Family

Your oldest child is not your BabyMamaBabyDaddySisterMaidHusbandWife. Stop expecting them to raise your kids.

 

 

Let’s talk about how some parents feel entitled to having their older children co-parent their younger siblings. Yeah, I said it. Some of y’all expect your older babies to be your BabyMamaBabyDaddySisterMaidHusbandWife. I’m going to say what your kids can’t say because they’re afraid to say it. You’re f**ked up. You’re selfish! You’re entitled and you’re stealing your child’s childhood away.

I speak from experience. I am one of five children. FIVE CHILDREN! My twin sister and I are the oldest. For years, my life was coming home from school, cooking dinner, then cleaning after dinner, doing the laundry, going food shopping, paying the bills, and helping my siblings do their homework while trying to do my homework. I couldn’t do after school programs because I had to hurry home and get my siblings. I didn’t have a life. While other kids went out, my ass stayed at home acting like I was a single mother. My grades suffered because of the pressure. I wanted to runaway countless times. I was also working part-time, and all of my money went to taking care of my family.

When I graduated from high school, I left. I said adios. I threw the deuces. I was like no mas! After years of being told to understand, sacrifice and help out, I turned in my martyr, mammy, mule and maid card and I left the family. I was finally free. I don’t regret my decision at all.

Let’s not get things confused. Babysitting once in a while is one thing, especially when you value your oldest child’s time and pay them. Your oldest child being your  BabyMamaBabyDaddySisterMaidHusbandWife because you need help is something is horrible and entirely different.

I’m sure some parents who think their children are live in maids are getting defensive. Some of y’all are like, “well I take care of my oldest, so they are supposed to help me.” Step back slave masta! Your child didn’t ask to be born and they didn’t make your other babies. Have you forgotten your place? Your job as a parent is to take care of them and provide your oldest child the best chance to succeed. A child co-parenting your children is training your child to be a damn maid, mammy and mule. That’s unfair. Children should be able to enjoy their childhood without being your free nanny because you opened your legs.

Some of y’all will say “children are entitled” and you’re teaching your kids responsibility. Nah son. You adults are entitled when you demand your oldest child to co-parent YOUR children. You know what teaching responsibility is? Cleaning up their room, washing their dishes, financial planning, family planning, having a job and having a healthy social life. It is not raising your runny nose hell spawns.

As the oldest child of younger siblings, I love them, but I hated being their second mother. I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t raising a child. Today, I have two sons and I never did this to them because I hated it happening to me. Parents, stop this nonsense of expecting your oldest child to be your BabyMamaBabyDaddySisterMaidHusbandWife. You’re stealing your oldest child’s childhood away. If you can afford a child, you should be able to afford a sitter. If you can’t, get some birth control. Let your older children have a damn social life. Remember, they didn’t ask to be born or be co-parent to your other children.

What do you think? Let me know below. The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think and be limitless.

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60 comments

  1. Trini 24 May, 2017 at 12:39 Reply

    Thanks for writing this. My siblings didn’t have to lift a finger to do ‘housework’ until I was 17, because from 12 till that time and even before I did it. If you listen to them talk though, you’d think they have no memory of it. Being made to clean your room is a world away from being beaten because you didn’t do a load of laundry or getting called names because as a 13 year old nobody taught you ‘how’ to cook but you were supposed to ‘know’ how to do it. About time somebody started talking about ALL of these issues YBW and girls have to face. It’s like being a built in slave. Parents who function like this, can’t buy their way out of it either.

  2. Lesa 24 May, 2017 at 13:24 Reply

    And don’t forget…nobody ever said thank you either! Seems no one even appreciated the fact that the oldest sacrifices a lot!

  3. stephanie 24 May, 2017 at 14:15 Reply

    I get this is a blog but this was just so poorly written I couldn’t take anything about it seriously and I wanted to. Just seems like someone’s long, unsolicited facebook rant. It’s so angrily and bitterly written that it prohibits readers from actually stopping to consider the point. I’ll pray for you though… letting go of our childhood issues is no easy feat.

    • Rene 24 May, 2017 at 15:33 Reply

      Trust no matter how it’s written those who have experienced what she has just written about understands very plainly what she is saying.

