Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So Good at Judging the Neighbors

There is a family a few blocks away who have spent the last decade living in a multi-generational household. Grandpa and grandma own the small house, and when grandma got ill and son-in-law [SIL] lost his job, SIL, daughter and their four kids moved in.

It was to be temporary. But life has crazy turns. Grandma's health stabilized, but SIL never found work. Daughter occasionally found a seasonal job, but soon learned that she was jeopardizing her government assistance by working. SIL has a skilled trade, but has refused all work - even the small $100 cash jobs neighbors have asked him to do. At times while living with grandpa and grandma, SIL's own children broke the very appliances he is trained to fix. He never offered to fix them and allowed grandpa to do the honors.

The tensions built and SIL and his family have found another relative who has agreed to let them move in rent-free. But they didn't want their kids to change schools, so SIL and wife drive the kids back to grandpa and grandma's house every day. Unfortunately, SIL's car died and grandpa and grandma have given their own car to SIL and family.

All grandpa and grandma's generosity is on behalf of their grandsons. They don't want their grandchildren to suffer.

I don't think I would have been so accommodating. Then again, could I turn away the chance to provide for my own grandchildren? I just don't know.

What about you?

20 comments:

T said...

I don't know - like you, I wouldn't want my grandkids to suffer. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't allow my kids to sponge off of me in such a blatant manner!

Common, kick in a little rent, get those odd jobs or just keep the house up!

Christine said...

That's a really great question. I guess every situation is different. I would hope that I'd be strong enough in the beginning and not let it get to a point where I was being taken advantage of.
I'm a firm believer in not being a burden on your parents. After graduation it's a really good idea to nudge them gently out of the nest and know that you've given them the wings to survive:)
Of course they can always come home...but it's best not to make it too comfortable...say a cot and slim pickens' in the fridge! LOL

I was just dropping by from SITS to say Hi! & wish you a wonderful Wednesday:)

Cairo Typ0 said...

I wouldn't want my grandkids to suffer but these people need to go! They're totally taking advantage of the grandparents. Grrrr

Gill - That British Woman said...

that's a hard one, as no one wants to see the kids suffer, and its not their fault they have bone idle lazy parents. However to take advantage of the grandparents like that is morally wrong.......I'm not sure what I would do?

Gill in Canada

Busy Bee Suz said...

That is a toughie. And as I am sure you know too, may be a very common scene these days. I think I would have to help the grand kids...for they are innocent victims in this scenario.
I would feel so guilty if I let them suffer because my daughter married an a-hole!
BTW: I already told my girls that I pick their husbands. :)

Lucy and Ethel said...

It is a good question, but I'm not ready to think about grandkids yet!!!

Lucy

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

I'm all for extending unemployment benefits until I read a story like this. For shame, for shame on those folks.

Mental P Mama said...

I would do anything I could for the children. They are innocent players in this scene.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I'm convinced this is exactly why my parents and John's parents choose to live in another state!!

Hallie

Grandma J said...

I'd help the grandkids and once they are grown, the gravey train leaves the station.

That corgi :) said...

tough situation! SIL and daughter should be shot for how they took advantage of her parents. his refusal to fix appliances or take small jobs doesn't sit well with me; here he was living on the generosity of others and not willing to do his part to help out

sad thing is they will burn those other relatives out too if they don't change their behavior

you got to feel for those kids of theirs

sad situation for sure

betty

jojo said...

it's a fine line...I would not wish my grandchildren to suffer but the parents need to go..jj

claudia said...

I might have let them stay, but there would have been chores and rent and food purchased and you know, all the fixin's to help Grandma and Grandpa along. There would be NO WAY I would offer up my car...AT ALL! That is like someone borrowing my underwear...uh uh...no freakin' way!
Only one of my kids has ever been allowed to drive my car and that was an extreme situation. And she had to call me every time she got somewhere or left somewhere!
I'm stingey.

claudia said...

Then, I am thinking...what are they teaching the kids???

lifeissweet16 said...

I'm guessing Granma and Grandpa have been making excuses all their daughter's life about why they "have to" help, which is why she is the way she is and why she married who she married.

I might go for custody of the grandkids, but I certainly wouldn't give these people my car!

lifeissweet16 said...

I'm guessing Granma and Grandpa have been making excuses all their daughter's life about why they "have to" help, which is why she is the way she is and why she married who she married.

I might go for custody of the grandkids, but I certainly wouldn't give these people my car!

Kerri said...

It is a shame that children are used as pawns in this life! I think it would depend on the age of the children, but people need to be held accountable. The SIL should have found closer accomodations, or found someone ELSE'S car to drive the kids back and forth.

WE are to take CARE OF our elders, not sponge off them. If this person was genuinely helpful and concerned when they lived there, and G&G offered, it would be different.

This is what makes me CRAZY in this world. Lazy, "poor-me, I'M the victim in all this" entitlist attitude. Take the kids AWAY from SIL so they don't grow up to be drains on the nation as their parents are.

Kerri said...

Oh, stopping by from SITS. : )

Mrs4444 said...

Sort of off-topic but related...We have a brother and sister in our school who are dropped off at their grandparents daily because they do not actually live in our school district. I HATE that, but I don't want to out them, because these parents are psychotic (mostly) and I want to protect their kids from going to a school where they might not be loved as much as we love them. Sad...

Anonymous said...

My story is that I have a SIL who married my daughter who has two children from previous marriage, the SIL is basically a lazy person with low ambitions and he has never earned enough money to support the family. As a result my wife and I have been providing housing for them for the last two years. At first, it was we need a little extra money to pay bills with, which we always provided to them, then they refinanced the house and pulled money out leaving them with a mortgage they couldn't pay. They were going to be foreclosed when, again, we stepped in and saved the house. Result: we are now not only paying the house payment but all associated bills. I don't want to see my grand daughters homeless so feel I have no choice but I don't know how to light a fire under the SIL to get him to do the right thing. How do I get up the necessary nerve to tell them you have X number of months to figure out how to support yourself as I will be cutting off support? This is very disheartening to my wife and I. But, we feel trapped into making sure our grand daughters do not become homeless.