A few words about the comments on the previous blog post.
You’re not a loser if you had to move in with your parents because you’re in school or can’t find a job.
You’re only a loser if you mooch off your parents by not contributing anything to the household. Kid 1, when in school, drives 1.5 hours to campus through terrible traffic to get there at 8:00 am, studies with a small break for lunch until 3:00 pm, often stays late to work on group projects, drives 1.5 hours back, crawls into the house, eats something, then does homework. She’s done it for 4 months. She doesn’t have either the time or the capacity to take care of a separate place to live, her dogs, her cat, and herself. And she still does the dishes and laundry and runs errands on weekends.
I really can’t ask for more form her. Or from Kid 2, who works two part time jobs while trying to write and figuring out what to do with her life. When they are done with school and with figuring things out, they will move on and take care of themselves.
At some point we were living in a tiny house with septic system shooting out into the yard. The house was in such a bad shape that the water heater fell through the floor into the basement. If we could’ve moved in with my parents, we would have.
This is temporary. You’re helping your parents the best you can. Stop beating yourself up about it.
your problems are not less important because other people’s problems are worse.
There was a point in my life when I desperately needed $300. Someone told me at the time, “I wish all my problems could be fixed with $300.” I wished they would stick their head up their ass. To me at that point $300 was the same as $3,000 or $300,000. Or $1,000,000. It was an insurmountable amount of money. I didn’t have it and I desperately needed it.
Your problems are your problems. You’re the person stuck dealing with them. Stop apologizing for having problems that are not as bad as other people’s problems. You have a right to have problems and a right to worry about them just as much as other people. To some people a broken car is the end of the world and to others $20 pack of diapers means difference between keeping it together and having a complete mental breakdown. Just because someone else is also having a mental breakdown over the fact that their multi-million dollar company is going under doesn’t mean your $20 pack of diapers isn’t a world-ending catastrophe in your little world.
Hang in there.
Margot D. says
I desperately needed to hear this. You don’t know how much. Thank you.
Yvonne A says
A wise friend once told me, “you can’t be Super (Wo)Man without first being a (wo)man.” Your first responsibility is always your own wellbeing first. Once you have yourself taken care of, then you can try to assist others. Trying to do so before hand often will lead to you getting overwhelmed & needing help dealing with your own stuff instead.
So true. People always seem to forget their own hard times and how they felt, when faced when someone else’s hard times.
Thank you. I really needed this. ❤?
I understand completely. Right now I am dealing with trying to replace a car after another car accident. I just did this 18 months ago. Even though both my husband and son are fine, having to deal with the Insurance company, and search out another vehicle is breaking me. And if one more person says as long as they are OK, you can always replace the car…I will cut a bitch. Seriously.
I feel you. Not that I have any experience with car accidents and insurrance issues (I haven’t owned a car since my husband passed away). But the part about other people, with the best intentions, trying to wave away any complaint you might have by trying to get you to focus on counting your blessings, with no room for any negatives (might make them feel uncomfortable, the horror..)
You problably know your blessings better than any other person can imagine, but when something bothers you, it bothers you. And you have a right to express your feelings about that.
As I mentioned earlier, my husband died. Our two daughters are wonderful, smart, zweet, cheerful, happy little girls, now 4 and 6 years old, and words can’t express how much they mean to me.
But they ARE 4 and 6 years old, and often behave their age. 😉
It periodically gives me no amounts of stress. Especially having to care for them on my own. (My mom and sister are saints in helping out when they can, but they can only do so much..)
So when my kids are having another ‘fase’, when sleep is rare and I’m barely hanging on to my sanity, and someone feels the need to point out that “at least I still have the children”. :/
I quote your last two sentences…
Judy Dorfner says
We talked our daughter into moving home for college. She wanted to work while in school. Happily, our logic prevailed and we celebrated her graduating with a PhD last month. Moving home, in this economy, while in school, is a smart move. We are now assured of having a quality nursing home. 🙂
Amen, as long as everyone can stand it. It works better for some families (and for some kids in a given family) than for others. The ones who can make it work reap a lot of benefits. We had boomerang kids – they would come back temporarily between jobs. They helped out when they were able, and left when they were able. We still enjoy each others company. It all works out.
Naomi E says
Nicely said, ?
Wheres that dang “happy clapping emoji” when you need it? Perfectly said.
Carrie R says
Colleen C. says
I often see others with what I think are pretty bad/crappy issues and I think, “Wow, I should quit complaining. My issue isn’t all that bad. At least that didn’t happen to me.” But then someone else sees my issue and thinks, “Wow, that’s bad. I shouldn’t complain!” It’s life.
Saying “my issue isn’t all that bad” is how some people handle their issues. If it works for you, go with it. If not, find another way.
Brilliantly put… At one point, jalopy that I was driving died. Dead, kaput, 6 feet under…. I was a single mom with 3 kids and no way to get me to work. I was so damn lucky that at that point in time, my parents could loan me enough money for a down payment on a used car. My Mama also loaned me her should when I cried out of relief.
Anne in Virginia says
And may I say that the clear eyed common sense and straight talk this particular blog post displays are reasons you and Gordon are able to bring your characters to life and keep us invested in them. We care about what happens to the characters you create because you care about them and that shows in your writing and your interaction with the BDH.
Anne in Virginia
Preach! We’ve had kids leave, come back home for a bit and then leave again. No big deal! We have 5 kids. Leaving the nest doesn’t always stick the first, second or even the third time around. Why should anyone else give a ?? It’s our family’s business and nobody else’s. I must have missed someone else sharing their opinions on the matter. Glad I did! People need to stay in their own d*** lane!
