Someecards Logo
ADVERTISING
'My mum asked me to watch my siblings for a week. It’s been 9 weeks.' UPDATED 6X

'My mum asked me to watch my siblings for a week. It’s been 9 weeks.' UPDATED 6X

ADVERTISING

When your family isn't supportive, sometimes you need to turn to the world at large for advice. Luckily, the internet is always down for that.

"My mum asked me to watch my siblings for a week. It’s been 9 weeks."

My mum went out two days before Christmas and then text me 12 hours later saying she would be gone for a week and for me to have the kids. She hasn’t come back since. So almost 9 weeks. I have heard from her 3 times total and she is saying she isn’t coming back any time soon, she just keeps sending money.

My siblings are 16, 13, 12, 9, and 7. I’m 19.

I’m surviving looking after the kids by myself and tbh not much has changed because I did most of it when my mum was here anyway. We live with our nan but she doesn’t help with them really either, and my older siblings are long moved out.

I guess my question is, is my mum being gone a serious issue legally and with social services? I don’t want to risk the kids going into care (been there done that when I was younger) so I haven’t told anyone that she’s gone. I’m scared of what will happen if people find out so I don’t want to even ask the question IRL.

The internet was quick to respond.

Expert-Angle-8214

you need to report your mother for abandoning her kids, but at the same time tell them you will look after them, your mum need to learn she cant do this to her kids and needs to be brought up on child abandonment charges

OOP:

I would do that if it was guaranteed i could keep them but i dont know if thats even possible or at all likely with so many of them and we arent rich. Maybe 1 or 2 kids they would say ok but 5 just seems unlikely they would let me keep them

hmdmdm wrote:

Is there any other trusted adult in your family? Aunt, uncle, cousin, something? Maybe they could come help you keep your family together?

OP responded:

We have some aunts and uncles but none we are close to or who seem like they care. I could try that route I guess. My older siblings are most likely to give a sh*t and even they aren’t being very helpful.

campremembersh*t wrote:

Why do you think your life prospects aren’t good? You’re 19, you have your whole life ahead of you. This is really unfair of your mom to put on you. I totally get not wanting your siblings to go into the system but you need to think about setting yourself up to be in a position where you could take care of them if that’s your goal.

The youngest is 7, you’re looking a long road of caregiving if you go this route and you need to be able to support yourself and them if that’s your goal.

OP responded:

I didnt do great in school, we don’t have much money, live in a sh**ty area, I can tick most of the boxes for things that set you back in life. I work now and make a decent wage but I just can’t imagine being able to enjoy that if I abandoned my family. I have thought about it a lot and I used to wish I could just go and live my own life but reality is I would have no one and nothing to live for.

flowerodell wrote:

Where TF did she go? Is she in trouble? On dr*gs? Even if she comes back, this sounds super shady and maybe she shouldn’t be caring for them. You need to call someone.

OP responded:

She’s done it before. Usually she goes to the same city but I have no idea what she does when she’s there. She tells everyone she’s looking for our dad but that’s BS. Far as I know she doesnt do dr*gs but she has had issues with alcohol. She’s sh*t in the mum department but she doesnt care for them even when she is here, I do.

AnonymousWhiteGirl wrote:

File emergency guardianship. You're an adult so I don't see the law removing them if under your legal care. Not sure.

Where are your older siblings?? Do they know what's going on?

OP responded:

They moved out at 18 and we very rarely see them. I have told them she’s gone but they don’t think its a big deal as she has done it before.

OP jumped on with another comment laying out some facts.

I don't have poa or know how I can even get that. I assume it would come with legal guardianship.

I think she does but I dont really know the details or how much. She goes through phases of talking about that stuff but she also lies a lot. She claimed she gets nothing from the government, but she also claimed she got thousands from our dad which is impossible bc he is the definition of a “train wreck.”

I don’t know when he has even had a job. As in if they got hurt in my care? We don’t have access to that kind of thing as far as I know. We live in a small rural town with minimal access to a lot of services like that. I'm trying to find out but not having much luck.

I can make $4k-5k a month depending on what shifts I am able to do. Lately I can only work 30 hrs a week when the kids are in school so cant earn as much but my mum has sent money and my nan covers most bills so i dont have a huge amount of expenses. Food for 5 kids is a lot but I’m doing ok so far and can save a small amount.

Food/clothes should be fine, I mainly worry about birthdays and other big expenses like that but thats why I'm trying to save as much as possible for those times No idea where my dad is. We havent seen or heard from him for around 5 years. There were some serious abuse allegations from my older siblings and he hasn’t been seen since. Before that he would come and go.

The age gaps between the siblings are the times he disappeared. He would vanish for sometimes years, then reappear and they’d have a couple more kids I want to keep them here with us. So really just need advice on how to go about that. Letting them go into care would k*ll me so its not really the advice im looking for, but i do understand why everyone is saying that.

