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Old 04-28-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
goopysolelady
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Advice on 28 yr. old widowed DD

It was 2 years ago this March, my youngest DD lost her husband after a year of extensive medical care. Six months ago she began dating a young man. They're living together and we just found out she wants to have a baby. Making a long story short...she can't afford a child. She/we are still paying off expenses from the year of hospitalization; they had/have extensive credit card debt; has already refinanced her home to help with expenses during DSIL's illness; has medical insurance with NO maternity; has about $250.00 left in her savings account; owns 9 large dogs (some show dogs) and will need a new vehicle in a year or two. In addition to the financial aspect of a child, while we like this young man...we really don't know him that well and know nothing about his family.

My guess is she is in the "anger stage" of grief. They had no children; she said he didn't want them-he said she didn't. She's also made comments that lead me to believe she is very angry with him...and his family...over the mountain of debt he left her with. While we helped them financially a great deal; his family did not and has not "contributed" a cent.

We've asked/begged her to wait. She refuses. In all honesty, I will admit we have "babied" her and helped her way, way to much over her life with expenses she's recklessly incurred. We're done; we're both close to retirement and must have the rest of our assets available for that. I don't think we believes us.

Any suggestions? How do I make her understand that, while we'd welcome another DGC, she needs to wait...2-3 years, have money in the bank and have some fun getting to know her young man?
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:34 AM   #2
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You may need to have an honest conversation with her. It will be tough, but it will at least give her the chance to really "hear" you. I'm about her age, and wanted my parents to help me get rid of my condo, but the firmly told me no and gave me the reasons why. I was mad and upset at first, but after some time, and after they didn't cave in, I saw things in a different way. I know it will be tough not to give in if she does have a baby, because you don't want to make the child pay for the parent's bad decisions. But stand firm. It will teach your daughter to take care of herself when you aren't there to bail her out anymore.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:02 PM   #3
goopysolelady
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My plans exactly, along with trying to get her into counseling - which she should have done after her husbands death. During that trying time we didn't want to "rock the boat" so we gave in when she refused. Dreading that decision now. And...no, we won't - we can't - "give in". The "Mommy Bank" is in as bad a shape as our Country's is.! ....only difference is "our bank" can't keep raising "the debt ceiling". Thanks for advice ... anyone else have anything to offer?
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:49 AM   #4
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You are in a tough situation, it must have been terrible for your daughter to be widowed so young and I can understand your desire to try and help her both financially and emotionally.

I think you really need to talk to her about your finances and the fact that constantly giving her money will impact your retirement. In your heart you know it's the right thing now to let her stand on her own and ultimately she will live her life as she chooses.

Obviously, you can suggest counselling but she will have to decide if that is something she wants to do. I think all you can do now is let your daughter know how you are feeling and tell her that you can no longer support her financially.

It is tough being a mum and you obviously love your daughter a great deal. I hope she is able to find a way forward that will bring your family peace and happiness.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:54 AM   #5
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Is there anything financially you are still helping her with? If so stop the payments now and let her know, "We understand you are ready to take on the adult responsibility of a child and would not want us to baby you since you want to become a parent. We will not be making any more payments on xyz or helping you financially since we know you are ready to move on with the next chapter in your life..."

and be sure you are ready to end any and all financial responsibilities. I think if you push her on the "you should not have a baby with your boyfriend at this time..." it will not send a clear message to her, but stopping all financial help will. She is an adult, and at 28 really should be responsible for herself.

It sounds like she may be a bot spoiled so she is not going to listen to a lecture, but maybe having you stop all $$$ support will send her a message. Either with or without a baby you need to stop giving her money and having her rely on you.

Good luck and be strong
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quasar4legs View Post
You are in a tough situation, it must have been terrible for your daughter to be widowed so young and I can understand your desire to try and help her both financially and emotionally.

I think you really need to talk to her about your finances and the fact that constantly giving her money will impact your retirement. In your heart you know it's the right thing now to let her stand on her own and ultimately she will live her life as she chooses.

Obviously, you can suggest counselling but she will have to decide if that is something she wants to do. I think all you can do now is let your daughter know how you are feeling and tell her that you can no longer support her financially.

