When the Original Poster’s (OP) 18-year-old son lands a job, it promises a new chapter of independence. However, the job’s timing clashes with when he typically cares for his younger half-sisters, stoking family tensions to a fever pitch. As emotions and responsibilities collide, a family’s unity hangs in the balance.
College Days Ahead
OP’s son turns 18 and is gearing up to attend community college in the fall. While he prepares for this new chapter, he continues living with his mother, stepfather, and two younger half-sisters.
The Secret Job
One day, OP makes an unexpected discovery – her son has secured a job without informing her. She feels blindsided and betrayed, especially because of the implications it has for her household.
A Mother’s Concerns
The job’s timing conflicts with the period her son usually watches over his sisters, from 3:00 to 8:00 PM. With OP’s work shift aligning with these hours, she’s left in a bind. The realization frustrates her further.
The Friend’s Intervention
OP learns that a friend introduced her son to this job opportunity. She’s skeptical of the spontaneity of this decision, as it implies her son consciously chose to abandon his responsibilities at home.
The Traveling Father
OP’s husband, a pilot, is often away for long stretches of time, making the son’s assistance even more crucial. The responsibility falls heavily on OP’s shoulders, with paid childcare being a non-option.
A Debate on Independence
The son defends his choice, arguing that he’s aiming to be financially independent, which, given his age, shouldn’t surprise his mom. He emphasizes that he lives expense-free, and the job allows him to cover his personal entertainment.
No More Free Babysitting
OP’s son states that he is no longer willing to be an unpaid babysitter indefinitely. He’s vocal about the necessity of the job and expresses his frustration at the expectation placed on him. He is an adult now, looking for paid labor, not indentured servitude.
The Father Steps In
OP’s husband intervenes in the heated conversation. He sides with OP, accusing their son of being disrespectful and ungrateful. He says they are a family and all need to pull their own weight and help out.
A Staunch Stance
The son remains unyielding, presenting a “take it or leave it” attitude. He believes his parents have no grounds to be angry, urging them to come to terms with his decision because it is happening with or without their consent.
OP grapples with her feelings, believing that their collective struggle as a family should resonate with her son. She can’t shake off the thought that he’s acted selfishly.
The Babysitter Dilemma
OP clarifies that hiring a babysitter isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Her daughters are uncomfortable around strangers due to a previous tragedy with a babysitter earlier in their childhood, ruling out external childcare.
A Choice, Not a Duty
There’s a misconception that OP’s son is being forced into a caretaker role. He willingly spends time with his sisters, balancing his studies and leisure while watching over them in his own home, surrounded by entertainment options.
A Brother’s Affection
The son adores his sisters, spending time with them out of choice, not obligation, and is not coerced into babysitting. The situation takes a toll on the family’s dynamics. Tensions rise with each member having their own perspective, and the household becomes a cauldron of emotions.
Was The Mother’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “That ‘struggle to provide for the family’ is on you and your husband, not your son. You shouldn’t have had the kids if you couldn’t handle it. Stop throwing parental responsibilities onto the oldest child. Figure it out yourself.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “NOT his kids. NOT his responsibility. How dare you as a PARENT use him as slave labor and attempt to keep him from developing independently?”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “I get the impression that the reason your ADULT son needs a job has nothing to do with money and everything to do with getting out of an unpaid babysitting gig and parents who are refusing to see and support him as the young adult he is.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “YOUR younger children are YOUR responsibility!! YOU are USING your son as unpaid help.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.