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Woman decreases mom's 'allowance' since she won't babysit. Sister calls her 'b**ch.'

Woman decreases mom's 'allowance' since she won't babysit. Sister calls her 'b**ch.'

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In a perfect world, we'd all have enough money to survive and wouldn't have to worry about pinching pennies and making ends meet.

In a perfect world, no one would have to worry about whether their aging parent has a comfortable place to live, even after a messy divorce from their life-long partner.

But sadly, that's not the world we live in, and family finances is one of the biggest and most persistent stressors.

A popular post on the AITA subreddit addresses the stressor of family finances on all sides - both the support of a child and a parent.

OP wrote:

'AITA for cutting my mom's allowance to pay for daycare when she couldn't babysit for me?'

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 daycare in the areas where we work and settled on one that was 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 and sexier 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. This is because when they got married my father didn't want her to and, because she was raised in a traditional, religious 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 even though she got some alimony, she didn't press for as much as she should have (again that religious conditioning) 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 the baby into daycare and found out just how expensive that was in a VHCOL area.

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. It's just 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.

She called me a f**king b**ch and hung up on me. So Reddit hive mind, am I really TA here?

ETA: I wanted to answer some recurring questions here. My sister's ability to help is limited and sporadic because she struggles with mental illness. It got much worse in recent years and we're working to get her on disability but that is a process.

I guess that's why I feel bad about the comment I made to my sister because it was a moment of lashing out when I know that she's in a tough spot through no fault of her own.

As for my mom, I will work with her to make sure that she can go back to work - especially given my sister's challenges. My mother is neither lazy nor a leech.

Unfortunately, she's been beaten down by being raised in a traditional culture and having it drilled into her what the duty of a wife is. She was then betrayed by everyone when her husband left.

A lot of different people weighed in with their perspectives.

SamSpayedPI wrote:

NTA. You're not 'punishing her for saying no.' You were being exceedingly generous to give your mother an allowance in the first place, but it's not your responsibility. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it.

You're still being exceedingly generous to give her half. And if your sister isn't paying at least half of your mom's household expenses (mortgage, food, utilities, etc.) then she's got nothing to say in the matter.

EmeraldBlueZen wrote:

NTA - I'll bet your mom never challenged her husband and didn't want to challenge her alimony payments because that would make her seem like a bad woman (Given her religious conditioning).

Well, unfortunately, now she's suffering for not standing up for herself, and casting the blame on you. It's not your responsibility. And nice of sis to insult you while chillin at home with mom.

Individual_Ad_9213 wrote:

NTA. You need to rebudget your lives to pay for child care. You're under no obligation to subsidize your mother's life. If someone in your family thinks that what you'll provide is inadequate, suggest that they make up the difference.

coastalkid92 wrote:

NTA. I completely see where your mom is coming from in this case where she said no and as a result, it's impacted what you're able to provide for her. She's looking at a very direct point A to point B, action and consequence.

Whereas, the situation is more nuanced than that.

If your mom is unable or unwanting to assist with childcare, that means you need to put the child in daycare, that has a cost, that means you need to rework your budget and that impacts what you can afford to give your mom.

This wasn't a decision made out of spite (I assume), therefore you aren't the AH. I think even if your mom backtracks on being daycare, you should stick to it.

ChiquitaBananaKush wrote:

NTA cut her allowance all together. She uses y’all as cash cows, and brings nothing to the table.

It’s unfortunate about her situation with your dad, but it seems like she’s doing nothing to help her situation. You're maintaining her lifestyle at the cost of your family’s.

tudoortunot wrote:

NTA. I commend you for helping your mom as much as you have. But you have to do what you have to do for your child. Unfortunately this is a hard situation and your mom will just have to understand it.

Clearly, the internet had strong feelings about this one.

Sources: Reddit
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