If My Parents Were Aging Moochers, They Could Only Pry My Money From My Cold, Dead Hands

parentNo matter how old you get, you still have to deal with your parents. Your parents are the people who shaped you and supported you throughout your formative years, or maybe they’re just the jerks that screwed you up. I have a little of column A and a little of column B in my parenting pool myself.

Because of this, I have very strong feelings about parents being parents, no matter how old a child is. I had a lot of adult responsibility put on me at a young age, and I firmly believe that parents should continue their parental role for the rest of their lives, no excuses.

I’ve already thought a great deal about how I’m going to treat my adult kids. I plan to pay for their dinners. I plan to always buy them Christmas gifts, even when they’re 40 years old. I will always offer free babysitting as a grandparent. This model of adult parenting comforts me, and I don’t think there is a specific age when a grown parent stops being a parent.

I recently read an article about adults that have to lie to their parents about how much money they make. Why would they do this? Because their grown parents still have boundary issues and would be perfectly happy mooching off the success of their kids. Yes, you heard me right. I find this gross and inappropriate in every way.

The woman in the article actually went into credit card debt trying to help out her parents. She now makes a successful $70,000 a year salary that she can’t be proud of in the presence of her parents. No, she has to lie to her parents about her career success so that they don’t continue to guilt her and try to siphon money from her.

This parenting situation bugs me so much I can’t stand it. When I was young, my dad constantly made me feel guilty about money because of his own poverty/hoarder mentality. He and I currently have a rocky relationship, but you better believe that if he ever tried to mooch money off me, I would say hell to the no.

Because of my completely biased point of view, I don’t find it appropriate to support adult parents. While not every parent may be rich, financially supporting a child is part of the game plan from day one. Just because a kid grows into an adult doesn’t mean it’s their responsibility to cover for a moochy parent.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • pixie

    My parents are not moochers at all, and would be proud if I was successful in my career and would even still insist on paying for dinner or whatever. But my parents are also really good with money and know how to budget.
    My boyfriends parents have said on a few occasions that if my boyfriend and I get married and buy a house, they’re going to live in our basement for a couple months of the year when they’re not living in their trailer. I have no idea if they’re joking, but they sound pretty serious, and I have told my boyfriend that I am not down with them living with us. I have no problem lending a helping hand for a little while if they needed it – a place to sleep, some food, a roof over their heads – I’m a decent person, but I am not ok with them just assuming they’d live with us. My boyfriend agrees with me, as well, he’s not too happy with them even joking about it, because it’s just a long line of irresponsible/immature things about them that he has come to resent.

    • Bethany Ramos

      That really sucks. Along the same lines, it would be really hard to have a partner that was unable to set clear boundary lines with their own parents. It sounds like your boyfriend definitely can, and thankfully, my husband is pretty good at it too.

    • Erin Murphy

      My MIL is a big fat moocher. She wastes money on mani pedis, clothes, and purses, then cries about the cost of necessities. We will help with food and we always foot the bill when we go out but that’s it. I’m so grateful that my husband and I are on the same page with her.

    • pixie

      Yes, he’s pretty good at setting boundaries with them. He still lives with them currently, so setting boundaries is a little difficult at times, but he definitely does not want to be taken advantage of. Part of it stems from him being the only one in his household who currently has a steady, good paying job and more than just provincial-based healthcare and the resentment he has towards them about being very careless with money and having an aversion to employment.
      Don’t get me wrong, they have supported him and gave him a decent upbringing, but it’s a collection of things over the years, and even more-so in the past five years that have helped him realize he needs to set boundaries.

    • Guest

      I thought my husband was and that his parents were great. They’d always pay for dinner and take us out. Then they hit hard times (at roughly the same time we did) and were hitting us up hard for cash. It almost ruined the relationship entirely.
      I still think my SIL at some point will make them broke (even though she makes the most of anyone in his family). She is constantly racking up debt, crying to mom, having her fly her across the country to visit and take her shopping. Ugh.

    • Colleen

      Buy a house without a basement! Problem solved! LOL

    • Alexandra

      LOL. Or in a flood zone :)

    • pixie

      lol, I have said that before, actually!

  • candyvines

    For a guy who is infamous for pranking co-workers on set, George Clooney doesn’t look like he can take a joke.

