing to do with you.

You say she hasn't bought clothes for herself in 5 years, and she tried helping your son by packing his lunch.  But then you turn right around and try to pin their lack of saving on her.  Do you even know that she spends a lot of money on the children's clothes?  It's very easy where I live to get entire wardrobes of extremely nice, new looking clothes that match from the enormous semi-annual mothers of twins and triplets clothing and equipment sale, where a ritzy holiday dress runs a whooping $2-$3 dollars.  I don't advertise that I do that to people who I think will be critical of my choices.  And your other criticism of her spending is providing one activity, the life-enriching dance lessons, and buying GROCERIES (although granted not from the place I'd choose, but many people shop there because they think it's healthier or better for the planet.) Wow.  You need to stop blaming your daughter-in-law, period.  My advice is to stop blaming her and start thanking her for being such a great mom to your grandchildren.

In any event, their lifestyle choices are not your concern.  Buying a single gift like a lunchbox and thermos, while perhaps patronizing in it's implication about how they should behave, is not enabling.

ender

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2013, 08:35:47 AM »
Enabling? No.

But passive aggressively trying to change a 34-year old's behavior?

Yup.

Norrie

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2013, 09:36:36 AM »
Ditto to Zamboni and Enderland's posts.
You sound like you're sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, not willing to see the waste that your precious snowflake is creating, and then trying to pin it all on his wife.

Enabling? Not at all. Creating unhealthy family dynamics for no reason? God yes.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2013, 09:50:33 AM »
Thanks everyone for all of your comments!!!

Zamboni - Yes, there are many of their day-to-day life choices that are none of my business and many that I really don't care to know about (when I change the subject or just shrug I'm accused of being uncaring tho).  I don't blame my DIL 100%, I see my son doing many things and call him on it constantly.  But yes, I do know what she spends on the girls' clothes and it is quite a bit.  She will not buy their clothes at thrift stores, garage sales or Goodwill.  In the past I've bought clothes as gifts and even tho she'll say she likes them, she almost immediately checks the tag and remarks on the designer/manufacturer as being good or bad.  Now I just give a cheque or gift card.  Just an example.  And I do compliment her on being a good Mom.  Given her background (Hey avonlea, a bit of an answer) in which her parents were divorced, moved constantly, absent mother - raised by nannies.  I see that she's trying to give the girls everything she never had.

Zamboni - never considered that buying a lunch box might seem patronizing.  Hmmmm.  Enderland . . . passive aggressive?  Maybe?  Was buying her a freezer also a mistake?  As she prefers everything fresh, not frozen?  Ooops, being a snarky B again.  ShortinSeattle - yeah, you're probably right.

And Zamboni - I get the life enriching experience idea but if you call me to ask for money for tires (her) because it's not in the budget but they're desperately needed . . . don't put your kids in a private dance school for $2K a year, enroll them in the park district.

CK Dexter - I do stuff like that all the time (food, notes, cards in the mail for no reason in particular).  Hey, trying!  (And that was a very sweet thought by the way - thanks)

We do try to lead by example.  We're told by both that we should 'enjoy' our money.  "There's no reason for you to pinch pennies".  Canning, freezing, cutting coupons, shopping sales & Goodwill are crazy and a waste of time. Okay . . .

Avonlea - I totally understand the food thing but there are less expensive ways to accomplish than making Whole Foods your main 'go to' place.  I have learned so much over the years from DIL about food, I appreciate it and have told her.  New job pays 80% toward the health insurance.  Hopefully they take advantage of this rather than turn it down again.


arebelspy

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2013, 10:00:17 AM »
Agree with all the people that pointed out that they are adults.

Set a quiet example, and move on.  Don't add stress to your life worrying about theirs.

First a lunch box with a thermos, later a 40 ft. yacht.  Next thing you know you're enabling them to skirt all of the US laws by boating out into international waters.  If I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Zamboni

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2013, 10:23:52 AM »
Quote
I see my son doing many things and call him on it constantly. 

Why?  How old is he again?

Quote
In the past I've bought clothes as gifts and even tho she'll say she likes them, she almost immediately checks the tag and remarks on the designer/manufacturer as being good or bad.

