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Posts Tagged ‘move out’


Perhaps being the youngest, our last daughter, K, pushed our buttons, dipping her toes outside the set boundaries and tested the water the most. As a result, we butted heads a lot, especially the last couple of years. We knew it was only a phase, but still it was difficult to deal with at times. In the heat of the moment, many times being the flawed person that I am, I have said or done things that I regretted. K taught me patience.

About one or two months before she moved out in November, she and I had a huge argument where she gave me opportunities and she even asked if I wanted to kick her out. It was so tempting and easy to rid the stress and chaos of the moment, but I refrained and calmly said instead that I was not kicking her out, that she would always have a loving home here, and she could move out when she was ready to do so. Taking the wind out of that sail was tough, not reacting to her poking and provocation was even tougher. K taught me to look at things from different angles.

She did move out with her boyfriend, they invited us over for dinner once they settled in. We were pleasantly surprised that their small apartment was neat and tidy. They were lovely hosts and we had a wonderful evening together. K showed me that she could handle change when she was ready, and she was capable and confident.

It was hard to let go, especially the baby of the family. K reminded me that true love is to let them go, spread their own wings and make their own lives.

All the children, and their significant others, came home for Christmas. I loved listening to them catching up with one another’s lives. I loved hearing the laughter, where only a few years ago, it was constant bickering. I loved the kibitzing and teasing between them, where it was blaming when they were all living at home. This was the first Christmas where we graduated to become empty-nesters, and the kids grew up to be young adults. They really wanted to be with us and we were enjoying and appreciating each other’s company, connections and conversations. Even the two older silbings commented on how pleasant K was since she has moved out. How AWESOME is that? I feel so blessed.

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I remember the days when the kids were younger, how noisy our home was … from all three kids wanting our attention at the same time to someone being hungry, from siblings fighting for the same toys or favourite things to teenagers having friends over, or everyone raising their voices because no one seemed to understand each other. Our house was never quiet until after everyone went to bed.

Our house has been quiet for some time already in the last few months, but now we are officially empty-nesters. As of this week, our youngest has moved out. With no kids at home, the TV is no longer on very often, no video games are being played, no friends gathering for a pool game or movie night. The house feels too big and we are “rattling around” inside. This quiet takes some getting used to.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is AWESOME that the kids move out and be on their own. Like her two older siblings, I know our youngest will mature quickly when she learns the cost of living, the consequences of not washing dishes, doing her laundry or paying her bills – this kind of learning outside the classroom and outside the home is a necessity. THIS is the real game of Life, one that I have dreaded, worried sick and welcomed all at the same time, many times. I really had to learn to let go and trust that they will make it on their own. While it gets better and easier with each child, the worrying remains.

Even when the kids bring home their laundry baskets full of dirty clothes or ask if they could take something from our pantry, I love their home coming. I love their chit-chatting, sharing their stories of recent ups and downs or cooking a meal together. I love listening to their laughter and kibbitzing with each other and with us. This is what I call the family noise – it’s so AWESOME to be able to enjoy the noise in harmony, in peace with the knowledge that they see us as someone they can share things with or reach out to for our view points and opinions. It is a joy to see them grow up. I am missing the family noise – this is going to be a new journey of adjusting to being a twosome again.

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Our middle child moved out in the summer, we hardly heard from her unless we called her. She is enjoying her independence and freedom. On the other hand, she is facing the reality of having no extra money since everything she earns goes to rent, utility, internet, transportation and (barely enough) food. In her words, “her social life sucks”. In order to have more money to socialize, she is now working a second job for the same restaurant chain.

Apparently the restaurant business is amazingly smart. They wouldn’t give her a second job in the same restaurant where she is already working, but at another branch in another city (it takes her more time and money to get there), so they don’t have to pay her overtime or give her enough hours at the same restaurant to warrant her a full time employee and give her benefits. Despite the appalling treatment, our daughter accepts it citing that she is still an apprentice with them. While I applaud her “suck it up” attitude, I can’t help but feel for her being taken advantage of.

With his younger sister now independent, our eldest has been itching to move out again – can’t be out done by a younger sibling! So it now looks like he too will be moving out next month. But this time, he is moving out with his girlfriend … there will be new learning and adjustments, I’m sure. I hope they will both treat this as a commitment, not a trial co-habitation experiment.

Our youngest child is still home, sort of. She is treating home more like a hotel and comes and goes as she pleases most of the time. When she didn’t come home one night (she stayed with her sister), she scared us out of our wits when we discovered her empty room in the morning. We found this disrespectful behaviour unacceptable. After some frantic calls and texts and profusion of apologies, she swore she would never do it again, things calmed.