    • Alex Lee

      He did a Reddit AMA yesterday. On being made fun of at awards shows:

      “Usually it’s pretty funny. You know I got really good by Tina and Amy
      the other day and I’m working on getting them back in a big way. But for
      the most part most of the time when it’s bad it’s actually funny. You
      actually feel bad for the comedians up on stage cause you know if you’ve
      ever gone to a comedy club and you see somebody bomb it makes you
      cringe. Shows like that are designed to have fun with you without being
      devastatingly unkind. I’ve been the target of a couple of stupid jokes
      that didn’t work, but in general I’ve only seen a couple that were
      really vicious toward people, and they didn’t work. When they don’t work
      you feel badly for the person doing it.”


    • candyvines

      Thanks, interesting! He’s always making such a poopy face at award shows, I thought maybe he was better at dishing it out.

  • Kay_Sue

    This is another one of those things that depends on the context and the relationship.

    I remember getting my first paycheck and taking my whole family out to dinner (which cost most of it, but was worth it since I was still living at home at the time anyway). I did it again after my first promotion, and sporadically at other times. I appreciated being able to treat them after all of the support that I had received over the years.

    BUT, I also know my parents would drop dead before they allowed me to give them money–seriously, when my husband and I hit some financial hardships several years ago because my boss forgot (yes–FORGOT) to file the paperwork so I would get paid while on maternity leave, they helped us out–and I had to fight tooth and nail to get them to accept any kind of payback (they eventually did).

    Like most things, it depends on the people involved. I can’t imagine ever hiding success from my parents–they were my biggest fans and I know they were pleased to see that they’d raised me to be a productive, contributing member of society. But, I’ll also be the first to tell you that I was fucking blessed with bomb-ass parents. They made their mistakes, but they are good people that have fought hard for us to have the best they could possibly offer, and I know that’s not the case for everyone. I wish it was. So I can understand people that need to put limits on that relationship for their own good too. I’ve heard it said that love is unconditional, but relationships aren’t–I believe it really applies here. When someone, even a parent, violates those boundaries of the relationship, you have to take steps to protect yourself.

    • aCongaLine

      I totally agree with this.

      I, too, have amazing, wonderful, “bomb-ass” parents. Hubs, though, not-so-much. His mother has mooched off him his whole life- and continues to to this day. While we send SIL a small cheque every month to cover a portion of MIL’s needs, he does it begrudgingly. I support his choice, but I’m not happy that he feels obligated to do so. We can afford it, but still. It’s the principle of it that rubs me the wrong way. WHile my parents would fish out change from my pockets in the laundry, and put it aside for me, his would go through his wallet routinely.

      It makes me sad, and it makes Hubs really really resentful of the difference in our upbringing. He’s overcompensating for his shitty parents by trying to be the BEST. FATHER. EVER., and I’m grateful that my girls have him as their dad. (He truly is the BFE).

      I’d help my parents out in a nanosecond- but they were smart, and planned ahead, and won’t need financial help in their future (barring any 1929-esque catastrophies). That small cheque, though, is the extent of the help that I’d give to my ILs- and only because it was Hubs’ decision. Its totally a situation, and relationship thing.

    • Bethany Ramos

      We have the same husband too! *chills*

      ETA: Not the situation you described (which sucks), but the best-ness. :)

    • aCongaLine

      We’re def long lost twins or something lol.

    • Terry Teague SF

      ^^ makes sense

    • Tinyfaeri

      My husband and I are lucky enough to be in a similar situation to yours with both sets of parents. We’d also both help our parents out without a second thought if they ever did need it and would get to where they could accept it (though that would take a lot) – funny how that works, isn’t it?

    • Kay_Sue

      To say the least. We’d do the same.

    • Vicki Lewis

      Well put. Exactly what I was thinking.

  • CM

    I live in fear that my in-laws will end up living with us. They “lend” money (they can’t afford) to my piece of crap BIL and his wife (who live so far above their means it’s insane), go to Florida for months every winter, have a boat they can’t afford (and can’t sell) and need my husband to help fix it constantly, and a house in disrepair that hasn’t been updated since they bought it in the 1970′s. By the time my BIL/SIL end up sucking them dry, I know they’ll turn to us for help. I keep saying “over my dead body”, but I know my husband loves his parents and can’t say no to them if they’re truly in need. And, lord knows, my narcissistic BIL/SIL won’t do a damn thing to help them…

    • pixie

      My boyfriend’s parents for the past couple years have gone to Florida for January and February and spend a ton of time at their trailer in cottage country from April to October. It helps that their primary employment is doing home repairs (painting, fencing, ceilings, etc), which the father is good at, but the employment is sporadic at best and they often go weeks without a client.

