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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » How do you Cut Loose from Adult Children

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Author Topic: How do you Cut Loose from Adult Children
nefferdun
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I have not seen my 24 year old son since Christmas except briefly when I went to the doctor near where he is going to school in Seattle. He and his girlfriend could only spare a few hours to spend with my husband and I.

I just called him and he said he is coming for a visit with 7 of his friends! I have two days notice to prepare. I don't even know how long they are staying.

My kids seem to believe I live and breath for them and am supposed to just be on hold until they decide to call or stop by at their convenience. When do I get a life?

Do adult children normally have to be put in their place? I thought I taught them better manners, but I guess not.

At first I was doing the same old thing, making up "to do" lists. Change linen (do I need to buy more blankets?), buy food, clean everything like crazy, mow the yard, weed, make it all perfect. I was fretting away if there would be enough time to get it all done and if I had to cook meat for these people as I am on the F diet.

Then is struck me this morning. Wait a minute! I did not invite these people. Let my son take care of it. We have a rental house and they can all stay there and bring their own sleeping bags and food. I can have them over for A VEGAN meal and leave some cerial, milk and bread in the frig at the rental for breakfast.

Good grief.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

Posts: 4676 | From western Montana | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sixgoofykids
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It's up to you to set the boundaries. He should have ASKED, not told you he was bringing 7 people over. You are right, it is not up to you to entertain them.

Be sure to tell your son to CLEAN the rental when he's done, that it's HIS reponsibility to leave it in the same condition it was when he got there or in the future he won't be able to use it.

I'm glad you came to your senses!! [Big Grin]

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sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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Keebler
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This is how parents of one of my friends handled a similar situation with their family rental when we all came as her "band of friends" for days before her wedding and it worked out wonderfully.


Just matter of factly, explain that "to do" list can be in exchange for the rental fee - and they are on their own for most of their food.

List area markets, maybe farmers' markets, too.

Just treat them like any other adult group, go over "house rules" the moment of their arrival.

Walk though, look at the condition of the stove, etc. showing them how clean it looks now - and then be sure they know it has to look the same or better when they leave.

Just treat them as friendly but firmly as you would any adult group. Hopefully, they will rise up to meet you there and you will have some good laughs and some wonderful times, even just here and there.

When I was that age, I loved getting to know my friends' parents as our ships crossed.

You'll be able to see the friends your son has chosen, get to know them and then get to know the person he is becoming.

Give some of them the chance to plan, shop and prepare that group vegan meal with you, too. That should be an experience!

You are the captain of the ship; they are the crew. Still, it can be fun if the tone is set right from the start. Humor will help, along with an "eagle eye" at times.

DISHES? Washed, Dried and put back in place.

LAUNDRY? If there are soiled bed, bath and kitchen linens, they need to have those washed, dried, folded and put back in their place before they depart.

THEIR PERSONAL LAUNDRY?

Surely, your son will have some. For the others, just be clear if they can toss in a just few items at the end with the sheets - or do whole loads of their own. Or supply a map to the nearest laundromat.

You can suggest they may want to choose teams to cover different chores or just all pitch in together for all the duties.

WATER / SEWER USE? If seven is a strain on the plumbing, go over a plan for how long showers can be so everyone gets some warm water, etc. If the sewer or septic tank has certain requirements on volume, they will need to know that, too.

If there are young ladies, and if there is a septic system, there may be some particulars to mention to them alone.

CAR WASHING on the property? If so, specifics regarding water use and the kind of soaps.

GARDEN WATERING or TENDING?

As for how you explain all this - not as your son's mother but as the property owner & manager - you can use the terms "standard operating procedure" & "house rules" to drive home the "contractual concepts" involved.

"HOUSE RULES" or "COURTESY GUIDELINES" should be posted on the back of the front door or in a common place. Take time upon their arrival to read through it as a "group meeting."

If the water has to be shut off between guests - or other specifics - you might ask if anyone wants to learn about how to do that. I valued such lessons any chance I got.

=============================

SHOW EACH ONE WHERE THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER IS, instruct on its use. They may or may not have ever been instructed but it's important to go over that.

