To all my younger mommy friends, I am sorry to report the following: it never ends.
I know. Take a deep breath and let me explain.
When you had your first baby, you managed the terror of what you were about to take on by reassuring yourself that it was merely an 18-year commitment. All you needed to do was keep that little chick alive until the end of high school and then you could release him into the wild and return to more pressing matters, like reading books and your long-neglected husband. You told yourself that some day, that baby would leave for college and that would be the end of that.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Brace yourselves, mommies, because I have some shocking news: THEY. COME. HOME.
A lot of them, anyway. A few do make their own nests after graduation but for the most part, the baby chicks – who are no longer babies and not nearly as cute as they were 18 years earlier – come back to the proverbial roost.
And these now-grown, college-educated children are expecting – nay, demanding – the same services they received in middle school. Like nightly dinners and a well-stocked pantry.
But these grown babies would also like to continue the co-ed lifestyle post-graduation. They get annoyed when you ask them to alert you should they not be returning home after a night out partying. Should they stumble home from said party, they also think nothing of raiding your well-stocked pantry in the wee hours and leaving a trail of Tostito crumbs in their drunken wake. They’d like to have their proverbial cake and scatter its crumbs all over the floor as they eat it, too.
And you think to yourself – not for the first time – as you stand in the middle of your kitchen surveying the carnage, “Why are they still here?”
Didn’t we already have our emotional “Good-Bye and Good-Luck” moment?
Younger mommies, it’s not too late for you to rewrite this all-too-familiar script. There’s still time for you to head off this raw deal in parenting and prevent your little chicks from assuming they are entitled to the many services you’ve provided throughout their lifetimes. Or perhaps, you should rethink providing all those services in the first place. Encourage them to make their own meals and clean up after themselves. Baby steps.
Don’t be too nice to your children, I might suggest.
And I would really like to continue offering this sage advice – like maybe you should consider getting out now and joining the Witness Protection Program — but I’ve got Tostito crumbs that need to be swept.
When I’m not sweeping and making dinners I write about being a mom to grown, and almost grown, kids. Sign up to get all of my latest posts sent right to your inbox by typing your email into the box below. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.