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Son & DIL are making me sad with unfair expectations.

(181 Posts)
Lavazza1st Fri 08-Feb-19 16:16:07

They want me to pay for EVERYTHING!!! I was so excited to become a Granny, so I bought them everything they would need to start their life here. Previously, my son lived in Asia where he worked for 3 years and got his translator pregnant.

He messed up his uni degree to go and be with her. He really wanted to come back to uk so, we said they could stay with us while he found a job, but he's finding it harder than he thought to find one and he's getting really angry / stressed.

The baby only eats white foods and theyre giving him 4 x 90 mls of formula a day. I have told them they need to cut it down to a pint of milk a day and give him nutritious foods. They don't seem to know what they're doing and I think her parents did all the child rearing before. They wanted me to give up my job to care for him while they work and I said no because I can't afford to. They also said (in HER culture) the parents buy the new couple a house and a car and the grandparents buy all the clothes and everything for the baby! I feel cross that they are comparing me negatively to the other Grandparents and can't afford to do what they are asking! Much as I'd love to be a Granny, I can't help thinking they might have been better off staying where they were. AIBU

PECS Fri 08-Feb-19 16:30:42

Yes and no!!
Your son has ended up , as many do, with responsibilities he cannot maintain. It it immaterial where his wife is from. The child is now his responsibilty. Different cultures do have different expectations but when they blend there must be compromise!
You clearly cannot afford to give up your income. That is unreasonable of your son!
If they are living rent free with you that seems enough! Not sure what line of work he is in, or about the time line of work/ pregnancy/ uni. If you are home in the evenings/ weekends maybe he can find some work when you are home. Is his wife able to work in UK? Not 100% sure of current rules!

FlexibleFriend Fri 08-Feb-19 16:52:28

Well what he says makes no sense on any level. They haven't got jobs and until they do what would be the point in you giving up work? Can't two adults care for one child why would it need three? He needs to grow up, he got himself in this situation and now he needs to find a job to get himself out of it. He chose to come home where parents do not buy houses and cars for their children so why did he choose to come back? Could that be because he thought life would be easier? How is he comparing you to the other Grandparents?

Day6 Fri 08-Feb-19 16:57:19

It doesn't matter what they say, think or demand.

They are "not the boss of you* (as my teenagers used to say) so don't act as if their mess is your problem. It isn't.

You have been very generous "buying everything" for them (why?) so maybe they imagine you're a soft touch and you'll continue to do so.

Please put your foot down and stop being such a doormat. They'll treat you like one if you behave like one.

They need to grow up and sort their parenting out and their work issues. As long as you have input they'll see you as the spare wheel and you'll be responsible or to blame for things that go wrong.

You don't owe them anything nor should you bow to their financial demands. It is up to you to stand up to them and make it absolutely clear you will continue with your life and they'd better make efforts to improve theirs.

As for them not being good at child care - babies don't come with a manual. We learn as we go and we do our research and ask questions of the health visitor or GP. The child should be getting regular growth checks and his diet will be discussed then. Your DIL has to be in that driving seat, not you.

Cold Fri 08-Feb-19 18:01:06

I think that their expectations that you will provide houses and cars for them are totally unreasonable - as is their request for you to give up work to care for their baby - what do they think is supporting them at the moment? Therefore you need to put your foot down and make it clear that they need to earn their own money and pay for their own living costs.

Where I think you are BU is to force your own opinions on baby feeding onto them. You don't say how old the baby is but I would keep out of it as it is their baby and their parenting decisions to make. I actually don't understand your point about the milk at all - you say that the baby is currently having 4 x 90ml of formula or 360ml - but you want them to "cut down" to a pint of cowsmilk but that if 568ml so actually more? This is where the baby's age is important as cowsmilk is not recommended until at least one year.

phoenix Fri 08-Feb-19 18:17:21

Well, if in "her" culture the grandparents buy a house, car etc, then let them! As long as it's her parents, of course.

The counter argument/point, is "when in Rome........"

TBH, I think you have done more than enough for this ungrateful couple.

agnurse Fri 08-Feb-19 18:20:59

I agree with Cold.

It's definitely not reasonable for them to expect you to pay for everything. If GPs want to buy a few things or to provide child care, that's very generous, but it is by no means a requirement.

I also agree that you are BU in terms of feeding the baby. First of all, it's not your baby. Secondly, you don't provide any information on how old the baby is. Babies under 6 months of age should have breastmilk or formula only. After 6 months they need an additional source of iron, but breastmilk or formula should continue until 1 year. Absolutely no straight cow's milk should be given until 1 year - it's low in iron and can cause GI bleeding, causing iron loss and increasing the risk for anemia. I recognize you may have done things differently with your children, but as knowledge increases, standards change. This is the current evidence-based recommendation.

kittylester Fri 08-Feb-19 18:26:42

Hello ok! Is this your first post? If so welcome!

M0nica Fri 08-Feb-19 18:33:17

Lavazza1st Can I go back, perhaps a decade, when your son was a little boy did you do your best to give him everything he wanted whenever he wanted it?

I ask this because your son's behaviour is very reminiscent of the behaviour of adult children who throughout their life have had their parents running round giving them everything they want , getting them out of trouble and making their life trouble free.

You probably need to break the habit of lifetime and tell your DS that he is a grown adult man, old enough to be married and have his own child and that it is now his turn to man up and provide for his family and not expect his mummy to wait on him hand and foot.

He says he cannot get a job. I am sure he can get something, even if it is a zero hours job in a supermarket, or elsewhere in the gig economy. Beggars cannot be choosers. He can work in that while looking for the career job he is expecting.

