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Thread: Help Living Situation with Sister

  1. #1

    Help Living Situation with Sister

    I recently graduated this spring and have been living with my sister, her husband, their two daughters (2 & 8), and their 10 yr old dog for the last 2 months. From the beginning it was decided, after graduation because I had no job and no means of extending my current lease that I would be open to stay at my sister's house rent-free so long as I helped out (my room is a storage room in their house). The plan was I would live there for maybe 2-3 months while I got myself situated and thereafter as soon as my brother's house purchase went through I would move in with him and live with him as my permanent residence. She even asked me prior to me needing a place to stay if I could stay at her place for 2 weeks and watch her daughters because her nanny up and left and she had no one to take care of them. My sister also said, since I was having trouble finding a job that she'd see about getting me a volunteer position at the hospital she works for to get experience while looking for a job and to build a portfolio for grad school. In the beginning this was all fine and dandy, but as time has rolled around there's just been a bunch of buildup of issues. Now I'm trying to decide what to do in this situation, what place do I have, and if I should just up and leave.

    Here's a list of what I did and I never got paid, I never asked nor wanted to be paid because I was living rent free
    First 1.5 month
    I watched my oldest niece 24/7 for 2 weeks until her summer school program started
    Every day of school I got her ready for school, made her breakfast, packed her lunch and took her to and from school
    Drove her to all her dance and karate classes (3 per week)
    70% of the week I was the one getting her ready for dinner
    I washed and loaded everyone's dishes after breakfast and dinner every single day
    Every morning I would clean the kitchen and dining room area
    I made sure they never had to take the trash and recycling out
    I cleaned the entire 2-story house every other week
    I washed my bathroom that I shared with my nieces every other week
    There were multiple days where I was asked to watch the girls late at night and put them to bed
    While they were at the hospital with their youngest daughter I was to watch my niece 24/7 for about 1.5 weeks
    I took care of her dog multiple times
    I offered to do their grocery shopping multiple times, but they refused because they said they would do it.(It's been over 2 months and no one's ever bought groceries)

    Time goes by and a little bit over a month I get a job offer out of nowhere, it was also at the very exact time that I was finally approved to start volunteering at my sister's job. Before I even considered the job I asked her if there would be any repercussions on her to look bad if I didn't take the position. If there were I would turn the job away, if it were no then I would most definitely take the job.

    As a result from my job I was no longer able to pick up my niece from school and take her to dance lessons, and I arrive around 7pm from work due to the 1hr+ commute, so everyone's done with dinner by the time I get home, and I usually eat dinner before I even get "home".

    Last 3 weeks
    -I still take my eldest niece to school every single morning before work
    -For the last 3 weeks I've been helping my sister move houses and would help her move the moment I got home from work @7pm up until midnight while her husband stayed at home to put the kids to bed.
    -I always wash the dishes I use and clean my area
    -Any of my nieces' laundry I fold and put away for them

    Now at the 2 month mark we're dealing with issues that I have never helped out and all I do is come and go as I please for work. I don't help feed their daughters at dinner time, I'm not around to help with babysitting on the weekends, I only wash my dishes and not the whole house's dishes and they assumed because I've been at my job for 3 weeks now that I would have paid them rent and they said rent in the surrounding area for a room would be $900. It's come down to an argument with her saying that I am freeloading and taking advantage of her and her family. On top of that she says it's my fault that I embarrassed her at her work when I decided not to go through with volunteering and as a result she looks bad now. There was also a situation where I was in the house by myself and some crazy video off of twitter with a lot of cussing went off and apparently my sister's husband has surveillance cameras within the house and heard it while looking through footage. He then went off on me that I am not allowed to watch those sort of things in his house where his daughters live. (No one was around at the time) Apparently it didn't matter that they weren't around, but because of the situation I'm no longer allowed to be left alone with the girls.

    So now I'm in the ultimatum that I figure out how to help them properly to which I'm not "freeloading" or find somewhere else to stay. If I do leave, should I hack up the one paycheck I've made so far to pay them back for letting me live there, how much? What relationship do I keep at this point? Other advice

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It's your job to find some sort of housing. Look through ads for room, roommates, house shares, etc. The deal was free room and board for nanny/housekeeping services. Now that has changed and you need to move out. They owe you nothing, you owe them nothing.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Wow....I'm sorry but your sister and her husband are quite a piece of work.
    First of all, you haven't been freeloading at all. They've quite frankly treated you like free slave labor. I'm not surprised their nanny up and left and you should do the same. They treat people like trash. You don't owe them anything and their behavior toward you is pretty much outrageous.

