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Problem with parent and obligation.


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#1 anonstar

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:01 AM

Hi,

I am a regular user but have gone anon for this because it is kind of unique to my situation. I would appreciate replies for advice and am hoping I have put this in the right spot.  

Since last year my family have been running a business that keeps us constantly on our feet and running around like headless chooks until the late evening. I work full time at my office job and then take the hour and 20 minute commute to my family’s business in the evenings. This has been going on since the business opened mostly due to my parents being a very unorganised couple and me being super organised I just kind of took it on when they were ready to open to try to help them get on their feet. This just continued on and I was pretty much there 7 days a week going from my job to their business every night and being there all weekend.

Well, I am currently 22 weeks Pregnant and I am struggling. When I first fell pg and with the constant tiredness I cut back my time at the family’s business to only 1 day on the weekend (full day and evening) and 3-4 nights after my work.

I am now over half way into my pregnancy and am finding I am struggling even more with working there now but my mother just doesn’t seem to get it. I am tired all the time and grumpy and really just not enjoying my pregnancy at all but the feeling of obligation and then the guilt my mother puts on me keeps me going back there.

My father is kind of stuck as he knows how much they need me but also knows I am getting over it. My mum is quite demanding and a tad controlling and so for him he tries to leave it to us to sort out.



I have tried to approach the issue of when I will finish up but I always get silly responses like 'When I was pregnant I worked right up to when I had my kids'. When I tried to point out that she was only working 1 job not 2 (like me) and that hers was a nice office job, she just dismissed what I was saying. She then started on about how some women in other countries work labourous (sp?) jobs and stop to give birth and then go back to work not long after.....

The work at this business is very strenuous and hard, I am running around from the minute I get there until the time I get in the car to go home and on the weekend day that I work it’s the same from 10am to 9.30pm.

So, I am sure by this point you are probably wondering why I do this, my sibling who doesn't help out very much at all has asked many times. Its obligation, and knowing without me they will struggle, I feel this incredible guilt all the time and I cannot explain why. I just feel so bad for them, they opened this business in their 50’s and really didn’t fully understand just how physically demanding it was going to be and how much of their time would need to be devoted to the business



I am finding that my husband is getting increasingly frustrated because he is so thrilled about this baby and just wants me to enjoy being pregnant and to not be so tired and grumpy all the time. I also hardly see him. He also gets mad that after all the help he thinks they should be the ones to say stop working here now.

I know if I go to my mother, instead of her saying ok start to wind up you have been a wonderful help it will be well look what you are doing, leaving me in the lurch to do this all on my own. What am I going to do now.

I am sorry to be so long winded, I think I needed to get this out and vent mostly because I cannot tell my Husband everything that goes on and I obviously cannot talk to my parents. All my friends say bugger it, just tell her you don’t want to work there anymore but I just can’t get the words out to her. Is there anyone out there in their pregnancy that worked on their feet so much with so much running around and when did you feel like you couldn’t do it anymore? Also, how does one move past the family obligation and the fear that without you they will struggle, I do love my parents very much and want to do all I can for them but I need to find a way to stop all this extra work, I am tired and grumpy and my body is sore all the time.





#2 Ice Queen

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

No advice on the family situation.  But my own story.  I owned my own cafe when I got pregnant with DD, the pregnancy happened WAY quicker than we thought it would so I was 3 weeks away from my due date on the biggest festival of the year in the area I owned the cafe.  

So there I was at 8mo preggers......working these insanely long days on the busiest days we had ever had.  On the busiest day of them all (there was a street parade), I was coordinating a stall to be set up, I was literally having heart permutations I was so stressed screaming at my DH to set up the stall, I carried a heavy coffee grinder, dropped it on my toe nearly breaking it, the vege man turned up with 5 bags of lettuce not 5kgs of lettuce, I was standing in the back staring at this freakin lettuce just doing circles going 'F£€K, F$&K', driving like a maniac to the supermarket and begging them for all the lettuce they had in their back room.  This was all BEFORE spending 8 hours making coffee for a neverending line of customers.  

That night we had dinner at the pub with some friends.  I was having braxton hicks and I said that if I went into labour I would have to have a casear as I had no energy to push. I then hardly slept as my BH were so bad.  

So sympathy, I know how you feel.  I remember mopping floors at the end of 12hr days so tired I was using the mop to hold myself up.  

You need to cut loose, you cant do what you are doing with a newborn so better to do it now than later.

#3 mmuc83

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

Firstly, your obligation is to yourself and your baby.. what if soemthing happened to you whilst you were working this "strenuous" job?  Would you ever forgive yourself??  More still, would your husband forgive you for working yourself into the ground for a business that is not yours, out of obligation which has ultimately cost you a possible child and put the extra strain on your relationship with your husbad?

I know its worse case scenario - but something you need to think about.

Your parents aren't young or naive - they entered into this business.. not you!

I'm not saying don't help but but they need to manage appropriately - could they hire someone to do the work that you do?

