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Widow starts charging in-laws to see their grandkids. AITA?

Widow starts charging in-laws to see their grandkids. AITA?


When this widow feels guilty about a financial decision, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for asking my in-laws to pay if they want to see my kids?"

My husband passed away when our kids were 1 and 4. It was obviously a really tough time and my in-laws were amazing. They took care of me as much as they did the kids. His sisters made us meals and their husbands helped with the yard and housework.

I once called my father-in-law to come get is from the grocery store because I basically had a breakdown when some lady was rude. He came with my mother-in-law so they could take care of the kids and get me and my car home.

After I put myself back together about eight months later they were still there for me. They would help with the kids while I worked. When I went back to school they supported us.

After I graduated the best job I could get was a fair distance away, but it was in a city where I have family. We talked and prayed about it and they said that they understood why I needed to plan for our future.

The problem is that they always want to see the kids. Which is great. They are wonderful people and my kids and I love them. However I'm starting my career kind of late in life.

I cannot afford to take a week off work to take the kids a couple of states over. Or to fly there for a weekend visit. And the kids are too young to travel by themselves.

The kids and I spent Thanksgiving with my mom and dad so we spent Christmas with my in-laws. It's only been a month and now they want the kids and I to come back for my mother-in-law's birthday.

And they want us to come to the lake this summer. And a bunch of other things. I am not going to be able to save any money if this keeps on.

I finally spoke with them and was clear that I wanted them to be a huge part of my children's lives but that if they wanted to see them that much they needed to contribute money.

For example I said that they could have the kids for two weeks this summer but that they would have to either pick them up or drop them off. I would do the other.s

And that they could come to my city to visit instead of always expecting me to drive there. I sold my old house and purchased a house with an in-law suite so they could stay with us. They have never used it.

I know that they are close knit and all live in the same city but it is too big a commitment for me to be the one responsible for them seeing the kids.

They are upset that I'm being this way and one of my sisters-in-law called me to tell that her family was disappointed that I was being this way after all they did for us. I feel bad but I'm just not able to do everything they want without them helping financially. AITA?

lovedgirl134 writes:

NTA. Your in-laws sound like they've been incredibly supportive, and it's clear you appreciate everything they've done. However, there's a practical aspect to consider here.

You're not just starting a new career; you're also a single parent balancing work, kids, and life. It's not unreasonable to ask for logistical and financial support if they want frequent visits.

It's great that you're open to them being a part of your kids' lives, but the expectation that you bear all the travel costs and time is unfair. The offer of meeting halfway or them visiting you is a practical and fair solution.

It's important to set boundaries and manage expectations, especially when it comes to your time and finances.

Your approach of asking them to contribute to the travel expenses or alternate visiting locations is a reasonable compromise.

It's not about money; it's about sharing the responsibilities and understanding the challenges you face as a single working parent. Hopefully, with some open and honest communication, a balance can be found that works for everyone.

mayonsy writes:

NTA. You first priority is to make sure you are financially able to take care of your children if anything unexpected happened. For example if you got sick and couldn't work. What would happen then?

I think an emergency fund equal to six months salary is the most responsible thing to have as a single parent. Until then no extra vacations and travelling around. Maybe if you explain it like that they would get it?

If you inlaws are hesitant to come over and visit would SIL come? Maybe she could then persuade them to visit as well?

maxswam writes:

YTA. It is ok to tell your inlaws that you would love to see them but you cannot afford to travel back and forth on a regular basis. Tell them you love them and miss them and would love to see them more often, but this is not possible.

Then you leave it up to them to come up with solutions. It is not ok to ask for money if they want to see their grandkids. That sounds like extortion! Remind them that you purchased a house with an in-law suite and can you set up a specific date for them to visit.

jojomamaplays writes:

NAH. You all went through some serious trauma together and have been there for one another. However you’re not navigating physical distance which you didn’t need to worry about before hand.

Your expectations are very reasonable and I don’t think your in laws are trying to be rude with their response. If I had to guess the idea of contributing to travel and finances has really driven home the idea that you’re “gone” and you all won’t ever be physically close anymore.

I would imagine your in laws are having to mentally (maybe subconsciously) work through another set of trauma associated with loosing close access to their late son’s children.

Just give it time and continue to be loving and understanding. I’m sure things will get better sooner rather than later.

fragrantecononimst writes:

NTA. They must be able to figure out that there is a limit to how much time you can take off. For one thing there is the money, for another when you are trying to build a career, you can't be asking for time off all the time.

A very important factor of being gainfully employed is to be there, so that you are dependable and get stuff done. Your in-laws must be very far from the real world, if they can't manage that kind of maths.

Also, it is not unreasonable for them to come to you most of the time, since they apparently don't have work and you have room for them and would happily welcome them in your home. I hope they have a good think and change their ways, since they have not been this selfish earlier.

Looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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