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'AITA for telling my parents they need to learn to live without me?' 'I'm (17M) the oldest of 10.'

'AITA for telling my parents they need to learn to live without me?' 'I'm (17M) the oldest of 10.'


"AITA for telling my parents they need to learn to live without me?"

My parents have a lot of kids. They always wanted a big family and were not prepared for how hard that would be. I'm (17m) the oldest of 10 and my parents have relied on me for so long that I don't remember a time where I wasn't treated like a third adult in the house.

My siblings range from 15 down to 4. My parents are still technically able to have more kids too because neither are 40 yet and it scares me, I won't lie. We already struggle so much with 10 of us and I know it would be worse if they added more, especially when I'm so close to moving out.

In our house we have a boys' room, a girls' room and our parents' bedroom. We basically all sleep on these tiny bunkbeds in order to fit everyone in. Nobody gets brand new clothes it all thrift store for me and the oldest of my sisters and our younger brothers and sisters get our hand-me-downs.

It was expected I would step up by the time I was 5. I had to make mine and my siblings' beds, had to tidy up after younger siblings, had to stop my younger siblings from climbing onto things and I was also expected to clean the floors.

Over time more chores were added to my list. Helping to cook, babysitting (even when I was too young really), helping with homework, holding siblings hands when we went grocery shopping so they wouldn't run off.

Cleaning the bathrooms. Cleaning both boys and girls bedrooms. Tidying up if we were having guests (especially if anyone had friends over). My siblings weren't really given chores. And I was basically doing just as much as my parents around the house.

My siblings rely on me for too much. From driving them places to picking them up from places, to giving them permission for stuff (my parents let me give permission where I know they would). They expect me to buy them stuff.

They come to me more than our parents and sometimes come to me after our parents if they don't like what our parents said. They get pissy whenever I try to get them to help out and our parents won't back me up so they have never done any kind of chore or helped out at all. They get so mad when I ask they say I'm not mom and dad but then they also won't go to mom and dad for this shit most of the time.

My parents started freaking out because I'll be 18 in October and they know I plan to move out. I also work part time and that gets relied on to help financially and between that and all I do around the house, it finally dawned on my parents I won't be around in a few more months.

They started word vomiting all this on me and I told them they need to learn to live without me because it's not my job to be the third adult in the house anymore. They told me I'll still be a part of the family and I can't just abandon them. I said I will not support the household after I turn 18 because it won't be my job. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Fearless_Spring5611 said:

NTA. Older sibling "parentification" is a massive issue, especially in larger families, and I'm sorry to hear you've been through that process. I hope you manage to get out of that environment soon.

As a word of warning (and hope!) - once you move away and no longer have to look after all those siblings, you will go through a process of self-discovery. For the first time you will be able to really discover who you are as a person, develop your wishes and personality further. It's kinda scary to go through, but it is also incredibly fun and exciting and those latter feelings soon outweigh the former.

It really does become a whole new chapter in your life, so don't get weighed down comparing yourself to the single-child kids who never had so many carer responsibilities and had a head-start on that process. Keep to your own beat, enjoy and explore, just stay safe in the process!

TheZZ9 said:

NTA And make sure you have all your papers, license, SS card, passport, birth certificate etc safe. Make sure you keep all your email and banking passwords safe and secret. Moving out, stopping paying rent etc is 100% natural and normal, its what millions of people your age do, so don't feel guilty.

TeenySod said:

NTA - hell, it's not your job NOW. This is called 'parentification' and is a form of abuse. Of course you're sick and tired of it - you never got to be a kid.

Move out. Manage boundaries. If your siblings keep coming to you after you move out with questions, etc - bat them back to their ACTUAL parents, and on no account let any siblings move in with you.

If continuing to pay for stuff for your parents and siblings might affect your own ability to pay rent, eat and run a car, do not provide additional financial support after moving out either - you don't set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.

Rude_Egg_6204 said:

Nta. Stop engaging when the subject comes up. Just smile and nod, let them assume whatever they like...then out at 18.

lemon_charlie said:

NTA. Whatever dream they had for a big family they didn't have the emotional or practical means to do it without resorting to parentifying and still haven't decided to stop. They need a plan that doesn't involve you, especially since all you kids are crowded between two rooms.

To be honest, once you're out I'd call CPS or your country's equivalent. It's not going to be pretty by any stretch of the imagination but your parents will work on stepping up the next oldest (who is ten years older than you were when your parentification started) into your position without doing anything to improve the living situation.

motionlessdrafting said:

NTA. It's totally fair for you to want your own life after being a third parent to your siblings. Your parents should take responsibility instead of relying on you so much. It's okay to set boundaries and focus on your future.

triangularnormalcy said:

You're NTA. Your parents should prioritize your independence and prepare to manage the household themselves. It's essential for your growth and theirs.

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