Big brother…grow up!

When is it time to say, grow up? My brother who is 4 years older than me has lived with my husband and I for Bailey’s whole life and he’s almost 8! In the beginning I loved it because he helped out and we were not close growing up at all so we were able to become close. He has had an lasting impact on Bailey, they are VERY close.  They are fishing buddies and will be forever. I’m very grateful for that. 

But now he is almost 32 and with a child of his own. He is obviously not with her mother anymore and that is a whole different post in itself!! I  love all my nieces and nephews but I’m extremely close to this one because I have had a large hand in raising her. He lives in my basement and owns nothing. Everything he has was given to him. We even gave him the money for the truck he’s driving! I want more for him but it doesn’t seem like he wants it. Like he’s content with his life this way. He should want more for his daughter…right? I think it’s partly my fault. I do everything for everyone. I’m the one who gives Emily her bath, I feed her, I wash and make sure her clothes and bedding are clean.

So why would he want to move out? My brother stacks dirty dishes down in his room and it pisses me off and it’s usually Jason who gets the brunt of it because he happens to be there.  I also have a hard time telling my brother to do anything because I’m HIS little sister and I feel weird. It’s caused Jason and I to fight and it FOR SURE has put a financial strain on us. When we moved I swore he wasn’t coming with but here he is. And now with Emily, if he didn’t live here I wouldn’t see her as much as I do now. I’m at a loss of what to do about this. I don’t want to ruin the relationship I have  built with my brother and I want to continue being very close to Emily but it’s time for him to have his own life and it’s definitely time to have our life back! It’s never been just me Jason and Bailey.

So what can I do?  How can we talk without hard feelings and him saying “fine, I’ll leave and never come back?” I love him but it’s gotten to be to much. So is there an easy way to talk?? We need time to ourselves and he needs his own time with Emily. 

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24 Responses to Big brother…grow up!

  1. SKL says:

    I know this is tough. I have a brother of the same age, and he also tends to be too comfortable receiving help from people instead of bucking up and working some overtime. He also happens to be way too sensitive, so how can anyone tell him anything? We have a big family so each member has given up to a point and by the time he works his way back to the first person, it feels uncomfortable to say no – but in the big picture, it’s just wrong. Everyone needs help sometimes and we need to be willing to give it – but at some point there has to be some giving to balance the taking, and some folks don’t get that part. My brother always has a story ready about how things are going to get so much better right after he gets over this hump. He’s going to get lots of overtime at his wonderful new job, bla bla bla, but the next thing you know he hates his job and he can’t bring himself to work any more than his minimum hours, but oh man, is he tired at the end of the day – no time for a second job or even to clean the cat litter. But at some point we have to say – too bad. It’s your problem. Why should I make it my problem?

    Like you, I want my kids to have a good relationship with their uncle, but I believe that can happen whether I give him financial help or not. Otherwise, who needs that in our kids’ life?

    Fortunately, I don’t have my brother under my roof, so all I have to do is say “no” or ignore his requests. In your case, it’s stickier. Maybe turn off the utilities to the basement apartment and say you just can’t afford them any more? Let him know the washer is free so he can do his daughter’s laundry now? Send him to the grocery store with a list but no cash? Ask him to lug about two years’ worth of firewood uphill from a block away? Show him an ad in the paper for an apartment? I don’t know, maybe I’d just ask my husband to be the bad guy. It will hurt for a while, but I think you will be truly happy once things settle down with just your immediate family.

    Good luck, and welcome!

  2. Tosha says:

    I’ve been there done that. My sister moved in with us after my dad kicked her out. Told her to get a place of her own and take care of herself.. I took her in. It was supposed to last 6 weeks. It lasted a year. When she moved in she brought my niece with her. I ended up being the maid and her built in babysitter. She did like your brother with stacking dishes in her room. She’d come in late at night or early the next morning and she was gone all the time with me doing her laundry and taking care of my niece.. We ended up feeling smothered and fed up. One weekend we had had enough. It was labor day weekend and she was supposed to come in friday morning and help me clean house before she had to go to work. She never showed up. Hubby said enough is enough and gave her the weekend to get out of our house. We were going to the lake that weekend and by the time we got back he wanted her gone. She borrowed the money from my dad to move out and get her own place but kicking her out was the best thing we ever did for her.

