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Author Topic: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax  (Read 13539 times)

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Mikayla

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2013, 10:24:44 AM »
Whose response has got you saying wow?  I think Carolyn got it right this time.
I agree but this reminds me of a previous thread where the OP described a couple who had no apartment (they were bouncing around as guests) no jobs and no health insurance, yet they were trying for a baby.

I posted that they probably shouldn't be trying for a baby until they had a place to live, insurance and a job for at least one of them. I got a bunch of "how dare you" type replies and "no one can question someone else's life choices" type stuff. :P

You got that attitude here?  That surprises me! 

Having children is not a right, it's a privilege.  Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  If you can't afford to take care of them properly, then you need to wait until you can.  Having kids and then expecting someone else (family or government) to take care of them is just plain irresponsible and reeks of entitlement.

That struck me too when I was reading it.  I don't remember the thread, but my guess is that people were sticking to the etiquette of the situation.  And etiquette says it's fine to think these things, but it's not ok to comment on someone else's choices.

Otterpop

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2013, 10:31:05 AM »
Planning a baby and accidentally getting pregnant result in the same thing.  Having to support your grandchildren financially is the same aggravation for all parents, regardless of how they came about.  Having teens share such an intimate space as a bedroom is, in many people's opinions, setting up such a situation. 
 
But, points taken, OP in the other thread had a right to her own household rules and, as I said, I left that thread after one post.  My bringing it up here is to demonstrate that yes, people do "pile-on" about life choices at this site.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 10:44:39 AM by Otterpop »

Sharnita

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2013, 10:41:41 AM »
There's a bog difference between getting in car accident because of black ice and sogning up for the demolition derby. Maybe my car is totalled either way but only in the first case, would cash strapped me feel comfortable asking my parents if they could help me out.

cass2591

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2013, 10:53:17 AM »
Otterpop, I can't help but wonder why you brought up the other thread other than maybe you were trying to get in the last word. And what this thread has to with piling on is beyond me.

Everyone, end of dscussion about the other thread and go back to the topic at hand please.
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Bexx27

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2013, 10:59:47 AM »
I think that LW and her husband are being incredibly irresponsible.

If I were MIL, I would stop all help right away. If the LW can make two children work, then surely she can make it work now.

I agree, it's totally irresponsible to have a baby when you're relying on your own parents for support. The MIL at least needed to be consulted about providing child care for another child. This couple sounds very entitled.
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heartmug

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2013, 11:38:57 AM »
I'm back to my usual response to so many topics: how about you DON'T TALK ABOUT PRIVATE ISSUES WITH ANYBODY? Not your girlfriends, not your mother, not your sisters, don't put it on your Facebook page ... NOBODY!


POD!!!  I was just having this discussion with my SIL at our niece's wedding.  She was saying how niece and her husband only want 2 kids.  I said they should not be telling people that.  What if they have 3 kids?  Will everyone know that #3 was not really wanted?  Keep the private stuff private.  There are so few surprises in life anymore.  Surprise people and keep them out of your business.
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

LadyR

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2013, 11:40:38 AM »
I'm having a second child while depending on my mother for childcare for my first. We also get some financial assisstance from our parents (not a lot, but a little bit here an there). We are both in school, finishing our degrees. Too many people, it might seem foolish, but we had our reasons and we could survive without any help from our families, it would just be harder. Luckily our families are very supportive and encouraged us to start our family and then to expand it.


WillyNilly

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2013, 11:43:52 AM »
I'm having a second child while depending on my mother for childcare for my first. We also get some financial assisstance from our parents (not a lot, but a little bit here an there). We are both in school, finishing our degrees. Too many people, it might seem foolish, but we had our reasons and we could survive without any help from our families, it would just be harder. Luckily our families are very supportive and encouraged us to start our family and then to expand it.

Well its sounds like you discussed your plans with your childcare provider/mother and have her on-board, or have a definite (not just hopeful) plan how how to handle things by the time the second one arrives. The couple who wrote to CH do not have the support or the solid plans (or seemingly the ability to go without the support like you could if you had to).

Judah

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2013, 12:28:36 PM »
I'm having a second child while depending on my mother for childcare for my first. We also get some financial assisstance from our parents (not a lot, but a little bit here an there). We are both in school, finishing our degrees. Too many people, it might seem foolish, but we had our reasons and we could survive without any help from our families, it would just be harder. Luckily our families are very supportive and encouraged us to start our family and then to expand it.

Whether it's irresponsible to have more kids in your situation is not really the question, nor is it really a question of etiquette. If the people who are supporting you are on board with your decision, more power to you.

