Saturday, 21 November 2020

Boomerang Kids

 This year Briony moved away from home to take up a country teaching position and Keaghan moved out in March, to set up house with his fiance ahead of an April wedding.

Briony found the school to be full of problems and decided she would not take up a second contract if it were offered so for the last few months we have anticipated her return to the family home.

As Keaghan's wedding approached I could see his reluctance to order a suit, distribute invitations and organise his groomsmen so when the wedding was postponed due to covid, I wondered if that delay might alter the course of his life. I will never know exactly what happened but just two weeks ago Keaghan informed me of his wish to move back here, as well. The wedding is off and he has, indeed, moved back to his old bedroom.

In amongst the announcement of this change of plan and the actual move, Keaghan and I took a long planned trip to see Briony and bring some of her things back to Sydney.

Just a year ago, the four of us all lived here and it was sometimes irritating and crowded but it was normal. Now, I wonder how on earth we will fit everything in. I wonder how we will get on, I wonder what will be next. What was normal is not normal anymore. 

I have thought myself very lucky that covid has not impacted me in a terrible way: it disrupted recruitment and allowed me to keep the job I was due to be made redundant from, restrictions here are not severe, the state is largely covid free etc. but I suspect covid produced this latest change to my circumstances. The effects of the virus just ripple into everything, don't they? 

Anyways, I'm a bit overwhelmed. Keaghan's possessions are only slowly making their way from the loungeroom where they were placed the night he arrived, to his bedroom. There is extra furniture to deal with and bags and boxes of Briony's things. 

I have final tasks to do to make my workplace covid safe ready for a return to the office next year and a Christmas function to organise. I've been offered some very welcome extra hours but extra hours at work mean less hours for everything else......

This is all a very long winded way to say things are overwhelming right now. 

I feel like I am staring at an elephant and wondering how to eat it.

Except I wouldn't want to eat an elephant.

But you know what I mean.

28 comments:

  1. The best way to eat an elephant, so I’m told, is one bite at a time. Thank you for sharing your change of circumstances with us. We bloggers have to support one another.

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    1. One bite at a time is what I'm reminding myself

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  2. There were four of you and now there will be three? A year ago, the irritant moved out, right? So, maybe this will be less irritating for all of you. I hope so, anyway. Will they put their things away, or will it be left or left to you. House rules are in order.

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    1. There were four then three and two, we will be back up to four in the space of four weeks.
      There isn't a particular irritant, just four people in a small house.

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  3. There are so many changes going on at the moment due to covid. Our house went from empty to fuller too, and just as I'm getting used to it, no doubt it will change again. The things that are driving me crazy now will be replaced with new things to drive me crazy. That's life isn't it? Think of it as a wonderful opportunity to have your kids home with you again for a while, because you know it won't last forever.

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    1. Yes, you nailed it talking about getting used to things. I look forward to having them here but it's still a change

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  4. I never boomeranged home again (with the exception of a brief injury related return none of us did), and it says a lot for your relationship with your children that they can.
    I understand the overwhelm though and hope that your elephant disappears/lightens with each and every day.

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    1. I never boomeranged either but things were different for me.
      It's going to be ok, there's just a lot to sort out

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  5. We did not have typical boomerang kids. We had one with a health issue who needed extra help in her teenage years and early twenties, and we had one who was a late leaver because of his personality and temperament. But a similar feeling of being overwhelmed was there for me, too, and looking back the only thing I could have done differently was to expect more from our healthy kid and even - to an extent - from our ill one. Having clear rules around responsibilities for the everyday things that otherwise will tend to fall to you - meals and dishes, laundry, cleaning of common areas - is only fair if all involved are adults, and actually with your mobility problems it would be fair if more of the physical work fell to them, rather than less. This also helps grown kids to spend more time thinking about how to leave home again, if their stay is not catered to. I am the kind of mom who found it exceedingly difficult not to "do" for my kids, so this is hindsight, not brilliance, but I wish I could go back and re-do that part of my life in a way that would have changed both my husband's and my lives, and my kids' lives as well. It would have been better for them, not just for me. Good luck, kylie.

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    1. Yes, I like to do for them but I'm trying to set this up less as them coming "home" and more as us making home together

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  6. All three of mine have boomeranged for a brief stint. I understand the feeling of being a little overwhelmed. As for the elephant. . . one bite at a time!

