When my mom died, I got custody of my 6-year-old brother. It wasn’t the right decision to be my brother’s parent.

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  • My mom died when I was 27, leaving me to take care of my 6-year-old brother.
  • When my baby was 4 months old, my then-husband left me to be a single mom.
  • I eventually started saying no to people, and my family supported me.

Sometimes the phrases our parents recite often have a way of sticking with you, both good and bad.

For me, it was my mother saying, “I’m not worried about you.” For a long time, I interpreted that sentiment as a trust in my ability to succeed , but as I grew, I realized it held a lot more weight. What it actually meant was, “I know you can handle everything on your own, and you are so good at it that I will ask you to take on more than you should.”

When I was 27, I found out my mother was dying from a botched surgery she had traveled to get . While I took care of her and all of her finances and responsibilities, my biggest challenge was my then-6-year-old brother.

I felt pressured to take care of him

“If something happens to your mom, and you’re not prepared to take Alex, I would be happy to,” his godmother told me…

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