Working for my family (and a living)


Being a teen can be tough enough with school, family, and relationships, and working teenagers have more trouble managing time with studies and work. Despite all that, I got a job, but for a different reason than other teenagers. While many of them want to learn responsibilities and achieve skills so they can be independent and as relatable as that sounds, I only got the job for my Mom. 

My mother is a single parent who works hard for me and my two other sisters, but she can have trouble paying all the bills and as time goes by she is getting weaker and weaker from working in the fields. 

 Picking strawberries is all she has done and it is what she was best at, but as she’s gotten older, she has gotten slower. I would go to work with her along with my older sister in the summer, but a lot of our money is used on groceries and other necessities. While she never asked for help, I could see the struggle in her eyes when bills came, so I took the initiative and helped out by getting a job at Burger King.  

I’ve been working at Burger King for about 5 months and as I worked there many of my friends quit. They quit because of how stressful some days could be, and it’s true some days I just want to walk out and leave, but I stuck it out. 

I stuck it out despite having to work until 9 pm when we are supposed to leave at 8 pm, despite customers who give us attitude and make our day even more stressful than it already is, and despite my boss yelling at us to hurry up.

Many of my co-workers who left have actually wondered why I stayed, or why I don’t look for another job that’s easier. But I never even thought about leaving even if it’s bad because I see it as I’m lucky that I have a job in the first place. I definitely don’t love it, but I’m getting money and helping out my mom, so why change?

So I’m working more than I should, about 4-5 days out of the week and full 8-hour shifts on the weekends. Where does all this money go? I try to save as much as I can in case anything goes bad. Most of the money goes to my mom, and some teenagers wouldn’t like that, but honestly, I think we all should help out all our parents, all they do is help and care for us and I really do enjoy giving back to my mom.

Let’s say I make about $450-500  I get paid every two weeks I get my check and know I give $250 for my mom for whatever expenses she wants to divide into, like such as bills or any payments that need to be done. I put $100 into savings for me, $50 four my younger sister, so she won’t have to ask my mom for money and the rest usually goes into food or into more savings or any necessities we need or want.

Working most of the time really has made me manage time better because I can’t be late or miss work without a good excuse, but It did really fill up my schedule. I do not really practice my hobbies anymore, such as painting because I don’t have time. I’m either working or working on school work. I also feel like my stress level has actually gone up because I loved reading books, but now I can’t even sit still. 

I work every weekend, so I can’t show up to parties or events my family plans. I hardly hang out with my friends, but I try my best. They do get annoyed that I have to work and can’t hang out that often, but they also understand my situation.

When I began to work, it was at the end of the year where I no longer had a lot of tasks that needed to be done after school so my work never interfered with school. Until summer was over and it started to, so I asked for a free period so I can have extra time to get ready and get to work on time without being late.

 Sometimes I can get things done late on school nights and put work first without noticing. So far, I am no longer behind in any classes. It is a little bit more challenging now with evening out school and work but I’m slowly managing my time so I am no longer behind.  

 There are difficulties in a teenager working while still going to school but if you manage your time correctly you can make a perfect schedule, and not let it become a problem. Although I might have given up a part of my childhood and matured into getting a job sooner than expected, this taught me that it’s always good to give back and to overall be grateful for everything we do have.