We fully expect one or the other of our kids to move home at some point. The economy is freaking terrible pretty much everywhere. I assure them at least every couple of months that they can always come home if they need to. I look at what they’re up against compared to my cost of living/minimum wage situation at their age and it honestly enrages me. But I also see them working together with their friends to find super creative solutions, and I think they’re better communicators and frankly better human beings than I was at that age. So there’s that…
Kathryn Whittington says
My wonderful sons have both moved home with us at separate times, both because of difficult situations. We loved having them with us. They helped, of course, but we know that many people can lose touch with their adult children lives after they move out. This was our chance to get to know their adult selves. And , of course, you do not stop being a loving parent just because of your children’s age?
Patricia Schlorke says
My mom said to me when I was a teen: I’ll be your mom and love on you when you’re 50 and have kids of your own.
Only one of my kids went away to school for one year. Then she moved back. At 22 she still lives here and has 2 years of nursing school to go. My oldest son lived at home following graduation and only spent the past year away at school – actually living with his grandparents, and is home again for the summer. My third child lives at home part-time when he’s not working as a deckhand on a tugboat, saving money to go to the maritime academy. Just graduated my 4th who will – say it with me – live at home while he goes to school. They all work. They all (more or less) do chores. They all help with dropoff/ pickup of their youngest brother and each other as needed, grocery runs as they can. Plus, they are fun to hang out. Life is hard when you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to feed yourself for the next 50 years – I’m happy for them to be here as long as they need to as long as they do their part as members of the family. When they start acting like guests, then we have to chat 😉
I’m in a chronic illness support group because I have fibro and maybe something else. I see a lot of posts that include something like “I know I shouldn’t complain because it’s not that bad” or “I feel weak/selfish/insufficient because I’m having trouble but others have worse problems”. It always makes me sad. It’s not a competition, or it shouldn’t be. You shouldn’t feel like your problems are invalid because of some abstract societal measuring stick that tells us our problems aren’t a big deal compared to some other problems. You’re struggling. That’s the part that’s important, because you’re important.
My eyes watered reading this, this is the best thing to hear. It’s so horrible to have a problem and not be able to share it because you know other people will just blow it off like its nothing- when its everything to you.
I must have missed something……
Just as well……
Lisa Pepper says
This is a wonderful post. I’ve always known that when all else goes to hell, my family has my back.
So much truth!! Trying to tell hubby once he gets out of the military moving back with my mom isnt a failure if we need to save money. She has room and has offered multiple times. It’s not like we wont help with bills or food. Since I will be working even if he isnt just yet. But she would rather us stay with her than suffer on our own especially since one kid is going off to college soon.
Keera, Your husband sounds caring and conscientious. I’ll bet if you asked him if he would have a problem offering that kind of help to one of your adult children in the same situation, he would say, of course not. We need to treat ourselves the same way as we would other people, especially those we love.
Beautifully said as always and your website design is just stunning.
YOUR PROBLEMS ARE NOT LESS IMPORTANT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS ARE WORSE. <—– THIS!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's something so few people realize. You'd never tell someone to stop being happy because someone else has it better. Doing the opposite is wrong. A little thing to you might be devestating to someone else.
People say things they mean to be encouraging but they come off as competitive or critical. I try to remember that…
Of course, sometimes they mean to be critical.
A number of years ago, a friend called in total panic and needed the ultimate favor, in eyes. I’d never heard her so upset – she can handle almost anything with a calm and efficient energy – kid stuff, parent stuff, other family stuff, work stuff, pet stuff. The favor? She needed someone to go shopping with her for a ball gown for a formal event. I know you are thinking – um, but isn’t that something women do for fun? Not her, and not me – we both see shopping as hard work. But I was completely willing to do it, plus she’s supported me through so much. On that day I found out what had been going on between closed doors in her life. So much of it she didn’t want to tell me because she thought she should be able to handle it.
That day hit me hard. So very hard.
Your stuff just needs to be hard for you. That’s the only qualification. That’s enough to deserve sympathy and support. And you’re enough. You’re doing enough. You’re being enough. And so am I.
Paula schultz says
My kid hears the same thing from her co workers all the time. She is told she should move out on her own that she’s clueless about the real world. My kid works a full time job her very first job. She’s never missed a day of work, never been late in the three years she’s been there. She buys groceries for our house regularly, helps with household chores. She has a newer car she’s over 11 months ahead in her payments and she has 19k in her savings for when she wants to buy a home in the future. I tell her just smile and nod at her coworkers she’s doing awesome as far as I’m concerned we are proud of her.
*hugs* Life ain’t the misery olympics. Bad is bad to you and there isn’t a “gold” for who has it worst.
Thank you for the validation.
RJ Blain says
You’re such a wonderful person.
If you look at median college and/or housing costs vs. median income, now vs. the 80s, it’s a wonder anyone can move out before they’re thirty. Those who think the current economy is in any way comparable to the one our generation came of age with have not looked nearly hard enough.
For some reason two or three previous versions of this comment have vanished. If they show up, sorry for the repetition.
<3 thanks for that straight talk!!!
Stephanie Craddick says
I completely agree. Families living together used to be the norm.
