Posted by: Sister | 2011-06-29

Family and money

I am the 2nd of 5 kids, when my mom passed on my literally chased me away from home. (Actually used the F word). I had just started a job and left. I have managed to build myself up, as i am still with the same company for the past 13 years. I got divorced, house was repossessed, got hijacked then filed for bankruptcy. I am fortunate enough to say that i have managed to build myself up again and have cleared my name an waiting to buy a car and house for my daughter. However, my problem is this: My sisters think that i am an ATM whenever things go bad for them they will pick up the phone to ask for money, any other time they will not even call to check if im okay - saying they dont have money for airtime. I dont mind helping them, but every single month is a bit much. I dont have a boyfriend / husband and have to budget wisely with my money because i cannot fall back on anyone else. My older sister (35) is an alcoholic and does not support my younger sisters (she lives rent-free in my dad house, she never has money for food but can drink daily), the sister (30) after me is married with 3 kids, unemployed, she will call me weekly to say that her kids have no food, nappies etc. My sister of 24 i offered a job to look after my daughter when she comes from school and she declined because she doesnt want to leave her boyfriend in the city where she lives. (Im in another city). I have stopped giving them money and even lying saying that i dont have because they never pay me back, but at the end of the day i feel really bad because i am concerned that they have nothing to eat. I sacrifice my funtimes to work so that i can make a good life for my daughter and i but they dont seem to see the seriousness of life. Am i right for saying no to them and telling them to get jobs? seems while im around and working they think that they have a cashcow with unlimited finances.

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Our expert says:
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Just say no. You have done marvellously in coping with the sort of major difficulties where others would have crumbled , but you seem too preoccupied in helping undeserving others rather than yourself. Maybe your daughter should work more towards getting a house for herself ( unles you mean you aim to buiy a house for yourself to share with her ). And why should your sisters get funded by you ? Why can't they take care of themselves ? Just say that you will no longer function as an ATM for them, and have more important things on which to spend you own hard-earned money, and suggest that they should work harder to earn their own money for themselves. And if there are things they want and can't affford, then they should do without these things, and work harder to earn enough to eventually afford them, themselves.
YOu SHOULD mind helping them. They dont deserve it. Apparently it never crosses their minds to think of assisting or supporting you. WHy not ? You are encouraging them in bad habits.
Your older sister neglects her daughter - if the daughter is young enough, maybe this should be reported to child welfare, as she may not be a fit mother. IF she chooses to spend on liquor rather than food, for herself, that's most unfortunate, but it is her choice. And giving her any more money will only go to buy more money, and worsen her problems.
The other sister is married - why doesn't her husband may for the needs of his children ? She should go to the Maintenance Court and have a court compel him to pay, responsibly, for the care of his children. He fathered them, not you.
If your other sister can't be bothered to help you care for her children, don't pay her a peny - why should you subsidize her selfish preference for sitting with her boyfriend ? Why can't he pay for her needs ? Why can't she get a job ?
Stop feeling bad about your VERY wise decision to stop funding them - they don't deserve it at all. If they choose to go hungry, that is their choice, not yours. Is it better that you should go hungry ? Ignore them until they can be bothered to put their own lives in order, and concentrate responsibly on caring for yourself and your daughter.
If people choose not to earn or cae for themselves, they should suffer the consequences of their decisions. Stop helping them to become more selfish and irresponsible

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Our users say:
Posted by: Laurei | 2011-06-29

My husband and I had the same problem with his 29 year old sister. She always had it easy when the parents lived, didnt bother to finish school and refused any advise or words of wisdom when she was younger, and verbally abused anyone who tried to criticise her behaviour.
She now has a baby with a man who no longer wants her,( he doesnt work either), her parents are dead and she expects us to pay the childs school fees, pay her rent and food. We gave her an ultimatum: We would pay all her dues for 6 months, during which time she must find a job. AFter the 6 months was up she still hasnt found a job, and has started asking for money again. We have refused to assist her any longer as she is refusing to take any responsibility for her and her baby and expects us to give her a living. Life does not work that way, the rest of us have to work hard, sacrifice our quality time with our kids, etc etc to make ends meet. I think your family is selfish and inconsideate, especially since you are a single parent which is even harder. Put your foot down, and remember sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind.

Reply to Laurei
Posted by: Melinda | 2011-06-29

Of course you have the right to not give them money! Of course they have to get jobs! They are ADULTS and you are NOT their mother or father or grandparent that you HAVE to provide for them. Do they really have no food? Do they really have no nappies? Or are they just wasting their money on luxuries or rubbish, because they know all they have to do is pick up the phone and boom, money is delivered to them without them earning it? They have their own families and if they are not responsible enough to provide for those families they shouldn’ t have had them to begin with! I dislike it when people have kids when really they cannot afford it, and I dislike it when they decide that their kids will become someone else’ s problem, in this case yours, because they quite frankly don’ t want to do anything about it. If they spin the story that they cannot get jobs it is a LIE- they advertise thousands of jobs on Gumtree, my own sister manages to get job after job. It just sounds like they have decided that they are too “ scarred”  from your mother’ s death and have decided that you will be their crutch, their doormat. Put your foot down.

Reply to Melinda
Posted by: Pablo | 2011-06-29

You go girl, don''t feel bad, feel proud. You have set an example for them, either they follow that or they don''t. If you want to give them anything, buy food and have it delivered to their houses, register with pick and pay online, pick a store and send them a few things this way. Just remember that you might be very unpopular then, hopefully they will get the message, never stop loving them and tell them that.

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