A week later, OP shared an update.

I spoke to my mum on the phone and told her I want her to give me custody of the kids since she is refusing to come back or say when she will be back and I’m done with her BS. We argued for like an hour but in the end she said she would do it after i told her I was going to call the police on her.

Before speaking to her I spoke to a lawyer and i should be able to get legal guardianship through a parenting order which will go through court. My 22-year-old brother said he will move home and help me under the condition that my mum doesnt move back as he refuses to be around her.

His income and input will help a lot and he seems serious about wanting to be involved with parenting and taking care of the kids especially our little brother as he needs a male role model badly. If we cant get custody then my nan should be able to. Either way my mum is very unlikely to keep custody unless she suddenly decides she gives a shit (I would bet my life she will never give a flying f*ck).

Getting legal custody is the outcome i want so I’m relieved it seems like a real possibility. Now I’m just trying doing a total overhaul of everything with the kids because I think they need a lot more structure, discipline, rules, routine than they have had until now.

I have realised I don't really know anything about good parenting so I have a lot to learn. Maybe I will get some books. Until now our house has been more like a house share with everyone doing what they want and running around feral rather than anyone really guiding the kids.

I grew up even more feral and I dont think it's a good way to be raised. So I’m starting a bath and bedtime routine for the youngest two, and a curfew for the teenagers. Because rn the 12 year old goes off on his skateboard and will just show up again at like 10pm on a school night.

I’ve also been giving them much better food than they usually have and its been rough to get them to eat healthy but we have made so much progress already. Any advice on instilling rules would be welcome as I dont think it will be easy and I have never had any kind of actual parent role model in my life.

People had a lot of comments and questions.

VeganMonkey wrote:

In another post you mention your dad, where is he? He should step up.

OP responded:

he disappeared 5 years ago after my older siblings started talking openly about how he abused them. We havent seen or heard from him since. He used to vanish for years at a time and come back when he was bored or whatever and my mum would try to keep him around with new babies. but I dont think he will be back again.

Tess27795 wrote:

I am so sorry you have the mother you have. There is no excuse. I give you full credit for what you are doing. I do not know where you live but I thought you might want to know if you are in the US there may be financial help.

Please look for any government assistance you can get.

Do not let that 12 year old run free. Make sure he is in at decent time. 8 pm on school nights is good. The later he is out the more likely he is going to run into older teens and trouble. Make sure he showers and wears clean clothes.

Get his older brother to talk to him. He should have some chores and he must get his homework done. Tell him he cannot go out after school or supper until his homework is done. If his older brother comes home, talk with him. If you present it a united front, it is better. Children always look for the weak link.

OP responded:

Thank you. We are in Australia but will see if theres anything we can get to help as with 5 kids it is kind of tight. We are good for the essentials but I can't get them much that they want or do fun things that cost money. But are lucky to have the beach. I'm trying to make him see that me telling him he needs to be home at an earlier time is not me being dramatic.

I took his skateboard today bc he was about to go off as usual after telling me to leave him alone. Hoping that will make him take me seriously or my older brother might have to step in The united front is what im most worried about. Doing it alone I know I can be consistent but I havent really seen my brother for like 4 years so idk what he will be like.

On the phone he seems pretty serious about everything and hopefully he will back me up. I really think they will need us to be kind of strict especially in the beginning since we will be changing a lot of things around here.

He will be here at the weekend so I’ll see if I think we can actually work together. The younger kids wont remember him tbh so idk if it will be good to take it slow or maybe better just go all in from day one.

TotalIndependence881 wrote:

You’re probably off to a great start already as a parent to your siblings! Rewards over punishments to start with! Bedtimes, wake up times, school attendance and good grades (at least better than yesterday grades), and after school time expectations (go home, ask permission to leave, curfew, always home at supper time, chores before fun, homework, etc Whatever works for your family).

Reward the crap out of positive behavior!

Then move to punishments. Think of “natural consequences”, which is punishments that teach a lesson about what was done.

Missing assignments at school? Cleaning the house isn’t natural. But losing privileges like playtime, going to friends, screen use is natural, because if you get behind at work you need to take your free time to catch up. So if they play too much that they get behind at school (their job), then they need to take play time to catch up.

Also think of punishments of “away from things” but also punishments that are “together with me”. For example, kids act out because they are missing connection sometimes. So if you think the kid would benefit from a connection punishment, do that instead of a “away from me” punishment.

An “away from me” punishment could be a time out, alone in room, chores alone, taking away a toy/screen. A “together with me” could be “come do the dishes with me”, cleaning up together, homework together, running errands together, things that are not “fun/play” but are doing helpful things together giving the opportunity to connect in the process.

