This Redditor’s elderly mother can barely afford to pay her bills, and his brothers keep leeching off her anyway. Now, he has decided he won’t help his mother out until his brothers do!
OP (Original Poster) is the second-born of four brothers. Their ages range from 55 to 39, and they’re all working.
Unfortunately, their 75-year-old mother has struggled financially in her later years. She’s not in “imminent danger of being homeless,” but it’s enough that when an unexpected bill pops up, OP can hear the stress in her voice.
Since OP’s father passed in 2020, his mother has had to live off her deceased husband’s social security. It’s a meager income, but luckily, she owns the family home “free and clear.”
The Lucky One
Of all her sons, OP has fared better than the others. He’s also been the most responsible of all his brothers.
He noted that he isn’t rich, but he is “well off.” He even has two college kids that he helps support—100% out of his own pocket.
Struggling Through Life
OP’s two younger brothers have done the worst out of the bunch. The third sibling is 49 years old and has never purchased a home, has jumped from girlfriend to girlfriend, moved back home to stay with the parents on multiple occasions, and has now mostly fully moved in with their mother.
Failure to Launch
The youngest of the brothers never truly managed to be independent and never moved out. He still lives in the very room that he grew up in.
Lack of Discipline
For whatever reason, OP’s parents tolerated the youngest son and allowed him to stay in the nest.
Because of this, OP confessed he’s always blamed them to some extent for the part they played in the situation. After all, it’s a parent’s job to prepare their child for life.
Mountain of Debt
OP’s elder brother has done better for himself than the two youngest brothers. He’s married and also owns his own home.
However, OP mentioned his brother isn’t perfect and has failed to manage his finances properly. In fact, as far as he knew, his brother owes “tens of thousands due to foolishness.”
Taken Advantage Of
Even though their mother struggled with the cost of living, OP’s brothers all leech off her. Each way is varied, but all of OP’s brothers seemed to take their mother’s generosity for granted.
The older brother had a cable box still that he’d taken from their mother almost 20 years ago. The others all continued to stay on their mother’s bills in some fashion, devoured her food, used her air conditioner, and the list went on.
To Be Charitable or Not
The struggles of OP’s mother have reached such a point that the brothers have begun to discuss ways of helping her out. It’s the least that sons should do for their elderly mom.
Unfortunately, none of OP’s brothers could commit to “giving her X amount on a monthly basis.” They were all talk and no action.
The brothers went a step further and came to the conclusion that OP should be the one to solely support their mother because he’s the “rich one.”
He was more financially stable and owned his own home. Hence, the brothers felt OP could take up the mantle of caring for their mother without much difficulty—the same couldn’t be said for them.
It Isn’t Untrue
OP admitted that some of what they said held a bit of truth.
He said, “I could certainly help more than they could, but I refuse to do so until the others do their part.”
OP’s brothers all seemed unable to have their lives in order. The youngest would help when he could but never paid rent regularly, the third son would do chores but never help cover the costs of living part-time with his mother, and the first-born son used her cable and probably had other debts the mother would occasionally help with as well.
It seemed the only lucky thing that they’ve got going for them is that all four of them had decent jobs.
All that said, OP wanted to ensure everyone knew he and his brothers weren’t outright terrible human beings. They all have helped their mother in the past and continue to do so at times.
Not Their Father
Each of the brothers did their best to help out around the house with the type of work their dad used to do.
On top of that, they did their best to pitch in and help pay a bill occasionally or even buy something she might need from the store.
A Worsening Situation
OP noted that this wasn’t enough, though. His mother required more “consistent support” now, as she had been forced to start dipping into her savings.
Most months, OP’s mother ran in the red.
For example, OP explained that around a day before he posted this story, his mother called him to tell him she required dental work, which would amount to around $600. It tugged at OP’s heartstrings because he could tell she was distraught.
Even so, all OP told his mother was, “Why don’t you make my brother pay rent so you can have enough money?”
Redditors agreed that OP’s brothers needed to grow up and not only start fending for themselves but also take a more active role in assisting their mother.
One top commenter said, “Not the a**hole. Your brothers live in her home, use the utilities, and eat her food. They both work, and yet neither of them pays. What are they spending their money on? It’s time to either evict them and move your mother to a smaller, more manageable home to release funds, or they start paying regular rent and contribute to the bills. If you help your mum with these circumstances, you would actually be subsidizing two grown-up leeches.”
At the same time, Redditors zoomed in on OP’s shortcomings, with one user saying, “Everyone sucks here. If you are not willing to help, you’ll need to sell the house and go on from there.”
Others, however, zoomed in on OP’s mom, saying she’s ultimately the one at fault for everything happening.
Someone said, “Not the a**hole, but mum is. She needs to be firmer or, as said above, sell the family home for a little one-bed place she can afford, or you’d happily help with it if it’s just her, I suspect! If she can’t force them into adulthood, then she can’t expect you to pay to keep them in the manner to which she has let your siblings become accustomed to.”
“Not the a**hole, but you have to tread carefully. Your mum has been enabling your brothers for 55 years. She’s not going to stop now. I think the best option would be to convince her to downsize to release capital from the house. But make sure the money is tightly tied up in a trust that your brothers can’t get to so that she can live off it,” commented another.
What do you think? Should OP be helping out his mother no matter what, or should he hold out until his brothers start helping, too?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Help His 75-Year-Old Mom Financially Until His Freeloading Brothers Did. They Say It’s His Responsibility Because He’s “Rich,” but They All Need to Stop Mooching off Her! on Quote Ambition.