Monday, February 20, 2017

Boomerangers: What the Experts Say

This is re-post #2 on the Boomerang generation. My update is that one boomerang daughter has moved back out and is doing great! One down, one to go, as they say.

Boomerang Kids cartoons, Boomerang Kids cartoon, funny, Boomerang Kids picture, Boomerang Kids pictures, Boomerang Kids image, Boomerang Kids images, Boomerang Kids illustration, Boomerang Kids illustrationsOne thing I usually do when faced with a new-to-me situation is find out what the ‘experts’ have to say on the subject. Chalk this up to my education and the importance that my family puts on education. So, when things heated up in my house as the second daughter moved back home, I got a book. By a PhD (Susan Newman). Otherwise known as someone who thinks that all people are sweet and kind and nice and capable of working together and who also thinks that she knows it all because she has a PhD. This woman FAILED to cover the topic of difficult adult children moving back home.

PhD Lady writes: ..knowing how to understand the people you live with, evaluating and expressing your expectations--and sometimes lowering them--can help avoid disappointment and discord." (page 32)

Wrong.

First, don't bother having expectations. Having expectations almost assures disappointment AND discord. You become disappointed because your expectations aren't being met and then discord sets in because you are disappointed that your expectations aren't being met. It's almost like an infinite regress sets in.

That said, I did have expectations. I totally expected that my ground rules would be followed. Again, I had PhD Lady on my side as she feels that setting ground rules is important. I agree with this. But she never covers what to do when those ground rules are promptly ignored.

This woman is way more interested in pleasing all those involved than respecting those paying all the bills. In my mind, those adult children who move in with the parent are the ones to make the adjustments. If you’re footing the bill, everyone else can get over it. Seriously, if I moved in with either of my parents or my aunt, I would adjust to their lifestyle. NOT the other way around. And if I didn't, I'd be asked to leave. Immediately. Anyway...

PhD Lady says to have family meetings to set ground rules and let everyone take a turn running the meetings. Riiight. I'm pretty sure that, when you are the one paying for everything and no one else is even remotely chipping in, YOU get to run the meetings.

I don’t have to deal with the issue of drug or alcohol abuse, though I have considered it for myself lately. No. My problem is that all of the women in my family are strong, independent women who think for themselves. And about themselves. A lot.

They moved back in and they took over the house.

Perhaps my ground rules were just too much. I told both girls, at the onset, that they had to keep their rooms neat and clean. And their bathroom.  I also expressed the wish that they help keep the house clean so that not all of the cleaning fell on my shoulders alone. And that was it. Just be neat and clean.  

Apparently, that was asking way too much. Neither of their rooms have been cleaned-dusted, vacuumed, pick up since the day they moved in with the exception of the youngest who has done that in her room twice. If memory serves. Living in messes does not seem to bother them at all.

PhD Lady suggests that perhaps, if your adult children share more with you about their feelings and plans, you would be more willing to overlook said messes. Well, PhD lady, you're an idiot. Seriously. How would knowing more about anything change who I am about living in a mess? Unrelated sweetheart. Besides, sharing their feelings and their plans are not the issue. My girls share all the time. The mess is the issue. Because the mess resembles a frat house after a week long party.

Let it go. Just let them do whatever. PhD Lady writes that I should be the one to give in. PhD Lady has, apparently, never had to be the one who has to give in ALL THE TIME. Because she never mentions that it gets old. Fast.

I suppose my first ground rule was to state, emphatically, that I’m not the mommy who is here to raise them this time around. They are adults now. Not little kids. (Though, maybe I do need a re-do.)

There's about to be a revolution. If you see the mushroom cloud, fear not. It's just me. Taking back the house.

Or selling it and moving into a one room apartment. Whatever works.
Remember, y'all, we have to laugh our way through! 


Friday, February 17, 2017

The First 10 Things You Notice When Boomerang Kids Come Home

Ok, y'all, here's the re-post of part 3 of my Boomerang Kids posts from last year. I have to say, I still agree with these.

Almost immediately after your empty nest is stormed trooped by someone returning to the nest, there are immediate, noticeable, annoying, eye-opening changes that occur. You learned things about your all-grown-up kiddos that you could very well have lived the rest of your life without knowing. On the flip side, you also learn things about them that make you feel all puffed up with pride.

What are the immediate notices? I've picked my top ten and, this time around, I've added the flip side because it's not all annoying. Haha!

You will notice immediately that:

1. Your child has experienced a dramatic loss of hearing while they were out in the world on their own. You know this is true because the television blares at a volume level that never falls below WTF!. Which is about 10 places above the WTH! level. THE FLIP SIDE: You discover it is BIG FUN to watch movies and shows with your adult kiddos because the commentary is HILARIOUS!

