Issues with my mother at Christian summer camp


Short version: How do I tell my mom to give me space without being rude?

Long version: I’m 18 years old, and about two months ago I was hired at a Christian day camp that runs week-long programs for four weeks during the summer. Unfortunately, I’m not able to drive, so my mother drives me to the job every single day.

Right before the second week of camp, my boss posted a call for volunteers. My mom offered to volunteer since she was driving me anyway. She was assigned to volunteer at my station…and it all sort of went downhill from there.

Mom is smart and has lots of experience working with kids, but our work styles are completely different and she’s incredibly bossy/control freak. I like to take care of housekeeping business and set-up in the morning; she prefers to do it in the afternoon. I’m more relaxed with how I run my classroom; she’s more strict. I feel like I no longer have control over what happens in my room or what my volunteers are doing because my mom has put herself in charge. I love having volunteers who are proactive, but in order for things to run smoothly, I need a balance between proactivity and ability to just follow instructions and carry out tasks. Mom has really good ideas, but I feel like she doesn’t give me the space to try out my own ideas, and she gets mad if I don’t take her ideas.

That said, I have difficulty communicating effectively with my mom, so my own hands are not entirely clean with this issue. Additionally, the theme of the camp is “fling open the doors to everyone everyday,” and there’s a huge focus on serving those closest to you (i.e. family). This is an issue I struggle with personally all the time. The camp has been a wonderful way for me to reflect on the problem, and I know I need to do the same for my mother, but it’s SO hard to do it when the family member is constantly making you feel aggravated and miserable.

As someone who is incredibly stubborn and independent, I’m just about on my last nerve with having my mother in the classroom with me. I want my classroom back, but I don’t want to just shove my mother away (especially since she is being gracious enough to drive me every day). How should I deal with this situation? I only have a few days left of camp, but I refuse to let this issue go unresolved.

While you’re at it, please say a prayer for me, my mom, and all those involved with camp this week. :slight_smile:


Ask your boss if you can be assigned to a different team than your mom. Your boss ought to understand that.

Get your driver’s licence. Buy a dependable used car.


@TheLittleLady trust me - if I could drive, I would! Unfortunately, I have several anxiety issues that affect my ability to drive safely. I wouldn’t trust myself to drive until I can afford treatment to address my anxiety.

I cannot move to a different team because I’m an activity director and was trained to/am being paid to lead that station specifically. I would have to ask my boss to move my mother, but I doubt they would move her so late in the week.


Then you have to sit down with your mom and tell her that you are the paid employee, she is a volunteer and this is how you want to run the classroom.


Just pretend you two are angels -
Just because your different ages - means nothing with angels !
Angels - good ones :innocent::innocent: - get along famously.

This probably won’t ever happen again -
So kinda have fun with it -
and get some photos - 20 years from now - it’ll be cute to remember for both of you.


You need to tell your boss to reassign either you or your mother so you do not have to work together.

Any boss with an ounce of sense would have not assigned her to work with you in the first place.


Given the theme of the camp it may have been deliberate.


It seems you have stated the problem fairly. You are an adult, It is okay to have an argument with your mom. Be firm. This is good communication. Been married 54 years and we would not have lasted, if we didn’t deal with issues head on.


"Mom, I love you but you are driving me nutty. "


Tell your camp director you need them to assign your mother elsewhere because given your age she is not yet able to see you as the authority in the classroom and has taken it over. You need her to be someone else’s volunteer for the remainder of the camp.


I will pray the Divine Mercy chaplet for you and your mother.


I think printing off what you wrote and having her read it would be a good strategy. You thought it out, wrote it out. It’s clear, it’s to the point. Giving her a written note like that bypasses the ‘you are driving me nuts!!’ and gives sound reasoning, not just a dump of emotion. Consider this a great experience and one you can build on for future mother talks.
I would still request that she be a volunteer with another person as 1ke pointed out. That was not the smartest move, whoever put a mother with their 18 year old.

Let us know how it plays out. God bless you and strengthen you for this summer!


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