Jéssica de Freitas Maciel says
I can’t ever begin to explain to you how much this post means, I’m always trying to say this to myself and other people I know, but sometimes I need to hear it from outside, and no one ever does. We need more empathy, if people stopped acting and thinking the world revolves around them, things would be easier. I agree with everything you wrote, specially coming from a country that is economically broken, and my whole generation lost trying to pick up the peaces to build a life, same about problems, no one’s problem is bigger or smaller than someone else’s… I hate it when someone betlittles a person’s feelings and tries to guilt them into feeling ok about their situation, it costs nothing to approach these types of situation with empathy, and it also has the benefit of having better results… thank you, thank you thank you thank you, for existing, for persevering and for using what you have as a platform for doing good. We need more good people in the world, but I can say I’m thankful for you and your husband. Thank you.
That is so sweet of you I can’t even. (To borrow someone else’s words 🙂 )
I remember when I would save all month so I could go to a 3 dollar movie and sneak in my own soda and snacks and when 20 dollars was a fortune and I loved going to the movies.
Now it’s easily affordable and not as enjoyable or appreciated. I enjoy helping my nephews and one of my biggest Joy’s was when I was able to surprise one of them with a check to help with the downpayment on his house. The only reason I do this is that they are both hardworking and they both appreciate what I have done.
cheryl z says
I really like the fact that one of my favorite authors is nice and wise.
A very dear male friend got grief from people because he didn’t have his own apartment, which he could have done. I said “your mother and your grandmother are both safer because you are all living together”.
Families are all shapes and sizes – the 1960’s “nuclear family” concept created a lot of generational isolation.
Family is essential, even when you don’t agree on things.
(Also, family isn’t always the people you are biologically related to.)
barbie doll says
One day my adult daughter said mom I feel… What she said really threw me for a loop. I swallowed hard and said what you feel is what you feel. It is neither right or wrong. I will never forget what she said but I did not cut her down for saying it. Sometimes we need to say the most awful things just because they need to come out. And someone needs to listen and not judge.
this is amazing and I really needed this. Your fantastic thank you
Thank you 🙂
I really needed this. I lived with my mom for a long time after college and none of my friends were in the same situation. But, I had students and was always in low paying jobs, but I did also help out and paid as much rent as a could. My mom also needed me and my older sister there because she couldn’t afford the mortgage on her own after my parents got divorced. And when I moved out? I found I don’t even like living alone and a nightmare narcissist of a roommate put me off that situation as well. I’d love to move back in with my mom and sister, where I’m actually happy and have a great emotional support system, but I know that’s not what American culture applauds. They feel people can’t really become functioning adults if you live with family.
Claire M says
I love everything about this post!
I will openly admit I’m 31 and still living with my parents. I’ve had chronic health issues and was only able to START working a few years ago. I now manage 4 days a week, pay rent, pay for my car, take care of my pets, do my own laundry and buy about half my own food. The area I live in, moving out is very difficult even if you work full time, as it’s so expensive. I wouldn’t be well enough to live alone and work, so I’ll happily stay home and make the best of my life as I can!
I don’t get the stigma of living with your parents. I’ve had comments about it, sure. But isn’t it far more important to do the best you can? It’s no failure to be back home, it’s doing what you need to. So to anyone who feels like they’re “failing” because they’re back home, you’re not!!! Keep doing you and doing what you have to to give yourself the best chance.
I’m pretty sure that multi-million dollar company isn’t about to start free-pooping in your house, so I’d definitely say lacking $20 for diapers is the bigger problem. ?
Thank you for this. I’m living with family right now because I cannot afford a place of my own. I lived with my parents after high school and worked full time for several years to save money for my future. And then when my parents got sick and I took care of them, but they both died. They had no issues with me living at home as long as I helped out and paid my own bills. My savings account dwindled while I tried to survive on my own. I finally moved in with my brother and went back to school to improve my lot while working 2 part times jobs. His new fiancee hates that I live with them because I should be self-sufficient on just slightly above minimum wage. But my area is experiencing a huge housing boom and even the smallest apartment is $1,000, and that is pretty much all of my take home pay. It’s so damn difficult explaining to people. I just graduated from my local cc with 2 AA degrees and am trying to get my BA now. Only my closest friends know my living situation because I’m so tired of being judged and pitied and there are many, many days where it seems hopeless and I’ll never get ahead. There’s a saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I get told fairly often “I moved out when I was xyz age and I’m fine now…” but that really doesn’t help me. Thank you for being such an awesome family, and thank you for your stories which make me very happy on my days off work.
Hugs. Many hugs. Strength for the two jobs and the class work for the BA. Congratulations on the AA degrees!! ??
A decent apartment anywhere near Austin is $1,200 per month. Average just-above-minimum-wage job in the area is $10 per hour. One month’s pay before taxes is $1,600. Even if you get a roommate and only pay $600, that leaves one with $1,000. $200 in utilities assuming it’s split (electric, water and trash, internet), $50 in gas (being super optimistic here), car payment, car insurance, renter’s insurance, food, toiletries… Yeah. Math is a bitch, but she’s always right.
After I graduated with a Computer Science degree, I decided that since the field was booming I could take the summer off to be a full time raft guide, and then I could find an apartment in the city I wanted to work and jobs would basically flow into my lap.
