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Beginning to resent my daughter

(35 Posts)
Operalover Wed 17-Jul-19 13:15:42

Hello all I'm a newbie and hope you can offer some clarity

My daughter who is mid forties lives at home with me and my husband of 30+ years , her step father. She returned home following the break up of a short relationship which resulted in a pregnancy. At the time I was happy to support her through the pregnancy and with the baby. My daughter suffers from depression and social anxiety and finds it hard to hold down a job. My husband and I support her and our grandson now 13 financially as she is on benefits. She does very little in the home unless asked and I am finding that I don't want to spend any time with her. Our grandson is bright and funny and also talented musically. My daughter lives her life totally through him and this worries me for the future. We have funded rented accommodation for them both in the past but this broke down very quickly. Help !!!

Iam64 Wed 17-Jul-19 13:39:48

Hello, what do you want to happen, that seems to be the question, not whether others can offer you clarity.
It's clear your daughter is dependent on you and your husband to support her and her son. You've done this, if I understand your post correctly, for 13 years since her relationship broke down and her child was born. Any attempt to set her up independently has failed
What do you want to happen - think ideally, then think realistically what do you want and what is possible.

sodapop Wed 17-Jul-19 13:48:31

I would take it in stages. First discuss the fact that she does not contribute enough either financially or in terms of help around the house. Be firm that this has to change and you are not able to continue as before. Set out exactly what you want from her and then you both can agree the details. Hopefully she will become less dependent on you and you can take the next steps to her moving on. It's difficult but you need to stop enabling this dependence on you.

Elegran Wed 17-Jul-19 13:48:31

I'd say she could do with a wake-up call to leave her cosy child-like dependency on you both and do something for herself. Fourteen years is a long time to give up responsibility for her own life while she recovered from her unsuccessful relationship and the results of it. In another five years her son could be studying in another town, and unless she makes other interests for herself she will be bereft.

It might take support (and persistence) to get her moved on, but when that succeeds you will all be able to live more independently and thus get on better together. Try not to make it full of criticism but as support for her to take back her life, but you may need to be firm in insisting that she take some kind of steps on her own behalf, painful though she may find them.

Is she getting treatment for the depression and social anxiety, and is she herself working at anything to improve it? Maybe she needs encouragement to pester return to the GP about it. She could ask for a referral to someone who will "retrain" her confidence and independence.

Does she volunteer at anything? That is an introduction to the routine of work, and will give her references for future employment. Does she have any hobbies which she could develop at an evening class or join a group that meets for a "knit and natter" type session ? That could provide chats and possible starts to friendships. Are there any lunch clubs or similar in your area?

Give her some specific responsibilities in the home. Tell her you are finding it quite tiring to do everything in the house, while she does almost nothing, and give her a choice of a couple of things from a short list that she could take on all the work of - maybe the bed-changing and laundry, or the shopping and checking that the staples in the store-cupboard are always topped up (you could keep a shopping-list on a notice-board that you added to yourself when you thought of things, if she is not good at knowing what is needed) or cooking meals a few times a week and clearing up afterwards.

As it is, you and she are in danger of falling out because you see too much of one another. You are feeling aggrieved because she is acting like a small child again, and she feels (and acts) like a small dependent child because she is not in charge of anything. That is not healthy for either of you.

You clearly think a lot of your grandschild, but at the end of the day, he is her child and she is his mother. There is a danger of him regarding you as that mother unless you can help your daughter grow up. That would not be good for any of you in the long run.

paddyann Wed 17-Jul-19 13:57:18

if she's depressed she needs professional help ,so guide her towards that.She might ne able to get her life back once she has dealt with the things she s scared to face .Depression is a horrible thing so try not to be too harsh with her but be firm about her seeking help

Operalover Wed 17-Jul-19 14:06:57

Elegran Thanks for your reply

As a former mental health professional i have ensured my daughter has the help available and she has had lots of it over the years. She does volunteer but if any social outings are arranged she just gives up and doesn't go back.
She also takes medication and this may well be life long.
I would like to be free of the responsibility for her and my Grandson so we could peruse separate lives and a better relationship. What I feel now is trapped by her willingness just to relinquish responsibility for herself and to some extent her son.

Elegran Wed 17-Jul-19 14:55:24

It is very difficult, Operalover, isn't it? You can't just abandon her to sink or swim in case she sinks, but it is frustrating that she lets you do all the swimming and towing her through the water!

Perhaps you could get her to do more in the house, though. That wouldn't entail being socially brave, and it could give her a bit more confidence in her ability to be responsible for a small part of her (and the family's) needs. In the long run that could pave the way for more.

Operalover Wed 17-Jul-19 15:24:26

Thanks for to all who took the time to reply. Will make some plans for small steps forward.

GabriellaG54 Wed 17-Jul-19 15:39:02

The thing is that you, in trying to help initially, have nade a rod for your own back.
Try going out for a meal with your husband and leave enough food in the fridge fir her to make her and her son's meals that evening.
Not a ready meal or anything pre-prepared, just stuffvwhi h anyine coukd make a cooked meal from.
Don't give her warning. Tell her about an hour before you go out and don't listen to objections. She's 40 fgs and you doing everything is the same as a mother feeding and clothing a drug addict so they can continue their habit. You are, inadvertently perhaps, feeding her depression and societal failings by giving her nothing to do.
You can either continue in this vein and resent her or get your life back.
What does your husband say about it?

