A little over a month ago our youngest daughter, Hilary, left the nest. She moved out on her own, got her own place, flew the coop, and is loving her new-found independence. We’re very proud of her getting out on her own, however it has left me in a bit of a pickle that I had not contemplated too seriously.
For quite a few years now, since everyone graduated from high school, we have had certain “twenty-something” rules and regulations that we have expected the kids to abide by while they are still living at home.
Our rules started like this-
Rule #1: If you’re living at home and not going to school you will pay rent.
Rule #2: If you’re living at home and going to school you do not have to pay rent. This was our incentive to be in school, working on your college degree.
Rule #3: While you are still living at home you will be expected to do weekly chores. ie- housecleaning, yard work, pool maintenance.
Rule #4 – If you have friends’ over when we are not at home – The Golden Rule is- No Police, No Fire! Period.
These were the top Four rules. Of course we expected everyone to be respectful of each other’s space, and live life according to Rules 1,2,3 & 4.
The Rent Rule has been modified a few times over the years. That’s a parents prerogative. After all we pay the mortgage. The second generation rent rule was that everyone paid rent. It did not matter if you we’re going to school or not. But, if you we’re going to school your rent was reduced a bit each month. And we also give a rent credit for the monthly housecleaning skills, and landscaping skills.
As of this year, the third generation rent rule has seen the abolishment of the rent credit completely for going to school. But we still do offer a rent credit for your “helping out around the house” maintenance skills. Oh, and I should clarify this offer goes out to any of our kids still living at home only, not just anyone who needs to rent a room.
Now, back to my housecleaning story. The rent here could not entice Hilary to stay any longer. She was anxious to be out on her own in the cold, cruel world. Which meant MY days of avoiding the weekly housecleaning chores were coming to an end. While Hilary was here doing the weekly cleaning I would usually tackle a big, deep cleaning project once or twice during the month. This was a great routine, and it was working like a well oiled machine.
Now those days are no more. My cleaning lady has flown the coop, and I have to resort back to the old days of cleaning the house on my own. It’s not exactly like the olds days though. There are only three of us living in the house now, and at one time we had seven of us here. The bathrooms don’t get as dirty, the floors don’t get as yucky as they used to. And, luckily I have time to spread out the cleaning during the week if I want to. No weekend cleaning for this gal!
When the kids were all younger, and I was working full-time we would spend two hours on Saturday morning cleaning the house, and getting our chores done. The music would be blaring, and everyone had specific chores. In two hours we would get most everything done and call it a day. Then we’d move on to our weekend time.
So, even though my little birdies are one by one flying out of the coop we will survive. The housecleaning will still get done, although I will miss Hilary’s cleaning playlist. And the bonus for us right now is our landscaper still lives at home, for the moment. Hopefully he will give me ample notice before he plans to move out. After all, I’ll need time to hire a gardener.
How are or did you handle your twenty-something’s living at home?