Although cultural values can give a sense of roots and belonging, they may also result in high expectations, which could turn into a burden. This is especially true for children whose parents have different customs from the culture they live in. In cases like this, the child often feels torn between two worlds.
According to Sophie Lloyd of Newsweek, the topic of family expectations was recently brought to light in an online post from November 05, in which a daughter flatly refused to let her aging parents move into her home.
The author of the post explained that she was born into a South Asian family living in the United States. From early on, it was clear that her parents had different expectations for her than they did for her older brother. They wanted her to stay at home and take care of them and him, rather than pursue her own dreams. So, according to her, she did what any self-respecting person would do: She got a partial scholarship to college and got the heck out of there.
Over the next four years, she worked hard while completing her undergraduate degree. Then she was lucky enough to get a full scholarship for a post-undergraduate program. As a result, when she finished her studies, she only carried some minor debt, yet two college degrees to show for it.
Since then, she has found a career path that brings her joy and an amazing husband. Although her parents disapprove of him because he comes from a different culture and religion, he maintains his love for her unconditionally.
On the other hand, her parents paid for her brother's college education, and now he's doing pretty well for himself with five kids in a private school. Although they have a nanny, her brother's wife stays at home to take care of their children. Moreover, the author points out that his wife, too, holds a degree but that their family has simply made the decision to subsist on a single income.
"...I did not want them..."
The author revealed that she and her husband will soon become parents for the very first time. She writes, "We waited a few years before deciding to start our family. We will be stopping at two, and my husband will be getting a vasectomy afterward. We are very much in agreement about our future."
Despite this, her parents have concluded that it is in their best interest to sell their own home and move in with the expectant couple. She explained, "We have a large property with an in-law suite in an HCOL [high cost of living] city on the west coast. I told my husband that I did not want them living with us, and he concurred. "
Therefore, she informed her parents that she could not accommodate their request to move in with them. But they rebutted her decision by claiming that they had already put their house up for sale on the market. Furthermore, they emphasized their belief that a "dutiful daughter" should look after her aging parents.
She explained, "I said that if they gave me all the money from the sale of their home, I would find them a nice retirement home where they could live and that I would pay the bills until they passed away. They didn't like that idea very much. They called me an ungrateful child and that it was expected of me."
And despite the fact that her parents accused her of being "ungrateful," she nevertheless wrote them a check that was enough to cover one year's worth of rent, groceries, electricity, and other items. After that, she warned them not to get in touch with her without going through her attorney first.
Overall, her family members, both in the United States and overseas, are unhappy with her choice. In addition to that, her brother also scolded her and said that she was bringing shame to the family by refusing to take them in. But then she informed him that he had two options: either he could take them in personally, or he should never discuss it again, or else she would cut off all communication with him too.
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