Being the parent....

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  1. My mother tends to put me in situations where I need to act the parent. In short: I hate this!

    She emailed me the other day asking me to have a "talk" with my brother (who is 12 yrs. old) about bringing his friends over uninvited. I have yet to respond because I am not quite sure what to say. They both live in Chicago while I live way over on the west coast so it isnt like I can just walk over and tell him to knock it off. Not to mention I just dont feel like it is my place to do so. I guess I brought this on myself because when he was younger I was the one who did most of the discipline and raising. She is a single mother who had to work to support us and wasnt always there. There is no father figure that she can turn to. I just dont think calling him and talking to him will make a difference since I am not there on a regular basis.

    She also goes on in the email how she hates it where she lives and wishes that she could be out here with me. This also irked me. A few months ago we had planned to move her out here. I found an apartment for her and even had a moving company come out and provide an estimate. She didnt lift a finger - I did all the running around. I was even going to fly over for a weekend to help her pack. Then a few weeks before the move date I noticed her getting hesitant about the details. So I asked her if she still wanted to do this. She ends up telling me that she wants to stay where she is. :rant: :censor: :rant: Essentially all the work I did was for nothing.

    Now I am so annoyed I dont even want to call her or respond to the email. It isnt worth me getting angry and telling her to step up and be a parent. I really dont want to hear about how much she hates it either since she had the chance to live out here.

    Anyways...Sorry about the ranting again. :flowers:
  2. Oh wow. That sounds awful, not just for you, but for your little brother. He needs a parent! Your mother sounds as if she doesn't want to take responsibility for her life or choices. I'm not sure how you can make someone do that, but doing things for her (like long-distance parenting) surely won't help her.

    It sounds as if she could use some guidance from either a trusted older family member or a professional who could help her find practical ways to connect to your brother.
  3. I'd write her back stating that you're not physically there to actually make sure that your brother understands this and that she should talk to him instead. I'd also mention that you did everything to have her move to where you are a while ago but she wanted to stay. Just like a reminder. My parents asked me to email my brother asking him to listen to them and stuff.....he's not going to listen to me and I know it so I told them so. I told them that I'm continents away and they're there. Just talk to him and stuff.


    Rant all you want. Some of us have experienced part of what you're going through one way or the other. I hope everything will turn out okay.
  4. ^^^Thanks!
  5. My parents did this when my little brother wanted to drop out of high school. I did it....and it worked....and I did it because I felt that he needed someone closer in age to him to relate to him (we never like listening to our parents)!
    I would also remind her that SHE was the one who turned down the opportunity to live near you!
  6. I can completely relate to this and I feel for you! It is terrible when a parent places this kind of responsibility on their child.

    I have been the "mother" to my mom ever since I was 16. I have done pretty much everything for her--made appointments, paid her bills often with my own money and was never paid back, you name it. All of this eventually poisoned whatever relationship we had. I attempted to discuss all of this with her, but it went nowhere. It's difficult to rationalize with a narcissist. She is still irresponsible and has not changed.

    On top of mothering my mother, I basically raised my brother and sister since I was 10. I grew up on a farm and both of my parents worked 24/7. I learned how to do everything early--clean the house, cook, etc. My brother and especially my sister relied on me for pretty much everything. When my sister enlisted in the Air Force, she was supposed to take a parent. She took me. And the list goes on and on...

    All of this forced me to grow up too quickly. A few years back, I started to crack under all of the pressure from my family. I saw a therapist who encouraged me to "divorce" my mother. It was a very long hard process for me, but it has been one of the most beneficial things I have ever done. I also had to ween my siblings away from calling me to take care of their problems. They are now 23 and 26 and should be able to live their own lives. It has taken a couple of years to get back on good terms with my mom, but it was worth it. Now we have as normal of a relationship as we will ever be able to have with each other.

    I don't know how often your mother puts you in this kind of position, but it is important to not allow it to go much further. I always felt guilty telling her no, but I learned how to move past it.

    Sorry for my rant!:shame:
  7. ^^^Thanks Twinkie. It sounds like our situations are quite similar. My brother was born when I was 11. From that point on I became the parent. When I turned 16 my mother even asked me to drop out of school so that I could help out (of course I said no). When I moved across country I tried to step out of the role of being the parent and focus on my own relationship with my husband. But it seems like there is always some thing that pulls me back. Two years ago I seriously considered taking full custody of my brother (my family asked me to do so). But decided against because I felt that she needed to step up and learn to take care of herself and her child.

    Either way she ended up in a program run through the church that assists you in learning to budget and maintain your household. So I thought I was off the hook and could finally stop worrying about them. This has just been a rude awakening that it will never happen. She has seen me in this role for too long. I still havent called her back yet. I guess I just need so more time to cool off and reevaluate my situation.