Ultimately - you need to put yourself first and your baby - the rest they just have to deal with it.  Your dad needs to pull his head out of the sand and reign in your mum who keeps putting pressure on you rather than just leaving it to the two of you to sort it out!

I'm talking from experience as i was in a similar position to you - the relationship will survive you not helping out as much - whether the business survives who knows.  If it doesn't then it's not your fault - it is the fault of your parents' lack of forsight and contingency planning.

Good luck! It should be such a happy time!!!

#4 belindarama

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

I think it is lovely that you are trying to help them but realistically they must be aware that it has an expiry date.

I think you need to sit down and come up with a transition plan for them. Work out what you are covering for them and make a list of what they need to learn or what skills they need to take over.

Then make a plan to get that to happen and put an end date in place. Maybe write a list of the jobs and match up with skills required. If they have those skills great, if not then work out how to get them capable of doing it themselves. Then tackle them one at a time over the next month or so. Each time you go in get one of them to shadow what you are doing so they know how it is done and what is required.

Maybe give them some checklists if you have certain jobs you do each day/week.

When you sit down with them put it to them as a transition plan, rather than saying ok, I'm off, good luck. This way they have time to get used to the idea and feel that they are capable of taking over the aspects of the business you are taking care of rather than giving your mum an opportunity to be nasty about it.

#5 FeralZombieMum

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE (anonstar @ 30/01/2013, 12:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have tried to approach the issue of when I will finish up but I always get silly responses like 'When I was pregnant I worked right up to when I had my kids'. When I tried to point out that she was only working 1 job not 2 (like me) and that hers was a nice office job, she just dismissed what I was saying. She then started on about how some women in other countries work labourous (sp?) jobs and stop to give birth and then go back to work not long after.....

This would really get to me, and would make me determined to stop helping them out.

Just tell them:
"I've been told I'm doing too much and I need to start taking it easy and put my feet up more. My blood pressure is a little bit high and I don't want to risk developing pre-eclampsia, so I won't be able to come over any more and help you guys out."

You need to put a stop to it immediately - this way they will hopefully take you seriously, and it also means you aren't around to hear your mum's BS and guilt tripping.

ps. They don't have to know who told you. wink.gif

#6 beaglebaby

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

As the PP have said, at some point this has to stop, you can't go on like this.  Even if you force yourself to keep going while you are pregnant, and if you manage to get to term, what are you going to do with a newborn?

You need to put yourself and your baby - your parents grandchild, first.

I pushed myself at work in my first pregnancy, I had 10years experience, was the top of my field and thought I was indispensable.  I started to develop high blood pressure and when I told my employer I needed to slow down there was more pressure.  I developed Bells Palsy, that stopped me working as I couldn't see clients like that, but the manager still put pressure on me to work.  Luckily for me my GP put his foot down hard and made me stop.  Turns out I wasn't indispensable either, there's always someone who can do your job.  In your case it may mean your parents have to employ someone, but that is a business cost they'll have to wear, better that than the health of their daughter or grandchild.

You have to say No.

#7 causeway

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

I'm with Zombie Mum, pick a date and say that you'll be finishing up then. If your Mum goes on about women giving birth in the fields etc. just put your foot down and say 'this is the date I'm finishing'. Discussion over!

#8 Amy 1976

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

Perhaps you could give them notice in the same way that you would resign from a job.

Give them a letter saying that you've been delighted to be able to assist them so far but given your changing circumstances, you're now going to bow out and concentrate on your full time job and your family obligations to your husband and unborn child.

If you give them a couple of weeks notice, they will have some time to make other arrangements if they need to.

You already know that you need to cut back so all you need to do is work up the courage to let your parents know.

Let us know how you go.



#9 qak

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

As per PPs, you need to sort this out for your & your child's health. What you are doing would exhaust most people and is not sustainable while you are so pregnant or with a young child.  They will have to take responsibility for their own business now.

#10 -Belinda-

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:42 AM


Their business and their responsibilty. Give them notice your notice and stick to it. Tell them it is on doctors orders if you need to.

#11 countrylivingmum

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

You need to stop now. I know it's hard but just do as pp said and tell them the doc said you have high blood pressure or something and you can no longer do the job.
Also what happens when the baby comes do they still expect there? I would be nipping this in the bud ASAP

#12 Peanut

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

I feel for you, its not a great position to be in.  sad.gif

I think you may have to search for a replacement to put into your job.  Its not easy in a family run company, I know, but its the only way to keep their business running and get you the break you obviously need.  

You probably will still cop flak from your Mum, but once the baby comes then hopefully this will smooth things over a bit.

Good luck!

#13 Sassy Dingo

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

Give them a date - say that you're finishing at 30 weeks (or whatever you think you can manage) and then help them get up to speed on the tasks that they don't know how to do.

Put procedures in place now - write lists about how tasks are done, show your parents how to do whatever it is you're doing for them. If they can't do them, then get them to look into hiring someone.

I think you've been incredibly generous to commit every day of the week to helping them, especially when they seem so dismissive of the scale of the work you have been doing.

#14 haras1972

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

I wasn’t pregnant, but I was trapped in working for my parents for about 3 years.

