Dealing With Fights With Family…


My mum called me this morning and I don’t get phone calls from her often, because she is always busy so I was happy to chat to her. My mum was in transit at Heathrow airport going to Africa. We talked about a myriad of things like my older sister’s wedding and my career. The conversation did eventually turn sour and it has put me in a really disheartened. I feel like bursting into tears.

The reason I feel sad is because while I know my mum loves me unconditionally and she is probably the only person in the whole world who cares about me 100% no matter what I do, I feel like she does not understand what I want in my life.

1. My sister’s wedding: I am going to TZ in a fortnight for my sister’s wedding. Her wedding is a week later. My mum was slightly annoyed that I was coming late. The way I see it is it is a thing that cannot be helped because I have to complete my Masters project, my careers website which must be handed in on 25 September if I am going to be eligible for a distinction class if the project is good. The website has to have at least 8,000 words on it so that means stacks of articles have to be written, researched & created. I am under a lot of pressure to do a lot of work for this project, and any aspiring journalist knows that the bulk of the work is doing the research first, writing can tak e a day max, but researching takes forever. It makes me look like I don’t care about my sister’s wedding but I do, but look at it this way, I will lose 3 weeks of work on my MA for the wedding, which is fine, because I have made a timetable of what I need to do. I have been working very hard on this project, but there is still a lot to do, and by the time I come back, I will only have four weeks to complete the features, the website and write a 3,000w dissertation. I am very stressed about my MA project, and for my mum not to realise that I am also under extreme pressure, was very sad to me. And hurtful because I also have to do things to. What would you do in my situation? Would you be upset? When I get back from the wedding, I will only have four weeks to finish the project and it’s not like I have been sitting on my laurels, I really have been working but losing 3 weeks from my schedule will put me behind.

2. My Career: My mum knows all about my dreams about working for myself and starting my own company. But that’s all they are to her, just dreams. She keeps reminding me about the supposed ”failure” of Kerosene, the magazine I made last year which was a one-off magazine. She told me:

Everything that is not sustainable is a failure

I told my mum that Kerosene was not meant to be a long-term thing, I was just trying to see if I could do my own thing and by getting it published, I fulfilled that dream of creating something from scratch. She just made it seem like it was a failure. And that hurt me, because I worked very hard last year to make that magazine from air and then for her to say it was a failure was very hurtful.

My mum also knows that I want to be a media entrepreneur and have my own company. But she keeps bringing up me getting a job in Africa or getting an internship at some next place, but that is NOT what I want and it is not what I will excel at. I sent her my business plan ages ago and she still has not read it. And she said that she will, but she hasn’t. I know she is busy, but how does she knows my dream is just a dream if she hasn’t even read my business plan? I didn’t write a proper business plan for Kerosene or do any research but I did for my careers website.

It is just disheartening to think that your family would want you to succeed [and she says she does] but yet she does not seem to support me.

I am just feeling very down about this. I woke up with a fresh attitude. I was on the bus by 7.30am ready to work at the computer centre about this project and I was excited to hear from my mum. We had a great conversation initially and then it just went down the pan.

I emailed her to tell her my feelings about the conversation. I felt awful that we fought before she was due to travel because I don’t like that at all, but I am so sad that no one understand what I want to achieve. I even told her a while ago that I wanted to name my company [if it ever gets off the ground] after the names of my parents. Shouldn’t that show her or anyone else that I am serious about this?

All I think about is being a media entrepreneur. Why can’t she believe in me? Sometimes I get the impression that all she does is pick, pick, pick, pick, pick and continue to pick and me and I am exhausted for being picked at.

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5 thoughts on “Dealing With Fights With Family…

  1. It must suck 😦 😦 I totally understand what you are going through. I have tried to make sense of why our parents are sooooo set on making us their version of success. I do not know if it’s a generational thing, or the African Perspective vs The Western perspective….because if you are not doing anything conventional and you are African….people, especially family members are immediately sceptical.

    I think we still hold on to the big ones; Engineering, Law, Medicine. Anything other than entrepreneurship (I’m so sure I have spelt that wrong lol) or just paving your own way. The irony is; that is what we need the most in Africa and in the diaspora. We basically no longer have traditional dreams; I find that even my fellow African students studying medicine are thinking of what they can accomplish outside of their field of study.

    I do not know why it is so very hard for our parents to relate. Having moved here from Africa and found myself in a law degree I hated and decided to do what I love Psychology and Sociology, my family’s reaction was quite bleh to say the least. Even though I am still in academia, will still be successful, and I have a plan, and I am thriving academically. I have a feeling the pride that came with law, has slowly dissipated to just ok good for you.

    Having said all that; It is all love. Your mum loves you and I think it’s just that they truly want the best for us. They just define ‘best’ differently.

    Much love and encouragement 🙂

  2. Awww, here is a sisterly hug from across the Atlantic. I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time. So you are going to TZ a week before your sister’s wedding? How is that “late?” Seems like a lot of time to me. Are there a lot of preparations. I find that African and Caribbean families can be very demanding. They don’t respect that you have your own life.\

    With career, this comes back to one of those things where the people who are closest to you don’t always believe in you. It hurts, but remember that you don’t need their approval to move forward. You only need your own permission and faith in yourself.

  3. Aulelia,

    Parents are just so hard to raise! Lol Keep your head up. I think that parents are very hard on us because they know how hard the world can be on us. It sounds like your mom is just trying to make sure you see all of the angles.

    But as you say, you know that your mom loves you and that is the most important thing.

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