The etiquette question is whether the grandmother in the story should have offered her opinion on the subject.  I think that since she is supporting the couple and they are reliant on her for childcare, she has an absolute right to offer her opinion. They've made it her business. If they don't want to hear other people's opinions, they need to be fully supporting themselves.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 05:23:12 PM by Judah »
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CakeBeret

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2013, 03:32:06 PM »
Oh, boy.

My mother watches our DS 3 days a week while we work. We both are employed FT but daycare is so cost-prohibitive that we simply cannot afford it. We briefly entertained the idea of having another child but a major factor in that was childcare--I think it would be obscenely presumptuous to plan another baby and expect my mother to care for him/her.

I think the grandmother in the letter is absolutely correct to object to this plan *now*. I'm not sure where the LW gets off thinking she can double her MIL's workload and call it none of MIL's business.
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2013, 03:36:30 PM »
I'm having a second child while depending on my mother for childcare for my first. We also get some financial assisstance from our parents (not a lot, but a little bit here an there). We are both in school, finishing our degrees. Too many people, it might seem foolish, but we had our reasons and we could survive without any help from our families, it would just be harder. Luckily our families are very supportive and encouraged us to start our family and then to expand it.

Whether it's irresponsible to have more kids in your situation is not really the question, not is it really a question of etiquette. If the people who are supporting you are on board with your decision, more power to you.

The etiquette question is whether the grandmother in the story should have offered her opinion on the subject.  I think that since she is supporting the couple and they are reliant on her for childcare, she has an absolute right to offer her opinion. They've made it her business. If they don't want to hear other people's opinions, they need to be fully supporting themselves.

I think if LW didn't want MIL's opinion, she shouldn't have asked. 

I can't even fathom having another child when you are unable to support the first one.  And if I were asked I would say so, otherwise I would be keeping my opinions to myself (which in itself is almost a miracle sometimes).
   

GratefulMaria

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2013, 03:45:31 PM »
I think the MIL sounds as though she's already doing more than she's happy doing and that she needs to scale back.  And if the LW does conceive, she should have a plan in place that doesn't rely on MIL's help and should let MIL know that.

strangetimes

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2013, 03:53:47 PM »
I disagree with most people here-

It doesn't sound like the couple has asked the mother in law for support- from the way it's worded, it sounds like she offered and they took her up on it. (and have been working on paying her back) The mother in law shouldn't be commenting on their family planning- it's really none of her business. What she should do if she's upset about it, is pull back on the support. She doesn't even have to tell them why- she could just say that it's getting to be too much for her. Let the couple figure out if they can handle another child when they're really on their own- but it should be for them to figure out.

I agree with Carolyn- they should tell the mother in law, "thanks for your help, but we'll manage" and then find a way to do it.

auntmeegs

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2013, 04:02:44 PM »
I disagree with most people here-

It doesn't sound like the couple has asked the mother in law for support- from the way it's worded, it sounds like she offered and they took her up on it. (and have been working on paying her back) The mother in law shouldn't be commenting on their family planning- it's really none of her business. What she should do if she's upset about it, is pull back on the support. She doesn't even have to tell them why- she could just say that it's getting to be too much for her. Let the couple figure out if they can handle another child when they're really on their own- but it should be for them to figure out.

I agree with Carolyn- they should tell the mother in law, "thanks for your help, but we'll manage" and then find a way to do it.

I disagree that it is not her business if she is expected to help support the child, either financially or as a care-giver. 

Kaypeep

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Re: Extra kid when couple relies on Mom--Carolyn Hax
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2013, 04:03:07 PM »
No matter what the LW says, it sounds like MIL already feels she's done enough and the mere thought that she may be called upon to do more (watch a toddler AND an infant at the same time) caused her to react strongly to this news.  I understand LW's justification that the un/under employment may be temporary so why push kids to later when they're willing to struggle a bit now.  However, the reality is employment is hard to find, benefits cost more and salaries are not as great as they used to be.  Heck, with the payroll tax exemption expired, take home pay for most families in the US has dropped almost $2K alone this year. Less income + More kids + increased cost of living = TROUBLE.  But if they want to take the chance or live with less money, that's fine. That's their choice.  But they have to realize MIL doesn't mean free babysitting forever.  Grandparents can often feel taken advantage of.  Even if you offered MIL to babysit it doesn't mean she wants to.  Having had MIL as part of their living equation right now I think it was reasonable to share their plans with her, but only as long as they didn't assume she'd continue as things are. I hope MIL stands up for herself with however she decides to go.  Maybe she cuts back on financial help, or babysitting.  Not out of spite, but simply because reality is she needs her own money and she needs to enjoy her retirement or simply doesn't want to babysit so much.


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