Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Parental Disapproval

I think we all go through stages where our parents never seem to be happy with us or our decisions. And for whatever reason I've been recognizing noticeable increases in the amount of disapproval and nagging from my parents.

For example, I recall the final years of my undergraduate degree. Absolute mayhem. Non-stop papers, sleeping every other day, the stress, the panic, I hadn't felt like that in years. In fact, if you want you can backtrack into my posts and find me worrying about the aforementioned problems. I'm not going to go find them, those were dark days.

So because I'm not as young as I used to be (and because I'm just doing pre-requisite courses for other programs now) I wanted to take it easy for once and relax. To which my Mother believes is a "waste of a year". Yes Mother, preserving what precious little health and sanity I have is a waste. Taking 3 courses a term as opposed to 5 is a waste of a year.

And here's the kicker, my Mother takes one look at my sister and says "Don't you feel sorry for Bree? Look how much work she's doing. She falls asleep studying halfway studying." No I don't have sympathy for my sister, because I actually managed to power through and perform all-nighters to finish my papers and notes. Just because I don't collapse in the kitchen where everyone can see me doesn't mean I'm not working hard too. I prefer to pass out in my room where no one can see me.

(Also I'm a terrible brother, shhh...)

Alright, so I have a lax term. And with that I decide to work more hours at my part-time fastfood job. Might as well make more money. Nope, unacceptable as well. I should be focusing on my studies. Studying for courses that I'm breezing through. Again, I apologize to all my Linguist and Sociologist readers, but I find all this material very, very, soft.

Fine, fastfood job is apparently undignified. That's what Project Cold was for. It addressed EVERY issue my Mother had with my previous job. Improved pay, acquiring different work skills, I don't come home smelling like grease, I set my own hours, AND I'm running around getting exercise.

Nope. Looks like marketing is an undignified job too. She clearly disapproves. To which I respond:

Again, if I was studying something that was really hard (e.g. physics or the dreaded organic chemistry) I could understand and I wouldn't have grabbed a second job. Because I actually need that time to learn everything. I don't need a lot time to memorize facts about the human life course or how babies babble.

Maybe my Mother just wants me to stay home. I'm rarely at home these days because I'm usually working after classes on weekdays. What she doesn't know is that if I'm stuck at home, I'm working on my third job, Project Derp. Yes Mother, occasionally I give in to a moment of weakness and spend a few too many hours playing computer games, but I assure you, I'm not always goofing about.

And I have no intention of telling my Mother about Project Derp (or any project for that matter) until I have deemed it successful.

Stay out.

This is because of the second problem with my Mother is that (and it kills me to say this) I don't really trust her with information. Before you call me a bad son hear me out. You see, if I confide or tell you something, I expect you to not tell anyone else, use it against me in the future, or mock me in any form revolving said information. Fairly simple, fairly standard.

If I aggravate my Mother in any way, she can (and will) throw everything and anything at me, including information that I told in confidence. It can be as simple as deciding to sleep in, or a petty argument. It has happened before in the past, and honestly, I don't need to have her use in an argument "You're never going to succeed in X because of Y" at me again. She will apologize for it later on but that isn't going to make me want to share stuff with you in the future.

In all honesty, I tried to keep Project Cold a secret for as long as possible (because of the mentioned issues) and because I knew of the stigma and the potential for the disapproval would swiftly follow. Unfortunately, there's only so many excuses you can use for slipping out of the house before they start getting suspicious.

That, and my manager dropping off flyers and other marketing materials at my house may have tipped them off.

Nothing to see here, shoo.

My Mother is an amazing woman, don't get me wrong. She exhibits nearly none of the stereotypical Asian mom characteristics (e.g. she doesn't want grandkids, doesn't want her kids to become doctors) and has spoiled me over the years with her love and affection.

