When does your responsibility end?
August 20, 2015 11:23pm CST
The last two of my seven children are still living with me. It admittedly is an on again off again situation with my daughter but my son, the baby, is a slightly different matter. Some of you may remember some conversations we had in the old mylot about my husband who was paralyzed and how I cared for him at home for over twenty years until his death, all the while I was raising these last two children which we had after the others were grown. After my husbands death I pretty much shut down emotionally and don't remember much of what went on for the next four years. But I could tell my health was getting bad, I guess I had worn myself out being a full time nurse and mother. By then my daughter had had three children and moved to Tennessee. She had been after me to move up there with her for about two years so I finally gave in. I figured I needed to get away from the area were all my memories were. So anyway, not to drag this out too long I'll just say that after five years with my daughter and her boyfriend I found it intolerable to stay so I got my son to come and get me. His baby's momma had lost their three kids to the department of family and children's services. And he was trying to get them back so I came down to help. I wrote about this recently in a discussion about foster care so I won't rehash it here. Never the less our lives have not been running as smoothly as I would wish and that I am projecting to the world at large. The other day I was trying to get all the pictures I had saved on my new smartphone filed in folders according to topic so I could find what I was looking for without having to scroll though over a thousand pictures. This is the first smart phone I have had and the first Facebook account I have signed up for and I;m not all that sure how everything works yet. Anyway I made up some folders on my Facebook page under photos and proceeded to sort through the pictures and move them in batches of thirty, which is the maximum you can move on Facebook. I didn't realize that while I was moving them they were being reposted to the newsfeed . So about the middle of the day my son called me and raised cain about the pictures I posted of the kids. Needless to say I got upset and I took the whole album of family pictures down. What really made it ironic was most of the pictures that I had of the kids came from his Facebook page where he had posted them. I remember that he did say when we first got the kids back that he didn't want their pictures on Facebook, but he was posting them, so why couldn't I? Anyway, since my health has deteriorated so badly and I am almost constantly in pain I find that my emotions are raw and on the edge as well. My daughter saw that I was upset, okay I was bawling like a baby, and she got mad and called him and proceeded to tell him off for upsetting me. The truth is though that although I fully intended to help him raise these children I have found the task to be more challenging than I assumed it would be. I am not physically capable of cleaning up behind them or cooking meals or doing any of those things. Yes, I can organize and keep everyone on schedule. I can plan menus and budget our resources and I can sew up the dollies when they get a tear. But they need someone who is more active. Right now my daughter is here to help but I don't know how long that will last. She has a temper, too and her brother and she have some fundamental differences. But I'm wondering if I am not contributing to the problem by staying. I feel like I am the only one who can keep a measure of peace between them and these children deserve a stable home. On the other hand I feel like I have done my share and I deserve some peace and to be able to spend some money on my own needs. So, if I decide to move out does that make me a bad person?
4 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 15
The fact of the matter is that the kids are his. If he says you can't post pictures of them on Facebook, that's his right as their father. It doesn't matter if he does it on his own account. They're his kids, and he gets to choose where their pictures are shared. As someone who lived in a home with an ailing grandmother for ten years, I can't say that you moving out would make you a bad person. It honestly sounds like you need some space to step back and enjoy your role as grandma instead of co-parenting your grandchildren. Plus it's rough on kids to have parents' resources (that should be devoted to raising them) being redirected to eldercare. Is assisted living an option? I would look into what's available nearby if I were in your shoes.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Aug 15
It's not the parents resources that are taking care of me, It's my resources that are taking care of them. I pay the rent and the water bill, I bought the kids school supplies and I buy the bulk of the household supplies. Plus I am the reason we have any foodstamps at all to provide groceries for this house. Don't for one minute think the problems of this household are because resources that should be used for them are being spent on me. I am the one doing without to support them.
• United States
21 Aug 15
@savak03 I'm sorry, I should have been a bit more clear. I wasn't referring to the current situation when I mentioned parental resources so much as the future, and I wasn't strictly meaning financial resources. Eldercare is expensive, but it also consumes time as well as putting stress on those providing it. Does your son contribute to the household at this point? You don't have to answer, but if he doesn't, why not? It sounds like your funds are going toward the majority of the expenses. What's keeping him from supporting his family? Is the fact that you're covering all those expenses enabling him to not take care of his children like he should? Is he relying on you because he knows that you'll step in if he doesn't?
• United States
22 Aug 15
@yukimori He's a mechanic, and a good one but the guy he's working for is, at best ,a poor manager it seems. When he first started with him my son was making good money, now it seems like the money comes in in drips. There is always some excuse like the customer hasn't picked up the car or the work the other guy did on it had to be redone. He manage to keep the light bill paid but that's about all. He can't even manage to keep time on a phone. We have talked about what he should do about this situation but he hates confrontation and I think what he needs to do is tell this man exactly what he needs to continue working. This guy is always off doing all kinds of things he even preaches at a church but he can't keep his best mechanic paid.