My Landlady is Trying to be my Mother...
I have been renting a suite on a farm since April now. I had my horse boarded here since May '09. I am 16, as many of you are aware.
I pay rent to live here, I work the farm (feeding, mucking, fence mending, etc.) to keep rent low, but rent is payed nonetheless. I buy my own groceries, wash my own laundry etc. I rent a suite here.
Because of the age difference between myself and my landlady, I think she is beginning to think she's my mother or something. This makes me quite irrate. I hide it, but it's true. For instance- she was on the phone today, and mentioned that there were dishes about.To the person on the other line she said "...well there's kids around here. You know how they are, always having to pick up after them..."
I hadn't been home all day. I had been at work. Believe me, none of those dishes were from me. If she hadn't insinuated that I was a bother, it may not have rubbed me the wrong way so much, but she does not pick up after me. She never has, and never will. Likewise I refuse to pick up after her and her toddler, and as such the common areas are often quite littered, and I keep to myself in my own space.
Another thing that makes me angry is that she talks to my father about me. I lived with my father (mother lives 4 hours away) and there were many reasons I left home at 16. One of them being that I didn't want contact with my father until I decided to let him back in. I never got to make that choice and it bothers me. My landlady is consistantly updating him on my whereabouts/doings. That is none of her business or concern, but she pushes her nose in where it isn't welcome.
Also, while I appreciate her trying to help...
I have to work in the morning before buses run, and the savings fund for my moped isn't quite at capacity yet, so I was just going to ask if she could give me a ride there. I walk into the living room and mention I work in the morning, and she replies "Just make sure the horses are fed and I'll get you down there. You know I said I'd make sure you got to work."
...you know, like a mother would say to her own child? That one could just be me getting fed up with it though.
Also, it is the weekend, and feeding/watering the outdoor critters is her responsibility, but this afternoon after work I noticed the wheelbarrow had the same hay in it I'd left last night. Meaning she just expected me to feed this weekend. She did feed on Wednesday and Thursday, but we exchange favours like that sometimes. The favours always end in me feeding the horses, regardless. I don't mind feeding, but that wasn't the deal we had.
Now don't get me wrong, I know I have a pretty cushy situation here, and I am grateful to be away from home, but I moved out to get freedom and to make my own choices and errors, not to acquire another parent.
I'm actively searching for a new place, not in a shared house, but no luck so far.
In the meantime, how do I deal with my oddly motherly landlady?
That is a touchy one. I'm going to think on this one... You don't want to do or say the wrong thing and then have to live in a tense environment, yet, you are nearing misery living the way you are... I'll be back to weigh in....
This is tough. I wish you didn't have to move out at such a young age. I think the only advice I can give you in this situation is to just act oblivious and cheerful. Do not react outwardly. Because you have been placed in an adult situation, you have to remain acting like an adult, not a teenager. A teenager's whole makeup is about rebellion, you can't help it, lol. I can see your frustration in that you are acting mature and responsible, and yet you feel that you are not being treated with the respect that an adult would shown.
So you have to rise above.
In my neck of the woods, it is almost unheard of for someone of 16 to be moved out and be on their own. We have kids in foster care until they are 18. So many people may have trouble viewing you as an adult until you are of legal age.
You'll just have to try to remain positive and strong. Best of luck.
Just keep acting mature and cheerful, may she realizes you don't need a mother some day.
One thing to keep in mind is that it really might not be personal, might not even be related to your age.
There are some people who try to mother EVERYONE they come in contact with. My own mom is one, she's about to drive her boyfriend away with all her mothering. She mothers her co-workers. She mothers everyone in her extended family, no matter what their age. She mothers her own mother.
The best thing you can do is learn how to not let it get to you. People will always do things that bother you, your entire life. There are two mature ways to deal with it - ignore it if it's petty, stand up for yourself if it's serious.
Approach her in a mature way. "I know you're trying to help me, but when you do X it makes me feel like Y."
When having those types of conversations, avoid absolutes (don't say "you always" or "you never") and avoid blaming your reactions on her (don't say "you are hurting me" but instead say "I feel hurt when you do ...").
You can also accept responsibility for things ("I know sometimes I forget to pick up my X, but I am working on remembering that and would appreciate if you didn't also blame me for Y and Z being left out")
Many adults don't even know how to have a mature conversation, which is why so many people these days are afraid of confrontation. If you can learn it now, you will be setting yourself up for a very fulfilling life.
Thanks for the helpful comments all. I'm still waiting for farmpony to get back in here too... :)
Even her friends are considering me as her child now though, and she's not the type to coddle and mother... Ugh. I really need a new place.
It is very unheard of to be 16 and moved out in my area too. However, my situation at home wasn't "bad enough" to stuff me in to foster care and I was sick of it, so I took matters in to my own hands when I was old enough, legally.
Hope you guys weigh in again- I'm really trying to figure this out.
And just right now, she told me to "jump on facebook and and send (X) a message thanking him for supper again."
...I was dragged to his house for dinner after a 7 hour shift and had to stay there for 4 hours. I thanked him thoroughly, I don't think I'll message some guy I barely know thanking him again for a supper I didn't know I was invited to. Maybe that's immature, I'm really tired though. I can't believe she just yelled that through my door.
I have to agree with Shenendoah.
Honestly, the more examples you give, the more it sounds like your landlady is a caring person and you are responding like a 16yo, where no matter what someone who cared about you did, they would be wrong.
The comment about the dishes, you are assuming was made to dis you. She could have been commenting on the mess that is caused by her own kids (by her for them, etc).
It sounds like the feeding on the weekend thing was a lack of communication on both parts. She did your chores a couple of week days so she thought you were doing her weekend chores.
It is not her treating you like a kid, it is simply a lack of communication. Read this board some, that is pretty the problem in at least 75% of the issues posted that are similar.
I am confused what is wrong about her saying she will give you a ride. You wanted her to give you a ride. You were asking her to give you a ride. Her saying back that she said she will make sure you got to work is some how her acting like your mother?
If you want to play adult you have to be an adult.
Are you an emancipated minor? If not, she might be discussing things with your father because he is still legally responsible for you.
Would it be OK with you if one of your friends reminded you to get on facebook and thank another friend for something?
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