Since I moved working to Bandar Lampung, I live at my Auntie’s house (because I’m poor and need to save money for my uncertain future. Lol. No, it’s serious). For the first several months, my parents come along due to their unbearable boredom in my hometown (West Sumatra) as well as to organize my brother’s upcoming wedding which will be held in Bandar Lampung instead of my hometown. So, we live under the same roof again after years of living severally since I was in high school. My other older brother and his family also like to stay in my Auntie’s house rather than in their own. I suspect it is because of their laziness to do the laundry for my Auntie’s got a housemaid. Lol.
So, now I live with three lovely oldsters who can’t never take criticisms (my Mom, Dad and Auntie), two childish adults (My brother and sis-in-law) whose minds are busy with parenthood, admiration to their first son and how-to-increase-family-saving kind of things, and my baby nephew who’s cute but likes to fart. Not to forget, a half-day housemaid who is just like any other Indonesian housemaids; Dangdut and Bollywood lover.
In Indonesia, it’s common for adults to live with parents or relatives, moreover there are some cultures in Indonesia that recommend married daughter(s) to live with the parents and bring her husband and children to the parents’ house. It’s also regarded politeness to stay in a close relative’s house rather than renting an apartment/ room if you live in the same city they live in.
I considered myself not really Indonesian in the way I think and the way I see things, I am quite individualistic and tend to disagree with some traditions in Indonesia, especially when it comes to Indonesian’s concepts of politeness. Moreover, living with parents/ family can be more difficult if you are already accustomed to living by yourself, just like in my case.
When living severally, conflicts rarely occured, almost never. But after we’re under the same roof again, it can somewhat feel like hell (this statement may sound a bit rude or ungrateful for Indonesians’ ears, but I like to say truth rather than telling something beautiful just because it’s regarded more polite. Deal with it).
We don’t see eye to eye in almost everything (**This actually already started since I was a kid, I am different and skeptic that for my parents and family I am a such a rebel. In fact, I am not. I just need better, honest and logical reasons rather than platitudes). For my parents, their daughter is just and will always be a little kid. While for me, I believe in my own self-control and the power of knowledge and logic.
I LOVE MY FAMILY SO MUCH, I really do. BUT it doesn’t mean that I have to always agree with all the things they think I have to do. I don’t need to tell or report all the details to every bit of it about what I did, what I am going to do nor why I have to do things. Making money is not as easy as what it used to be in their times. Our generation needs to work our ass off to survive, bahkan PNS juga gitu sekarang broooo… My parents think that working should not be so different from school time that they even think to call on my office to let me go home at 4 pm EVERY DAY so I’ll get home before Maghrib. Mom, you can’t be serious… --.—“
I know my parents love me so much the way I do for them, but I what I want and need them to do is to ADMIT that they don’t show it in the best ways either. You can’t always demand, you need to give too. The problem is, maybe my parents and auntie are already too old for negotiations that I should remain quiet and nod to everything they wish with a smiling face if I don’t want to be trapped in an overwhelming endless drama.
On one side, living with family gives cheaper living cost, I don’t need to pay the rent, food and laundry. But on the other hand, another thing becomes so expensive, rare and luxurious, which is a time for my own.
After a long tiring day at work, what I dream is a peaceful privacy for relaxation, reading, improving knowledge, crafting, talking to my boyfie or besties or just sleeping (recharging). Now?? I don’t even know anymore if weekend really exists. If I still have office works to do on holidays, I choose to go somewhere else like café to finish it rather than at home. Because at home, they won’t understand and I can’t never get things done.
However, another thing that you realize more when you live with your parents is that they’re old and so old. They’re not as fit as they used to be. My heart breaks when looking at my father groans in pain (my father can’t walk anymore without the help of a walking stick). When I am so tired and just want to lay on my bed after work, I recall my childhood that at that time maybe my parents were also so tired after work and just wanted to rest, but they chose to spend time with me, listening to stories about my school days and how my friends and I believed that we’re secret agent just like Spy Kids. Therefore, I walk out my bedroom, and ask them, “So how’s El (my baby nephew) doing? Did he pee on you today?”