Yeah. No. That didn’t happen. What I didn’t know (And what Kid 1 may want to keep in mind) is that entry level programming positions tend to be sparse in the Fall/Winter; everyone is hiring for those positions in the spring/summer to catch the recent college grads. Long story short I struggled to put food on the table for about 6 months, then my car broke down and I couldn’t afford rent anymore once I had a car payment. Moving back in with my mom allowed me to get back on my feet before trying the whole “living solo” thing again once I got a decent job. So far, so good 🙂
Debbie Porter says
My adult children came home after struggling hard to make it on their own. I think it’s normal, in many cultures outside of American. My husband is Navajo each house has at least three generations living together as a family, helping each other and making life better for the group. There is less struggle financially, more emotional support and stronger family bonds then on my side of the family. Once they became adults, the roles switched, we are now more family/roommates more, each person is responsible for their share of the house. It works for us, the judgemental ones out there can do their own thing I don’t care how they live.
Thank you. This post me and a lot as my adult daughter is living with us and helping me take care of my mother.
Hugs for everyone (commenters and authors). It is from an internet stranger but hugs.
Cynthia E says
Very true. Disasters are individual and depth of that disaster is also individual. I am 67 now but I remember vividly the last 3 diapers in the box HAD NO TAPE!! baby had diarrhea . No money. Used my hairdryer to drive scarf to sub for the diaper. Kept baby in the till scarf dry. Awful . 40 years later I remember how desperate i was . I felt like a total failure as a mother and as a person. Convinced to.My soul that my daughter would be ruined . She is fine, unscarred, but i never told her. To all who released yourself/ourselves, blessings on you! we will all survive with the added peace that we are not alone.
Cynthia Emery says
Hairdryer to.dry scarf and kept baby in tub. Autocorrect!!
Brilliant! Thank you for writing this post and sharing it on the blog.
Brilliant ! Loved it and thank you.
I simply adore you…..Thank you!!
Wow, i feel like you are speaking to me. Kudos to you and your kids
Cheryl M says
Brilliantly said! Many hugs for those going through a rough spot. I got through mine this past winter by imagining living on a beach where the water was warm, the sand soft, and someone brought a fruity cocktail as soon as I raised my hand. All families are different, all kids have different needs, and somehow we seem to muddle through.
Alex R. says
You know what would make all our troubles go away? At least for as long as it takes us to read it.
A snippet. Of anything.
I second that! 😀
Angel Mercury says
Hard times happen, whatever they are. Leaning on your friends or family for help getting through them is part of why they’re in your life. Then you remember how those people were there for you in your time of need and you are there for them in return when they need you. There’s no shame for anyone in this.
Agree totally with everything you said.
Nancy Pollan says
I have been in those $300 shoes, and said the same thing, i.e. it might as well have been 3,000 or 300,000 because I didn’t have that either. Thank you for validating the seriousness of any individual ‘s specific problems.
If you have a problem that can be fixed, not put off but fixed, with money you don’t have a problem but an expense. If you can’t pay your expences that is a problem. It doesn’t matter the size of the expense.
And todays blog is one of the reasons I will buy every book you write until I die.
Us older folks remember a time when our parents refused to let us come home. We were adults now and we were supposed to stand on our own two feet. Thank goodness that we have more empathetic parents now. We’ll have kinder children because of it. I would love to have my children come home and live with me. Of course, they have their own families now, but still, I miss them. I keep fantasizing about owning a compound and all my family could live there. I completely applaud the movement to keep your kids around as long as they need you and are willing to pitch in. We don’t do our kids any favors if they are moochers, but there’s no need to push them out. There will be plenty of time to be without them and alone.
I remember a time when multiple generations lived and worked together. We were better for it. I have a mother with dementia and a teenage granddaughter living with me. I am better for it. In two years they will both be gone, but ???? I don’t know how to express what I feel. I read about your daughters and think how lucky you are and how lucky they are. So much love!
Suzette M. says
I love this. wish more of us who live in NYC and aren’t investment bankers could afford to do this. It would alleviate so much stress on families.
My father told me at the Easter break of my final year in university that while I was welcome to come and visit he would not have me home to live, even for the summer. It was extremely upsetting and left me feeling like I had no where I could go if none of the various possibilites worked out. They didn’t and I ended up on a friend’s floor, which was better than the street, but really not ideal – they partied a lot and I perforce partied too or at least sat around while others did as I couldn’t go to sleep until everyone else had gone. Nearly forty years on I still think that his decision affected where I ended up work-wise negatively.
So graduates living at home don’t beat yourselves up! Accept the gift your parents are giving you graciously, with love and do what you can to make their lives easier.
I love this post. Thank you so much. I’ve had down to my last 25 cents and I’m feeding the cats with it and so called “luxury” problems. Problems are problems and a little compassion and kindness goes a long way. Your kids are lucky to have such great parents.
Yep work with some college students in my job, and even more so before I retired from the Air Nat’l Guard. And there they are, working to get a better life, yet having random stresses land on them. And I remember being them! And it’s so cool when they finally graduate and you can encourage them to go forth & conquer! Because that is typically the best time for them to go try all sorts of new things. Yeah the tough times, they’ll get you down–but there is usually light at the end of that tunnel!
Patricia Schlorke says
I lived with my parents until they both left this Earth. Before I started school for the second time, in Missouri, I sat down with my mom to discuss what I could do around the place to make everything easier. I told her I would buy groceries when I could and pay bills if needed. The one thing she told me that would be the biggest help of all was for me to drive my dad to work before I went to class. We lived a hour away and there were days she would be driving the equivalent of 8 hours to get all the running around done. She wanted a break.
I got the looks from other family members that I still lived at home while in school. My attitude was to ignore them. They didn’t understand the agreement I made with my parents. I look back at that time, I have no regrets since I got to spend time with them.
