Would you ask?

@arkaf61 (10891)
Canada
August 13, 2008 5:45pm CST
Many of you know that I have my mom here visiting. She came in May and will be leaving in NOvember. I love to have my mom here - the last time I was with her before now was over 10 years ago. I invited her not only because I wanted to be with her, but also because her little dog had died and she was feeling quite depressed about it, so I thought it would be nice if she came because it might be easier for her to forget her pain for the loss of her dog. It was a bit hard for me because up to now I never really let my mom know about our financial difficulties. Not only because I didn't want to have her worry about me - my problems, not hers - but also because I didn't want her to think that I was asking for any monetary help. My mom is well off, but it's her money. And even when she dies, she has the closer family to inherit, I'm not even legally adopted anyways. In any case. I kind of explain a bit of how tings have been difficult for us for the past years just because I didn't want her to have a shock when she arrived and see that our life was quite different from hers and mine when I lived there. WHen she came she wasn't as surprised as she would be if I hadn't told her. She asked me about a few things and I gave her a general idea of some things like the fact that my husband has a very low paying job, that I don't work for a bit over a month during the summer, and that sometimes I am able to find a job just for that period of time and other times I am not. SO she knows our budget is tight. We did take her around to a few places here and there but she seems to think that we should take her out every day, go out shopping stop for lunch at a nice restaurant, go out after dinner for coffee.... she seems to expect us to fill each weekend with an outing, preferably a long one with a hotel stay . We did it a few times but we can't do it as often as she seems to want.Ir was hard on our budget the times we did go. Expenses that we wouldn't have had if she wasn't here. Don't get me wrong, I love to show her around but I just can't afford what she seems to be expecting. All the times that we went out for the weekend - the last time we went to Montreal because she had never been there - we paid for everything, including the coffees along the way. We paid for lunches, dinners, hotel room, tickets for museums or whatever. The first time we went we even paid for the clothes she had to buy because she didn't bring the kind of more casual clothes that are better for traveling. She choose what she wanted - a few pairs of pants, some casual shirts, more comfortable shoes , it came to over $300. But when we got to the cashier she didn't even asked if we had that money. She just waited until we paid. THe last time when we went to Montreal we went with some friends too - a couple that we are close to, our best friends in here. She did not pay for anything - but commented that we paid for the hotel room for our friends. However she also saw that that night they were the ones who paid the bill for the restaurant. When we go out with this couple we sometimes do it like that. Instead of breaking bills, one of us pays the whole restaurant or whatever bill, and then the other pays for something else. It is usually balanced. WHen we went to Windsor, we had to go look for another hotel = more expensive - because she didn't like the one we had chosen. My question is.. what would you do ? Would you just stop going out for weekends and stuff, or would you tell her that we would love to take her to all those places, but we need her to pay for her expenses? I don't mean asking her to pay for us as well, although it is a fact that if it wasn't for her we wouldn't go, so we wouldn't have that expense.What I need is that if she wants to do all those things, we need that she pays her hotel room, maybe some restaurant meals, her personal expenses - clothes, shoes etc. Would you ask? WOuld you just not go, because you can't afford to do all that every weekend? Would you get a second mortgage and pay for all things for her because she raised you? Am I being unfair?
7 people like this
14 responses
@Ithink (6054)
• United States
14 Aug 08
I can see where this would be hard for you, on the one hand you dont want to hurt your mom and on the other going into delt pleasing her isnt a good thing either. I would sit down with her and just tell her exactly how it is and tell her if she wants to go to these places that you will help her sit up the trip but that you wont be able to go. With us we wouldnt even be able to pretend to do these things let alone do them. We are truley just keeping above water right now. Seeing that you have and did shows there is some money but not enough to keep going. So just tell her. I can understand that you dont want her mad or disappointed but is she there to see you guys or there to run and shop??
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
15 Aug 08
Yes, we were finally getting in a better financial situation than what we had for the past years,and I don't want to go there again. That's why this needs to stop and my mom needs to pay for her personal expenses. As for setting up the trip for her without going it is not possible in this case. She wouldn't be able to go along as she doesn't understand the language.
