I’m the reliable one, so I’m my brother’s maid

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom recently told me that the reason she has always given me so much responsibility in the house is that she does not trust my brother. She said I’m the only one she can trust.

Harriette Cole

She told me that my reliability makes her life a lot easier, and if it were not for me, she would feel completely alone in managing the house.

Do you think that’s reason enough for me to keep picking up on my brother? I currently live under my mother’s roof as an adult – just like he is – so I want to make her life as easy as I can.

Helping

DEAR HELP TO: It’s a shame you’re in a situation where your brother is not withdrawing. However, your mother has made it clear to you that she needs your help. Since you need to live in her home for now, you should help her in any way you can.

That does not mean you become your brother’s maid. You can keep asking him to pick up after himself. You can talk to your mother about requiring him to clean his personal space – primarily where he sleeps. Maybe you can deposit his belongings in his room without being responsible for cleaning them all up.

Do your best not to develop hostility towards your brother as it will disturb the peace of the house. When you can not stand it anymore, it’s time to start looking for a new place to live.

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