If she says it is good, then you should take that as meant to be a compliment in her acceptance of the gift.  If she says otherwise . . . we can all agree that this is rude behavior.  So then you need to ask yourself:  is she being rude because she just doesn't know better, because she thinks basic conventions of polite behavior don't apply to family, or because you are routinely rude to her (or make thinly veiled or not-so-thinly veiled snarky comments to her or within her earshot . . . never assume she doesn't get it or doesn't hear what you've said to other people secondhand) so she has decided to be rude right back?  I'm not saying that any of these are good reasons for behaving boorishly, but you need to consider if anything you have said or done could contribute to this treatment. 

Just the little bit you've written in this thread makes it clear to me that you don't approve of her or her family background.  Expend your energy to work on masking that better rather than worrying about their finances.

And, obviously, stop buying them expensive shit or giving them money.  If you choose to do that, then you still have no right to expect that they will take your "helpful suggestions" seriously.  A gift is a gift, and should have no strings attached whatsoever.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2013, 10:39:46 AM »
Quote
I see my son doing many things and call him on it constantly. 

Why?  How old is he again?

Quote
In the past I've bought clothes as gifts and even tho she'll say she likes them, she almost immediately checks the tag and remarks on the designer/manufacturer as being good or bad.

If she says it is good, then you should take that as meant to be a compliment in her acceptance of the gift.  If she says otherwise . . . we can all agree that this is rude behavior.  So then you need to ask yourself:  is she being rude because she just doesn't know better, because she thinks basic conventions of polite behavior don't apply to family, or because you are routinely rude to her (or make thinly veiled or not-so-thinly veiled snarky comments to her or within her earshot . . . never assume she doesn't get it or doesn't hear what you've said to other people secondhand) so she has decided to be rude right back?  I'm not saying that any of these are good reasons for behaving boorishly, but you need to consider if anything you have said or done could contribute to this treatment. 

Just the little bit you've written in this thread makes it clear to me that you don't approve of her or her family background.  Expend your energy to work on masking that better rather than worrying about their finances.

And, obviously, stop buying them expensive shit or giving them money.  If you choose to do that, then you still have no right to expect that they will take your "helpful suggestions" seriously.  A gift is a gift, and should have no strings attached whatsoever.


Well Zamboni, sorry if I've hit a nerve with you.  You've obviously not read thoroughly and have issues of your own.  So sorry.

Thanks everyone else for giving me food for thought and to areblespy for being a voice of reason that resonates with me. 


(Mod Edit: Fixed Quote Tag.)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 10:48:53 AM by arebelspy »

Zamboni

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2013, 11:17:34 AM »
^Or maybe I listen to some of the ladies I play cards with snark about their children and their children's spouses constantly and so your post just is a familiar refrain for me.  Sounds like I'm the one who hit a nerve.  No one can force you to self-reflect on your behavior, but you came here asking to do just that.

I go in peace.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2013, 12:23:38 PM »
^Or maybe I listen to some of the ladies I play cards with snark about their children and their children's spouses constantly and so your post just is a familiar refrain for me.  Sounds like I'm the one who hit a nerve.  No one can force you to self-reflect on your behavior, but you came here asking to do just that.

I go in peace.

Blessed be Zamboni.  Why play cards with ladies who complain about their kids?  Why bring yourself down?  (ie: become depressed or critical of them)  Have you your own children?  How old are you?  How old are your kids?


Yes, I came here for other people's opinions and have read every response - good, bad, indifferent, comical, logical - and appreciate all. 

Thanks MMM Community.  You've all given me food for thought.  That's what I needed.

 

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2013, 12:29:34 PM »
PS - didn't win the lunchbox on ebay.

prosaic

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2013, 12:37:47 PM »
When you begin to wonder why you're included less and less in your son/DIL/grandchildren's life, Miamoo, I hope you can get over your Yeahbuttitis and listen to some of the people here who aren't saying just what fits your preconceived worldview.

Actually, I hope you can listen *before* your son and DIL slowly back away from including you.

arebelspy

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2013, 12:49:31 PM »
I'm sure she just wants to help.

