General Etiquette > Family and Children

How to handle mother? Solution #49

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I recently dropped out of school and am hoping I get into the Military next year (the training here starts in October and you have to take a lot of tests to qualify beforehand).

In the meantime I'm looking for a job since I don't want to sit around for a year, but mostly from home and on line. To up my changes I'm also doing an on line course. Since I'm spending so much time at home now, my mother has decided that I have to do a lot more at home.

This has 2 effects.
On one hand she's getting mad because she thinks I'm not putting in enough effort to find a job, since all I'm doing is sitting behind my computer all day.
On the other hand all the jobs she has me do are taking me quite literally all day. Today I was doing her stuff from 10AM until 5PM. Which means that I haven't been able to look for a job today. I was just starting my on line course when she came home and I think because she saw me behind my computer doing "nothing" she decided that starting next week I have to cook as well. I HATE cooking with a passion. Can't do it, won't do it, will rather eat nothing at all.

How do I deal with this in a way that makes it livable? I can't tell her off, because when one of her children disagrees with her, she will just ignore them until she feels it's over and refuse to talk about it.
It's also not really that I'm not willing to do the extra work, just that it's so much that I don't even have a chance to do something about my unemployment.

Off topic, but not completely is that she's demanding to know what I do on the computer all day and wants to see it. For me, my computer is very personal and even though I'm not doing anything wrong, I don't like other people watching or even asking me about it. It feels like someone asking me to read my diary for example. Or when you're reading a good book and they keep interrupting you.

I'm not willing to tell her everytime I'm using the computer, what I'm doing, so I would like a nice stockphrase to block her off when she's asking me.

EDIT: I'm not paying rent as long as I don't have a job. My father however has proposed to send the alimony directly into my account so I could pay rent so to speak, but I'm afraid that if I would allow him to do that, my mother would go ballistic. It's a very sensitive topic.

Are you paying rent? I think that might better inform our answers and determine how much interference on her part is reasonable.

I do think you can tell her "My job right now is looking for a job. I'll be submitting resumes and doing research from 8am to 2pm. Please let me know if there's anything else I need to help with after that.", but it also might be helpful to tell her "I applied to x places today" or something to that effect.

I highly suggest also going to the library whenever possible. Out of sight out of mind. It may help relieve the pressures.

On the other hand if you are dealing with someone who doesn't understand how job searching works in the modern day, and won't learn, your probably going to be dealing with a lot of future fights. :/

How old are you? I don't blame your mom for adding chores to you since you are no longer in school and aren't working. But applying for jobs online isn't a 9 - 5 thing - there is no reason you can't do it in the evenings.

Can you give her a concentrated tour of how you're job-searching on the computer and what your online course is?  Sit her down with you for an hour and let her look over your shoulder and show her the websites where you're searching and networking, how the online course works, etc.  My guess is that she can't picture the computer being used for anything other than games, so if you can spend some time educating her on what you're doing, she might not feel so much like you're 'wasting time'.   

And you're also going to need to tell her that you need x amount of time per day for the online course and y amount of time for explicit job hunting, so while you're happy to work on things around the house, you are not available 24/7.  Schedule your job hunting and coursework, and then you can schedule the household stuff around it. 


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