I have been struggling with this for a while and am posting for wise advice. DS has mentioned that they are having financial concerns, living from paycheck to paycheck.
My husband and i had sent him a set amount every month before ds and dil had even started their family, they have 2 children now. DIL never acknowledges any gifts - birthday, anniversary, even christmas presents. I only see the cashed checks. DS mentioned the monthly checks when i started sending them, but never acknowledged again. After the first baby, in conversations, we learned that DIL was paying bills for her mom who doesn't work consistently but does have a home, car, and also travels. So, DS and DIL are paying out some of their income to cover her mom's bills. SO, i stopped the monthly checks. Why should i help pay her mom's bills? DS never asked why the checks stopped.
Now, they are having a hard time again and i feel bad not helping. I don't like to see my son stressed out and we can afford to help. But the idea that our money would be supporting her mom makes me angry and not want to be involved.
I know this seems like a no brainer, we've had years of relationship problems with DIL and her mom, but it just seems i should just help again and let him sort it out.
Hi, G. I have had a hard time with similar issues...helping my sons and then seeing all kinds of thoughtlessness, money mismanagement and misuse of my contributions. What worked for me was to finally get that once I gave a gift it was none of my business what my sons did with it. I found that terribly hard but it's what worked. I got past my anger and hurt and just settled into hoping they would eventually grow up. (And they did. Now, I'm 90 and I'm the one getting checks when I'm short.) Hugs...
This is my take (I am an AC, my children are little):
I get why you want to help him, but the reality is they will never learn to manage money if you are bailing him out. It's kind of a "begin as you mean to go on" type of thing in my eyes. Be prepared that they are going to look to you to bail out their financial problems over and over again instead of learning how to cope with them. If they can't afford their own bills, then they can't afford DIL's mother's either. But that's something he needs to take up with his wife. Giving them money will just be a temporary bandaid.
I agree with the previous posts. If you want to give a gift, give it and let it go. However, continuing to bail them out will not help them in the long run. They will be much more empowered as adults when they learn how to manage their resources themselves!
thanks wise women!
Honestly, I think you should do what makes you feel the best. If helping makes you happy and you can do it then do it, but understand that you are doing it for yourself and not for them. If they spend the money on her Mom and it makes them happy, and giving it makes you happy, then why are you picking at it until you find a reason to be unhappy? The point is that at this point in your life you should be doing things to make yourself happy, or not doing things to make yourself happy. The goal is to be happy. Period.
S. - Reading that made me happy!