Single Mom Struggling To Pay Rent Asks How To Deal With Her Teens Who Won't Share A Room Or Babysit Their Little Sister

They say it's not their responsibility.

Mom with teen and younger daughter Anastasia Shuraeva / Pexels

A single mother struggling just to put food on the table had no choice but to have her 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter share a bedroom after being forced to move out of their original home that she could no longer afford. Her kids are opposed to having to share their space with one another and are calling their new living arrangements “unacceptable.” 

Now, the mother is wondering if she is being unfair to her children and if she should find any other way to make ends meet and allow them to have their own rooms. 


The mother is struggling financially and had to move into a smaller living space where there are not enough bedrooms for each of her children. 

Sharing her story to the subreddit thread, r/AmITheA–hole, the woman asked other users if there was a different way she should handle the situation and make life easier for her teenagers. 

She began her post by revealing that her husband passed away unexpectedly a few months back, leaving her to care for her three children on her own. She has a 16-year-old son, a 14-year-old daughter and a two-year-old daughter. 

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After her husband’s death, finances became tight and the family was forced to move from their home. “Due to the significant decrease [in] income, I was no longer able to continue renting where we were, and all I can afford is a one bedroom apartment,” the woman wrote. 

The current sleeping arrangements in the new apartment have posed an issue. While the woman sleeps in the living room with her toddler, her two teenagers share the one bedroom. Since they used to have their own bedrooms in their previous apartment, she has tried her best to make her children still feel like they have their own space. 

However, the teens are displeased with her efforts. “I tried adding a privacy screen in the middle so they feel like they have their own space, but they are telling me that this isn't acceptable,” she shared. 


While the mother is on the hunt for a better paying job to provide for her children, she has so far had no luck. “I can't get a second job because I can't afford to pay someone to care for my daughter outside of daycare hours,” she wrote. 

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The woman’s teenagers refuse to babysit their younger sister or contribute financially. 

“Neither of my kids are willing to help, and they say my youngest is not their responsibility,” she revealed.

The heartbroken mother realizes that this is not the ideal living situation for her children, however, she wishes that they would recognize the hardships she’s had to endure just to keep them all in the apartment, including sacrificing her own meals so that her children could eat. 


She asks if it would be more appropriate to have her son sleep in the living room with her while her two girls share the bedroom. “I do not live in the US but it is not common for teenagers of the opposite sex to share a bedroom. That is something I do absolutely recognize,” she wrote.

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Redditors encouraged the mother to let her children in on the financial situation so they would have a better understanding. 

“Explain to the kids what is happening and that you are trying to fix the situation. Take them to the food bank with you,” one user commented. “They need to know that you're doing your best during a difficult time. You don't need to hide this from them.” 

“They're old enough to understand, and likely will be helped by knowing what's going on and why,” another user wrote. “You can't shield them from this, but there's a good chance you'll get a better response from them if you include them in your decision-making that affects them.” 


“My dad died when I was 11, and my brother was 9. My mom was up-front about any difficult decisions we had to make, and it made us more collaborative the entire time,” another user shared. 

“As someone who grew up poor, please don't hide this from them. They should know and it might be time for them to step up and help you,” another user suggested. “I hope things will be sorted out and please remember that if you don't feed yourself you will be sick. If you are sick you cannot attend work or help your children, mostly your youngest daughter.” 

While the teenagers are undoubtedly going through a difficult time between the loss of their father and having their own bedrooms stripped from them, they should be able to recognize their mother’s current situation and hopefully empathize with her. 


The woman followed up with her post, sharing that she would inform her teenagers of their financial struggles. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.