I would tell them that you have done all you can, they must now be self-sufficient and contribute one way or another to the costs of your joint household or move out and stand on their own 2 feet.

You, in your turn, must leave the upbringing of the baby to its parents, fashions in child rearing come and go, the baby is unlikely to come to any harm. Nothing is less conducive to intergenerational good relations than a grandmother who thinks she knows more about bringing up children than a child's parents. You don't, I don't, my parents didn't when I was a new mother. Did you let your parents and parents in law interfere in the nurture of your son when he was small?

As for buying houses, other countries, other ways of doing things. Parents in Britain expect their grown married children to stand on their own two feet, find their own housing and provide for their own family. Those are the customs in the UK.

EllanVannin Fri 08-Feb-19 18:50:54

Nobody with any self-respect would ever make such demands on their parents. They should be grateful that you're keeping them.

Won't applications have to be made if she's going to be a permanent resident here ?

Grammaretto Fri 08-Feb-19 19:40:51

You are certainly notBU! Anyway babies aren't very expensive. I see 2nd hand prams and cots very cheap.
It's when the children get older they cost more.
That was wise advice to listen to the health visitor rather than you telling them. Bite your tongue but don't keep them forever and certainly don't give up your job.
I wish you luck!

marpau Sat 09-Feb-19 09:10:55

My thoughts too phoenix

Lily65 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:25:31

MMMM, an interesting and thought provoking dilema from a new comer.

I await developments.

Suej7 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:27:32

You say that your son and family are staying “with us” so I assume that means you and your husband, but you haven’t mentioned his opinion on the situation. Is he having any financial input? How does he feel?

Harris27 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:30:29

I think it's time your son stood in his own two feet and if he can't I would send him back to asia and ask the other grandparents to foot the bill!!!!

BlueBelle Sat 09-Feb-19 09:34:12

First post I m awaiting too Lily and Kittylester

loltara Sat 09-Feb-19 09:34:40

He needs to grow a pair! Give him 3 months notice to sort themselves out, ie leave. Where's the parents in all of this? Council can lend him a deposit to rent privately. You or the world doesn't owe him a living.

jaylucy Sat 09-Feb-19 09:39:29

If they are not working, are they claiming any benefits?
No reason why they can't if you are in the UK.
Sorry, but your son needs to get off his bottom and get a job , whatever it is, and act like the man he claims to be, rather than a spoilt little boy.
If things don't change, you may have to ask them to move out, hard as it is.

Apricity Sat 09-Feb-19 09:39:58

Already such a lot of good advice. There are no shoulds or have tos. What do you want to contribute? Are you in a financial position to contribute and if so how much? A bit? A lot? Don't buy the 'it's their culture' line; it's a form of emotional/financial blackmail. If the 'other grandparents' want to contribute all this bounty then let them!!

Your son and his partner are adults now, it's their life, their child, time to grow up and accept their responsibilities. Maybe a big wake up call and a 'welcome to the real world' moment.

jenpax Sat 09-Feb-19 09:50:10

I am not sure which country insists on grandparents buying houses and everything for a new couple,as you just said Asia? But here in the UK most people could not really afford to do that and it isn’t the expectation! Your son knows this and is being unreasonable!
As for work, you can’t give up your job on a whim and I imagine that you don’t want to! Your DIL is likely to have restrictions on her ability to work as she will be here on a spousal visa but you stated that she was a translator so it may be worth checking on her right to work via an immigration lawyer as I would think she could get a job which would allow her to work from home or part time teaching? Also your son should be able to claim child benefit for the baby and I would urge him to consult with citizens advice about this and to check the benefit rules in general for him and the baby, she will have no recourse to public funds but as your son is a UK citizen his rights are different.

ajanela Sat 09-Feb-19 09:50:33

4x90 mls = 360mls. 1 pint = 600 mls. So I think they need to increase the milk not decrease. You don’t say the age of the baby. If the baby is not eating a varied diet it might be better to give one of the special milks for toddlers if it is a toddler.

They and you are both stressed and maybe just because they are telling you what happens in her culture it doesn’t mean they expect you to do it. The positive thing is they both want to work and your son is keen to get a job. He seems to be aware of his responsibilities but can’t meet them at the moment.

It must be a stressful situation to live in which doesn’t help and your DIL is having to adjust to a different culture and must miss her friends and family. Not easy especially with a baby.

How about everyone calms down and tries work out a positive way forward. No don’t give up your job, ( it was only a suggestion) but enjoy the baby and try to be kind to one another.

Toots Sat 09-Feb-19 09:50:40

I'm afraid...in reply to them telling you what you should be paying for and doing... I would have looked them straight in the eye and said "Well in THIS country, we..(blah, blah, blah)..........as YOU very well know!" (looking straight at my son) "..and if I gave up work, who would keep you at this precise moment?!"...
What a cheek!... made my blood boil just reading it!..

jessycake Sat 09-Feb-19 09:50:46

I think you are really going to have to nip this one in the bud Your son knows full well that it is not in our culture or even affordable to do this . I don't know if there is anywhere he could get some advice , as I expect the full enormity of his situation has hit him and he is taking his anger out on you .

ayokunmi1 Sat 09-Feb-19 09:59:03

His been screwed ...dont get invoved stsy well clear support only if you can .Do not give up your job why should you what boldness.He should take responsibility. He should not become a drain on you.

Lily65 Sat 09-Feb-19 10:16:31

Tell us more about the interpreter, she sounds a most interesting and highly educated person.