Friday, March 6, 2015


We all want our children to make their mark on the world in a positive way. And we hope for the best as they grow up. Once they are out on their own, we hold our breath that they will find their way. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.  And you pray that any problems encountered will be quickly resolved so that there are no lifelong repercussions. Unfortunately, sometimes what you wish for, doesn’t come true. Our forty year old daughter is back home again. She is broke. Quit her last job. Accommodations at our house are modest, to say the least. A sofa bed in a bedroom stacked high with boxes (that ought to be tucked away in a storage area). Her father and I can’t move them because of our own health issues. She says that is fine. She just needs a place to crash and regroup. She is a microbiologist by trade and just can’t seem to put down roots anywhere she goes. The reason why is she spends every dime she makes and never has a backup plan. She has a million complaints about every job she gets. Then, lets health issues get the better of her, always using them as her way out of what she perceives a bad situation, or an excuse to avoid doing something. So our place, here… has become like a revolving door for her. At our ages, (my husband is going to be 76) and with our limited income, here is not a good option, anymore. We now live on Social Security and the income from a part-time job my hubby has. We do not have unlimited funds to help her. But she doesn’t see it that way. In her mind, The Bank of Mom and Dad is always open for business, whatever our age or circumstances. Selfish, right?  It has been anything but pleasant since she arrived. She is prone to emotional outbursts that make us shake in our boots, literally. And we have about reached our wits end with her shenanigans. Rather than trying to find a temporary job so she can start saving some money, she spends all day sleeping or watching TV. She tells us her health problems are keeping her from moving forward. My husband is none too pleased about this turn of events. He has COPD and heart problems, himself... and does not need all this stress. The bottom line is… family is family. You help them when they’re down, no matter the sacrifice. But… he’s right when he says, we’ve gone above and beyond, the call of duty… in that regard for her. Over the years, we have bankrolled her stints in Arizona, Washington, Alaska and Missouri. Years ago, we also paid off her car that was about to be repossessed. Now she has a new one in the same situation. She owes everyone, everywhere, money. She has not been fiscally responsible. We didn’t raise her to be this way. It is breaking our heart she just can’t get her act together. To survive… she says she needs a phone, a car, gas, plus moving and living expenses if she gets a new job out of state . Claims she has one lined up in Alabama. My hubby threatened to have her committed if she didn’t get her head back on her shoulders and start being realistic. WHERE is the money coming from to do this Alabama gig, he asks her? She throws a hissy fit telling him it just will have to materialize. (Fully expecting us to step in and save the day at the last minute.) Why can’t she see, that we can’t foot the bill for all this stuff, at this time in our lives.  I’m caught in a tug of war between her and my husband on a daily basis. I thought the NEW YEAR held promise for us all... but now all I see are setbacks. We have laid down the law to her… get a local job, not the one in Alabama, start saving some money, then go where you like, on your dime. But it’s falling on deaf ears. So what do we do? Do we kick her out on the street if she doesn’t get her butt in gear or continue to endure her wrath when she does not lift a finger to help herself? What would you do?


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Being a parent is the toughest job in the world. And sometimes showing some tough love is one of the best things we can do for our children. I think you've got the right idea. I hope it all works out for you.

Just Because said...

Tough love, it's all you can do. You can't put yourselves in financial ruin.

betty said...

I feel for you; I remember you writing about her job woes in the past. I don't know what is the best answer for you and your daughter, but I'll relay the experience of son's previous girlfriend who lived at home for 2 years after son and her could not make it financially living together (for which I was grateful, LOL). I wrote about her in my blog when it happened back in 2013.

Anyway, she was supposed to get a job when she lived with her parents, she never did. Finally her parents had enough so in January 2013 they said she had to be out of there by June 2013 or they would kick her out. If necessary, they would take her to a homeless shelter (she had a then 3 year old daughter). She didn't do anything the whole five months before she had to be out.

They did "kick" her out on June 1st. She ended up having to go to a homeless shelther with her daughter. Two weeks later the mom came and got the daughter since she was having struggles being in the homeless shelther. To this day she is still raising her.

However, the ex girlfriend did flounder, but now almost 2 years later she is working in a job as a cook at an amusement park in Southern California. She takes the bus to work. She's working a lot because she posted her last job schedule on Facebook and it was 8 days in a row. Living with friends. Has a new boyfriend.

Her parents followed through with tough love. So it might be good to take the same stance with your daughter.

Good luck with it!! I know it can be frustrating!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

That's so unfortunate. Regardless of how we raise our kids, they will be who they will be, so you should stop beating yourselves up about it. You can't force her to grow up, but you can stop enabling her to continue to run away from her problems. What would I do? Give her a 2-4 week time period to move out and move on. Stop giving her money and bailing her out. Tell her you love her and that because she's an adult and you raised her right, you know she can step up to the plate and act like one. Then get her out of your financial lives. What will she do? Where will she go? How will she handle this? Well, those are not your issues -- those are her issues. Your job is to love her and applaud her and give her advice if she asks for it. IT IS NOT TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT HER OR CONTINUE TO ALLOW HER TO HIDE FROM LIFE. Tough love all the way. I did this with one of my kids (to a lesser degree than you have done); after 3 years, she's making mostly better choices and our relationship is much healthier. Good luck! I'll be praying for you all!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

such tough stuff to deal with! almost everyone i know has a kid that has moved home including me. it's a tough economic time for so many. i love having my child live with us but then he has a job and he treats us with great respect. if he was loafing around and just using us, it would be a whole different situation. i don't see anything wrong with helping our children but not if they continue to act like children! your daughter should realize that maybe it is time for her to help you and your husband out? our son adds to our life by being here. i think that is the key.

jack69 said...