OP responded:

Thank you so much, this advice is exactly the kind of thing I need. For me discipline has just been shouting hitting and being sent to your room until whoever wasnt pissed at you anymore. I want it to be healthier and just better for the kids. So thanks ❤️

OP posted a comment in response to generalized suggestions she get the kids therapy.

We can't afford therapy and dont have any access to it where we live. Even if we had the money I’m pretty sure it would be a 3hr round trip to the nearest one. X5 would be impossible. I will defo try to make sure to give them choices and listen to them as much as possible.

I already approach things differently with them as their personalities are so different. Some need me to be a lot more authoritative to even have a chance of them taking me serious. One cries if she even suspects i’m mad at her. Its a lot to learn but i’m willing to give it everything ive got and hope that will be enough.

After receiving lots of support, OP posted another update in the comments.

Thank you so much for all the helpful comments here and messages offering help/advice (i will reply to them all when I can). Rn I’m putting all my energy into the new routine and trying to sort out legal guardianship so we can get money for the kids etc.

Everything else is a problem for later on when we are more settled. My older brother came up last weekend and tbh it was nice but weird bc the younger kids dont even remember him and they pretty much clung to me for the entire time bc having a man in the house is strange for them.

But after he left they said they miss him and liked having him here. He’s been sorting his s**t out this week and is coming back tomorrow with all his stuff and will be working remote from our house. Me and him have spoken a lot and i think we will be able to get on the same page with the kids and make it work. I’m worried about some things with parenting differences but we will figure it out.

I’m trying not to seem controlling but its hard to adjust to someone else being very involved when I have been looking after them by myself. I know I need him though. My nan was actively trying to undermine me and we had an argument, then my brother got here and he had an argument with her in the first half hour. So she has gone to my aunts for a while.

She is still paying the bills here but if she stops we will be ok with my brothers money and mine. My brother wants to take the kids and move house but I am not even thinking about that until everything else is sorted out. Now that things are actually changing our older sisters are more interested and have been messaging me so they might help as well.

The kids are not taking the new routine too well but we are making progress so I’m trying to stick with it. I made a meal plan and have stuck to that all week. My 9-year-old sister told me she likes rules which makes it feel worth it. The teenagers are kind of a nightmare but Im trying to persevere with them.

13-year-old was being horrific and I lost my s**t which made her have an emotional breakdown and now she’s been a lot better. 12 year old has taken it ok ish he just tells me I’m a loser all the time and asks for his skateboard back a million times a day but I know he knows where it is so he is being pretty good considering he could just take it back if he really wanted. 16-year-old is hell.

7-year-old has like three tantrums a day and wont eat or sleep so she stresses me out probably the most. My mum hasnt called anymore but is complying with giving us custody and told her friend it's the best thing thats ever happened to her. I cba with her and if she tries to come back I will do everything i can to keep her away from the kids.

Two weeks later, OP jumped on with another update.

Hi! Not sure if doing multiple updates is ok but I have had a lot of messages since the BORU post and think it will be easier to update people who are interested like this as replying to all is hard.

Thanks to advice here we have realised that getting kinship is a better choice for us financially than getting legal guardianship. This wasnt mentioned to us by the lawyer or social services so i’m so grateful for everyone here as we will have so much less financial stress on kinship and we will get access to a lot more services for the kids

Things are already seeming so much less scary. My brother has come home to help me and is working remotely for his same job which is ideal. He has been amazing at making it all happen so fast and packing up his life to move back. He is still back and forth at the moment but should be here full time besides a few days a month where he has to be there in person.

Our oldest sister has said she will send some money every month to help us but doesnt want to be involved other than that. I understand why and am very grateful she is helping. Honestly it hurts a bit that she refuses to talk about the kids or anything but she is doing what she can handle rn I guess.

Our other sister is working fifo right now and has suggested coming back on her weeks off to help out but I’m not sure if that will actually happen or work well in reality. My brother doesnt get along with her very well and says he doesn't think living with her again will work The kids are still struggling with the new rules and we have had some issues.

16-year-old hates me so my brother is trying to take over with her bc I am bored of fighting with her The others are doing better but still so difficult. 7-year-old wont sleep which is the hardest thing right now bc then I can't sleep and I’m tired af. She has meltdowns when shes tired and shes always tired now so shes always having meltdowns. Idk what to do with her.

Everything U try to make her sleep doesnt work that well. She says she doesn't know why she “cant” (wont) sleep so idk where to even start. My brother tried to get her to bed and she just cried and screamed for me. 12-year-old is listening to our brother which is the best thing to ever happen because I was really worried about handling him since he listens to me NEVER.

13 and 9 year old are easier and not stressing me out too much. So we are kind of divide and conquer now. My brother handles 2 and I handle the other 3. I have found out I am very protective of the younger ones and find it very difficult to let my brother discipline them so it causes less problems between us if i deal with them.

