Wedding Woes

Start weekending on campus.

Dear Prudence,

My older sister got pregnant (twice) and dropped out of school. She lives with our parents and works part-time at a fast food joint. I go to college about two hours away. I love my family but I hate visiting. The house is always a mess and I am stuck on the sofa because the kids have my room. Either the kids are screaming their heads off, my parents are fighting about bills, or my sister is complaining about how hard her life is. I juggle school, a full-time job, and my scholarship. I don’t even have time to socialize when I am there, which makes my weekends so precious.

I still have a lot of friends in town and prefer to stay and see them rather than deal with the chaos at home. My family finds this offensive. My mother claims it hurts her heart that I don’t want to “spend time” with them. And my sister makes snide remarks about me being a shitty aunt and not loving her kids. The minute I enter the door, my mother is banging at me to help clean up, my sister is shoving her kids at me so she can go out, and my dad locks himself in the garage to tinker. They don’t even ask me how school is going. I would just not tell them when I am visiting, but most of my friends either live at home or are family friends. The last time that my family found out I visited without telling them, I got the mother of all guilt trips. I love my family, but visiting them isn’t worth the gas every weekend. Help!

—Visiting Woes

Re: Start weekending on campus.

  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited February 29
    It's like the family is almost mad at LW for being in college because they should have stayed home to 'help' with all of it, including their sister's choices (and the consequences of said choices).  It sucks that LW can't even go to their hometown to see/stay with friends without it becoming an all-out family drama.  If LW wants to see friends from home, why not invite them to campus?  I used to go visit my older sister and even stay in her dorm when she was at school.  

    Anyway, LW can't change their family's expectations, the chaos, or the living/sleeping situation, but they don't mention that the support is going 2 ways (like their family is providing their financial backing for school or anything), so LW can control when they show up or not.  If there is something they can 'hold' over LW, then LW has to decide if sucking it up is worth it OR if they can live without the thing/find a way to cover it themselves. 
  • You don’t have to hear the guilt trip if you don’t go home and don’t answer the phone. 

    I get it can be really hard to break away from family expectations but college is the perfect excuse to start small. Stay one weekend and ignore the comments about what you’re not doing. 
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