Sunday, March 21, 2021

SLICE #21- I am not very good at parenting adults.

 I have come to a conclusion--
I am not very good at parenting adults
In fact, I am actually very bad at it. 

I have two sons, ages 25 and 27. 
They both live with me. 
One has a job.
One does not have a job. 

Most of the time, they see themselves as men.
They are men when it comes to make decisions about friends,
and about going out, and about when they will come home. 
They are men when it comes to use of alcohol or marijuana.
I agree, for the most part, with those things. 
They are not teenagers any more. 
They can make their own decisions.

But sometimes they are not men. 
They are not men 
when it's time to buy groceries. 
Or pay the electric bill. 
They are not men when it comes to cleaning up after themselves.
Or when it comes to taking responsibility for stupid choices. 

Right now, for example, 
neither of my sons has a car. 
One son lost his license.
Mostly he rides his bike. 
Except it's still winter in Colorado,
and sometimes it's really cold or icy. 
He works fairly close to my work,
so sometimes I give him a ride
if the weather is bad. 
My other son left his car running
while he went into a convenience store
and came out, and his car was gone,
he hadn't been paying insurance premiums,
so now he's out of luck
and he thinks I should give him money, 
just a couple of thousand,
so he can buy a car,
so he can work with his biological dad
(I adopted my sons when they were 7 and 9).
to replace the car
(the Bluebook value of his Toyota Highlander was $7500).

Today we had a fight,
and he said some really mean stuff,
about how a single white woman 
should never have adopted two black boys
and how all of his problems are a result of that decision
or perhaps because of my lack of parenting skills,
about how I never support him
and about how I love his brother 
so much more than I love him.

And then he went into his room and shut the door,
and I have struggled 
to focus on the million things 
I needed to do for school
to write lesson plans
and do observations
and respond to student work.
And all I can think about is our fight. 

I am not very good at parenting adults
In fact, I am actually very bad at it. 


Unknown said...

I'm so sorry. This all sounds really hard. I have a biological child that is 17 and says some of the same things. He refuses to eat with us and mostly speaks to us when he needs something. He tells us we ruined his life by moving last year...and has re written the narrative in his kind of his childhood which was the quintessential happy kind and now I his mind it was all being slighted and wronged. I do not understand it. In any are not alone. And I honestly don't think you are responsible. And you are not a bad mom. You have done your best in each moment and offered love and stability. You will do your best going forward, whatever that looks like. -tw

Diane Anderson said...

You are not alone. But it is still hard, even knowing that.

Ramona said...

I'm going to pass along the three lessons a dear friend shared with me many years ago. She adopted two children and her life has not been easy, but here are the maxims she lives by. I wrote them down & they're on a sticky in my kitchen cupboard. (Parenthetical comments added by me just for you.)
1. Life is too short. (You affect so many lives for good every day. Don't let this get you down.)
2. This too shall pass. (I'm not sure when, but at some point these young men will grow up and hopefully be grateful for the gifts you've given them.)
3. I did the best I could at the time. (And you're still doing the best you can. Hang in there and accept this virtual hug from me!)

Cathy said...

Carol, I am sorry for how hard things are right now. When my kids were little I thought life would be so much easier when they got older, but there's a lot people don't tell us about parenting adults. It's just hard. I see you.

Chris said...

You are definitely doing your best. As the kids get older, the problems get bigger. Parenting adults is not anything we prepared for (me, included).