A young woman recently took to Reddit to ask if readers thought she was wrong for telling her mom that she shouldn’t have to take care of her younger siblings. This is her full story.
An Absent Mother
The Original Poster (OP) is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her single mother and two younger siblings – a 13-year-old brother and a 14-year-old sister.
OP acknowledges that their mother works long hours, but even when she’s off the clock, she’s never around. As soon as she leaves work, she heads to her boyfriend’s house and stays out late every night.
Or, she heads to her own mother’s house instead of coming home. And, on weekends, OP says her mother often stays out ALL night.
She Missing Out on Her Own Life
On the other hand, OP doesn’t go out much at all. And, when she does ask if she can do something fun, her mom usually says no. OP is pretty sure it’s because her mother needs her to stay home and look after the other kids.
OP works a part-time summer job and saves her money for the things she wants and needs. And she’s also building a nest egg so she can enjoy the upcoming events in her senior year. She knows her mom won’t pay for them.
When it comes to buying food, OP’s mother purchases frozen food, junk food, and canned goods, while OP tries to watch what she eats. So OP often ends up buying her own food so she can have fruits, vegetables, and healthier snacks.
She Is Supporting Herself
One night, the day after their mother had bought groceries, OP went into the kitchen to find that most of the food was already gone. Craving teriyaki and shrimp fried rice, OP ordered food for herself.
When the food arrived, OP’s siblings complained that they were hungry, too. OP told them to ask their mother for some grub since it was her responsibility to take care of them, not OP’s.
Not long after that, OP’s mother confronted her, blaming her for not buying dinner for her siblings, too. OP repeated that it was her mom’s job to feed her siblings, not hers.
OP’s mother just stormed out of the room and told her to “remember that.” OP wasn’t sure what that meant, but it felt like a threat of some sort.
Then, during a trip to the mall, OP was doing a little personal shopping when her sister found her and told her that their mother expected OP to buy something for her sibling.
OP told her sister no way was she buying her anything, and the young girl stormed off. A few minutes later, the mom called OP to chew her out, then hung up.
She Left Her Stranded
About 15 minutes after that confrontation, OP called her mom back to ask when they were going home. Her mom told her that she and the other kids had already left the mall. OP would have to find her own ride home.
OP feels like her mother is dumping most of the responsibility for raising her siblings on her rather than behaving like a real mother. But every time OP tries to have a conversation about it, her mom blows up or ignores her.
OP doesn’t know how much longer she can take the tension, and she’s also worried about what will happen to her siblings when she moves out.
Reddit commenters almost unanimously support OP’s position and tell her it’s not her responsibility to raise her siblings.
Put Yourself First
Several of them advised her to get outside help, either from a school counselor or some social agency.
Plenty of Redditors also just flat-out tell OP she should move out immediately.
So, what do you think of this story? Should OP try to move out of the house, or just try to get along until she graduates?
And is there any merit at all to the way her mother is handling the situation? Could there be another side to the story?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Master1305. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.