    • Bougie Black Girl 24 May, 2017 at 16:18 Reply

      “I get this is a blog (comma goes here) but this was just so poorly written (passive voice) I couldn’t take anything about it seriously (comma here) and I wanted to. Just seems like someone’s long, unsolicited facebook (Facebook) rant. It’s so angrily and bitterly written that it prohibits readers from actually stopping to consider the point. I’ll pray for you though… letting go of our childhood issues is no easy feat.”

      This blog isn’t the New York Times. I use AAVE (African American Vernacular English) to connect with my readers because we are sistergirls. We don’t have to code switch or wear masks on BBG. I created this space so that we can be ourselves. Stephanie, you lack empathy. Don’t pray for me. Ask your deity to help you find empathy and compassion. Have a great day and thanks for commenting on my blog.

  4. Ariel 24 May, 2017 at 15:46 Reply

    I feel like someone looked at my life and took notes. I always felt alone but I see there were other victims as well. I get its a generational thing that families have done and passed on because “They had to do it” but someone has to stop and say this is wrong! Thank you for this article!

  5. Quita 24 May, 2017 at 16:35 Reply

    I agree with this 100000000%. I was an only child so I didn’t experience this but I definitely saw it happen to
    Other children and thought it was awful and vowed NEVER to do that to my child/children. I’ve seen children be told they can’t do anything fun ever because they have to babysit their siblings so the mom can go out and have fun. Used to piss me off as a kid! My oldest is a boy so he doesn’t really care about helping with the baby lol and I don’t make him but my daughter wants to so I let her without forcing her. I let her help if she asks but I don’t want her to feel like she has to choice but to help. I feel like that could breed resentment. I’m going to share this article, more people need to see it!

  6. Toyia 24 May, 2017 at 16:56 Reply

    I don’t completely agree with this. Now, I was one of 3 (I was the oldest) and I felt it was part of my job to help with the house and help to take care of my siblings. It was not my entire life and I did not feel like I was co-parenting. I felt like I was being a responsible member of the family.

    • Cheryl Faux 24 May, 2017 at 17:20 Reply

      How can you not agree with the author’s life story? She’s not saying an opinion, she’s saying this was her life and other parents shouldn’t do that to their kids. You said it yourself “It was not my entire life and I did not feel like I was co-parenting” GREAT. That’s what the author wants, for kids to have a life and not be slaves to their parents. So what exactly don’t you agree with?

    • India 30 May, 2017 at 16:05 Reply

      Your life you described isn’t the life she described. You can still agree even if it isn’t something you experienced. I helped raise my younger siblings as well but not to the degree she described. It’s just a natural role most older siblings take on. I however still had a life. Taking away your oldest child’s social life and future academic life isn’t okay at all.

  7. Kenya 24 May, 2017 at 16:59 Reply

    I’m an only child but I agree wholeheartedly!! I saw it with other families and even when raising my own children, many of their friends were appointed 2nd parent position. Sad.

  8. Au napp 24 May, 2017 at 17:22 Reply

    Why are you me?! I and my twin brother are the oldest of five! And we are really spaced out to my younger sister was born when I was 14. I felt like a teenage mother. While I didn’t have it as hard as you did I definitely watched them all the time, was responsible for cooking nearly every night of my senior year of high school, did the grocery shopping too, and helped them with their homework. Never went out Friday nights cause I was with the kids. No dating. The one good thing I can say is that there was no sex discrimination of my house, because my twin did the same stuff. I’ll never do that to my kids, when I have them, if I do because I was so resentful of my siblings and just plain overburdened that I never really wanted children.

  9. Nicole 24 May, 2017 at 19:26 Reply

    OMG This was my life! I was an only child until 13 when my mom and stepdad decided to have a whole gaggle of kids. I have 4 younger siblings all 2 years apart. Even before then I was expected to cook dinner every night and clean. By 16 I was taking care of a a toddler, an infant, cooking dinner every night, doing dishes, doing laundry, and trying to get through the hellscape that was high school. No social life whatsoever. I wasn’t allowed to go out with friends or have a job because my parents insisted that I wasn’t responsible enough to make my own choices, even though I was put in the position of co-parent. I almost didn’t graduate because I also suffered from anxiety and depression that went undiagnosed and that no one took seriously. All the while, my siblings have never had to cook or clean up after themselves or anyone else. I resent my parents for stealing my childhood every. single. day. I don’t deal with them or my siblings anymore than I have to.

    I’m now 29 and childless. I intend to keep it that way.

