Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adult Children

As a parent we raise our children with dreams of our own. Dreams of success, intelligence, and independence. At least that's what I dreamt for them, and for myself. It seems I have failed majorly in this department.

I have managed to raise five girls that are anything but successful, intelligent, or independent. It is beyond frustrating. The decisions that they have made and continue to make just perpetuate their less than favorable situations. It is beyond ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong. They have certain levels of success, at least some of them. Intelligence is relevant. They are academically smart for the most part. It is life skills that they are sorely lacking. And, when it comes to independence, well they are very sorely lacking.

I have been forced to rethink my position as a parent. I no longer offer advice as it falls on deaf ears anyway. They have ignored my advice much to their detriment, and I am so tired of being effected by their bad decisions. If you ignored my advice and created a problem, then that's your problem, right? Not according to my children! This is feeding my belief that parents should live out of comfortable reach from their adult children. What is an adult anyway? It certainly isn't an age. I can tell you that!

Well, I stand corrected. One definition of adult is one who is legally of age. I guess being an adult only has to do with age and nothing else. One can be an adult and still be reliant on their parents. One can be an adult and still make toxic choices as a general rule without the benefit of learning from ones mistakes and making better choices from that point. One may continue to age all the while thinking that the world owes them something.

I know my posts about adult children have been very negative lately. We are just struggling so desperately to cut the apron strings. Enough is enough. It seems the harder we try to get in a position to not be effected by their bad decisions the further we get sucked in. It's like trying to escape from quick sand. Kicking and screaming puts your life in further danger. Yet, if you do nothing you remain stuck. Apparently this is going to require some creative maneuvering on our part. We just cannot seem to figure out the moves.

The hardest part about the whole thing is the way we are treated. There is little to no appreciation for the wonderful feats we are able to pull off. We are a pretty amazing team when it comes to a crisis. We can make things happen, and it's just taken for granted. Sometimes we are even treated rudely, and it is just so hard to stomach. It doesn't help that we are not on the same page when it comes to limits. I would never give as much as my other half, and every time I think he gets it here we are giving again!

I know I am a good parent, and I know I gave it my all. I also know that parents are not always their child's greatest influence, and it can be an uphill battle. I have discovered that I am VERY tired, and I am more than ready to transition to something new. I seriously do not know how much more I can stomach. I went from feeling great to fighting depression. It isn't fun, and I'm ready for a change. Period.

10 comments:

schizoshrink said...

hey i like this post.. and i belong to those adult children you are pertaining to.. the thing is, i am brought up by my parents with the final decision always coming from them. and i let it that way. it's just sad that it took me too long to realize this. i'm striving and thriving.. wish me luck to be independent...and hopefully my parents will understand this; that i'm an adult already and i have a life to live, something which should not be dictated by how they want me to live it..

PJ said...

oh boy can i relate to this post. it was like i was reading a page of history out of my life. i have 2 "grown" children. i had always told them that when they turned 18 they were on their own. well, of course it didn't end up that way. i was their security blanket. as i raised my kids without their father in the picture, i think i overcompensated for that. to make a long story short, the first of this year i moved 1600 miles away from them. it has been very hard for me to be so far away, but i knew that it was time to give them the space to stand on their own 2 feet. i will be going back there in november as my daughter will be having my first grandbaby and i will not miss that. that will be a test for me, as i don't know if i will be able to leave after that.

we do the best we can with what we have and at some point they have to step up. they will fall, but they have to learn from their own mistakes. that is the only way. good luck and stay strong. it is time for "YOU" now, you have done your job.

Salute said...

I feel where you coming from, because I have similar situations with my grown children. I am learning to move on with my life ata more steady pace. They will always be in my heart, but less on my mind in order to mantain my stress-level. And I always pray about it.

Tina said...

schizoshrink - Good for you that you realize your part in things, and BIG congrats on your concerted effort toward independence. It's a beautiful thing!

PJ - Thank you for you comment, and good for you for taking the initiative that you did. I have one that lives two states and six hours away with three little ones. We are learning how to connect with them even though we cannot be there for them all the time. It is possible. There are a lot of great ideas online, and I share some here sometimes. You can still be a connected grandma even 1600 miles away.

Salute - I appreciate your comment as well. You are where I am trying to go, and I cannot wait. It's nice to hear from someone that is a little further in the journey. I look toward the day when we are just adults living our lives and supporting each other as a family unit...strength in numbers...not them just reliant on us all the time every time they hit a road bump.

Jude said...

I only had one child, a son and he put me through pure hell for many years and all of a sudden he became a responsible human adult and very self sufficient. He passed away the end of December at 39 and now I sometimes find myself yearning for those years of hell back. All the best for you and yours, you sound like a strong person so hopefully everything will fall into place for you.

Tina said...

Jude - Thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. God bless!

Mom said...

The hardest part of being a parent is letting go and understanding that your children must make their own decisions and their own choices.

I feel your pain. My own 'adult' child has made way too many choices that are less than stellar.

Perhaps time will help them grow up a bit more. Perhaps not. All you can do now is be there for them and help them the best you can.

Find reasons to be proud of them. Celebrate their successes and focus less on what you might see as their failures.

Tina said...

MOM - I agree 100% with what you said, and I do look more to the positive than the negative. We have just been in a position with a few of them where their poor decisions have directly effected our quality of life. That is when it is the toughest.

Dwacon® said...

Sounds like I may have dated girls like that...

Tina said...

Dwacon - Hopefully you were a good guy. I've always said that I wanted my boys to be the kind of guys I wished my girls would bring home. We had one, and as soon as we acknowledged that we liked him it was like the kiss of death for the poor guy. So much for our great son-in-law!

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