Carolyn Hax: Return to the nest is fraught with jealousy

DEAR CAROLYN: Our daughter “Annie” has moved back home at age 33 to save some money while doing postdoc work and teaching college courses. She works hard and studies for grueling hours, and she contributes to household expenses. Our daughter “Bonnie” has moved back home at 29 after a sudden breakup, bringing our 15-month-old grandchild with her.

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Bonnie works but does not earn much money, and we are encouraging her to save it instead of giving it to us because we know she wants to live independently with her child as soon as possible.

When Bonnie is not working, she is mostly tied up with her baby.

Neither daughter really contributes to the housework, but they are good housemates and we are really happy to have them both home.

Annie is resentful that Bonnie does not pay “rent,” and feels she has been given a pass simply because she has a child. Bonnie feels judged and looked down on by her sister. My husband and I are often caught in the middle, and the tension sometimes leads us to regret opening our home to both kids.

One or both will probably move out within the next year. Until then, how do we cope? Do we intervene or stay out of it?

Boomeranged

DEAR BOOMERANGED: Two things.

(1) Annie is being shortsighted. Good families don’t take care of everything equally; instead they commit equally to taking care of needs. That means if Annie needs X she gets X, and if Bonnie need Y she gets Y, because what exactly is accomplished by handing Bonnie X just because that’s what Annie got? I use the term “shortsighted” because neither you nor Annie nor Bonnie knows what is in store for everyone, so for all you know Annie is five years out from needing XYZ

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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