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Mom Has An 18/30 Rule For Her Kids — They Have To Move Out Within 30 Days Of Turning 18 No Matter What

Photo: Aleshyn_Andrei / Shutterstock
sad teenager kicked out

Writer Victoria Lemons shared on TikTok the rule her mother had for her and her siblings that made their lives infinitely harder, and how she broke free from the trauma that rule created.

Her mom had an 18/30 rule: Kids had to move out of the house within 30 days of turning 18.

“The rule in my mom’s house was 18 and 30,” Lemons explained. “Once you turned 18, you had 30 days to get out.”

   

   

Lemons’ brother went into the military when he was 17. Lemons herself graduated high school at 17, turned 18 in August, and moved into her first apartment just one month later. 

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“It was so hard to go to work every day, pay for my own place, all my utilities [with] no guidance. My mother was horrible with money,” she said. “I attempted at the same time to go to college; that didn’t work out at that time. It was too much.”

“I was literally going from being in an abusive survival mode to lonely survival mode," she shared. "And it is traumatizing.”

“Some people don’t realize just how much of a difference giving your children some tools, giving them some time, giving them some space to grow, benefits them in the long run,” Lemons added.

In a second post, Lemons answered various questions from her followers, describing how her mother’s mentality created an environment where she and her siblings weren’t nurtured in the ways they wanted to be. 

   

   

Lemons also explained that her mom had her and her two siblings with their father, yet after they separated, she didn’t request child support. “She had this mentality like, ‘I’m gonna do it all on my own, I don’t need him’ kind of thing,” she shared. “So she never even got child support, but she also never filed for it.”

Lemons explained that she was only able to afford an apartment because she began working at age 15 as a method to get out of the abusive household.

“At 16, I was working two jobs, and I graduated high school at 17, so I just worked, worked, worked,” she said, explaining that her mom never asked for money. 

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Lemons shared that her mom 'didn’t want to be a parent anymore.'

"She just wanted us to get out," Lemons added, also speaking about how she never felt safe or comfortable in her mother's house. "I never felt like my mom’s house was home," she said. "We grew up in a very abusive family home life, and we didn’t feel comfortable there.”

   

   

“It wasn’t home. It was the house we lived in,” she continued, describing the ways she’s now actively working to break that cycle of trauma for her own children. 

“My children have a home,” she declared, explaining that she and her husband bought a seven-bedroom home with the thought that their parents could stay there as they aged, and if their kids needed to stay, they’d be able to do so. “It’s a home. I’m so thankful that my husband and I get to give that to our children,” she said. 

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In another post, Lemons challenged the idea that adversity is what makes people stronger.

“Is it what makes you strong? Or is it what just makes you have to survive? Because there’s a difference,” she explained. 

   

   

Lemons argued that strength and confidence come from "knowing that there’s people who love and support you and nurture you, who will build you up, who tell you they’re proud of you, who want to see you win."

“People who tear you down and push you out into the world, that were supposed to care for you and nurture you and love on you, to me, that’s not strength," she continued. "That’s not what makes someone strong. That’s what makes someone have to survive.”

Lemons touched on how hard it is to thrive in a constant state of fight-or-flight, and how hard it is to get out of survival mode once you’re in it. “So many people are in survival mode and they don’t even know it,” she said. “They’re just repeating cycles because they don’t see it as abuse. They see it as, ‘Well, I did it. I’m fine.’ But you still didn’t deserve it.”

“Just because you turned out okay doesn't mean it was right,” Lemons declared — a truth that’s worth shouting from the rooftops.  

Lemons is doing the hard work of breaking the cyclical nature of abuse, healing herself and her family, and making sure her kids have a soft place to land, even if they are technically adults.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture and all things to do with the entertainment industry.