I’m so excited to share Part 2 of Kris Edens’ blogs about grown children moving home. This topic came up more than once in the poll I conducted in my Grace and Sass Women in Midlife Facebook Group a few weeks ago. Let’s see what happens AFTER they move back in.
“Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.” – Bill Cosby
Last week I shared the shock of receiving the call from our adult child requesting to move back home. We’ve had no chance to experience empty nest syndrome and, therefore, no chance to wish for them to be closer – not moving in, just closer.
But you said yes. Now reality strikes.
“I’ll get to see my grandchild daily!”
So true. You’ll see her happy moments. You’ll witness her first step, her first tooth, her first, “No!” You’ll be there when she’s cute and when she’s sick. You’ll pick up those nasty toddler germs faster than she can throw a tantrum. On the flip side, you’ll get special grandparent moments once in a while.
You’ll try this several times before you realize you get as much grumping from your adult child as you do from your grandchild. Your child may fuss about setting the table, but your grandchild will be happy to help. Just prepare yourself for a thin coating of toddler mystery-juice on your silverware. As for healthy meals, you’ll fast get tired of the twenty-something cuisine: pizza, ramen and Progresso soup. You’ll also tire of preparing a healthy meal that goes ignored and under-appreciated.
Forget your work schedule. Especially if you have a home office. You can talk yourself blue explaining that you have specific work hours and that you will not stray from them. You’ll even lie and say you can’t because you have meetings away from the office or client calls. It’s okay—they won’t believe you anyway.
Payment is late. Often delivered with a grumpy face. Any request for chores is met with scorn and, depending on the day, “I just paid rent. How about you use that money to hire a cleaning service?”
“Specific Work Hours”
You’ve got them, but they are modified daily to take advantage of quiet times, sleep schedules, emergency babysitting, delivering the toddler to daycare, Urgent Care, etc. You become the queen/king of efficiency amidst disaster. Instead of Monday through Friday, you’ll be taking care of business on weekends or late at night.
“Rent money return”
You still want to be super-parent, but unexpected and unplanned expenses will arise:
- buying a car seat
- paying to have the car cleaned after a nasty vomit explosion
- emergency childcare coverage
- paying for co-working space during deadlines
I call them ‘inconvenience fees’. It helps diffuse the frustration.
The toughest challenge is to get your child to understand that you DO love him or her and you DO love your grandchild. Yes, you are grandma/pa, but you are working! You have a strict schedule whether at your home office or at a location outside of home. Stick to your schedule and your goals and continually remind your child. They’ll understand.
What are your experiences? Share below and share with your friends!
Kris the Scribbler
A grandparent in business
photo image 1: a small portion of my basement
photo image 2: courtesy of jesadaphorn at freedigitalphotos.net
Thanks again, Kris, for sharing your experience with us here. I know I appreciate hearing another parent’s perspective.
I’ve also experienced this phenomenon….from BOTH sides! I moved back home while pregnant with my first child….while I was getting divorced. I was just 20 years old. so not a lot of time had passed since leaving the nest. *LOL* It didn’t make it any easier…for my folks, or for me, the new Mama. Boundaries were really hard….especially with all the other emotional upheaval going on. Fast forward 20+ years, and I was the Mama whose Baby Girl (yup….that same baby) moved back home. Fortunately, it was only for a few months, but it was still a bit of a tightrope.
My best advice – in a nutshell – is to have some serious discussions about boundaries and house rules before they move back in. And I know it sounds drastic, but I’d put it in writing, and have everyone sign it, if I were you. We do that with our Small Group Contracts….and that’s just guidelines for commitment for attendance, confidentiality, cell phone courtesy, etc. Grown kids moving back home opens up many more opportunities for inflammatory situations if everyone’s not on the same page. I’m telling ya…..save yourself some fights: discuss it, write it up, and sign it before they unpack a single box. 😉 With a few loving boundaries in place – and lots of prayer – it can be a good experience. (Yeah….”good” is about as far as I’ll go. It’s tough, let me tell you.)
If you’re struggling with this kind of thing, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to talk, email, chat on Facebook…or meet in person if you’re local. I can only offer my own experience and advice…and a lot of love and prayer…but I’m here if you need me. 🙂 Or if anyone would like to share their experience, I’m sure everyone could benefit from it. Our stories will all be different, for sure. The important thing to remember is….