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Adult sons still living at home

(44 Posts)
Grammaretto Sun 16-Jun-19 11:03:41

I have three friends all of whom have an AS living at home, or in one case still financially dependent on his single DM although he has moved out, and they all wish their AS could find a partner and a job which pays enough to lead to an independent existence.

I busily fork out advice, because lucky old me, our 3 DS couldn't wait to leave and make their way in the world and in one case slept on friends' floors and hitchhiked around the world, which at the time we thought was normal, before finally ending up on the other side of the world.

I am aware that nowadays it is harder than ever for young people if they don't quite fit in or appear to miss the boat with their career or lovelife.

Has anyone any creative advice from your experience of how they can launch their fledglings who are not so very young anymore?

wildswan16 Sun 16-Jun-19 11:15:54

I think a lot of it depends on how adult children have been brought up. Mine were taught independence from age 2 or 3 - they were responsible for their toys, for getting ready for school on time, for not forgetting their gym kit etc etc. Mum was there for advice, for guidance, for a safe place to return to. If they went to scout camp with no socks - they would (and did) remember next time.

My feelings have always been that a parent prepares their child to go out into the world and make their own life. If you haven't done that by the time they are 18 or over then it really is too late.

MiniMoon Sun 16-Jun-19 11:16:27

My AS lived at home until he was 30. He only moved out, because the pub he worked in needed a live in person/night porter as it had letting rooms. We despaired of him ever finding a woman, or improving his prospects.
But, he met a woman with much hotel experience, and they have recently taken over the running of a pub with letting rooms and a hostel that sleeps 50!!!
They have moved into their own bungalow and DS appears to be very happy.
I have no advice about helping adult sons on their way to independence, but there is hope, as my son has proved.

silverlining48 Sun 16-Jun-19 11:19:26

It’s comfortable and cheap living at home with no responsibility and most things done for them. Often it’s sons who tend to return post university or they just remain at home.
Depends on how the parents feel about it, otherwise a family discussion might be necessary.
We left school and home fairly early, got jobs, shared flats, lived in bed sits, paid bills, struggled financially, didn’t go out often, scrimped and saved, lived on the cheapest mince and sausages...well that is my experience, oh yes the 60 s were really swinging, not!
I don’t think they will leave home until they are ready. life these days is full of things material and that’s where the money goes.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 11:39:06

My GS still lives at home with his mum. He works, pays half the mortgage and generally chips in in the home. He is a home-bird at heart and at early 30's he enjoys a single life. Goes golfing with his old school pal and goes out socialising when he's not at work.
D does his washing along with shared meals when they're both off work and neither would have it any other way. It just seems normal to us.

Dillyduck Sun 16-Jun-19 11:47:55

My son, now 42 lives with me. I'm slightly disabled have a large garden which I can't look after on my own - it was my husbands pride and joy. The family own a lot of vintage machinery, which my son and grandson love, all in their own sheds.
If I moved to a small property, then it would all have to be sold, and none of us want that.
I cook my son food and look after the house. He does DIY, cuts the lawn and hedges. He used to give me "housekeeping" but now he pays all the utility bills and I buy all the food.
He has the upstairs of the house (apart from my Sewing Room which I don't use when he's at home as a rule) and I have the downstairs. I always say when he moved back in he "put me in the garage to sleep" which is absolutely true BUT he spent a whole year converting it to a beautiful bedroom with vaulted ceiling and ensuite complete with washer/dryer.
It works well for both of us.
However, we each contribute equally to our lives here, but in different ways. Living with mum should NOT mean getting mum to do everything and not lifting a finger or paying your way!

quizqueen Sun 16-Jun-19 11:52:07

My adult daughter came home for a few years after a failed relationship and I enjoyed having her. As long as adult children look after themselves, pay their fair share of bills and do not expect to be looked after by their 'mummies' then it can work out.

Sadly, usually it's mothers who make a 'rod for their own back' by acting like these adults, who live at home, are still children who need everything done for them and then they complain that they are being taken advantage of!

paddyann Sun 16-Jun-19 11:52:25

Mine left at 20 when his GF was pregnant with their daughter ,he returned when the baby was 10 months old,GF was seeing someone else while he was at work.He was devastated and worried about his relationship with his child .The answer was to move back home and we had his baby half of every week....ever since .She's 10 in the summer .He moved out with his new partner just 2 years ago and they have a new baby on the way.I'm pleased he didn't just dive into a new relationship as many do .His daughter has always been a priority for him.Your friends Adult sons will find that life wil work out when they least expect it.I have a friend who is still living with his parents an his mid forties and it suits them all fine .