My son lived with me through college and then came back to live with me for a year to help me after my Dad died and I inherited the care of his aged sister.
Years later, after my aunt passed, I developed a disabling chronic illness and could no longer work.
He and his wife moved in with their kids while they sold their house, bought a new, bigger house with room for all of us, and moved us all in. Then they fixed up my house and helped me sell it.
Now it’s me living with them, part of their family. All done with love and acceptance and tolerance and good boundaries. It’s amazing how it all circles around.
We all have our own private hells. There can be no comparisons.
Well said and received. Thank you
Hooray! So well said!
Thank you for reminding us of that. I have “friends” whose troubles are always more dire than mine are, and I need reminding of those truths. Major props to your kids, and to you both for seeing so clearly.
I love this post, so insightful. I wish everyone thought the same.
Cindy Carothers says
Such compassion in the post itself as well as these comments. Love this community of kind and generous people!
Storm Rise says
Exactly this! I’ve ended up with malnutrition because for months all I could afford was a boiled egg and a piece of flat bread a day, and had to hock my last ring for a train ticket to get to work. I’ve also been married to someone pulling down 6 figures and for one disastrous month we had no money for groceries, so a friend came over one day with her daughters and trays of veges and groceries. I cried.
We do what we can, with what we have, at that specific time- and there is no better or worse scenario!
Your kiddos have a great Mum. Good on you Ilona.
Patricia Sparrazza says
My oldest is 31. We lived my MIL for 3-4 months after our lease ran out while we were saving for the down payment on our first house while I was pregnant. A few years ago, *both* our adult sons had to move in. One has mental health issues and the other is married and he & his wife had job issues & could no longer afford the rent on a single bedroom here in Phx. It took a while for the two of them to get steady jobs & build up their finances; they just recently moved back out. They did their best and helped out around the house. We knew what it was like to be young and starting out and feeling like people are judging you. It’s just life & you do your best and you get past it. That’s what family is for.
Three years ago, I had my first experience with Multiple Sclerosis. It simultaneously ended my career as a journalist and put me in a wheelchair until I could learn to use my left side again.
For obvious reasons, I moved back in with my parents; a 29 year old with no career or income and huge hospital bills. It’s taken me three years to recover, both physically and as a working adult. Today I accepted a job as a middle school English teacher.
Don’t feel bad if life knocks you down and you have to rely on your loved ones. Just be grateful that you have people in your life you can rely on when life takes a rough turn.
And good for your kids doing their best to steer their life in the direction they want.
Suzann Schmid says
I always tell friends who apologize for complaining about pain because they know I have 3 chronic conditions that are painful and will never go away that pain is pain. Doesn’t matter that my pain might be worse or there’s might be curable. When you hurt, you hurt. As far as becoming independent, history shows that many lived at home to save it. It’s a smart decision.
Heather Langston says
You keep it very real, that’s why I love this blog. I’m very vested in Peer Support and CISM in the fire service (having survived my own messed up head coupled with two decades of working in emergency services). The greatest lesson I’ve learned is patience and compassion for others. No two people are wired the same, but every last one of us has the power to offer compassion.
Hats off to you for raising kids with work ethic and drive- we need more of that in the world. And loads of positive thoughts for everyone here, you are all unique and beautiful people.
I just heard a story on NPR about a woman who at 37 moved home with her parents jobless and broke. She and her Dad started a yogurt company called White Mustache which is now very successful. Moving home can be the best choice you have to save yourself. My door will always be open to my children no matter how old they are, it would be my pleasure.
Thanks for the post!
Love the post! We have three kids 24, 22 and 19 all trying to figure out where they are going in life. The oldest is in MI, the middle is here at home and the youngest is here for the summer and back to school in the fall. I expect in two to three years when my youngest is done she will end up back here till she gets on her feet. We live in a very expensive city. San Jose Ca. Even renting can wipe out your salary.
You’re right about the about everyone’s problems being different. I hope everyone caught some relief from venting yesterday. Big hugs ?
I’m thankful my mom let me move home after college and thankful my dad let me move in with his family in my mid twenties to get out of a bad relationship.
Since then, in my forties I’ve taken my mother and grandmother into my home for a few months when their house flooded and insurance didn’t pay a dime.
I’ve helped a parent pay their taxes. They’ve helped me pay my bills when I needed.
It can be humbling but looking back they were some of the highlights of my life.
People who have never been back to the wall just don’t get it. I have a roommate, it happened by accident, it was either sleeping on my floor or in her storage unit. It’s been a year, we’re friends and the situation helps her and it helps me. My cats like her and she’s taking care of the cats and condo while I’m working a job that has been 24×7 for the last five weeks. I could not do this without her. Life can be such a struggle at times. I had many years with $4 left after the bills were paid, just enough for milk and eggs till next payday. Hang in there everyone, we can do this!
I agree so much, and appreciate your spelling it out! My eldest, 30, lives with me. He was out in the world for a couple years, then decided he wanted to give college another try. He is halfway through his Mech Eng degree. He handles chores around our 3-bedroom condo, and I’m very grateful to him; he’s seen me through about six surgeries in the last five years. I’m getting better, he’s getting his degree, and we laugh a lot. It works for us. Every now and then my sisters ask “why don’t you move him out? He should be on his own!” Fortunately, I’m very good at smiling and ignoring both of them. Now, when something starts to stress me out, I mutter “This too shall pass.” I know I’ll get through it.