    • CM

      You’re lucky that you bf’s parents are still working! My in-laws are elderly and retired. The money my BIL/SIL are siphoning off is their retirement income for their medications, food, etc… Heaven forbid one of them needs nursing care or a nursing home! My MIL needed extensive dental work, but the money they were going to use was the money they had “lent” to my BIL so he could put a down payment on a fancy house he hardly ever invites them over to. Instead, we take care of my in-laws every weekend, have them over for meals, take them shopping, to doctors’ appointments, make sure they get plenty of time with our little ones, help with things around their house, pay all their bills and take care of their house and mail while they’re in Florida, etc… At this time, they’re not money moochers–they’re time moochers. Big time moochers! They’re always calling with a list of “honey do’s” for my poor husband to do for them. Calling all day and night. Needing attention. But, who’s the “golden child”–yep, the BIL. The piece of crap that is stealing their money, threatening them with taking away their other grandson if they don’t give him more money or force him to pay back what he already owes, and shows off over all the things BIL/SIL buy and vacations they go on while we do all the time and effort of taking care of his parents.

    • pixie

      That’s awful. I really empathize with you. I do agree that at least my boyfriend’s parents are still working, even if it’s not a whole lot, I just fear that they’ll decide to retire early and then try to take advantage of my boyfriend. And he’s the only child, so it’s not like he has any siblings to potentially help us out.

    • Guest

      I will never for the life of me understand parents who favor the “golden child” who is a train wreck that is ruining them financially. Yet, I see it everywhere.

  • Guest

    My parents are really strange about kids and money. On the one hand when I needed things like snow tires or money to get repairs done so we could sell our house (& pay them back at close) they helped. But then they come back later and ask for things.
    After we paid them back on the home closing my mom asked me “where the rest of the money was” & I asked her what she was talking about. She said all the stuff that we helped you with like snow tires etc. I told her she couldn’t ask for money a year later on something they told me they were paying for (as in paying for, not lending money for).
    Then this Christmas, they gave gifts and mentioned that “the other gift was your snow tires” which was now 2 years ago. They said the same thing to my brothers who at some point got things covered that they needed help with.
    At least with them, I know they’re a little crazy since back in high school my dad would leave me bills around the house for random things I owed them for. I would offer to pay for things like my car insurance because I had a job, my parents would say great we’ll let you know how much, and then I’d wait. I’d keep checking in and asking how much I owed. Then I gave up and several months later got a backdated bill for the past 7months of my car insurance, the tivo service I had used, and anything he purchased for my car. It totalled over 1k.
    I will never, ever, do this type of crap with my kids.

    • Guest

      I forgot my favorite part. When my younger brother needed to buy a new car they went out and put a down payment on a beater. They said they needed to pay the balance off by that Friday and could I help? They needed $1200. They knew I had money saved up because I was in the process of purchasing my first house (at 21/22). I was hesitant and told them I could only do $600 if they paid me back on the next pay check. Come next pay period my mom told me they were just going to “apply it to the amount I owed them”. I was unaware I had an open tab on my upbringing.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Whoa, I am so sorry – way too much pressure for a kid of any age.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Wow. Kids shouldn’t have to pay parents back for raising them in any way, or financial help unless it’s specified as a loan and agreed to by all parties. We sign onto that as parents, complete with braces and prom dresses and tux rentals and, you know, food and stuff. This is some passive aggressive BS.

    • http://www.gamedevwidow.weebly.com/ Theresa Edwards

      Girrrrrl, (or duuuude) I can relate. My biomom has had a tab running since we were born. I lived with her in summertime and I paid rent as soon as I got a work permit, and there is no such thing as a gift without strings. We, um, don’t talk anymore.

    • SusannahJoy

      Wow that is crazy. I’d be very hesitant to ever accept anything from them. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. :(

    • Amber Stacey Larsson

      Ooh actually yes, I have been here before as a young kid. My dad never paid child support, but he used to give me 100 bucks for my birthday and 100 more for Christmas. This made him look like a hero to me, despite obviously never pitching in for anything else. My mother was too proud/stubborn to ask for child support, but would then “borrow” my gift money from me (probably to do essential things like grocery shopping) and I would only get it back in dribs and drabs, in the form of a candy bar here or an ice cream there, over a whole year. Used to drive me mental and I could see how unfair that was even then. It has made me really stingy and paranoid with money as an adult.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      Ugh =/ None of that is ok.

