‘I’m the youngest and the least qualified, so I guess the childcare just fell to me along with the admin, and now I feel like an unpaid childminder and general dogsbody, which I’m beginning to resent’
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I’m a 27-year-old woman and feel stuck in a rut I don’t know how to get out of.
I still live at home with my parents, and me and my siblings are all involved in the family business.
I do admin, but I also help with my older sister’s two kids – a boy and a girl – while she and her husband work in the business.
I can’t even remember how this arrangement happened.
I’m the youngest and the least qualified, so I guess the childcare just fell to me along with the admin, and now I feel like an unpaid childminder and general dogsbody, which I’m beginning to resent.
I don’t really have a life of my own – I’m always ferrying kids around like a taxi driver or stuck behind a computer, and meanwhile I have no job satisfaction, my social life has suffered and I’m painfully single.
I feel like moving out or grabbing a backpack and travelling, but neither is possible with the current Covid restrictions, plus financially I rely on my income from the family business.
I know I need to make a change before I wake up at 37 and I’m still in the same position.
My parents have been under stress during the pandemic, trying to keep everything going and keep the business afloat, but no one ever seems to consider what I might want or need.
How do you think I should deal with it?
Yes, the past few months have been tough on everyone and we need to pull together to support each other, but that certainly doesn’t mean your needs and wants
It sounds like you are taken for granted, but you have to speak up. Childcare, for example, is not part of your admin job in the business and you’re not getting paid for it. If you didn’t do it, your sister would have to pay someone else.
So either suggest they pay you extra for all the stuff you do for the kids or they find a properly qualified childminder because too much of your free time is taken up by it. Quite frankly, if they don’t like it, tough!
I’m sure you love your niece and nephew and your sister is taking advantage of that. Unless you make a stand, she’ll carry on because it suits her.
It’s more important than ever to have downtime to take care of yourself and also to connect with friends, even if it is two metres apart and it’s OK to put those things to the top of the list.
Hopefully, by saying something, your family will think about how much you do
for them and they’ll let you know they appreciate it.