Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shifts in Family Dynamics (When Your Kids Are Adult-ish)

The beauty of having older kids is no one wakes me up in the morning except the dog. As a matter of fact, I sometimes forget they’re home at all. It usually occurs to me around 11:00am because I either want to do something and the driveway is chocked full of cars that must be rearranged before I can reach mine OR dirty clothes magically appear in the laundry room during traditional sleeping hours (we are awake simultaneously for about 11-13 hours per day). Or the breadcrumb trails left throughout the kitchen and family room after midnight. 

On the plus side, they’ll willingly (within reason) run errands for me, walk the dog, unload the dishwasher, etc., etc.

The biggest difference, and what I forget in the time between their last visit home, is the shift in decision-making dynamics. They are mature-ish creatures of an extremely headstrong and opinionated nature. I suppose they’ve always been this way.

Historically and for the most part, our parenting style has been a dictatorship. Although I still think it’s fair to govern this way, it doesn’t go as smoothly as it once did. Everything is deemed discussable (and negotiable), which then leads some to believe we’re running a democracy. They think we vote on things. We, my husband and I, don’t. But then this happens…

“I agree with Daddy.” Or “Dad, Mom’s right.” Or “We don’t think so.”

We can feel the fault lines shift especially if there are an odd number of us involved. The “two against one” phenomena occurs. The playing field tilts when sides are taken and someone is odd man out unless all four of us are present. That typically turns out two against two then half the family is unhappy or disappointed or miffed.

Life with little kids is physically exhausting.

Life with adult(ish) children is mentally exhausting.

Nothing is perfect.

Believe me, we still haven't figured it out but I have no problem resorting to “because I said so” or outlandish and empty threats of punishment (especially if I’m woken during the night which I do not like) in a pinch as evidenced below.

When 5 boys spend the night...

And I didn't hear a peep!

 Happy Sunday! Today is homemade pasta making day!!! 


  1. The teen years scare me. I try not to think about them and choose to believe that by the time they've arrived, I will be more mature. And hopefully ready.

    1. Early and mid-teen years were easy for us, although extremely busy with sports. The last two teen years for both were the challenging ones. They just know so much more than me ;-). Everything happens when it's supposed to and you are mre prepared to handle things be ause you've had smaller experiences, or on the job training, along the way. It's frustrating and mentally exhausting most of the time but you get through it.

      Sometimes I don't act as mature as I should...

  2. Love it !! We are in the same boat! We warned, she did, now she lives back at home. Yet, she can't figure out what she did wrong!! Sheesh!!!

    1. I remember reading some of your stories, too! That's the thing that purposely slips my mind. They sometimes come back for a while. We actually just talked about this time frame yesterday with our daughter. Three-six months then fly little birdie!!! She's good with that.

  3. Although my kids are years away from adulthood they think EVERYTHING is negotiable.

    1. My son entered this world negotiating his life choices. With some personality types, it never ends.