Sometimes it's hard seeing things from an outside perspective.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2013, 12:56:18 PM »
When you begin to wonder why you're included less and less in your son/DIL/grandchildren's life, Miamoo, I hope you can get over your Yeahbuttitis and listen to some of the people here who aren't saying just what fits your preconceived worldview.

Actually, I hope you can listen *before* your son and DIL slowly back away from including you.

Appreciate prosaic  but they actually cling more and want us more and more than a couple of days a week in their life  so . . . where are you coming from?  What am I seeing wrong?

arebelspy

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2013, 01:08:28 PM »
When you begin to wonder why you're included less and less in your son/DIL/grandchildren's life, Miamoo, I hope you can get over your Yeahbuttitis and listen to some of the people here who aren't saying just what fits your preconceived worldview.

Actually, I hope you can listen *before* your son and DIL slowly back away from including you.

Appreciate prosaic  but they actually cling more and want us more and more than a couple of days a week in their life  so . . . where are you coming from?  What am I seeing wrong?

Do you view that as a good thing?  Them depending on you more and more?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2013, 01:25:37 PM »
I'm sure she just wants to help.

Sometimes it's hard seeing things from an outside perspective.

Gosh arebelspy I don't see my reply to you about an outside perspective in the thread.  Yes, it's hard to see from the outside but that's why I posted.  I need other's perspectives and appreciate all I've gotten.

Argyle

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2013, 06:16:41 PM »
It sounds to me as if you may be letting your son and DIL's behavior influence your emotions.  That is, you want them to change, they make choices you don't like, you get aggravated about it.  You try somewhat manipulative things like buying the lunchbox to get your son to change.  If he doesn't even eat a homemade lunch that is ALREADY MADE AND PACKED for him, then a different lunchbox isn't going to change a thing.  That's why it looks passive-aggressive.  You're not accepting him for who he is; you're trying to control him.  I hear you saying, "But ... but ... I'm only trying to control him for his own good!  Because he's doing things wrong!"

From our point of view, he's making unwise choices.  But -- not everyone needs to be mustachian.  Not to be worthwhile or worth caring about.  He could be shooting up drugs; he could be on his fourth wife and already cheating with the soon-to-be-fifth; he could have fathered ten children he never supports; he could be in jail; he could be in the hospital with end-stage alcoholism; he could be robbing houses.  There are parents all over the country who have sons that are.  So your son is married and his kids wear more expensive clothes than they strictly need to, and he doens't like homemade lunches, and he's not saving a ton of money.  It's okay.  Love him anyway.  Let go of the disapproval.  He'll find his way, and I doubt his habits will be fatal to anyone.  The best gift any parent can give a child is to be fine with who they are even though the parent could spend many happy hours telling them all the ways they could be better.  Just give him that gift.  The gift of a non-critical dad.  That's more important than taking one's lunch to work.

ThatGirl

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2013, 07:10:34 PM »
I 100% agree with Zamboni. I'm not entirely sure what the whole point of your original post is, but your complaints about your DIL are petty & I'm really surprised that your attitude hasn't drive a wedge between you all.

I would be offended if my MIL, knowing that I prefer to cook items from scratch, bought me a years' supply of ramen because she thought it was cheaper & that I was wasting my money. You know she prefers fresh food, so why waste money buying her a freezer that she (presumably) doesn't use? It sounds like you need to butt out of their lives.

If you don't like giving them money in "emergencies" because they spend all their money on things that you consider frivolous, then stop giving them money. If they gripe about it, well, tough titties. If you don't want to cut them off completely, then tell them they need to demonstrate more financial responsibility before you give them a loan.

To sum it all up: stop being judgmental of your daughter-in-law, treat your son like an adult (even though he doesn't act like it), & cut them off if you're so butthurt about buying them expensive things like freezers & tires. 

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2013, 01:31:40 PM »
Argyle:

"He could be shooting up drugs; he could be in jail; he could be robbing houses."

And so he did.  All of the above.  Didn't think he'd make his 21st birthday.  But he did.  Thank God, The Great Spirit,  Karma and his step father.  Saw 3 of his friends die (teens).  One suicide, two overdoses.  The saddest, most gut wrenching wakes and funerals I have seen to this day. 

People need to be aware of the heroin epidemic in this country (different agenda) amongst teens, how it all starts etc.

