Grandma is annoyed by what she thinks is irresponsible conduct
DEAR ANNIE: My son and daughter- in- law have two beautiful children, ages six and seven. Since my retirement, I’ve taken care of the children while the parents work. I also gave them a large sum of money for the down payment on their home in an area with good schools.
Over the past couple of years, I have noticed that they spend money extravagantly and have failed to keep up with the maintenance of their house. Last month, they informed me that they may need to sell the place, because they find it difficult to keep up with expenses, even though I know their income is perfectly adequate to cover all of their household costs.
I have a real estate background and explained to them that the market has declined, making the value of the house less than what they owe on it. I became quite impatient and almost angry, suggesting that they seek financial guidance to get back on track. In addition, I am emotionally and physically drained when caring for the children, as they do not keep the house clean and piles of dirty clothing can be found all over. At times, I have done the wash and cleaned the house, simply so I can tolerate being there. I am concerned about my grandchildren in that environment.
I have spoken to my son and he says he won’t confront his wife on these issues because he wants to choose his battles. My daughter- in- law does not seem to mind living in a dirty, disorganized environment. I feel she is negligent and not providing the proper care and nurturing for my grandchildren. She only works part- time and could do these things.
Should I bring the kids to my house instead? I am trying to be positive, but it is becoming difficult to maintain a relationship with her.
— Need Cleanliness