Make note of the smoke alarm locations.

With a group of seven, they might go over an exit plan in case of fire, (crawl low, etc.), a common meeting place and who would call 911 when.

I'm sure they all have the common sense on how to prevent fires, still, such instruction is really important not just for their visit but for their general education.

If there is a fire place or outdoor fire pit, of course, DO spell it all out with all in attendance.

"I know you all have common sense and may know all this, but if an emergency, it's good to have some of this fresh in your mind so you don't have to think about it, you can just do it - every second counts"

Firecrackers?

Only last year did I learn how to hold and aim a fire extinguisher - but have never actually engaged one. Unless a true emergency, no one wants to have to breath that stuff or clean it up.

But it's good to have practiced holding it for how it might "kick" when engaged. They may have received this instruction somewhere in school or scouts, etc. but it's best to not assume that.

I used to house-sit now and then, sometimes for weeks at a time when people would be out of the country. Things I required the owners to show me:

* Water shutoff for each sink / toilet - and for the whole house (out at at the street)

* Circuit breaker

* Flash lights

* Fire extinguishers

Most seems surprised I would ask but, hey, that knowledge can save so much heartache if ever needed. Just seems every adult in a house should know these things.

When a teenager, I lost my balance and fell across a sink -- and water just spewed all over at a very fast speed.

I had no idea what to do and so much water damage occurred to the bathroom, and the kitchen below & its ceiling light system - by the time my dad came upstairs.

Had I known to immediately just reach over and turn a knob, I could have prevented damage and saved a ton of money. I will never forget that.
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[ 06-08-2012, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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Assuming they are to arrive & also depart en masse -

While some interaction with the group is good for you and your husband,

with all the friends along, it's important that you both have some times carved out JUST to be with your son - and maybe some times for each of you to have some one-on-one time, too.

I hope he will want this, too, but may not yet understand how the dynamics of a large group can interfere with relationship building for a family unit.

This is very important to be able to develop an adult relationship with him during this time of transition.

If his girlfriend is with him, her inclusion for some - not all - of family time can also be very valuable.
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
nefferdun
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I am so glad to hear others express the way I feel. Yep, he should have asked, not informed. Keebler, I tend to just assume people have good manners. I know that is not always the case.

My son intended to stay in our house with his girlfriend so he would have his queen size bed to sleep in rather than an air mattress. I don't know if he got my email but I told him they can all stay at the rental. That way I can tell HIM the rules and he can make sure it is all taken care of, such as laundry, dishes, etc.

I spent much of yesterday preparing and will be at it again today and tomorrow until they arrive ( I have no idea what time). My children do not seem to have much interest in family time. It is an inconvenience to them and their girlfriend/boyfriend. I actually just started therapy to focus away from them and onto a new life for myself.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

Posts: 4676 | From western Montana | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sixgoofykids
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Adult kids do grow up and move out, which does mean moving on. My daughter is 24, engaged, and moved out. I *may* have thrown a fit and asked why we were paying for a wedding when she said she was moving in with him a few months before the wedding, so she lives in an apt. in our office. [Wink] She has two jobs, part time for my husband, and she and I own a pilates studio together.

Since we work together, we see each other pretty regularly. We're also planning the wedding together. But she is definitely on her own and not here for a lot of family time.

We kicked my son out at 18 (four years ago and he still doesn't have his act together). We're just now starting to see him more. Not often, not too long, but he'll stop in and will come to family events like birthdays/graduations, etc.

I still have four kids at home. One is starting college, but living at home. Her boyfriend lives in our town and goes to the same college she will be attending. The other three are high schoolers.

So, there you have an overview of where I am right now. It's a period of transition. I was always a stay-at-home mom. Now my kids don't need me that much. The adult kids are starting their own life.

How I'm handling this new found time is to start on my new life. I just went through a nine month long, 600 hour training program for pilates (20-25 hours a week) with my daughter. We opened a studio together. At this point I'm teaching 5 hours a week at our studio, and 4 hours a week at another studio, and my hours are building.