    • 21foot house

      I basically could have written this entire post word for word. Recently I was handed a bill for the last 8 years, and discovered that my dad had tracked every little receipt including the GAS he used to help me move between my various apartments. Now, not all of this was a shock to me. I knew that the few thousand I borrowed for tuition was a loan and I have been paying interest on that since I graduated. But what really got me were the item by item lists of things that he had, when we purchased them, said “I’ll cover this for you”

      So the conversation would go as follows “Oh these curtains would look so great in my new place”
      Him: “So get them”
      Me: “Nah, they cost $50 a panel, I like them, but I can’t afford to spend $50 on curtains”
      Him: “Don’t worry about it. I’ll cover it”

      That scenario played out frequently. Every time I visited and we happened to go out together if I mentioned I liked something, he would insist that he would buy it for me. What I DIDN’T know was that he was keeping a running tally of every cent, every “gift” he ever generously offered to buy me. I was handed a bill for thousands of dollars. Completely blind sided me and is a sum I am no way able to pay back right now (I recently had to leave my job due to a medical condition and am trying to find work outside my field to avoid disability). Now if I do happen to actually let slip that I like something while we’re out together I steadfastly REFUSE to let him buy it for me, because now I know he’s just adding it to the bill and so many of those things that I liked and he bought because I thought he was being generous are things that I now look at and feel sick about. As a result, we’ve fought over money for the first time in my life, and have done so at least once a month for the past year. Every time it comes up, he inflates the price, and lays on the guilt and he keeps adding past gifts for birthday and christmas to the list of things I owe him for. It’s destroying what HAD been a great relationship. I could go on, and mention issues he’s suddenly bringing up with my brothers as well, but I’d end up writing a comment long enough to be a blog post in itself, so I will refrain. But I feel for you, guest.

    • Guest

      I’m so sorry to hear that :-( The feeling of betrayal at the realization your own parents are trying to do this to you is something awful.

      I know in my situation my father is severely bi-polar and I feel like that has had a lot to do with his issues. I can’t explain how any person could make this ok in their brain otherwise. Mental illness or not, I’ll still never understand how someone could make themselves into such a victim that they feel anything they’ve ever given they need to get back.
      On the bright side, my brothers are some of the most generous and giving people I know, and I am huge on charity and gift giving myself. Funny how it works out like that.

    • Paul White

      the put the ass in passive aggressive….

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    I understand if a parent falls ill or has some sort of accident and needs help, but there are seriously parents out there that feel ENTITLED to their children’s money and success. I had an ex whose dad hadn’t worked for 25 years because of a heart condition and collected SSI ( but still he worked out for hours everyday) and would rack up credit card debt on the dumbest shit like exotic birds and wood and other stupid shit to build cages and paint bird murals.

    Anyway, he guilted my ex into paying thousands of dollars in credit card debt when he was maxed out only to max it out again once it was paid off.

    • Carol

      I am so glad to read your post, that partents are not entitled to receive their children’s money. But until now I thought that that is the norm, because I din’t know any better, I’ve never known anything else. My dad’s been doing this ever since I was a teen, getting all the money from me. For the first time today I felt so disgusted when he said that he’s smile might fade if I won’t soon give him more money. He too has a heart condition and doesn’t work since more than a decade. My credit card debt is huge, thousands of dollars.
      I think things might get better once I move out but I don’t have enough money left because he doesn’t believe that money has to be saved, he literally says that: he says money is only there to be spent. And I feel that he doesn’t really love me, but only relies on me for the money. I wish I could just vanish into thin air…

  • Anika

    My parents cared for me for years as a child, and I would be proud to support them, even monetarily, and care for them when they’re elderly and can’t do everything themselves anymore.

    • CM

      You sound very, very sweet and caring. But, I must ask–do you have children? When you do, you get stuck between handling the needs of your own children versus the needs of your aging parents. My parents have made it extremely clear that they believe it is their job to raise their own children well, and prepare to support themselves as they age. They know how hard it is to manage aging moocher parents and children. Do you pay for school supplies for your own kids (or college, or sports fees, or field trips, or clothing, etc…) or your mom’s premium cable bill? We’re not talking about basic necessities–I think we’d all help our parents or in-laws out with that. It’s the moochers. The ones that think they raised kids so the kids could take care of them. I have to admit–I resent the heck out of the fact my husband has to run over to his parents’ house to fix their plumbing or mow their lawn or keep them company when they’re bored, and leaves his own wife and kids to fend for ourselves while he’s at their beck and call. Yes, I’m proud of the fact he loves and cares so deeply for his parents (who, by the way, treat me like crap). But, it’s that they feel entitled that gets most of us. The entitlement.