2. Your child had a maid come in while they were living on their own. You know this is true because they never pick up anything in their rooms. They never clean their bathroom. Everything is left for the maid. I had no idea my child was making that kind of money. THE FLIP SIDE: There is no flip side. Messy is messy and I don't like it.

3. Your child still expects you to be in charge of the cooking. And grocery shopping. And cleaning up after the cooking. Oh, and paying for the groceries. THE FLIP SIDE: The dinner table becomes fun again with the telling of tales, the sharing of your day and opinions on current events, and much, much laughter.

4. No one has a stress level except you. Messes, loud noises, people sitting around while you're working yourself to death to get everything done---only bothers you. THE FLIP SIDE: If they stay long enough (which they will) you can, actually, find things that bother them and give as good as you get. Ha! But seriously, sometimes this is nothing more than people waiting to be asked to help out. I know when I ask, they are more than willing. You may not feel you should HAVE to ask but, if that's all it takes, just do it. Moms tend to be mind readers. Husbands and kids, not so much. ASK.

5. Unexpected guests will arrive any time of the day or night and yes that includes while you are sitting in your nightgown trying to watch something on television or reading a book. THE FLIP SIDE: Any amount of modesty you may have possessed disappears and you get to know your adult kids' adult friends.

6. There are ALWAYS clothes in the washer and dryer and THEY ARE NEVER YOURS because you do your laundry normal time while they let clothes sit there for a few days which results in some interesting odors from the washing machine. THE FLIP SIDE: They do their own laundry!

7. The sink, no matter how many times you wash those dishes, is never empty. NEVER. Although it's never as full as it could be since most of your bowls and eating utensils mysteriously disappear. THE FLIP SIDE: Ummm...ahhhh....I'll have to get back to you on this one.

8. This adjustment period is going to take way longer than adjusting to the empty nest. Which you miss like crazy. You dream about that empty nest, you long for it and you may even begin resenting those who still have one and consider how you could send your boomerangers to their house to live. THE FLIP SIDE: The amount of laughter you experience on a daily basis far outweighs the longing for the nest to empty again. Most of the time.

9. You are caught up on all the current young adult lingo. THE FLIP SIDE: I was teaching when my kiddos moved back in and this made me super cool with my elementary students. Plus, you get to feel cool all on your own because you know what the young folks are talking about instead of sitting there wondering whether they have learned a brand new foreign language the likes of which you've never heard.

10. Their level of selfishness seems OFF THE CHARTS nearly every day. You feel as though they have little to no respect for you or your home. THE FLIP SIDE: They will suddenly and often do something that makes you realize the do understand respect and that they do accept responsibility; that they show compassion and love to everyone; and that they are the strong, independent, intelligent women you hoped they would be. (Only speaking for daughters here because I have 4. And zero sons. Moms of sons, please share!)

No matter what, you cannot bring yourself to kick your boomerang kids to the curb. But you do think seriously about moving out yourself. To a small house. Too small for more than one. Just remember these things:
  • No matter where your mom is, that is home and kids love their moms almost as much as we love them.
  • Your way is your way and their way is their way. Neither is right or wrong, just different.  
  • As with everything in life, you just have to laugh your way through it. And realize it's nice to laugh together. 
  • AND, they will go to your favorite coffee shop and bring you that caramel latte with the extra shot of espresso any time you want it. 
What are your experiences with boomerang kids? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Grand-Hodgepodge

How 'bout those...wait. Football season is over and there's nothing to do until preseason begins in August. Sigh. I kid, I kid. There are plenty of things to do. Until it gets hot and I have to stay inside which I'm doing a lot this winter anyway because winter HAS NOT COME THIS YEAR. Someone, PLEASE send me a little bit of winter.

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the Hodgepodge because it's Wednesday and the Hodgepodge is FUN regardless of the weather!

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? Grandmother and Granddaddy on my mother's side and GrandMoore on Dad's side. I didn't know my dad's dad. If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. Nothing unusual here. We're a boring sort of people. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? I don't know as she's not quite old enough to talk. Who chose your moniker? I've been calling myself, Grandma but I plan on letting Baby M decide what to call me. I have some friends who are called unusual names by their grands- Sugah, Bootsy, Lulu, Gigi, Yaya... my mother is Mimi but that's becoming common these days. The lovelies and I are still tossing around names but I haven't hit on one that rings true to me yet so I'll just go with whatever Baby M comes up with. 

