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Adult Children At Home - Other Parents' Experiences Please

(100 Posts)
GreyterGood Wed 09-Mar-16 12:58:41

Having survived all of my children's childhood without Mumsnet, I have just signed up because I can't cope with their adulthood...

3 sons, ages 21, 23, 24. Living At Home with Mum (that's me; plus my partner of five years; middle son currently away for a year overseas) in London. The oldest could afford to live elsewhere. The youngest is saving for uni in September, working minimum wage, and therefore stuck.

Blow up this morning - I'd been in bed yesterday with a flu-type bug, feverish etc. No extra help. 'But I made you a cup of tea', sayeth one. I'd asked them to make sure dishes done and dishwasher emptied/re-filled by end of day, before I went off to bed. This morning: nothing. 'We Forgot'. By mutual agreement? Both? I got them out of bed and they duly did what had been asked. But at a lot of energy expense from me, and bad feeling engendered. Complaints about injustice from youngest and hectoring sarcasm from oldest son.

Now I wonder whether people could help me get perspective about my older son's claims.
Which are:
- that all of his friends, ages 21-26ish, are still living at home
- & that they talk to their own parents much more rudely and unkindly than my sons do to me
- & that none of these friends have to do any housework or make any contribution to the welfare of the house, ever
- & that everyone else can do as they please, that there are no house rules (I introduced, over time, some rules in specific response to the way certain things affected my work from home and home life in general).
- oh, & that I've 'lost the plot' as shown by 'unrealistic' expectations.

Is my son right in some or all of this? Do the majority of other older parents have their 20-somethings (& beyond) living at home? Happily or unhappily? Is the situation due to lack of other options for the young person? Do other still-at-home 20-somethings truly Do Nothing by way of contribution? Is having to fight for getting the dishes and other help done normal? Is poor behaviour in response to requests for picking up their own (let alone other) rubbish the order of the day? Do other people feel treated as if an annoying intruder in their own home?

Having a better idea of what other people in a similar situation experience would be great. I guess a survey could be useful too. So if anyone knows of a sociological treatment of this sore topic, a link would be appreciated. Meantime, individual experience is direct, and it would be so helpful to hear how it is for you!

Thank you.

CocktailQueen Wed 09-Mar-16 13:05:31

It doesn't matter what anyone else's adult kids do or don't do. What matters is that YOUR adults kids, living in a home that YOU run and pay for, are behaving craply and should be ashamed of themselves.

It's just like 'everyone else has an iPhone' at the age of 8. No, they don't and, anyway, who cares? You're in charge of your home, and your sons need to know it. Sounds like they need a reality check. Are they proud of behaving the way they do?

Sounds like you need to sit them down and tell them how you feel, set some ground rules, make a list of chores to be done. If the oldest can afford to live elsewhere, tell him to sling his hook.

flowers for you. Hope you're feeling better.

IpreferToblerone Wed 09-Mar-16 13:06:57

Sorry Greyter, this does not sound too good. Mine are just a bit younger, but they all muck in with the chores. Can you delegate eg putting out the bins, emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry, etc. With the working son I would definitely be charging rent plus food money if you are making meals for him. I don't think it would be too much to ask either, for him to cook a family meal at least once a week. He could also do a food shop and then he'll see the money and effort that goes in to it. Rudeness from adult sons? No way would I accept that, I would be showing him the door and then he can experience real life! Then he will realise what a cushy existence he took for granted at home. Good luck.

waffilyversati1e Wed 09-Mar-16 13:09:04

My 10 year old makes me a cuppa. Stops allowing them to behave like this, they are adults and unless they are making it benefit you to live in your home if they can afford to leave then tell them to! My husband was living at home until he was 24 and his Mum practically threw me a party for telling him he could live with me - there is no way he would speak to his Mum disrespectfully though, why would they try to normalize that? Do they think you are really gullible?

DawnOfTheDoggers Wed 09-Mar-16 13:11:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

waffilyversati1e Wed 09-Mar-16 13:12:33

Have you brought them up to not help out around the house?

winchester1 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:12:44

Not me but sil and bil (his daughter and sil brothers daughter) so two women in early 20s living with them and their 10yr old girl.