  10. Kamara 24 May, 2017 at 21:10 Reply

    I dealt with the same thing. From the age of 14 i was cooking, helping clean, and wasnt allowed to go out. My siblings started calling me “second mom”. I dont resent my mother because im now a mother and it helped me to better acclimate to the role of mom and wife but booooooyyyyyy did i hate it then! Lets not forget to mention that our siblings almost never lisyened to us or behaved or offered to help!

  11. M 25 May, 2017 at 00:21 Reply

    My mom’s life was like this…she didn’t do it much to my older siblings but they moved from the city to the country and so it was a lot of us and cousins and neighbors that helped out. The oldest brother in the house only babysat us (if you can call it that, we were free ranged explorers if it was up to him) if my mom had class and my dad was working late. I remember all my siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles collectively help my parents raise us. Even our eldest sister came from Mississippi to stay weeks at a time. The middle girl who is closer to me by 8 years did hate me going with her that one time. I never wanted to go anywhere else with her because I knew she loathed every second.

    • Latoria Suggs 25 May, 2017 at 09:09 Reply

      I completely agree. A full picture is necessary here, not because it devalues how she felt about the situation but because a mom who’s in the club 24/7 is different than a mother working 3 jobs just to feed her family.

      • Kourtnee 25 May, 2017 at 12:59 Reply

        Don’t have them! I have ONE and cannot take care of anymore because I did my time being broke now I’ve set myself up for a good career. Having more kids than you can take care of is selfish and irresponsible, especially if you continue.

  12. Latoria Suggs 25 May, 2017 at 09:05 Reply

    I have to ask, just because I try to see all side, where was your mother during these times? Was it a matter of her having an untreated mental condition such as depression or was she working inorder to provide for the family?

  13. Maria 25 May, 2017 at 09:40 Reply

    Thank you! Great words. Even better, how you explain your thoughts. I wish I wrote this. My parents married at 19 and started pumping children (5). Both were super narcissistic and I had to watch my siblings from the time I was 8. I felt very guilty when I left. I still feel guilty for not taking care of my siblings parents enough. WTF.

  14. Ashley 25 May, 2017 at 09:45 Reply

    I lived the same life pretty much. For the longest time my family resented me for leaving and have often treated my differently and like an outsider because I left. Talking about my childhood with my mom and her side of the family causes a lot of arguments therefore I try to not even discuss it.

  15. Pree 25 May, 2017 at 12:46 Reply

    Oh. My. God. Did you write this for me ? Because from the time I was 8 and even now (I’m 25) I was like a second mom to my sister. I didn’t get to go to the movies, parties, dances because my mom always had to work and I had to babysit. My sister and I would get off the schoolbus, I would cook dinner, clean up,help her with her homework, entertain her somehow and get her bathed and into bed and I wouldn’t start on my homework until late at night. My sister had the childhood i wanted and she’s getting to be a teenager. I’m just now starting to live my life and it’s so hard to say no, on top of all of that I’ve suffered from depression since I was 14. Reading this made me so happy because this topic doesn’t get talked about that much.

  16. Sougie 25 May, 2017 at 14:16 Reply

    Just my observation…………………………………
    I took care of my siblings while growing up because it was helping out the family. I had both parents in the household who worked hard to take care of us. It never got in the way of me having a normal youthful life. I pride myself of knowing the ropes once I became a mother. I contribute that experience to the joy of hearing “mom you’re the best mom in the universe” My eldest daughter had the same plight as she grew up. She hasn’t missed a beat with drill team and countless other activities that she has done in her life. But she never misses a beat on reminding me she didn’t like changing a diaper while I cook, helping get them dressed, or watching her siblings waiting on me to get home from work. Rarely was she soley alone watching her siblings mostly when my ex husband who worked nights slept and I worked days. (Ironically same scenario when I was a youth lol) She sometimes shows the resentment.
    I think it’s the individual situation and individual mind on how this can be perceived as a burden or a blessing. Thin line of selfishness or selflessness . I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong when if it’s the best interest of the child who cares who took care of them as long as they were taken care of? Why do we continue to blame our parents because you as an adult feel some type of way about decisions you made or making? If you don’t want kids don’t have them if your parent(s) influenced you that much don’t blame them it’s your conflicts that make you not want to have children. Family rely on the help of family for survival which makes you the person you are today but we are quick to point the finger at mama or daddy when life gives us lemons but toot our horn when we feel accomplished like no one reared you whether good or bad to your achievements. Be blessed for all your stress and success!

