I began this blog many years ago, if you’ve followed me you’ve see my family transition through many things. To put it into perspective when I wrote my first post, my youngest son was 15 and he is now 21. I can’t imagine I need to explain to anyone how much life changes over that period of time.
We have 3 children, their current ages are 26, 22, & 21. They are adults. Two of our adult children have returned home and are living with my husband and I. Our youngest did a year of college and decided it wasn’t for him… we respected that completely and with open arms embraced that his next step would present itself with time. Our daughter, our middle child, age 22, also left school after 3 years. She struggled with campus life and was met with some illnesses that made it difficult to handle the stresses of being away at school. She also came home with intentions of growing her small business here at home and forging a new path. We accepted her personal decision and welcomed her home as well with open arms.
As you can imagine life needed to be different from what we all once knew it to be under one roof. I was conscious of the fact that they had been away from home long enough to have gotten used to not having mom & dads rules to live by, but yet knowing that being in our home the respect factor would still apply. I worked diligently to allow them space and I felt all the same respects from them.
It has been 2 years of them living at home with us, 2 years of adjustments for all of us. In one of my past blogs entitled All We Expect is Respect I told of how in our family unit my husband and I had a pretty simple formula for our kids growing up …. we would give respect and expect respect, most everything has always boiled down to that. All those years of instilling this very premise into our children has brought us to the harmony we live in today. They are amazing!
I would say one of my own biggest struggles with this transition has been all my prior teachings, when they were teenagers, about drugs and alcohol. When we made the choice to have them come home and live in our home as adults I knew they would have to be allowed to make their own personal decisions and with certain respect and boundaries I would need to respect that. They choose to smoke marijuana. They are very aware that this is something I have always been uncomfortable with. Over the past couple years of course it has become legalized, I have spent a lot of energy being okay with this for them and allowing them this personal choice. Now “allowing” does not mean crossing my own personal boundaries and they have shown great respect to that. They do not smoke in our home, they do not smoke in front of me and honestly in a 2 years period of them living here I’ve only seen them twice when I perceived them to be high in my presence. Now that is respect!
We are very open in our communication about substance. I remind (without nagging I hope) that they need to be aware of how substance affects them. To check in with themselves that its not being “used” as a coping mechanism, that its recreation and relaxing but not a “need”. It has gotten easier over time. With open transparency that it is happening and them listening respectfully to my concerns, we have come very far.
I also was certain that we would not enable them while being home. That was important to me. They pay rent to be here, contributing to home expenses, and they manage and pay all their own bills. They have student loans and they both have a car with insurance to manage. My husband and I are so proud of how they are handling their adult lives. They both are hard workers and remain dedicated to growing and learning everyday.
I want to remind my readers that the two children I speak of in this post are my two who have been diagnosed with anxiety in their teenage years. They were medicated back in 2017-2018 and since went off all of prescribed medicines and are handling what life is throwing at them these days with grace. Do I worry? Of course. Am I concerned that they are self medicating with marijuana? Yes, of course. As their mom I am going to worry, but I have to control that worry and begin to trust.
They are adults now… did I always make the “right” decisions at their age? Of course not. I respect them and they respect me. We are in a good place.
“Adulthood is like the vet, and we’re all the dogs that were excited for the car ride until we realized where we’re going.” ~ Anonymous