Balancing Independence and Family

By Joanna, age 20, South Wales, United Kingdom

This summer, I moved out from my parents' home and into a rented house with three other girls from university. At first, I was terrified. I didn't know these girls particularly well as I'd only responded to a poster I'd seen up in the uni one day. We'd met up a few times, seemed to get along, so we decided to all move in together.

It takes some getting used to, living with people that you're not totally familiar with, but so far things have been great, and I have to admit that my worries were, for the most part, in vain. I've had to accept a few differences between me and my housemates. For example, one of the girls is a strictly R&B music fan, whereas I prefer to listen to alternative music, but the most important thing is getting along, and despite differences in opinion, we are all becoming good friends.

The hardest thing, I have found, is learning how to balance my own need for independence with my loving mother's need to nurture me. Don't get me wrong, I love my mum to bits and I wouldn't change her for the world, but do you ever get the feeling that your mum can be a little over-concerned about you? That's what mine is like. She calls me every few days to check that I'm okay, which was sweet at first, but with the ever-increasing workload from uni is becoming a slight annoyance. She expects to be informed of every decision I make and my every visit to somewhere new. On the one hand, I can see that she wants to be able to help and guide me, but on the other hand, I personally feel that I need to be able to make my own decisions and my own mistakes.

So how do I deal with becoming my own totally independent person and not offending my overly caring mum? For me, I think it's been a slow process, but I find that making decisions and informing her of them afterwards seems to be a step in the right direction. You don't have to exclude your family from your own life, but they don't have to be part of every aspect of it either, and I think it can be a challenging thing to juggle. At the end of it all, my mum is always going to be my mum and is always going to care, but she has to step back and let me become the person I am going to become, even if that means sometimes doing things that she doesn't agree with or like. The key, in my opinion, is to never under-appreciate the things your mum does or tries to do for you, and to let her know you value her and make her feel loved, but hold on to the independence you have gained at the same time.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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