Internet Backs Daughter Moving Out After Being Forced to 'Raise' Siblings

A daughter gained has attention online after sharing her mother's anger at her for moving out, in a situation some have dubbed "parentification."

The 20-year-old woman posted to popular subreddit "Am I the A**hole" just two days ago, and has already gained over 14,000 votes on her situation.

According to the poster, she is the oldest of five siblings by 11 years, with them being 9, 5 and 3 years old, along with a 10-month-old baby. She claimed that she does the majority of "child rearing" for her siblings and often feels more like the mom than her actual room. The siblings have different fathers, none of which are in the present picture, she said.

"I also cook, clean and do basically anything that needs doing...our Mum, I love her but she isn't great," she wrote.

"My mom when she found out about my plan also told me I can't move out as she 'Needs' me and she won't be able to cope alone and how I'm being selfish and I have responsibilities that are more important."

"I admit I lost it at that as I've been the only one to ever put my responsibilities first and I told her it's not my job to raise her kids, she now thinks I'm entitled and spoiled and has even told my little siblings how I'm going to be leaving them all behind as I'm too interested in myself," she added. "That was a bombshell she dropped before flaunting off to go party and I spent the entire night trying to console them."

As pointed out by many respondents, the situation appeared similar to a phenomenon named "parentification" in which a sibling, often the eldest, takes on the role of a parent in order to care for their younger siblings. The phenomenon has been the subject of TV shows like Shameless, in which the devastating and life-long impacts are also made clear.

Psychology Today defines parentification as "when a child is forced to take on the role of an adult. Many children get pushed into the role of caretaker for their younger siblings or become the referee in their parent's arguments. When caregivers aren't able to fully show up for themselves, children get put into developmentally inappropriate situations."

Various studies have suggested that around 1.4 million children in the U.S. experience some form of parentification, making the Reddit poster far from a unique case.

Woman moving houses
Stock image of a woman moving out of home. Getty Images

With that in mind, the responses were unanimous—she was not in the wrong.

"What are you supposed to do... never move out of the house?" asked one user. "Your youngest sibling is 10 months are you supposed to remain at home caring for your siblings well into your 30s? You deserve your own life, and these are not your children. You ARE entitled... to have your own life. If she needs help with childcare, she needs to source it elsewhere. I'm sure you love your siblings and still want to have an active role in their lives, but this is not your responsibility. If you want to have kids yourself, this time now in your 20s is the very short time you will have complete freedom. Take advantage of that. You're not being selfish. Your mom is being selfish to try to take that from you."

"Your mum is taking you for granted and is trying to use the kids as pawns to guilt you into staying so she doesn't lose her live-in nanny," added another.

While one Reddit user similarly shared: "you can't help your siblings if you are unable to take care of yourself. You are not responsible for raising them but I understand why you are worried about them. Many people have been in your situation and the best thing they did was move out. Now that they are established they can do much more for their siblings. You also don't have to focus on them. It truly is not your responsibility."