Last year my husband (35M) and I (34F) had our first (and last) child. We were fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with him for almost a year by staggering our parental leave and vacations, but now that time has run out and we must return to work.
I asked my mother (56F) if she would be available to watch him during the week and she said no. Fair enough. That’s her prerogative.
My husband and I researched daycares in the areas where we work and settled on one that came highly recommended. It was expensive though and that meant cutting down on expenses – like the monthly allowance that we’d been giving my mother.
A bit of background to this.
My parents were married for 28 years before my father decided that he wanted someone younger than my mother. For all of those 28 years my mother had been a SAHM then SAHW.
With my father leaving, she was now meant to survive somehow in a world where she had never really worked because when they got married my father didn’t want her to and, because she was raised in a traditional family, she did what the head of household wanted.
I’m not even going to go into that man’s hypocrisy. Either way, he’s gone and she’s struggling. My husband and I have been supplementing my mother’s income to a hefty amount every month which was not an issue until we had to put baby into daycare and found out just how expensive that was.
In light of that, we told her that we would need to cut her allowance in half. We were not planning to start immediately but would take the financial hit for three months to give her to time to adjust and move things around.
She got upset and told us that we were punishing her for saying no. I told her that was not the case but it is hard to maintain two households virtually by ourselves if we had to pay an exorbitant amount of our salaries to daycare every month for the foreseeable future. She was still angry and asked us to leave.
Later my sister called us upset that we were “abandoning mom” and “making her struggle” just because she wouldn’t do our bidding. So I suggested to her that she increase how much she was helping considering she still lives at home.