Briefly, my parents owned a newsagency, and I worked there part time throughout highschool etc. My grandmother died after a long illness, during which I worked more and more, and eventually my mother got depression and basically refused to work at their shop. To help the business and dad, I ended up working there full time for about 2 years, as in 4 am to 7pm, 6 days a week.

I do understand the feeling of being trapped – everytime I tried to summon the courage to say something, I ‘d look at my rapidly aging, exhausted dad and think how would he cope, and I couldn’t do it to him. My mother resented me taking over her role at the shop and any attempts to organise, she took personally – she didn’t want to work there but she didn’t want me to do any changes or usurp her.

It is so hard to walk away – I ended up going overseas for 2 years because I couldn’t think of any other way to get out – I couldn’t get time off to go to a job interview, or think about studying etc, so I gave them 6 months notice about my trip – right to the day I flew out, my mother really struggled, and tried to stop me, guilt me into staying etc – it was a brutal time for both of us, but it had to be done. Me being there, as opposed to a non family member employee, meant they weren’t facing realities, not working on their issues. I had become their crutch, and I was drowning in the pressure and loss of control of my own life.

You have to make the break – honestly, give them 4 weeks notice and walk away – entirely. It’s their decision to start that business, they need to work out their dynamics, and you helping is actually not helping.  Being 22 weeks pregnant, the end is nigh anyway – take charge!

I did an assertiveness course when I worked in Collections, and the best thing they taught me, is never explain or justify, when the action really matters to you – that gives the other party grounds to argue with you. Just say I am going to finish up on February 28, here’s what I need to hand over. You don’t need to explain why or ask permission, or justify – just state your position and stick to it.  


#15 FeralFerretOfDoom

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

Agree with Zombie Mum - blame the doctor and say you've been told you have to cut back and start relaxing as there are some health issues that are being affected by all the work you are doing.

#16 Natttmumm

Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

You need to put your baby first which means looking after you.

Pick a finishing date in a few weeks time and finish up

The rest will work out

#17 anonstar

Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Thanks all for your support, honestly I just went off on my lunch break and I come back and have so many words of encouragement. My husband has been telling me that same thing, pick a date and give them notice to actually hire and train the staff.
They just seem to have their head in the sand about it and there is a lot of denial. The type of business they are in I dont even enjoy... I do it for them.

In regards to working there after the baby is born, this is a whole other issue and one that I have worried about. I know at some stage I will finish up and I am really looking forward to my maternity leave... I have been working full time without more than a few weeks annual leave a year for over 10 years and to have a year off is going to be bliss and to be spending it with my baby. But.. it was just this past weekend I was saying to my sister that I was scared my mum would try and get me there on my leave and I dont want to do it.

Haras your situation does sound quite similar...for me as well a few years ago my mum had cancer and she took a long time to recover and it was a huge scare for all of us.
I think that is another reason why I keep working there as much as I do, she cannot work as hard as she used to and I know they went into the business blind to how much work they actually had to do.. thankfully the business is doing well for only 8 months old, I dont want to talk myself up but in all honesty I feel a lot of it is thanks to me and I am as well scared that after I go it wont do so well. You are all right though, they need to learn to manage without me and train up the staff.... oh finding the nerve to tell her and the courage to walk away from it all

#18 feralstreak

Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:24 PM

Big hugs for you OP, you sound like such a warmhearted and hardworking person!

Now is the time to take a step back. You and your baby are the top priority. Honestly, at this point in time, nothing is more important than this.

You need to go easy on yourself and wind down / quit your role in the business. Your mum is being very manipulative with her comparisons. It's not up to you to tide over any gaps and just because you theoretically could toil all day in the fields and then give birth does not mean it is advisable for you to do so!

Your parents either need to employ more staff or reassess the viability of their business if they can't afford to do that. I know that sounds harsh, but the business is not worth jeopardising your health over. Good luck!



#19 snortle

Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

-

Edited by snortle, 20 May 2014 - 09:37 PM.


#20 icekool

Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

I know you are pregnant but go hang around sick people and get a cold, n put yourself on bedrest.

Really, I am appalled that they still demand so much from you when u are carrying another life! That is sheer selfishness. Yes, I know it is your family but they should consider your condition.

If there is a problem, you are prolonging it by helping them out. If they want a business, they should learn how to run it. Maybe you could write out tasks and a business plan for them.


#21 adl

Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

I agree with PP, you just need to quit, your baby and husband are the important thins, you need to look after and be with...

however one thing you should explore is why the guilt? Try and look objectively at the relationship you have with y,our mother and what you want to have as a relationship , perhaps some counseling and talking to an objective person may help you put it into perspective and give you some coping skills with your parents.
I don't advocate lying about a condition , rather well 2 jobs is too much, I am p.uttin my family first and my health ...no more explanation or justification required

Good luck and hope it works out for you

#22 steppy

Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

I would be giving my mother a piece of my mind - like "some women don't start businesses they can't handle and then expect everyone else to suffer either".

Tell them there is this thing called an 'employee' that they can hire while you are busy being a mother.




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