Still early days and hoping consistency will fix a lot of the smaller issues. Long term we want to rent somewhere bigger as our nans house is very cramped and making things harder This is long and messy, sorry!! Just wanted to update everyone who has asked and thank everyone again for the advice.

The internet was super supportive in the comments.

LesbianSansa wrote:

Glad to hear your brother is helping out! Especially with the teenage siblings, it's hard for them to see you as an authority figure unfortunately as you're not that much older and it SHOULDN'T be on you to deal with this. Having two people be a united front for them will be hugely helpful in establishing boundaries.

Sounds like the 7 year old might be dealing with anxiety. Kids are not great at identifying their own emotions. She's running from sleep because she doesn't feel safe to lie down and drop her guard. Strongly recommend getting them checked out by the GP if you can, mention the trauma background. I know it's hard to find bulk-billing GPs at the moment though.

Divide and conquer is the right strategy! As is consistency as you mentioned. I would STRONGLY recommend communicating the current home situation to the kids' schools, they may be able to hook you guys up with more social services and if nothing else it will be helpful for teachers to be aware of the situation in dealing with behavioural issues. (But I am a teacher so that's my bias lol.)

OP responded:

Yeah I think him being that bit older and the fact they havent seen him for years has made him automatically more of an authority figure to the teenagers. The younger ones are a bit unsure of him still and I think they will adjust to him better if he isn't being the strict one straight off.

It's hard to find the balance with the different approaches for each kid. But 16 year old went to a party last night and was texting me arguing about the pre set pick up time we gave her, so my brother went to get her and she actually got in the car. If I had gone she would have 100% told me to f#$k off.

Yeah she refuses to lay down and just hates her bed. Only way I can get her to sleep is by laying in her bed with her until I’m sure she’s in a deep sleep. And thats after hours of her physically fighting me, crying, etc Trying to get them to the GP is a huge struggle time wise and money wise. Will get them in asap but probably wont be that soon.

Also dont have a car big enough for everyone so would have to go in separate trips as well. The teachers are aware of the situation. They know my mum is a pos and i have been doing parents night etc for the kids for literal years. I told them she is “away” and I am going for custody

Lamenardo wrote:

7 might be having bad dreams, or maybe she feels being awake is the only time she has any control over her life - did your egg doner leave during the night maybe? Either way insomnia is a b#$ch, and I sympathize with you both. Will she quietly draw or watch videos during the night while you sleep? Does she have a nightlife and white noise?

OP responded:

Yeah, 7 year old woke up on Christmas eve to our mum being gone. Tbh she seemed kind of unphased about it bc she is not even remotely close to my mum. She slept in my room from like 4 months old. But it obviously has affected her. I think she is probably worried I will leave so she’s trying to stay awake to make sure I’m still there.

I tell her all the time I’m not going anywhere etc but she just freaks out about bedtime every single evening. Even if I keep her in the living room with me and hope she will fall asleep without any pressure she stays awake way too late considering she has school in the morning.

And she still cries and says she just wants it to be morning already The 4 kids are all in the same room and there is a nightlight in there but 13 year old turns it off because she says she cant sleep with any light. 7 year old has never said she needs a light tbf. She slept fine in the dark before all this.

Fatigue-Error wrote:

OP is an angel just for trying. And the brother is a hero for coming back to help out. I hope the kids realize what these two are doing for them, and are grateful some day.

That mom and the dad, they can rot in hell.

41flavorsandthensome wrote:

I also have sympathy for the older sister who doesn’t want to come back. When OP mentioned her oldest siblings were out, I thought, “Ah. They escaped, and were probably once stuck the way OP is.”

It’s a messed up situation all around, and yes: the parents suck.

Weeks later, OP shared another update.

Back with another update for those who asked! Can't believe it's been over 3 months now. We applied for kinship and have had the provisional approval and the home inspection and some interviews. We’ve got a couple more things to do/still ongoing and then we should be good!

We got our first payment which has been SO GOOD and really made me feel much more optimistic about everything bc we will be able to actually do something other than just survive. The case worker pretty much told me they don't want to have to find placements for this many kids so us keeping them is their much preferred option which is reassuring.

My mum hasn't contacted me for a while. We thought she might show up on Easter bc holidays are usually her time to cry about how much she misses our dad, and she usually prefers to ruin everyone's day with that. But she didn't come thank god. Our nan is still at our aunties bc she cant stand to be around us apparently.

Bc me trying to feed them good food and not let a 7-year-old disappear for hours on bicycles with kids 3+ years old than her is just me thinking im better than my nan!!! A lot of people said to try to co-sleep with the 7-year-old so I have started doing that. It’s helping a bit and she actually will lay down so that's a win but she still cries a lot and tries to get up.

