Hello - I'm new to the forum, and I have read the Open This First topic.
My DD is married, 32yo with 2 children. She is a stay at home mom and homeschools.
The oldest child has medical complications and has been subjected to regular painful procedures her entire 8 years of life. She has been diagnosed with medical PTSD. My DD is a walking textbook when it comes to medical terms, doctors, hospitals, etc. However her life and home seem to be in constant chaos. The house is extremely cluttered and dirty, the yard is the same way. My DD is extremely overweight as well and I worry about her.
Her DH is no better. In fact I think they make each other worse. He is also extremely sarcastic and overly controlling of the children. They are punished often for minor infractions or honest mistakes. This actually seems to make the children unruly. Especially the oldest. She talks back and is constantly contentious.
Whenever I go to their home I'm appalled. The kids rooms are a wreck, toys and clothes strewn all over. Their dresser drawers are overflowing. They can rarely find things. The kitchen counters are covered with stuff, the diining room table has no place to put dinner plates.
They have a cat and an unruly dog as well.
My DD shops at the thrift store regularly buying more clothes and toys. She is constantly overwhelmed, complains about the kids, how they drive her crazy. I take them once a week for an evening. She and her DH see this as time to celebrate and usually go out to dinner, yet they have financial problems.
On top of all this they live with my SIL's mother. She too is a controlling person and somewhat of a hoarder. Her area is a cluttered mess as well. My SIL and his mother have a contentious relationship. He talks terribly to her, and she allows it...but ultimately gets her way.
So the situation is terrible. I don't know what I can do, if anything. I try to be supportive. I try to say a few things here and there by giving advice but I keep it to a minimum. I don't want to overstep my bounds. I know it is there family and their marriage.
It's getting to the place that we don't enjoy our GC. They are mean at times and always argumentative. The oldest is contrary no matter what you say to her, the youngest whines and cries about everything. He is 5yo.
I'm wondering if there is anyway I can help them without interfering or hurting my relationship with my DD.
I finally learned with my two sons that I had given them my best and once they reached 'adulthood' it was their time to make their own choices. Just like it was when I reached adulthood, myself, (or thought I had), it was their time to learn or not learn from the consequences of their choices. Their paths. Their lives. My sons seemed torn between wanting me to fix it and hating me because I didn't (couldn't.) I kept trying to make sense of the senseless and got stuck there for along time.
My job was to get that my biological role was done and anything I did further would only confuse the issue. It took what seemed like ages to get that and I needed the help of a counselor to make it, which I highly recommend. There is life on the other side of parenting. Whew...! Hugs
Gabbi wow what a difficult situation! I know the feeling of wanting to step in and make everything better but the reality is that you are done with parenting (at least as it pertains to raising your children). It is hard when they make choices that you can plainly see are not good but in truth the best thing you can do is step back and let her (and her DH) be who they are. Accept that your role in raising her is done. Easier said than done I know. Good luck to you !
Just a couple of thoughts for you. Once upon time I was just like your DD. The reason? I was overwhelmed with everything and although I wanted things to be different I just didn't know where to begin. So I too went out and spent money that I didn't have on having fun because it made me feel better and helped me forget the pain.
My DM never judged. She often cleaned the house for me as a treat or did the laundry. But she never commented on why. She just did it. She never made me feel dirty or like a slob. She always said beautiful things to me and reminded me how great I was!
In the end I found the energy (physical and mental) and motivation to change these things for myself. I lost 8 stone. Divorced. Remarried a wonderful man. Have a spotlessly clean home and a DS who knows his DM tried her best even if I sometimes screwed up! We still have horrendous challenges esp with health but we are happy.
Please don't worry about your DD and her family. She'll be ok. You carry on loving her and one day she'll start to love herself and she'll change, but only when the time is right for her. Right now she needs loving words far more than a clean home.
Sending you hugs xxx :-*
Gabbi, sounds like my daughter on a few things you mentioned. Its so hard to stop being a Mom sometimes when they are grown. I tried many times in the past to straighten up and organize only to come over a week later and it was back to how it was previously. So i stopped doing that. Just made me crazy. The world is such a different place now then back in our day. Hugs