    Bottom line is that you have outstayed your welcome, what little welcome you had, and it's best that you move out on your own and don't continue to live with family at all and that includes the arrangement you are contemplating with your brother. Just don't. Better to have your independence even if that means a bit less in the bank. Also, taking a real job is a complete no brainer compared to some volunteer work nonsense. It might have been OK to do while you were looking for work, but you don't place volunteering above a paying job.

    In your shoes, I'd find a place to live asap, move out as quickly as possible, thank them for letting you stay there and then totally distance myself from them. They took advantage of you being there and are being complete jerks to you now. Keep to being polite over the holidays and such and otherwise get busy building your own life, making friends and most importantly making sure that you don't ever need to live with family again.

  4. #4
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Wow....I'm sorry but your sister and her husband are quite a piece of work.
    First of all, you haven't been freeloading at all. They've quite frankly treated you like free slave labor. I'm not surprised their nanny up and left and you should do the same. They treat people like trash. You don't owe them anything and their behavior toward you is pretty much outrageous.

    Bottom line is that you have outstayed your welcome, what little welcome you had, and it's best that you move out on your own and don't continue to live with family at all and that includes the arrangement you are contemplating with your brother. Just don't. Better to have your independence even if that means a bit less in the bank. Also, taking a real job is a complete no brainer compared to some volunteer work nonsense. It might have been OK to do while you were looking for work, but you don't place volunteering above a paying job.

    In your shoes, I'd find a place to live asap, move out as quickly as possible, thank them for letting you stay there and then totally distance myself from them. They took advantage of you being there and are being complete jerks to you now. Keep to being polite over the holidays and such and otherwise get busy building your own life, making friends and most importantly making sure that you don't ever need to live with family again.
    Amen. I think I know why the nanny up and left too. Tell her that you’re sorry she feels that way find a place to live and leave .

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  6. #5
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    There's a Benjamin Franklin saying that house guests are like fish -- they start to stink after 3 days. You've overstayed your welcome. It's time to leave. Use your paychecks for whatever deposit you need for your new place. Even if you gave your sister some money, it won't be enough and it won't be appreciated. Besides, you saved them a ton of nanny money over the last 2 months. She probably will throw how unappreciative you've been in your face for years to come. Just keep thanking her for letting your stay there. Don't argue and don't respond to her attempt to argue with you. Like in any relationship, it's time to move on.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I agree, it's time to move on, even if all you can afford is a room somewhere. I think you worked pretty hard at first when you didnt have a job, but now you do, so get out of there. Your relationship with your sister may be strained for a long time to come. Be sure to thank her for letting you stay, dont get into an argument with her about anything. Be kind to your nieces.

  8. #7
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    Time to move. Do not give them any money.

  9. #8
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    Wow, they're awful. No one reasonable would still expect to use you as free labor to the extent that they have now that you have obligations to a workforce, nor would they be angry at you for choosing a paying job over volunteering. I think your sister and her husband are just looking for money and reaching for things to complain about now that they have to take back some responsibility for their kids. Move out as soon as possible, no question. They'll soon see how much childcare really costs when they don't have you to take advantage of.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I don't see a point in creating a villain, do you? If the goal is to maintain a good relationship with sister after moving out on your own, then do that. Search for a room in a boarding house or another affordable situation, move your stuff out, and negotiate with sister any help you WANT to offer to her after you move out. If sister doesn't accept your offer graciously, ignore her reaction and calmly tell her that your offer is on the table if she chooses to change her mind.

    This leaves the door open for sister to 'see' and appreciate your value at some point, and that's psychologically helpful to you because you haven't burned any bridges.

    Head high, and be the adult in this thing for both of you.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member superfan's Avatar
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    Find a place of your own ASAP. There earning your keep and then there's slave labor. You're not the parent to those kids and you shouldn't be expected to take care of them.

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