Mother, father and 20 year old son live under the same roof… The son has had a difficult year. He struggled with year 2 of college and came home … Not ideal. He loved the life of a student, he just got a bit lost in the academia …
Coming home for him was in some ways hard, even though we relieved many of the stresses. His freedom to do whatever he wanted at uni was gone – leaving a half full tin of baked beans on the kitchen surface for days or weeks ; not washing up until he needed something clean; bed linen that was changed once a term ( I admit to making an assumption there, but I did wash the sheets on his return,so my assumption is based on an experience) ; Coming and going as he wished, nocturnal and unique (to me) living routines. In fact, I’m not sure there was any routine. He lived in the moment, he still does.
Living in the moment is good for us, or so they say. But the son seems to take this literally. There doesn’t seem to be any forethought, planning or awareness of the repercussions of his actions.
This bemuses me. An intelligent, agreeable young man. He is impulsive and spontaneous – something I admire, but this transition between child and young adult feels like the hardest part of parenting so far.
I’m a mother. The housekeeper. I can’t live like a student. Did I influence this behaviour in the son? Is this his unconscious/ conscious rebellion? Is this a form of control? As a child he once told me he wanted to pilot his own life…..
To a degree we did let him pilot his own life. Yes, I ask him to bring down his dirty clothes, empty his bin or change his bed – I always have a sense that I’m nagging, asking for too much. Am I? Who knows … what grates with me (and probably with him) is when left to his own devices, the choices he makes are quite often the wrong ones. Leaving us to clear up the mess, usually financial. We have his back, we don’t want him to muck up too badly, we also see the benefit of learning from mistakes. But he doesn’t seem to learn from past experiences, or he doesn’t want to? As mature adults we have foresight, something he doesn’t appear to have. He knows best, we know nothing. Did we have foresight at the age of 20? I have no idea….
His work, yes he has a job, involves him working long shifts from lunch time til 10:30pm. Perfect he thought, he can have the best of both worlds, working and lie ins! Woohoo!
He has been late for work a couple of times.. Go figure…….???
It’s ok I can’t work it out either …..
On Friday night/Saturday morning it all went a bit Pete Tong. He woke me at 6:45am, he was trying his hardest to be quiet, but he was noisy and full of hiccups. He had been out drinking with his mates, the local ones. They are all returning to uni this weekend. This was their last night together.
We had words at 7am that morning. He was angry with me for checking him out, he’s not often angry, this was good to see. He was angry because I attempting to engage with him at an inappropriate time of day. He wanted to sleep, he was drunk. He had to get up for work in 4 hours.
My reasons for engaging were to assess the situation. I hadn’t realised he had even gone out, as we were in bed before he returned from work. He was on the wrong side of sobriety, basically, pissed. Would he be ok for 1pm, when he had to drive to work? The husband and I were meant to be going away for the weekend. We couldn’t cancel, nor should we. But if we left, we were pretty sure he would get in a car.
Should we take over? What should we do. Should we remove his car keys? Who were we to make the decision? If he lived away we wouldn’t even know. Then I remembered the breathalyser. Bought for this very purpose, so we didn’t leave as early as planned. I cooked him a proper lunch, and we had a heated discussion as he ate it. Still inebriated, eyes red, very tired and not really with it. He believed he was right, we went around in circles.
With food consumption complete I suggested the breathalyser. He believed he was fine. We could see he wasn’t fine..BUT he believed he was. The breathalyser gave us data . The reading said “high” … he was taken a back.
We waited and drove the son the 5 miles to work…. His life will be a tad uncomfortable at 10:30pm, when he will wait for the late train… but surely he must see what has happened? Surely he has learnt from this? I don’t know, but I really hope so!
Parenting never stops I’m told. I’m not gonna lie, I don’t want to believe that! My M-I-L still thinks she knows best, her son, our children, her other grandchildren.. She worries about us all she says.; too thin, too fat, not sociable enough …. I could go on. Imagine if she knew everything that goes on! Her hair would curl !!
I don’t want to still be worrying about my children when I’m 85 (if I even live that long!) … I’m not sure I’m caring enough for that… I look forward to the time when he does actually pilot his own life, and feels fulfilled. It feels like a long way away at the moment.