    • Anika

      I have a one year old, I had her young enough and my parents had me young enough that with any luck I won’t have to choose between supporting her and my parents at the same time. Also, I don’t think my parents would ever mooch off me so that colors how I feel also.

    • Guest

      It is one thing to support them in having shelter, care, food etc. and to have them trying to take your entire income to supplement their retirement.

    • Guest

      It is one thing to help your elderly parents with food, shelter, and care. It is another when they try to take you for all you’re worth to supplement their retirement.

  • Surly Canuck

    My father has been hinting for a few years now that he wants to live with my husband and I. It’s a very uncomfortable conversation since we are trying to expand our family and live in a one bedroom+den. When he comes to visit he plays lots of video games, needs constant entertainment and doesn’t help clean or cook. It’s like a cross between having a teenager and puppy come over. It’s stressful, and I can’t imagine dealing with that every day. I feel kind of terrible for saying no, but he’s only 55 and able to care for himself. He certainly didn’t expect his parents to live with him when he was my age and starting a family.

  • Alexandra

    It sounds like the word of the day is “communication”. As in, are you helping your kids out by lending money? or are you offering to pay. My hubs got a shoebox full of loans / bills on his graduation from college. He says he never knew that he was going to be expected to pay for anything. I’m assuming his parents thought they made that clear, although knowing his dad, they could have not made it clear at all. Kids need to know, “this is above our means, but we want to help you out, we’ll need to make this a loan” or “this is a gift that we do NOT want paid back”. Very clear. I’ll try this with my kids, although at our current salaries/debts, the answer will usually be no, i’m afraid!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I had to pay for most of college myself, which I am happy about, really. Because I think I appreciated it more. My last semester I ran out of money and had to borrow $500 from my parents. My mom wrote up a loan with (a tiny bit of) interest and kept it in her safe. It felt really great to pay it back soon after. I like the way I was raised to work for what I got and not take it for granted.

  • Kelly

    I’m disgusted by people who mooch off their kids. My parents used to take money from me as a teenager with two jobs so they could buy cigarettes.

    My MIL once cried to me that she couldn’t afford to buy groceries for her kids so I started sending her $200 a month. Then when we visited I found out she was using the money to pay for her premium cable package. I didn’t even have cable at the time because of our budget but I was paying for hers.

    I hate moochers. It’s one thing to be a loving, supportive person who gets older or sick and needs help but moochers can rot in hell.

    • MaebykittyRN

      I would’ve thrown her TV out the window if I found that out.

    • Kelly

      That’s the worst part, her giant, big screen TV was too large for me to pick up and throw through the window. I haven’t given her another dime since that day.

    • meteor_echo

      I’d have picked some shit up and broken the screen, seriously. This is absolutely obnoxious.

    • ted3553

      I have a MIL who cries about not having money all the time. She worked her whole life and her husband made a really good living but they made really bad choices and as a result have basically their government subsidy/pension to live off. I hear her whine but then when we have given her money, the next time we hear from her, she’s telling us about her bingo winnings. Thankfully, my husband feels the same way I do so we do send them money occasionally but it’s small amounts and infrequent.

  • Guest

    I completely understand… My dad is deceased now, but my mom is still alive and well. She has been and still is BEYOND generous to me and my sister. She worked hard all her life and now has a good pension and retirement plan that should carry her through the rest of her years without issue. That said, I wouldn’t hesitate a moment if she needed any kind of financial help. I know that if she were to ask, it would be for something serious and truly needed.
    OTOH, my in-laws with get nothing from us because they have given nothing to us. They always say how they have NO money – yet they always seem have money for expensive pets, sporting equipment and home renovations for themselves. Plus, MIL never worked a day in her life by choice. So, if and when they run out of money, not my problem. They can sell their sports equipment, downsize their home, get jobs, whatever it takes, but they won’t be getting one red cent from us.
    Bottom line – you reap what you sow in any kind of relationship.

  • Heather

    It makes me sad because my dad’s mom is like that. She’s on a fixed income and for the most part can afford her day-to-day living, but can’t afford things like car repairs, home repairs, or any emergency kind of situation. She has one daughter who OVER relies on her and will take complete advantage of her, but then if my dad comes down (also on a fixed income, actually makes LESS than she does, but works hard to have fewer expenses so he can save to do things like travel) to visit she harps on him to buy her things and fix things and pay for things. It makes me really angry. My dad is really generous and he hates telling her no, so he just avoids going to see her. It makes us both sad that they take advantage of him.