It is tough being a mum and you obviously love your daughter a great deal. I hope she is able to find a way forward that will bring your family peace and happiness.
Quasar
to you too and thanks for your kind words. Was extremely difficult watching her sadness. My heart still hurts remembering that time. I just feel like counseling would benefit her so much but we all know we can't force her. We offered to go with her (after her husbands death); her friends did ... she just wouldn't do it. She's always worked her problems out on her own; she just can't grasp that this "problem" was/is bigger than any she's faced before.
We've tried "discussing" our finances with her to no avail. One thing I haven't tried is "pulling out the papers". Maybe if she sees the figures "black on white" the situation may "click". You ARE correct...it's tough being a Mom and my DD's are my (our-need to include DH too!) life. Just need to remember, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle".
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cam&phoebsmom View Post
Is there anything financially you are still helping her with? If so stop the payments now and let her know, "We understand you are ready to take on the adult responsibility of a child and would not want us to baby you since you want to become a parent. We will not be making any more payments on xyz or helping you financially since we know you are ready to move on with the next chapter in your life..."

and be sure you are ready to end any and all financial responsibilities. I think if you push her on the "you should not have a baby with your boyfriend at this time..." it will not send a clear message to her, but stopping all financial help will. She is an adult, and at 28 really should be responsible for herself.

It sounds like she may be a bot spoiled so she is not going to listen to a lecture, but maybe having you stop all $$$ support will send her a message. Either with or without a baby you need to stop giving her money and having her rely on you.

Good luck and be strong
We've already stopped financial assistance...to a point. She makes "good" money and pays all bills promptly. But she also doesn't make "extra" money. In other words, there's not much left over when she gets through paying the monthly bills. Some of the reason for that is her high credit card payments. One of those cards shows me as primary cardholder. I did this with both my DD's during their high school years so they would (1) have a card in case of an emergency and (2) to help establish a credit record for them. We also took out a "home inprovement" loan on our home to (1) assist her with some medical expenses and (2) to pay off some bad debts involving our home construction business. She faithfully pays her portion of the home improvement loan and the credit card payment every month. I have never, once, had to "request payment" from her. I'm just having a hard time making her understand she doesn't have enough money "left over" every month to support a child! Not at this time; after "paying down" her credit cards there will be "extra money available". She just needs to WAIT!

Yes..I'll be the first to admit that she's spoiled. She's just had to deal with a lot of "crap" in her life and I/we try to "make things better". You know how "life" goes sometimes...one child gets teachers that go "above and beyond"; the other child gets the ones that "are there for the paycheck". One child's fellow classmates are supportive and "over-achievers"; the other's class could "care less". She even had the bad luck of being alone and away from home on 9/11 (thinking of that day tonight as word breaks on the death of Bin Ladin). One child has a happy, healthy husband and 2 beautiful children; the other is widowed at a young age. So, yes, she's spoiled. It's just so frustrating seeing she's about to make a mistake that will effect our whole family and knowing that this time we'll be unable to "bail her out".
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goopysolelady View Post
We've already stopped financial assistance...to a point. She makes "good" money and pays all bills promptly. But she also doesn't make "extra" money. In other words, there's not much left over when she gets through paying the monthly bills. Some of the reason for that is her high credit card payments. One of those cards shows me as primary cardholder. I did this with both my DD's during their high school years so they would (1) have a card in case of an emergency and (2) to help establish a credit record for them. We also took out a "home inprovement" loan on our home to (1) assist her with some medical expenses and (2) to pay off some bad debts involving our home construction business. She faithfully pays her portion of the home improvement loan and the credit card payment every month. I have never, once, had to "request payment" from her. I'm just having a hard time making her understand she doesn't have enough money "left over" every month to support a child! Not at this time; after "paying down" her credit cards there will be "extra money available". She just needs to WAIT!

Yes..I'll be the first to admit that she's spoiled. She's just had to deal with a lot of "crap" in her life and I/we try to "make things better". You know how "life" goes sometimes...one child gets teachers that go "above and beyond"; the other child gets the ones that "are there for the paycheck". One child's fellow classmates are supportive and "over-achievers"; the other's class could "care less". She even had the bad luck of being alone and away from home on 9/11 (thinking of that day tonight as word breaks on the death of Bin Ladin). One child has a happy, healthy husband and 2 beautiful children; the other is widowed at a young age. So, yes, she's spoiled. It's just so frustrating seeing she's about to make a mistake that will effect our whole family and knowing that this time we'll be unable to "bail her out".
you sound like a very caring and loving mom! But even in the above post you are making excuses for her and admitting she is spoiled. You may have started a credit card for her with your name but at this point she needs to open her own account without your name on in it at all and be responsible for her own debt without you being "attached" to it. If she has always paid on it then she will still continue to do so, kwim? IF she started it in high school by now she has had it for 10 years and she is ready to have it be in her name only.

