In Discussions, Discussions, Life, Money, Parenting

Some people are never going to change – getting the shakedown from my father

So we spent the summer at my parents’. It was actually really great. My mother bonded with her grandson so deeply and won his love and trust (he has a hard little shell you have to break through to get to the sweet stuff), that he would wake up every morning and run up to see her and just want to BE with her.

I have never seen him warm up to anyone like that, so quickly and to really love her like that. He has only been like that with my partner and me.

My father? Not so much.

He half-assed tried to have moments of playing with him, but really, just expected him to love him because he was his grandfather. Sorry, doesn’t work that way with children, especially this one – they won’t love you because you’re blood-related, you have to prove it and want to be with them.

So from this trip, I thought we were finally mending our shaky past, you know, where my father basically screamed at me to get the f&*@ out of the house when I was helping my mother many years ago, realize that he was skimming more than he should have out of her paycheque because housing bills do NOT cost that much.

I mean, he was putting things like $500 a month for gas. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS? Even my partner with a gas-guzzling truck (he barely drives it now as he doesn’t work), does not even spend that much going to work full-time, driving an hour away.

My mother, being completely money clueless, just handed over the money. I stepped in, frowned on all of this, and re-jigged the budget and she started giving him less, but a fairer amount.

This is also the reason why you all need to KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING.

I don’t care who is handling the bills, EVERYONE in the family should know how much rent/mortgage costs, utilities, and basic bills. Not telling children this, or keeping your partner in the dark is doing everyone a disservice. What if something happens? They won’t have the first clue of what to do and where to go. WTF, amirite?


Anyway.

He got really angry and told me to get the hell out of the house, screaming obscenities.

A week later, I found out I was pregnant with Baby Bun, and things were strained from then on because my mother insisted I stay with her so she could cook and care for me, knowing how scared I was about what was going to happen, and how much life would change.

SO THE OTHER DAY…

I get an email from him asking me to pay the internet overages incurred from our stay.

I almost lost it.

I already gave $400 at the start to cover utilities, water, etc, and on top of that, I kept the house for them, my partner cooked, I did the dishes, cleaned, and bought things that were useful for the home such as a cordless vacuum cleaner, and restocked the toilet paper and dishwashing pods because…. they were out, so I bought more.

My parents are impractical to a fault, they won’t buy a vacuum cleaner that is expensive but cordless and lightweight (I got them this Dyson V7 Animal) because they think $600 is too much for a vacuum, but think nothing of wasting hundreds on lottery tickets a month. I mean, IMPRACTICAL and let’s face it, a bit dumb.

Never mind.

They also only had 4 plates. FOUR PLATES.

My partner and I went out, spent about $600 restocking their cupboards with cups, plates, bowls.. I have no idea where the hell they went, if my mom gave them away, they got broken, I have no idea. We bought Corelle white plates because they are very hard to break and my parents are very careless.

I told them I expected to see these plates when I returned next year.

We already bought a ton of plates for them before we left with Baby Bun when he was only 7 months old and we had made it through winter (we didn’t want to travel in winter with a small baby, driving on the highway), and when we got back this year, barely any of it was left.

HE DOESN’T NEED THE MONEY

To shake me down for that money, when I already gave him MORE THAN ENOUGH to cover the utilities, I mean, generously went over so it wouldn’t be an issue, and now he wants specific amounts on bills?

To top it all off, he doesn’t need the money because my mother pays 100% of the bills and then some.

Like I mentioned before, she covered the mortgage, paid it in full on her own when I told her it would be better to clear the debt, and now covers the utilities, insurance, and even shelled out $4000 for a new roof this summer because I told her it was now or never, and the leaks would ruin the home in the long run if she didn’t.

She can’t save money.

She just can’t, but she knows how to do it when there is a goal and a purpose in sight. Otherwise, due to the way she grew up (here’s what my mother learned about money growing up), my mother lives every day like it is her last.

Literally.

She spends every penny and wastes a lot of it because she just wants to show her love by buying things for us even if we don’t need them.

We children have resigned ourselves to staying out of it as much as possible, and we know if they ever need the money, the house will be the #1 thing to sell.

So my mother pays for everything and he doesn’t need the “internet overage” charges from me.

…AND HE DOES F&*@! ALL TO HELP HER

And in the house?

He does JACK SQUAT to help her. He doesn’t clean, doesn’t cook (only on rare occasions), would rather buy McDonald’s than cook a meal, and doesn’t lift a finger.

He will for instance, ask her to cook elaborate curries that take 8 hours to grind and mix, but then instead of washing up and helping clean, he will just eat the curry and rice, and wash his own plate and cutlery, and consider himself to have been helpful.

Never mind it took 10 pots and plates, time and sweat to make this dish, HE WILL NOT WASH ANYTHING but his own plate and considers that a gift.

Why?

Because he grew up as a little prince (my grandmother basically waited on him hand and foot, as he was the only male heir to the name, which is a bunch of patriarchal bull#%@!), and has been spoiled ever since.

Plus, he is the “the man” of the home, even though he doesn’t take or do any responsibility for being “the man” except for his gender, as my mother pays for everything and still works full-time (she enjoys her job though, and doesn’t want to quit, we have asked.)

All of this cultural, patriarchal, misogynist crap is exactly why I make my own money, and it has spurred me to be who I am today. I can at least thank their upbringing for that.

But this? This was the last straw.

I refused to pay it, emailed my mother to tell her I was refusing and why, and that’s the end of it.

If he wants to go ahead and f*#% up this relationship because of money, that’s on him, not me.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. Corianne

    So sorry to read this 🙁

    Reply
  2. GVK

    So sorry to read that. But you are dealing it the right way. And yes, patriarchy has screwed more people than anything else.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Frustrating. FRUSTRATING.

      Reply
  3. ReadingSSS

    Your father is a real piece of work. I commend your restraint.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I am only doing it to keep the peace and not have my mother bear the brunt of this.

      Reply

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