I'm so very, very sorry for the delay in answering the questions you all asked. I'm feeling really slammed lately, but I pinky promise to try to get it together ASAP.
Lovely Reader Alyssa asks:
I have 4 kids all currently living at home ages 10 to 21, so I like to hear about how other moms manage the day to day of a big family with all the ages and stages and activities-- while trying to take care of yourself and have any time with your husband (and I know you work for pay as well). How do you plan life in your home to both young adults and young kids and their friends and their bedtimes? How do you mentally switch gears between all the different types of needs? I Know it's important to protect the privacy of our young adults and teens, but I like to hear how moms are adjusting to this stage of life-- how much to be involved, when to be tough, how to help them...
Switching gears. Oy vey, do I have trouble keeping everyone's needs met.
It's really come to the forefront of my mind lately, as I have one home on Spring Break and two already had theirs and three more have theirs next week. Especially over the past few days, it seems like everyone has needed me at just about every hour of the day. There have been projects galore, assignments to wrap up before the break, this one needs to go to driver's ed and that one needs new pants, these two want to start a dog walking business and this one really, really, really misses Grandpa. And so does this one, who has been writing some really sad poetry and
Yeah. It's been deep 'round here.
As far as life in a home with young adults as well as young kids? I try to balance the fact that, for all intents and purposes, there are two sets of dynamics here. And both deserve and need to be respected. The older kids need to feel welcome and appreciated and able to invite friends over to hang out and watch CSI and Criminal Minds - at the same time that the younger kids need to be able to go to bed with a quiet atmosphere and not have their minds assaulted with fake blood and true life dramaz. So. If you want to watch something horrific, watch it in another room, use headphones, or go out to the screen room. Remember that the little ones deserve the same respect you had as a younger child.
As far as mentally switching gears? Sometimes I don't, and it's almost always a default for me to think in a younger mindset - after all, I've been doing it forever and ever. I have to really STOP and THINK - this kid is 19, is it ok that she's going to a concert with a mosh pit - and even though I don't WANT her to go - is it really my place to say yes or no? Can I support my kid in making those choices that I might not think are in their best interests, and allow them to grow, while taking a back seat and being there more for support than guidance - knowing that they won't always make the best decisions?
I try to stay involved as much as I'm allowed - for example, we are Facebook friends but the twitter is protected and I'm not on there. Which, ok, everyone needs privacy - and if I can't see it, at least some random creepizoid can't either.
Sometimes, I really have to stop and think about how old someone is before I make a decision.
I've also had to work hard to keep my older kids off of my facebook/twitter/blog for a variety of reasons, almost all to do with privacy and their employment/college choices and the reality that they are adults who have their own lives. And, yes, I know, my little kids are people too, of course they are - but their lives are more closely emeshed in mine and so it's more difficult to unwind the strings that tie us together.
I don't know if that answered your questions, Alyssa! It's definitely a sticky, tangled web.
What do other moms of young adults do?