This time last month, we were probably all going about our lives like normal, before WHO declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The world has become a completely different place and the lockdown has led to swift and unwelcome changes to every aspect of human life as we knew it. While we appreciate that this discomfort is a lot better than everyone dying, we still hate it here.
Where typically, retiring to your home at the end of a long day served an escape from adult woes, some of our homes have now become a stressor. Living in such close quarters with our parents and seeing a lot of more of them than we usually would can be a bit overwhelming, and some aren’t coping as well with it. We all love our parents, but we also know how African parents struggle with boundaries even when their children are grown ass adults.
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African parents don’t really understand that even though we are their children, we are no longer children and they can’t treat us as such anymore. Boomers unlike millennials and Gen Zers aren’t quite so malleable, and are often set in their ways with no intention to shift or adjust to other people’s wants or expectations.
As a result, interacting with them for long periods can bring about some tension, where they try an assert their authority in ways they did when we were children, but are met with very different reactions. These times can also take us back to when we felt helpless as children, and our voices were often stifled by their authority.
A lot of built up resentment could be resurfacing right now for most people, so in a bid to show that we’re really all in this together, The NATIVE spoke to a couple of millennial and Gen Z Nigerians, who are social distancing at home with their Nigerian parents.
Whilst some haven’t really been bothered by their parents (are they angels and where did you get them from?) many aren’t quite having such a smooth sail. From getting caught smoking weed to getting ‘the talk’ after being caught taking nudes, here’s how people are coping at home with their parents:
My mum actually caught me smoking during the lockdown. She tried to open my locked door, and when I let her in she goes “why does it smell like weed in there?”. Obviously we denied but then she was like “ok I’m leaving when you’re ready to say the truth come to my room”. Luckily she wasn’t harsh or judgmental about it, she was just like we should stop and was unwilling to hear anything else.
A, 20, F.
Being in lockdown has made me realise how little respect parents have for their children and how they view us as accessories. My mum threatened to lock me out of the house and I was so confused cause I don’t understand why she thinks she has more authority over our family home than I do. I’m a member of the family and it’s my house too. Plus where the hell am I supposed to go?
F, 25, F.
My house can be very routine, I wake up everyday by 8/9am and do some house chores. I do most of my own leisure at night between 9pm-2am. That’s the part of my day I look forward to and it gets me in a good mood for tomorrow. I can watch anime, play games, FaceTime friends or just listen to music to relax. For me, the few extended hours of the day that you can spend by yourself, for yourself shouldn’t be overly serious. Have fun, relish it even though it might seem small or normal.
D, 23, M.
I live with my mum. I limit our exchange to morning pleasantries and getting her morning tea. My mum kind of had to respect my boundaries because we had a huge argument where I mentioned how uncomfortable and overbearing it was becoming . It might not have been in the best words but I think she got the memo cause she just lets me be now.
A, 22, F.
My mom is actually a handful lmao. Sometimes, I feel like the babe is so obsessed with me. Every second she shouts my name and when I respond, it’s always to show me one razz thing on Instagram that she thinks is funny. She’s so bored & she misses her friends so I honestly get it. I’m not the only child, I have my brothers but my older brother goes to work and my room is the closest to hers so I’m the obvious target.
M, 22, F.
My parents tried to run this idea of us saying the rosary daily at 8pm. I said I wasn’t interested and my dad said that it’s his house and it’s compulsory and that I should go to my husband’s house if I wasn’t willing to participate. But like we only did it once and they didn’t even enforce it after. Apart from that I just keep my distance.
S, 24, F.
For me, it’s been the whole church thing. At first, I joined because I was asked. But then it got too much, my mum’s church started doing a fast every day coupled with services and she still wanted me to attend. That’s where I had to put my foot down, and had a conversation with her that I won’t be attending the online services with her all the time. She first put up a front and was upset I didn’t see that the pandemic was a direct result of a spiritual battle, then she got the memo and left me alone. I only attend when I feel like it, which is rarely.
T, 26, M.
My dad walked into my room while I was taking nudes, now while that was so embarrassing for the both of us. It has actually opened a channel for honest conversations on body positivity, sex work and practising safe sex. I think my parents realise I’m an adult now, I ‘m very impressed.
G, 24, F.
Featured image credits/runtown
Tami is a lover of women, music and astrology. Tweet your fave female artistes at her @tamimak_