We lived in a decent neighborhood, I was a single Mom working waaaaay too many hours and since the Boy had very good grades and . . . a weekend job and an afternoon job, makin' money and saving, doin' good, nice car he paid cash for at age 19 . . . .

After he started college he went to a party.  Snorted a bit with his friends and got hooked.  Soon he was shooting.

Suppose this influences my overprotective controlling nasty ass nature.  Thanks for reminding me.  I need to be more thankful that my Boy is good.

Villanelle

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2013, 02:05:24 PM »
Somewhere on some internet forum, there is a woman posting about her awful mother-in-law.  And that poster is your daughter-in-law.
I feel sorry for her.  You are a crazy, interfering, controlling, judgmental, passive aggressive, can't cut the cord MIL.

If your son doesn't like his wife's choices, that's between them and he needs to sort if out with her.

Buying a freezer you know she doesn't want, as a non-too-subtle way of "suggesting" she needs to cook more is extremely bitchy.  She no doubt saw right through your "message", and when she did, your relationship with her got even worse. And since you probably don't care about that, it also made it even more unlikely she will ever listen to any advice you have to offer about her life.  You push her further away and the last thing she is going to do is start taking your advice. 

Leave her alone, stay out of their marriage and their choices unless they ask opinions, and let your son live an adult life and make adult choices, even if you don't agree with them. 

MrsPete

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2013, 03:38:31 PM »
I'm not sure why you'd give a grown man a lunch box?  Is it an old-fashioned nostalgic lunchbox that would have sentimental value to him? 


Zamboni

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2013, 10:24:17 PM »
I dig those lunch boxes, and I'm sorry you didn't win it.

Quote
we go head to head quite often about our grievances about each other

Why?  Do you enjoy this frequent conflict?  Do you often have grievances about her that you can't keep to yourself?  What are her grievances about you?   


Villanelle

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2013, 07:20:48 AM »
Somewhere on some internet forum, there is a woman posting about her awful mother-in-law.  And that poster is your daughter-in-law.
I feel sorry for her.  You are a crazy, interfering, controlling, judgmental, passive aggressive, can't cut the cord MIL.

If your son doesn't like his wife's choices, that's between them and he needs to sort if out with her.

Buying a freezer you know she doesn't want, as a non-too-subtle way of "suggesting" she needs to cook more is extremely bitchy.  She no doubt saw right through your "message", and when she did, your relationship with her got even worse. And since you probably don't care about that, it also made it even more unlikely she will ever listen to any advice you have to offer about her life.  You push her further away and the last thing she is going to do is start taking your advice. 

Leave her alone, stay out of their marriage and their choices unless they ask opinions, and let your son live an adult life and make adult choices, even if you don't agree with them.

Wow.  You sure do have your issues. 

As my daughter in law is too busy taking care of her own daughters and her own interests to be bothered about posting on some forum about her complaints about me and as we go head to head quite often about our grievances about each other I would think that you are probably the one complaining about your own mother in law should you actually have one. 

PS:  She asked for the freezer and she can cook better than I ever could.  Hands down, no contest.  Where ever did you come up with your idea?  Obviously you don't read thoroughly.  Obviously you are quite a bit more angry at something than I am angry and concerned about my son and his family.

No real issues here, and a wonderful MIL, to boot!

When you said, "...Enderland . . . passive aggressive?  Maybe?  Was buying her a freezer also a mistake?  As she prefers everything fresh, not frozen?  Ooops, being a snarky B again....."  It certainly didn't make it sounds like what you are now claiming, which is that she asked for the freezer.  You said she prefers fresh, not frozen and suggested the freezer might have been a mistake, but now she actually asked for the freezer?  Hmmm.  And I inferred that you yourself were suggesting you might have been motivated by snark when you made the purchase.   Perhaps you can see where my impression came from.

