22ds and 23ds driving me crazy(27 Posts)
DFB has been living back at home for a year since he failed an MA and was re-sitting whilst living at home but has failed again. DFB has a 12 hour minimum wage job but has not had any job interviews and not sure how much effort he is putting in looking for work. ds2 home from uni with no work. Wasn't so bad with one at home but they spend all day playing computer games just coming down to make "snacks" and depositing copious amounts of dishes. They do load dishwasher but generally don't speak to me much except to ask me to bring home crisps, biscuits or telling me off for forgetting to bring home bread. I work 60hrs plus and dp more. It feels like I am just a meal ticket to them. Before they left for uni I had 2 wonderful ds's and I missed them so much but now I feel more lonely in my own home and can't face making yet another meal that all three males in the house will eat or seeing my hard work returned un-eaten. Have been crying today and keeping to myself since dfb walked off not wanting to speak to me this morning. Don't know what to say as it's nearly dinner time and no Sunday roast on the go.
Young adults can be really difficult to cope with. They are supposed to be grown up but don't seem to have the insight or maturity that their years would suggest.They probably don't realise how you feel and are still in the "child" mode when it comes to what they expect from you. Don't let it upset you and don't take their behaviour too much to heart. However think about how you want things to change, set groundrules and discuss with them. Give them ultimatums if necessary and If you don't feel like cooking then don't cook they are not children any more and your well being is also important. You are not their servant. It is probably a phase they are going through. It will pass.
& for you Mozza
I used to think it would get easier as they got older -I was wrong !
DD home from uni & my house is in chaos,relationship is very strained to say the least.
But,my Dm is starting chemo & radiotherapy soon so I'm trying to let everything else go over my head for a bit.
I think you should do the same,no more snacks & biscuits for them,they are old enough & capable enough to get their own.
Go & treat yourself,out for a nice meal with your DH & let them sort themselves out!
I vividly remember back ages ago when I myself had this tendency to live on pasta and bread, while studying at the university. I think you should not buy anything resembling crisps or cookies or bread or cornflakes or anything "easily eaten" for a while. If you have to cook dinner you can resort to making something that's really easily made so you don't have to put a lot of work in. Discuss with your partner first so that he's bought in on it all. The computer-playing soda-drinking crisp-eaters are a bit like drug addicts in the way that they're looking for the easy way out for the next 24 hours -- mushing away on quick carbo-hydrates and easy gaming for an easy life without thinking about their future. As someone said, they're still in "child" mode the way one was at age ten.
Thank you for comments. I realise that I am part of the problem as well. When they were both at uni I started buying food on a daily basis to stop food waste so rarely have enough main meal supplies for more than a day or so in. I am going to draw up a basic weekly menu and buy in advance and put the menu in the kitchen. It feels more like we are living in a shared house than a home but if it gets us through for a while why not. Good news youngest ds has managed to get ten days of temp work data entry starting next week. Was worried he might be going back to uni for final year with no useful work experience or life experience to add to his c.v.
I think you need to talk to them. Tell them their behaviour is awful. Cook very basic meals and if they want more they buy it.
Why should you be responsible for replacing bread if they are at home all day?
Have you dh around for support ?
I had to return home for a couple of years at that age but I paid keep, cleaned and often cooked the evening meal. If you are at work and they are not why can't they cook for you and your DH? Time to get tough OP - I think I'd be calling a family meeting to lay down the law - if they don't like it they can move out. And fuck cooking them a Sunday lunch, use the money saved by not constantly stocking upon snacks on you and DH having it out somewhere!
Read a wee bit about transactional analysis (even just google image the phrase and you should see some circles with P A and C in them). The ideal way to now be communicating with your grown sons is Adult to Adult. They're your children so when they are together in particular they revert to Child and you talk to them as Parent. You nag (as they see it) and do their bidding.
Now if you talk Adult to Adult to them it means they respond as adults too. They might struggle at first, and try to push you back into mum role... but stand firm and talk to them as adults you would be house sharing with.
Example- your meal plan. You are going to take all that on board and buy and cook it, aren't you? For your wee boys? No. Sit down at a prearranged time and discuss the weeks menu- what would you and they like to eat. Who is going to buy the food. Who is going to cook and clean away? All these skills are essential for them anyway to function in their own homes so really it's a final part of parenting.