I wish I had an answer for you, we have never been in the exact circumsances financially, but have emotionally. Both our boys did come back home a couple times. I am not built for Tough Love. I see too many alternatives of something terrible happening, my mind goes crazy. YOu know, "If I do that, this terrible thing might happen, etc."

There are no easy answers. EVERY CASE is different in some way. We did finally say 'enough' one time but our son 'understood'. They have never been 'disrespectful' I will give them that. One is still struggling, but making it.

I have no kick against anyone who CAN practice Tough Love, but I am sure it is not called that for nothing, it would be TOO TOUGH for me to put my son out. Not saying it is wrong, I am too weak to be that TOUGH! We have to live with what we are. I do understand, and I sure wish there was a silver bullet.
I do hope and pray that it can be worked out without aggravating the health issues to the extreme.
Thinking of you with Love.

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh Taryterre, first of all, I'm so sorry to hear you're going through all of this. They say it's easier when kids are grown up and on their own, but in many ways it's more emotional. I think that's sound advice to get a local job and try to save, but sometimes our children have a plan of their own and want to follow it. No one really knows what they'd do until the situation came to them, but I DO KNOW that I would pray for guidance for her, and above all, love always sees us through. You are going through so much right now, and I sincerely hope everything works out.

love, ~Sheri

Red Rose Alley said...

ps our son is living with us right now, and I'm really glad for the time because all too soon he will be out and on his own. I think your daughter will be ok, it's just hard to see the light when you're going through dark times. :~)

Paula said...

We think when our children are grown we will have it made. Not so, when they are small you can spank them (maybe not anymore) and make them mind. When they are grown we have no control. I'm sure you raised her right but we just don't know how they get so screwed up. John furnishes a vehicle and insurance, medicine and more to his 50+ daughter. She will even charge to his account without asking. I think I wouldn't put up with it but if it was my daughter would I say no? Maybe not. I'm so sorry you and your husband are going through this when your older days should be peaceful.

Jon said...

My grandmother always said that when children are small, they're little problems - and when they're big, they are huge problems. One thing for sure is that you're not alone. Almost everyone I know is having trouble with their adult children.

As a parent, I know that you want to do everything possible to help them - - but there comes a time when you have to take care of YOURSELF. You and your husband have health problems
and limited financial resources. You can't destroy your lives by catering to your daughter.

Don't make it too easy for her. Set limits and make a time frame. She needs to set goals for herself and keep them. Things can't be accomplished quickly - it takes baby steps - but it also takes a kind kick in the ass. Tough love is best. Perhaps some kind of counseling.

Mevely317 said...

I'm so sorry to hear this! I'm no psychologist(!), but wonder if your daughter isn't clinically depressed? No, that's no excuse - and I agree with the others who recommend a dose of Tough Love. Easier said than done, right?
I've not shared this 'in public' before, but we had a situation with my own son which required Tough Love: Leaving home for the first time at 18, in a few short months he went from "Joe Student" to frat boy who was drunk more often than not. After failing all his first semester classes, the college 'graciously' let him stay for another (they liked my mother's $$$). Unfortunately, he didn't change. Finally, my mother and former hubby turned off the funds and he had to leave school. It was almost 2 months before any of us heard from him again - then learned he'd enlisted in the U.S. Army. Today, Troy's a 45-y/o businessman, husband and father - and so very happy with his life. He freely admits, that experience was the best thing that could have ever happened to him. (Unfortunately, things were never the same between my former hubby and myself - I couldn't forgive him for pulling the Tough Love card. I pray that doesn't happen to you and your hubby.

RoeH said...

I hate saying this, but I think you are going to have to do that. And it's something that isn't easy. We are all so committed to our children from just basic nature. But sometimes they have to hit bottom very hard to learn. I've been incredibly lucky with my kids. They both have extremely good jobs and families and I sometimes wonder why I am so blessed in that department. Other ways with them? They can drive me crazy. The one thing I have learned about raising children is that you never get to quit. I still worry about my kids constantly over large and small stuff. I wish we didn't have to, but that must be the art of parenting. And what she is doing is not your fault. Hugs to you.

Angela said...

My kids are much younger than yours (I am a forty-four year old daughter). I can't imagine the frustration you are living with on a daily basis. I think, for what it's worth, that the key in your whole scenario is the fact that she is not doing anything except EXPECTING. The only way around that is to not give into her demands (and she does sound very demanding). I'm sorry, but I would have to agree with the others who say present her with a reasonable timeline and then let the chips fall where they may.