I live with my two younger sisters, my mother, and my grandparents. I have a few struggles in my life currently (being transgender, a father I refuse to speak to, depression etc), but right now, my living situation is what concerns me.
After my mom and dad split up, my mom moved in with my grandparents, who were kind enough to keep us until my mom got a job and an apartment, but we’ve been living with them for nearly two years now, and they are starting to get tired of it. You see, my mom works as an Uber driver, that’s it. She won’t consider another job because she wants to raise my sibling and I full time (we are 16, 13 and 6). My mom too often has a carefree attitude (“everything will work out”) and makes little effort to move forward. She has a boyfriend, who is great, but he isn’t the best with money, and she is unable to commit to finding a place with him.
I’m worried, about her and my siblings. I start a part time job soon, which is better than my mom, who can only make enough to buy food. Every time I bring up money she gets stressed and unresponsive. I feel powerless.
my father pays her child support every month, but that’s the most he’ll ever do. None of the kids want to see him anymore because he’s abusive, so there’s no help there.
I want to know if there is anything I can do or say that will get my mom to become proactive, I want help. (From the USA)Worried about My Family
Worried about My Family
I am deeply moved by your desire to help the family. Normally, I would encourage someone 16 to worry more about finding ways to take care of themselves — and plan to move out or on to college. But there are several differences in your situation that I believe warrant something other than a more standard reaction. Your father’s abuse triggered a family response. Your grandparents took you all in and your mom did what she could do for money and put the focus on her children. Each of these responses is, considering the situation, wonderful.
The tipping point in your reaction is the level of appreciation and understanding. You value your grandparents, your mother, your mother’s boyfriend, and have a sense of deep caring for your siblings. At the same time you recognize that you have a plan of your own, and that each of the people around you has limitations.
In this instance I would look to find assistance in the form of counseling, vocational guidance, and housing for your mom and your siblings. The best place to begin is with agencies that are known in your area like this http://www.downtownwomenscenter.org/health. They are woven into the community and while they might not be the right ones to deliver exactly what you need — they can certainly point your family in the right direction for getting help.