So, you’ve decided you want to have some adult fun. Rock on! You deserve to enjoy your life. However, your darling offspring have other ideas. They might guilt you for having a life, or rebel when asked to pick up a little more responsibility around the house.
You are not alone in giving in to the thinking that maybe you will just have to wait until they are of legal age, or at least driving and ignoring you (mostly).
It’s an unfortunate side effect of our culture that says we can have and do anything, but our homes, jobs, and offspring have to look “perfect” or else we are bad adults. This is just not true. First of all, it’s an impossible standard. Even the models and model homes in magazines don’t look that way naturally. People get photoshopped to be thinner and more symmetrical, spaces have teams that come in prior to the photographer to ‘dress the set.’ So please try to believe that you are not less than.
Kids will complain about any changes they don’t instigate, very few want to have the boat rocked. They also don’t yet have the capacity to understand that you are an actual person. Sure they can intellectually, but emotionally, not so much. Think about when you realized that your mom or dad had their own interests and desires that didn’t involve you. I don’t think I fully got it until I made a baby myself. We certainly don’t understand the sheer amount of effort it takes to keep the little darlings alive and content until we have to go through it ourselves, even if we have many younger siblings or a thriving babysitting business.
This is the important part though… WE LEARN WHAT WE SEE MODELLED.
Let that sink in a minute. Do you want your children, especially the ones being raised female, to think their whole world revolves around taking care of others?
If you want to teach them how to have healthy boundaries, you have to have healthy boundaries, and that included with your kids.
The key here is healthy, which includes safe.
So don’t go out drinking and drive home. Don’t drop what you are doing because you got a booty call from a hottie. Do make plans.
One way to get them on board is to have a conversation about what you want and need and what they want and need. Make compromises. Set guidelines and stick to them. Treat them with respect but stick to your boundaries.
Decades from now they might have the awareness to appreciate it. But in the meantime, you will fill your own tank enough so that you won’t resent them.