Janessa will never understand how two grown ups like her mum and dad can have so little money.
They’re working a lot, both of them, but it’s just like they can barely pay off their bills and the loan for the house with the money they make. The family can never go on holidays or buy fancy things like her classmates and Janessa is just fed up with it, with making up stories about why she doesn’t have a new phone or nice clothes.
Mum’s still a waitress even though she’s pretty old and most people her age have advanced in their jobs but mum hasn’t. She’s just a waitress at a semi-crappy restaurant downtown and Janessa visits her job sometimes and gets a free soda or something but it’s not like she can brag about that in school.
And dad is a security guard which she supposes is sort of fine too, at least when you’re young but dad’s definitely old and should have managed something better.
Both of them are just always working, working, working. If not at their jobs, they’re working at home – cooking, cleaning, baking, taking care of Joshua and Joanna and Janessa feels tired just thinking about it.
Mum’s very hard when it comes to homework and whenever Janessa tries so escape or make up excuses, she’s there, babbling about how she would have loved the opportunity to go to college on scholarships, like Janessa has the chance of doing if she keeps her good grades up. Mum had Jean when she was just a kid and she won’t ever let anyone forget it.
It’s not like Janessa is going to be repeating that particular mistake. There are plenty of contraceptives around; she’s not an idiot.
Because her parents work odd hours and often late, Janessa is left with the kids a lot. Taking care of herself and her siblings. It’s okay, they mostly play nice and she can make noodles in the microwave, but it’s not really what she would prefer to be doing in the evenings.
Mum feels really bad about it, she knows, and she tries not to bring it up too often.
Sometimes they have a professional nanny over for a couple of hours, but mostly it’s just the three of them – with mum and dad checking in as often as they can.
Mostly, Janessa gets to read and watch telly while Joshua and Joanna plays.
It’s funny how much Joshua still loves to play with their doll house and all that. If he was a pain in the ass, she’d definitely tell everyone about it at school, but he kind of isn’t, so Janessa is quiet. Figures he’ll grow up soon enough.
She’s definitely almost a grown up now, especially since mum allowed her to get a part-time job at the restaurant she’s a waitress at. It’s a burger joint and Janessa is too young to do most of the things there but she can clean up after the others and put burgers on bread behind the scenes. Stuff like that. Extremely boring and soul-killing, but it earns her some cash that she’s been desperate for. Mum says it’s hers to do what she wants with, as long as she doesn’t spend it on stupid things like candy.
As if Janessa is still a kid who would buy candy for all her money!
No, she visits the teen hangout downtown instead, plays some arcade games and saves most of her salary in order to buy a cell phone. She’s got her priorities sorted out.
And if she thought she was tired before, watching her parents scurry about with their jobs, it’s not compared to how tired she is now that she’s working, too.
* I made an exception for Janessa with part-time work (my age limit is 15) because this family has about 200 simoleons and that’s barely enough to cover their bills.