It has been very much as you describe, I've seen the women ask sil to get them a drink when everyone is sat down and her get up. hmm
They let it continue, paying for.trips, holidays, meals out etc until finally the little girl started to say no she wouldn't do jobs, homework etc. So then it all came to ahead so house rules were put in place, all adults do and pay a fair share towards the household (based on hrs worked and income of course) and shortly after both young women found the money to move out. They come to family parties and seem so much more grown up and responsible just 6 months after leaving.'home'.

pantsjustpants Wed 09-Mar-16 13:13:23

I have two adult ds's, 24 & 26, who don't live at home (and two younger dc at home). Ds2 has a bit of an off/on relationship with his dp had regularly moves in for a while. It really is a case of my house, my rules. I'll do his washing with ours, but not the ironing. He cleans up after himself and helps out with everything, and babysits the youngest two occasionally.

If either of them were rude to me, I'd be furious! To be fair, they aren't.

BaronessEllaSaturday Wed 09-Mar-16 13:14:06

my nearly 22 year old currently lives at home. She lives at home because it is convenient for work and cheaper than getting her own place. The other reason is because her current long term plans are not set and she doesn't as yet know where she will be in 8 months time which makes getting her own place more difficult. She does pay me board, at a higher rate than I requested. She does help out maybe not as much as she could but she does do some stuff. She does always tidy up after herself. She is never rude or disrespectful to me and she always lets me know her plans. Only reason I do her laundry is that it's more convenient to just do it all together.

MegEmski Wed 09-Mar-16 13:14:15

I (29) and DH (28) are moving in with my parents in September. This is to save for a deposit

We already have ground rules in place and we don't live there yet!

For instance - the rent we would normally be paying, is to go into savings. NO frittering.
We will pay all our bills, contribute towards food.
We are also expecting to a)do our share of housework and b) do extra to help for our 'rent' as we are not paying rent to parents. e.g help in the garden etc. Walk the dogs to save my Mum the job. Do the food shopping.

This is just normal, standard, surely?

MrsJayy Wed 09-Mar-16 13:15:58

You and them need to move on to adulthood letting them live like permateen isnt healthy imo dd lives at home she is nearly 23 comes and goes does her washing cooks for herself when she isnt eating with us and gives no lip because she is an adult

momb Wed 09-Mar-16 13:18:48

You have put rules in place. If they won't follow them then they need to find somewhere else to live.
They are your Dcs and you love them of course, but they are also adults and should treat you with respect. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't live in a flat share and behave this way (or be allowed to get away with it) so why on earth would they expect to do so living with you?
They should be paying their way (I believe that 1/3 of their net income is appropriate for earning children) and doing chores/helping you out. You are not their maid.

FigTree90 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:20:15

Ahh sounds like your son has a lot to learn about real life. Sorry you are in this situation. I think it often takes people leaving the family home to appreciate how good they have it!

There is no way that an adult/s should be lucky enough to live in your home rent and assistance free without this being agreed in advanced. I hope they all pay towards food at the very minimum? If not, I think something has to change. I grew up in London and any of my friends that returned to London after Uni or continued to live with Parents all contributed financially and/or to the running of the home.

You don't deserve that kind of attitude from your son. I hope he reflects on his behaviour and changes it.

Perhaps some tough love is what it takes to try and get them out the house- early twenties is prime time for house sharing in London, expensive yes but manageable and there are plenty of opportunities in London to make money for boys those ages. I'm sure your sons will enjoy the freedom and learn the effort it takes to keep the bills paid and a flat tidy.

TheABC Wed 09-Mar-16 13:20:26

My sister has just moved back in with my parents as a temporary measure. She contributes towards the bills and half the household chores, including cooking. When I moved back to parents (a long while ago, now!) after uni, again I contributed money and time whilst waitressing and looking for a graduate job. Tell your oldest to step up, pay up or ship out. Tell your youngest he is an adult and therefore will contribute to the household in agreed chores. Otherwise he is going to be in for a rude awakening when he runs his own place at uni.

