Wednesday 23 March 2016

What happens after your kids leave home?

Like many of you, I'm sure, I've stood in a supermarket queue, pushing the trolley gently backwards and forwards, just like a pram/pushchair and there's been no child in it just a habit I'd been unable to break. It has been a long time since I've done that, but there are many other parenting things I still do, despite the children having left home.

I often wake early in the morning and on checking the clock, panic and realise no one will be ready for school at in time and as soon as I have the thought I remember I haven't done a 'school run' since the end of 2013.

I hide chocolate and sweets, in the veg drawer in the fridge, then I forget where I've put them. I'm often surprised when I open a cupboard and find a packet of crisps, long forgotten, yet don't eat them as the novelty of a find like that now the kids have left home is long gone.

Two of our children were home for Christmas and the New Year, they each had their own room and shared a bathroom, something they both had and did when we were in the UK also. I must admit I found it a struggle with them being back at home. I'm used to the house being clean and tidy, to watching what I want on the tv and when, going to bed at my time of choosing and not waking up to a pile of washing up or dropped wet towels dumped on the floor.
I usually wash at the weekend, but I had to wash in the week, several times. My food bill went through the roof and not one drawer or cupboard was a safe hiding place from being raided. We ran out of milk more than once and on one occasion there was panic when the tea caddy was empty. 

Although still my children, they are adults now with their own lives and homes and ways of doing things, they were critical of my cooking, what I bought for shopping, yet they didn't write anything on the list or going to the shops for me, although the older child did cook us a meal one evening that was very nice, but hubby paid for it. We don't expect any of our visitors to pay for their keep, especially our children and we do help them out with the flight costs and/or trips and meals out when visiting. 

I returned to work this year, I struggled to stay awake in the evenings as the kids wanted to spend time with me, they wanted to go out in the evenings when all I wanted to do was sleep, but I obliged, knowing soon they would return to their own homes and it would be many months before I see them again. 

I was relieved when they left, it's been 2 years since I was responsible for anyone else other than the dog and cat. It's been 5 years since I last worked and had my free time dictated to me. 

I have no idea how I managed working full time with 5 kids. I'm struggling now just to work and get enough sleep. Mind you I don't get as many migraines and I'm not shouty and snapping everyone's heads off as there is no one to get snappy with.

The boys commented to hubby that 'mum seems to have calmed down' they have no notion that they were the reason I wasn't calm, when managing 5 sets of needs/wants and acting as a bloody referee all the time and chauffeuring them around, cooking endless meals, battles with homework etc, etc. 

After the boys left on their last visit, I wandered around an empty house, feeling a little sorry for myself, wishing the visit could've been longer, but at the same time acknowledging that they are now adults, have lives of their own and there is a reason why your children leave home.

The teen returns for 2 weeks on Tuesday, his room is ready, I'll restock the cupboards next week and I'll hide all my goodies, computer cables and everything else he likes to borrow while he's home. 

I now tolerate the mess, the dirty washing, the missing cups and plates, sweet wrappers down the side of the sofa, for me I only have to put up with it for 2 weeks and I'd rather have quality time with my children than nagging them to have the house clean and tidy and arguing.


  1. With one daughter back from uni & the other due to come home on Friday I know exactly how you feel. We get used to being home alone when we're invaded & it's almost as though we've forgotten how to live as a family. I love my daughters more than they'll ever know and enjoy having them home so very much. Happy Easter Suzanne - here's to the chaos of family life with grown-up children x

    1. I'm sure if we lived in the uk we'd have shorter but more frequent visits

  2. This post made me laugh especially at the comment on mommy being calm

  3. What a lovely post, that also feels a little sad. It must be strange having them appear for a couple of weeks and treat your house as they always have done and then disappear again.
    Am very impressed that you managed to work full-time with five kids! I worked full-time with one, but dropped to part-time when I had my younger son and would never go back to full-time.

    1. I honestly have no idea how i managed it, to be honest

  4. I love that they think you've calmed down but are completely unaware that they were the reason for any lack of calm - kids hey? You wouldn't be without them though, just not at home :) Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo x

  5. Really not ready for an empty nest. A few years to go yet. I was the teenager visiting my parents abroad in the holidays. Your post is making me wonder how big a sigh my parents let out as they waved me off on the plane.