'I Am Tired Of Feeling Helpless As A Parent': This Gen X Mom Is Going Viral For Her Rant About Her Adult Kids

"I thought by teaching them what I learned, which is you work hard, you get a good job, you're gonna get the things in life that you need, right? Worked for me, why wouldn't it work for them?"
Jessica McCabe
Jessica McCabe (@that1crazy72) is a 51-year-old mom living in Alabama who's now retired from the US Air Force. Recently, she posted a video to TikTok that's racked up over 10 million views, 63,000 comments, and 1.8 million likes talking about her frustration as a parent with the way adult life is shaping up for her 25- and 28-year-old kids — but don't worry, she's very much on their side.
She opens the video by saying, "I am so tired of feeling helpless as a parent. Yes, my kids are grown adults. My oldest is 28. My youngest is 25. And I thought by teaching them what I learned, which is you work hard, you get a good job, you're gonna get the things in life that you need, right? Worked for me, why wouldn't it work for them? Because it doesn't, because the world has fucking changed."
Wayakorn Neamklin via Getty Images
McCabe goes on to share that the way she's seeing her kids struggle to find their footing as adults is more severe than what she saw in her peers. "I see them struggling, and before my generation comes at me, yes, I understand struggling as a part of life. We all struggle, but there's a difference between struggling and drowning. So we struggled, and it was tough. But you know what, we made it. We knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel with our struggle. It seems like kids today, no matter how much they struggle, they just get further and further down."
Then, as an example, she shared a story about her son. "I told my son, all you have to do is work hard, go to college or join the military like I did. He went to college, got his degree, got a full-time job. He moved back in with me right when he graduated from college because he said, 'Hey mom, as soon as I get a job (which was within two weeks of him getting out of college), it'll maybe take me two months, and I'll save up enough money for me to move out. Okay, cool. It's been 10 months. He has saved almost every dime and still can't afford to live. Why are one-bedroom studio apartments almost $2,000 a month. Why?"
Zoe Pavel / 500px via Getty Images
She went on to share, "And then I told him, 'Hey, when you turn 25, at least your car insurance will go down.' Hell no. He turned 25, and his car insurance went up $150. I tell him, 'You know, if you need health insurance, get a good job.' He does have health insurance. He has had a medical emergency this week. Had to go to emergency room twice. He had to go to the emergency room because he couldn't get anybody to see him with the health insurance that he has. So, he had to go to an emergency room. Now, he's out money for that, too. It seems like you can never get ahead."
She also shared how things have been going for her daughter. "She wanted to buy her own house. My daughter worked six days a week, 12 hours a day to save up enough for this down payment and finally got this house. She's paying double what I'm paying for my mortgage, but her loan was the same amount. And then, her mortgage company after she's already moved in said, 'Oh, by the way, we forgot to tell you that you need this type of coverage. We forgot at the beginning. That's an extra $200.'"
And there's a whole lot more that you really kinda just need to see. The video is about three minutes long, and her love for her kids and fiery righteous anger make it a truly powerful watch. Check it out:

Its no wonder there is a mental health crisis amoung the younger generation..and to make matters worse most cant afford to get treated and if they do they are told to “get a better job” what happened to the middle class just wanting to make w decent living? #housingcrisis #mentalhealth #americandream #rent #longervideos #howtoretire

♬ original sound - That1crazy72
In the comments, there are plenty of young people who appreciate finally hearing this acknowledgement of how things have changed. One user wrote, "Thank you for seeing the reality of this. So many parents/grandparents don't understand this struggle."
And other parents also chimed in with similar experiences. One wrote, "This is why my 27-year-old still lives with me. Neither one of us can afford to be on our own."
Another agreed, writing, "Nothing that worked for me as a Gen X works for my kids. The rules are stacked against them."
Another parent shared, "I have three adult children all living [at] home, all with good jobs, but still can't afford to live on their own!!! It's insane!!!"
And others pointed out the deep financial inequalities that underly the whole situation. As one commenter put it, "You ever play Monopoly? That's how the game ends. 85 people have all the wealth and it just funnels all to them."
Eoneren / Getty Images
McCabe told BuzzFeed that she started to worry about her kids' futures as they started aging out of her health insurance coverage. Then, she watched them struggle with jobs that kept their hours just under the requirement for benefits, outrageous rent prices, and the continually rising costs of basically everything.
JLGutierrez via Getty Images
She said, "Both my kids work really hard and are two loving and giving individuals that help with family and others. I understand inflation, but usually, the wages go up when the price of everything else does, and it’s just not keeping up."
Bryan Allen / Getty Images
And she has a message for other Gen X'ers and boomers who still think the younger generations just aren't working hard enough. "Times are just not the same! It’s not 1988 anymore. What worked for us does not work for our kids. Today it’s time we brought the family unit back again and focused on generational living to increase generational wealth."
Francesco Carta fotografo via Getty Images
"It’s not a 'handout' if your kids are an active member of society and doing their best for the future. It’s called a 'HANDUP' to ensure our future generations get to have a chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as we did. I didn’t have kids to see them suffer their whole life."
Hill Street Studios / Getty Images
Finally, she shared what needs to change so that the younger generations can go from barely surviving to thriving. "We need to have people in office that actually represent working class Americans. Most of the people making laws for our youth haven’t been in the real world for decades. When is the last time someone that 'represents' us worried if they were going to be able to put food on the table or get evicted because they could no longer afford to live?"
via Associated Press
"We need term limits and age limits, and, for the love of all that is holy, stop letting billionaire corporations buy up housing inventory. I understand capitalism, but this is bordering on a monopoly to ensure the next generation will own nothing."

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