Okay. I have a boyfriend. I live with him and my mother, stepfather, and half-brother. We moved from CA across the country to NC to live here. Overall everything is wonderful but there are a handful of things that we would love to address, and neither of us are quite sure how.
We'll start with MY mother.
The main issue is that my boyfriend (we'll call him Erik) works a part-time job. I have not found employment yet, though as per my agreement with my mother, as soon as the paperwork comes in the mail for my being added to the car insurance, I will change my license from CA to NC and then apply to the local community college for classes. My mom runs a home business, owning an appliance repair company that Stepdad and Babybro are the technicians for, so she is often busy and loath to leave the house for errands. I do not mind running errands for her, she does not mind letting me use her vehicle to run them, I am a licensed driver, all is well. The problem is twofold: The errands that need run are all in Rtown, which is a 30 minute drive from Ltown, where we live. So it is a minimum of an hour to go run an errand for her, plus however long each errand takes to complete.
The other part of the issues is that she never asks me to run these errands alone, on Erik's work days. She usually asks Erik and I go together on his days off. Almost every day off we are sent on errands that cumulatively end up taking 4-5 hours, where we pull out of the driveway around 11am and pull back into the driveway around 3 or 4 pm. This gets kind of exhausting for Erik, who is beginning to feel as if he does not have any days off at all.
And when I say "run" errands, I mean "run." As in, she will come knock on the door to wake us up at 10 in the morning (She knows that I have clinical depression as well as a sleep disorder, making me literally unable to function at the moment when woken before about 9am) and say "Okay Setsu get up get breakfast take your pills get dressed so you guys can go into town for me I'd like you out the door by no later than 11!" and we are then rushrushrushed to get awake, eat, dress, much sighing during tooth brushing and restroom breaks, and sometimes we are rushed out the door so much that we have to promptly return because we forgot something!
I'm wondering, is there any way to bring up that we'd like to maybe have a day every once in a while to just sit at home and relax (not that I won't cook or clean or do laundry) a day where we don't really have to go out and do things, without making it seem like we are not appreciative of the fact that she lets us stay in her house rent-free for the time being? These errands began as a request, "Hey guys if you don't mind could you go to town and do X, Y, and Z for me?" but now it's more like "Oh Erik you're off today? Cool! Here's the list for X, take these to Y, drop this off at Z, and here's some cash to pick us all up some lunch while you're out. Bye and drive safe!" So there's really not much room for saying "I really was hoping to stay home today" Should we just suck it up and take it as our "rent" to run these errands on his days off?
The other issue with my mother is, Erik has a strong distaste for onions, or onion-like foods (leeks, shallots, chives, all right out. He likes garlic, though.) He doesn't like to call it an allergy, but the smell and taste make him a bit queasy. My mother's cooking can be summed up with "put onion in everything that I don't put sugar in" so this is a problem for her. She's adjusting okay to not putting onion in things, but we are sure to hear about it. When she cooks dinner, sometimes she'll put "just a little bit" of onion "for a little flavor" which is frustrating, because the "flavor" is the part he doesn't like!
Other times she'll leave the onions out altogether, but we hear about it all night, throughout the dinner. Sitting at the table we hear "And not a single onion to be seen in this dinner!" or "Gee it's tasty but I bet it would have tasted better if I could have put an onion in it!" Which is quite embarrassing for poor Erik, who then feels bad because she is making it sound as though not putting onion in it has ruined dinner, or he is called out for picking the big bits of onion out of dinner. "Oh you don't like it? Oh no he's just picking out the onion" followed by a heavy sigh. How do we handle this? She doesn't seem to understand that he really cannot stand the onions, and takes it as personal victory if she can manage to get him to eat something she's put an onion in. On a few occasions she'll watch him take the first bite expectantly, and then ask "Do you like it?" and if he nods or says it's okay, she goes "Hah! There's onion in it! Just a little, but there's onion!" We're not sure what to do. We explained before he ever got here, before we even packed our things to come, that he could not, would not, eat onions, couldn't stand them. And she said that that was fine, and she would manage.
Now for HIS mother.
Erik is an only child. His mother is having a lot of difficulty in accepting that he has moved across the country. We understand that, and he is doing his best to reassure her that he's not run away forever and he has no plans to cut her from his life. He calls her almost every day, if she doesn't call him first. They text back and forth every single day, almost all day with the exception of when he is working, as he does not even have his phone on him at work, it stays in his locked locker.
The main issue comes from her going through these incredibly sad phases, where she will do nothing but text him how sad she is, how it's his fault he left her, how X or Y thing won't work and it's his fault because he's not there to fix it. She even will say "Your dog is sad and misses you he was in your room today." It really seems as though her whole goal is to make him feel bad because he left. And it's working. Generally he doesn't know how to respond to these things.. he'll tell her he feels bad that she is sad, or that the thing isn't working, but what is he supposed to do or say to her? "Oh, okay, I'll be right back ASAP" seems to be the answer she's looking for. Sometimes she'll even ask when he's "coming home." We'd love advice on how to deal with her when she's being like this.
The other problem is that she asks about money CONSTANTLY. She asks if I have a job yet at least once a week. She asks how much he has in the bank. She asks how much his paycheck was, or will interrogate him about his exact hours in an attempt to math up his paycheck herself. She asks if he wants her to put money in his bank account. He will tell her that he's okay on money, and she'll ask how much he wants. He'll tell her "If you want to give me money, however much you'd like to give me" and she'll put however much and stipulate "No spending it on Setsu okay? This is for YOU." We really have no idea what to do about that..
Any advice from anyone on any one of these would be amazingly appreciated. Even if the advice is to grin and bear it.