Darlene jane says
I love you guys. Just sayin….
This was the right thing to post at the right time. I had my mom and son read this to start a conversation. It opens people eyes to other people’s view point. That we all are suffering under something even if it’s our own baggage. It’s okay to ask for help and sometime it’s okay to listen without being the fixer of problems. Sometimes the thing the person wants is to talk it out not for you to solve it for them. So thank you so much for this.
Thank you for the post. Being able to rely on family is a great comfort and should never be taken for granted.
Thank you. Both of my kids have Fragile X…..and while they are amazing, I really don’t see our situation as any different most of the time..until I remember that while other ppl children will at some point have carriers and family’s of their own..mine most likely never will. They will always be home with me. Other parents have it MUCH tougher than me. But yes. This is my hard spot. I need to own it more. Thank you.
Job cuts at my company today but I wasn’t one of them. Lost a co-worker who has been a close friend for over 32 years. Hi wife and mine were in the same hospital room and they gave birth to our 2 daughters the same day. He could have retired last year and was waiting for the shoe to drop. Lost 4 good people in the last 2 weeks And yes, don’t let anyone tell you, you aren’t doing enough. When my wife became disabled as a result of a car accident she had been in, I became the sole bread winner, cook, housecleaner and general crazy person. And of course life happened. Things like the car breaking down and needing $500.00 to fix etc. My parents bless them, helped out when they could. Her parents didn’t like me and they refused her pleas even the one time when my hours got cut and it looked liked we wouldn’t make the rent and get evicted. So let those kids know, they are doing just great. I know a couple of 20 somethings online who suffer from depression and one from an image disorder. They constantly post how they never feel good enough to live up to their parents expectations and I keep telling them how awesome and wonderful they truly are. Hopefully if I tell them often enough they will realize it is true. Life is a journey of discovery. You won’t get everything right the 1st, 2nd or thousandth time but trying is better than giving up cause you’ve got this. Live, love and laugh.
You guys are such amazing, compassionate people. I love reading your blog, and reading your books.
Asking for help – be that from family or friends – is one of the hardest things to do for me. For some reason I feel as if I am such a burden when I need help. Still, there are things one cannot do alone.
January 2018 I just had knee surgery, had to move out of my flat, and the flat I was supposed to move into wasn’t empty yet.
So I had do ask friends for help with moving back to my moms. Both the moving day and the months spend with my mom are such great memorys now! I’m hoping that will help the next time I have to ask for help – everyone needs help sometimes, and asking for it doesn’t make you a failure.
You two right lots of great stuff. This is the best thing you’ve written that I’ve ever read. Probably all the other great stuff you write comes from the same place.
Oops. I must be tired. You two write lots of great stuff. Write.
Louise Jordan says
My son is partially sighted. As he’s two not sure exactly what he sees but it seems like he was a quarter of normal vision.
I have a friend who likes to tell me at great length about a child he knows who is deaf and blind.
I bet if I met her parents they would have tales of people witter on about children who died in car accidents.
My conclusion is that as none of us live in war zones, no one has any problems at all. ?
Shawn S says
I lived with my parents into my mid 20’s; it was beneficial to all of us. Everyone living in different houses is a fairly modern way of life for most cultures.
Ship's Cat says
I never loan money to friends. I give it to them, no strings attached. If they protest I just say pay it on sometime to someone else later. I keep a lot of friends that way.
I’ve also thrown my son (very gently) out of the house three times. Which means of course, when he needed me my place was welcome to him. Now, I have to beg him for a visit, but he lives in another country, sigh.Mommy will send airfare!
Thank you xxx
d lm a says
Ista in Sydney says
Thank you for this, it’s so very true
My eyes watered reading all your comments. You’re all such wonderful caring human beings. I’m sending hugs and positive thoughts to all of you out there. Thank you Ilona for the opportunity of bringing together the members of your big and growing BDH family. You and Gordon are such a bright spot in our lives. Anything you’ll write we’ll buy it because it uplifts us and gives us courage to face everyday life. My love and caring to all.
As always, very well said!
We all need help sometimes.
The idea of being “self sufficient” is tooted as a good thing, but the reality is often loneliness with lack of connection with family and friends.
I have become physically disabled, and the response from people is really variable. My teen kids help me if I need it, and I also help them in other ways.
Your kids sound hard working and fabulous… as are you both
fan in California says
Suzette M. says
I love the post. I love the comments. You are all such terrific people.
I will! Still at least take a moment to smile/cheer up. Thank you!
For most of my childhood I thought my Mom was dumb as a Stump. I was not a respectful daughter. I grew up, moved to another state and only realized how cool and kind my Mom was in my late 20s to early 30s.
In my 50s, Mom moved out to live with us (after begging her to do so for years). She didn’t need $$ help, but she did enjoy just handing me her confusing bills or having me interpret her medical stuff, or calling to say “there is something wrong with my car/TV/stove, can you look at it?”
We had 2WONDERFUL years together. They were such a gift to me and to her. We had fun together for the first time since I started 1st grade. We laughed, traveled and I got to show her I respected her.
So when you get to have the kids or parents come home, do it, because it may be some of the best times of your life!
My thoughts and prayers to all of us. Do your best and try to be kind to yourself, and to others every day – – – just like my Mom!
Very well said. Agree with you 100 percent.
Everyone has problems. It’s impossible to know what other people are dealing with. As you said, $300 to one person at a difficult time might as well be a million.
