A 16-year-old girl sparked debate on Reddit after seeking advice about her parents, who have 12 children already and want three more.
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“I (16F) live with my parents and 11 siblings,” she explained of her real-life “Cheaper By The Dozen” situation.
The disgruntled sibling, who says she is the fourth child in the brood with ages ranging between 20 and one, revealed her family shares a four-bedroom home that, understandably, feels cramped and leaves her with “no privacy.”
The teen also claimes her parents “put most of the responsibility” on her and her older siblings to care for the younger children “while they lay down and watch TV.”
“True, they can have their breaks but they take them so often that I don’t really get to be a teenager,” the girl lamented.
One night, the teen said her mom asked her to put her twin 3-year-old siblings to bed while she was busy studying for a test and was met with backlash when she refused to do it.
“She said that it is my responsibility as an older child,” the 16-year-old wrote. “I lost my temper and told her that she can’t take care of her 12 kids as it is, and that she should give up her dream of 15 children because she’s depriving the younger ones of a better life.”
Redditors rushed to the girl’s defense, with a majority agreeing that her siblings were the responsibility of her parents and not her. Reactions ranged from urging her to call Child Protective Services to suggesting she move out.
“Her ‘dream’ is only doable with you and the other older kids acting as secondary parents,” one user wrote. “You need to put your foot down and refuse to take on that role; maybe then, she will realize her dream is not only not doable, but is affecting the quality of life of the kids she already has.”
“If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a few hundred times: It is NOT ok to expect kids/teens to parent their younger siblings,” said another.
“She is being a lazy mother,” weighed in a third. “She chose to have kids so she should be taking care of them. I would stop being helpful and move out as soon as you can.”
One Redditor questioned if the teen had asked her parents for an allowance or stipend for all her hard work raising her siblings — to which she replied that she had requested one, but it didn’t go over well.
“I’ve brought it up, but it’s always been shot down under ‘you are their older sibling and it is your [responsibility]. We should not have to pay you to be a part of the family,'” the girl wrote.
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