Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Children That Move Back Home. What Limits? The Kitchen, Food, TV, Computer, Hanging Around the House Battles.

     As she is a good kid and has good friends this is mostly about our recent kitchen and food battles. Also what limits for TV, computer, hanging around the house or in her room all day etc.
       Ok I was sad when my daughter went away to college last year. Now that she has moved back in for the summer, she is driving me crazy!! She didn't go that far away to the University. It is only 10 or 12 miles from our house, but we moved her into the dorm. She needed the independence for confidence,  and we thought it would give her more of the college experience.  She is by nature a homebody which I use to think was nice. She is a very good straight laced level headed kid.  She has now moved back home for the summer. She has a part time job close by, however, her schedule does NOT coincide with our schedule.  For instance: she stays up late in her room on her computer till the wee hours of the morning.  When she was in high school she used one of the family computers downstairs and was restricted access at certain times of the day. But we did buy her her own laptop for college. So now she stays up late and gets up at almost noon. I have served and cleaned up breakfast by that time, and it isn't lunchtime, so and I've closed the kitchen. I tell her she just needs to wait till lunch time. So she uses her money to get junk food at the 7/11 down the street. Stuff I would never buy and don't like her eating. Grrr. When she was at college she had the freedom to eat where and when she wanted. I have found I can only pull in the reigns so far. It is my kitchen. I make my 12 year old and my older son and hubby eat what I fix. I don't make separate meals for everyone although I do take food preferences into consideration when meal planning. Same thing happens when she gets home from work. I save food for her but she buys her own then wants to mess up my kitchen at 10 oclock at night after she gets back from work.  Next year she will move into a dorm with a kitchen and will have to prepare her own food. She will not be on the meal plan. She knows how to plan frugal healthy meals she just doesn't do it.  That bugs me! Maybe it shouldn't bug me. I need to let go and let her be more independent. 

Chores. She still does chores now that she has moved back in. She of course does her laundry. She keeps her room clean (not always to my standards) but ok. She only stays out late at work. I actually wish she would do more with her friends which are all good kids. She is a homebody and just wants to hang at home when she isn't working. I keep the TV off during the day. Actually we got rid of satellite and only have broadcast now. I hate regular TV and we really only use the TV now to watch dvd's. The only show I care to watch is "According to Jim".  She likes to turn the TV on during the day and watch junk. Ok I put my foot down and say the downstairs is my space so I want the TV off. Well she can just go to her room and watch you tube or itunes or netflix movies on her computer. I want her to get out and do some activities on her own! I don't want her underfoot. She has good values and is not a trouble maker or anything which is awesome, but I also don't want her sitting around the house during the summer. She commuted to the University and took one class this summer which she aced, but that session is over now. I have to look, but I know she doesn't go back till the end of August .

   When you have little kids, you as the mom control almost every aspect of their lives. It is soo different when they are young adults.  I can only pray that we have raised her well and that she will make good choices. I only have so much control anymore as to what she wears, eats, watches on TV or who she hangs out with. So even though it bugs me that she doesn't make the exact choices I would I have to let it go and know that it is OK.

    She loves God.  She is a faithful Christian. She still loves going to Church with us and doing things with us as a family. She gets along with her brothers. She has a 3.8 GPA at the University and 2 scholarships which pay for almost everything. She saves her money, and for the most part (except for the junk food) knows the value of a dollar and spends her money wisely. She is not spoiled. 
   Just pray I survive the summer. Letting her go back to the dorm in the fall is going to be so much easier than last year. :-)


Tripletmama said...

Ummm, I cannot figure out why are you complaining??!!

You have a wonderful kid there! A straight A student...you dont have to pay for college cause she earned enough scholarships because of those excellent grades..you dont have to worry about a bad crowd of kids that she hangs out with....you dont have to worry that she doesnt go to church and isnt faithful..you dont have to worry about teen pregnancy or a destructive boyfriend..you dont have to worry that she wont get a job....you have a decent kid and you are annoyed that she wants to eat in YOUR kitchen outside of your strict meal times? your kitchen is part of a home! a home that she is a part of! it is not some restaurant with posted hours! let the poor kid have some breakfast at noon if she wants..thats how college kids are..they stay up late and sleep in(didnt you also say she works late at a job too?!) jeez give the kid a break.......its not like she isnt still working a job and making good grades ...WhATS the stinkin big deal????omg..you really need some real worries to worry about...you are blessed with this awesome kid and yet you reward her good behavior by making her run to a 7-11 for junk food for breakfast because you wont allow her to eat breakfast in her own home..because it is after YOUR designated breakfast hour. that sounds awfully controlling and dictatorship like. relax..buy her some cereal and milk and yogurts and fruit..or frozen waffles...let her eat some breakfast instead of running to buy junk food. the poor kid! i feel for her! you are a controlling dictator! and to read you even cut off her from watching tv when she wants..omg...id like to know what is YOUR problem? you have some serious control issues!! your home sounds worse than prison! dont be surprised if your hubby finds a mistress for some pleasure and your kids run off and leave you...omg! loosen up woman! life is for living and enjoying!

