How to Make Family Cartrips Less Awkward After You Graduate

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ender land, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    I'm curious what people think on this subject and/or have experienced.

    I've graduated college and am halfway through a masters - so I've been away from home for over five years. I own my own car and am 100% financially independent from my parents and have been for several years.

    One thing which is always amusing is coming home for holidays. My parents seem to have a hard time with understanding I am an adult (or are just being typical parents and not wanting to ever let go :) ) and so it makes for an interesting situation. Specifically, when it comes to family road trips. For 95% of the time, I am an adult and can make own decisions, etc, but when I'm home it's a blast to the past.

    It's a weird feeling and hard to explain. I feel people will either completely "get" it or have no idea wtf I'm talking about.

    Has anyone else experienced this?
  2. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    What awkwardness are you specifically talking about?
  3. ender land thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    I was having a hard time putting this into words earlier :)

    It's somewhat like, you go through most of your early life dependent and tied to your parents. Then, eventually and hopefully (!), you graduate high school/college/something and end up on your own. You learn to live life as an independent person for the vast majority of your life.

    But, when you are home, your parents have only interacted with you in the dependent state - so there is this weird juxtaposition of who you were with who you are, the two not being equal.

    (that probably was more confusing? :p)
  4. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    No, it makes perfect sense to me. I guess some people have very 'adult'/equal relationships with their parents when they're young, so there's no real adjustment.

    I found it a little strange at first, but actually I started to get along with my parents, and indeed my siblings (most of whom are much older than me) much better and more naturally after spending time away in college.
  5. soco macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Yardley, PA
    Oh I get you now. I just didn't get what the car trip reference was.

    I don't think there is a juxtaposition really. We're inherently supposed to be forever in a dependant state with our parents. They're always older than us, almost always wiser, etc. Even if we need them less, or even don't need them at all, we'll always psychologically look to them as our superiors to a degree.
  6. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    You are certainly not alone. This happens to everyone, more and more each year since its harder for college grads to find good jobs and affortable housing. Its hard to find a comfortable balance between repsecting your parents (even if you didn't live with them) and they treating you like an adult. I'm 41, its still hard at times and I live with my own family now. Try to talking about anything awkward with them, set up "rules", yes, of course, you can stay out all night long but if you just said you were going to dinner, whats so bad about dropping them a text saying you won't be home, please don't worry. Etc. etc.

    As far as the car trips go, stop playing with yourself in the backseat. Its not helping.
  7. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    I don't really get that myself, I was always a very independent kid.
  8. rican macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2008
    Party in the USA

    I understand what you mean because, I went to undergrad college away from home, rarely came home. Then, I moved back home and then left -- and now every time we see each other, it's usually a, "Hey how are you?" Ohhh, you sure you don't wanna come back home? LOL

    Parents just have a hard time letting go, I am used to it since i'm the youngest, but I hate when they ask me to return home. I'm a 23 year old graduate student working 50+ miles away from where my parents live. It gets annoying because I am so close with my parents, and then when I am out, or something & receive a text from my mom saying, love you, miss you, don't be out late, it's a tad bit embarrassing.
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I completely sympathize with this!

    Whats bad is all through high school I was completely independent and my parents had no problem with it. Once I got out, I worked on my own for a year and thats where things started to get different. I was suddenly the center of attention (which I HATE) when I was around and they would do weird things like thank me for coming to the dinner table.

    The awkwardness pushed me away and I stopped eating dinner with them, and eventually joined the army. It was a nice break and when I came back I could afford to live on my own, so I did. Things just kept getting weirder and they kept acting like I couldn't take care of myself or live on my own (yet they never pestered my sister who was completely helpless by herself).

    The older I got, the worse things got. My friends all thought I was being a jerk to my parents, until one time a friend of mine helped me move some stuff from my parents house to yet another apartment (there was three years where I worked overseas so I stored my stuff at my parents). He then saw what I was talking about. They'd constantly tell me what was in the fridge (like I needed to know), or ask if I need money (I had plenty), and just "over cared" so to speak.

    I got in to it with them one time when my Dad went so far as to show my picture around at his work place to girls who worked there (without my knowledge) to try and hook me up. How embarrassing! (The worst part is he came home with phone numbers!). I was livid. I was also on R and R from my job overseas at the time for only 2 weeks out of a year so it was a completely impractical and embarrassing thing to do. (Not to mention I NEVER tell them when if I'm dating because I don't believe its a parents business, luckily I wasn't with anyone at the time).

    Even this past Thanksgiving was awkward. My Mom always acts like I can't get food for myself and even said to my sister "Make sure you put some mashed potatoes on your brothers plate". My sister sees it too and said "He's 29 I'm sure he can put them on his own plate."

    It drives me nuts. I've never been dependent on my parents for anything since I was about 12 years old and haven't lived with them since I was 21 years old. I don't get what the change is all about. I've been all over the world by myself, including in and out of multiple war zones, yet they flip out in concern if they find out I'm going to visit a friend who lives an hour and a half away :rolleyes:

    In short, no OP you are not alone, and I completely sympathize with you!
  10. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Oct 14, 2010
    when you go on those Family car trips ... stop asking ... are we there yet? :D
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    It's less course then saying "When are we getting out of this ****ing car?????" :mad:
  12. heehee macrumors 68020


    Jul 31, 2006
    Same country as Santa Claus
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I think I know what you are talking about. Seems like you go home every so often, if it's once or twice a month for a few hours, just suck it up and make them happy. When you go home, continue being independent.

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