I can see where she is coming from but i just feel like it's my life, and ultimately up to me. Is that wrong?
Hi, um, i'm just wondering. I'm nearly 18, i'm in year 12 and i live with my mum. I do a lot of stuff around the house: cooking and cleaning etc.
Through my childhood my parents divorced and other stuff has happened. I think i can and have handled certain responsibilities and whatnot. Obviously i am not an adult and i get that. Despite a lot of teenager's mentality, i'm not always right and i still have to listen to my parents and all that stuff, i get that. But, my mum has different values and perspective and everything on things to me. Obviously she grew up in a different time, through different things, and has different understanding, experiences, opinions, values etc., which impacts on the way she perceives situations and what she wants, believes in etc. Therefore what she thinks is the right thing or the fair thing or whatever is different to what i believe.
We each have our own reasons and i can see where she is coming from but in certain situations i just feel like it's my life, no one else's, and whether it is the right or wrong decision for certain things, ultimately it is up to me. Is that wrong?
It's not like it's life changing or bad things or anything it's just change that she's not happy with or something. I think our ideas just conflict although in the end i try to do what she wants but in some circumstances it's a matter of pleasing someone else instead or realising it's something i want/have to do for me.
I also get that i'm guessing communication is the answer but i lack communication skills especially with my own ideas, feelings etc. because i don't care about that, i just try and please everyone else, and i just honestly don't think it would work.
All i'm wondering is if i am wrong for believing it is my life and that i need to make my own decisions about things, whilst also recognising i do realise that of course she is always my mum and i always need to listen to her but because of her own beliefs and experiences she does not like/believe certain things and it doesn't make a difference what my opinion is... Thanks.
Hi, thanks for writing in.
Look, from what you've written, the short answer is that you're right. It is your life, and ultimately up to you.
I like your balanced approach, that you have respect for your mum's opinions, and that you realise that sometimes she deserves to call the shots. That's her position as mum. Until you're completely independent, sometimes you need to do things her way.
It's also worth noting that it's really hard to change someone else. You can change, but you can't expect your mum to change. So, it might be that you just need to find a way to live with her attitudes and opinions, even for the rest of your life. Don't worry, we all find a way to cope with parents and their limitations. After all, just like us, they're not perfect.
The other thing to bear in mind is that you probably haven't had too much clash in opinion with your mum until recent years. Sure, you've had some differences, but now it's getting much more important. This is about you developing in who you are. Becoming an adult, with your own life, and your own way of living it. Keep discovering how you are different from your mother, and what you agree and disagree with. Remember you live together, and you're not in charge until you leave home, but you need to find out how to be yourself, your own person.
You said you have trouble communicating, and that you get trapped in the role of trying to please everyone else. It's a common mistake, and you can't please everyone. Also you risk hurting yourself or sacrificing your needs for others, which will get you all into trouble later.
Communication is difficult. We are always clumsy at best, whenever we try to understand (really understand) what's going on for someone else. (So, excuse me for my clumsiness right now!) And I certainly don't know the whole picture.
What I recommend is that you try to see a family counsellor with your mum. That way you'll have a neutral person who can help both of you to sort out your differences. It can be such a rewarding experience being able to finally communicate what's going on for you. And you'll probably learn new things of what happens in your relationship with your mum.
Suggest it to her and see what she thinks. If she's not into it, I think it would be really useful for you to chat with your own counsellor about how to best communicate with your mum, and how to do something new, rather than falling into the old habit of pleasing others.
Your challenge is to stand confidently in your own beliefs, and at the same time keep a good relationship with your mum. Wishing you success!