Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Devil or Angel, Which am I?

What to do , what to do. Once again we are on the fence about helping my daughter and her family. I really dont feel that we will be sucessful, but that is being negative. My husband and 22 year old step-daughter and I have been discussing this for a while. What is the best way to push a 26 year old with a husband and 2 kids into independence. They have sunk into nothingness. You'd think after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids, you'd think they would have figured out how to grow up. Apparently they have not. It seems to be easier to live with his parents (and his older sister and her 2 kids)then be on their own. In the time they have been married, they've only been by themselves for a few months at a time. Most of the time they have lived with family. So we have been discussing if we should try to help. This would not be the first time we've tried to help people. So, far it has not ended well. In talking with my daughter, I've suggested different options. Each one had been rejected. The other day I asked if they had looked into finding jobs in Las Cruces, but was told that because it is a college town, they would not be any jobs. So, being shot down yet again, we wonder if her husband' mother is allowing them to be lazy and not encouraging them to move on. So,as a result we are once again toying with the idea of letting them stay with us get jobs here. Do I be the Good Mom or the Bad Mom? Hubby wants to set a time limit and ground rules. This includes helping with our increased expenses and babysitting while they search and find work. My step-daughter said he has contacts as far as possible jobs and housing. One of the problems for me though is I am afraid that they will take advantage of us. Having been burned a couple of times before, I hesitate to offer help. After all they are 26, it's about time they grew up. I just don't know what to do. He is not easy to get along with, and their kids stay up way to late as far as I am concerned. Since these 2 adults are no longer going to college or are employed, they tend to lounge around. They dont get the kids showered and dressed until late morning. We are early morning people. He is very smart, was planning to go into aerospace engineering. But his "I'm smarter then everyone" attitude angers people. She seems to have gotten lazy and depends on (or uses) to get what she wants. I really feel that his mother has done her children a disservice by allowing such sluggish behavior of her kids. Or maybe she is blessed with an overabundance of patience. Not Me! I can not imagine me allowing grown children and their children living with me free and clear till whenever... My stepdaughter has been on her own for 2 years now and is doing fine. I am really not in favor of trying to help out this people. I don't know what expectations my daughter and her husband have. If I don't help I'm bad, if I do help I am bad. I just don't understand how 2 smart people can't seem to figure out how to make a go of things. I remember when I got married a long time ago, we moved from South Carolina to Texas on a wing and a prayer.We did better than they are with less than they have. What do I want to be? Devil or Angel, I fear that either way someonw will be unhappy. Most likely me.


cube said...

I'm an advocate of tough love myself. I think those two need to grow up & take care of themselves. You don't find a job lounging around watching T.V. They need motivation, not pampering.

S said...

I have to agree w/Cube but if the guys Momma won't cut the apron strings; you will probably be fighting a losing battle.

However if there really are NO jobs in their area & they want to find something in your area; setting up guidelines or a contract of some sort would be a good idea. Just make sure everyone sticks to it. Which might be hard to do.

We had to move in with my MIL once. My 2 INDOOR cats had to stay outdoors; of which one of them died & our dog had to stay in a crate. Within staying at her house for maybe 48 hours, I came home early from work one day to start calling apartments to find her on the phone calling around herself. Another 24 hours found us in the cheapest, scariest apartments I've ever lived in; but I was out of her house...... which suited me just fine. Well until there was a shooting right outside our front door when I was 8 months preg w/my oldest. As soon as that lease was up, we moved out.

A mother is always a mother, so I don't think you are either devil or angel. I will pray that your kids find work.

Anonymous said...

Help them with the little stuff and stop fretting about their way of life. They chose it, it's up to them to grow up, not for you to try to change them.

Tough love doesn't mean that you can't help them out, but that means "helping" not supporting.

I'm gonna help out my son by letting him stay here for a couple of months while he looks for another place. I've helped him before by letting him stay real cheap. This time I told him he'd have to pay half the rent.

That certainly put a bee in his bonnet, but that's the help I've got to offer, and in turn he can be helping as well by paying the rent.

Stop worrying about them and let them learn to worry about their own lives - you're not a doormat, just someone who loves them.

Callen Damornen said...

From the point of view of the young adults, they are probably afraid of the leaving the safety and security you and the other set of parents are providing. With this kind of help and support, they do not feel an immediate need to leave.

However, it IS your place. As a kid growing up, my mom and dad always made it clear to me that it was their place and we are to live under their rules. As a kid, you have no other choice but to abide by those rules. As an adult you have a choice to abide by the rules or leave. Maybe it is time to lay down the law and enforce it. You are allowing yourselves to become a doormat.

Make it a rule that the kids must go to bed at a certain time. Make a rule that they must wake up, get showered and dressed and get chores done on time. Charge rent or at least get them to pay a bill or two and insist they get some kind of job, even if it is part time at a McDonald's until they find a regular job.

This is not being a bad guy by taking such an approach. This is reasonable. If they object, they are being unreasonable.