  17. Heather 25 May, 2017 at 15:34 Reply

    Thank you!!!!! Seriously! I was made to raise my 3 siblings and I was just like you, I had no childhood because of it. As soon as I was eighteen I left with the words “it’s about time you learn what it’s like to be a mom for once” and I don’t regret it at all. I will never force my child to be a young adult. It is exhausting, and my siblings don’t even recognize the hell I went through to make sure our mom directed all her crazy at me. Thanks for saying what needed said!

  18. Beth 25 May, 2017 at 16:12 Reply

    I hope it’s okay for me to say something to Stephanie, who left a snarky comment about your writing style.

    Your comment was unnecessary, patronising, and mean, Stephanie. I have a doctoral degree in English. I used to teach English and creative writing at one of the top universities in the world, so I think I have some qualification to say that Bougie Black Girl’s writing is skilful and engaging, as well as being entirely appropriate to this genre of writing.

    Frankly, I shouldn’t need to state my qualifications. The author doesn’t answer to you or me; the true judge of the quality of this writing is whether her regular readers enjoy and appreciate it, which they obviously do. But people who leave snarky, derailing comments like yours tend to be receptive to appeals to linguistic authority. There it is: I know better than you do, Stephanie; and I say this blog is fantastic. So why don’t you have a seat, open your ears, and engage with the important argument the author is making here.

  19. Madavia 25 May, 2017 at 16:46 Reply

    Okay, I have to chime in because no one that I know can relate the way that I do. As you may know i am the oldest of 12 children. I would not trade that experience for nothing in this world. I am the first of my family to graduate from college and I am currently attending law school. I owe it all to my experience. My siblings are my children and I take a lot of pride in helping raise them to be the men and women that they are today. Everyone knows I will kill, steal, and destroy for them. From the article I understand the struggle, I do, but the times I couldnt go out with friends kept me out of a lot of trouble. As a woman I know how to clean and cook and how to help provide for my family. It made me stronger it developed my character because I had to be a role model for them. I’m in no rush to have children of my own, which makes me an exception to all these women worrying about their biological clock. I will have kids one day and when I do they will benefit from all of my experiences and will have the best Mother in the world. I do this for them.

  20. Marquise Thompson 25 May, 2017 at 16:51 Reply

    I had to help my mom out with a lot of the same things, most of the time I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of the things I wanted to and I just chalked it up as a part of life. If my mom could have done things differently I’m sure she would have. Kids don’t come with a rule book and is as parents do the best we can with what we have. My oldest had to do a lot of the same. If I had a larger supportive group of people in our lives then may have been different also. And who know who knows how they would handle a situation if they were in their parents shoes. In hindsight maybe we would all,do things differently.

  21. Christina 25 May, 2017 at 17:07 Reply

    BBG, I totally get what you’re saying AND is it possible that your mother did the best she could with what she had at the time? Being a parent isn’t easy. I’m not giving your mother a “pass”, and I definitely want to validate what your experience was growing up.

    Based on what you’re saying I can understand why you feel the way you do.

    I’m the mother of two children. I had my first child 12 years ago and when his father didn’t want to be in his life and chose something different, I purposely waited to get married before I had another because I wanted to try and be as responsible as possible.

    Here’s my humble opinion since you asked for comments at the end of your blog post:

    I bet you’re a hell of a responsible mother because of what you learned growing up. You had to juggle taking care of younger siblings while handling some adult responsibilities.

    Now look at you, you have to balance being a mother with being a businesswoman in charge of a successful blog. From all appearances, you’re doing an outstanding job. I’m sure some you can attribute that to what you learned growing up.

    I can appreciate that you wished your mother could’ve taught you these life skills in some other manner than what she did but let me ask you this? Looking back on it, did she do the best that she could?

    I’m sure you would say about you’re doing the best you can to raise your children too.

    Would it feel hurtful if they came back and had opinions about your mothering skills?

    Being a parent isn’t easy, it never has been. We do it for love and some mothers make choices that don’t always seem like the best and when they look back, they may have regrets. Do you want your mother to have regrets? You are entitled to your feelings and I don’t want to take that away from you.

    These are things I think about as a mother. I wish there were some things my mother did differently too, but I can’t go back and change the past. I also know that I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the decisions my mom made. Both my parents actually. I was raised by happily married parents AND I can still point out things they both did that I did NOT like and wish they hadn’t done.

