Enabling Parents, Immature and Lazy Sister That Just Had A Baby..

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2005
Enabling Parents, Immature and Lazy Sister That Just Had A Baby..
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 10:36pm

For starters,

                    I come from a family of 6. My parents, two brothers, a sister, and me. My childhood wasn't much of one because my parents were both young and immature. They had nasty fights and would drag me and my siblings into their arguments and use us against one another. I had to mature very quickly my the 2nd grade to help with my youngest brother and also discipline my younger siblings. My mother was very immature and relied on my grandmother to do all the daily care of my siblings and I. This in turn made me feel more maternal feelings and respect for my grandmother instead of my mother.

When I was in high school my grandmother passed away. My mother went into a deep depression and my parents separated. My step-father paid for the house mortgage but not grocery expenses and I had to learn to cook and clean or else my mom would get crazy angry with me.  It took a year or two but eventually my mother's depression lessened as did her verbal abuse towards me.

My parents were both super hard on me with my grades and in school. I admit I did slack off a bit, but what teenager wouldn't given the broken home I was coping with. See the thing is through all this my brothers and sister were allowed to get away with so much with no consequences.

Fast forward to today. I finally figured out what I want to do in life after years of my family holding me back. I have two associates, recently graduated from an LVN program and received my license. I am one class away from applying for an LVN to RN program. I currently still live with my parents who don't mind supporting my while I'm in school (which I feel really guilty for by the way). But where I have figured my life out my siblings haven't.

I feel terrible because my younger brothers (18) and (23) had been diagnosed with borderline Tourette syndrome as children and I think its partly to do with my step-fathers genetics and the stressful childhood we all endured. My youngest brother seems to be much better now, but my other brother really gets the noticeable tics and he's very anti-social and unable to handle stress very well. But I have hope for them.

My sister on the other hand is a hot mess and the reason I'm even writing this right now. She's 21. Throughout highschool she flunked classes and was lazy and immature. When she graduated she wasn't any better,but my parents never hold their own when it comes to discipline. They would be strict for one day and then let her off the hook. I used to get seriously verbally abused and hit when I was in trouble, but my sister has never had to answer for herself or her actions. She got caught with marijuana and my parents just basically gave her a slap on the wrist and made it seem like there was nothing they could do.

Well last year she got herself pregnant from her barely legal boyfriend and now they are both here living in our parents house with their baby. While my nephew is adorable, she uses him as a crutch to get out of cleaning up after herself, the messes she makes with the baby's things, and her boyfriend. My mom is letting her boyfriend drive her car to school and work. They are both really immature and messy. My parents don't want to make any demands of my sister to be more clean because they fear she'll leave with the baby.

But they support her finacially and the baby and provide a car for them to use.

I am in school trying to get top grades to impress my counselors so I have the best chances at succeeding and I come hope to bottles filled with rotten milk and mold. I wanted to make myself breakfast and found the baby's bottle station littered with termite feces( we have small section that has termites and despite my constant warnings she still keeps his bottles right next to the termite zone). When my sister came down to the kitchen as I was cleaning it all up....I told her she needed to take better care of the baby's bottles and she looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Why I didn't use them?"...excuse me? Is that not her child's bottles and nipples?

I literally blew up at her and told her she need to get her ish together because bottles, dirty diapers, dirty baby clothes ARE HER responsibility as his mother. We ended up really having a show down and she thought I was calling her a bad mom and wanted to punch me out, but I wasn't ....I did call her a dirty mom but not a bad mom. I know she loves her baby, but she doesn't clean up after her little family like she should and I think she expects everyone else to pick up her slack.

My parents enable her in her thinking because they continuously tell my brothers and I that we need to "help" my sister and her boyfriend clean..um no. That's thier baby, their responsibilty, and their mess. Her boyfriend is very immature as well and if he's not at school or work he's playing his xbox and making messes for my sister to pick up...only she doesn't.

As we've gotten older I realize my siblings hold alot of resentment towards me because I've always had to be the disciplinarian and voice of reason when my parents failed to do so. They all call me a B***h and call me names because I force them to clean up after themselves and keep things clean.

I've always had the responsibility and burden of taking care of my siblings and myself when my parents were too wrapped up in their own drama. My parents realize this and I think that's why now they don't mind supporting me while I try to get my career going. But I don't think they are doing my sister any favors by enabling her to be immature and shirk her responsibilites. They don't even ask her boyfriend to clean up after himself for heaven sake!

When there is a fight my siblings all gang up against me because they don't like me telling them what to do...but my parents are just as unclean as my siblings and expect to be picked up after as well...and my parents always make me feel like I'm always in the wrong...am I in the wrong here? I know its not easy raising a baby but I've seen women raise multiple children with no problem cleaning up messes and making sure things are sanitary and she only has one baby. I don't mind helping but she really needs to grow up and realize that THIS is why its hard being a young mom. The responsibility is endless and exhausting...right?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004

You've known for quite a long time who your parents are with regards to expecting your siblings to clean up after themselves, and you've known your sister long enough not to expect her to behave any different than she is now behaving.  Your siblings are not YOU...and YOU are not their parent.  It's time to give up parenting them and allow them to be the adults they choose to be...whether you agree with their behavior or not.

Obviously, you and your family have different personalities and different ideas of how life should be lived.  You're not going to change them, and cleaning up after them doesn't do anything to help them learn what's "right". 

Like everybody else says, living in your parents home is NOT working out for you.  Parenting your siblings is NOT working out for you.  Being frustrated and angry and wishings things were different is NOT working out for you.  SOOOO, the only thing you can do is either just put up with this until you get your degree and then move out OR figure out how to move out now and live in your own place where you CAN be the boss. 

About your sister...first off, she did NOT "get herself pregnant".  Stop blaming her alone for having become a mother.  Second, if she is putting her baby at risk not keeping his bottles and clothes clean, not caring for him properly, you have a responsibility as the only sensible member of your family to call child protective services and have them deal with it!  You may be the ONLY one who cares enough about the baby to look out for his safety this way...so DO IT!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
Sounds like to me like she's pretty grown up already. And on her way to a successful career.

OP, you are correct in your assessment of how a mother should be.. but she's not. And maybe never will be.

I feel for you and the baby. Not your parents, though. My parents could be poster people for enabling. It's sickening. I totally get you in this respect.

Can you find a friend to live with, or just anywhere to get away from the situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
You didn't indicate your age but from your post you're older than 23...it's time for you to grow up. You need to get a job and your own place. You can't change anyone or anything happening in your home...but you can save yourself.