‘I am tired of feeling helpless’: Gen X mom admits her kids have it harder than she did
Hard work doesn’t solve everything anymore.
Historically, there’s always been a battle between older and younger generations. Invariably, the older generation will always say that the younger kids are lazier or softer than they were growing up. We’ve seen this over the past few years with baby boomers accusing millennials of being entitled and oversensitive.
But Jessica McCabe, 51, who is retired from the Air Force, is bucking the historical trend by pointing out that the game has changed since she was in her 20s. In a passionate rant, she says it’s much harder for her 25- and 28-year-old kids to get by.
The video has obviously struck a chord on TikTok, where it’s received over 11.5 million views and 68,000 comments. Her primary complaint is how costly it is for her hard-working kids to afford housing.
"I am so tired of feeling helpless as a parent,” McCabe says in the video. “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 f**king changed."
Warning:Video contains strong language.
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
McCabe makes a compelling point that things have changed over the past few decades and that it’s unfair for older people to judge younger people on the same terms.
"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."
Even when McCabe's kids do the right thing, it’s still not enough to get by. Even though her son has a college degree, he still had to move back into her home.
"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,” McCabe said. “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?"
Her daughter had a similar problem buying a house.
"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,” she said.
The mother’s complaints drew much support on TikTok, where other people deal with the same issues.
"Thank you for seeing the reality of this. So many parents/grandparents don’t understand this struggle," Don't Mess With Mamma Taylor wrote.
"This is why my 27 yr old still lives with me. Neither one of us can afford to be on our own," Crissi Smith added.
"Nothing that worked for me as a Gen X works for my kids. The rules are stacked against them," RHO wrote.
For those who have a hard time understanding the younger generations' housing struggles, the numbers don’t lie. Over the past 20 years, the average U.S. home price has risen from about $140,000 to $340,000 as of April 2023.
Things aren’t much better for renters.
For the past 20 years, Moody’s has been tracking the rent-burdon threshold that measures the percentage of one’s income paid on rent. In 2023, for the first time since monitoring the metric, the typical American renter now spends over 30% of their income on rent.
“If we’re looking at the low- to moderate-income families, they are taking 40 percent and above all of their income on the rent, even if the metro [area] itself hasn’t crossed that 30 percent line yet,” said Moody’s Analytics senior economist Lu Chen told The Hill.