    So this is just food for thought. I enjoy your blog BBG and this was the first time I have ever commented.

    I wish you well on your journey of motherhood. Continued success in business and life.

    *Peace*

    • Andypandy 26 May, 2017 at 10:32 Reply

      @christina
      The issue here isn’t appreciating that your parents have to work to provide for you or that children Shouldn’t have responsibilities and learn to help put around the house and prepare for being an adult
      The authors salient pint is that some parents take it to the extreme burdening a child with defacto parenthood , depriving them of their childhood .in all things in life we need a healthy balance even with sacrifices and this wasn’t it

  22. Sandy 25 May, 2017 at 18:13 Reply

    OK I’m on the side of logically I agree lol but here’s something’s left out that I appreciated in being all things lol.

    I’m the oldest and only girl from a two parent home. My parents both worked ( nurse and pile driver) and I was in Charge😊😊 I learned quickly that delegation worked best when training was consistent so I did the enforcing and checking and my brothers were none the wiser😉. The pros outweigh the con’s for me. I grew up becomning very independent and a great problem solver. I too did miss the ability to play at will like the kids in the neighborhood but the upside was how I prioritize now as an adult😊. I loved my position then and I love being a matriarch now and I wouldn’t change anything because I loved knowing my mom could depend on me😃

  23. Sandy 25 May, 2017 at 18:19 Reply

    OK I would agree lol but here’s some thingsleft out that I appreciated in being all the roles lol.

    I’m the oldest and only girl from a two parent home. My parents both worked ( nurse and pile driver) and I was in Charge😊😊 I learned quickly that delegation worked best when training was consistent so I did the enforcing and checking and my brothers were none the wiser😉. The pros outweigh the con’s for me. I grew up becomning very independent and a great problem solver. I too did miss the ability to play at will like the kids in the neighborhood but the upside was how I prioritize now as an adult😊. I loved my position then and I love being a matriarch now and I wouldn’t change anything because I loved knowing my mom could depend on me😃

  24. Neffertia 25 May, 2017 at 20:08 Reply

    I LOVE THIS!!!! I’m 23 now in college and is the oldest child of 3. While reading some of the other comments, I could relate to both sides. Yes, I did learn some very useful skills and became a very independent adult and knew things that other adults my age and sometimes older didn’t know. BUT with that I can say that because I was ALWAYS so mature for my age, it was hard for me to relate to my age group in social circles and I would sometimes feel like an outsider or get into arguments with them because I felt like they were to immature when in reality I was on a while other level and they were right where they were supposed to be. Even to this day I find myself sitting in class or walking around campus thinking about whether or not my brother filled out his FAFSA app or how my sister grades are or they have everything they need and get stressed out. After I finished community college and transfered to a school 10 hrs away, I felt guilty as hell. Like “why would I do this to my family”, “who’s going to take my sister to school”, etc, etc. I SHOULD NOT have been worrying about that while I was trying to better my life. I never mind helping out but like you said the not appreciating your time, the no thank yous, the expectation that you’re “just supposed to do it” was hurtful and stressful.

  25. René Henley 26 May, 2017 at 05:42 Reply

    I wouldn’t know where to begin! So many butt whoopings for the things that my brother and sister did. “I should have known better”, “they’re just babies”. SO WAS I!!!!

  26. Maria 26 May, 2017 at 08:47 Reply

    Can definantly relate to this. And you said exactly what I have been afraid to say. I felt this with my brother and we are the only two kids, for some reason I was always expected to clean up after him n he didn’t get similar lessons at all. Such that first thing he did when he got to university was to look for another me. Shacking up with some girl n always promising girls marriage just to get them in his space n help him do what he can’t do for himself. Its sad cause my mother still plays the card that he needs some woman to take care of him. 2nd of these experiences is my mother in law n my husband who have this toxic relationship. She is so needy whenever she talks to him. N makes her youngest kids like they should be our kids and I have two of my own kids whose future I need to secure. This would be OK for her to have these expectations I wouldn’t have a problem with it if my husband didn’t dance to every freaking tune of neediness crap she plays. I feel like I didn’t sign up to raise him n his teen sibling and my two kids and well as his needy mother who has the means but always has to have more. It seems like some sort of a society expectation cause most of my friends don’t get it. I was not born to pay for being born

  27. Masa 26 May, 2017 at 15:47 Reply

    So you had a bad time of it growing up and now you feel entitled to scold and lecture others with sweeping generalizations – as if there are not a plethora of situations in this world where the delegation of duties to the eldest child(ren) is a matter of necessity and survival, not irresponsibility. And nevermind that your experience is common place in most of the world, and was common place in the entire world for almost all of human history. The idealized and romanticized view of a care free childhood is hardly a right to which all are entitled and some are denied. Globally and historically it is an immense privilege that has been enjoyed by only the smallest fraction of a percent of humanity.

