Mom Who Had Her First Child As A Teen Told She's A 'Horrible Mother' For Giving Her Young Kids A Better Life

She feels guilty but refuses to keep apologizing.

A distraught mom and an agry teen wavebreakmedia /; cottonbro studio / Pexels; Canva

Eldest children are nearly always jealous of their younger siblings to one degree or another—after all, they get the parents who have had some practice at parenting. 

For one mother on Reddit, however, her oldest daughter's jealousy towards her younger brothers and sisters has many layers.

And as she shared in a post to the "r/AmITheA--hole" (AITA) subReddit, a forum where people ask for help in figuring out if they're in the wrong in scenarios of conflict, her daughter's resentment is beginning to become a real problem within their family.


The mother had her oldest daughter when she was a teenager, and she is resentful of her difficult upbringing.

Having her first daughter CJ at just 17 years old, the mom struggled to adequately provide for her child, and though her basic needs were always met, there wasn't money for much else.

She writes that she did all she could to give CJ a good life, saving up for Christmases and birthdays, but that CJ got little else in the way of material possessions or activities, and they only went on two vacations CJ's entire childhood. 

Thankfully, by the time CJ was 17 and ready to go to college, the mom had risen through the ranks at her job, gotten promoted, and was making a decent income. She began to buy CJ things she wanted, and even used a job bonus to finally take her to Disney World. "It was nice that after years of struggling, I could spoil her a little."


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The mom has since gotten married and had two more children who live financially comfortably, and her oldest daughter resents it.

She admits that her two youngest children, Jack and Melissa, live very differently than CJ did, with big Christmases and birthdays, lots of trips, and all the other trappings of parents who "live very comfortably," as the mom put it.

She has tried to even up the score with CJ in later years but the discrepancies are glaring. CJ pointed them out during a family vacation, so her mom sat her down and apologized for the way she raised her.

"I wish I had been in a better place when she was their age," she told CJ. "I know I can never truly make up for it... I know it'll take time for her to heal from that."


But CJ gets angry every time Jack or Melissa gets anything from their mother and things came to a head when, for Jack's birthday, the family went to see the Broadway show "Frozen." CJ was visibly angry, and her mom tried to discuss it with her, but it didn't help.

CJ finally blurted out, "You know what I got for my 5th birthday, Jack? A Barbie from the dollar store."

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The mom is distraught because she doesn't know how else to make up for the way she raised her daughter.

She asked CJ if what she actually wants is for her to give her younger siblings less, and CJ said no, but that she feels entitled to complain about it whenever she wants. 


After their argument went poorly, she received a text from CJ calling her a "horrible mother," which left her totally at a loss as to what else she can do to fix things with CJ. "I cannot continuously apologize," she writes.

People on Reddit empathized with her daughter's feelings but agreed that she had done the best she can as a parent.

"I understand CJ’s position," one person wrote, "[but] I don’t get the hint from your post that you neglected her while giving her siblings more." They also suggested CJ see a therapist to work through the difficulties she faced being raised by a teenage mother.

Others had a bit harsher view of CJ, however. "She wasn't destitute," one Redditor wrote, "her mother was doing the best she could... She's being utterly petulant... How long does she expect you to grovel?"

One person got to the heart of the matter. "She did her best, what more can you ask?" the person wrote of the mom. "Her daughter is upset at the situation. But that's not the mother's fault, nor the 5-year-olds fault."


"She needs to talk to a therapist and come to terms with the fact that everyone gets dealt a different hand," they went on to say.

No doubt that CJ's upbringing was incredibly challenging, and poverty can be deeply traumatizing—so much so that they can actually change a child's brain, as the video below explains.

Given that, it's certainly easy to understand why CJ is so hurt and angry.


Still, most of us in time come to a simple but nonetheless startling realization about our parents—like us, they are just people muddling through life doing the best they can, and they don't have any more answers on how to do it correctly than we do. 

Hopefully, in time, and with a bit of help, CJ and other people like her can come to understand their parents did their best, and begin to move forward from their difficult pasts.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.