    • Bethany Ramos

      That is a really frustrating situation. :(

    • Heather

      Yeah, it is. I’m not directly involved, and I still love them both, but It is frustrating to say the least.

  • Rachel Sea

    Families should support each other, and if that means that I sometimes take my parents out to dinner or help them pay a bill, then so be it. I am lucky to be better off than my parents have ever been, and so I help them when they need it, and I am able. Someday my parents won’t be self-sufficient, and I’ll provide care, housing and support. I would hope for the same from my kids if I get to have any.

  • inheritingdebt

    I agree. My parents have made poor financial decisions there entire lives. Anytime they did manage to start doing well, they would blow it all on something i.e. a farm, early retirement, then when they were broke again they’d have to star from square one and usually get themselves heavily in debt.

    Now that I have started a family, this cycle has again began except that now that they are so much older I worry that they will have nothing to retire on and I will be forced to support them. I am not wealthy by any means and we are just about to get ourselves out of debt and buy a home. My parents owe me thousands of dollars that they never are able to pay back because they are completely broke, then they ask to borrow more and if I say no things get awkward. I feel guilty if we buy anything nice or go on a trip, but I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to pay (anymore than I already am) for their poor financial planning.

    Rant over.

    • natalie

      i am in the same exact situation.. its so stressful and i really worry what kind of burden they will become when they are even older. my parents have 0 savings and are expecting to live off of social security.. even now that they are over 60, they are always calling for money. They call and ask for 100 dollars and then they will call again for another 100.. because they know I won’t give them alot of money at once. and they cry and cry to get my sympathy and use me like their ATM. I don’t know what to do

  • LuvSkittles

    This could not come at a better time. (hi long time lurker, love the site *waves*) I just got off the phone screaming to my mother about no you cannot just invite anyone to my wedding, because you have not contributed a dime to me since I was 18. Which she’s lucky we even talked to each other….since I pay her phone bill! Ahh!

    • Bethany Ramos

      Awww thanks for commenting! And so sorry to hear that, it’s just shitty all around.

    • LuvSkittles

      Nice to know I have some ladies to vent to. :)

    • Bethany Ramos


    • Amber Starr

      Vent any time! That’s what we’re here for :)

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      Oh man, I let my dad have a phone in my name over 10 years ago when I was in college. He said it was so my brother could have a phone. He didn’t pay the bill for three months and I had to threaten to disconnect it. Then he threw my brother out, so I said I was disconnecting the phone. He still had our cats at his house, so he mentioned that and I was like, uh, the cats don’t need a phone? Also, I’m coming to get the cats.
      It’s amazing how many other people here have shitty parent stories. I feel so much less alone. It’s wild how much crazy shit bad parents have in common with each other.

    • Bethany Ramos

      I couldn’t agree more – comforting and sad at the same time. :)

    • LuvSkittles

      It really is! I think it’s the feeling of entitlement that she has, that she brought me into the world and feed me and now I “owe” her.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    My dad felt affronted that he had to cover the expenses of my brother and I when my mom died. He was used to throwing her a couple hundred and calling it a day. Suddenly he was responsible for our shelter, food, transportation, utilities… etc.

    We had to start taking seven-minute showers. I went a week with only popcorn to eat at home. I did all the housework because he wouldn’t do any.

    By 17 I felt I had to take care of him. I took him to the movies. He begged, borrowed and stole a portion of my inheritance that is so large it would help me put a down payment on a house.

    Today? Screw him. I buy him no presents, I offer nothing. The interest that money would be earning me is all the support he’ll ever get. My mom was wonderful, though. Before she passed, I used to fantasize about one day buying her a horse ranch.

  • Haradanohime

    For every pair of adult moochers, I bet there are quite as many adult child moochers. My Parents were the kind to bend over backwards trying to help anyone they could. They saved my siblings and myself out of many scrapes over the years financially and otherwise. But when my parents fell on hard times, we saw who was willing to help out and who suddenly had all kinds of excuses as to why they couldn’t. When an adult child is asked for help, you do owe at least the time to look into why they are asking. Most aging parents I know would not ask for help unless it was a final option. It also takes a lot for some people to ask for help. Don’t just assume because you never know.

