You Don’t Get To Have Them
The ups and downs of being a custodial parent of adult children
Our sons were 15 and 17 years old when my husband moved into our vacation home nearly four years ago. You could say I got custody of the kids since they live with me, but they aren’t kids anymore. They are grown men with full lives of their own. They are self sufficient, but not enough so to move out and live on their own. We try to share the responsibilities of housekeeping in addition to sharing space which is a major challenge for all of us. I am handicapped, and they are turning 20 and 22 years old next month.
It has been frustrating to try to get two young men to cooperate with me as far as keeping the house in some semblance of order. They resent the fact that their mother is disabled and requires more help than most as I am physically incapable of doing simple things like taking out the garbage. I know it’s common for guys their age to resist doing housework. They pay token rent and enjoy the utilities, food and household supplies that are included. They are not able to afford the rents that are charged in the vicinity near their jobs so there is not a bigger better deal available. We are stuck with each other for now.
When I am cleaning up the mess in my kitchen for the seventh time in a day, or wake up to find a group of young people in my kitchen, or their cars in my driveway are blocking my access to my garage, I often think of my anal retentive husband enjoying his perfectly quiet, pristine and tidy home all alone where none of this happens. His sleep or romantic interludes are never disrupted by gangs of loud, unruly young people late at night or early in the morning. Things are always where he leaves them. He never finds an empty toilet paper roll in his bathroom. No one ever eats the food he stashed in the refrigerator.
Just as there is always an upside, there is always a downside. I may not have total peace, tidiness and quiet all the time, but I do get to enjoy seeing my charming, handsome, intelligent sons every day. They won’t go live with their father because they are unwilling to commute to work from where he lives. He doesn’t get to have them.
Thank you for reading:)