She also does a death grip on me so I have kind of accepted that I have to go to bed when she does. It's not the worst thing ever because I have been looking things up and reading online whilst I lay with her when she eventually calms down. I’ve ordered melatonin to try. I share a room with 16-year-old and she doesn't want 7-year-old in there but its kind of tough.

I can't do anything about it until we can move house which isn't going to be soon. It's not the most peaceful night with her in there bc she kicks me and wakes up at random times trying to chat or crying but we are getting some sleep.

She slept in my single bed with me from four months old until she was like two (I clearly knew nothing about safe sleep but my mum had sold the crib to try to annoy my dad so she actually had no where else to sleep) and I haven't told her that bc I don't want to tell her her mum didn't care that she didn't have a bed, but she seems to remember bc she said “we used to have sleepovers in your bed a lot didn't we”🥺

Also I got 16-year-old earplugs and told her she can sleep in 7-year-olds bed in the other room if she prefers. I do my best to try to soothe 7-year-old in general. She had one of her crying breakdowns last week and said she didn't feel safe or happy. Then she said she wishes I was her real mummy. I told her I am her real mummy bc I’ve looked after her her whole life and I won’t ever leave her.

She seems a bit happier since then. I'm going to get a photo of us for her to have in her little purse she carries everywhere. She’s pretty sentimental so she will like that. Yesterday she asked me if me and our brother are married lol obviously I said no and she said “I just feel like you are my mum and dad”. I hope that's a good thing even if it is a little weird. She is definitely bonding with him too.

She always wants me to carry her around and when I say no bc I’m busy, he offers to do it and she lets him now. She used to ignore him. Seeing her snuggle into his neck and actually relax is the cutest thing. Makes my heart happy bc I remember wishing I had a dad who would hold me and I’m so glad she is getting all the love❤️❤️❤️

Me and my brother have had a few disagreements over discipline. He is pretty strict and usually that's a good thing bc they need it tbh but sometimes I find it a bit much. Biggest disagreement was when he smacked 9yr old and I lost my shit. We grew up with a lot lot worse and ngl I have smacked them before but I don't want to be doing that anymore.

Bro thinks there’s nothing wrong with 1 smack on the bum. I would just rather we don't go there. He said he wont do it again and I don't think he will. He wasn’t angry when he did it so I'm not really concerned about it and he apologised to 9-year-old. We’re just still trying to figure out discipline. Our dad used an electric cord as a whip so one smack on the bum is practically gentle parenting to us.

I have read enough to know we don't want to be doing any physical disciplining though Worst thing I've had to do is give the youngest two suppositories. My sister gave me money to take them to the GP bc I was worried about them and couldn't find any for free and didn't want to wait for kinship. Turns out they are both malnourished underweight and constipated AF. And they’ve missed some vaccines.

For the constipation we tried medicine and more fiber and more water but no bueno so it had to be the suppositories bc the doctor said it was verging on severe. I tried to explain it to them and make the whole thing easy but it turned into quite the drama. 9-year-old was easier but still took me a while.

7-year-old was impossible and everyone got too stressed on day 1 so we left it and she was still not complying on day 2 so my brother had to get involved and pretty much had to hold her down. Bc I called the doctor and she said either we do it or I take her in and they do it. We had no choice really and i still feel horrible about it. I’m obsessed with what they’re eating now bc I don't want anyone going through that.

But I will say they are a lot lot better since. They aren't getting tummy aches and they aren't so grouchy. And it has helped 7-year-old with her sleep for sure. We are getting the other 3 to the doctor next week. We will do telehealth after but i want them to see someone in person for the first appointment. After that the next thing on the list is dentist.

We have looked at therapy and should be getting telehealth sessions soon. So far all 3 teenagers have said they aren't doing therapy but I will try to make them at least try it. 16-year-old is still difficult. She took my ID and she was going out whenever she liked. But my brother grounded her and she has actually listened and not tried to sneak out. The other three are doing okay.

No big issues with them TBH they are adapting pretty well I think. I try to talk to them all about everything when I can and they all seem to understand whats going on and trust that we wont be going anywhere and we just need them to cooperate with us so we can get through. My little brother J(12) is obsessed with older bro.

I used to have an issue with J going out every evening for hours and was so stressed about trying to keep him home and safe but Matt being here has basically eliminated the issue. J just wants to be around him all the time and Matt has somehow got this kid thinking doing homework with him is the BEST thing ever. Sorry this is so long again!

Idk how long I will keep doing these updates but for now everyone is so incredibly helpful that i will carry on posting bc I always need more advice. The advice and support from everyone in the comments and pm has been amazing and has actually helped change our day to day life for the better so thank you sm internet strangers ❤️

The supportive comments kept coming in.

littleb1988 wrote:

You already know this but have the social worker help you get the 7yo and 16yo into therapy. ASAP. All of you if you can. But them NOW. 7yo is forming attachments and associations that will cause more harm in the future if not addressed now.

