My mom and I got into a huge fight a couple days ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever been in a fight of this scale with her before. My sister has, for weeks, been neglecting her chores, and finally we started talking about it. My sister’s only chore in the house has been to do the dishes, while I do the gardening, the dog poop scooping, the vacuuming, dusting, moping, and taking out of recycling, garbage and compost. Seems fair, right? But because my sister is never home, she feels that she shouldn’t be responsible for the dishes because very few of them are ever hers. A perfectly valid argument, but when its ones only chore, I have a hard time being sympathetic. My mom tried to talk to her about it, while I was there, and my sister was on her phone and watching TV throughout the conversation. It was incredibly rude as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t know why my mom tolerated it. I think I said maybe 4 or 5 words throughout the whole ordeal, since it wasn’t my place to say much of anything, and only spoke up when I felt it necessary. Eventually my sister got so frustrated by not being able to get out of her chores she was close to just walking out of the house (she had the door open and everything). I don’t remember what my mom said to make her stay, but she did, and my sister eventually just decided that she would be doing her own dishes and her own laundry and would sweep the house occasionally and that would be that. My mom completely rolled over and gave her a hug and a kiss and $20 to go have fun with friends. I was in complete disbelief at the whole situation.
I went back into the kitchen to finish making my dinner (this whole thing started because everything I needed to make dinner for myself was dirty and I wanted to know what officially was going to happen with the dishes), and my mom immediately turned on me to tell me that I needed to watch my attitude. I didn’t even let her finish her sentence because I was beyond furious that she was berating me after my sisters display. Especially since I had spoken maybe twice, and had eeeeevery right to be mad about my sisters lack of help around the house. She had tried to use the excuse that she was too busy and too tired during the week to do any amount of chores (this is while she’s waiting for a friend to come and pick her up mind). I told my mom: “you don’t get to try and parent me after not parenting her.” She was instantly mad and said: “you don’t get to tell me how to be a fucking parent.” It only escalated from there, and much of what was said I cannot remember in detail. I basically told her that her current “parenting” technique wasn’t working, and that she had just rewarded my sister for walking all over her. I told her that there hadn’t been any form of reprimand or consequences in our house for years, and that it was entirely unacceptable how my sister had been behaving.
She asked me angrily what specifically she should do, especially in regards to me, since I was the one asking for punishment. She brought up the fact that I had tried to buy a dyson vacuum (something I’ve wanted for years) against her wishes but had been unable to do so because of insufficient funds (she had borrowed money from me and hadn’t paid me back yet when I tried to buy it [which I didn’t realize]). I told her that she should’ve taken my debit card away, or withheld gas money. There should have been SOMETHING to teach me how to better manage my money, which she has genuinely never sat me down to do. Ever. She basically admitted to not parenting us at all, and that she had not given us chores or anything of that nature when we were younger so we could have happier childhoods. I asked what that had taught us, and she asked me what chores I specifically wanted to do around the house. I said that I was happy doing all of the things I already did, but that because my sister lived with us she needed to have some form of chores as well. And I brought up that it had taken me years to figure out that I wanted a clean house (which I really only discovered because I was tired of living in a filthy home, but I didn’t say that).
She was furious with me for speaking my mind. Oh! Several weekends ago my sister wanted to go on a camping trip with some friends. She got in a big fight with my mom about money and how she didn’t have access to her savings account. After having a large fight, my mom gave her a large chunk of money and bought her a 5th of whiskey to take on her camping trip. Keep in mind that my sister is 17, and that my mom only just finished a custody battle. I brought that up during our fight, and she said that my sister had brought that bottle back more than half full, so it wasn’t that big of a deal, and that I was one to talk because I drink wine whenever I’m with my neighbors. I said that I felt that was different because I was with family friends and that I wasn’t drinking to get drunk, nor was I drinking hard alcohol. And I said that I only started drinking because I had been pressured into it by her, which is genuinely true. She pressured me for years to drink wine with her and the neighbors, and when I went to J’s house immediately after this fight to talk about it, she agreed and remembered witnessing it. My mom, naturally, felt differently. She said that she had never done that and that if I felt that way it was entirely my fault. She swore at me several times throughout the fight, though she never directly insulted me. I find swearing to be unnecessary, and especially in those circumstances, when the goal of arguing is to get the other person to understand your perspective. I’m sure I could’ve been more articulate, but I feel like for the most part I did ok.
We went to the movies together the day after that (yesterday), because we had originally planned to go the day of the fight. She asked if I hated her, like she always does after we have any sort of disagreement, to which I always reply no. I asked her the same question, and she told me that she was proud of me. I struggled to keep from laughing. I’ve lost all respect for her I’ve realized. She consistently rewards appalling behavior, and takes no responsibility for anything. When your child is telling you there aren’t enough rules in the house, and that they think they should be punished for their own bad behavior, and you laugh in their face and tell them that everything is fine, something is extremely wrong. She joked about some of the points I made during the argument, and said that if she really was a bad parent she wouldn’t have stood up to me. I just see it as being thick headed and stubborn. I’m sad more than anything. This ordeal made me realize that I’ve truly outgrown my mother, and that I actually have been more mature than her for some time. She has no control over this house or her children, and often puts down the one who sees whats wrong and is willing to speak up about it (me) instead of the child who is misbehaving, doing poorly in school, and is drinking irresponsibly and doing drugs.