GabriellaG54 Wed 17-Jul-19 15:46:00

So sorry for errors. blush
nade made
fir for
stuffvwhi h stuff which
anyine anyone
coukd could

I was typing with left hand and eating at same time.

sodapop Wed 17-Jul-19 17:22:18

GabriellaG54 eating and typing, that's not like you at all, I wondered what had happened when I saw the first post grin

FarNorth Wed 17-Jul-19 17:27:47

You have funded rented accommodation, but if she is on benefits she can claim Housing Benefit to pay some or all of her rent.
I agree with those saying you may be making it too easy for her to opt out of things.

GabriellaG54 Wed 17-Jul-19 18:39:48

sodapop was really out of character for me to do that. It was cherries and the juice was running down my chin and I was eager to stop it going on my phone.
Never again...I promise. 😥

Callistemon Wed 17-Jul-19 19:27:05

I didn't see anything wrong with Gabriella's post on first reading - which shows that the eye sees what the brain wants to comprehend!

Callistemon Wed 17-Jul-19 19:30:20

Operalover you should insist that she at least contributes to the household by doing some tasks eg she could take over the cleaning. It could also give her a sense of self-respect to do some chores and know she has done a good job.
She does need to pull her weight and it could help her too.

M0nica Wed 17-Jul-19 20:20:44

In 5 years her son will be 18, leaving school with the capacity to earn his own living and go his own way.

Why not plan to downsize when that happens, to a house with only room for two plus a small spare bedroom. Give her plenty of notice, perhaps start talking about it now: discussing this as a future option, saying how as you get older you need help instead of helping So that she has plenty of time to take on board that when that happens there will be no room for her in your new house and she will have to move out and stay out. Let her then be the responsibility of Social Services, do not try and rescue her yourself.

That is the long term gently way.

Alternatively, stay where you are, get her back living independently and if she gets into difficulties, let Social Services take the strain and make it clear to her that the escape route back home has been demolished. She has to sink or swim.

We have another thread running where a son in his late 50s is living a Walter Mitty existence convinced that he will make a computer break through and make million and meanwhile lives off his wife and parents. This is the same situation, but instead of money your daughter has a secure home with all amenities and she knows that if she does move out the moment anything happens she doesn't like, she can just escape back home. One set of parents needs to stop giving money and you need to pull in the welcome mat and say, move out (with our help) and stand on your own two feet. I think you will see that once that she realises there is no longer afamily emergency chute, and she has got to manage on her own, she will manage a lot better than you fear.

Sara65 Wed 17-Jul-19 21:43:56

I feel rather sorry for the daughter, she doesn’t seem to have much of a life, and when her son ups and goes, what will she have left?

I can see she’s causing a lot of irritation, but i think it will be really hard to push her out of her safe zone after all these years, I’m sure she shouldn’t be so dependent on her parents at her age, but it seems that’s all she’s got, I feel sad for her

Urmstongran Wed 17-Jul-19 22:20:04

My lovely, wise mum used to say ‘be a safety net for your adult children to fall into should they need it’. You are (have done) too much from the get go. Plan now, ever so gently, to let go those apron strings.

Daisymae Thu 18-Jul-19 11:05:54

I think perhaps you need to talk to her and agree a way forward. This has been going on too long and it will be very difficult for her to accept the responsibilities that go with being an adult. I agree that she should have responsibilities that are hers alone, she should also have a financial commitment to you so that it is not so comfortable for her being at home. She needs to get employment, she may not like it, but it is time to ease her out of her comfort zone. At the moment she is able to act like another child, as really she has never had to be burdened with the stresses that go with being independent.

sazz1 Thu 18-Jul-19 11:06:56

Regardless of whether you were/are a health professional when you are emotionally involved things become unclear. You are creating a culture of dependancy for your daughter the same as some parents have with learning disability children in the past. Slowly start working towards an independent life for your daughter by transferring some responsibility to her e.g. the dishes, the washing, etc. It's hard when it's your own child. All the best xxx

Operalover Thu 18-Jul-19 11:09:57

Daisymae. Thank you for that. I have formulated a plan and will speak to her to agree a way forward. You are so right in what you say and thank you for not using blaming language which some other comments have unhelpfully done.

humptydumpty Thu 18-Jul-19 11:10:41

My DD tends not to do anything unless asked but will then help willingly, perhaps you need to draw up a rota with explicit chores e.g. Monday vacuum living room, Tuesday clean bathroom etc. so that you both know exactly what is expected?

Minerva Thu 18-Jul-19 11:10:43

I am in exactly the same position though my grandchild is 5 and I am otherwise alone. I pay for everything to do with the house so that she can save enough to move away from our horribly expensive area. I am so torn. I didn’t expect at my advanced age to be keeping house for a family and childminding half the week, nor to be unable to downsize until I am almost too old to do it.

But the bond I have with my grandchild is priceless and if I try to push my daughter to move along the atmosphere becomes toxic which is not good for any of us.

I once said to my ex husband who was grumbling that all of our offspring were still at home, ‘I guarantee that they will be gone by 25’ and two of them were younger than that when they left. I never imagined this scenario and don’t dare to predict when they can afford to move in case I am again out by 20 years!

GrannyAnnie2010 Thu 18-Jul-19 11:16:29

Three generation homes are not uncommon, and indeed, nothing to be embarrassed about.

Make a list of all the jobs around the house that need doing. The person who does that job writes their name next to it. By the end of a couple of months, you'll have something concrete to show that someone is not pulling their weight and you can then lay down the rules.

Take turns to be invisible on alternate weekends, to make a full dinner, to cut the grass.

If you want them out, you have to be as brave as you want her to be, and tell her so.

spabbygirl Thu 18-Jul-19 11:21:23

I think you have to ask her to help but do it kindly, it will be a shock to her after so many years. Work out a plan of what she can do to help & how she's going to get anywhere to move. Its quite difficult to contribute in someone else's home even if that is her childhood home, we all have different ways of doing things, but encouragement should help.