Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Grown-Up Kid Conundrum--Part Deux

The "baby bloggers," meaning all those unmarried, childless twenty-somethings whose blogs I love to read, go on and on about humongous student loans. Their thirty and forty-ish partners-in-blogging are more apt to discuss the extreme expenses of child rearing.

So what does 59 year old Grace have to whine about?

Why, children, of course.

Grown up children.

Grown up children who have moved back home, with husbands and children in tow.

Trust me, this was NOT in the plan. And trust me again, this is NOT a good plan, either emotionally or financially.

Spare me the "just say no" lectures. I did say no. As my daughter's family was getting evicted from the home they shared with another family, they asked if they could move in with me for the short term. I said no, and they made other plans. Unfortunately, two days before the sheriff was set to show up at their front door, those other plans fell through. Had it been only the adults, I would have stuck to my "no." But there was a nine year old, a six year old and a four year old involved. So, reluctantly, knowing full well that this was going to be a disaster, I agreed to house the family temporarily.

It's been three weeks. So far, they've run my oil tank dry, broken the power supply to my computer, used up all the laundry detergent, clogged the toilets--yep, BOTH of them, and messed up my TIVO programming, not to mention eating every single bit of food in the house including the bag of Trader Joe's asparagus risotto that has resided in my freezer for the past two years.

That's just the financial end. Because this daughter has severe emotional issues of her own (she is fully disabled and receives SSI), the social atmosphere at home has been chaotic to say the least. I find myself staying longer at work, while my 17 year old prefers to hang out with friends, both of us doing our best to avoid being home.

April is another tough month in terms of my budget, in the best of times. With the addition of five more people, the poor budget is overwhelmed and I'm struggling to NOT add more debt to my credit cards.

My adult daughter is both smart and resourceful. She's no happier than I am with the current arrangement. She has now lined up money from two different agencies to get her family into an apartment if she can just find one that will rent to them. She says she should have it done in another two weeks.

I hope so. I've got my fingers crossed.


Bouncing Back said...

Hang in there. Can you daughter and her family at least help out with things like replacin the laundry detergent and filling the oil tank? Could they at least go grocery shopping?

On the brighter side, at least your pantry got a good clean out, and when they leave you can re-stock with fresh staples.

tmbf57 said...

Hi there, I agree with Bouncing Back. As well, if your daughter receives SSI, she and her family should also be receiving Food Stamps as well as TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families). Would she consider assisting with the food expenses from the Food Stamp money while she and her family are there? And can she use some of the TANF funds to assist you in paying some bills you may have incurred from assisting her?

Grace. said...

Good points. When the family first moved in, they had already spent their food stamps. Now that they have gotten this month's amount, they have been purchasing food. But unless I label the food that my 17 year old and I use (which, come to think of it, isn't a half-bad idea!), my food tends to be eaten as well. I do think there should be a contribution to the oil tank but my daughter disagreed. Unfortunately, her mental health issues mean (1) she's not always rational; and (2) arguing with her leads to more problems than I really want, especially in front of the grandchildren. I dearly love my daughter and her family, but living with her? I'm just counting the days until we don't have to anymore.

boots586 said...

Was it Mark Twain who said "Home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in?"

This is the revolving door generation.