OP responded:

I’ve asked about it and the only in person one is literally impossible for us to get to. So telehealth is the only option and we are going to start that soon but idk how I’m going to get a 7yr old to engage in therapy over the phone or online. She doesn't have the attention span for that. And 16yr old has flat out said she isn't going to do it. I could probably use some leverage to make her do it but idk if that's a good idea.

Azile96 wrote:

You and your brother are doing an incredible job. You were forced into this position because your adult parent couldn't parent and had seemingly failed at being an adult as well. You have taken on a huge responsibility! It does seem like your 7-year-old especially is dealing with some abandonment issues.

I imagine every sibling is dealing with some of that in one way or another. You are providing a good safe space for them. Family and/or trauma therapy would be good. Having teenagers myself, I can understand how frustrating it is to get them therapy because most teenagers don't think they need it and will push back.

You can get guidance from a therapist on how to deal with certain issues you are facing, so that can at least help those reluctant in your family in some manner. Indirect help is better than no help. Just remember you are doing something that most parents struggle with with even fewer kids to watch after. Give yourself and your brother some grace and just keeping up the good work.

OP responded:

Yeah tbh I’m still shocked how hard she is taking it bc it's not the first time and she literally has never been close to my mum even remotely. Last year my mum told her she loved her (only bc we were in public) and L turned around and told her she doesn't love her, she only loves me. The others I think are more used to our mum maybe. But yeah everyone needs therapy I guess.

All the teenagers are saying they will not do therapy. 12-year-old we could easily force but not sure about the girls. But yeah even if I can speak to someone and find out how to help them then that will be good. It's just a lot dealing with all the mental stuff when the physical and day to day issues are taking up literally all my brain space as it is.

TReid1996 wrote:

This randomly popped up on my feed so I had to go back and read the other posts. It's awesome how great of a sister you are and how great your older brother it. Glad to see things are starting to look up. Reading the whole thing reminds me of the show called the Loud House. Hope things continue to go up. Sorry you have terrible parents.

OP responded:

Thank you sm! Lol people always tell me various shows we remind them of and I have never seen any of them. Probably for the best.

Bleacherblonde wrote:

You are doing an amazing job- and their lives are already so much better. You and your brother really stepped it up, and that is so admirable. Just keep doing what you're doing. I know it may not mean much but this internet stranger is so damn proud of you. You've gone through so much, much more than anyone should have to go through.

Two weeks later, OP shared another update.

My previous posts explain everything but short version is: our mum left right before Christmas and I'm now looking after my 5 younger siblings. 16-year-old has been a pain in the a$$ the whole time. So unhelpful, permanently grumpy and arguing about everything and winding up the younger ones just to be annoying.

Basically making my life harder every chance she gets. She got her phone confiscated today bc she was videoing our little sister having an emotional meltdown and laughing at her. Later on whilst I was putting the phone away I saw a message from our mum pop up saying some horrible s**t.

My mum hasn't messaged me in weeks and 16-year-old hasn't mentioned messaging her at all so I was like wtf. Took me a few attempts to get into her phone but i got in and saw sooo many messages. Mostly her begging our mum to come home and our mum either ignoring her or telling her to come to the city she's in right now.

16-year-old sent her so many messages saying our younger siblings need her and our mum replied saying I think I know how to raise them better so she is leaving me to it since I don't want her here. Most recent one was 16-year-old asking why she doesn't care about us and our mum basically saying she has better things to do than sit here and listen to us all tell her everything she is doing wrong all the time

I knew she was having a hard time but reading her messages to our mum has broken me and i just want to stop her hurting so much💔💔💔

She basically hates me right now so comforting her is very hard bc she will not open up even a bit and whenever i speak to her about it she acts like she doesn't care.

Idk what to do or say to her😭 Meanwhile my older sister just calls me periodically to tell me she wishes she could help but she cant bc of a list of reasons including but not limited to her not being able to face being around our youngest sister bc our parents said she was her replacement and older sis cant get over it.

Which is like, okay, but baby sis just turned 7 and big sis is almost 25… so at some point she needs to try get past that and realize its not the little ones fault. Big sis is struggling bc she feels like I'm her kid and she wanted me to come live with her when I was younger but I ‘chose’ to stay here and ‘let my mum get away with not parenting’. The alternative is my siblings being neglected and ab*sed like us.

Anyway FR I don't have time to be dealing with her emotional issues on top of everyone elses. And she’s whining to me like oh I had to take time off work bc i’m having a hard time mentally. Which makes me feel soooo great when I am working my a$$ off to feed 5 kids and dealing with a million behavioural issues a day and don't have time to do anything.

Before everyone starts shouting “therapy”…yeah it's in the works. Trying to get telehealth arranged but it's taking forever. We can't afford anything else so that's the best we have for now. Until then its good old fashioned just get on with it and try not to f#$k the kids up anymore than they are already.

