I'm 26 years old & moved to Los Angeles from New York for college & have remained here since. A little less than 2 years ago, my mom decided to leave her job in NY to live with me in LA. Since her move, I feel like I've dedicated my life to serving and helping her get adjusted. I drive her to work and pick her up so she doesn't have to take the bus. I always eat dinner with her since she doesn't know anyone else, and I always feel like I need to check in with her before I go anywhere. I feel like I'm in high school all over again!
My mom does pay the rent for our apartment and I take care of the utilities and the rest of the bills. This financial help has of course been great because I've been able to lessen my amount of financial debt. The thing is though, I feel like I constantly fight with my mother. I feel like nothing I ever do for her is good enough & I really feel at my wits end.
I am very frustrated because I've gotten to the point where I have no social life. I know it's hard to get used to living with your parents once you haven't lived with them for a while (for me almost 7 years), but I can't deal with this anymore. I wish I could move out but I really can't afford it, and neither can she. She is a single parent, and I have no brothers or sisters, so no one else can help her, and I feel like I'm the only one she has. I love my mom, but I can't do this anymore. What should I do?
--Momma's Girl Margaret
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Dear Momma's Girl Margaret--
I would be upset too if I were you. A 26 year old woman should NOT be living with her mother! You are at the point in your life where you need to be exploring the world freely and on your own, and you can't do that when you share your apartment with your mom. It's great that she is helping you financially, but you two living together is wreaking havoc on your relationship.
I suggest that you have a talk with her and explain how you're feeling. Tell her that you appreciate her help, and love her very much, but don't think it's a good idea for you to live together anymore. Make it clear that you are craving your independence and your freedom, and you'll never be able to get it if you continue to cohabitate. At 26, you should be having a full and exciting social life, so I agree, something needs to change.
Make a suggestion that both of you get different apartments close to each other, and help brainstorm ideas on how she can meet people and make new friends her age. Since you say you are unhappy and always fighting, I'm sure she'll agree with you and realize that this separation needs to happen in order to save your relationship. It will be tough at first, but much better in the long run. Good luck Margaret!