    Letting her live with us just gave her more freedom and less responsibilities. She didnt help with bills or money. She tripled my gas, grocery, & Laundry bills..We were just more than fed up. Seriously kicking her out was the best thing.. She was forced to take care of herself and her daughter. Now she is married to a wonderful guy and has a excellent job working for a law firm… She wouldnt have had those things had we continued to take care of her..

  3. Joy says:

    It’s so easy to tell someone else what to do. I suck at telling people things that are bothering me so I’m no one to give any one else advice on it. I also think I’m to close to the situation. A few things that do bother me are that #1- Jason takes the brunt of the anger because you “can“ take it out on him. #2-he doesn’t go to work everyday or work a part time job at nights or on weekends and he sees you are struggling so hard and #3-neither you, Jason and Bailey nor him and Emily have your “own” things. All of your “family traditions” include him (them). Emily should have memories of her “dad’s” house and her room at “dad’s.” All of her memories will be of you and Jason and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but I think she’d benefit more by “getting” to come to your house for a bubble bath and sleep over.

    I know you feel bad, I would too. If it were my brother I’d feel just like this. I’d want to help. You know I would but are you really helping him? What would happen if you told him say in X amount of time, he had to find his own place? What would he do? Would he be able to make it on his own? It’s easy for him now to say, go fishing and spend money on that and “if” he doesn’t have money for rent or food or gas, Jason will have to pay so he has no worries. I think that is so unfair to Jason who NEVER misses work. Very unfair.

    I’m glad you and he got together and now have a good relationship and I know you feel if you tell him anything, he may get mad and not talk to you but do you think that would last for the rest of your life or would he one day realize you were only trying to help him? It’s a hard call. I know what I’d do only because it’s been 8 years and he seems so comfortable but I know in the end, you have a heart that’s way to big and so does Jason.

    The only other thing that does bother me if you look at it from our position, is when you guys need to borrow, we are paying for him too. He works for my husband, and it’s rare for him to put in a full week, our son works hard and we are paying for your brother to eat and play. Have you ever looked at it from our position?? I love your brother. He is without a doubt one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met but he is cruising through life, taking advantage of us and our son and you, who we love.

    I know talk is cheap and if it were me, I’d never be able to kick my brother out either so I’m a bad one to talk!!!!! The only reason I’m saying anything is I’m not sure if you’ve ever looked at it from someone else’s point of view and YOU asked.

  4. Sue says:

    Oh, I think it’s bye bye brother. Like Tosha said, you just end up giving them more freedom and less responsibility. Josh is Emily’s dad, you’re the aunt, but you’re doing all the parenting things. There is no easy way to tell him to grow up, but I think for your sanity and Jason’s that he needs to go. I don’t think you need to be worried about loosing Emily because her mom needs you guys as much as Josh does! Maybe you need to find a smaller place that there is no room for him and if he’s not giving you money now for rent or groceries or electricity then demanding it won’t do much good b/c he knows that you’ll still let him live there if he doesn’t pay. I am afraid that you can’t offer him any more anything because you’d be right back to where you are now. It sucks, but I think you’d be happier in the end. Good luck:)

  5. nikki says:

    Joy- If we ask for help it’s because we have exhausted all other options. You are literally our last option and we haven’t asked for help in along time. Jason dreads it!!!! I do understand where you are coming from and it’s not fair for anyone in this situation. I think it’s time:( I am very sad about it though.

  6. Joy says:

    Don’t for a second take me wrong. We don’t EVER mind helping YOU. There have been so many times in my life that we’ve needed our parents help. That’s what parents are for.