1 person likes this
@Ithink (6054)
• United States
15 Aug 08
Since your mom doesnt understand the language to go on her own, I would sit with her and tell her the money situation and leave it at that. I wouldnt make big plans and things and I would keep it simple. I understand that you want her happy and stuff but I dont think it would be worth it to go on these trips and things and get into big debt again and she as your mother should understand this and want you happy too.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
14 Aug 08
Twin I am sorry with her knowing your Circumstances I am surprised that she is expecting this so to be honest I would say something or just say 'Sorry Mum we do not have the money for this anymore we are spent up now' She has to realize that this is not helping you at all and I just do not understand why she is putting you through this She brought you up because she wanted to and loved you not to expect this later in Life so no I would not carry on doing it because of that I hope you can break this as gentle as possible to her and get it sorted Love and Hugs to you
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
I am surprised myself twin. I was telling another post that I hope I am wrong, but it is kind of feeling like it's my time to pay for all she did for me, and it's not a good feeling. Hopefully it's just a feeling and has no bearing to reality. I have been telling her that things are really expensive and we can't afford it on a regular basis.It just that it doesn't seem to sink in. So yesterday I had to ask her to pay for her travelers health insurance because it was starting to become a big drain on our budget since I only start getting paid in September when I'm back at work again. The same thing with grocery shopping. She keeps adding things to the cart - things that we don't normally use - as if she was the one paying for it. But once we get to the cashier she doesn't contribute with anything. So the other day she was pilling up this specific pear nectar juice she likes - which is more expensive - and I had to tell her that I am sorry , but we can't buy that one right now, specially not in a big quantity. So she opened her wallet, gave me a $20 bill as a contribution and got the juice. The thing is the six packs she got were $24. And our total bill for groceries was just below $400. We usually spend quite some money for food, and I don't get upset by it, but the thing is we are buying many, many things that we wouldn't if it wasn't for her wanting it. I am not asking her to pay for the food she eats. It doesn't really make a difference specially if she eats what we eat. It's one more person, there's always food for one more person. However, those specialty things and extras that are not usually part of our grocery list... I think that maybe she should pay for those.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
14 Aug 08
Sweetie I totally agree with you and I believe that it is time for you to ask if she thinks it is payback time As you can not understand why she is being like this ask her why she is being like this Twin you need a heart to heart as there are still a few Months to go yet I hope that this gets sorted Twin I really do but I think a Chat is in order Big Hugs to you
@SViswan (12095)
• India
14 Aug 08
lol..I can totally relate to your situation. My parents are well off and our budget is a little tight. When we were newly married, mom used to visit often (either for my pregnancy or to help out with something) and she would expect the lifestyle she was used to (more for me than for herself). And most times my husband would give in to what she likes and then complain to me later. I could understand both sides but I didn't know what to do about it. And talking about it (to either my mother or husband) only led to arguments and I felt sandwiched in between the two. But slowly with time (I think maybe my father had a talk with my mother), my mother started to realize that they came up the same way...and we were doing the best we could in the circumstances....and the main point...that we were happy the way we were and that's what was most important. Now when my mother visits and we hesitate when she suggests something that is expensive, she at once offers to share the expense or if it is something she wants us to have too...and we have refused....she will offer to foot the whole bill. Since it happens only once I year, I don't mind and we enjoy the time we spend together. And my mother and husband are also getting along very well (which wasn't the case for a period of time in between).
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
I think that if my dad was still alive he would have talked to her as well. Actually there would be no need, because if they were both here he would immediately contribute with their part.He would not even ask:) I guess maybe I should have myself clear that I needed her to contribute, but I didn't even think about it, because this wouldn't not be an issue before. I am enjoying the time we're spending together but I feel that maybe she is acting a bit selfish.
