I am the oldest of 6 kids in my family. It’s myself 23, Tom 20, Benjy 17 and then we have triplet siblings age 3. When My parents had the triplets they knew that my mom wanted to go back to work so it was decided that I at age 20 I would be the triplets main care giver. I put everything on hold. I quit my job because I was set to begin college anyway. That was the plan anyway. Oh, I do get paid to watch the triplets, but this was only supposed to be temporary and it’s been 3 years. I had plans of my own and I plan to pursue them still but it makes it hard when my parents both work long hours and don’t arrive home from work until sometimes 8 at night. I talked to my parents, I said you know this was supposed to be temporary until the triplets got a little older then they could be with a sitter. I said that I have plans to go to college and start my life. My parents told me that the kids depend on me (which they do) and that me leaving at a crucial time in their lives would not work. Friends of mine said I should just move forward with my plans and even move out of the house and leave it up to my parents to figure out everything with the kids. I can’t help but feel guilty about that plan though. How should I approach this?

Dear Cam,

I totally understand your plight and the fact that you love your siblings and feel an obligation to them and your parents but what is happening here is wrong.
Your parents have no right to control your life and make you feel guilty for wanting to start your own. They chose to have a second family, at a much later stage in life now THEY are responsible to raise them. You are 23 years old and your life should be growing and learning and developing not diapering, parenting and raising your siblings.
Cam, the children are 3 years old. they have had your one on one attention since birth. At this point they are certainly old enough for daycare or a Nanny. Children adjust and conform. It will not damage them or scar them.
Cam, sit your parents down and deliver the news like the adult that you are. Tell them next semester you are going to college, starting your life and giving them time to make arrangements for the triplets. Be firm and be decisive.
You have the right to start your life, you have been more than patient and helpful.
Now is your time to grow and move forward with your life and your parents will have to understand and accept your decision.

Good Luck & Huge Muther Hugs,

One Tough Muther

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