Parenthood comes with a great many responsibilities: make sure the kids are fed, watered, and walked.
The trouble is that sometimes the parental responsibilities slide down the family tree to the child.
This was the situation for Redditor and Original Poster(OP) thesquishiestone, so she brought her concern to the “Am I The A**hole”(AITA) Subbredit for judgment.
“AITA for not helping my mom with rent because it would cut into my vacation fund?”
First, the background.
“My mom has a habit of being incredibly unprepared and irresponsible and she (40-female) and I (19f) don’t have the best relationship.”
A rough start.
“Not to get too into it but I moved out when I was 16 and ended up moving in with my bf almost 3 years ago.”
“I’d been working since I was 15 and anytime my mom didn’t have money for something (which was often, like every other day,) she came to me, and no matter what I always gave it to her.”
Daughter to the rescue.
“Even after I moved out there was a period where I was single-handedly paying rent for myself and them (her, her bf, and my two younger siblings 8f and 13-male).”
Keeping everyone afloat…
“It’s always screwed me over because she has NEVER PAYED ME BACK A CENT even though she says she will and I’ve given up asking bc at this point I know how she is.”
…With no return.
“With that being said, my boyfriend and I have been saving to go on our first trip together next week.”
“All this has come at a time where I’m transitioning jobs so I’m not working at all the week prior to this trip. That means all the money I have is set aside for bills and the trip costs.”
Saving to handle her responsibilities and her play.
“My mother (yet again) isn’t going to make rent and has asked me for help and I straight up said no.”
The point of no return.
“I told her that I couldn’t afford to give anything until I started my new job after the 15th.”
“She’s upset because she feels like I’m being selfish by not thinking of the kids and not just letting my boyfriend foot the bill. She says I should be putting my family first but I’m tired of basically being a second parent and taking on responsibility that isn’t even mine.”
Does mother need a mommy?
“Now she and her bf are being cold towards me and my siblings noticed the change in attitude especially bc my mom is panicking trying to make up the money.”
OP just had to know:
“I kinda feel bad but I’m also fed up. AITA?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was NTA.
Some got right to the point.
“SHE is their mother, not you. Maybe she should consider that before whatever reckless spending she is doing (based on what you described).”
“Enjoy your trip”~MoyamoyaWarrior
“Yep. NTA, OP, her kids are her responsibility.”
“You’ve already given up more than you ever should’ve been asked to.” ~my_best_space_helmet
Others had advice.
“NTA. Next time she comes around. If you want money again you first have to pay me back $ insert amount here.”
“Honestly you shouldn’t give her money anymore.”
“If you want to help your siblings with something they need you can buy it for them directly and not give mom money because we know how irresponsible she is.”~Mera1506
A few even gave examples.
“I am very strict about who I lend money to. But I always go into it thinking ‘I won’t get this back’ and I never lend money if it will make or break my life.”
“My boyfriend and I went to a dealership so he could get a car. I was there for support and to ask some questions since he had never been to a dealership to buy a car.”
“He had about $1,000 for a down-payment, but we both forgot that you need the car insured before you take it off the lot in my state.”
“He basically had an ‘oh sh*t’ moment, he and the salesman talked about options, but boyfriend was leaning towards not getting the car.”
“I took him aside and offered to pay the insurance cost, about $400 and expected to not get the money back. After another hour of trying to find other solutions, he took me up on my offer.”
“He also paid me back within a month.”
“I am a big believer in helping people get ahead and if I can do something in a situation like that, I will. “
“But I have a list of people that I will lend money to, knowing they are good for it. Or a list of people where we go back and forth on who buys dinner and we just rotate without being sticklers for pennies.”~Unusual_Advance6915
There was concern for OP.
“Really, before getting situated in the new job, I hope OP considers her own budget before deciding if there is enough money to continue helping.”
“OP should really have an emergency fund and be saving for her own future instead of caring for another household on top of her own.”
“The mom’s reaction is also very telling.”
“If someone who has been counting on your support long-term treats you like crap the first time you say no, they probably weren’t deserving of the support in the first place.”~GlobalDragonfly1305
And a bit of anger toward OP’s Mother.
“Exactly this! What are they spending their money on that’s more important than rent? Do Mom and her BF work?”~redheadjd
OP did return to read the results and even had a bit to say to the community:
“Edit- it’s honestly been so exhausting reading all of these comments because everyone is right and my boyfriend has been telling me exactly what you all are saying.”
“I think I have the parental rose-colored glasses on.”
“The only reason I’ve not gone no contact is because I pretty much raised my siblings and they are the most important part of my life.”
“I never want them to have the life I did but I think that’s out of my control now. I’m going to have a conversation with my mom and hopefully a relationship without money is enough for her.”
“Thank you everyone for confirming that I’m not crazy because I felt incredibly guilty.”
The Family Tree requires tending, of course, and everyone should be a part of that process.
But when the child is providing the vast amount of that care, it’s time for the parent to re-consider.
Hopefully, this is the start of a new relationship for OP and their mother, and a chance for a more equitable situation all around.