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Pressure from my parents to look after siblings 24/7

(31 Posts)
babysitter101 Wed 30-May-18 14:56:12


I'm new here, but figured the best place to get advice on this was from other families!
I'm 22, I moved home last year after 3 years at Uni, during which time I supported myself ect and came home on a semi-regular basis, such as birthdays ect. I would also come home if my parents felt they needed a date night. (I have two younger siblings, sister 10 and brother 6)

They are very demanding children. I can't judge but they have been spoiled and 'no' is not in their vocab. My parents have little control over them. My parents are forceful with their words but any actual discipline other than a scary telling off is rare.

So, these 'date nights' have turned into weekends away since I have been back. They went to America for 5 days last year and I was left with the children. (I wasn't asked, if I had been I mightve said no, but it's more of a I get told when Im looking after them situation)

Also need to mention, my long term boyfriend lives back where I used to go to uni, so I like to see him with my weekends/and visit friends.

I also work from home. Which is where this problem has become increasingly worse. Just because I work from home, my parents think it's okay to leave the kids with me during school holidays. (It's half term rn and I have them) It's frustrating because I'm 22 and it's not what I want to be doing. And while they're good and don't require much looking after other than feeding, it's not fair to them or me. And certainly not appropriate for my job.

I'm very worried and overwhelmed. My relationship with my mother is volatile and this will not be discussed without me being screamed at.

As the summer holidays are approaching and I know what situation I will be in, im feeling anxious and tearful.

I feel selfish because I don't want to do all this. I don't mind babysitting for date night or the occasional weekend. But since moving home, i'm school run and all sorts and I don't think this is my time. I will do all this when I have kids :/

Also a disclaimer: I do pay rent, pay for everything thats mine and tidy up after myself. (Just incase anyone thought this may be my way of paying my way in the family home)

Sorry for the ramble! Any advice?

littlewoollypervert Wed 30-May-18 14:59:56

Move out asap - house share, anything you can get. (or get your BF to visit as much as possible and have very loud sex... grin )

Seriously if you are paying your way then they are being very selfish.

Can you do your work elsewhere while you are still in the house - go to a coffeeshop with wifi for example?

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:01:02

Move out.


Rent a room somewhere and then decide if you want to move to be with bf.

Can you book leave and visit bf over the summer? If you work from home could you stay with him for a few weeks? Tell them now that you'll be away most of August.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Wed 30-May-18 15:01:15

Can you afford to move out?

I had a SIL who used her eldest for childcare and had to step up herself when eldest got out.

It's not fair as your mum chose to have kids not you.

I'd be out if there before the summer holidays if it were possible.

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:02:00

Oh ueah, def tell tell them you have something planned so you'll be out before them if you are still there Summer.

RatherBeRiding Wed 30-May-18 15:06:40

Move out. What else can you do? Your parents treat you like the live-in nanny - well actually not a nanny because a nanny gets paid to live there and look after the children. You are paying to live there and look after the children.

So your parents have a win-win situation. You are giving them money AND looking after your siblings whenever they feel like swanning off again.

If you can't afford to rent your own flat, then look at house-shares or even rent a room with a resident landlord. You'll get a hell of a lot more respect, free time and personal space than you get at the moment!

Don't discuss it with your parents. Find somewhere to live, get your things packed - THEN tell them. And unless you want a screaming match, be economical with the truth and say you need your own space rather than you resent paying to be their nanny!

Chillyegg Wed 30-May-18 15:10:47

Just move out.
I’m curious as to what your job is though...
but yeah move it they’re taking the piss and keep it minimal contact tbh.

PlumsGalore Wed 30-May-18 15:16:17

Yes, house share back in your uni town. Other than expense I can't see why you have moved back home.

I am also interested in what job you do from home at 22, not judging as I also WFH but I had a long career and reached the grand old age of about 36 before I did (could).

vampirethriller Wed 30-May-18 15:16:31

My parents were like this- I used to have my siblings from when I was 14 and the youngest was 1. Parents wanted me to stay at home and be their nanny instead of going to uni. (fwiw my parents are both university lecturers.)
So I found a room as soon as possible and left. They didn't forgive me for a long time, but my siblings aren't my children and yours aren't yours. You need your life.
Move out, and don't feel guilty (I did) because they're not your problem!

Movablefeast Wed 30-May-18 15:17:38

Your sibs are not your responsibility but your parents are clearly giving you parental responsibility. It sounds like your parents can't be reasoned with and think it's ok to take advantage of you. You have to place some boundaries in your relationship with them and the best way to do that is to move out. They will likely attempt to emotionally blackmail you (guilt trips, tantrums, screaming etc.) But you should not respond. I would arrange to move out before you tell them anything or they will make your life hell.

Not all parents are responsible adults and some are emotionally immature. You are not responsible for their behaviour. Leave and start a new life for yourself. Come here for support if you need it.