And again, your son's situation and his family spending habits are none of your business.  They aren't asking you to fund their lifestyle (freezer purchases aside, apparently) so stay out of it. 

arebelspy

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2013, 07:51:50 AM »
MODERATOR NOTE: This thread doesn't seem productive, just people sniping at each other.  Please refrain from doing so.  Cheers!
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rockstache

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2013, 08:08:33 AM »
Miamoo, I don't really have a lot of advice to add, but one thing I did notice when reading your posts is that you referred to your son as a boy, several times. I don't know if that is a common thing in your location of the globe, or a cultural thing etc... but, it stuck out to me a little. My mom occasionally refers to me as her baby or her little girl in an affectionate way to me, but if I were to overhear her speaking to other people and referring to me as a girl, I wouldn't take it in quite the same way. It seems that maybe subconsciously you still think of him as your baby boy, but the truth is, he has babies of his own. This time of your life is supposed to be spent enjoying the grandkids, not trying to raise your adult son. He is grown, and he already is who he is. I think you have a lot to be thankful for, as he sounds like a good provider, and (hopefully) a good dad. Maybe you can try to focus on the grandkids and spending time and experiences with them. Just a thought....no offense intended.

MrsPete

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2013, 11:08:22 AM »
MrsPete - Yes it would have had value to him. Very cool looking lunch box that he would have really liked.  And it was circa 1960.  He loves the vintage stuff that was built to last.
Ah, I was picturing a zip-up thermal lunchbox that you could buy anywhere, and that seemed like a rather odd gift.  If I had a vintage lunchbox like that, I'd probably use it to store something -- sewing items, perhaps? -- and keep it on a shelf instead of actually using it. 

Exflyboy

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2013, 03:15:38 PM »
This has NOTHING to do with you.. Not your problem.

Big biy leading his own life and married to the girl of his choice.

If they will listen to you by all means share your frugal views.

When they stop listening.. stop talking!

If in the future they ask for money or advice... NEVER loan or give them money.. but feel free with the advice!

Frank

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2013, 08:57:57 AM »
Basenji - Thank you. I am in the exact same situation, with the added bonus of snarky "jokes" being made about me to my face. Apparently they think I'm so stupid that it goes over my head. I have to walk a delicate line with them, but I think your phrasing could work well. Much better than me eventually flying off the handle and telling them where they can stick it.

captainron

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2013, 01:06:30 PM »
Quote
My daughter in law packed his lunch daily until she realized that he didn't eat it . .

You don't throw free lunches away.  I mean I guess if you really didn't like them you'd at least stop taking them after a day or two right?  WTF



footenote

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2013, 10:22:16 AM »
Basenji - Thank you. I am in the exact same situation, with the added bonus of snarky "jokes" being made about me to my face. Apparently they think I'm so stupid that it goes over my head. I have to walk a delicate line with them, but I think your phrasing could work well. Much better than me eventually flying off the handle and telling them where they can stick it.

It's painful. My father in law used to make me cry early in my marriage with passive-agressive snarky remarks that I took personally. Then one day (ok after a lot of Buddhist meditation and therapy) I realized how pathetic he was to have to constantly put other people down. After a while I actually started laughing when he would say stupid hurtful things. He'd just look at me quizzically as I giggled. Keep your cool. Good luck!
People who do this have a hole in their heart / self-esteem that they are constantly trying to fill by making themselves superior to others. (Something that's great to remember when communicating online as well. ; ) Good for you for figuring this out and thanks for sharing the wisdom.

Miamoo

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Re: Help! Am I enabling? (probably yep - punch me now)
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2013, 01:19:27 PM »
Basenji - Thank you. I am in the exact same situation, with the added bonus of snarky "jokes" being made about me to my face. Apparently they think I'm so stupid that it goes over my head. I have to walk a delicate line with them, but I think your phrasing could work well. Much better than me eventually flying off the handle and telling them where they can stick it.

It's painful. My father in law used to make me cry early in my marriage with passive-agressive snarky remarks that I took personally. Then one day (ok after a lot of Buddhist meditation and therapy) I realized how pathetic he was to have to constantly put other people down. After a while I actually started laughing when he would say stupid hurtful things. He'd just look at me quizzically as I giggled. Keep your cool. Good luck!
People who do this have a hole in their heart / self-esteem that they are constantly trying to fill by making themselves superior to others. (Something that's great to remember when communicating online as well. ; ) Good for you for figuring this out and thanks for sharing the wisdom.

Yes, footenote great point and - good to you basenji for the way you've chosen to handle it and the wisdom imparted.