  • ScienceGeek

    My mother felt guilty for her and Dad buying a new car (the first one they’d ever owned) because ‘it will cut into your inheritance’. Same with holidays, or any other ‘major’ purchase.
    Each time, I’ve (gently) told her to shut up and buy the car/go on the holiday. Our deal is they should spend their money however they like, and I won’t care, as long as they don’t leave me with a huge debt.

  • JustaGuest

    I think it depends how you use the word “support” here. I think that as you grow older, you are less dependent on your parents for emotional support and can start seeing them closer to equals. (Not quite equals, but closer.) And sometimes they will need you to lean on and that’s appropriate.

    This is too abstract. Let me be more specific. My dad died 2 years ago. It was fairly devastating for both my mom and myself, even though he’d been sick for awhile. Sometimes she leans on me, sometimes I lean on her, sometimes we lean on each other. I think that saying “I’m the child, who cares if you lost your spouse, all that matters is that I lost my daddy” would be utterly repellant. I’m 33. If I can’t recognize that she’s hurting too and try to comfort her sometimes, I’m doing life wrong.

  • Lena

    After reading things like these I am so grateful for my parents, who at the end of next month are shelling $400+ on airfare to be with me after knee surgery, help me choose a new car and drive my old one (which is theirs) back to Canada.

  • Alicia Kiner

    I have every expectation that when my parents are older, they will be living with me. Why? Because I’m the only one of their 5 kids who is financially stable and responsible. The former probably due to the latter. And I fully expect them to mooch off of me as you put it. Because financial responsibility is not their strong suit. They are the kind of people who if they have money, they spend it. Savings is not a concept they understand. I also expect my in laws to move in with us later, because my husband is the oldest son, and that’s the way the Korean culture does things. My house will be crowded, and more than likely a war zone. I’m going to live with my kids ;)

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  • Carol

    My father always tries to make me feel guilty and so bad if I don’t have enough money left to give him; money I always had to give and never ever will get back; though I don’t mind the fact that I won’t get the money back. Today he said “my smile might really fade” if I don’t soon give him more money. This always worked but for the first time today I felt so disgusted: I failed in college mainly because I always had to work for the entire family (my father, who doesn’t work at all since more than a decade and is now 60 and my sister) and I didn’t have much time left to study. Today I was so angry and disgusted. I already am a bit upset because of my failed studies and then I have to hear him talking about money over and over again, trying to make me feel guilty. I just hate him right now…

    • Bethany Ramos

      So sorry to hear this. I hope you can set some healthy boundaries. *HUGS*

    • Carol

      Thank you so much for writing back to me and that so promptly. So sweet of you! Thank you.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Thank you for reading!!

  • Anonymously Agree

    I am so glad I found this. I am in a similar boat and not sure what to do. I have to assist a parent who refuses to budget her finances. Every penny goes to cigarettes and breathing treatments. Then she will donate to charities and buy things from magazines. She has no control at all over her finances. She luckily is brought food for seniors, from a health plan she is on, otherwise she would not have money for food and complains about it. Then when I bring her food to help her get by she will cook it and have people over for dinner, like my sibling, who visits her but never helps her out financially, in fact he will “borrow” money from her, which really means from me, and he is in a much better financial spot to help her out than I am, but all his money goes to “recording his album.” Uhm what? She will call me with ridiculous demands like my bosses phone number so she can give it to her neighbor who wants a part time job, they do not hire part time and the neighbor has no experience, what is my mom thinking? Then she will want to fight about it, and call for days asking about it until I end up frustrated and telling her I can not help her friends. Then she makes me feel as if it is I do not want to help vs I can not help. She gets obsessed with an issue and always throws things for a loop, like recently cancelling my baby shower that her sisters were going to throw for me, because I had no idea their plans and mentioned if I had to plan it myself at the end of the day I would wait to do something after the babies were here, this is after she invited her neighbor to my baby shower. WTF?! She is on SSI and is broke by a week to a week and a half into the month. She has no consideration for my finances, which right now I am on disability due to a complicated pregnancy. I made it very clear I could not afford to help her and what does she do, she spends money needed for dog shots on cigarettes and makes me pay the bill because if I do not the shots from the prior month would be useless, booster shots. She will call me to attempt to pay me back but when I call a few days later she mentions nothing of it, of course because the money is spent, and complain about how broke she is. She then is so paranoid that she is convinced someone is taking money from her bank account and that stores are ripping her off, I have had to call the banks to get print outs for her, go online and sign her up for online banking so I can show her what her finances are like and she will then accuse me of taking money from her, when the proof is in black and white that all her money goes to dumb stuff like cigarettes and publishers clearing house. We have gone over her finances many times. Point is she has no self control, refuses to allow me to take over her finances. I need to be her power of attorney but she will not have that, because she knows I will budget her finances well and she will clearly not have the ability to smoke 2 packs a day. Mind you know when I am working I only make $10 hr, at an incredibly abusive and high stress sales job with no permanent stability or benefits, it is not like I have money to help her. I have downsized my bills to the most basic stuff to help her, no cable, no internet on my cell phone, no smart phone, no budget for fun activities, no savings, no retirement or anything, no health care, no car, stopped going to college and went into student loan debt, defaulted loans, to help her. It is insane. To add to this rant, it is not just money… She is in and out of hospitals for “breathing treatments” for her smoking, she will literally go smoke in the bathroom or go to hospitals that allow her to go outside to smoke. She gets her treatments and goes outside to smoke and then to go to a drug store to get some breathing stuff. Ridiculous. Last month after working a very stressful 9 hour shift on little sleep, she called saying she was at a hospital far away that she had never been to and needed a ride, my boyfriend drives, so it falls on him, be there in 2 hours. I rushed dinner and went to get her. That turned into several hours of waiting with no word on when she would be released and she expected me to just wait all night with her in a hard chair and then go to work the next day, all while being in my 3rd trimester with twins. I am not sure what to do other that stop talking to her. I feel like she has zero consideration for my time, my health, my finances, etc. It would be one thing if she just had high bills but she literally spends $400-$500 mo on cigarettes, that is why she is broke. Any suggestions on what to do about this? She is a little nutty as well as physically disabled, so she knows how to lay on the guilt. Is there any way to become her conservator and give her an allowance without going through expensive lawyers and potentially risk affecting her not getting her SSI?