While I accept that this day will come (the empty nesting stage) … it is coming faster than I’m prepared for it. It is AWESOME that they are being independent and more responsible, it IS what we hope for our children. Two down, one to go.

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Recent frustration with our daughters brought new light to me … I know in my head that it is important for me to let them go and experience their independence, living on their own, and as they say – find themselves, despite all my reservations and worries; in my heart, I ache for their naiveté and innocence. To that end, I am very happy to learn that they have at least gone to their older brother for advice and guidance, even if they didn’t like what I had to say.

Our son’s own experience of trying to be independent gave him a new perspective and new insights – his parents (we) are not all that bad, they (we) do know a thing or two, and he is always welcomed at home. After a 10 month stint of independent living, he returned with new appreciation of his home, parents and family. He matured and became much more responsible, and he is now a pleasant young man whom I know I can count on.

Tonight, there was only our #1 son and me at dinner. We had a wonderful chat about the girls and their desire to move out. He told me and reassured me that he has shared with them his experiences and lessons learned, his “should have but didn’t” mistakes and he has given them a dose of reality, what it will really cost to live without the parents supplying everything.

He was “parenting” me … the fact that there is nothing I (we) can do about it if the girls insist of moving out, let them make it on their own. He reminded me that they are good kids – imagine that? My son telling me I did a good job as a parent! Then he gave me a shoulder massage.

Look at our son, JA. Look beyond what is in front of me … there is light indeed. I do have AWESOME kids. Feel blessed!

 

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I am trying really hard to let go as graciously as possible … daughter #2 is aiming to move out on her own within the next 2 months. But a mother is hard pressed not to point out some flaws in her plans and suggest a reality check:

  • How much do / would you make a month (net taxes)? That is when you work full time.
  • What % of that monthly income would go to rent? What? 75% or more?
  • What are you going to live on? Let me guess, instant noodles everyday and every meal?
  • Are you planning to bus or walk? What? The monthly bus pass will cost another 10% of your net monthly income?
  • Daughter .. you got a message from your new gym twice, asking for you to give them your bank info. so they can take money out of your account. Is this a need to have or nice to have?
  • Mmmm … let me think, may be you are planning to live pay cheque by pay cheque every month. Well, that’s a plan.

What are kids thinking these days (pulling my hair out)? Do they not have any common sense (where did I go wrong?)

Breathe! Breathe! Find the positives, look for the awesomeness. That is what this blog is all about, remember?

OK, looking real hard for the positives:

  • She has been saving her money the last couple of months, even enough to pay 1.5 months of rent. She is doing much much better than several months ago.
  • She wants independence. That’s a good thing, may be she’ll finally clean up after herself.
  • She is determined to live (in poverty). That’s a good thing, she’ll learn quick enough how expensive everything costs.
  • She is spending time with her friends. That’s a good thing, she’s wasting even more of her money that she can’t afford. May be she will come to her senses.
  • She is not home right now. I can have alone time to mull this situation over (biting my nails). That’s good … I need alone time to ‘re-center’ myself. She can’t talk back if she is not here to argue with me.

I just want to protect her; I don’t want her to make mistakes that are preventable; I don’t want her to get stuck in a lease that she can’t get out of. This tug-o-war is wearing me down, but she is my daughter, I love her. She is AWESOME. She just needs more common sense and look at the bigger picture (argghhh!)

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24/7 mom


Our son moved back home after an independent stint of living on his own. I cautioned him about the potential for periodic conflicts and frustrations now that he had had a taste of independence, privacy and freedom. He is an adult now and he is free to come and go as he wishes, but I requested his courtesy to advise me if he is coming home for dinner, so I can make enough food, if he will be late for family functions and that he gives back in kind at home, helping with chores, the occasional grocery, etc.

Things are good at home, except that I couldn’t help myself laying in bed at night and listening for the door to open. Sometimes I fall asleep before he gets home, sometimes I lay awake with my wild imagination taking me for a crazy ride. When that happens, sleep would evade me as I wait for a phone call from the hospital or the police in the early morning hours. Like I said, I have a wild imagination that causes me worries that are probably unjustified.

Last night was one of those nights. By the time I got up this morning, his bed was empty and I wasn’t sure if he made it home. Thank goodness … he called me at lunch to let me know he did come home, but very late. He pulled over twice on his way home to nap as he realized he was too tired to drive. I am glad he was responsible enough to do that. He didn’t get home until 4:30 am because he napped longer than planned. He had to leave for work before I got up. Phew!!

Does a parent ever stop being a parent? Not me, I think it’s a 24/7 job. Thankfully, JT is thoughtful and AWESOME to have called me to let me know he is safe and well.

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