I would recommend a book called "Toxic Parents: Overcoming their harmful legacy and reclaiming your life" by Dr. Susan Forward.

babysitter101 Wed 30-May-18 15:19:15

Wow thanks for all the quick responses!

haha the loud sex thing is a great idea. Must try :D

I really want to move out, it's just a question of where. My boyfriend is a professional athlete who is currently also still at uni and lives with students for another year.

I can afford to go and live alone or with others in a house share. Ive just always been very conscious about saving up. But I suppose, it's costing me my mental health.

Also - I know the second I bring this up. it is going to blow up big time and I will probably end up being turfed out anyway.

I just feel serious guilt. I think I've let it go on way too long. The week they went away was the hardest week of my life, school run, 3 meals a day for the kids and using my lunch break to get them from school. It was exhausting and well done to any moms who do that cus seriously I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

As for anyone asking about my job, I work for a company that builds websites and everyone is a remote worker. I can work anywhere really within reason (Health and safety ect). The problem is I don't get asked to help, I get told. Just this weekend I was called while I was at my boyfriends home and told I needed to be home by 8am to have the kids so everyone could leave for work.

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:21:01

And what did you say?

babysitter101 Wed 30-May-18 15:22:13

Remote working isn't something I majorly love but I was offered some pretty great training opportunities and with how grad jobs are at the moment, I did the sensible thing I jumped at the opportunity for the experience.

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:23:58

What did you say when they told you to be home by 8?

babysitter101 Wed 30-May-18 15:25:21

There's not much i can say without the reaction im dreading. I have never said the words 'okay that's fine' or 'yes I'm okay to do this' The problem is, as I said, it's a demand/assumption not a please/question.

I just feel so overwhelmed that I really am dreading the conversation/screaming/shouting

I also don't want the kids to hear how I don;t want to look after them anymore. I love them to bits but like you all said, they arn't mine :/

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:32:47

Sort a room, make sure you can literally move in that day and then tell them. Way before school holidays.
It might be worth starting to talk about "when you move out, how grown ups have to get their own house" etc so the kids don't think you've abandoned them

Movablefeast Wed 30-May-18 15:33:52

Read Dr. Forward she talks about living in the FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt). Your parents have emotionally manipulated you for a long time where you no longer can see the clear boundary between what is your responsibility and theirs. They will use every emotional trick in the book to keep you in the role they have created for you as the "responsible, sensible" one so they don't have to grow up.

Loving parents don't scream at their kids and take financial advantage of you. They are using your cash to go on holidays while leaving you home to be the parent!!! Of course they do not want anything to change.

That's why we are advising that you make all your plans without telling them. I would also have a friend with you when you move out and/or move out when the kids are in school and your parents at work. Leave AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!! They are already being outrageous and the situation will not change unless YOU change it. Go back to your uni town where you have support and if you can access it I would recommend you talk to a counselor to help you establish healthy boundaries in relationships and build your self-esteem otherwise others may take advantage of you too.

CocoAndTheChocolates Wed 30-May-18 15:37:10

You're paying them to work as their nanny! Do whatever you can to get yourself out they're taking the piss

Movablefeast Wed 30-May-18 15:38:42

Your wants and needs count! You have every right to be an independent adult and start your own life.

What they want is NOT more important, don't be blackmailed.

babysitter101 Wed 30-May-18 15:45:22

Thanks everyone, I will look for a room ASAP.
Luckily for me my boss knows of my situation and has also encouraged me to leave.
Also just an fyi I pay £150 a month, and I don’t feel like they using my for money. I eat their food...take a shit lot of baths...all that. I don’t expect to live here for free at all.

But yes they take the piss with childcare and I need to sort myself out. Will also look at the reading suggested! Thanks!

I love my parents a lot. We share a similar sense of humour and they really have taken care of me well. It’s a shame it’s come to this now. I just hope it doesn’t destroy our relationship (the happy parts)

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:47:35

Add £8 ph for the chidlcare to the £150

SleepingStandingUp Wed 30-May-18 15:48:22

You can still offer to come over every X and have them out do X days over the holidays for them. But put it on your terms

babysitter101 Wed 30-May-18 16:36:03

All good advice thanks.
Ha £8 p/h for this and my job I’d be rolling in it!
Will look for a room, secure and then attempt rational conversation about needing my own space and let them know I will still consider date nights and extenuating circumstances of childcare. But I’m certainly not going to be a live in ‘nanny’ anymore.

auntyflonono Wed 30-May-18 17:13:01

Move somewhere lovely, somewhere amazing, near a castle or the beach, with great cafes clubs and bars or art galleries or museums. Somewhere special. Shared room in a house until you feel ready something more substantial. Do you drive?

Tell your parents after you have moved out.

I would consider Newcastle, beautiful countryside and beaches and night life. Brighton also always has a buzz to it.

The world is your oyster, think of it as a gap year grin

RatherBeRiding Thu 31-May-18 13:27:18

Have a look on Spare Room - I found a mature student for my spare room on there and I don't charge her very much at all because it's not a huge room and there's no en-suite but you should be able to find something within your budget to tide you over until you make some more concrete plans.

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