Dear Auntie Linda, August 8, 2015

Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda,  My daughter left town with another man, abandoning her husband and three small children..  Her husband and I have never been close, but we are cooperating to raise the children.   I am a widow and have always kept the children while they both worked, He gets off at 3:30 but doesn’t sometimes doesn’t get here till nearly 6:00 to pick up the kids.   Of course, by that time, they’ve been fed.  The situation is tense. We both have more responsibility than ever before and are dealing with a lot of anger at my daughter.  We can’t discuss problems in front of the children, of course.  You could cut the tension with a knife.  I don’t want to be paid for baby-sitting, but I do need him to pick them up when he gets off work.  If he has to work late, they sleep over.  That leaves me exhausted, with breakfasts, lunches to fix, and the problem of getting them ready for school and day care.  We are both exhausted, worried financially, stressed and angry.  How do I make him take responsibility?  There is no reason to expect a happy ending with my daughter.  Stressed Grandma

Dear Stressed,  Boy, there are no easy answers here.  You and your son-in-law will have to sit down and come up with a clear arrangement.  It is clear, he is willing to let you take on all the responsibility you will tolerate.  He is getting a free ride if you continue to provide unrestricted babysitting.  You need to make clear what hours you are available and stick to your guns.  Those kids need to be in their own beds at night and you definitely need your rest.  Your daughter has child-support responsibilities as well.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, my aunt left my daughter twenty-thousand dollars.  Several years ago, I spent that money.  My daughter is now approaching twenty-one.  She expects to get her twenty-thousand dollars.  We are on very poor terms.  What do I do?   No Cash

Dear No Cash, I hope you daughter is very forgiving, otherwise, you are probably in trouble.

Dear Auntie Linda,  l have a terrible time getting school supplies and school lunches for my kids.  I wish people who could afford it would send peanut butter crackers or breakfast bars or a few extra school supplies to the school room.  It would really help a kid.  Struggling Mom

Dear Struggling, Maybe a few will.  I hope so!