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Old 09-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #21
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Well said, Nords.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #22
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It's not clear that things are unbalanced. You were offered the chance to come along on the Jamaican trip and the cruise, so it's not like you were excluded.

In any case, life is not fair (but is easier if we stop believing that it should be).

With respect to dad not contributing more than token amounts towards gas, groceries and baseball tickets when he and your stepmother were staying with you, try to remember that the shoe was no doubt very much on the other foot when you were growing up. Parents pay for EVERYTHING when their children are young, and should probably be entitled to draw on that credit somewhat in later years: at least for the sort of modest, incidental expenses you've mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Sorry, but I agree with your inkling that this is petty. You are a self-sufficient adult, your folks don't owe you anything. Forget about what they give to your sibling--they are free to do whatever they want with their money. There could be lots of reasons they are behaving less generously towrd you and your wife--maybe they figure you guys are more mature and handle your funds better, you need less help. But focusing on this will not be good for your relationship with them.

Just decide if the visit with them was satisfactory on it's own merits. If the payment for a dinner here or there is really getting under your skin, try to figure out how important this is in the big scheme of things.
Well said.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #23
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It's not clear that things are unbalanced. You were offered the chance to come along on the Jamaican trip and the cruise, so it's not like you were excluded.

.
+1

And they did make the effort to come and visit you.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:31 PM   #24
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I'll continue the "it's their money, they can do with it what thay will" theme.

When my DF died I was 17. I took over the family farm (I really didn't want anything to do with it), kept it viable, DM solvent and younger siblings fed for 5 years. DM suggsted I make room for younger brother(s) when one became old enough. I suggested he/they could have it all, finished my degree and got a job.

When DM died she left the farm (70% of her estate) to the 2 farming siblings. The other three split the rest. We didn't care.

When FIL died, I was his executor. Was a bit surprisedf to find that he had given his land to BIL (actually he sold it, took a very low interest mortgage loan and forgave it in his will). Why not, BIL did most of the work on the farm for about 20 years. FIL did leave the land MIL owned (and wanted DW to have) to her (he inherited it for tax reasons).

When BIL died, I was his executor. BIL died at seeding time. His DD and husband wanted to take over the farm. They didn't have enought money to put the crop in and since the estate was in limbo (no probate) I couldn't offer them a lease required for a bank loan. I lent then $75K to do it. While they didn't prosper on the farm, they did earn enough to repay me.

Sometimes family is family and people do what seems right at the time. While I try to treat my kids fairly (and i think my M and FIL did to), that does not mean equal down to the penny. Count yourself lucky to have parents to whine about.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:41 PM   #25
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Read Chapter 5, "Economic Outpatient Care", in Stanley and Danko's "The Millionaire Next Door" (1996).
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:46 PM   #26
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It's your personal take on the situation, so I won't try to second guess u or your dad.

Some food for thought....

- It was your choice to live away from home, as a choice of joining the military/profession (thank you for your service)
- You were invited and you declined for whatever reason
- Your dad may view things differently due to genders, I'm not sure, but I do with young kids
- Perhaps you can make it a priority to join him if he invites in the future, be proactive and suggest timing/places that works for you
- As others have noted, at least your dad is alive and tries to be involved in your life
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:24 PM   #27
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I would think your Dad is oblivious to your concerns. It would seem petty to me, but I am not in your situation. Your father is probably very proud of your self sufficiency. I have many siblings and would never expect our Parents would foot the bill for us as adults unless the situation was dire and we requested help, then I know they would help. If you are really struggling you should ask you father for help. If you are able to take care of your familiy, enjoy your parents company, and expect some expenses when you host. I would assume they would be gracious hosts when you visited them.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:48 AM   #28
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What Nords said, and many others. Your parents' discretionary funds are just that, discretionary.
I know that my folks have helped my siblings out with financial gifts over the years, though I have no idea by what amount. Personally, I don't even care. It was money that my folks worked to earn, and it was therefore, their money to do with as they pleased. They never sought my input or approval, and I never even thought about giving it to them free gratis. There have been a few times, though very few, that they offered me their assistance. Sometimes I accepted it, sometimes I didn't. And for the most part, the times that I did accept it, I paid the amount back to them. Not because they needed it, or even expected it, but just because I wanted to show my appreciation for their offer.

I suppose that I feel the way I do simply because that is how I was raised. I've always just been thankful for what I have, and am not concerned that others may have more than I do, or better than I have.

Everyone's situation is different, but I believe that my life is way too short to worry about what other people do or don't do. So in the words of the song....."Don't Worry, Be Happy"!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:37 AM   #29
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Petty ? no

Unfair ? yes

Cut to the chase and voice your concerns to your father. Reasonably and the sooner the better.