  7. nikki says:

    Oh I didn’t take it like that at all. We appreciate you and Paul so much!!!! That’s why we don’t abuse it,take it for granted. It’s nice to know you will always be there for us. We just like to solve the problems our selves if possible. Makes us stronger, we can beat anything.

  8. jason says:

    I will comment tonight. Those of you who are interested will check this comment section after 8pm central. you wont be dissapointed.

  9. nikki says:

    You’re too funny Jason!!!

  10. Joy says:

    Okay Jason, it’s 5 after 8 PM central, I’m waiting!!! LOL!!!

  11. Jason says:

    JOSH is a brother to me like no other. We have been through a lot of stuff good and bad. Somethings nobody else knows about and will always stay that way. Josh is one of the most easy going guy’s I know. Nothing bothers him and he would give you the shirt off his back (even though I gave him the shirt). Like Nicole said he has given up for now on the good things in life. I mean more or less being able to take care of Emily money wise. He is a great father and she is so young now she doesn’t understand to much. But give her a couple years and there will be stuff she needs or wants from the store for example, but josh can never save money through the weekend. He can’t save. He plans on working overtime on his last check of the month to cover rent. He usually got it but had no money for anything else. Gas to get to work, chip in on grocery’s or Emily’s Co-pay and prescription because she got sick two to three days before payday. I love Josh as a brother because he is, but like Nicole says he needs to grow up. I was going to write more but this has gotten to long. No one likes to read horribly long comments. HINT HINT

  12. Joy says:

    If I have something to say, I will make a LONG comment!! If you don’t know it by now, I’m a BLABBERMOUTH!!! Love it or leave it!

  13. Joy says:

    PS…just so you know, I like Josh too but like you say, Emily is going to grow up and see him the way he is just like you and Nikki had to grow up and see things you didn’t like and it will hurt and bother her because her mother is in the same boat so she will have to rely on you and Nikki and I know you will be there but you and I both know, it’s NOT the same thing.

  14. Jason says:

    any extra money goes to the bailey/wallmart fund. Nothing in the world makes me happier then coming home with surprises for bailey and nicole. I just don’t see him being able to get her special things when she needs them or wants them. And emily’s mom is such a piece of $%^@!44 she cant get anything that doesn’t come from the state or a mans pants. She’s a whole nother post all together.

  15. amberfireinus says:

    Guess what, I have a brother who is really very much the same, except he’s now 48 years old!

    My two brothers have told me that I am condescending to them and that I tell them how to live their lives, but really why is it that they can make horrible life choices and expect ME to pick up the pieces and live with them and not have a say?

    My mother is dying and this process has been very interesting. My brother has lived with his daughter in my mother’s house for the past 10 years. My mother has done all of the hard stuff with my niece, and I too have had to step up to the plate because he hasn’t. Financially, emotionally and physically.

    Now my mother is spending the remainder of her life with me. My brother is inheriting her house. But guess what I had to do to protect the house? I had to put the house in my niece’s name and put it in trust for her until she is 35 with him having the ability to live in it for the remainder of his life so that he could not mortgage it or piss it away with stupid choices and decisions.

    Since my mother is no longer there to do homework and stuff with my 13 year old niece, her grades have gone down to D’s. Because she doesnt have parents who make her do it. They never step up to the plate.

    I have had to come to the point where I have drawn the line. I am making choices not to pick up the pieces any more. Im letting both of my brothers live with their stupid choices, rather than me continuing to rescue them.

    After all, I am enabling their behavior by doing it all for them all of the time! So time to grow up and take responsibility.

    How you tell your brother is: I love you. I want the best for you. But I now need time with my own family. Having you here is wonderful, but it is becoming a strain on my family. We need time in our home to ourselves. I have done my job and helped you as best as I can. Now it is your turn to help me by taking responsibility of your own life, so that I can live mine.

  16. Joy says:

    Bravo Amber.

  17. Sue says:

    Well said Amber.

