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  • FIRST POST
    • greenorange
    • By greenorange 12th Jan 19, 7:42 PM
    • 322Posts
    • 250Thanks
    greenorange
    Parenting your parents
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 19, 7:42 PM
    Parenting your parents 12th Jan 19 at 7:42 PM
    To try and sum up my situation - I'm 28, single, renting and earn around 40k. My parents are divorced - my mother lives near me and we have a good relationship.

    About a month ago, she made a mistake and lost her employment. She's now unemployed with minimal income (benefits) while she looks for a new job.

    It's making me stressed, and I'm not entirely sure why.

    I know how much money she has in the bank (not a lot at all), and know that she cannot cope for long without income, she'll be in her overdraft within 6 weeks. She has only applied for 3 jobs in the past month, and says she has lost all her confidence and doesn't know what she wants to do. She seems 'down' and overwhelmed with everything. When I mentioned anything, I feel I make it worse as all I have to say is 'what are you doing to do when you max out your overdraft?'.

    I guess it's taking its toll on me also, as I'm feeling I'm now going to have to brunt the cost of her rent etc as I couldn't see her on the street, but at the same time, resent her as she's an adult and I shouldn't have to take on her problems, she's 52! I have a few saved, but it's my savings towards a house deposit and my future.

    Not sure what my question is, but needed to write this down somewhere.
Page 1
    • Skibunny40
    • By Skibunny40 12th Jan 19, 8:05 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Skibunny40
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:05 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:05 PM
    Your parent is not your responsibility. I know it's a lot easier to say than to do, but try to remember this whenever you feel bad about not helping (and you will). Are there any other family members that could help?
    • geminilady
    • By geminilady 12th Jan 19, 8:18 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
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    geminilady
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:18 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:18 PM
    Her rent should be paid with her benefits up to a certain amount.It is understandable she has lost confidence most people would if they lost their job. She should get help at the jobcentre to find another. RecomMend job sites such as indeed to her.
    • greenorange
    • By greenorange 12th Jan 19, 8:20 PM
    • 322 Posts
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    greenorange
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:20 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:20 PM
    Your parent is not your responsibility. I know it's a lot easier to say than to do, but try to remember this whenever you feel bad about not helping (and you will). Are there any other family members that could help?
    Originally posted by Skibunny40
    I've got an older brother, and I'm sure if it came to it, he'd go halves with me on rent etc, but he's got 2 young kids, and in the middle of buying a house.

    We both know she's not our responsibility, but she bought us up when our parents divorced and therefore we both feel some responsibility to make sure she's okay, but we're both angry that we're having to deal with this.

    We've had to bail her out before, a few years ago. She's terrible with money. When our parents divorced, she sold the house for 105k (20 years ago). The money has all gone - holidays, hand outs to family etc.

    Her rent should be paid with her benefits up to a certain amount.It is understandable she has lost confidence most people would if they lost their job. She should get help at the jobcentre to find another. RecomMend job sites such as indeed to her.
    Originally posted by geminilady
    She receives housing benefit, but her outgoings are more than her income, so something will give if she doesn't find employment soon. She has a 200/m leased car, and 4.5k on credit cards with the minimum payment 75, that's on top of gas/electric/water/broadband/phone/car and house insurance, then food etc.

    She's been using Indeed - I've been helping write some cover letters for her and have proof read/changed her CV. She's just not hitting the apply button - which I think is due to the lack of confidence.
    Last edited by greenorange; 12-01-2019 at 8:24 PM.
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 12th Jan 19, 10:55 PM
    • 7,532 Posts
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    KxMx
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 10:55 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 10:55 PM
    I wouldn't be offering money at any stage.