If she is dead set on having a child for whatever reason then you will not be able to stop her, but if she is at the point where she has no extra now I imagine that what a baby comes along those financial obligations she has with mom and dad may be the 1st to slip b/c she knows you will bail her out.

The situations you posted above are what I chalk up to "Life isn't fair" and you can't use tose to spoil her. My DH and I were not able to have biological children, but it was not up to our parents to help us pay adoption fees. My DH's mom is a raging alcoholic, but it does not mean b/c he had a horrid mother and had to live with her for much of his life that somehow he should get a pass as an adult when things go wrong.

many (((hugs))) to you. It sounds like you want the best for your DD and are a very loving mom who is worried about a situation you can't really control. I hope the situation works out fo the best!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:54 PM   #9
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Such a difficult situation. I know others have suggested showing her the existing financials, but perhaps showing her what a baby will cost each month? The cost of childcare alone is huge!
Also, is she sure her current boyfriend wants a child right now?
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goopysolelady View Post
My plans exactly, along with trying to get her into counseling - which she should have done after her husbands death. During that trying time we didn't want to "rock the boat" so we gave in when she refused. Dreading that decision now. And...no, we won't - we can't - "give in". The "Mommy Bank" is in as bad a shape as our Country's is.! ....only difference is "our bank" can't keep raising "the debt ceiling". Thanks for advice ... anyone else have anything to offer?

I will say if I had waited until I could afford kids before I had any, I would have remained childless. Yet, somehow, I managed to raise four wonderful kids despite the struggles we encountered. My kids freely admit money was scarce most of their young lives, but they also all say for the most part they didn't care - they say what they took away from their upbringing years is much more valuable than any material things they didn't have. I suspect many of us could say the same thing - if we waited until we could have afforded kids, we wouldn't ever have had them.

I know I won't be saying anything you don't already know (you are a parent, after all ), but sometimes we take our knowledge for granted and push it aside...

Life is all about choices. I say change your focus - focus on accepting the fact that life is about choices, and choose to acknowledge her choices are just that - hers. Ultimately, we cannot change others, our kids included. Your conversations with her should be discussions that life is about those choices, and the consequences of our choices (and please DON'T outline your beliefs of those potential consequences). You can certainly guide her, and be there to help her discuss options. She is an adult woman that has had to deal with a lot already - trust that your support and raising of her has helped shape her and trust her strengths will carry her through, whatever choices she makes.

It's about more than just accepting she is going to do what she is going to do. Start thinking only positive thoughts, sending her thoughts of love rather than worry. Faith has amazing powers - let it do its work. (I am not talking religious faith per se, all faith is powerful, not just faith in the Almighty). Have faith that she will make the right choices, faith that she will follow the path that is right for her, and that she will find success in her choices, whatever those choices may be.

Just as faith is powerful, judging is destructive - it serves no good purpose here. That includes those internal "what did I do wrong as a parent?" or "why does all this happen to my child?" conversations we all have in our heads from time to time. Faith will also help you take a step back, a necessary step for her to finally understand she must - and can - stand on her own full time.

You have another choice, too. You can choose to be happy for her, happy that she has found peace and is choosing to live life rather than withdraw from life after being widowed at such an early age. Recognize how much strength and power that took for her to make that choice, and believe in her. Maybe your support in that fashion will help her continue to be strong.

Best of luck to you - sending hugs and prayers your way!
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:18 PM   #11
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You definitely want your name off of her credit cards. Maybe she can apply for another card in her name only and transfer the balance onto that one, if the credit card company doesn't allow you to take your name off the one that is shared. You can also request a spending freeze on that card too, I think. You are responsible for that debt. Some people have a high tolerance for a high credit card balance, she might not see it as a priority to ever pay down. Her life is her choices but please try to protect yourself from those choices. It is also not unreasonable for someone in their late twenties to want a baby. I had my first child at 27. My two cents!
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