Thursday, December 30, 2010

Grieving for my family of four

Last summer when our children seemed to take a VERY long time to gain employment, Mr. P and I discussed our financial culpibility with respect to their lack of sticktoitedness. I remember being very financially stressed for most of my adult life, and I really, really wanted to spare them that particular stress so they could concentrate on school. I didn't pay for everything, because I think working is important---we left them to pay for their electricity and cable and food and $140 each for their rent, and I would pay the remainder ($200 of their rent, car insurance, car repairs, cell phones, medical stuff). We made this deal when they both had full scholarships and were getting about half again their tuition refunded to them for expenses.

Over time, they lost those scholarships due to lack of attending their classes (from what I gather). Mr. P and I downsized significantly so that we could absorb more of their finances...granted we were ready to move, but I was too chicken to buy a house in case the kids needed money. It became the norm that I paid all the rent for both of them every month without a word from either "is there work I can do for you" or "thank you so much for covering us" no nothing, and I kept paying it. And in restrospect, I shouldn't have allowed that to go on for so long.

Now I am grieving for the life I wanted them to have. I wanted them to leave college with a great undergrad and no debt, with some financial stress to learn the value of a dollar, but not enough that they lay awake at night trying to figure out what to sell on Ebay to keep the power on. That life is gone. Mr. P and I did the best we could, and apparently we just didn't get the job done, and unfortunately that means my kids are starting their adult lives without the solid base of education that I would have preferred.

As of March 1, 2011 I am no longer paying any bills for my kids. That was a VERY hard decision to come to and after I told them last night I cried. CRIED hard, first reaction to grieving, right? Well denial is likely first, which is what I did for a long time when I just paid for stuff regardless of their school progress.

So they have 2 months (really 3, since I will pay bills on March 1) to figure out their finances and get employment at a level that will support their spending habits. I have two months (really 3) to let go of being a parent to a child and instead become a parent to an adult. And while I think both kids really want that, I think we are all going to struggle with how that changes the family dynamic.

BYE "Family of Four". We had a great run.

Now we are a family of TWO with two adult children.

It is time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

So, I think NABLOPOMO is officially a fail, no?

Considering my last post in November was the 12th.

Things have been, to say the least, hectic. OH MY BLOGGY HELL. I just typed a whole paragraph about why things have been so hectic, and I was re-reading it, and fucking hit some button and it was GONE. As I was saying. I still haven't finished all my grading for my fall course. I graded twenty exams today, and have one project left for tomorrow. SHEW.

Also today I have done 732 loads of laundry, including all the bedding in my house. My children have been staying here for a couple of weeks while I have been away, and apparently they go to bed with their shoes on and let the duvets drag all over the floor...both white duvets were FULL of dog hair and floor dirt. SUPER YUCK. They also apparently each use 14 blankets a night, each of which were left on the floor at some point. I was SO aggravated, but the goal of them staying here is that my dog is okay and not fretting over being alone, and he seems good, so mission accomplished.

On the subject of my very messy children, I am trying not to be very upset with them and have a happy Christmas, but it is proving difficult. Our son quit going to classes in October, which results in all F's, and he lied about it until about 2 weeks ago when I caught him in a lie about finals. (HINT: When your Mom is a professor at the same University, don't try to lie about finals timing.) So he is not going to go to school at all. Our daughter lost her job in October, and still does not have a job. She also quit going to school in October, but has worked it all out, and is going back in January with a different major.

I know they are young, and have to find their own way, but I feel like we have completely failed. Both of our kids are very smart, funny and creative. BUT, I think they are a bit lazy and do not realize what effort real life We are about to have to take a major.stand. and the thought of it makes me so anxious I haven't slept longer than two hours in a row for weeks and weeks. So, in a nutshell, that is why I haven't been posting. I didn't want to put it out there because I am embarrassed that I did not instill better sticktoitedness (I am pretty sure that is a real world) in my kids.
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