Cindy: I love my parents, but I don't want to be a parent like them
Updated: Feb 18, 2020
An August afternoon, I got a Uber and met the driver Cindy. She told me a story about living in Los Angeles, generational differences, and parenting.
"The cost of living in LA is too high"
“My family is from Mexico. I’m a third-generation immigrant.
I’ve been part-time doing Uber for two years. Everyday after work, I would drive for a couple of hours, make about 100 bucks, so it’s about 3k for a month. It’s a good amount of money.
My family is renting right now. My mom doesn’t have a house either. We all think it’s time to buy a house, so we are all working toward this goal.”
“A lot of people have the impression about American individualism that kids don’t live with their parents. But my family’s situation is actually very common here, because the cost of living in LA is too high.
The rent here is too expensive. If I move out and live with my boyfriend, it’s nearly impossible to find a house with a yard that we can afford. And there’s no parking whatsoever. So it makes sense to live with them.
By living with my parents, I get to help them out. That way we all save. My mom and dad don’t have to work so hard. Now my mom is working for the new house, my dad is paying the current house, and I help out with the bills. You see that a lot in LA.”
"I can’t wait to see my future grandkids"
“I used to spend time by the beach every summer, but I haven’t got the chance to go this year. It’s already August, and the summer is almost gone. Time goes by so fast, but I’m also very excited because I can’t wait to see my future grandkids. I look forward to the future.”
“I’m 24 now. My boyfriend is a bit older. He’s getting more and more excited about having kids. My niece came to visit this summer, and then my boyfriend just couldn’t stop talking about having kids. I’m not saying that I don’t want kids, it’s just I want to wait till I’m 28, that would be a good age to have kids. Now it’s a bit early.
If I have kids, I think I’ll be a good mom. I have a dog and I treat him like a baby. I know I’ll be a good mom. But I don’t want to be like my parents.”
"I love my parents, but I don’t want to be like them"
“My mom has racial biases.
She’s very traditional and very conservative. Even though she’s also one of the millennials -- she’s 42 -- she still has that mindset. She was raised in an environment that was already diverse when she went to school, and people were saying everybody was equal. But her mom taught her to be that way. "
“I was like ‘No, what do you mean you don’t like black people! You have so many friends that are black.’ And she said, ‘Well yeah, but I don’t want my grandkids to be black.’
But you can’t choose who you fall in love with.”
“There are a lot of other differences between my generation and my parents’ generation.
My nieces have very bad parents, so I always try to be there for them. When I’m with them, I get very motherly, but I also punish them when they do something wrong. In the meantime, I would tell them why, where the problem is, and they would understand a lot.
But my mom isn’t like that. She punishes them but doesn’t explain why.
Discipline turns out to be good for kids’ development. I got punished when I was little and now I understand a lot of things. But my younger sisters were spoiled, and they were not so great.
Discipline works. You just need to explain why. That’s how kids learn and grow.”
"There’s a big gap between me and my younger sisters. My parents spoiled them. But when I was young, I grew up with struggles. My mom had to do multiple jobs.
I know what it is like not to have anything, so I know how to appreciate everything.
My younger sisters have everything, and they sometimes are very rude."
"I know my mom did the best she could.
I love my parents. But I also know that if I have kids, I would not be like my parents."
Editor & Photographer: Nox