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How To Deal With This ? Issue With Mom's Comparison.

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by Mylifeatusa, Apr 1, 2019.

  1. Mylifeatusa

    Mylifeatusa Silver IL'ite

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    Hello Ladies,

    Long post please read :

    I’m going through weird issues from last few months. We come from a middle class background but studied well. My brother settled in India and living good life. I married to a guy settled US my DH is also from poor background but he worked hard at studies and ended up settling here. My dad has 6.5 acres of paddy fields and he gave 2.5 to me as a dowry. It don’t have high value or anything but its ok. My husband didn’t really care about what I’m getting from my parents.

    When we both married we have nothing and no financial support from both sets of parents. We only have 6 lakhs and bank acct from my husband’s savings, he was only US for an before wedding as a research student so not much salary hence not much savings. He spent 70% his savings on his wedding and other expense for my VISA flight tickets etc.

    We both worked hard after our wedding and saved each penny by compromising on many things; I worked until couple days before my delivery for both pregnancies. My DH has to stay out of work for 2 yrs when he is switching to IT from science. So we had our hard ships and good days with in these 10 yrs of our married life.

    ** Now we both have good careers and making decent money. From 2014 we have started investing in India. We have invested in 4-5 properties and bought some agricultural fields.

    ** The real issue : My mom always compares me and my brother and tries to make him equal to us financially. I don’t expect anything from them even as ritual and send gifts often to brother/mom/sil/dad. She is not happy with it. Always tries to take money from me and give to my SIL and brother in the name of a ritual. I know it’s not the ritual but I still send to them.

    One thing bothers me is everyone conveniently forget the Hard work we did and still doing to make money. Leaving our kids from 6 month of age at day cares and not visiting family for years together and health issues and no one to care for our kids when we both get sick etc. And then days I spent far from DH and Kid and stayed alone in a different place to work. Everyone thinks I’m obligated to help my brother.

    I have already helped them when they are constructing their home and send money often whenever they are short on it. I don’t what else I can do as daughter to make then happy. Now she wants to sell the paddy fields as I got as dowry to my brother with the same price at 10 yrs old, my FIL and DH don’t want to do it. There are too many instances but I can’t write everything here. Overall because we are doing financially she expects me to help my brother even though he is doing good as per Indian standards and we have hefty mortgage to pay here in US.

    Please help how to sort this out without offending any one.
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    To sort it "without offending anyone" when there is money involved and one child abroad is tricky.

    Can you share a little more:
    - Did your parents find the guy, spend on your wedding?
    - Did they spend a lot on your education? Beyond what they could then afford?
    - Is your brother older than you?
    - What is the general plan of care for your parents when they are very old?
    - Do your parents live with your brother? Who owns or pays rent for that house?
    - Does your SIL work? Can she work?
     
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  3. Mylifeatusa

    Mylifeatusa Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Rihana..tq for your time in responding.
    - Did your parents find the guy, spend on your wedding? - Yes they found the guy and spent on my wedding not a lot and I had simple wedding. I came US after 2 weeks of wedding and my DH sent them the money gave me as ritual its not much but 1 lakh rupees and after that I didn't take anything from them and helped them when ever they need anything.
    - Did they spend a lot on your education? Beyond what they could then afford? - Yes they have spend on my education but beyond their means.
    - Is your brother older than you? - No he is younger.
    - What is the general plan of care for your parents when they are very old? - They own a house and they have fields they rent and live with that rent..I'm ready send monthly amount if they need.
    - Do your parents live with your brother? Who owns or pays rent for that house? - no they live separately.
    - Does your SIL work? Can she work?[/QUOTE] - She is working now but she is not hard working type and she stayed home for 2 yrs and then I referred her to one of friends IT company in India now she is working there. This is my concern why my can't mom asks her DIL and SON work hard instead of expecting me to help them. On one hand they get all luxuries of maids and having family near by for every single need and both sets of parents helps them, other hands we live on our own and work hard still being treated badly.
     
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  4. senorita2019

    senorita2019 Gold IL'ite

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    Its sucks when parents do this. I can feel your pain. Life in US is hard with both parents working and raising 2 kids.
    Why can you say that you have mortgaged your land and took some loans and diplomatically refuse the sale of the paddy lands. End of the day confronting family will only result in drama and heart ache. Better to handle diplomatically. Help when you can and other times put the blame on contributing for retirement funds or college funds etc and get some peace.
    they wont change, you have to extricate yourself in a subtle way from the scene.
     
