When teens come of age and become adults, they have a big decision to make: whether to continue living at home with their family or to make it on their own, likely in an apartment.
Sometimes parents make it difficult to leave, though, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subreddit.
Redditor aitarentingfrompar found himself moving out because of the unique pressures his parents had placed on him.
But when they called, pleading for him to reconsider, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was in the wrong for choosing to go.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for moving out instead of paying rent?”
When the OP received a raise, things at home changed.
“I (21 [male]) currently live with my girlfriend (22 [female]). I moved in with her about a month ago, and prior to that I lived with my parents.”
“I finished a building apprenticeship in February and got moved from minimum wage to $27.50 per hour.”
“(I agreed to work at minimum wage for the duration of my 3-year apprenticeship in exchange for my boss buying me a full set of kit over the course of the 3 years as originally I was going to go off on my own at the end of the apprenticeship but now I’m staying instead. He also gifted me a brand new tool trailer worth $16k when I completed my apprenticeship, so don’t start on my boss, he’s a great guy).”
“When my parents found out about the wage increase, they demanded that I start paying rent of $350/week.”
The OP was already helping in other ways.
“Now I would’ve been happy to pay some rent, but paying always what a studio apartment is worth for a bedroom I share with my brother is ridiculous.”
“I was already paying 1/3 of the household bills as well as dropping my younger brother (17) and sister (15) to school on my way to work every day and picking them up after work (a detour of about half an hour)”
“I also drove my sister to horse shows almost every weekend over the summer, which necessitated taking the occasional Friday or Monday off work.”
“Plus, I do all the repairs around their house (replacing windows, guttering, fixing the roof, etc) for free.”
When the OP attempted to negotiate, his parents disagreed.
“So I refused and offered $150/week and outlined the things I do for them.”
“They said it was $350, plus all the above, or move out.”
“My girlfriend had just moved out of home into a studio apartment in order to be closer to VIC Uni, so she offered to let me move in with her.”
“Her apartment is $395/week plus bills which have been around $30/week/person and it’s almost half an hour closer to work than my parents’ house was.”
“I said to my parents in February that I was giving them 2 months’ notice that I would be moving out, no longer contributing to bills, and no longer helping out around the house or picking up/dropping off my siblings.”
“They said that was fine (I think they were trying to call my bluff).”
Since moving out, the parents had second thoughts.
“I moved out in April and stopped paying bills/helping with the house but kept driving my siblings to school as my parents’ car s**t itself and it took them a few months to save enough to get it fixed.”
“I stopped driving them last week, and today my mum called me and begged me to start again and to come to fix the floor of the laundry room (the washing machine had leaked and the plasterboard wall was falling apart at the bottom).”
“I refused to help with my siblings and told her that my rate was $27/hour, but since she’s family if she wanted me to fix it, I’d only charge her $17/hour.”
“She flipped her s**t and called me selfish and ungrateful.”
“Now my parents are refusing to speak to me, and my siblings are p**sed at me that they now have to walk 30mins from home to the nearest bus stop (we live rurally).”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said it was a no-brainer for the OP to move out.
“They found out about the money and thought they could exploit him. Then they kept on going, like pushing him to care for his siblings. It’s total nonsense.”
“Parents have 18 years to prepare their child to be an adult. They have 18 years to support and teach them that. They have 18 years to earn respect and an ongoing relationship and love. OP you are an adult, and you’re parents do not respect you enough to treat you as one- or view you as one.”
“You made the right decision to move out. I would take it a step further and limit contact, at least for a while. They need to get their heads out of their asses and stop seeing you as an option to be an overcharged 3rd parent.” – umamifiend
“NTA. Your parents are learning the hard way what happens when you treat the older child as a third parent. Good on your for standing your ground.” – Zestyclose_Meeting_8
“Ultimatums don’t always work out. Especially if someone has the money or job to back them up and friends to crash with.”
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds – or in this case, don’t bite the hand that fixes your broken stuff, drives your kids to school, takes your daughter to horse shows, taking time off work to do so, and pays for your bills.”
“They were unreasonable and tried to call OP’s bluff and he was having none of it – and good for you says I!”
“NTA and good luck in life, seems like you’re working hard and it’s paying off. Sharing a room with your brother vs a room with GF, no choice there!” – Lulubelle__007
“Parents: ‘Pay us this amount of rent or move out.'”
“OP: moves out”
“Parents: shocked Pikachu face”
“NTA. They gave you an ultimatum and you chose accordingly.”
“It makes more sense to pay (a little more) to live in your own place with your girlfriend and have free time than it does to pay (a little less) to share a room with your brother and do all the repairs around your parents’ home and be a driver for your siblings.” – Blue_wine_sloth
Some parents pointed out how the OP’s could have handled the situation better.
“NTA, I am actually dying laughing. My hubby and I charged our adult kids rent once they were done with schooling and working full time. We did this so they could help us with paying bills and to make it seem reasonable to live on their own.”
“We charged the same as what typical rent in our area would be if they had 2 to 3 roommates. Then told them they were welcome to stay but would have roommate responsibilities (doing their own dishes, laundry, caring for their pets, contributing to groceries and cooking their own food (aside from planned family meals), and taking care of their own space.”
“They were welcome to come and go as they pleased because they were adults and were paying rent. We were (still are) there for them whenever they needed help or advice but (tried hard to) mind our own business otherwise.”
“What your parents were doing seems like they were trying to do the same but got it pretty wrong. The household responsibilities they wanted you to take care of are not typical roommate things… they are things a householder usually does.”
“You were like an extra parent. That is not ok, but at least you were able to get out on your own without being afraid to fully embrace adulthood. Many young people stay at home for far too long and it keeps them from breaking free of their parents’ influence. You did good.” – Megan_BAKchatPodcast
“The lesson here is to not give your kid the ‘F**k off and be independent already’ rent while being in a ‘We cannot afford for you to move out’ position.” – the_inebriati
“I’m still trying to figure out why they are demanding so much from OP both financially and as basically a parent and getting upset at being charged a fair rate to do work when their daughter is doing horse shows??? Nothing against the daughter – she’s innocent here and clearly doing a passion – but it’s EXPENSIVE to do riding…” – S3xySouthernB
“They’re probably charging OP so much so OP couldn’t afford to save up and move out so they keep the free childcare (and the money as a bonus to them).”
“Raising kids isn’t supposed to be something where you attempt to ‘break-even’ in the end. They’re not indentured servants.” – coffee_u
The OP tried to choose the best option for himself as a new adult, and the subReddit totally agreed with his plan. Though his parents found themselves in a tough spot, perhaps they wouldn’t have found themselves there if they had been more willing to negotiate.