How many of your Moms beat Ocarina of Time on the N64 or are replaying it on the 3DS? How many of your Moms will call their coworkers butthurt? How many of your Moms tried to bribe you with a laptop NOT to go to a prestigious high school because she was worried about the stress?

I love my Mother, and everything she's done for me. I've looked at a lot of other kids and I snicker because I have a way better parent.

I just wish she wouldn't nag so much.


  1. With risk of sounding like an idiot here your mother sounds like the stereotypical Asian parent who always wants the best for her child even if her definition of what's best is different than what actually materialises to be the best. I wouldn't worry too much about it though Damien, I think that you're going the right direction and if you stick to what you say you do when it comes to university work I view it as actually being next to impossible for you to manage to fit in any more university work, you're already working your arse off. Just keep on doing what you're doing mate, even with the part time thing.

  2. I also keep a lot of information, large and small issues from my mother. It's only natural after all, though I can't say I can brag that my mother plays Ocarina of Time. She doesn't like me wasting time on playing games and every time there is something about the news about videos, which invariably is always bad, she shoves it in my face and goes, SEE? Stop playing games.

  3. It's a mother thing, I'm afraid. When they can feel that you're finally grown up and they don't really have any control over you anymore, they suddenly revert to treating you like a recalcitrant child. It's their way of delaying the inevitable.

  4. I'd say just ignore your mom and continue onward. Right now you're the only person who knows what's best for you, so better take your own advice and finish those projects and such.
    Also, when you said "a wasted year" I thought you'd be spending a year without school, but you're just taking regular classes instead of way too many. That is in no way wasted man, don't worry.

  5. The next time she nags you, just remind her that when she's old, you'll be the one picking her nursing home.

  6. well, if they nag a lot it means that they at least care at some point. Mine never paid any attention to me :)

  7. Mothers are never happy for any jobs their babies get. Unless you go to Harvard and become a rocket scientist brain surgeon lawyer president then it will never end.

  8. Nagging is part of their job I think as they do nag away. LOL first time I ever heard the phrase butthurt.

  9. Its part of being a young adult still living at home. Its all for love even if it does not feel that way.

  10. Nagging sucks. If you're working more what's the big deal? Hang in there.

  11. Hello! I like Your blog!

  12. Ah, you're just in a tight spot with her. I know it sucks, but since you can't tell her anything there's nothing to do but try and let it slide off.

    It's true, it happens to everyone. You're not alone.

  13. Dude, I'm a full time writer. My mom's never approved of what I do.

    "Oh, you wrote another book? That's super. Hey, there's an IT company that's hiring in Denver, let me get you the forms..."

    "Oh, you're filming a little movie? That's cute, dear. Did you hear your cousin Jennifer just got promoted to manager at her firm? Manager, already!"

  14. I think most moms are that way. Part of the job description.

  15. Well hopefully you're able to let it slide off of your shoulders, even though I know that's sometimes easier said than done :)

  16. Have no fear young one, everyone who is at least semi-crazy, like myself, goes through a string of jobs that are not parent approved. Personally, I was a server, a bartender, a taxi-driver, a lingerie model.

    I was also asked once if I wanted to become a call girl, servicing members of the Texas Congress. That, I did not do, or even tell my parents about.

  17. Some of my younger coworkers told me things that they would never tell their mother. I guess, my kids probably told their friends things that they would not tell me. I guess we mothers do it to our kids, but in a few years I think you will be more comfortable with her.

  18. gotta love it when the parents compare us to our siblings... not! ;)

  19. I never seem to wanna share with the parental units unless it's a success either...totally understand.

  20. I suppose it's just her way of trying to be helpful--but I sympathize with having a nagging parent!

  21. I could tell you that I can relate but that would be a lie as I can't my mother has never been a nag, however most of the time when she is told something and asked to keep it to herself she will sometimes do so but most of the time she will tell me she tells me pretty much everything........mum like me never judge how children and like me she tells her children often that she is proud of them and love who they have grown into