I moved home, needing a car for my part-time work and unable to afford both rent and car. I've been paying my mother an agreed $250 per month, bi-weekly.
I've been giving her $125 each payday in cash, transferring it into a bank account she opened secretly from my dad.
The money’s hers personally and doesn’t pay for any household expenses, she frequently tells me.
My father works hard to provide for her. She doesn't work and spends her days drinking. Even her booze money comes out of the household account. I don't know how my dad deals with it, but it's not my business.
There’s one month where I get paid three times. I’ve explained that I won't be paying her a third time, but can split up one payment so she still gets three and isn't "losing out."
But she’s adamant that I’m to pay her every time I'm paid. It’d mean giving her $375 as opposed to our agreed $250.
She won't budge. She starts screaming at me.
The bi-weekly payments help me budget but also help her. I'm thinking now that I should just slip the full amount into her account at each month’s end, though it’ll undoubtedly cause an argument.
My dad doesn't question where the cash goes because he doesn't want to argue.
My partner’s in school for another year and living at home so we cannot move out together.
I can't afford an apartment on my own and most renters won’t accept my beloved cat.
I stay at my boyfriend's weekdays because it's closer to work and I avoid her drunken self. I’m home on weekends, pay for everything for my cat, and clean her box. My mother feeds her along with her own dog.
She’s money-hungry and greedy.
I hardly use any utilities at home. I can't move in with my boyfriend's parents as his mother’s strictly against animals in the house.
Am I right to tell my mother I'm not paying more than what we agreed on? At my job, I have to work my way up to full-time by seniority.
You have options, though limited ones.
You could work a second job (many do) and seek low-rent accommodation that accepts your cat. It won’t be easy to find, but worth a search.
You could tell your mother that no other renter will pay cash to her secret fund and put up with her greed and her alcoholism.
As a bully herself, she may recognize the tactic and accept getting your $250 monthly, especially with you hardly staying there.
OR, you can hang in a while longer and move as soon as possible.
I was asked to be a friend’s bridesmaid and I’m thrilled! However, I was asked six months after others in the wedding party because I'm replacing a former bridesmaid.
The wedding’s in a year. I haven't missed any pre-wedding parties (stag and doe, bridal shower, bachelorette, etc.), only the first bridal dress shopping.
However, am I really wanted in this position?
We’re good friends, but if I didn't make the initial cut then am I really deserving of being in the bridal party?
Should I Be Offended?
There’s no offence in being told honestly about replacement and being offered the honour.
Every bridal wedding-party list includes a “must-be” group, for example, sister, groom’s sister, best friend, and a second tier of close friends. That includes you and you should join in enthusiastically, as you deserve.
FEEDBACK Regarding the family who didn’t alert their sister that her mother was dying (June 21):
Reader – “Five years ago my brother told our 90-year-old mom what an awful mother she’d been and that he never wanted to see her again. He’s since turned on all of his siblings.
“He and his wife post on social media about the love they have for her family, so it’s clear they want nothing to do with any of us.
“We’ve all had counselling and concluded that it’s best to keep him out of our lives for our mental health.
“My mother’s been clear that under no circumstances is he to be told when she’s sick or dying.
“We plan to keep her wishes.
“In the writer’s case, if all of the siblings respected their mother's wishes, I suggest the excluded daughter should look to herself.
“She knows why her siblings made the decision.”
Tip of the day:
An adult child should try reasonable means to live independently of a demanding, difficult parent.