I haven’t written a proper parenting post in a long while and I thought with Mother’s Day around the corner I should give it a go. I think that since I don’t have cute, little, young children anymore that maybe there isn’t really anything parenting to write about, but I was wrong. You never stop being a parent, even if your young adult children are still living at home. And by the way, I still think they’re still cute!
Ok, so maybe not cute all time, but for the most part. I’m at the point in my life where my kids are all grown-up adults. When they said don’t blink or you’ll miss it, they were right. I can’t believe my babies are all grown and all three of them still live at home, or at least mostly live at home. My children are now 27, 25, and 22 years old. That’s crazy! So what has it been like with young adult children living at home? Amazing, tough, fun, frustrating, and every emotion in between. But I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way, yet.
A lot of parents have kids that go off to college and then move back home after graduation, but not ours. My kids decided to go straight to work full-time after high school. I’m extremely proud of them. They are all very hard workers and they have found career paths that fit each one of them. But what has it been like? Well, here you go with the honest truth.
First off, there’s the friction and finding the balance between them leaving their teen years to young adult independence. You have to find that balance between what is allowed behavior and what isn’t. Just because they’ve become adults doesn’t mean they can suddenly come home at any time of the night. You have to find what works for you. Work aside, for years I still didn’t like them being out until all hours of the night, especially since my hubby has to be up very early in the mornings. So, we had to work on that.
What about alcohol use? Are you ok with your now legal drinking age child drinking in your home? We had to have those discussions, too. Thankfully, my kids aren’t big drinkers. My son does have a mini fridge in his room and he’ll have a drink at dinner sometimes and on a rare occasion, we’ll have one together. My oldest daughter has a few drinks in the kitchen that she rarely touches and my youngest really can’t stand the taste of it so far. Discuss your expectations of what is allowed and what isn’t.
What about having friends/girlfriends/boyfriends over? I love when my kids bring their friends around, I always have and I still do. Girlfriends and boyfriends over are a plus, especially if you get along. As far as sleepovers, that is something that you will need to discuss. Are you comfortable with a boyfriend or girlfriend sleeping over? What about in the same room? Different room? Also, what about coming in super late or super early in the morning? Thankfully for us, this didn’t happen too often, but if it’s an ongoing issue you may need to set boundaries.
I will say that one thing I noticed is that there can be a tug-of-war sometimes about who’s in charge. Occasionally we have to remind them that although they are young adult children living at home, we are still their parents, not the other way around. Sometimes it can be really sweet that they sense the need to take charge and care for us, but other times, it’s like ugh! Hello! I’m still here and I’m still your parent! I think this is really strong with girls, especially in the kitchen. But, I think it does get better as the girls get older.
For me personally, I’m learning to do things on my own again. I’ve been so used to having my kids with me all the time, now that everyone is working full-time I have about 10 hours a day that I’m home alone. Except for the dog and the cats. So, I’m learning to go to the store by myself again and run errands. I will say, that most days, I really enjoy the quiet and then when everyone is home at night, I love the noise.
One big thing is that if you still live in our home you are expected to contribute. We don’t charge rent, yet. But our kids do pay for their vehicles, insurance, phones, and any streaming services that we aren’t already paying for. They also buy any extra food that they want and for their clothes, etc. We expect them to contribute by helping to keep the house clean and orderly. I don’t have chore charts for everyone anymore, but some days I wish I still could. We expect them to pitch in with the dishes, cooking on occasion, and the yard. We do try to be mindful of their work schedules but if you live here rent-free, you must pitch in.
We’ve also had to learn to allow them to have and voice their own opinions, even if they don’t agree with ours or their siblings. Honestly, that’s always been the case, we’ve just had to reiterate a few times. We’re all learning as we all grow up and older. We’re still trying to teach them grace for themselves and others. We can disagree, and disagree passionately as long at the end of the day we still love each other because we’re family.
One other funny thing that we’ve had to work on at our house is parking. We have a huge circle driveway and now that everyone has their own vehicles, we’ve had huge arguments over parking! I just have to laugh! So, it’s weird how something so trivial is a big deal that we’ve all had to come to an agreement on. So be prepared, you never know what things you’ll have to deal with when you have new, young adults living at home. My best advice is to talk about boundaries and revisit expectations for you and your young adult children. Yes, I do love having my kids at home. There are days when I’m ready for them to fly the coop and I’m sure they are too. They won’t be here forever, or will they? Maybe we should set a move-out age too! That’s another discussion.
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