    Amica likes this.
  5. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Did your mom or parents come to help you during the first delivery and second? Did they come before the birth and stay on for a few months?

    Do your parents and brother know the exact purchase price and current value of these properties? Did your parents or brother do any running around and research to help you buy these land and properties? Do you still depend on them sometimes to take care of details related to your assets in India?

    Till 6 months who took care of the kids? You, parents, parents with nanny or some other arrangement?

    Without giving exact numbers, can you give an idea of how much you contributed. About how much percentage of the construction cost was paid by you? Asking because sometimes we look at our contribution based on how timely it was, how no one else helped, and what a crucial part it played even if the actual contribution was small'ish.

    Your brother will get the house your parents are living in?

    You don't have to answer any or all of the above, just some things for you to ponder on.

    ===========
    Like senorita said, there is no direct way to sort this. No logic or argument will make them see reason or the unfairness of what they are doing. Parents trying to equalize things for children are blind to what they are doing to the other child and how they are spoiling the relationship between the children, and how this will lead to bitterness that lasts well after parents are gone.

    You can only use indirect or subtle ways to not sell the 2.5 acres of land. Easiest is to place the blame on your husband and FIL. Say they are not in favor of it. Your FIL and DH should refuse to discuss the matter with your parents.

    Over time, cut down on sending money "when they are short". No one remembers the money you send, and no one will thank you for it.

    Start using excuses like, "lay-off's were going to happen at work. they offered to retain people who take a voluntary pay cut. we took a pay cut."

    "got laid off. company has been kind to keep me/DH on rolls till another job is found."

    "this happened with the house. will cost this many dollars to repair."

    Human beings are creatures of habit. Find some solid excuse that DH and FIL can use to not sell the land. Keep repeating it. Slowly cut down the money you send to parents. Do not send "as needed." Instead, set aside a fixed amount, and send that once in 2-3 months. Skip it once in a while citing some sudden expense.

    That being said, would it be too much of a financial hit for you to give that land back to parents? If you give it back, will parents expect more and more from you? If giving it back brings peace and no long term consequences, consider it.

    Above all, stop sending money now and then, and for ritual to give to brother, SIL. Make that a fixed amount and fixed frequency.
     
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  6. Mylifeatusa

    Mylifeatusa Silver IL'ite

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    Rihana - Yes my mom came here to US for both of pregnancies ans stayed for 6 months and I cant measure her help and thankful for rest of my life for whatever she did.

    My brother is going to Inherit the home they are living in and 5 acres of paddy fields . Honestly I don't really worry about what they have and to whom they will give etc.. and always tries to help them with whatever they need.

    My FIL is looking after our properties, less maintenance as they most of then are open plots.

    Yes they know the purchase price and current market value of the properties. She always says that your properties appropriated and your brother don't have that much !!
     
  7. Greenbay

    Greenbay Gold IL'ite

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    Our twins turned 6 months and we have been managing with help of nannies and baby sitters. Their help cannot be measured in $$ but if I still want to measure in money, a look at my check book reveals we have spent close to $3K/nanny/per month and extra when additional baby sitters were needed when the regular nannies needed time off. Didn't you save on this having your mother at your service, not just from monetary perspective but emotionally as well?
    6.5-2.5 is 4 ( I think you mistook as 5). Even if it 5 for him, you have been given 2.5 acres. Many parents, even if they love their kids equally, do not do 50%-50% distribution in lands as they think that it is not possible to get good cultivation when lands are divided. Discuss whether that is the case.

    Plus your worry is: Your inheritance has not appreciated and is of low value but they are not giving you even market value.

    Once the gift is given, the property becomes a joint asset of your marital home. Discuss this too with your mother that why your FIL and husband don't want to sell.

    Now that I have given advice, I ask you to introspect whether educated and well earning children should still aspire for parental assets. And your mother too to introspect whether gift once given is asked to be returned back irrespective of its value.
     
  8. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    If they are not worried about offending you, why are you worried about offending them?

    Equal, how? They gave you 2.5 acres, and saved 5 acres for him. Where's the equality? Did they spend more on your education or wedding?

    You've told us what your Mom, DH and FIL want. What do you want to do?

