In my groups and phone consultations I think you too would relate to the current cry: THEY’RE BACK.
My daughter is home and we had “THE TALK” before she entered the front door, brief and to the point. It went something like this…I am so excited you are coming home. I know you are used to no authority figures and I am used to no children living at home. I have my routine and you have yours. We are both changed. You are an adult woman now who will be participating in the household. I am sure we can negotiate our needs when you get here. I just want to let you know I realize it is a big transition and I know you will miss your friends.
Simply naming the change and opening the door for negotiating seems to help the invasion and the joy of them living at home.
A dad called me and said, “I cant’ believe he still hasn’t done his laundry and his suitcase is sitting in the middle of his room. It has been two weeks.” Believe me, they have been doing their laundry away from home and when they need those socks and underwear, they will do laundry again. Let it go.
A mom said, “Do they think we have a maid who washes and loads the dishwasher. I want to lock the refrigerator and cupboards until they do the dishes.”
Part of what comes up for parents is:
1. I don’t want to manage daily life.
2. I want them to be responsible by seeing what has to be done and doing it.
3. I want to not feel used
4. I want to have fun with them and have meaningful conversations.
THE FEAR IS…. we spoiled our darlings…they think they are kings and princesses.
When I am having a bad day about my parenting I remind myself that it is my daughter’s life and I do trust she will course correct as will I. I have been on the planet longer than she. I need to not ask a lot of questions. I don’t need her to tell me about every interview or what she is thinking about .I need to lower my expectations in the sense that she gets to change her mind and she wants to be with her friends or off by herself. I need to hold my boundaries, for example, she has to fill the car with gas before I am off to work. We have never been at this stage of life.
Raising adult children is different for each family based on values and needs at the time.
Fortunately, my daughter and I have a lot in common so we like being around each other and paradoxically we get on each other’s nerves. Who doesn’t when it comes to living together? We both are communicators circled with the deepest knowing that we appreciate and respect each other.
A mother in the group said,” my daughter is not a talker and I can’t read her. The room got louder with chatter as so many parents have this issue for their sons and daughters. You hope for intuition, for gut reactions to guide your connections…so take a walk, bike ride, or go bowling. Summer is play time. Try leaving a note on the table and see if they write back.
The gift and the curse… we like being with them and they aren’t our best friends, we like hearing them around the house and having their friends over but we like our home quiet and clean …we know they will be leaving and goodbye brings tears, again and we don’t like feeling the absence of them.
So, how is it going for you with the children being back home?