  28. Jessica 27 May, 2017 at 07:22 Reply

    I never had this experience but saw friends grow up with this type of responsibility. I always thought it was unfair to them. My mom had two children; I am the oldest. I had chores and watched my sister occasionally, but my mom made sure I was able to participate in any activity I wanted to. She recognized her role as a mother and took it seriously. More parents should give their children the opportunity to be children, like you said, and stop forcing them to play a role that’s not theirs to play. I understand that there are some extenuating circumstances that do call for the oldest child to take on that type of responsibility, but it should be appreciated, and there needs to be time for the child to be a child. However, when those circumstances aren’t present, the parent needs to be the parent.

  29. Raven 27 May, 2017 at 07:32 Reply

    “Childhood” is a recently adopted social ideology used to sell toys, summer camps, and clothes. Someone is no more entitled to a “childhood” like the ones advertised on sitcoms or Disney shows than they are to having a two parent household and six bedroom house. These things may enhance a person’s life, but age does not entitle us to any of them. I am the oldest child of three of a single mother. I did do chores in a house where I lived, slept and ate. I have also worked part-time by choice since I was 14. I am the most independent of my siblings, and we are all by most standards successful. Being responsible for myself and my siblings resulted in having great grades because I had good time management and I was a self-starter.

    Many parents view things like chores and taking care of siblings to be training for “real” life. Also, I take offense to the idea that something is wrong with being a maid or a caregiver. Many people take pride in those jobs (but classism so whatever). As an earlier poster mentioned, motivation and the behavior of the parent in the situation matter greatly. I never thought I was treated unfairly. My mother worked hard for us and I felt loved, so my role as the “head child in charge” was a duty I took on with pride. This was my family and my household too. Now that one brother is in med school and the other just graduated from college, I take as much pride in their accomplishments as my mom does , if not more. This difference in perspective may be a result of life chances, environment or personality. My comment is not that the writer is wrong, but simply that I feel differently. I have a great job and maintain my household well because of my experiences taking the lead and balancing different responsibilities. I also spend a lot of time mentoring young people because I was taught to take care of others and that I am responsible for my community. I’ll take being the strong, independent caring person that I am today over being ill-prepared for adulthood and unable to take care of myself. I have a lot of friends who are dependent on their parents even as adults. Again, I am sharing MY experience, not criticizing that of the writer.

  30. Kadia 27 May, 2017 at 16:52 Reply

    Sad experiences in a lot of African gal inked. Even if, in born in France, I had to act like the mother of my big and lil brothers.
    I feel like I didn’t enjoy my childhood, sad.

    I wonder if I should child. I don’t want to reproduce this.

  31. Rebecca 27 May, 2017 at 22:38 Reply

    As the youngest of 4, my sister was the oldest and 13 years older than me. My mother was a single parent. She worked long night shifts. My sister used to beat me because she hated the fact she had to stay home and not have a life. Well, when she had children, I was the built in babysitter. From the time my niece and nephew was born until they went to school, I was their mother. The years I spent watching my mother and sister struggle to work to provide and also, raising 2 babies as a preteen taught me something. You know what it taught me? It taught me not to be someone’s “Baby Mama”. I learned that I didn’t want to struggle on my own. I wanted to be a wife in a long lasting relationship before I was a mother.

  32. Bre 28 May, 2017 at 12:54 Reply

    I completely understand and went through this myself but I became a stronger more independent person because of it. Yes, I did leave at 17 and as I’m preparing to have my first child I do plan on raising him a lot differently – with that being said I have been an overly responsible adult because of it. Amongst my friends I was the one that provided guidance on everything from bill pay to relationships because they all would say I carried myself like I was a lot older. I also was not naive and avoided a lot of popular events that had troublesome outcomes. Although I left fueled by the anger of what I went through as a teen, I valued and appreciated what I learned as time went by. Also I think from the parents perspective they may think it’s ok because they went through it and don’t know any better, I think it’s just up to us to break the cycle.