Deeny said...

Tripletmama you are absolutely %100 percent right!!! The things that are bugging me are so small and minescule in comparison to the big picture. Ok I sound like a controlling dictator, but in real life I am not really that bad. There are many things i would like to control but I know I can't. Things I think about and things I actually act on are two different things. I have realized you can't hold the strings too tight. I realize i can't control things like when she was 3. I really do realize that. I have been accused of micro-managing before.

We even agreed, before I read your post, that I would buy her yogurt and granola and she could make her own breakfast parfaits.

As far as cutting her off from TV I haven't really done that. I have just cut her off from watching TV downstairs. Their is another one upstairs in the playroom. And she has an itty bitty one that is in storage that she took to school. She likes to watch the View and all the Judge shows. Not my cup of tea and I would prefer she didn't but I will let it go.

Actually my house is the one all the neighbor kids come to play. I always seem to have a few extra over here.

Your comment is a bit extreme >>your home sounds worse than prison! dont be surprised if your hubby finds a mistress for some pleasure and your kids run off and leave you...omg! loosen up woman!<<

But I will loosen up.

However, I do read some blogs of young mothers of young children, who are very controlling, more so than I ever think I was, and I keep thinking will they be able to let those reigns go as their kids get older.

Anyway. Thanks for putting things into perspective you are right. I am blessed with a good kid. I need to let the little day to day living together stuff go. I can still fuss at her to wash and take care of her hair and, not wear ratty Jeans and too tight shirts right? just kidding!!. :-)

PS: Tripletmama. Are you really a mom of triplets? I think that is kinda cool. I have only known 2 sets of triplets in my life.

tripletmama said...

Hi there, yes I really am a mama of triplets plus one. There are actually many sets of triplets and quads in my local mothers' group.
I apologize for the harsh response, but I was a bit taken aback by your post. I know of several mamas going through difficult situations with their kids and drugs, teen pregnancy, bad grades, and hanging out with the wrong crowd and I feel for their dilemmas. Yet, your daughter sounds wonderful and obviously you did an amazing job in raising her to be the young woman she is today. I would be honored to have a college aged daughter as you described! I know its hard to watch them grow up and not need us as much anymore. But, as much as you wanted her to move into the dorms to give her confidence and independence, you cannot just snatch all that back just because she is now home for the Summer. Since she works late, perhaps she can fix her own food/snacks or even take her shopping with you to plan for some things that she likes to eat. Make it a rule, that she can use the kitchen "after hours" as long as she cleans up after herself and not leave you the mess to deal with. I think that is a fair compromise, don't you? Maybe she can sign up for another summer course since she obviously does very well in school, or perhaps a fun activity like dance or art classes. She will surely meet others there that share the same interest to hang out with. Another cool job for college aged kids is to be a summer camp counselor. Tons of other kids the same age work there too and its a lot of fun! Good luck...she sounds like a great girl! You are certainly blessed.

Deeny said...

Tripletmama, Triplets that sounds so cool but such a lot of work. :-) I use to have a daycare in my home many years ago. I watched 5 all under the ages of 5. That was a lot of work but I could send them home at the end of the day well except for the ones that were mine Lol. Actually I had a pretty good routine so we did very well back then. I know you have your hands full. Yes I don't have much to gripe about and it is pretty trivial. it was just her schedule was not meshing with the rest of the families, but we will work it out. Thanks for the good ideas. She is looking at volunteering at a little local zoo today. It is something she wants to do. Have a great day and it was nice chatting or blogging with you or whatever the proper term is.

Tracy said...

What I know, from having to live with my FIL for a couple of months 4 years ago is that it's really hard to have your own life, and then have to move back 'home'. We had 3 children and a step Mum/MIL in there as well. The MIL is just absolutely lovely but I found it difficult to know where the lines needed to be drawn.

On the food ~ maybe you try just cooking what you're going to cook and set aside her plate for her to reheat or whatever when she wants to? That way she's not making another mess in the kitchen but she's getting good healthy nutrition? Her weird timing won't be such an issue to anyone else then. I wouldn't want to be cooking to suit her off-beat schedule, but it wouldn't be hard to set aside her meal for later. Just cover it and pop it in the fridge and let her know it's there.

As for the other stuff...yeah a kid laying about doing not much would bug me too I guess. But you know what? She's on holidays. You might suggest she find herself a productive and enjoyable hobby...scrapbooking, card making, stitching, making beaded jewelery. I dunno....anything that takes her fancy. But otherwise, it's only a few weeks and then she'll be back into normal life & routine. I would try to just enjoy the time you have with her at home and try not to let that part of having her home bug me.

What I have learned over the years is that you can't make other people live up to the same standards and expectations that we have for ourselves. She's not going to have the same expectations for her holidays that you have for her, or that you have for yourself even. So try to let it go. She sounds like a lovely girl. Enjoy her as much as you can. I'm sure she's feeling a bit like a fish out of water too :)