My mother has agreed to substitute teach my piano students. Her price? MY IMMORTAL SOUL!
Ok, so it’s not that bad. However, my mom has a tendency to hold favors against me. So if she helps me out in a situation, I’ll never hear the end of it during every future disagreement we have for the rest of our lives. Because of this, I’m hesitant to ask her for favors. If a person is going to make such a huge deal about it, and go out of their way to make me feel SO guilty about asking, I’d rather ask someone who doesn’t have a problem helping me, and is willing to agree that ‘we’re even’ once I compensate them for their trouble.
When I was cast in “The Bacchae” I knew that there would be a small conflict with rehearsals. Rehearsals were from 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Monday to Friday. This is a slight problem, because I teach piano lessons until 7:15, meaning I would be about an hour late to rehearsals Mondays. I told the Director and stage manager about this, and they assured me that it would probably be fine, since they would not need the entire cast every single day. When I started rehearsals last month, I was pleased to find out that since my part is so small (and I am only in one scene of the play) they would only need me to come in about once a week. Awesome! I can keep teaching AND participate in the play without worries! I had an 80% chance of going in on a day I didn’t teach piano.
Unfortunately, today I will need to go in for rehearsals, and they will need me the entire time (I can’t be late). This means I had to find someone to substitute in for my piano lessons (I’m not allowed to cancel/reschedule students’ lessons). I called two other student teachers to find if they could do it. One couldn’t, the other vanished off the face of the earth this particular week :mad: . The only person that could do it was my mom. I was desperate. I knew that she worked at the same studio I did, and she knows enough piano to substitute (She sings, plays guitar and violin, plays in a band, etc). I only need her to substitute for part of the day, in fact only for the last 45 minutes of lessons. But she makes it out to be a much bigger deal than it really is, which is stressful for me because I don’t have any other choice in this situation
I feel for you. I HATE when people do this sort of thing.
When she brings it up more then once, I would just explain to her that it is childish and rude to be such a nag. At least, that’s what I do when people try to do this to me. I understand it is a bit more touchy because it is your mom, but maybe just be honest and explain to her that it hurts/annoys/makes you murderous.
Oh, I’ve been dealing with this for a very long time, unfortunately. Naturally, the more it bothered me, the more I tried to find alternatives. Unfortunately, every once in a while I run into a situation like this where I have no choice.
Granted, if she bothered me that much, I could have just called the students (against the master teacher’s orders) and told them I wouldn’t be able to make it, and credit them that week so that I wouldn’t have to deal with my mom, but chances are it would have cost me my job there and my abhorrence to guilt-tripping isn’t so great that I’m willing to sacrifice one of my jobs for it.
The inflexibility of the job arises from the fact that the master teacher has to pay studio fees for the room I teach in. She doesn’t want to pay rent for a room that isn’t getting used to make her money, so somebody has to be there from 6:30-7:15. Frankly, it is getting aggrivating to the point that I am transitioning into teaching students on my own at their houses, which despite the added driving is more flexible if I have a conflict (i.e. call them and make up missed lessons, or adjust schedules, etc).
The silver lining here is that these mundane inconveniences really help drive me to find more efficient means- I always had the potential to teach piano on my own, but I had to deal with the hassles of working for somebody else to realize it.
This makes me think of that saying - no one can take advantage of you without you letting them. Ask your mom for favours, re-pay her a reasonable amount (with cash or do favours for her in return), then ignore any guilt-trips she tries to give you after that. You do realize that you are an active participant in her guilt-trips, right, Incubus?