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:04 AM   #30
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I agree with this. I miss my dad every day.
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- As others have noted, at least your dad is alive and tries to be involved in your life
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:06 AM   #31
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I understand that you, as probably any child in a family, would like to be treated "fair and even" with your siblings by your parents.
However, unfortunately neither life nor parents owe you that.
Your parents invited you to some of the trips. That was nice. You could not come, for good reasons. End of that story.

Your parents might have their own calculation in mind, like being closer to the resident kids. That is not fair and even by numbers, but very likely in families.

You mentioned that they made a big deal out of paying for some meals. Maybe that is the key to the issue: they want to be recognized and praised for what they chip in. Some people are like that. Maybe your siblings have used this key better than you?
Instead you showed your self sufficiency and independence by paying for meals during the rest of the visit. Now they might feel confirmed in their understanding that you do not need their support as much as your siblings.

And remember: Money and invites sometimes come with strings attached...
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:16 AM   #32
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Petty ? no

Unfair ? yes

Cut to the chase and voice your concerns to your father. Reasonably and the sooner the better.

I agree! You should address this or it will eat at you. I speak from experience.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:19 AM   #33
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Cut to the chase and voice your concerns to your father. Reasonably and the sooner the better.
I can't imagine how this subject could be discussed in such a way that it doesn't make matters worse. I don't mean in some hypothetical sense, I mean in the real world with real people who have real emotions.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:18 AM   #34
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Didn't read all of the comments, but I wonder if your parents may have gotten an unintended, subliminal message by turning down the trips in the past. Although you've explained everything to us about not being able to take the time off (makes sense)... they might have missed that part

Could it be that your parents assume that you are trying to be self sufficient and they have 'learned' that you are the child who would rather pay your own way... they may actually respect you for that and the situation is being read wrong from both sides. Opening up a dialog with them about the situation would bring this all to the surface.

Just another perspective to consider... I've seen similar in my family. My BIL is the type who refuses money from anyone for any reason - makes him feel in debt to them even if it is a gift. So during holidays when parents send a check (very normal on my side of the family) he often takes it the wrong way. My parents have learned that my sister and BIL are the ones to avoid giving cash gifts to - so they get the slightly nicer gifts for the Holiday instead.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:46 AM   #35
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- As others have noted, at least your dad is alive and tries to be involved in your life
Which is FAR BETTER than my dad, who is alive and wants nothing to do with me or my wife or his grandkids. I think you are being petty..........
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:50 PM   #36
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Let it go. Fair and equal are not necessarily the same thing. People have different problems, needs, attitudes, etc. and we try to help them accordingly. Maybe your Dad feels you're on a stronger financial footing than the others and they need his help. It's likely your complaints would only come across as selfish and not help the situation.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #37
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Which is FAR BETTER than my dad, who is alive and wants nothing to do with me or my wife or his grandkids. I think you are being petty..........
+1
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:55 PM   #38
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OP, I bet you wish you never brought the subject up here. We have a way of pissing all over certain types of posts.

FWIW, I struggle sometimes with watching DW's parents dole out gobs of free childcare to her sister's family. DW and I have mostly gone solo with the kids and the vast majority of time (precious little) we get off from watching the kids ourselves has been paid for. That said, when all is said and done we are living our lives as we see fit and are not beholden to anyone, so it is what it is.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #39
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OP, I bet you wish you never brought the subject up here. We have a way of pissing all over certain types of posts.

FWIW, I struggle sometimes with watching DW's parents dole out gobs of free childcare to her sister's family. DW and I have mostly gone solo with the kids and the vast majority of time (precious little) we get off from watching the kids ourselves has been paid for. That said, when all is said and done we are living our lives as we see fit and are not beholden to anyone, so it is what it is.
It's the same way in my family, too. Out of sight is out of mind.

All I can say is when the parents need help with their old age...the other siblings that have been on the take will be around to pick up the slack when the chips are down. Right?
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #40
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Family dynamics is tough.

Brewers post about babysitting describes some resentment between 2 of my sibling-in-laws.

But the sibling that got the free babysitting is now in the caregiving position for my parent-in-laws, 6 months out of the year - and has put in a lot more time/effort in the past 10 years than she ever got in free childcare. Life has a way of balancing things out. But the sibling that is (still) complaining probably doesn't recognize that.

My parent-in-laws are not even or consistent in how they dole out money/gifts/praise. In fact they tend to dump more criticism on those now in the caregiving role. (They live part of the year near the SIL mentioned above, and part of the year with us.). I've learned to tune out the criticism from the parents, and the statements about fairness from the siblings who want more money, gifts, praise. It's not worth getting upset about it.

Just live your life so you know you did the right things and you can sleep well at night. You can't control other people - just your own actions and your reactions to others. You can choose to let it bother you or choose to ignore it. If you let your happiness be dependent on some "fairness scoreboard" life is going to be pretty miserable.
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