    Continue helping with the practical support, suggest she sees GP if feeling depressed, offer budgeting tools, help negotiating payment plans with creditors given her reduced circumstances etc.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 13th Jan 19, 8:34 AM
    • 3,997 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #6
    • 13th Jan 19, 8:34 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jan 19, 8:34 AM


    She receives housing benefit, but her outgoings are more than her income, so something will give if she doesn't find employment soon. She has a 200/m leased car, and 4.5k on credit cards with the minimum payment 75, that's on top of gas/electric/water/broadband/phone/car and house insurance, then food etc.

    She's been using Indeed - I've been helping write some cover letters for her and have proof read/changed her CV. She's just not hitting the apply button - which I think is due to the lack of confidence.
    Originally posted by greenorange

    She needs debt/budgeting help as well as job hunting help then, not from you its not your responsibility, but point her in the direction of Step Change, or the DFW forum on here if she's online.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 13th Jan 19, 9:14 AM
    • 16,205 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    • #7
    • 13th Jan 19, 9:14 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jan 19, 9:14 AM
    Throwing money at her will make it worse and not solve the problem, so don't go giving her money.

    Perhaps help her job search? Look at her CV and update it.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 13th Jan 19, 9:56 AM
    • 7,131 Posts
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    determined new ms
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 19, 9:56 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 19, 9:56 AM
    the reality of benefits is it will not pay her rent in full, she will have a fairly large additional payment she will need to top up. She can apply to the discretionary fund to cover the top up but whether she will get it will depend on the council's priorities/what's left on the pot. At this point in the financial year it's unlikely to be very much.

    It is really hard for people in her position as the welfare state is being dismantled.

    Could she apply to agencies for short term work? That would probably help with regaining her confidence

    I know how it feels to feel a family member is a burden. I guess you have to find the point that is most comfortable to you. For me not helping at all didn't work, just left me feeling anxious and guilty. Helping too much left me feeling resentful and wasn't helping my family member. I had to find the tipping point I was happy to be at
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    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 13th Jan 19, 1:23 PM
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    Kynthia
    • #9
    • 13th Jan 19, 1:23 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jan 19, 1:23 PM
    You parenting your mum isn't helping her. You're just going to worsen your relationship and delaying the inevitable. Whether the inevitable is your mum getting into a terrible mess and being evicted or reaching the realisation she needs to change and get a handle on things I don't know. Hopefully it's the latter but she won't get there if you're too much of a crutch to lean on.

    Even parents are told to stop bailing out their children or they'll never learn so your mum is no different. Stop being angry at her, stop pushing her and stop trying to fix it. Be there is she asks and help with what she asks for help with, but that doesn't mean doing it for her or helping her financially on a regular basis. It doesn't help her to have you angry and resentful so take a step back and try to go back to your normal relationship and don't make every communication about this issue.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 13th Jan 19, 1:53 PM
    • 5,506 Posts
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    theoretica
    Can you try to bolster her confidence? Point out how much she has to bring to the right employer - and also remind her how many rejections everyone gets for jobs, horrible as it is being rejected it isn't personal to her.
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    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 13th Jan 19, 2:00 PM
    • 10,180 Posts
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    kazwookie
    Get her signed up to some local job agencies for the type of work she has skills for, temping work is better than nothing.
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    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 13th Jan 19, 3:48 PM
    • 2,165 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    Give her moral support and try to boost her confidence and maybe help her out by buying some food. I wouldn't do much else because it could just enable your mum to be even slower looking for a job. She needs to feel a bit of urgency to take action.
    Is she applying for just jobs she really wants? When facing a job loss / being unemployed its probably best to take whatever you can get. Even a low paid role is better than benefits and the longer one is unemployed the harder it is to get interviews.
    Offer to help her improve her cv. Go round one evening with a bottle of wine and nibbles and help her apply for roles.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 13th Jan 19, 9:37 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
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    lika_86
    I'm surprised by some of the advice, but I suppose it depends on individual situations. I know my mum would help me out if I needed it and could afford to do so, and vice versa.

