Every once in a while I’d be doing the dishes -some of them mine and some of them were used by my family members. Then my mom would say, “thank you for doing the dishes.” I didn’t know why at first, but I almost always found myself getting mad. Then I realized I didn’t want her appreciation, I just wanted the dishes done so I could have a clean counter to work on tomorrow.
I’ve been trained by my parents to do things for money, for praise, for that gold star or that A plus. They never taught me how to go after the climb, how to go after just building on myself, even if the impact was small at first. They made the impression that whatever I did I had to do it for some kind of reward.
It wasn’t until today that my repressed feelings had finally had enough. I went to kohl’s with my mom and my brother. We were about ready to check out when my mom realized she didn’t have her card. She asked them to put the clothes in the back since she worked there so the cashier said she’d do that for her. However, we had planned on going to an expensive grocery store right after -my mom said we would have to use my card and that she would pay me back. When we got there, I decided to remind her to pay me back -I suppose it could’ve been perceived in a slightly rude way. Not that it was the right thing to do, but my brother had told me about all the times my parnets never paid him back. Which worried me since I’ve been trying to save up to get out of the house and I didn’t want to be set back too much.
When we got home she got mad at me and told me that she didn’t appreciate how I treated her. Then I told her that I didn’t mean it that way and that I had already been paying for my own food and such so I was worried I wouldn’t get paid back. She then told about how much she’d done for me. Which made me even more upset because she’s my mom and I’m still just a kid and as I kid I felt they she should’ve been doing things for me. I felt like I was supposed to feel bad for not being out of the house yet, for not having a good enough job to take care of myself. For not being able to pay for my bills, my car insurance and my health insurance. She made me feel like I’m supposed to be supporting myself completely by now, but I’m still only 19.
That’s when I told her that I do the dishes all the time and she told me that she appreciated that, but I told her that I didn’t want her appreciation. I did those dishes for myself and not for anybody else. I’m tired of being ‘appreciated’, from now on if I realize that I’m just doing something for praise then I’m just not going to do it. I’m going to do things simply because I just want to do it for myself. Whenever someone asks to be appreciated they’re still expecting something from somebody. The number one piece of advice I could give to be would be don’t expect anything from anybody.
If you expect something from somebody then just do it yourself, you’ll probably be happier -since even when somebody expects someone to do something they usually end up wishing they did it themselves. Not to mention it’ll save the people around you from being nagged all the time.