Moving Out: A Debate of Values

Yesterday, I received a call from one of my jobs asking me if I wanted to try working at a few more hospitals. I happily agreed, as this would definitely give me more working hours and an opportunity to check out other facilities. Also, these hospitals are far enough away from my home that I would be "forced" to move. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that things work out so I can put the apartment search into high gear and have my own place by next month.

While my mom is pleased at the idea of me working at more hospitals - especially ones with more name recognition - she is not pleased with the idea that I will probably be moving soon. In a conversation we had earlier, my mom reiterated that children who move out after college are ungrateful to their parents for not staying. My mom complained that she hasn't had a chance to "enjoy my company" since I've only been at home for a year. She stated that if I had siblings, I'd still be living at home paying for their college tuition.

I suppose I should try to cut my mom some slack, as her perspective is based on a set of personal beliefs she terms "Filipino values" (which of course varies from Filipino to Filipino). My mom came from a family that obligates older children to return after college to help the parents and younger children financially. Since children are not allowed to work while in school/university, this is a way to repay the parents for their financial sacrifices. Typically, children live at home until they get married, or longer if the spouses become parts of the household.

As someone who grew up exposed to a different set of values, I view moving out after college as a sign that parents have raised successful children who no longer need to rely on them. Adult children can still help their parents financially and emotionally if necessary, and certainly do not need to live at home to do so. Parents are not going to be around forever, hence I feel it's necessary that adult children grow their own wings and learn to take care of themselves. If my mom views financial independence and non-reliance on the parents as such a bad thing, then why put so much pressure on me to overachieve? My mom (along with many of her friends/family members) certainly doesn't see things this way, and I question whether we'll ever come to a compromise when it comes to this issue.

Many of my friends and co-workers have children whom they can't wait to kick out of the house. Most of these children do not have a means to survive without their parents, with some not even trying to get jobs because they feel their parents will support them indefinitely. My problem is the complete opposite. I can only hope that I can eventually get my parents to interpret my leaving as a sign that they have done their part as parents, not a slap in the face by an ungrateful daughter.


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