New Routines for me
My son has been home just over a week now. I can already feel myself slipping back into full-time mom. He’s 19 and has lived away from home for 3 school years & I still can’t help myself. I find that after 20 years of being a full time mom, that it’s a habit that comes right back to me. However, it doesn’t have to take over my life again. I’m working towards integrating him back into my life in a healthy way. Instead of micromanaging his classes, I’m letting him be in charge of them. After all, if he was still in his dorm room, I wouldn’t be asking him every day if he had done his homework before he played video games. Instead of making sure he goes to bed on time, I’m letting him decide his sleep routine. This is a very unusual time of our lives. Does it really matter if he gets up by 9 am or if he sleeps until noon? It’s not a battle that I’m going to take part in right now. Instead of making sure he is getting enough to eat, I’m letting him choose when he eats. He’s 19. I’m pretty sure that he can tell when he is hungry or not hungry. I don’t need to check to see if he has eaten his lunch.
These are some of the steps that I’m taking right now so that I’m still maintaining my sense of self. I’m happy to have him home, but I’m also happy to not get so absorbed in his life that I forget to take care of my own needs again. Here are a few other things to think about with your kids back at home.
They have new routines also
Whether your kids have been away from home for one year or three, they aren’t the same kids as when they left home the first time. They’ve had new experiences, learned new things and developed new habits. If you child is like mine, they have grown more into adulthood. They also have found a deeper sense of their likes and dislikes. Find some acceptance for who they are now. It may not be what you expected but accept them anyway. Since they’ve been responsible for feeding themselves and getting themselves to classes, they’ve created a routine that works for them. They might not want to eat or sleep when you do.
Most college students are still taking their classes online and they will want to continue to do their work just like when they were at school and around their own schedule. Let them continue their own routines as long as it’s not disruptive to others. My son stays up really late and my husband gets up early for work. Obviously, those two routines are not compatible. So, we found a way to set up my son in a different part of the house so that he isn’t making noises that will keep my husband awake all night. We have a much happier household because of this arrangement.
We all need our space
This can mean a couple of things. First, with the virus limiting our daily activities, we are all staying at home much more than normal. This means that unless you have a really large house, you are seeing each other a lot. I’m sharing office space with my son. I’ve been letting him know in advance when I need that space to myself so that I can do a session, a Facebook Live Yoga class or even an interview. In return he gets that space to himself as late into the night as he likes. Sharing physical space takes compromise sometimes. Having your own space also means that you’re not taking over your child’s life again. After living away from home, your child has become independent. This can show up in their actions as well as in their words. Give your child the space to be themselves. Let them continue to grow into the adults that they were meant to be.
Your hopes and dreams are important too!
It’s so easy to get sucked back into being a full-time mom when your kids are back home. No matter how old they get, they will always be your kids. If you’ve been reconnecting to yourself, then it’s easy to let that go. Your kids are older. Let them be more responsible. Let them take care of their own basic needs. It’s time for you to take care of you! When you do that, then you can still focus on yourself. That hobby that you picked up when your kids left home, is still there to nurture you. Now is not the time to give it up. With this forced confinement, we all need healthy outlets. As long as your hobby is something that can be done from home, then keep doing it. If you’ve long dreamed of starting a business or moving into a different career & were just waiting for your kids to grow up, then continue to move towards that dream. Remember, your kids are grown. If not for this virus, then they would still be at school. You can still continue to move towards your dreams. You’ve put them on hold long enough. It’s time to move towards achieving those dreams. This time will pass and we’ll all get back to our ‘normal’ routines. Enjoy this unexpected time with your kids. Create some special memories and let them continue to grow into their own versions of adulthood.
If you need some support for yourself right now, I’m here to help. Set up a free 15 minute call and we’ll chat about your needs.
Stay safe and healthy!