    Of course the mother is an adult but it sounds like she's really struggling at the moment rather than wilfully not looking for a job. If she made a mistake sufficient to get her fired then it sounds like it was serious, she's probably feeling very insecure right now and probably worried about how to deal with it in future job interviews or the reference she might get. Asking her how she'll cope when she maxes out her overdraft is at best unhelpful and won't help ease her concerns. I think a friendly non-judgmental chat about what she's doing and where she's looking, her concerns and offering to help out in interview practice might be of more help. Temp work is a good idea if she can get it.

    If the OP does decide to help financially, then it would make sense to work out how much they can afford to contribute and for how long and not do that at too early a stage.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 13th Jan 19, 9:54 PM
    • 5,787 Posts
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    deannatrois
    I wonder if she is worrying about how to deal with the 'why did you leave your last job?' question?

    If it was a genuine mistake, she could just say it is something she learned from and will never do again, with some proactive thoughts on how to prevent it happening again (looking at it logically rather than through shame)?

    Sometimes retraining can help, give her a fresh start. But that won't help with the finances. Stepchange has to be looked at here. Maybe you already have explained to her that taking control of her finances will feel a lot better than all the stress and anxiety she is feeling? At least there will be some kind of an end in sight and interest charges will be stopped.
    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 13th Jan 19, 10:35 PM
    • 1,322 Posts
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    pickledonionspaceraider
    Wow shes only been out of work for a month and doesn't sound like shes actually asked for a penny from any family yet

    You sound anxious OP, and taking on problems - that don't yet exist - no one has asked you to, yet you have emotions such as resentment already without ever spending money or being asked to

    Try to take a mental step back from this... and don't pre-empt her problems for her. They are for her to sort out, as long as her rent/council tax and utilities/food are covered at the minute, other bills will have to wait
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 14th Jan 19, 11:10 AM
    • 851 Posts
    • 1,683 Thanks
    BBH123
    Wow OP sounds harsh and more worried about spoiling her house deposit plans than possibly helping her mum.


    Mum brought the kids up after a divorce so is hardly a loser on the scrapheap. She will well know her expenses and juggling budgets etc . She sounds to me like someone who has reached her 50's and just wants to catch her breath for a moment before deciding her next moves.


    Cut her some slack, let her come to you for help if and when she wants it don't just assume you know what's best for her rushing her into jobs she may not like because you are worried about her bills.


    We don't know why she left her previous job but you might want to explore the reason and the best way to present it to future employers. At the end of the day it might be something they don't need to know about.
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    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 14th Jan 19, 1:17 PM
    • 212 Posts
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    SuperPikachu
    CVlibrary is good to join if she is interested. I have had the most contact from people/agencies using that.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 14th Jan 19, 1:35 PM
    • 7,532 Posts
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    KxMx
    OPs Mum has spent 150k from a house sale and has already been bailed out financially by both her kids previously.

    So no I wouldn't say money is the answer here but practical help with looking for work, managing creditors and budgeting should she ask for any kind of help.
    • charlotte1994
    • By charlotte1994 14th Jan 19, 2:20 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 499 Thanks
    charlotte1994
    See if you can sit with her and apply for jobs online together. Do you think she would mind if you applied for jobs on her behalf? I think it's hard for our parents generation, the job market they knew is gone and totally different. I don't think you should throw money at her as others have said, but try and help her back into employment, I think she will feel a lot better after getting a job again
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jan 19, 2:24 PM
    • 65,328 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    She has a 200/m leased car, and 4.5k on credit cards with the minimum payment 75
    Originally posted by greenorange
    This is the main issue. Even if she moved and got full housing benefit, she could live on the 73/week single person's dole ... if she didn't have these. 275/month from 316 income will never work.

    I suggest you actually set aside the house/dole/living money for now as you need to work out how to ditch these two overheads and obligations.... they're chewing and spitting money like nobody's business.

    Sort those two and the rest are minor issues to deal with.
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