Dear Abby: Our daughter "Bree" has just announced that she's pregnant with her third child. Her other children are 1 and 2. My wife and I are in our 60s and provide child care three days a week, while the other grandma baby-sits for two days. We also pay for preschool and swimming lessons, as well as cook dinner for them on the days when we baby-sit.
Bree and her husband do not earn enough money to support even one child. We know we'll be expected to finance college for the children. When we agreed to help out, we asked them to promise they would not have more than two kids. This third one will cause us to use up our savings, increase our child care responsibilities and take us into our 80s to continue helping. Is it wrong to feel used? I am very depressed over this.
-- Overwhelmed in San Diego
Dear Overwhelmed: Your depression is understandable. You should not sacrifice your retirement savings in order to finance your grandchildren's education. There are other options than you paying for it. The responsibilities you have assumed were not yours in the first place. If you don't insist your daughter and son-in-law stand on their own two feet, you will wind up old, broke, and living on Social Security.
The truth can hurt
Dear Abby: I spoke my mind about some family members because I was tired of them saying things behind other people's backs. Now I am to blame for the family issues when I was just being honest.
Where is the line where the honesty policy becomes brutal and unfeasible?
-- Telling It Like It Is
Dear Telling It: The line is crossed when the truth is used like a sledgehammer and the words are spoken in anger or retaliation.