Since the pandemic started, we’ve all familiarised ourselves with staying at home as many young Malaysians decided to return to their hometowns and spend the lockdowns with their parents.
But, that doesn’t mean that it has been all blue skies and butterflies.
There has been turmoil and conflict for some who decided to stay with their parents during the lockdowns, prompting Zul. (@zfatlee) to share his guide to living with your parents during the pandemic, titled ‘Surviving MCO: Re-Living with Your Parents as an Adult’.
He wrote, “I stayed on my own during MCO 1.0 and decided to stay with my parents this time around. It’s Day 2 now and I decided to make a guide of ‘Surviving MCO: Re-Living With Your Parents as an Adult’.”
Here are Zul’s steps towards harmonious co-living with your parents while the world battles a deadly viral disease.
1. Don’t break your mum’s plates and bowls.
“If you happened to do it, intentionally or not, my professional advice is to look for a new mother because you are dead to her now,” he said.
2. If you’re a smoker with a smoker dad, be mindful that he would know if you steal his cigarettes… or his inhaler.
3. No matter how old or successful you are, you are now 15-years-old again.
4. Doors and the ethics of knocking is a state of mind. Non-existent. It’s a borderless system with no immigration in this household… for you.
5. Being able to multitask is crucial. ‘Watching Netflix’ means playing a show in the background and helping your mum fold the clothes while your dad rants about Malaysian politics to you.
6. If your parents call your name, you should be in front of them within 30 seconds.
“If they call you by your full name, you should’ve been there last night,” he added.
7. When they ask you what you want for dinner, remember that freedom of choice is an illusion and that it was merely a question of formality.
“You’re eating what is served. Period,” he explained.
8. If you can make a drink for yourself, you can make a drink for everyone else.
“This applies for food and washing clothes too.”
9. Kindness requires an audience.
“My hypothesis is this; a good deed done for the house is only considered a good deed if your parents are around to see it. It’s our parents’ version of ‘pictures or it didn’t happen’,” he said.
10. Job opportunity.
“Whatever status you’re in, whether you’re working from home or unemployed, you are now working for them. Whatever free time or off days you have, you don’t. It’s theirs now,” he added.
11. They’ll tell you no more suppers during MCO because they want to ration the food.
“Your instinct will tell you to eat more during dinner so you don’t starve through the night. Your instinct is wrong. There will still be supper (because dad gets hungry at night),” he said.
12. Know their trigger points.
“Locking the house doors before you sleep will please your dad. Not closing the fridge door properly means wars with your mum.”
13. This particular guide is for families that practice a religion.
“If you’ve prayed, announce it to the house. Parents want to see their family members go to heaven. So, they’ll wonder if you’ve prayed and will ask you to pray… even if you’re in a meeting with a CEO,” he explained.
14. They’re not stupid, they just speak in a different language.
“You may go for a walk alone to clear your mind. Although there’s an MCO and no socialising is allowed, consider it a formality when they ask ‘who are you going with?!’. In their dictionary, it means ‘be safe’.”
15. Spotify? No, Golf Channel.
“If your dad is a fan of golf, the Golf Channel is now the official Spotify playlist of the house. Change the channel and there shall be no peace in this land for a millennium,” he added.
16. There will be days where there’s no food at home.
“Usually, it happens when you forget to take out the chicken from the freezer then you’re disowned by your parents. Buying them a microwave for the sole purpose to defrost is not an excuse for your lack of responsibility,” he said.
17. Breakfast is the first meal they have when they wake up. Even if it’s in the afternoon, it’s still breakfast.
“Learn to adapt.”
“Whatever is playing on mum and dad’s phone is meant for the whole house to hear,” he joked.
19. Attend to your work meetings at night because at any given time during the day, your mum might start vacuuming.
20. The last on this list summarises it all. CHERISH YOUR TIME WITH THEM.
“We lost our family cat of 16 years recently and it made me realise how precious those moments you share with your family are and how life just passes by,” he ended.
There you have it, folks.
Try implementing Zul’s guide to your life while staying in your hometowns! Who knows, it may very well be the solution to your conflicts with your parents and don’t forget, you’ll miss them just as much as they’ll miss you when things go back to normal.
And if you do try these out, let us know how well it works in the comment section!