Dear Snarky – My Mom Favors and is Enabling Our Older Sister

Dear Snarky,

We’re two sisters who are sick and tired of our mother enabling our oldest sister. We’re both college students that have been working doing instacart during the coronavirus to make extra money. Meanwhile, our oldest sister, who flunked out of school, thinks she is too good to actually work and has been living off of our mom.

We were both amazed when my mom told us our sister got a job. Turns out her job is being part of a pyramid scheme selling make up and my mom gave my sister $500 for her “selling starter kit.”

If this isn’t bad enough my mom told us that we need to buy $200 each worth of product from our sister to help her meet her sales quota. We’ve also been told that we should each host a Zoom cosmetics party for our sister. Really?

How do we get our mom to wake up and quit throwing money away? It’s hurtful that our mom repeatedly seems to favor one daughter more. I think we’re at our breaking point where our relationship with our mom is going to be damaged forever.

Signed, Two Sad Sisters

Dear Sisters,

Let’s start with the bad news first. You can’t control your mom. If she wants to keep on propping up your sister and financially supporting her that’s her business. I’m not making excuses for your mom but sometimes parents will laser focus their attention on the child that is struggling and pretty much throw everything they’ve got to rescue that kid.

The downside is the rest of the family suffers and the struggling child is artificially being bolstered which in most cases doesn’t solve their problems it just postpones them for a little while.

The good news is you both are hardworking college students and I think you need to sit down with your mother and tell her how you feel. You have nothing to lose by being honest and even if your mom continues to have blinders on when it comes to your older sister at least you’ve made your feelings known and that’s important because you’ve empowered yourself.

You also can take a hard pass on buying make up from your sister or hustling your friends to buy makeup. It’s your money, you earned it and it’s yours to decide how to spend it or save it.

This journey your sister is on maybe a long one so you both need to set boundaries with your mother and sister and repeatedly remind yourself  that you have zero control over what both of them do.

I urge you to stay centered on your own goals and not let the current family dynamic drag you down. Put one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing which is continuing to work hard and get your degree. Just in case your mom isn’t saying this I will. I’m proud of both of you.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – My Mom Favors and is Enabling Our Older Sister

  1. DCollins says:

    agreed. Just because your mother is enabling your sister does not mean that you need to. It is your money, your life, your decision.

  2. Scott says:

    Good advice. I’m sure it sucks, but keep telling yourself that you’re making the hard choices, being responsible, etc. and it will pay off. One of the ways to “soften” telling the sister/mom “no” on buying cosmetics is to subtly remind them that you’re paying for college (on your own, I assume) and all the money you’re earning has to be spent on paying bills. And all your friends are in the same situation, so they don’t have excess spending money. Of course, logic will fall on deaf ears so your advice, Snarky, is the correct one. They have to establish hard boundaries and stick to them. I’m amazed people still fall for the pyramid schemes (errrr, multi-level-marketing).

  3. Linda Ramos says:

    Good advice Snarky as always….tough situation. A wise woman told me one time…..a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child. I’ve always tried to remember that and it took me a while to understand exactly what it meant but having a son go through a terrible time now I understand. The daughter hasn’t found her niche for sure but the sisters shouldn’t support her for sure. Here’s hoping they all turn out okay and find boundless love and understanding.

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