  33. Chris 28 May, 2017 at 13:41 Reply

    My oldest daughter was 16 before I realized I was doing this to her. Parents, PLEASE realize what you’re doing!!! I am so grateful that my daughter and I are able to have a great relationship today but it took a lot of growing up on my part. She still jokes that she’s 46% responsible for how well her brother and sister turned out, but she and I know she’s telling the truth. I see it over and over ER in our community (and even outside of it). It has to stop!!

  34. Natii 29 May, 2017 at 09:45 Reply

    This is the best thing I’ve read on the internet for ages. Omg. I wish i could send this to my mother.

  35. Karen 29 May, 2017 at 13:30 Reply

    I am an older sibling, but thank God I never had to experience this. My mom did not make me take care of my brother to the point where I felt like I was his second mother. This does go on in today’s society. These mothers expect their older children to raise the younger ones. Because of how I was raised, my oldest child hasn’t had to experience this.

  36. Sweetsavvy 30 May, 2017 at 02:35 Reply

    Thank you for this! It brought out many emotions and memories because my mother did this to me. She would literally tell me she wanted to go out and spread her wings while I stayed home with my younger siblings at 19 and 20 like I was a mother. And then called me selfish if i didnt want to do it! Wish I read this when I was younger.

  37. Destiny? 31 May, 2017 at 21:40 Reply

    It’s good to know that so many people been through this. I was 11 when my twin brothers were born. My mother went through depression and somehow I felt like I was alone to do everything around the house. I missed so much school, my grades slipped tremendously. I had to skip classes to pick up my brothers from daycare. I had no social life. I wasn’t allowed to do anything unless it concerned my brothers. I became suicidal, and instead of my mother nurturing me she cussed me out instead, because I was putting her at risk in getting into trouble. I felt like the adult, the mother, the maid, and I didn’t ask to be. My childhood was robbed from me, but people don’t get that. They say oh yeah you grew up fast but it’s good cause look how mature and independent you are. Yes, this is true, but at what cost? It’s a lot deeper than words and it hurts. Those who been through it knows.

  38. Beth 1 June, 2017 at 13:51 Reply

    I totally agree, when my parents divorced I was given so much more housework and was my mom’s AND dad’s confidant, they not only had me in between them , I never heard the end of it, did housework, house maintenance, cooking, groceries, laundry, and finished the high school level that really mattered to my mom.

    And I am still not accepted or appreciated. I also left the family, leaving has been gradual and hard and emotionally wrecking. I love every one a wee bit too much. But reading this and your comments kind of embolden me to be okay with severed ties.

  39. Tanya 22 June, 2017 at 00:00 Reply

    Here it goes I am in love with this article. 1st, I am an only child. So no I fid not experience this at all. However, I still had chores and responsible for different things around the house. My Mom had me at 26, and she was the oldest of 12. So she knew she wanted to wait until she could afford it, and would not have more if she could not. Hell, I even became responsible for my lil cousins while we were young. All because my Mom was being the 2nd Mom to her siblings, and playing the role of prvider. While I loved my lil cousins I would hate going to their house because they had to care for their siblings. No I was not cleaning up after them, and I told my aunts that I don’t care. Not my kids nope not doing it. My aunt got mad at me because u brought fast food for myself with my money and did not by food for her kids. Wow I told her those are tour kids not mine I was about 12 or 13. I told myself I would never do that to my kids and I didn’t. People say it makes you this and that and it is just helping out the family. But, NO IT IS NOT! Helping the family is knowing when as an adult you can not afford to expand it. My kids are spared apart for a reason enjoy your time. My kids had their life they were expected to do chores in the house that’s it! My oldest would watch his brother only when he wanted which was alot because it was his baby brother. We still gave him a few dollars for doing it because he could have been doing something else. He cooked if he wanted or I left money for food. He rarely watched his sister nope I know how she was spoiled. And she never watched her lil brother nope not at all. And, now my daughter had kids and she is the same way she pays my granddaughter to helo our with her siblings unless she says Mom I want my brother and sister to play with me so I will help with them while you are gone. They are 8. &. 3 year old twins and my Mom babysits them. My daughter says she is not having anymore if she can not stay at home with them. I don’t care how you say it your kids your responsible. My husband and his sister had to watch and take care of the kids and house growing up by force. And my husband is fine with it but my sister in law still complains and states it messed life and she made she she did not do it to her kids.

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