I have fears of being 40 and still staying at home.
Not because I won’t be successful but because my mum would have refuted, denied, fought and won against my efforts to move out. See, I’m the youngest in a family of 5. The baby of the family. The one who never went to boarding school because someone had to remain at home with mom. I call this aspect sibling guilt. My siblings all left home for greener pastures and they are doing well but now mum is all alone and someone has to remain with her. In comes the last born. I’m the same person who came back home after university to settle down here. This was partly because I couldn’t get a job in my country of choice and partly to take care of mum.
It was fun to be the baby of the family when I was younger because I got away with murder. I would do stuff and as soon as someone said “ah, ndiye rugotwe ka” (she is the last born after all) and that inevitable hiding would simply disappear. Now that I’m older, it’s not fun anymore. My mum’s over protection was welcome in my tweens but now as a young adult, I resent the substantial helpings of love. I feel like I have no voice, no opinions NOTHING. It’s also made more apparent because I still live in her house. My mum goes to the extent of wanting to tell me what to wear, where to go and how to plan my social life (i.e. spend the whole day at home. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t meet anyone. In other words, live like a hermit). I remember when I initially came back home after a 5 year absence. She would insist on accompanying me to town, waiting for me while I checked my e-mails, saw my friends etc just so we could come home together. Now this is was sweet gesture but at 23, you don’t want your mum following you around like a lost puppy. Subsequently I started working and if I wasn’t home by 6pm, the phone calls and texts would start.
I don’t blame my mum though. All her life she lived for her kids. Now the kids are growing up and moving on with their lives. Where does that leave her? I understand where she is coming from but I just wish I wasn’t the one who had to deal with it. I guess my point is she doesn’t need to hold my hand as I cross the street anymore. She doesn’t need to pick out my clothes and tell me when to eat and what to eat. Instead of appreciating it, I begrudge the extra attention. And even if I try to explain it to her, she doesn’t see it from my point of view and is yet to accept that I’m growing up and need to learn to make my own mistakes.
I guess these are the perks of being the baby of the family.
Counting down the years until I move out…