I love your snippets about Kid 1 and Kid 2. I have 3 girls about the same age. I’m totally impressed with your daughters, how responsible they are. I work in health care and with highly educated doctors and nurses and other professionals. Regardless of education, the people that stands out are the ones like your kids with impeccable work ethics. Be proud of how you and Gordon brought them up and the value you have instilled.
I hope I have a chance to comment more because oh, I love this community. And so many of these things are things I see with my students, and my family.
…but I’m not frustrated right now. A little overwhelmed, feeling slightly like I was beaten all over, but I’m mostly in great adventure mode. (Except for the ow.) Wednesday all my stuff went away in a truck (…argh, the movers showed up 2.5 hours before dispatch said the would be there, that was exciting.) I’ve been sleeping on the futon sofa since, which is part of why I’m sore. Most of the rest is spending most of yesterday being filmed demonstrating surgical techniques, and being interviewed about them (while half asleep – green tea mints saved my life.) Oh, and apparently my box lifting technique, which is all about the squat all the way to the ground spares my back and arms and hits the glutes. My sister says this is “doing it right”. I say “pain in the butt”.
Last night I went out to dinner with my lab mates (what am I going to do without the Ginger Unicorn?!) and didn’t do any of the last things with the house, so as I went to bed I was stressing about my inevitable late start as I have to clean some and pack up my plates. …and then it occurred to me that I’m on no one’s schedule but my own, as long as I can spend some time in the lab on Monday. I’m not sure if I actually have 8-10 hours of driving in me anyway, at least, if I don’t need to, so I might just stop and stay overnight somewhere and finish things in the morning.
South and East of me is a cottage in the woods. And robots, and cats, and turtles. Ho! (**groan**)
I moved in with my parents 2 years ago to help them. I was living in another state and there health was suffering to the point I was coming home every weekend. Having 2 cats and no time at home sucked. I was leaving work Friday at 3 to drive home and Sunday getting up, loading up, and heading home about noon for about 4 months. I got a new job and moved home. I’m the classic millennial. I live in my parents basement without paying rent. What I do is manage their health, most of the cooking, cleaning, and all of the laundry. Before my grandma died last year I was taking her to most of her appointments. I cover all of my own bills and I buy groceries. It works for us. I can get my dad to do things he’s supposed to do but mom can’t get him to do. My mom gets more healthy meals. Which makes her happy.
Thank you Ilona, you have a wonderful way of stating some important truths about life, that we can often get bogged down in details without seeing the whole picture, or get confused because of buying into the premise that we are not as important as other people and their problems are. It is wonderful to have this safe place, to bemoan whatever worries we have of the moment, and not fear ridicule, but be listened to with sympathy and support. This is not the norm in discussion on this blog, but having a day to kind of let it all hang out, is cathartic. This is a very caring community, the BDH, and I am glad I found it! ?
Melissa Thomas says
Thank you so much for this. I’m going through a time in my life where I feel like I’m living in a house of cards and the slightest thing will pull me over. You write great books and give good life advice?
Compassion is a beautiful thing.
What a kind, thoughtful, caring post. Thanks for the supportive statements and life examples.
In my country kids may live with parents and grandparents.Here is not easy to find a job and make enough money to be independant.Many times parents cant even take their children to school and it is done by the gparents.
I get it why is different for americans but a lot of them make fun of 18+ people living with their parents.In reality is not black and white problem.
A few years ago my husband and I decided to purchase a new house so my in-laws could move across the country to be closer to their grandkids. It’s the most wonderful thing we could have done. My kids and their cousins adore having their grandparents around. Sharing the responsibility of a household and raising children with my in-laws has so far been fantastic. We have our disagreements just like any relationship but we all try to support each other and that is what matters. I think our society puts too much emphasis on being independent and not enough on how we are social creatures and how important it is to have and give support to others.
Thank you so much for your writing both the blog and your remarkable stories.
I think we’re too hard on people nowadays. Hardly anyone graduates after one college degree, ready to enter the job they’ll do for the rest of their lives. When I finished my degree in 2002, only half my friends graduated with me: the rest did additional years or took a gap year. In many countries it’s very common to take a break from school and travel/work/figure things out. I wish we promoted that here in Canada/US more.
Furthermore, by the time my friends and I turned 30, most of us had tried more than 3 jobs. No one gets it right the first time…or few times. We all take a while to find our niche. And living at home saves a ton of money while doing so.
So no pressure on anyone to move out and get a “the right” job. The opportunity will come when it’s right for each person. Sometimes more than once.
Thank you! I am a teacher and $300 is a huge deal to me! I hate when people minimize your problems.
Perfect! I have two boys when just moved back home from college. One has a job, the other still looking. BOTH contributing to the household. Both are motivated, hard working people and I’m happy they’re here. I’m sick to death about people complaining about their kids and making mine feel like they are somehow “less than” by making smart financial choices that work for both of them and our whole family.
Perfect! I have two boys who
just moved back home from college. One has a job, the other is still looking. BOTH are contributing to the household. Both are motivated, hard working people and I’m happy they’re here. I’m sick to death about people complaining about their kids and making mine feel like they are somehow “less than” by making smart financial choices that work for both them and our whole family.
Thank you. Sometimes I struggle with telling anyone what is going on with me because they are in much worse situations. Thank you for this perspective. You and Gordon are such a blessing to so many through your books and blog.
Jill in Saskatoon says
What a supportive post. Really the challenges a person has to face are big when they are almost or are impossible to overcome. The level of difficulty is VERY individual Thanks for this.