@SViswan (12095)
• India
15 Aug 08
Maybe she's not really being selfish...but just not trying to put herself in your shoes and think. She's so used to the lavish lifestyle that she doesn't think twice before she says what she does. That's what happened to my mother. Or maybe you should have an open chat with her about how it is affecting you and your husband.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
14 Aug 08
I'm sorry dear but your Mom was obviously brought up differently than I was - when you are invited as a guest you are a guest, mother or not, and the 'host' determines what is done or spent on their budget. In my book and I know my Mom's your Mom is being both rude and inconsiderate or your hospitality and situation. My suggestion would be next time she wants to 'spend money' you just tell her nicely "Mom I'd love to take you or go with you but I can't afford to do that" If she really wants to go she can go without you or offer to pay. As for the 'weekend' trips - STOP IT... how about a day trip to a nearby park or public area that doesn't cost anything - pack picnic lunch and invite her to help with doing that.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
Yes, that's exactly the way I"m feeling. ANd she didn't use to be like this. HEck she didn't teach me like that either. I have told him nicely a few times, maybe not forcefully enough, but it's like she didn't really pay attention. She's not too excited about going to the park. SHe always says she likes to go for a nice stroll, but even that is conditional. We went on a nice "stroll" two days ago. I had to go to future shop to get something for my son, so we all just strolled over there. WE stopped by a few windows - which was done for he benefit because I really am not a window shopper - sat in a bench watching kids play , and then went to future shop. WHen I commented on how nice the weather was for a stroll she retorted that it was not. What we were doing was going out to buy something for my son , which is not the same thing. Huh? I am having trouble adjusting to how much she changed. She was always so polite and strict in relations to good manners.....Now she is the complete opposite, and seems so selfish. I did get her to understand she needs to pay for her travelers health insurance tonight. I can't be paying $200 a month for that when I have other things that are a priority.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
14 Aug 08
That is very strange that she would change that much - just throughing out a thought here but is it possible there is some medical reason for her change in 'thinking'? Of course without knowing the whole family history I can't really play the expert but is there someone you are close to that has been around her in the 10 years you haven't been. Maybe they could shed some light on the problem - was it a sudden change, are you the only one she's doing this with, did something besides losing her dog happen that may have changed her attitude?
1 person likes this
@Lindalinda (4116)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
Unfortunately you have set a precedent by paying for your Mom's clothes, hotel room and other personal expenses and it is now hard to change. It is not unreasonable at all to expect visiting parents and other relatives to pay their share. Since she is here for another two months maybe you can plan local activities such as visits to the ROM, the Bata Shoe Museum, the AGO and many other places. There are also day trips to many pretty locations. If she asks why you are not planning out of town trips explain your financial situation truthfully. Tell her you would have to take a second mortgage to go to all those places. I am sure she would not want you to do this. If she offers to pay for herself and you by all means go since you say she is well off at home and wants to see as much as she can. She is staying in your home and you have already treated her to so many things. So you should not feel bad if she wants to treat you. I hope she does.
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
Yes, I've realized that. I just never though about it that way. She changed as she got older. If this was before she would be the first one paying for her own things without me having to ask. I didn't expect her to have changed like this and even when when I paid for the things I kind of believed that maybe she didn't bring money with her and would offer to pay for those things once we got home. THe things is she doesn't seem interested to the around the town things. Unless it's shopping or window shopping and the first I can't really afford in the same scale as she does and the second gives me a headache. I can't even spend too much time in Malls, I get a headache after the first half an hour. It's just that she wasn't like that. At all. She used to be thoughtful and always making sure that she wasn't taking advantage of others. It's not how she thought me either. So I guess this whole thing just took me by surprise. Today, after we had our diner I had to talk to her. I have been paying for her insurance in here in case she gets sick or needs medical treatments. I've been paying it ever since she got here. I explained to her why she had to have it and why she couldn't be here without it. I was hoping that she would pay for it, but she hadn't offered and there is another one due soon. It's $200 a month, that's almost the same amount I am paying for my son's math tuition. So today I had to explain the situation again and ask her to pay for her own insurance. She asked again why she had to have it even though I had explained many times. But she will be paying it when it comes at the end. I had to do this. I've already spend $800 just for her insurance. I need to go to the dentist and I have been avoiding it because I know it will be expensive and I need to pay up front even if my dental insurance covers it. Meanwhile I"m spending even more on her insurance. It doesn't compute. Well, she will take care of that now.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Aug 08