Rather than reminiscing at how much my kids used to be the center of my life, I'm redirecting my life. It's hard when you've given of yourself for years to center your life on yourself and what you want to do. But when you do, your kids will appreciate it, and you will have to schedule time for them. You know, they don't change much, when YOU are busy, they will want you more .... just like when you got on the telephone when they were little .... I always joked that a telephone is a kid magnet.

Plus, they won't feel the pressure of being the center of your universe.

We bribe our kids over ..... with wine they can't afford, lol. Or with taco night (the fiance's favorite, he's even come over for it when she can't, LOL).

Redifine yourself. It's fun once you set your mind to it. Look at it as a mid-life career change. Once they are more family focused, ie - family of their own, they will appreciate you more.

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sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

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lpkayak
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i need therapy to deal with this too. i enjoyed reading how you are handling it

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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nefferdun
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Having that career is a great move. I need to stay focused on myself too. I am going to try to do more riding now that I feel better. If I ever get really well, maybe I could go some place!

My son is doing great in school although he has type one diabetes and his girlfriend blows it off and has him binge drinking which is extremely dangerous (it can send him into a coma).

I got the methyl cycle mutations test for him (it hasn't come yet) and I hope it opens his mind to taking better care of his health.

I always allowed him to make his own decisions since middle school so I have not been an over protective Mom but it is really hard to step aside on this issue. The girlfriend drives me nuts as she has an aunt literally dying from kidney failure from type two diabetes and she thinks she knows all there is to know about taking care of a diabetic.

My daughter is the oldest. She is 27 and living with her third boyfriend. This man is 15 years older than her, with 3 children from two previous marriages. When I told the therapist about him, she said "Is this real? Are you telling me the truth?" It is THAT BAD.

My daughter was planning to marry him and I was going along with it until I found out some things - I did a paid online search. Now we are not speaking.
I am not sure why I should be paying for a marriage either.

My sisters took my mother who had advanced Altzheimer's to the bank to change money intended for her children to the grandchildren so when she died, my children got a huge portion of my inheritance. This is verified in the bank statements. I do not feel too keen on giving my children anything else right now. The "fiances" both use my kids for support and know I don't like it so that is dividing us too.

This is really hard. The wonderful thing is I have Medicare to cover the therapist so I can spend the rest of my life in there if necessary :0)

I have an old warmblood (horse) that was so bonkers he blew up bucking on a regular basis. He broke my back and my arm. I brought him around so he was a better horse but never a reliable horse. Finally two years ago, I retired him. When I see him in pasture now and I am riding my calm quiet quarter horse, I literally thank God. I let go of that responsibility and it feels so good.

I want to see my kids in the pasture.

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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Lauralyme
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Neffer
What kinds of things can you find out from a paid online search?

I am optimistic your kids will appreciate you more when they get older and more mature.

I remember when I was in my early thirties and my parents were coming to visit from out of town. I remember thinking how much they were cramping my style.

Ten years later I cherish every second with them.

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Fall down seven times, get up eight
~Japanese proverb

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nefferdun
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Thanks Lauralyme, I have been waiting a long time for my kids to appreciate me and probably won't be so available when they do decide I am important. Things change.

You can find out pretty much whatever you want to know online but you have to pay for it. You can get the criminal history; any time a person was arrested and finger printed. You can find out when they went to court for other things like bad debts, divorce or how many times they have declared bankruptcy.

When my son applied for an apartment he and his girlfriend had to pay $40 for back ground checks. They don't just check references any more. They actually check your record. You can't escape your history. If you don't pay your bills, you won't have a place to live.

If you have been arrested, any employer can find out when and why and question if you are a good risk to move up the ladder into management. They know if you have a drug history or have been arrested for drunk driving or served jail time.

If I were a parent I would do a search on the parents of anyone my children were becoming good friends with. I would be much more careful, much more nosy and much more involved.

And if I was someone else following my advise, I sure as heck would not allow my children to play at the home of the children of this man because I would not to risk what might happen. You always wonder if a person has been arrested, what did they not get caught doing?

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old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

Posts: 4676 | From western Montana | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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