    • Bethany Ramos

      I am so sorry to hear about this, and thank you for sharing your story. This must be so frustrating for you, I can’t even imagine! I don’t have any experience about what to do legally in this situation, but I hope that someone can give you advice. Maybe you can visit a lawyer for a free consultation?

      Otherwise, I really hope you are able to set boundaries with her if possible to save your sanity. Best of luck. :-)

    • Anonymously Agree

      Thank you. I know when the twins are here I can make excuses like the car is full or that we need sleep or something. As well as just outright tell her no. One friend suggested inviting her over for food, since I moved a few blocks away from her to help her out. But giving her stuff is no more. She will have to just struggle and if she is broke and has no food or can not afford her pet, so be it. I suppose it has to be tough love. I have sacrificed enough, my kids will not suffer because of her.

  • Somewhere_in_the_midwest

    I don’t think some people understand how one narcissistic, egocentric, sociopathic parent can ruin an entire family. Not your classic loser Dad mind you, or the classic screaming “A-hole” Dad. Some one that thinks his wife and kids were put on this earth to serve him. Someone that actively attempted to stop me from going to college to escape his grip of financial dependency. He spent 25 years blowing his Dad’s inheritance calling it employment. He was only honestly employed a few years in the the last 80 or so. He is/was a master at attaching strings to every ounce of success I had. Made me work for him and was not paid as a young adult. Fixed his crap, mowed his lawn and his Dad’s lawn. Fixed HIS roof and his Dad’s roof. I bought tools, he lost and broke them or “loaned” them to friends. Fixed his friend’s and loser relatives trucks and cars for NOTHING. Have the “boys” do it he’d say (my twin).

    Screw you Dad, screw you. I escaped your crap. Went to college (turns out I was REALLY good at that stuff). Married the most wonderful women in the world and have four awesome kids. I made my own life. I have a great job and get paid a ton of money and work with awesome people (even the people I don’t like which sounds weird).

    Now he is broke, 85+ years old and the time will come that I will have to wipe his bottom because my mom can’t stand him. Not gonna happen Pops. Nice job making all those negative comments about my wife 25 years ago. Screw you.

    I did a good job of staying away from you for the last 30 years. But now as Mom needs help I feel compelled to help. I do care about her. But you are there and that is unacceptable. You are a bad person.

    Don’t get me started on the racism, the guns, political rants, miracle cure crap you order off the TV, or the fact you think you can drive and you can’t even stand. You never saw my baseball games and treated me like a slave.

    You better tell someone where you want your ashes spread, because if it were up to me, I’d flush them down the toilet. Second though, no. Instead I’d just quietly put them in the garbage. Then every time I would drive by the garbage dump you be where you belong.

    Sorry about the rant, two glasses of wine talking.