A year after I graduated from college I had to move back home because my depression (that I wasn’t really acknowledging) was so bad that all I could really manage was work. I worked in the social services, so I wasn’t making much ad the depression made managing finances almost impossible. My parents decided to move and chose a home with an attic almost-apartment. It wasn’t a legal residence because it didn’t have a stove, but I lived there for several years with my microwave, electric skillet, etc, and they never asked for a penny in rent. I moved out for 2 years but had to return after a hospitalization for the depression. I’ve lived with them ever since. About 16 years ago, they moved again, and again chose a place with space for me. This time it was a full 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. It was years before I could pay rent.
Not once did they ever reproach me by word, or look or anything, no matter how little I managed to do (housework was frequently overwhelming). Not once did they ask for money or any other type of assistance. They just quietly made sure that their kid had a safe place to live and as positive an environment as they could create. The day I went to my mom and told her I could start paying $300 in rent was a huge step in my recovery. Eventually, I got to the point where I was paying them close to market rate rent. Last month, the mortgage was paid and I helped contribute to that.
For seven months we had three generations under one roof. Our daughter, her husband and two children moved in with us” temporarily” when their condo was flooded. Shortly after they moved in they discovered baby number 3 was on the way. We encouraged them to stay while the condo was being repaired and put on the market. During that time they searched for a home to buy in our very expensive area. My son-in-law not only works with us but he loves to cook. He would work all day (he started 2 hours before us) and then would come home and cook. Every night when we parked in the garage at night we could smell dinner. For seven months we didn’t charge them rent and for seven months there was dinner ready for us every night. Not to mention the adorable greeting that came flying out the door!
The challenge was to support each other and especially for us not to override their parental authority. However when your two year grandson does something he should not and his mother very sternly tells him to come to her “right now” and he flashes a brilliant smile, turns his back to her and starts walking backwards to his mother going “Beep, Beep, Beep” you cannot laugh. You just can’t.
When they found their dream house and packed up and moved out my husband & I looked at each other and realized not only were we going to really miss them (and all those wonderful sticky kisses) but, damn, we had to cook our own meals again. Crap.
You are wonderful supportive parents -you totally rock!
Reading all these comments I am so impressed, not only with the kids, but with the parents. It’s great that people are so supportive and are trying really hard not to be judgmental about situations beyond a person’s control. Right now I am lucky that I am not having independence issues, but sure remember when that wasn’t the case and my parents were there for me. They encouraged me to live at home and I took the other kids places and helped around the house. I learned a lot of important things from my parents and I miss them every day.
Margaret R says
Your are wise. You said exactly what I was thinking only better.
I have a pretty bad illness. By “pretty bad” I mean I’ve surpassed the life estimate I was given by a few months now and I feel great…I do not enjoy being sick or saying this. BUT…there are times I’m glad for the perspective its given me. I see a lot of people (especially at one of my doctors) who turn illness into a contest “oh yeah, I’ve been through chemo twelve times (artistic exaggeration)” and it kind of grosses me out..every person on this earth has problems and to that person those problems are huge, hopefully not insurmountable. We need to remember to be kinder to people and stop viewing them through whatever colored glasses our life has given us.
This is why you and your husbands are truly my favorite authours (Sorry Patricia B! you are a close 2nd) You engage and connect with your readers on your blog. It is truly magnificent all the different topics/aspects you cover and how motivayional inspiring you are to each and every subset of your reader base. College age, stay at home moms, empty nest moms, other authors etc. You liven up or imaginations,brighten our days and sooth our hearts (hearts flowed better than anxieties).
Thank you for this. Having some pretty toxic thoughts about not following schedules. Work, depression, back to school for the second degree, getting products ready for craft business, husbands depression, all of it feels like so much sometimes. My husband apologized to me for his depression, and I said that he had helped me crawl out of the pit and that now it was my turn to help him up. Sometimes, you just need a climbing buddy.
My grandpa recently passed away. Because my mom was also in the last stages of her own illness it fell to me to take care of him. I was lucky enough to have a good deal of accrued sick time I could use for family leave. He would regularly thank me effusively for taking the time and trouble and each and every time I had the hardest time getting a response out around the lump in my throat. I appreciated the thank you, but I was only doing what he and all the other elders in my family had taught me through example, we take care of those who took care of us. That’s your reward for raising your kids with love, discipline, and respect. That’s your reward for spoiling your grandkids with discipline and love.
I say this all the time. No ones pain is more valid than anyone else’s just because they’re feeling it.
I remember in college I found out my best friends sisters cancer had relapsed. I went over to her dorm room to comfort her and found her comforting her roommate who was upset some of her hair was falling out. I was shocked! Who cared abt her hair? But my friend told me “to her this is the biggest problem she’s facing. She doesn’t know abt my sister. Her pain isn’t any less than mine.”
That’s always stuck with me. This was years ago and I still think abt it. Everyone faces different situations that can and will pain us.
Don’t be so quick to judge.
Such a kind post. I am sure you made someone feel much better. And congrats on two great kids
Jane Ann Wells says
After living on his own for many years my son moved back home a few years ago. There were many reasons, but he didn’t NEED a reason. Our door was always open for him. At first he felt bad about moving “home”…he may still feel bad sometimes but he doesn’t mention it. But the most important thing was that we welcomed him with open arms. He can stay with us as long as he likes (or needs). Is he a loser? No…I think we’re all winners.