  18. nikki says:

    Very well said Amber. I just tend tend to put my own feelings on the back burner because my nieces mother is a real piece of work for example,we had Emily on Monday and she was COVERED with mosquito bites, stopped counting at 75!!! I want her to be taken care of and my brother would never harm her and believe me he was pissed too but right now I am there and can make sure she is okay. I just keep thinking what kind of life will she have if I’m not there to make sure everything is okay. I will get over that, I will just have to:( Thank you everyone for such great comments.

  19. Joy says:

    Nikki, that’s just terrible 😦 Poor little thing.

  20. Jane says:

    Boy Nikki, you sure did jump right in! LOL!! This hits very close to home to me. We had my husbands sister living with us. We lived in a trailer while we were building our house and we said by the time our house was done, we were moving in alone. She was a slob and ruined a lot of our stuff just by being piggy. We saved money for 10 years to build our dream home and barns and buildings and there was NO way I was going to let her move into that with us. She has an adorable little girl and could have cared less about taking care of her. I didn’t mind doing that either as I had my son and one more didn’t seem like a lot of work and we adored her. They were like brother and sister, like your niece Nikki. The problem was she was out all night and slept all day and just came and went whenever she wanted and gave us no respect. She knew, we told her. She lived with my mother in a law for a while and one day just took off and left her daughter behind!

    It really is a better thing that my mother in law has her and has legal custody because this woman only cares where her next drink, joint and piece of ass is coming from and what kind of life is that for this precious child? She’s at our home as much as my mother in law’s and we adore her and her life will be much more normal now. It is sad, but this little girl is much better off with us. Maybe one day my sister in law will turn around but I wasn’t going to let her ruin my life nor be her maid. The child was one thing, she was another.

    Do what your heart says Nikki. Only you can decide this.

  21. Tosha says:

    Nikki.. You have to think too.. What would he do if you were NOT there to help take care of him and provide for him? He’d have to step up to the plate right? He either will or he wont and its not your responsibility. It took me a long time to realize that and deal with it when it came to my sister. She never had the money for anything and was always borrowin gmoney from me or my parents. She didnt help out with any bills.. but she seemed to have hte money to shop (not saying your brother is like that.. just telling my experience).. Come time when i needed $$ for bills she never had it.. The best thing i ever did was kick her out and make her take responsibility for her life.. she learned how to work it and manage and she got a better job in order to do so..

  22. nikki says:

    I know my brother would step up and do all the things he should if he had to. I think he’s too comfy right now. I think I will start just by not doing every little thing for her and not clean up after her and maybe he will see. I don’t want to just kick him out and be done with it because this is partly my fault. I guess I need to teach him how to be a Dad. He didn’t have one so maybe he just doesn’t know, and I’ve been doing it for so long that he never had to learn. Baby steps I think are the key to this situation. What a toughy!!!

  23. Jane says:

    Maybe you don’t have to “end” it with him Nikki. After all, does he know how you feel about all the work you have to do for him? It sounds like his daughter is the least of it. Just to clean up after himself might help. I hated that the most about “my” guest. She was a grown woman and she left our dishes in her room too and it wasn’t my niece I minded, it was her not doing anything to help me.

    Maybe you just really need to sit him down and say X-X-X. Men don’t think like we do either and he may really just not realize how much you resent that. There is a way to tell him how you feel without making him feel like s**t. Tell him how “you feel” and that your just tired and it’s not fair to your husband to take the brunt of you anger when it’s not him your mad at.

  24. nikki says:

    I don’t think he even thinks about it honestly. He is one of the easiest going guys I know. His motto is NO WORRIES, literally it’s tattooed across his stomach! He doesn’t really take anything in life too seriously and he’s always been like that. I’m not sure I will ever change him. I think being forced into reality will change him before anything else. I need to cut the strings so to speak but do it in a loving way and continue to be a positive role model for Emily. It will help everyones relationship, mine and Jason, his and Emilys,

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