    If you have been giving for the past decade without appreciation, nothing you do will ever be enough.

    IMO, relationships should be a two-way street. If it's true that you have been giving and giving but getting nothing in return, ask yourself why. Stop helping financially, sell the 2.5 acres on the open market and claim financial hardship. See if Mom/brother offer to help you in any way.

    If, OTOH, you are getting something from this relationship with parents/brother/SIL, decide what it's worth to you and act accordingly. Put aside your emotions and assess what they have done or are doing for you.

    I think give and take in relationships evens out. Many couples living abroad send money home. In return they get emotional support and security from their FOOs. In most cases, it's a good bargain.

    I would suggest stepping back and evaluating what this relationship with your FOO means to you, what it's worth to you and what price you're willing to pay for it. What would you be giving up if this relationship ends? Is it worth the cost?

    Personally, I feel cash can be replaced; relationships, not so much. While you are calculating the material things you give, also calculate the intangibles you get. You are the only one who can figure out the true balance of accounts.
    .
     
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  9. lukywife

    lukywife Gold IL'ite

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    Parents don’t owe us anything. Your parents gave you dowry, it’s your parents money. May be you and your brother can share because you are leading a good life. I undeterstand your mom is partial, but you don’t be. Take high roads, land is just material. We can’t take our land or money with us when we leave earth. Treat it as if you are donating to someone. I was in a similar boat like you. I make good money here. My brother and sil in India also make good money. My mom gave me a land when I got married and she mentioned my brother would inherit her home. My mom is conditioned that way. Me and my husband are leading a good life interms of money as well relationship. Me and my husband don’t care who will take my parents home because we believe we shouldnt take others property. We both decided and returned back the land gifted by them. They hesitated but agreed when my husband convinced them. Education my parents gave me more than enough.
     
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  10. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    After reading the follow-up information you have shared, this is my suggestion:
    That is not accurate. Your parents found the guy for you who turned out to be a good husband in so many ways. They arranged, did the running around, and spent some money on your "simple wedding." Before that they spent on your education which must have given you the ability to start earning sooner in the U.S. Your husband must have had some family support for education and initial U.S. expenses.

    There is no way you can say "we both have nothing and no financial support when we married." From my reading, you both got good starts in life courtesy of parents. His parents also found a good match for him.

    That is commendable. But, that was your choice and you both were lucky to get spouse who agrees. Working till couple of days before delivery is not a hardship. Definitely not if you had your mom at home. DH out of work for 2 yrs is again a choice you guys made. You must have been earning or you guys had savings to tide you over the 2 yrs. These do not count as hardships. Sorry.

    Parents and siblings can ask us for money. It is up to us to give or not and how much to give. You make the decision to give because of whatever reason. Often it is that you fear the relationship will get strained if you don't and you and your kids won't have much family ties left. Own that decision. Don't put the blame on the person who asks.

    Most desi families living abroad deal with this. I would not call it hardship or hard work. People in India have their own problems -- pollution, power cuts, traffic, relying on unreliable maids, social obligations. You stayed alone and apart from DH, kid -- yes it is tough on the mind and heart, but logistics wise living apart is easier in the U.S.

    Yes, they will think like that. Just like nature abhors vacuum, well-wishing people abhor disparity between siblings. How you react to those expectations is up to you.

    Are those 2.5 acres adjacent to the rest of the land?

    I will get some brickbats for this, but any way: Their request is kind of reasonable. As a parent, to see one child do much better than the other, and as one gets older to contemplate who will look after you when you are really feeble, such things bother parents. You say it has not appreciated much in past 10 years. They are asking to sell at 10 yrs old price. You say you do not care who gets the house and other land etc. Can you extend that bigheartedness and give this land at that price?

    One more thing - if you do not plan to help physically with the care of your parents 10-15 years from now, then, their current request is worth accepting.

    Will you be able to go and look after them in person a decade or two from now? Most likely not. Pay that due now itself.

    If you don't want to sell it at 10 yr old price, or if it means your DH/FIL will look down at you, your family, then, put the blame on your FIL. Or, negotiate. Sell at a little more than 10 yr old price.

    Learn to side-step such comparisons. Slowly reduce talk about properties, money.

    Give the 2.5 acres at the old price, and start cutting down on the ad hoc money you send.

    And like Amica said, do what you want to do. Not what your FIL/DH want to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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