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? Nope. If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? Nope. If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list? I don't have one thing on a list for CA but, if I did happen that way again, I'd go visit my CA blogger friends!

3. What are three things you don't know how to do? Smock, program computers, promote my Etsy shop

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate? I would like to see more peace and quiet in my house and I would celebrate by doing the dance of joy! Or how about more bundtlets from Nothing Bundt Cake? I would celebrate that by also doing the dance of joy! More time on the clock of life? Dance of joy! More sells in CoasterDoodles? A double dance of joy! 

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Meh. Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? An Almond Joy. And yes, I eat around the almonds. LOL What's something you make that calls for almonds? I don't know right off hand as I always leave them out of the recipe. 

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house? On a lucky Saturday, it's just Tucker and me, we take a nice nature walk and come home to quiet where he chases squirrels and I try to write. I often throw a trip to the grocery store in there or on Sunday morning but that's early to get it over with. Grocery shopping is not my favorite chore. Unless the Farmers' Market is involved. 

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.Giraffes Can't Dance. If You Give a Pig a Pancake. Harold and the Purple Crayon. Mud Puddle. The list goes on. And on. And on. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. April (Straight from the Heart) won the set of coasters from the coaster giveaway! April, I need your mailing address so I can get these out to you. :)


Here's the set April chose:





Have a great rest of the week, y'all! 
And visit CoasterDoodles


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Top 10 Favorite Romantic Movies

If you've known me for any amount of time, long or short, you probably know that I LOVE the old black and white movies of days long gone. Days way before my time. Movies that offer more in the field of film than pretty much anything in color has offered.

Well, with a few exceptions. Especially where romance is concerned.

I LOVE romance movies. They're so much better than the real thing. Especially if they had their start as a book. Why? Because he always says just the thing I want to hear. Eventually. And it's because that's what the character feels. Who wouldn't want that in real life?

Anyway....my list:

  1. Love Affair/An Affair to Remember. 1939, 1957.  
  2. While You Were Sleeping. 1995. So cute. 
  3. The Shop Around the Corner, In the Good Old Summertime, and You've Got Mail. 1940, 1949, 1998. I don't care which one is on, I'm watching and enjoying it. LOVE all three and they take one spot because, remakes. :)
  4. Sense and Sensibility. My favorite is the one released in 1995. I love all the actors in this one. Plus, the story... 
  5. Pride and Prejudice. 2005. Mr. Darcy = Heart.Throb. 
  6. Wuthering Heights. 1939. Oh, Heathcliff. 
  7. The Count of Monte Cristo. 2002. I confess I have not seen the two previously made movie versions of the book. Speaking of THAT BOOK. It was wonderful. One of the best books I've ever read in my life. The movie wasn't nearly as wonderful but I did not mind watching Jim Caviezel one little bit. 
  8. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. 1991. "I would die for you." Enough said.
  9. Gone with the Wind. 1939. Rhett Butler? Be still my heart. 
  10. The Last of the Mohicans. 1992. Daniel Day-Lewis. Plus it was a really good love story. 
Ok, I said ten so I'm stopping. But my list could go on for at least another ten. Once I got started the titles just came rolling in. 

Are they my TOP 10? Yes, and no. It always depends on my current mood so, for today yes. Tomorrow or in 5 minutes? Maybe not. It's complicated. 

What's on your romantic movie list? 

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Message to Boomerang Kids

This is the first of a series of posts about boomerang kids hitting the blog this month. Some are re-posts but all have been updated because now I have YEARS of experience with this.

Today's post is a repost from last year around this time but I believe the message is still relevant. Plus, I accidentally deleted it when trying to re-post and was able to get it back to copy and paste so, here you go. LOL


Y'all know what a boomerang kid is, right? They are the ones who move back into your house after they've been out on their own for a long or short period of time. Regardless of how long they've been out, it was, most likely, long enough for the parents to have gotten quite used to the peace, quiet and calm that comes with an empty nest. Sure, at the beginning, it may have been difficult for the parents. This is especially true, it seems, of parents with only one child or those who were more involved in their children's' lives than their own. I was one of the latter types and it did take me a while to adjust to the empty nest situation. But, as soon as I came to cherish my empty nest, they started coming back. In full force. This is the current situation at my house and, after nearly three years of this nonsense, I have a message to those adult children who move back in with their parents.

Dear Boomerangers,

I am the mother of four lovely, all grown up daughters, two of whom have moved back home. Living in this situation, I have learned much about myself and these adult children that I'd like to share. No, this is not a lecture. But it is a message to let you know that while we do understand your position, it's only fair that you understand and respect ours.

