When They Don’t Leave Home?

September 11, 2010 at 10:50 am 8 comments

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

This is the second of my posts with a topic suggested by my lovely twitter pals. The subject today is how long do we expect children to live at home as suggested by the delightful @IainMonty!

For me, this topic is all about the need for independence versus the wherewithal to have it. The economy is such that many of our children who are finishing courses at university or apprentices in trades and vocations will struggle to find work. This is nothing to do with their talents but rather the lack of opportunity in the marketplace. We also have the situation that many 18 year-olds will find themselves without a place in further education as the cuts bite harder. Their choices are limited to gap year, part-time work/volunteering if possible or mooching around the house…..

Coupled with this, the housing market has been through turbulent times. There are those who would say that it is on an upward trend. However, the price for any kind of starter home/flat is still beyond the reach of most of our young people. So, their options can be few. I am delighted for those who do get a job and are able to start their ‘grown-up’ life during this time but it won’t happen for many.

I have direct experience of this topic as my eldest son left home to go to University in England for 4 years. He then wanted to attend a post-grad course in Belfast so, after complete independence for a long time, came home for 18 months…….

I did have a conversation with my son as soon as he came home. I wanted to warn him that I was certain he would feel constrained in some ways simply by living with his parents again. I also wanted to hint, not in a subtle way, that he would have to pitch in and help. All of this was agreed to, agreeing I find is easy.

At this time my son was 23 and I had no wish to put rules on a grown man. I have always welcomed my children’s friends and have discovered various sofas occupied many times; there tend to be beer cans strewn about at the same time. This is fine, it doesn’t take long to pick them up and make many slices of toast when required. However, when you have lived away and return home something has changed. You want to apply your way of living to a way of life you thought you had left behind. Readjusting to the pace of someone else’s lifestyle, even one you happily occupied for all your childhood, is hard. I could see the small irritiations passing across my son’s face even though he never said a word. For me it was wonderful to have him home again but I saw the changes in him too. He was a grown man and it was unnatural to be living in another adults space.

Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t horrible for him and he was happy to be at home with his family but his world had changed as ours had stayed much the same. It was a happy time but I was glad for him when he did move back to England, he wanted to make his own way and this was and is the right thing to happen.

So, my angle on this theme of the kids staying at home? Talk about it, it is wonderful to have them there but everyone needs to understand that it can be difficult.

I haven’t even touched on the food bills, the laundry, the parents feelings that they are re-entering some kind of servitude. To be honest, I don’t want to. We all know that aspect of it before they leave home, you really don’t need me to tell you that returning children will expect hot dinners, clean clothes and absolute control of the tv……

Before I close with the normal message, you all know it, I don’t really need to say it but this is what it looks like when they return!

Oh, For Goodness Sake!

I love my children but sometimes I could cheerfully rant for a week! This is a picture from my house, I did not download this image. I do tidy and I do clean but it can take me time to get ready to face this. I do ask, nag, cajole and threaten and they do it but the effort it takes to nag, cajole and threaten can be more that if I do it myself. However, I persist as they do have to learn, don’t they?

As always I will close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.



Entry filed under: Blogging, Childhood, Children, Donating, Twitter, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , .

An Ode! What Should Our Children Study?

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Maryan  |  September 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

    My younger son wants to move out, as university starts in a few weeks. He is 20 and feeling it’s time to start his own life.

    So far he hasn’t found a flatshare, so that he has to stay at home for a while.

    The feelings are ambiguous on my side. I’m happy to have him around, but it’s also challenging in many ways, as you well described in your blog.

    Our daughter is in her late 20ies, married and it’s always wonderful to spend some quality time together without having to discuss the laundry, friends to stay in our house etc.

    Take care


    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  September 12, 2010 at 11:24 am


      We all know this world, don’t we? I do wish your sone well in his search for a flatshare but he will be most surprised that things do not pick themselves up and transport to the washing machine! The housework fairy is a wonderful thing and our young folks really feel the lack of it when it disappears:)

      I agree with you on the quality time with our children who have moved out. My son and his lovely partner went with us to Donegal for a week and we did have a lovely time as adults!

      I will ask you one thing; next time you make any donation to a children’s charity will you please come back here and tell me about it? Also, I would love to know what you wanted to be when you were 8….

      Take care,


      • 3. Maryan  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

        OK, the charity our family are donating for about 20 years is here: http://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/pages/default.aspx
        We are supporting a child with a monthly contribution. We started this because we had a hard time when we started a family and we are grateful for those who helped us and we want to pass on a bit of our luck and happiness.

        I wanted to be a doctor when I was eight.

        This blog is a wonderful idea.

        Take care


      • 4. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  September 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm

        Claudia (the right name this time!),

        Thank you so much. I know from Twittering with you that your monthly contribution is 30 euro. I always count 6 months of contributions for the blog so this is a total odf 180 euro for Childrens’ Villages. I will add this to the blogtotals tonight so that everyone can see this wonderful charity.

        I am most impressed that you wanted to be a doctor at 8, a very serious vocation for a youngster; you obviously always wanted to do good:)

        Take care of you and your children….


  • 5. Iain  |  September 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Lesley, so pleased to have inspired this, and your name check is too generous. 🙂

    My two are 18 and 20, and I’m sure would love to be planning their first move. But the way things are now, that’s easier said than done.

    Like you though, I will be there for them, and we’ll adjust however we can until the next phase of their life.

    • 6. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  September 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Iain,

      Generous? Me? Hoot! I only acknowledged the idea pet:) I really enjoyed doing this post, even taking the picture:( I also think this may be one of my best posts so my thanks to you for the great idea.

      I agree, we will always be there for our children and during these times this will be true for many of us……

      Take care,


  • 7. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  September 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I still have 2 at home. 21 year old will want own place when he can afford it, jobs permitting:)

    Not sure about the daughter but I think she will want to spread her wings.

    Thank you for reading and commenting hun:))))


  • 8. Neill Morris  |  September 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I’ve got all this to come mine are 18 and 15. I think the eldest will leave asap, but the youngest, well I can imagine him never leaving, he may need cajoling…


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