I also have to add in that I have a sort of anxiety thing when they come home. It takes me weeks to acclimate to them being here. I don't particularly care for the disruption of my routine, from the bathroom time to making dinner. I just don't. Once they go, I really would rather they just stay gone. I know that sounds harsh, but having to readjust everything every few months really doesn't work for me, so I end up on edge, all grouchy and irritable, and I REALLY DISLIKE being grouchy and irritable. I don't like feeling like I being unreasonable, though to a certain extent, I know I am.
So, to lessen my anxiety, and just to instill some common courtesy, there are a few rules I think they should obey:
1. Always let me know if you are going to be home for dinner. It's just the courteous thing to do. It helps me plan. It also gives me a "warning" so I can be prepared for your arrival.
2. If you are home for a meal, pitch in and help prepare and clean up. Seriously, you are adults eating for free. Help out!
3. If you are home for a meal, and I am not, PITCH IN AND HELP! Don't leave everything to the younger kids.
4. You use sheets and towels, right? If so, please throw a load in once a week or so. On top of washing all your own laundry, of course. And, if you don't have enough to make a load, throw some of the regular wash in, just to be nice.
5. Don't come in here after you've been gone for months and demand your spot back, or try to tell the younger kids anything. You haven't been home, you lost your spot, and you don't really know how things currently work. If you mess with the kids, I am probably gonna side with them, because you don't know what you're talking about anymore.
6. Don't sit. Just don't. If you want down time in a household of this many, go find it someplace else. If you sit, you will make me angry. I might have visions of you working in some sort of prison encampment chopping wood or busting up rock with sledge hammers, and I will continue to boil until you leave or find something to do. If you are home, be busy, find something to do. Even if it is reading a book to a small person or pretending to clean your room.
7. CLEAN YOUR ROOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!! You are too old to live in a mess. Wash your clothes and put them away, CHANGE YOUR SHEETS! Dust, sweep, generally restore order.
There are also a few requirements to living at home:
1. If you are currently enrolled full time in school, then you must have a part time job, at a minimum.
2. If it is summer you must have at LEAST a FULL time job or jobs. Whatever has you busy and earning as much cash as possible.
3. Once you graduate, if you still want to live at home, you must be employed a minimum of FULL time, and you must pay rent, to be determined when/if that day ever comes.
So, Mommas, what do you think? Is this reasonable? Is it enough? Too much? My brother would say it is not nearly tough enough, while I suspect my husband would be fine with all the kids living with us forever. I think I would deal with the comings and goings much better if these were adhered to, which right now, they are not. One kid does talk to me, letting me know what's up most of the time, and she does pitch in with dishes when she is home, and even does some driving for me, so that I don't have to go out late on Monday nights. I do know when she will be home for dinner, she just communicates with me on a regular basis. The other kid doesn't tell me anything. Comes and goes at will, and never lets me know. She has ocassionally helped with dishes. Perhaps three times in the three weeks since she has been home.. not sufficient. So, it is a work in progress. I get angry, because I honestly don't think most of this should need to be said. They should just know. If you are going to be home for dinner, let me know. If you are here, help with prep and clean up. We don't ask for much... and I should think that a little common courtesy isn't too much to ask. So....let me know your thoughts! How have you handled these issues?