First, let me say we get that this is not an ideal situation for either party. You should know that we do not see you as failures, even if you see yourselves like that. We get that you think it sucks to have to move back in with your parents as an adult. We think it sucks too. But we don't think you suck. We know that stuff happens out in the world and that, especially in today's world, that 'stuff', happens more and more frequently and harshly. Regardless of what brings you home, we will welcome you, without judgment or second thought, with open arms. Parents do not, cannot, stop loving their children simply because said children have become adults. It does not work that way.

We realize that you might need a minute to get back on your feet or get your life together or recover from an injury or whatever else might bring you to our doorstep. We will give you time to do that. Of course, it is nice to see you motivating towards that goal. Becoming complacent and having the expectation that it is OUR job to support you financially as well as in all other areas well, that is not going to fly.

When you (anyone-whether a child moves in with a parent or a parent moves in with a child) move in with others, regardless of who those 'others' are, it is your responsibility to make adjustments. Yes, this holds true no matter what reason causes you to move into someone's home. I do not think it's a good idea to expect your parents to make all the changes (nor should parents moving in with adult children expect this of their children.)

In all likelihood, your parents have begun to make some home improvements that they didn't have time to make, or the funds when you were growing up. In our case, I had just finished redecorating one bedroom and was working on the second when the first daughter moved back home. Once the second daughter came back, that was the end of the remodeling ideas and the redecorating. Suddenly, I was thrust back into living in close quarters with others. Not a big deal. These things can work out. But only IF both parties work towards that goal.

The empty nest parent/boomerang kid relationship is a different one. Mostly, what our boomerang kids need is temporary shelter from the storms that life has thrown their way. Mothering is something we did while our kids were growing up. That is not something we should have to do when our children reach adulthood.

All that being said, here are a few tips for the boomerangers:
  • Keep in mind that this is the time of life for your parent (or parents) to start gearing down. A time to rediscover themselves in their roles as post-parent. When you reenter the home, yours is not the only apple cart that is overturned.
  • While the situation is not ideal for all, it can work out just fine if ALL involved work together. 
  • It is vital that you contribute, in a positive way, to the family dynamic. One way to do this is to carry your weight. Making the assumption that your parents are responsible for you, in the same manner they were while you were growing up, can cause tension. Clean up after yourself; do your laundry; if you can't pay for groceries, offer to shop; run errands; take out the trash; share in the cooking. Sitting around expecting to be waited on is not contributing to anything other than discord. Your parents have taken you in, show your appreciation.
  • Be considerate. When you want to have someone over, give your parent advance notice. Most of us do not appreciate being caught by surprise in our nightgown. 
  • Respect the ground rules. Here, my daughters are supposed to keep their rooms and bathroom clean, do their laundry, lock the door when they leave and clean up after themselves in general. They come and go as they please because they're adults.
  • Be mindful. If you come in late and blare the television when you mother is sleeping because she has to get up early to teach, your mother is not going to be happy. Nor will she feel respected. Seriously, one day you will reach a certain age and have trouble falling back asleep once awakened. *It's not that you come in late, it's the noise.
  • Keep in mind that your parents have put all their plans on hold so that you could move back.
  • Do not demand anything from your parents.
And, of course, a few tips for the parents:
  • Remember that your children are now adults and respect that. No condescending tone of voice, please.
  • Be supportive but offer solicited advice only. No one appreciates unsolicited advice. 
  • Do not hesitate to set down some ground rules.
  • You are not the maid. 
  • You are not the cook. (Unless you want to be.)
  • Work with your spouse as a team instead of trying to hoodwink her behind her back (yes, I speak from experience, sadly.) 
  • You should not feel like a visitor (or prisoner) in your own home.
  • Try to see the good and positive about having adult children living with you. No matter how hard it may be. 
  • Do not go out of your way to make the living situation too comfortable. You do want them to move back out. Quickly. 
If I condensed this into a single statement, I would say: Join forces and work together to make the best of your time together because, when you do, you just might find out that this is one of the greatest gifts you've ever received.

Having boomerang kids has not been easy. All everyone here wants to say is that it isn't ideal for anyone but no one wants to step up and make life as easy as it can be for everyone. This has taken a stressful situation and made it all that much worse. My hope is that y'all can benefit from my experience that will help keep your experience more positive should your adult kids come back home some day.

Resentment is a difficult feeling to overcome.

What have y'all experienced in this situation? Any advice?

UPDATE: Since the first posting, Lovely4 has moved back out and is not only enjoying her independence but she is also enjoying teaching first grade at the very same elementary school she and her sisters (and their dad) attended! Her first-grade teachers (they team taught back then) are both still there and they are having a ball!
 
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