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ManicPixieDreamGirl's avatar

Should we ask for gas money?

Asked by ManicPixieDreamGirl (124points) November 29th, 2017

My husband’s grown daughter is currently recovering from a case of optic neuritis which has rendered her blind in one eye. It could be anywhere from four to twelve weeks before the sight returns to a point where she is able to drive, so in the meantime my husband is driving her back and forth to work every day. He is also picking up her children and delivering them to visitation with their father once a week, gathering them from school (and watching them until she is off work), and taking them to any other events or appointments that might come up. The drive to work is fifteen miles round trip and he’ll be making it for the foreseeable future. We have three teenagers still living at home and money is pretty tight at the moment so I’m looking for input, is it unreasonable to ask her to pitch in for gas money?

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15 Answers

chyna's avatar

I just had a similar situation in which I was sick and my brother had to haul me around. He drives a truck which is a gas hog and I have a car. I gave him my car to use and I also paid for the gas. It worked out good for us.

flameboi's avatar

Regardless of her age, it’s your daughter, and will always be. So, since parents have a commitment to look after their children no matter what, if I were in your situation, I would not ask for gas money, or any money whatsoever, and make a joint effort to cover that extra expense, like cutting on treats and stuff that you can live on without from the grocery store for example, or the utilities, or something else, I don’t know… This is a deposit in your secret karma account that later in life will pay the benefits without you even noticing. When life comes full circle, maybe your daughter will be driving you around, and she will remember fondly when you did that for her.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It is not unreasonable to ask. On the other hand, it may ignite an argument with the daughter, and you have to ask yourself if it is worth the trouble that creating an argument will cause. These things have a way of snapping back to bite you in the end.

Does the daughter ever ride in the car with you when husband is doing all the driving? Maybe the next time she’s in the care, he could pull into the gas station and say “Hey <daughter>, can you do this fill-up?” and see how that goes. If you do it that way, it will seem normal (you’re at the gas station, after all) instead of picking an argument at home.

josie's avatar

I wouldn’t

funkdaddy's avatar

I don’t think it’s out of line to ask, but I wouldn’t be tricky about it.

“Hey, I know you’ve got a lot going on, and we’re glad to help. Things are pretty tight at the house and we were wondering if you’d be able to split the cost of gas while <husband> is doing the driving?”

If they can’t, they can’t, and everyone would need to figure it out. Keep in mind she’s probably got medical bills that are out of the ordinary for her as well and it’s a big change for all involved. If you think she has a budget, then there’s probably money in that budget for gas when she drives, and that makes it a little easier to discuss.

Everyone probably has a lot of stress right now, so I wouldn’t be tricky, just honest and straightforward.

Jaxk's avatar

I wouldn’t either. Just asking my kid for money at a time when they are crippled feels wrong. It’s part of the cost of being a parent. You should be happy to help.

CWOTUS's avatar

As others have noted – but maybe without adequate attention to the detail of your notification that money is tight for you (and because like some of those others I’m NOT still raising teenagers, and I’m comfortably well off right now) – I wouldn’t. BUT, since money is an issue for you, then it is certainly worthwhile to mention that it may be a limiting resource, and “How can we get around that?”

The solution might be for your daughter to take a leave of absence from work, if she can afford that, or to change jobs if that’s an option, or to make some other kind of living / driving / employment arrangements to suit the needs of the situation.

The last thing that I would do would be “to ask for money” ... but in your specific case it is something that needs to be addressed.

It might also be worth considering asking your own kids to give up something or to contribute in some other way to the relief effort. It certainly can’t be ignored.

PS: Welcome to Fluther.

janbb's avatar

What is your stepdaughter’s financial situation? That may have some bearing on whether you should raise the issue of money.

ManicPixieDreamGirl's avatar

@janbb her financial situation is actually pretty similar to ours, she is slightly better off than we are, mostly because her outgoing is less than ours. @CWOTUS we have been putting off buying shoes and clothes for the teenagers for a couple of months now, and we have had cut our expenditures to the bone prior to this happening. I feel like I wouldn’t even consider asking if we weren’t spread so thin financially at this point.

FYI, thanks for all the great responses, they’ve given me lots of food for thought.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It seems to me that it comes down to the combined economic situations of all involved. If the daughter is in a position to pitch in, the topic should be raised and soon. Were I in your husband’s position, I would be vigorously pursuing a remedy to that daily 30 mile round trip. THAT for me is the aspect of this situation that I would find intolerable.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

I wouldn’t. Even though your stepdaughter is a grown woman, she’s a single mother, partially blind, and going through very difficult times. And, regardless of her age, she’ll always be your husband’s child. You’ve described the sorts of loving things that family members do for each other.

If all that driving causes an economic hardship for you and your husband – you mention that your stepdaughter is in better financial circumstances than you are – you could consider asking for the 2017 standard mileage rate of $.17 for medical driving. But, if it were me, I’d do so only out of necessity.

Darth_Algar's avatar

She’s an adult, so no, it’s not unreasonable.

(Although, since it’s your husband’s daughter, not yours, he should probably be the one to actually ask the question.)

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t. She is your daughter and I would be pleased to be able to help her. She is a single mother with school children recovering from a medical condition. It is not a good time to ask for money unless you are desperate. Kudos to your husband for being so helpful and I would explain to your teenage children that Christmas might be difficult this year. I hope this situation resolves itself soon.

ManicPixieDreamGirl's avatar

Update: She offered gas money.

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