NNalreadyinuse Wed 09-Mar-16 13:24:17

The thing is, it doesn't matter how old your dc are in years, emotionally they have never progressed beyond teenagers as they have never had to. Living independently forces people to grow up whereas living at home allows them to stay in the pattern they were in when they were kids.

You won't be doing them any favours if you don't put a stop to this. So they should start to pay their way (not the one saving for uni though) . I don't agree with charging kids rent to live at home but they should be paying their share of bills and doing a fair share of the housework. Rudeness is not to be tolerated. If they don't like the rules they are free to leave. They will appreciate you more once you stop letting them take you for granted.

ridemesideways Wed 09-Mar-16 13:30:57

Your house, your rules. I was kicked out at 18 as I wanted a gap year before going to uni. Lived in a bedsit and worked pt.

RB68 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:31:46

So they get to sponge off you, disrespect you, not give a damn about your health and then give you shit for being unreasonable errr don't think so being a Mother doesn't mean you sign up for this abuse - They need to respect you as a person, they are no longer children they get chores and they have to be done no questions no moaning and when you or any of you are ill you cover for each other. I do feel you might have made this rod for your own back but its never to late to lay it out

As to what others do - its not a competition its about being a decent human being not an arse.

PS print and pin to fridge this thread

LauraMipsum Wed 09-Mar-16 13:46:27

No, your son is a rude, ungrateful monster, and if he thinks he's going to get on with a houseshare or god forbid a partner with attitudes like that he's got another think coming. He needs to sort it out now - and that's not your responsibility either, he's an adult, it's his.

They're adults, they shouldn't need "asking" to do basic stuff like the dishwasher.

I'd be inclined to say that since they don't pay you rent, they are in charge of the housework. All of it.

The people I know who were still at home in their 20s would have been embarrassed to treat it like they were guests, and did as much as they could to help out. Including cooking Sunday lunch for their mums on Sunday.

Print this thread out and show it to him.

GreyterGood Wed 09-Mar-16 13:50:11

Wow, so many responses, so quickly! Really appreciated, both the advice and the actual life experiences both from parents and those adult children who have replied.

Yes, I take on board that I must be part-responsible for the lack of maturity in those boys.

To answer what some wanted to know: the boys were brought up contributing from very young, and learnt to cook in their early teens. I wanted to make sure that any future life partners wouldn't be the one left holding the loo brush! I also never tolerated swearing, and am astounded at the inventive ways they find to be rude without being quotably offensive... I assumed getting them to help from young would morph into a 'contributing is natural' maturity, and that I would manage to help them to a stance of mutual respect and cooperation with their fellow humans, and certainly with their mum. I still feel surprised that it didn't work out that way.

Hence my frustration. It sounds like kicking out the oldest and making sure his brother knows he'll be out too if he doesn't mend his attitude may be the only way for now. Big sigh. More experiences and opinions welcome. Thanks.

NynaevesSister Wed 09-Mar-16 13:54:06

He is 24 and not 14?! Yes definitely time to get tough. House rules or out.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 09-Mar-16 14:01:59

I think it's time your eldest left home.

If he was flat sharing he would not be able to be rude to his housemates while making them wash his dishes. Time he learned that.

waffilyversati1e Wed 09-Mar-16 14:06:52

Ok so you have armed them with the tools (knowing how to look after themselves) so now you need to reinforce your position on this. You are all adults, don't think anyone else would put up with it so why should you.

LauraMipsum Wed 09-Mar-16 14:23:55

I dunno Manatee I've shared houses with some people who think they can do exactly that....

.... the difference is that in a houseshare they tend to get their arses handed to them on an (unwashed) plate.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 09-Mar-16 15:44:22

Exactly, Laura. Try that in a houseshare and you won't last long hmm

Honestly. Acting as though the OP should be his unpaid skivvy and be grateful he's not ruder to her confused

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 09-Mar-16 16:23:43

"Now I wonder whether people could help me get perspective about my older son's claims."
Wow, all his claims sounded like variants on those of an eight-years-old! [adopts high-pitched voice]
Well everybody else's parents lets them eat chocolate for breakfast!
[pouts]
[crosses arms]
[stamps foot]

Yep, he needs to shape up or ship out.

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