The internet had OP's back.

MasonJettericks wrote:

I'm sorry that every adult in your family is so f#$king useless. I can't do much for you, but you don't deserve any of this.

OP responded:

Thanks. I’m trying to be the adult that isn't such a f#$king mess but its rough and lonely. My brother is a godsend idk if I would survive this without him. When he isn't there I feel like it's me vs everyone else.

Alarmed_Ad4367 wrote:

How old are you?? Why have your parents left you in charge? I’m so sorry, this sounds awful.

OP responded:

I’ll be 20 soon. My dad left five years ago bc of my older siblings telling everyone he ab*sed them. My mum left bc she can't handle the responsibility and would rather act like a young and free teenager with her dodgy friends.

ellejaypea wrote:

I remember reading your earlier posts. You may not feel it right now but you are genuinely amazing. You stepped up massively at an age when a lot of others wouldn't have taken on the responsibility of so many kids.

Teenagers are always going to be difficult, combine the hormones with everything you guys have been through and it's not a good mix. She would probably benefit from therapy, but the difficulty is getting her to engage. Is there any help available through her school? Like a counselor maybe?

msmae11 wrote:

I’ve sent you a PM. I’ll happily cover the cost of therapy for you and your siblings. Please check your messages 💜

Five weeks later, OP shared another update.

Another update because my inbox is still flooded and I cant reply to everyone so just going to say it all here for you guys and anyone else who wants to know. Been like 5 months now...jfc.

Firstly thank u for all the nice messages and offers of help and stuff. I really do appreciate it and sorry if i havent replied but i have had literally 100s of messages and its kind of overwhelming for me. I have read most of them and am still trying to reply to more but its a big job. Currently things are going okay. Big things that have happened/are happening.

My older sister (the second oldest) is coming to visit soon. The relationship between her and my older brother is kind of strained bc of some s**t that happened when they were younger and the 3 older ones all lived together for a bit after leaving home. Honestly I think it was just a shit show having 3 damaged teenagers living together in a new place with no support.

I don't have time to be the mediator though so just told them if they cant get along then my sister will need to leave bc the kids dont need any more drama and my brother needs to focus on being a parent. She’s coming bc she wants to, and she said she wont cause any drama she just wants to help. We’ll see how it goes anyway but I'm low-key dreading it.

Last time I saw this sister was years ago though so I’m trying to not think she’s going to be the same as she was when she was a teenager. We have started planning to move to WA. My brother is desperate to get out of our town and not have to worry about our parents showing up (he gets a lot of anxiety about it, he doesn't like me being at home without him being here).

His job will help him move over there and he has been set on it for a while now. We will be able to transfer over there even with the kids being on kinship care which is basically the only thing i was worried about. But that's confirmed we will be fine to do it so now i’m on board with it.

Won't be any time soon but hopefully end of the year we can move. Financially we are doing pretty good. We have the kinship money, mine and my brothers wages and my older sisters have been sending money consistently. My brother is good with money and we are able to save some. I was able to buy the kids a small present each to cheer them up on mothers day.

They have like barely any toys so the little ones are psyched to have some things to play with and have been being feral outdoors way less this week. They have been playing lego and barbies like normal children. 7yr old sleeps so good when I give her melatonin. I dont do it every night but when I do its like a mini holiday.

She sometimes wakes up mad but I can deal with that when I have actually slept. Other nights when she doesn’t have it I either keep her downstairs and hope she will fall asleep on me or my brother whilst watching TV, or I go through the emotional bedtime routine of her crying and saying she doesn’t want to go to bed whilst I read the same 3 stories until she chills out.

She is doing better at school again now. It was pretty bad for a while (obviously bc she was permanently exhausted and surviving on literal air only bc the kid wouldn't sleep or eat).

Right now 9 and 13yr olds are doing the telehealth therapy sessions. 7yr old won’t speak to the therapist so she’s having indirect help through me. 12yr old hates it so my brother is trying to learn techniques to do with him to help him.

16yr old refuses which I was expecting anyway. Tried to force her to do it and that didn't go well. So again I just try to give her indirect help. I had some 1-1 time with her recently and she was different in a good way. She lets her guard down when the younger kids arent there. Like she can be vulnerable or whatever.

She said “thank you for looking after us” to me on MD. Haven't seen any more messages on 16yr olds phone from our mum, she has completely stopped messaging any of us. The last thing she said to me was she doesn't know why I’m turning her kids against her.

Kinda hilarious tbh but just proves she is deep in delulu land.

On Mothers Day, 7-year-old went outside 4 times before 8am to “make sure mum isn't coming down the road” and she has been crying about our dad, not sure why exactly, when I ask she just says she's worried about him.

