My older sister and her three kids (ages 4 to 9) got kicked out of her boyfriend’s house. They moved in with me in my two-bedroom apartment. Our mom died last year, and we are all the family we have left. I felt responsible. I work 10- to 12-hour days at least six days a week. It killed my last relationship—I come home and crash. The kids will not shut up, and my sister is shrill, expecting me to play dad and demanding I take on everything she won’t deal with. I have to call the super or pick up groceries or discipline her kids or do the laundry. I am not asking for rent; I am asking for a decently clean apartment and for her to take care of her own kids. She has a job. She gets “headaches,” so I will come home after a double shift to some screaming kids. My neighbors have complained me to twice. My sister and I fight when I get into her “business,” like whether she is demanding child support from her two exes or what she is saving from her job.
This has been going on for months—I am this close to letting the lease lapse, leaving, and calling CPS. I do love my nieces and nephews, but I am not their dad. I have a plate-load of issues to deal with on my own. How do I get through to my sister? I don’t want it to come to that.
—Not the Father