When you're a teenager, oftentimes the last thing you want is for your parents to be all up in your business.
So when Redditor alotofeggcups started noticing an odd pattern of behavior from her mom, she reached out to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole' (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong for how she handled the situation, asking:
"AITA for getting frustrated with my mom for being in the kitchen at the same time as me?"
The original poster (OP) explained what was setting her off.
"I (18F) have a super repetitive and predictable routine. Every morning at 9:55, I go into the kitchen to pack my lunch for work."
"Every morning at 9:55, my mom decides she absolutely needs to be in the kitchen as well. Emptying the garbage, rearranging stuff in the cupboards, wiping down the counter, whatever."
"But it's like she waits for me to go to make my lunch and then comes in. The kitchen isn't very big, so she's always bumping into me while I'm cutting stuff up or standing in front of cupboards I need to get into."
"I've asked her politely a couple times if she could wait until I'm done (I take 10 minutes, max), but she snapped at me for 'ordering her around in her own house.'"
"Yesterday, I was cutting up vegetables and she came in to wash dishes, and ended up bumping into me while I was using the knife. I got a small surface-level cut on my finger."
"It honestly wasn't bad, but I was so frustrated with her that I snapped and said 'Maybe if you didn't insist on being my personal backpack every morning, this wouldn't have happened.'"
"My parents are saying I'm an AH for snapping at her for this, but my sister is siding with me. I feel bad for being rude, but I also think it was partially justified on my end."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While most agreed the OP was NTA, some suggested she try switching up her routine.
"Snapping at your mom is not nice but I understand the frustration."
"Maybe do a little experiment and try getting to the kitchen earlier like maybe 9:30 to pack your lunch. If she goes out of her way to be there earlier there then she's def the AH."—iksod
"Yeah how about doing it earlier, or during the evening before? Just to gauge the level of annoyance she is seeking to cause you."
"Should not be a issue for her to do what she does when you are not there."—ILY4evah
But OP made it clear it didn't matter what time she was in the kitchen—her mom always found a reason to be there too.
"I've tried. I've gone in at 9:45, 9:30, 10:00, even as early as 8:30. She does the same thing no matter when I'm in the kitchen."
Many gave the OP some food for thought to consider why her mom was always in the kitchen with her.
"I don't know if that would make the mom an AH necessarily."
"It feels like if mom is going out of her way to be in the same place she's looking for company or a reason to talk to OP, if only subconsciously."
"My family did this sh*t all the time. We grew up in a two story house with five bedrooms and we always ended up in the same room together."
"You're NTA for getting frustrated, OP. That's perfectly understandable."
"But if mom's not a total toxic mess, try looking for alternate reasons why she's doing this."—dramaandaheadache
"I get the feeling she's either lonely or super nosy."—AsterFlauros
But even if her intentions were pure, not everyone was on board with the mom's actions.
"NTA. All the Y-T-A/N-A-H/E-S-H/SHE JUST WANTS TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU!!! responses are completely f**king wild."
"OP has changed their schedule multiple times trying to avoid this issue and spoken to mom before snapping after getting injured."
"Mom can chat with OP at a reasonable distance if she's so hard up for quality time (I severely doubt this is the reason she's doing this. If it is it sounds like a cool way to make your kid hate you and not want to spend time with you ever)."
"This is really unacceptable behavior no matter who owns the kitchen but OP you do super need to move out."
"It kind of feels like mom is f**king with your lunch-making because she's mad you're saving up money to move out."
"No matter how much they insist you should stay until the end of your first year of uni, GTFO as soon as possible and get those boundaries happening and then move around your own kitchen freely and unencumbered wherever you want to!"—catanaition
After her post went viral, the OP came back to give everyone an update that was surprisingly heartwarming.
"I got a much bigger response on my original post than I ever thought I would. A couple hours after I posted it, I realized I left a lot of information out and wanted to clarify some things, as well as provide an update on the situation."
"Some people asked if I pay rent or own the house. It's my parents house, and I don't pay rent."
"I can't afford to move out right now, and my parents don't want to let me move out until after my first year of uni."
"Some people also asked if I'm autistic. I have ADHD, which shares a lot of traits with autism."
"I stick to a strict routine because it's the only way I'm able to remember to do everything I need to in the morning."
"A lot of people suggested packing my lunch at a different time, or even the night before."
"I had tried this before; no matter what time I went into the kitchen, my mom followed. I tried it again a couple times since making the post, and she continued to follow me."
"I took the advice of some people who told me to try going into the kitchen as usual, but to leave when my mom got in my way and tell her I'd wait until she was finished."
"I even made sure the kitchen was spotless the night before. Dishwasher emptied, no dishes in the sink, counters wiped down, and trash emptied."
"She followed me in, and when I said I'd wait, she said she was done. Almost as soon as I went back in, she followed me in again and claimed she had forgotten to do something."
"A lot of people pointed out that she might just want to spend time with me, which I hadn't thought of before."
"I think that maybe me getting a job, finishing high school, and starting to work towards getting my driver's license made her realize I'm growing up and won't be dependent on her/living at home for much longer."
"Maybe she just wants to spend as much time with me as she can before I go, or maybe she doesn't feel as 'Mom' as she did before."
"What finally worked was, after dinner a couple nights ago, asking her to pack some leftovers from dinner in a separate container for me to take for lunch the next day. She seemed really happy that I asked, and didn't follow me into the kitchen the next morning."
"She even left a sticky note with a smiley face on top of the container! I also asked if she could drive me to work, which gave us the chance to chat and catch up in the car."
"I think she just missed feeling like I need her, which I always will. Even though we butt heads sometimes, she'll always be my mom, and I think I just needed to find a way to remind her of that."
"I wrote my original post feeling super frustrated at my mom, but I teared up a bit finishing this update. Sending a massive thank you to all the kind people who commented and helped me work this out :)"
We're happy the OP got to the root of the issue thanks to a hearty helping of communication and empathy.