9yr old gets annoyed with her and tells her to stop crying because our dad is a bad person. She is also very defensive of me and my brother and tries to police all the other kids and tells them to behave and be nice to us and don't argue/backchat/misbehave.

I think she’s concerned we will get fed up and leave. Ofc I reassure her we wont and she doesn't need to tell the others off. Its kinda funny anyway tbh because she is no angel herself Their diet is a lot better. We still have issues every meal of every day but overall its better and they are doing well with trying to eat new things. Years of ramen and chicken nuggets has obviously been horrible for our bodies.

But they all have at least 1 fruit or veg a day and have real dinners. They like pasta bake so thats the new ramen around here. My brother cooks curry and tries to get them to eat it but that doesn't go down so well. They like when he makes chicken and potatoes. 7-year-old likes Bluey pouches of vanilla custard and would eat those for every meal if I let her.

My oldest sister is still a pain in the a$$ and wants to talk about our trauma all the time. She just has more time to dwell than I do. I have no time to dwell. I asked her to please not message me unless its positive or helpful. Her reply showed she really is just jealous that i am giving all my time and energy to the kids but I really don't have it in me to look after an adults emotional needs as well.

She sees me as her kid and she wants to see me but doesnt want to see the younger ones. Like she asked me to come visit and leave them with my brother for a few days. I'm not going to leave insecure kids who are permanently stressed that I will leave for good. Imagine how stressed they would be the whole time. She also thinks i am babying them. But I'm just treating them like children.

Mostly it's just annoying that she is like this but it's also partly upsetting because tbh there is nothing I would love more than for her to meet and love 7-year-old. For me it would be like my ‘mum’ meeting my child. Because my oldest sister raised me when I was really young and 7-year-old is the only one of the kids I have fully raised since she was a tiny baby and my mum told me she didn't want her.

Anywayyyy I am trying not to get to caught up in everything with my older sister because I have enough going on with all the kids. My grandma is still at my aunt's house and very unhelpful. But she's not bothering me much so that's ideal. She mentioned wanting my cousin to move in here because he got kicked out by his girlfriend and has nowhere to live.

But f#$k that fr. He’s a creep and a dr#g add**t so no way is that happening. over my dead body Okkkk this has taken me like 3 days to finish writing and I have probably forgotten some stuff but really just wanted to say thanks for the support and I'm not ignoring my messages I just am busy and overwhelmed.

The internet continued to offer support.

CultureNovel6746 wrote:

You are an inspiration; it would have been so easy, in one sense, to walk away and live your own life away from all this. That you love your siblings enough to pour so much into them even when they're being difficult or horrible to you tells us a great deal about who you are.

It looks like one-on-one time, when you can afford to do it, is best with 16yr old. It would give her an opportunity to bond a bit with you as something other than an authority figure. Is there anywhere your older sister could stay nearby when she visits? An old friend of hers or a current friend of yours?

You are both apprehensive about this visit, she clearly cares about you and probably still sees you as the young person you were when she left. Some space might make it a bit easier and less likely to end in drama. There's a community out here who cares for and about you; reach out if you need help. All the best.

OP responded:

Thank u!! The sister thats coming to visit isn't my oldest sister, she's not the one causing all the drama. That one won't come visit because she cant be around the kids apparently. It’s the second oldest thats coming. There's not really anywhere else she can stay. We will see how it goes but i’m going to be really blunt with her about how things need to be and her and my brother need to forget their issues.

PowerTrippingGentry wrote:

Thank you for taking the time out of your incredibly busy new life to update us. Sounds like your making all the right moves with your older brother with these kids. Keep up the good work and we are all here to lend an ear whenever you need.

F#$k yo grandma too she should of absolutely stepped up instead of putting it all on her 19 year old grandaughter. You got the right instincts keep that cousin far away from yall and call the cops if he ever shows up. Whenever yall move see what can be done about moving close to a larger therapy center.

Ollieastic wrote:

You've got a great head on your shoulders and you're doing a great job with your siblings. It sounds like everyone is taking good steps forward--it sounds like you're all getting more sleep and new food and even some more chill moments, especially with the new toys.

When you make the move to WA, you may want to see if you have a buy nothing group in your area (there may also be one in your current area). I tend to see a lot of kids toys on mine (you can also make a post and see if anyone has kids toys that they'd like to get rid of), which your siblings may like.

Seriously though, you're doing great. I hope that you're able to take a little bit of time for yourself to get some alone time in, or read a book, or whatever it is that makes you happy. And that your sister who will be visiting helps makes things easier and not harder.

Foxy_Traine wrote:

Whenever you have the time to take a breath, you could benefit from some reading. "Burnout" by Emily and Amelia Nagoski could be super helpful for you to read as you manage all the stress in your life. Best of luck to all of you! ❤️

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

ADVERTISING
Featured Content