My last post was about my daughter and her two small children living here. She's been gone two days now (she's staying with a woman who use to be her neighbor and has threatened on numerous occasions to call Social Services on my daughter). She briefly contacted her dad (my husband) yesterday to say she wouldn't be home again last night. He's a truck driver and wasn't home. She texted him. Anyway, My oldest daughter called today to ask if we were still throwing her a baby shower (she's due late January). During the course of the conversation (she was talking to one of my younger daughters), she mentioned that my daughter who was living here with her children told my oldest she had moved out. She has not told us she has moved out but I feel certain she probably does plan to. My thoughts are this. I'm tired. My house has been peaceful and clean for 3 days (since she left). I have gotten more done in three days than I usually get done in two weeks. Not once has anyone raised their voice (since she left). My two youngest are happy. Maybe I should do tough love and take all of her belongings to her storage unit. If she returns, ask for the key to our house and tell her where her belongings are. If she doesn't return, change the locks. With both of my older daughters, they tend to blame and punish my husband, myself and our two youngest, whenever things go wrong for them. We are usually an after thought until they need something, then we are "Mom and Dad". I love my daughters and I blame myself. I hovered over them trying to protect them from being hurt when they were growing up. I came to their "rescue" whenever they needed something. Now, it's our relationship. So how do I change the relationship without losing my daughters? Your thoughts and ideas are welcomed. My daughters really are nice girls, they just lack gratitude and humility. They behave as if they are entitled and we are in their way of getting what they "deserve".
I had a tough day today. Life in general has been tough lately. In September, (I know that was only two months ago) one of my grown daughters moved back in with us bringing her two small children (ages 2 years and now 5 months). I love them. Everyday, she tells me how much her life "sucks". Her high school sweetheart (and first love) decided he didn't want to be a husband or father anymore. He left her with a car that is falling apart, no money, many late bills and no roof over their heads. My daughter was a stay at home mom (at her husband's insisting) and is having trouble finding a job now that he left. He won't get a "real" job because he knows he will then have to pay child support. The last thing she ever wanted to do was to move back home. She is an adult and wants to do as she pleases. She refuses to discipline her children for fear they might not love her anymore. So my grandchildren run wild in our new home (we bought it May 2008). If we try to tell them no, my daughter gets mad. Her life "sucks".
I get it. It isn't easy to move in with Mom and Dad and suddenly not make all of the rules. Mom and Dad have rules. It isn't fun to have to check in (out of courtesy) to say whether or not you plan to be home for dinner. It isn't fun to help clean up after your children. I get it. I try to be patient when my grandson (the 2 year old) smears food all over the table and it takes my daughter all day AND someone saying, the table needs cleaning before she wipes it up. My patients are being pushed to the limit. I try not to get upset when my daughter leaves a dirty diaper laying on the floor (living room, bedroom, it doesn't matter). I try to be patient while she orders everyone (her two younger sisters who still live at home) around. She lives hear rent free, we provide food, shelter, diapers and even clothes for her children. We have rearranged everything in our lives to adjust to her and her children living hear. I love them all. Did I mention, her life "sucks"?
I'm trying hard not to be bitter. I am trying hard to let her raise her children her way (and still keep my house intact). I love them. I am just so tired of being made to feel like it's my fault her marriage fell apart. I'm so tired of hearing "My life sucks". We all know she's going through a tough time and we have tried to be there for her. We love them. But how much is too much? My sister and Dad keep telling me to be tougher and let her leave with her kid's and see how much life could really "suck". I'm not sure I can do it. The stress is enormous on our family. I've always thought family came first and we make sacrifices for them but now...maybe tough love is better. I would love more thoughts on this.
I love all four of my daughters. I would give my life for anyone of them. I took a class a few years ago and found out I was a "helicopter parent". Basically it means I hover over them and protect them from harm or trouble. Maybe I'm just crazy. Anyway, these are the ramblings of a frustrated and tired woman. Am I terrible for wanting my house to have my rules, my own space and less stress?