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    1. I missed them and I'll be happy to have them about but all of them have got used to having some space. Interesting times

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  7. Good luck, Kylie. I have no kids, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to be upended by people coming and going. Swings and roundabouts? I do enjoy having my own space. All the best to you.
    Sx

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    1. It will be good after a period of adjustment 😊
      I've never lived alone and I don't think I could have done it once but I think I could grow into it

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  8. When I was 19 I was informed by my grandparents (who had raised me since I was 9), that they were moving 3000km away to the other side of Australia and I would have to find myself somewhere to live. I was an easy kid to live with because I was brought up to be very considerate ie no late night coming home and abiding by all the house rules, but I'm sure my grandparents were keen to move on with their lives and I didn't begrudge them at all. As a mature adult I moved in with my mother and stepfather for a few months after a relationship breakdown to save some money to get on my feet again and I appreciate there are times when it is necesary to regroup.

    Generally though I have little sympathy for the kids who won't leave home these days - especially the ones in their 30s. I feel the generations that followed mine have become way too dependant on their parents yet still want to assert their 'right' to live their own lives they way they want to. I was happy when my partner's 2 boys left home - they were lovely kids and we managed to get on pretty well considering it was a tiny house, but living with 'adults' is different to living with kids. It's healthy for kids to want to leave home and the 2 boys were eager to get going, haven't looked back and are doing well with kids of their own now.

    I don't have kids of my own so maybe I am a bit hard hearted about it, but if I did have to live with the 'kids' again - it would be 'my way or the highway'. I think that's the only way it can work. Good luck Kylie!!

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    1. I've known a few people who left home at 19 or younger but it always seems a bit young to me. Of course, the best way to develop some independence is to practice it.
      I'm way too soft for "my way or the highway" but I am creating some new dynamics.

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    2. 19 was actually old in my family Kylie. Other family members left at 17 or 18. I guess it depends on what sort of family you are. Mine was long on independence and short on nurturing so there was no real reason to stay. I had to find my nurturing elsewhere, or rely on myself. That search took me on a pretty wild ride at times which wasn't always good.

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  9. I had much boomeranging going on at one point, down to Daughter and Grandgirl sharing my home. And Younger Daughter living me till she was 28. And oh yes, forgot, grandgirl's nanny too as we were all working. Good but frazzling time. I remember thinking is parenting EVER over? Can I look ahead to great grandchildren moving in on top of me?

    Hang in there kiddo. It all falls into place and when they all leave, as they will, you will romp around naked for a while. I did.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. In some ways they left before I was ready so I'm ok with it, just realising it could be tough for a while.
      Parenting never really finishes, does it? Just changes shape until maybe the day comes when we reluctantly become the child

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  10. It seems that some kids take a while before they finally leave the nest. Mine both came back...only one with furniture. Covid really puts a kink in many people's plans and styles.

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    1. My kids will be gone soon, I'm sure, this is just a hiccup.
      Keaghan is 24 and the girls 22 so still youngish and they have only just completed their studies

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  11. Normal. What's that? I'm thinking that elephant eating needs to be shared around between the house occupants. I don't see that just because you're the 'house mother' you should carry the burden of eating the whole elephant..
    Having said that, I'll now say this - my opinions/ideas are not always met with enthusiasm. :-)
    Alphie

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    1. Alphie you are right, we will all have to work together. I'm not generally a worrier but in this case I worry while they get on with it

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  12. Bob (RWP) and I seem to have some things in common. I was going to quote Desmond Tutu as well. Nothing in this world is original! As for your situation I admire you wholeheartedly. After 20 years living alone I am set in my ways and I don't think I would wish to share my space with anyone again (nor, I suspect, would anyone want to share my space either).

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    1. It's not long since they left so it's not so much adjustment for me, 20 years is a long time! I also like to have more people to get things done.

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  13. https://www.hindustantimes.com/more-lifestyle/the-great-pandemic-era-return-to-the-nest-is-proving-hard-on-young-adults-and-parents/story-VQpymVSIKWvOGqHLmvnruL.html

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    1. "Even worse, as one mother put it, is having to watch your child fret for a home that is not this one, pine for people that aren’t you, and moan about being “stuck” in the place where you live."
      This is happening already. It's hard not to be insulted

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  14. Yes, I can understand you feeling pretty overwhelmed by the latest developments. More and more youngsters in the UK are returning to live with their parents due to sky-high rents, lost jobs, generally high cost of living etc. It must be frustrating for parents who had got used to being on their own and now have to share the house again!

    Perhaps carve the elephant bit by bit?

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