Talk to them as adults about you feeling lonely or sad by the way they are treating you. Ask them to spend time with you or suggest things you can do together- Adult to Adult.
If the whinging starts or they act stroppy, don't join in. Stay calm and ask them to come back to the discussion when they are ready to act their age.
It's going to be hard but you need this to change for everyone's sake.
I am not going to cook all the meals, eldest DS works evenings shelf stacking so have asked him and bro to cook on those evenings when he has to be at work before 7:30pm. DH is step dad and is barely on speaking terms with eldest. He wants them both to move out. I haven't been charging eldest rent on the understanding that he pays off his student overdraft but he still asks me for money occasionally. Youngest has no money at all and I have paid his student rent for July and August. He had the option to stay there and I said I would give him an allowance until he found a Summer job but he came home instead where there is no work but he has us. He was supposed to be passing his driving theory test if he came home but he keeps putting it off and we live in a market town 20 miles to the nearest city with no regular busses. It doesn't help that I was the same age as eldest when my DM died suddenly and I had the choice of coming home to look after DD or standing on my own two feet.
When my ds came home from uni and development died to do an apprenticeship he was at home for four years. We took it in turns shopping etc he did all his laundry i did towels etc. It took a bit of discussion and i did the bulk of the housework but I like a clean home he didn't care so he did more cooking. He was an adult and was expected to behave as such. I think your problem is they are adults behaving like badly brought up children and serious words need to be had. Firstly no food upstairs, no laundry service, meals by arrangement only and a shared level of participation in planning prep and clearing. A clear life plan from both of them or the internet gets switched off and bank of mum and dad is closed immediately. You are doing them no favours and they are treating you like shit how fucking dare they!
Thanks Isadora2007 I am struggling with the A to A conversations mainly because I thought we had got past that stage, the previous four years where eldest has been at uni, followed by youngest I believed that we were all speaking and behaving A to A but this Summer its like they have reverted to 17 and have forgotten how to cook, clean except for themselves. I was tempted to give them a food budget and just let them look after themselves but I haven't got an endless money supply for food and I often get home to find an ingredient I planned for dinner has been cooked for lunch.
Wow InfiniteSheldon switching the internet off, could start a riot. Am a bit worried it could spark outright war between DH and DS's with me as the loser all round. Interestingly they usually eat in the kitchen when I'm not here and only retreat to bedrooms when I and or DH are in the house. If I ask eldest to leave he doesn't earn enough money to support himself only working on a 12hr contract are you suggesting I should make him homeless?
I wouldn't ask them to leave that would be awful! I would piece by piece remove the financial enabling of ds1 and ensure ds2 understands that this behaviour is unacceptable. Leaving a room when you or DH come home? How unpleasant all round.
After my meltdown yesterday I have taken today off work (still feeling wobbly). Have drawn up menu list and discussed with DS1 and 2. and phoned DH to tell him what I'm doing. DS1 has asked me to buy ingredients for his famous New York cheesecake (developed as a teen usually only eaten by gf's family) so either he has a new gf or may be a peace offering we'll see. Thanks for the support, all my friends seem to have perfect ds and dd with careers or at least full time jobs. Can't seem to think of a way to explain to DS1 how upsetting I find it when he walks off not wanting to speak to me because it makes me feel like a needy child but one step at a time.
Mozza, I know it's hard, I'm struggling with similar myself, BUT...
The advice on here has been that you talk to them Adult to Adult, and mutually draw up a meal plan,decide who's going to do the shopping, cooking, clearing up etc.
You are saying yes, but YOU are still doing the organising ( Wifework) yourself. You say that YOU drew up a menu plan, you have called DP separately to explain what you are doing, YOU are going shopping to buy the ingredients DS wants. That is not relating to them as adults, that is still treating them all like children, and like it is your job to make sure everything happens the way you want. This is counter productive and will lay you open to to accusations of nagging.
It is 2017, you don't have to do the shopping yourself, there is the wonderful invention of online shopping, which is particularly great for those who don't drive.