You are so right; people do change when they get old. I see the changes in a friend who is now over 80 and also in my aunt who is 87. Money seems to have become really important. They are so worried that it will not last to the end so they scrimp and save, eat poorly and cut corners; and yet these dear people were the most generous ones when they were younger. I also get older and hope I can avoid this fear. As far as you mom is concerned, you must insist that she pay her own insurance and other expenses. From your posts in the past I gather you are on a very tight budget and this extra expense is an unreasonable burden. I don't know how you cope. If your mom is not interested in events and points of interest around here, just go for walks around Lake Ontario, there are some magnificent parks. If she does not want to do this just stay home. Find out also if her ethnic group has events in their clubhouse or community centre. These are usually free or cheap and she can have a conversation in her own language and have a fun time. You may have to explain to her many times that you cannot take these expensive trips with hotel stays even if she pays for her own, there are still your expenses. Explain to her also that your kids have needs, that you have o put money aside for college, university or training programs. Since she is still here for a few months you have to come up with some ideas that are inexpensive to keep her happy. Best of luck my dear.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
16 Aug 08
Wow. Well... I would probably do both. I would sit her down and explain that things were tight for me, very tight and that it was really not in my best interest to keep blowing money by going out on the weekends. Then I would suggest that she either pay her expenses for going out (instead of waiting for me to pick up the tab) or we would have to not go. I can say with certainty that if I visited my kids and they seemed worried about finances and I could pay for things, I would have no problem treating them AND paying for myself, because what guest mooches off their benefactor - unless they are rich and you are poor? lol I don't think this is being unfair, it's obvious she has no idea what a strain on you this has been. You don't owe her. It seems odd that she would not offer to pay for at least her OWN expenses if she is well off.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
17 Aug 08
SHe just seems so oblivious. I know her perception of financial difficulties and mine are very different but it's not like we're hiding things from her. She can see that we're tightening the belt.
1 person likes this
@palonghorn (5490)
• United States
14 Aug 08
No, you are not being unfair. You tried to let her know before she came that you were not living an extravagant life style. As for buying her $300 worth of clothes..umm no, if she had wanted that, she would have paid for it. I would have walked away. As for going and doing things just because she is there, I would let her know that I loved having her there but, just can't afford to do that kind of stuff and that you don't do it when she is not there. You say she has money, why is she not treating you to some of this stuff, when my sister or I go visit our parents, we normally take them out to dinner, or at least buy groceries while we are there. They would not have the added expense if we were not there. When my sister came to visit me after I moved to another state, she told me I was not going to pay for anything while they were here, there was things they wanted to see and do since she had never been to this state either, and they paid for themselves and me and my s/o. Sounds like one of two things, either you mom is just taking advantage of you or she doesn't have the kind of money you think she does, either way, you need to just tell her plain out that you can't afford it.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
15 Aug 08
I am feeling that I am being taken advantage of. When she arrived she asked me to go to the bank with her. We exchanged 5 thousand euros, she has 5 thousand more that she didn't exchange, and that is just for this trip. That's almost 20 thousand dollars. I don't make much more than that in a year!!!! Still she isn't using any of it - not for us, which we didn't ask for - but at least for her own things. When my dad was alive, he would not have allowed us to spend any extra money on them for any personal expenses, even if he thought we were ok financially. I know my mom is quite old, but she is in perfect mental shape for everything else, it can't be that she isn't just in that specific subject.
1 person likes this
• China
14 Aug 08
If I were caught in your situation, I would sit down and talk with my Mom.All you need is communication.We human beings always need communication.It is mom who is one of the closest family we have in this world but not others,and there is nothing we can not tell our mom. But I did not mean to tell her everything.What and how to tell is the most important issue here.Good luck for you~~
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
15 Aug 08
I agree with you. And that's why I did talk to her and explained the general situation just before she came and then again once she arrived. I think she is having trouble understanding the idea.
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
14 Aug 08
I think the next time she mentioned a particular trip she'd like to make, I'd search the internet to see if there was a bus tour and suggest that she take that. If she asked why, I'd remind her what you already told her about your finances.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
That sounds like a good idea, but I can't do that because of the language problem. She does not speak english and in here it kind of is a must :) But yes, I get the general idea. Basically what we did is we haven't planned any other trips. She hasn't said anything so far, because she never does, she prefers to walk around as if a victim so we are the ones feeling bad. She never comes up straight and say it, although she might come up with some side remarks, like :" back home I would have gone visit this and that already" or " It's a very nice country, it's a pity I can't see more of it" . I never liked when she did this, and now even less. Today I just told her that we would love to show her more of this country, but we can't take money from our responsibilities - like bills, food, regular necessities- just to show the country to her. She acted as I didn't say anything. Oh well...
