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Large age gaps - feeling overwhelmed

(7 Posts)
Ghirly Tue 28-May-13 01:11:42

Hi all. Quick history - I am a single parent with 4 DCs (ages 22,17,7 and 2)
My two elder ones are making no plans to move out. Ds1 (17) is almost 18 and has just left school and waiting on exam results. If he gets what he needs he will move out to attend university - only thing is, he isn't too confident.

I fully expect to get slated for what I'm about to say but I'm at my wits end with my elder two children. I'm not coping well, I'm currently receiving CBT and I'm feeling my elder children are a chore for me.

I can cope with my younger ones - they take up most my time obviously and yet my elder ones constantly make digs about me only having time for the little ones.

Truth be told, as I'm struggling, when my youngest go to bed about 8pm I think that's my 'me time' yet can't seem to get any as my elder kids are still about and I can't possibly send them to bed due to their age.

I'm left cleaning, feeding, washing, etc etc for 4 children when two are actually adults. I can't have friends over as DD1 and DS1 are still up and join in our conversations. A partner is a definite no no for the same reason.

I want them to move out and be independant like I was at their I being completely out of order? How can I get some life back? Any suggestions welcome. I feel awful writing this but I'm feeling very very trapped right now. I feel I've been bringing up children for 22 years so think their turn is over.

Ok, let the battle commence, what do I do??

Smartieaddict Tue 28-May-13 03:04:56

It sounds like the older two need to step up and start behaving like the young adults they are. Do they help around the house at all? To get some "me time" can you leave the older ones to babysit and go out once in a while?

StupidFlanders Tue 28-May-13 03:08:44

You sound reasonable, I'd just talk to them about their plans and explain that you need a bit more down time.

Tell them that now they're adults they can earn their keep by doing the chores etc and you need 2 nights a week to yourself. They're too old to be adding to your work load.

karatekimmi Tue 28-May-13 03:10:05

Well put the rent up, make them pay their share if bills and food, make them do their fair share of the household chores, especially if they are moaning the little one gets all the attention then when babies asleep, you have no chores left to do. They can babysit one night a week each and you can have a night with them out seperately.

SprinkleLiberally Tue 28-May-13 03:29:01

Hmmm. Just be careful though. Yes they are adult, or nearly now, but they were 15 and 10 when you had your dc3. Did they feel ignored then too I wonder? I know I did at that age when young siblings arrived. Yet everyone on mn says children need you so much at that age.
Do you want to keep a good relationship with the older two? If so don't be unreasonable. Yes they should contribute to running the house, and rent if working. But moving out at 17 is unreasonable. Resenting them not being in bed is unreasonable too. Don't push them away because you chose to have two much younger children. You could regret it.

Ghirly Fri 07-Jun-13 21:42:31

Finally getting back to you and I fully agree with SprinkleLiberally

I don't want to waste my relationship with my elder children but for example - a Sunday - my 2 and 7 year olds still get up about 8am, I've to feed them clothe them entertain them etc.
My 22 yr old works most Sundays and that's fine but when I'm leaving the house at .5.15PM to take my wee ones to church I'm waking my 17 year old up and asking him to clean the kitchen while I'm away so as when I get home I can make dinner. 99.999999% of the time we get home from church and DS1 is still in bed - I have to start cleaning before making dinner. The same happens on the days I work and get home at 6.30pm - I have to start tidying before I can prepare dinner.ive offered my 22yr old DD help if she moves out - help with rent, shopping etc.
I feel on her behalf she has no privacy as her 7 and 2 year old siblings are CONSTANTLY at her, waking her up, wanting to go in the shower with her, go to shops with her etc etc. she can't have friends home (never mind boyfriends) as her young siblings give her no space.
Don't you think, from her respect, you'd want your own place? Or am I just being a cow??

LongStory Tue 11-Jun-13 23:07:08

Sounds like a challenging negotiation, let's hope the university place works out.

I have told my children that when they are old enough to work I will charge them market rent which I will then put into an earmarked account which will save towards their deposit. That way, hopefully, they will always be working towards moving out.

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