I don't have it all sorted by any means, but we do now create a menu plan and subsequent shopping list together, and then one of the DS does an online shop for the whole family, to be delivered at a time to suit those who are not working, who will be at home for the delivery and who will then unpack it and put it away before the workers get home. If it's not on the list it doesn't get bought, except by anybody who wants to pop to the local shops themselves.
This works in so many ways - it means it's not solely your job to be devising meals that everybody will eat, it's up to them to think of things and to compromise. They include at least an evening meal each to cook. DH still doesn't get involved with this as much as I'd like, but as he's working quite long hours and is very appreciative of any food put in front of him, I don't mind when I feel that everyone is pulling their weight.
I see your point, I haven't used on-line shopping since I realised that the food doesn't get picked from the local store, as a small business owner I only support businesses that are employing staff locally. Eldest DS does drive and is insured on my car but doesn't like driving probably because we couldn't afford to insure him until last year. We did discuss the menu for this week together, no point in trying to do this with DH involved as getting the three of them to sit at a table for five minutes very difficult. I know DH walks out to avoid conflict and would probably just stay late at work if I suggested family meeting. In fact apart from special family meals involving the extended family I very rarely manage to get the four of us to eat together, even DH won't eat at the table with me, preferring to take his food to the living room and watch t.v. maybe I have disgusting table manners and noone will tell me.
Mozza, this is sounding worse and worse!
Go through your posts and read them, there is so much about how you are doing your best to accommodate everyone else, what everybody else likes or doesn't like. They are treating you like a servant, DH included. He won't eat at the table with you???
Is it DH creating the unpleasant atmosphere that means your sons disappear when he's around? Or are they all as bad as each other?If it were me, I think I'd be eating my main meal out, and stop cooking or shopping for any of them.
DH feels that ds1 is dropping his sh*t on me because he feels frustrated that he isn't working earning a decent wage and has to live at home, DS1 is picking up the negative vibe and they are both avoiding each other. I hadn't realised how controlling I was effectively being with the food situation because it made sense to me for one meal to be made in the evening but by only picking up the provisions on the way home from work wasn't good. I don't think this is something we can't work out. I hadn't realised that I'd slipped into mom mode until I read the comments. DH doesn't treat me as a servant, came home from work yesterday and cut lawn, job I was supposed to do and went for chips in absence of Sunday dinner.
Why were you supposed to cut the lawn ? Your husband doing it is not a favour to you , sorry Op but it sounds like you are living with 3 children not just the 2 . It sounds like you went wrong a long way back , your children don't appear to have any kind of work ethic so that's where I'd start . The eldest should be out looking for work , don't give him any more money , in fact don't give either of them anymore money this holiday . Set up a rota of who cooks when , including dh and the same goes for cleaning .
DH has been working 7 days a week for the last three weeks and it's only fair that as it wasn't raining the grass should be done. Have never managed to get DS's to do any gardening but they do hoover and clean(ish) the kitchen. Trying to get them to clean the bathroom a bit harder though. Both DS's have had part time jobs from the age of 14, there are few jobs in this area so it is almost inevitable that they will have to move away to find work. DS2 is going back to uni town next week as he has managed to get two weeks temp work. DS1 has only recently found out that he has failed his MA and as this is a career he has wanted for some time he now finds himself having to re-think. Today probably because I am off work and I have told them that I have been struggling with depression they have spent some time talking to me and I got an unexpected smile from DS1. Must get back to work tomorrow otherwise DH will struggle short-handed.
Thank you contributers by stepping away from the situation I can see more clearly how everyone is interacting with each other. DS1 is walking away to avoid saying something he thinks I will find hurtful. It is just a phase. Will try to get everyone more involved with the menu next week. Have been thinking about how unspoken rules have shifted. When I was young if a member of the family asked "Do you want a cup of tea?" it actually meant do you want to share a pot of tea, here in the kitchen with a chat and biscuits. As a stroppy teenager the biscuits would tempt me but before long I was chatting to my DM. I realise I have been trying the same tactic but as the un-spoken rule has changed the signals aren't getting through. Anyway must go to work, hopefully a meal will be waiting for me in a clean kitchen when I get back.
Aunt Flo arrived after some absence. Realised I have been in bloody hormonal mood swings for last few days. Is it possible to spend the next couple of years in a cave?
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