Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Adult Children re Sluggy's Post

Here, read Sluggy's post first before you read mine (if you haven't already). 

No I'm not going to lecture Sluggy on what she and her husband should or shouldn't do with regard to their adult children. I'm just going to add to her story some stories of my own family members.

PROS of having your adult child move back in with you:
  • this happened to my oldest brother once. His son and new wife moved in for 6 months with the understanding that they would contribute to utilities and food and save the rest of their income for a down payment on a house. Fortunately they had a firm plan with a set time limit and at the end of the 6 months they did indeed buy a home with a solid down payment.
  • they can help look after a parent or grandparent with health issues. My other brother did this with great sacrifice in his own life/career). My father, at this point in his illness (cancer plus psychological problems - depression and anxiety), was very difficult to live with - I don't know if I could have done it.
CONS of having your adult child move back in with you:
  • it can really put the parent's relationship on shaky ground if they don't agree absolutely to a set of rules. And if the adult child is disrespectful, has financial problems and not a great attitude it can turn out horribly!! Saw this in my family too.
  • the front door (or back!) becomes a revolving door - child comes home, leaves, comes home again and on it goes totally disrupting the parent's lives. They leave their junk behind but do not dare to throw anything out! Food that is needed gets eaten up, utility bills increase, they borrow money that they never pay back. They don't do the things they said they would do in order to get back on their feet. Ka-ching!

Sunday's lunch in the forest
 My situation is different (but quite common these days) in that my 25 year old daughter has never left home in the first place! She is trying to pay off her student loans and pays all of her other bills like cell phone and contributes by buying her own food and wine etc. She has never asked me for money. More and more young adults these days are staying at home. In my day we were out the door as soon as possible while our parents called out "don't let the door hit you on the way out!"

But Kazi is struggling. She just lost the job she had for 7 months in the medical office. The doctor decided he wasn't busy enough to warrant having a 2nd person at the desk. She is down to one job currently which is a part-time bar tending gig. One thing I can say in her favour is that she is never without a job for long - she has had one interview already and another this Friday.

However, it is this instability that makes her afraid of moving out. She's saving as much as she can in case she needs some retraining. Yes, she has a degree in french but she graduated almost 4 years ago so she would have to brush up on her skills in a big way.
The view behind me.
I am finding it very hard. I watch as her self confidence erodes a bit more with each job loss. I bite my tongue and don't offer advice because I know she doesn't want to hear it. I try to stay upbeat as I know she is taking anti-anxiety medication and I don't want to increase her anxiety. It's a really sucky situation as I know she's not happy living with her mother.
The view in front of me.
Financially it's not a problem for me as, like I said before, she has never asked for a loan. I did have a repair done on her car but she paid me  back in full. I live frugally, probably too frugal for her liking but tough luck! It was by living frugally that I now enjoy a comfortable retirement. I'm trying to continue with my retirement plans though I do feel some guilt for jetting off to Ireland for 3 weeks. Though I shouldn't.

Right now she has a free roof over her head, free wifi, an excellent cat sitter :) electricity, laundry (she does her own) and some heat (she thinks I keep the thermostat set too low), again I say "tough luck". (In my own head...not out loud lol!) Well sometimes out loud - when my brother  was staying with us after his eye operation she complained to him it was always cold in here so I said "she who pays the bill gets to set the thermometer!" I try to use a little humour now and then but she is so sensitive that I usually end up hurting her feelings.

That is the hardest part for me. The number of topics which can hurt her feelings is seemingly endless and I don't really know what to do other than to not speak. I don't think I'm that hard to get along with as so far she is the only one to complain.

Case in point (today):
Me: so I guess your team didn't make it through to the next round? (she was rooting for the Chicago Black Hawks NHL team)
Her: why did you have to bring that up? (Meaning I'm only allowed to say HAPPY things)

It has come to the point where I don't want to speak for fear of hurting her feelings.
My lunch spot - thank you to whoever who provided this chair!
She just needs to get away from me and live her own life. Living with her mother at almost 26 years of age is tough for her as well as me. I try to joke around but it usually falls flat. (I'm a glass half full type of person whereas she is a glass half empty).

ADVICE? or just plain commiseration welcomed. Is it any wonder why I spend so much time in the woods? The forest is great for stress. It's called forest bathing and you can read all about it here...."forest bathing"! 

1 comment:

ND Chic said...

I think it's so common to have adult children living at home. I think you sound like a very reasonable mother with your housing requests.