I'm 21 and living at home with my teenage brother and single mom for the next three months. I am paying my own tuition and give my mom $100-300 bucks a month to cover the cell phone and help out. I cook a couple of nights a week and sometimes do laundry and other stuff. Every now and then my mom throws a fit. She cries, points at me, and says I'm not pulling my weight.
My friends say she expects a spouse's share of responsibility rather than a son's share. I can't say anything like that to her without her getting upset. What do I do? Is she expecting too much of me? How do I repair the relationship without overextending myself? How do I survive these next few months?
There is no such thing as a "spouse's share" of responsibility outside of marriage, so put that thought out the window.
Your mother is expecting you to behave like an adult. That she is not expecting an adult's share of the rent (or mortgage), utilities, and other related expenses is all the proof you need to show she's not expecting too much. Even $300 a month is a small fraction of what it costs to support one person, much less three people. I can think of several adults your age and younger who would aspire to the chore list you have (along with the few expenses) because it would be a welcome break. That you can name the chores you have is a good indication of how few you have.
Unless you're doing chores without her having to say a word about what needs to be done, you're not acting like an adult. An adult doesn't have to be told. An adult just does. An adult doesn't list off what they've done because there's too much to list and they have more important things on their mind.
That you cook so infrequently is especially telling. On your own, will you only be eating a couple of nights a week? Who will be cooking and/or providing the other five dinners a week for you once you're on your own? Who will be making seven lunches and seven breakfasts? Since you're not doing the majority of the cooking now — or even half of it, for that matter — what's your issue? If it will be you doing the cooking seven nights a week when you're on your own, there is no reason why you can’t do more now, especially in light of there being someone who is counting on you and who, in large part, supports you.