I have one child, an amazing son of 21, who naturally I love more than life itself. However at least once a week (sometimes more often) I ask myself, when is he leaving?
Granted, this is usually after an episode of a discarded plate in the sink just moments after I’ve washed up, hairs in sink/shower (stubble or worst still, pubes) or his general phobia to handling the hoover. The terrifying fact is that he will probably remain living with me possibly for the next 10 years, if research is to be believed.
I’ve listened to the argument that this relatively new trend, is because young people can’t get the jobs to pay the extortionate rents being demanded. I’m sure this is a factor, but I wonder sometimes, whether we, the parents, particularly mothers, as so many of us are raising our children alone, are to blame, for making their lives way too comfortable.
I like many others sucker mothers, do all the cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, ironing etc and charge way, way, way below market rent for housekeeping. What’s not to love about that? Embarrassingly, I still pay for his mobile, a hangover from when he was a teen because I can’t be arsed to do anything about it.
If i’m honest, my mother did the same for me, but her incessant moaning was enough to make me flee when I was in my early 20s. I myself am a world class moaner, but so comfortable is my son’s life, he’s prepared to ignore me and ride it out.
As tough as it is out there, and I recognise that it is, if some of these young people were motivated to leave home or hungry for independence, they would and could do something about it for example, group together with friends and rent somewhere. I have suggested this to my own ‘manchild’ and his response is ” yeah, that’s an idea”, but alas, he’s still here with no sign of moving.
At this time, i’m not too fussed, as 21 is still very young, but I see the early signs of how easy 21 can become 25 and then 30 and God forbid, older. Those of you of a certain vintage, may recall the sitcom, Sorry, about a man, in his 50s or thereabouts, still living at home with his mum. That comedy now seems to have become a documentary for life as it is now.
So what do we do about it? I honestly don’t think there is much we can do, without putting in jeopardy our relationship with our children. If you have horrible ,unruly, ungrateful man/womanchildren, you can, I suppose just kick them out, change the locks when they go out. However if you have a good relationship, the last thing you want to do is to put them under pressure to leave or to make them feel unwanted/uncomfortable at home (we need them around when we get old so it would be reckless on our part to be too harsh).
Living with adult children can be a problem as we unwittingly allow them, to affect our own lives and lifestyle, when this should absolutely not happen. I am guilty of including my manchild in my future plans. I am looking at moving and even though single, I would not think about moving to a one bed property, there would need to be at least 2 bedrooms. However, I would like the spare room to be….spare. Realistically, if I move, manchild, will have to follow.
Even dating becomes a problem, as it’s one thing to invite a date back to yours (after a reasonable period, and being entirely sure he/she is not a psycho – see previous blog re online dating https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/fortyfabulousandfumbling.com/137)but an overnight stay is often out of the question unless the layout of property allows privacy. Mine does not. My bedroom is right next to son’s, and the sound proofing isn’t great. I remember the trauma of hearing my mum and dad at it, and refuse to put my son through that…. although, it may be enough to make him pack his bags and leave.
It’s difficult, we as parents have to take some responsibility for creating an inert generation, barely able to boil an egg, because they don’t have to.
So later today, right after I have finished his laundry and cooked his dinner, I will ask my son again if he will leave home before he’s 40.
Have a great day being fortyandfabulous x