Oh how I HOPE this new arrangement works out. My son moved home from college in August and is working as a waiter while he figures out his next move. My daughter did the same thing four years ago and after one year at home moved into her own apartment and has been on her own ever since (thankfully close to home so we get to see her often).
I have friends who think their children should be on their own once they leave home. No coming home unless they pay rent. I don’t understand that thinking. Trust me – your kids will have plenty of time to be adults and if they are willing to live at home and share their adult selves with you – BE THANKFUL.
There is no doubt about it – you must learn a new way of relating. They’ve been on their own for four years – living the college life. It is limiting in so many ways for them to return to the nest. I try to honor their adultness and not to be too much of a Mom. But I’m pretty sure my son likes it when I bring him a cup of coffee in the morning when he’s trying to wake up for an early morning shift.
What is wrong with that??? REALLY !!! What mother doesn’t want to help her children? (or father for that matter – I just happen to be female so I write as a mother.) As the popular saying goes (no doubt coined to encourage mothers of toddlers who are feeling stressed at the end of a long day. . .)
“The days are long but the years are short!”
So the new arrangement that I HOPE will work out? Shared dinner preparation.
At some point last week, when I realized that I was doing most of the shopping, cooking and cleaning and beginning to resent it, I decided that we needed to come up with a schedule. On Sunday at dinner we reviewed the upcoming week – Monday I had a Girl Scout meeting and wouldn’t be home until 8; Tuesday Will worked from 3 to 11; Wednesday I had a haircut and wouldn’t be home until 7:00; Friday Will leaves for homecoming weekend at UNC (and our nest is empty again for a few days) and so on.
Based on the schedule, we assigned responsibility for dinner (I had already cooked Sunday and made a quiche for Monday) so Tuesday – dinner was my husband’s responsibility; Wednesday was Will’s and Thursday is mine. The KEY point of this schedule is that the person who is responsible for dinner is COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE – planning (based on what’s in the freezer and pantry), SHOPPING (if necessary); preparing, setting the table and cleaning up.
The benefit of this arrangement? I’ve come home for the past two nights – free to do whatever I want –only to be called to the table when dinner is ready. You know – kind of the way it is for most men all the time.
Yes ladies – I’m not making this up – I live with two very talented chefs but I was getting in the way –
THESE GUYS CAN COOK!!!
The downside? I’m gonna have to step up my game!!! My dinners the past two nights have been something I would pay lots of money for in a restaurant. Perfectly cooked chicken with rice and corn on Tuesday. Tonight – pork chops with a marinade that had us guessing – nutmeg??? allspice??? pumpkin pie spice ??? twice baked potatoes (my favorite) and asparagus.
The marinade was cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, garlic and a few other spices that shall remain part of his secret recipe. (who but a bold 23 year would try something like that???) It was delicious!!!
And did I mention the wine?
Here are a few pictures from one happy Momma!!!