• India
14 Aug 08
Hi arkaf61 It seems to me that you are under tight financial condition. And alos you love your mom. No doubt, she too loves you. May be she is just not aware of your financial condition. Or may be her age/mental condition is preventing from understanding the situation from observation. In that case, why don't you speak to her and explain your financial condition and your budget cut plans. I think she'll be able to understand and either pay her expenses or cancel those expences. Certainly it won't be wise to borrow money.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
I have told my mom about my financial condition. It seems that she is having trouble understanding it:) She is 86 years old but in tip top shape mentally - for what she wants:) I was just joking about borrowing money:) I just have stopped going to all the places, because it's 4 of us as it is. One more might not seem much but it adds in hotel rooms and stuff.
@drannhh (15002)
• United States
14 Aug 08
Personally, I would have made all of that clear before she came, but then, too, I would never have invited mine in the first place because we were not at all close. That may be an understatement. However, assuming things were different, let's take the example of the hotel she didn't like. Right then I would have said, "This is the hotel we can afford, but if it is not satisfactory, we won't be mad if you want to pay for a better room somewhere else." I would not have booked the room for her at a more expensive place until she produced the money. But that is just how I am. A second mortgage to entertain someone, are you kidding? I hope you are kidding? Then if you had an emergency of some kind of your own, where on earth would you get the money? From your mum? I don't think so.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
Yes, I guess I should have made all that clear from the beginning. Yes, I am joking about the second mortgage but it's how it's feeling LOL I think she's so used at not having to worry about money that she is having trouble understanding that I do, even though I explained it to her. Another thing that I am feeling is a bit less positive and I hope I'm wrong. But I do have a feeling that she is expecting me to, because she did all "that" for me. THe thing is that she could. I can't. Worse than that I didn't expect that I would have to pay it back this way one day. But maybe I am just being paranoid. I have started being more assertive in this issue and actually explained to her that she needs to pay for her health insurance while in here. I know I was the one who invited and I know that when they invited someone they always took care of that. But I can't do it. It's $200 each month, quite a lot to add to everything else.
@zed_k4 (17634)
• Singapore
15 Aug 08
So how are you feeling nowadays..?
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
15 Aug 08
I am feeling quite well, thank you. Yourself?
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17634)
• Singapore
19 Aug 08
I'm fairing better by the day now, thanks for asking.
@GardenGerty (90157)
• Marion, Kansas
19 Aug 08
That is very hard, all the way around. I probably am the type who would just tell her, We cannot afford to do this anymore. We will have to entertain ourselves frugally, just as if you were not here. " I would probably tell her that I know I can tell her the truth, because she loves me, and the truth is that my budget is strained by all the activity. This is not how we live.
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
19 Aug 08
I agree with you. THat is why I did tell her and explained we can't go on spending until I"m back at work. WHat I am debating is if I should reminder her she needs to pay for her own personal expenses. I know I should tell her that, but I wasn't able to do it yet except for her travelers health insurance because I can't afford to be paying $200 a month for it.
• United States
14 Aug 08
No, you are not being unfair. Sit her down and explain that first of all you do enjoy her being there but you do not have the money to do what she is expecting of you. You have explained your situation to her already so it is unfair of her to expect that of you. Raising you doesn't entitle her to making a financial hardship on you while she is there. Definitely I wouldn't take a second mortgage out to do the things she seems to be expecting of you. Let her know if she wants to do certain things that you will be willing to take her to the places but you can not absolutely afford to pay for them. That you are on a very tight budget and the things she is wanting you to do constantly is hurting your budget very much. It sounds to me like she is taking advantage of you.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10891)
• Canada
14 Aug 08
She does seem to be acting selfish. I was just joking about the second mortage:) I would not ever do that, it took me a long time to be in the point I am now, with only 2 more years to finish the whole thing. I would not make any backward moves LOL I am sensing that she seems she is entitled because she raised me and gave me everything I wanted. But she didn't make any special financial sacrifices for it, she could afford it. So it's not even the same case.