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Reply #43: I think you and your mother are having issues with control [View All]

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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-21-08 05:28 PM
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43. I think you and your mother are having issues with control
As an adult, I had to live with my mother who also lived with my grandmother for a very short period of time.

Talk about too many cooks in the kitchen!

There was SEVERE conflict of authority between all of us:

1) it was my grandmother's house, so she felt that all rules were her rules, and they ruled supreme
2) My mother felt that my grandmother woudln't have her house if it weren't for my mom's financial contribution, so she didn't necessarily have to follow any rules. Also, she was a 50 year old woman and she was far too old for rules
3) I felt like NEITHER of them would be living in the house if it weren't for my contributions. I was 21 and didn't need a rule like "no phone calls IN OR OUT after 9pm" just so someone could feel like they were being superior.

EVERYTHING was a fight. Who washed dishes vs. who didn't. Who ordered food without asking the rest of us if they wanted any? Why should i Pay for take out when it wasn't my idea to get it? Who's going to vaccuum even though the mess was caused by your pets etc etc etc.

The only way we were ever able to get along as a family was to


live away from each other.

THat may or may not work in your situation.

HOWEVER, having lived in that situation for a while, I have to agree with what some other posters said:

1) It *is* your mother's house, and no matter how old you are, or how much you contribute to the household, it is *her* house. She has a routine, no matter how much you like it or not. If she wants you to go on the front porch to talk so she can go on the back porch to smoke, who are you to say "no!"? Maybe she's doing it because she's pushing your buttons, maybe she prefers the back yard over the front. Maybe since it's not really that big of a deal, you can be the bigger person and go to the front yard and avoid the inevitable confrontation that will occur if you go to the back

2) You should have told her you ate the Fretos. Is is the end of the world? No. Did she buy them? If so, then you should have told her. If you bought them, then you didn't have an obligation to tell her, but if you knew it would set her off, then yes, you should have told her then, too.


Looking back on my time as an adult living with family members, I can see that much of the conflict from my grandmother came from the fact that she truly felt (and I feel it was deserved in some respects) that here are me and my mom, barging in, fucking up her routine and her quiet time and her retirement years and at the same time ACTING LIKE SHE OWES IT TO US. I don't actually recall my mother or I ever telling granny "You know, we appreciate you letting us live with you, I know it must really be a shift from what you're used to".

Not knowing you or your mother, that may be some of what your mother is feeling. I think those feelings would be intensified if you weren't contributing financially to the household or not doing things like vaccuuming, or dishes, or whatever. I'M NOT SAYING THIS IS THE CASE, JUST POSTULATING POSSIBILITIES.

I think it would be wise to step outside yourself and honestly look at what you do while in her house. Is there anything that you could conceded to do, even if you feel you dont' have to? Talking in the front yard instead of the back?, etc?

Then I would sit down and talk to your mom. Tell her you're feeling like she's stressed out--ask her SPECIFICALLY what you could do to make it easier on the both of you. Have an open diaglogue. Tell her that it's annoying when you're on the phone and she has to interrupt you. Tell her that you're sorry to have not told her about the freetos. Ask her what YOU personally can do to make the living easier for both of you. THen it's out there and she (techincally) can't complain if you do what she'd like and STILL gets an attitude.
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