I really need to "talk" this out! So, my sister is 7 years younger than me. For the last year and four months she has lived in our apartment. It's a completely separate apartment, no interior entrance. We have been renting it out for about half of our mortgage, plus the electric bill, for most of the time we've lived here. My sister moved in with her boyfriend after they graduated with their Bachelor's Degrees in May 2008. They were suppose to pay half the rent we use to charge, plus work 20 hours a month towards rent. Well, they broke up and he moved out in early fall 2008. During the last year my sister has been working part-time and helping out with my kids 4 to 8 hours a week. She has paid no rent, no utilities to date, except for one payment covering 4 months she made this past September. She eats dinner with us at least 3 nights a week, and often is snacking out of our fridge, etc. It's all been fine, we love her, my kids love her. No hard feelings all around. We decided early on that we wouldn't let her live here if it was more than we could give, financially or emotionally.
Fast forward a year, in August she started dating this guy, let's call him Pete, and she started grad school, all on-line. My daughter went to Kindergarten, and everyone's schedules changed. My sister was only needed to get DD on and off the bus TWO days a week, a total of 3 hours of watching DD only, in a week. 12 hours a month. That's right, room and partial board for 12 hours a month of work,. plus incidental days. These two days were decided based on my sisters work schedule, DS's days in child care were based on her work schedule, MY three days of WOH were based on HER work schedule. In early September our mom had a hip replacement that had major complications, landing Mom in med-rehab for the last month. My work is pending major reorganizations and I stand about a 50% chance of loosing my job early next year. My DH is out of town for most of Sept. and Oct.
Fast forward a month, Pete has become frighteningly controlling. The list of things he doesn't want my sister to do is a mile long- spending too much time on facebook, hanging out with her friends, drinking alcohol (despite the fact he uses drugs), spending time here when she could be with him, not calling when she LEAVES for work vs when she gets there, not cooking food he doesn't like, etc. He is a scary bad news guy. They fight all the time, but somehow, it always resolves and things are better. My sister no longer wants to watch my DD because she wants those afternoons free to go see Pete. She isn't going to see our mom, because she spends that time with Pete. She breaks her commitments to me all the time because she wants to see Pete. They spend all their time at his parents house (he is unemployed, not in school and lives at home). She goes there and gets his niece off the bus, but can't stay here to get her own niece off the bus.
I'm at a loss here. I've always been more of a mother figure to my sister, she calls me "mini-mom" and talks about how my opinion means more than our parents. I am loath to kick her out, but she is not paying rent and wants to stop helping with my kids. She does things like promising to help this weekend while DH is away, but then spending Wed/Thur/Sat/Sun night with Pete. Meanwhile, Pete is mad at her because she came home Friday night (at 10pm) because she had to be at work early on Saturday. She isn't going to go see my mom, help me, or do any of her school work because she wants to see Pete.
What do I do here? I'm afraid to kick her out, because she doesn't have the resources to live alone and I think she'll just go live with Pete and his parents. I can't bear being the one who booted her out, giving her "no choice" but to live with Pete. My entire work schedule was structured around her helping with DD, so changing it all is difficult and will cost us a minimum of an extra day a week in day care for DS. My sister is mad at me, saying that I am "inventing reasons to be anxious" and just need anti-anxiety meds. Or that she was "unaware" that her agreement to babysit was "forever". She isn't going to see my mom either, putting a huge burden on me to get up there to help her (laundry, shopping, etc.) that will only increase when Mom goes home in a week.
I'm so sad, and frustrated. We've had the best sister relationship. We've been so close, despite the age gap. I miss my friendship with her, hanging out and watching Grey's on Thursday's (not allowed by Pete now), talking about nothing and everything for hours. On top of it, my DH is getting really pissed, that she lives here an is costing us real money every month, and isn't helping as promised. I don't want to put DD in after school care, or DS in school an extra day a week. Help! Ideas please, thoughts???
How do I help my sister be independent, and STRONG, and not get sucked into this jerk, while at the same time, preserving what is best for my family??