Monday, January 25, 2010

Empty Nest Envy

I heard a story about a mother who's soon to be 27 year old son would not move out of her home and stay out.  It was so bad that the woman suffered from terrible migrane headaches because she did not know what to do or handle this uncomfortable situation.  You see, she did not have the courage she needed to set limits for him around the house or a time frame for him to leave.  She was desperate to have her home back again, just her and her husband. 

They support him with food, cable t.v., electric and internet.  They even give him money to go out, never asking him to contribute with household chores or anything.  He has it very cushy, no responsibilities he is self-satisfied enjoying time with friends, he can eat, relax, watch t.v. and play on the computer.  The mother constantly prayed for courage to take action but yet, she did not want him homeless.

Every day this woman gets up early with her husband, her sons stepfather, and sends him off to work.  He works very long hard days to provide a roof over their heads and food on the table.  He pays the electric bill, the cable bill, water bill and all other bills for the household.  All of this happens while the son sleeps until noon and stays out partying all night.  The stepfather never complains because he does not want to add to his wife's stress.

After work the husband has to come home to mow the lawn, weed the garden, wash the cars and take care of all the other chores around the house while the son looks on or leaves to go out with his friends. He never steps up to lessen the burden on his stepfather, he just takes advantage of the situation and lives the good life.

As parents we are caregivers for our children.  As they come home or they stay home, it is difficult to assume a different role.  There is a tendency to expect mom and dad to continue to cook the meals and pay the bills.  The children assume the role of permanent house guests, with limited responsibility and maximum freedom from mundane tasks.

The key is to talk about the situation and not leave things unsaid.  Understanding that this is not an optimum situation for either party is important, but trying to make it the best possible situation through open communication is imparative.

You see, I know this first hand because I am the woman with the son who won't leave, the migrane headaches and the lack of courage to handle the situation.  I envy my friends who's children have grown up, moved out and moved on.  I pray for courage with this situation.

Have a blessed day.

Today's recipe:

Italian Meatloaf

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 lb. diced bacon
2-3 slices bread soaked in milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread crumbs, flavored or plain
1 medium onion, sliced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except the bread crumbs.  If mx is too wet, add more parmesan cheese.  Shape into flat loaf and coat with bread crumbs.  Brown in frying paintil golden on both sides.  Bake in roasting pan at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Add sliced onions all around the meat and bake another 30 minutes.  If making a bigger loaf adjust the cooking time accordingly.

1 comment:

Michele said...

Dear JZ...I knew as you described the "mother" in the story that it was you. I will pray for you to have courage and fortitude to give him the push he needs to make a life of his own. Hang in there! God sees the situation and despite the difficulties, He is in control but only if you "give it to Him" to handle.

Praying for you,