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How Can I Pitch In at Home?

Dear Sugar
I'm a college student who lives across the country from my family during the school year. Now that it's summer, I'm living at home again. It's been a tough year for my parents - they both lost their jobs and haven't been able to find employment.

My father isn't in the greatest health, which makes it even harder for him to find work. To top it off, I've got a younger brother who's becoming a teenager.

I've noticed that my mom has been extremely frazzled lately. She's got a really short fuse, she gets easily depressed and she can't control my brother. In short, she's just having a really rough time. I try to help her out as much as I can, but it's kind of hard as I'm working and taking summer classes.

I've tried to get her to go shopping or do something for herself, but she refuses as they're on a tight budget. I'm not sure what else I can do for her. Do you have any ideas about how I can help her out? Happy To Help Hillary

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Happy To Help Hillary
You've got the right idea and the right attitude. I think the best thing you can do for them is to help out with your brother. You can't discipline him, but you can play with him, drive him places and keep him occupied and out of the way at home. This might help free up time for your parents to interview.

I am sure that a large part of what she worries about is caring for her kids. You could also make her feel safe and acknowledged that no matter what happens to the family financially you will be fine and that you'll all get through it. Make sure she knows that love goes a longer way than money.

Join The Conversation
heatherp heatherp 11 years
treat yourself adn her to a manicure. help with teh dishes and cleaning. .
ethiopian_princess ethiopian_princess 11 years
don't be a burden. that will help a lot.
karmasabitch karmasabitch 11 years
Helping to make meals sounds like a good idea.. if you can afford to pay for some groceries and make dinner now and then I'm sure they would appreciate it. Maybe take your brother out before school starts up and buy him some of the clothes school supplies etc. that he'll need.. Your mom would probably feel better if she got out and did something she enjoyed.. If she doesnt want to spend the money on herself, maybe you could pay for something in advance.. spa day??? Even if you took her to her fav restaurant or the movies, I'm sure she'd appreciate getting out of the house and not thinking about whatevers stressing her for a while..
My-Opinion My-Opinion 11 years
good advice DearSugar..
kylake kylake 11 years
As you are working, you could afford to pay your parents some rent or buy groceries and make a few meals. I'm sure your parents would appreciate that.
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