Missfoodlove Sun 16-Jun-19 11:53:35

My advice would be not to be an “enabler”

Grammaretto Sun 16-Jun-19 11:56:00

Thanks particularly to MiniMoon for giving hope!
I don't like your too late WildSwan wink

DH says "why don't they just throw them out!" which is easy to say but we all know, or know of, young men who get depressed and even commit suicide.

I'm trying to think back to the 60s when we were desperate to leave. You could not conduct any sort of relationship with a BF while living at home with parents breathing down your neck.

One of these friends does seem to take a huge interest in her AS life or lack of it which I find a bit unhealthy but maybe that's just what happens if you are together under the same roof.

Grammaretto Sun 16-Jun-19 12:08:07

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. It does sound generally hopeful doesn't it. I think I'm the wrong person to ask for advice. I shall send them on here!
Dillyduck that certainly works well for you both and paddyann how wonderful that things are working out well for your AS.

I fear it is the cost of living keeping a lot of AC at home and ofcourse mummy looking after them will be a factor usually in the guise of helping them save.. Ofcourse I think that is making a rod to beat yourself quizqueen

FlexibleFriend Sun 16-Jun-19 12:26:21

I'm with Dillyduck my son who is 30 moved back in with me due to my mobility issues. He's not a freeloader by any stretch of the imagination. He later moved his Girlfriend in and between them I'm well taken care of. They now have a son and plan to get married in December. They have no plans to move out even if they win the lottery. If either of us win the lottery we would move together. It's no doubt cheaper for us to live together rather than separately but that's not what motivates us. I have a large house, they have the upstairs and I have the downstairs. It works well for us but we've always been very open with each other and have always got on well. Of course it can work but it depends on the individuals involved.

ninathenana Sun 16-Jun-19 12:28:19

My 28 y.o. still lives at home. He has no prospect of work or a girlfriend and if he did move out it would need to be to wardened complex, due to his autism. DD and I were discussing this very recently, and sadly when DH and I are no longer here she will need to be his advocate, which she does most of now having worked for SS. I know it's different in our case.
DH's cousin never left home. He is now 77 and still lives in the house he shared with his parents. He has always worked and has had a partner for many years but never found the need to change anything. I think his late mum liked him being there after his father died 30+ years ago.

MawBroonsback Sun 16-Jun-19 12:29:49

Sadly I have no advice- parenting or otherwise.
Our 3 DDs could not wait to leave home and like bats out of hell, once they were at university that was that. I sometimes wonder whether to feel sad or to rejoice at my parentinggrin
At one point DD1 was about to leave her company which she felt was a sinking ship and she didn’t want to get her feet wet and I diffidently (but sincerely) said of course she could live at home while she looked for something new.
I don’t know who was more relieved when she declined, her or me. Perhaps girls are more independent?

NanaMacGeek Sun 16-Jun-19 12:46:40

Our AS now lives with DH and me, we brought him home when we found out he was alcohol dependent, more than 3 years ago. He has been in recovery since then. We definitely don't enable him but try to help him when he will let us. He wasn't in debt when he came to live with us but he had nothing. He has managed to get work, poorly paid but with good prospects. Some of his 'decisions', especially when first with us, have been rather dubious and it has been like living with a sulky teenager although we are beginning to see a stronger, more considered and considerate adult emerging. He now looks fit and healthy. He does what he can to help us and tries not to bother us. He shouldn't have to live with us but has no choice, he can't afford to live alone and sharing poses too many risks for him, he still needs to live in a 'dry' house.

From the outside, we probably appear to be 'enabling' our AS. Onlookers just have no idea.

Fennel Sun 16-Jun-19 12:50:30

Our eldest son lived with us until he was 25. Partly because of my sympathy for him after a very traumatic early life with first husband, his father.
In the end, after I'd remarried, husband told him it's time to go. We found him a flat and husband gave him a job in one of his shops.
Son was miserable at first, I felt so guilty, but later he said it was the best thing we'd ever done for him.

Urmstongran Sun 16-Jun-19 12:58:49

I think maybe you’re right Maw as we ‘lost’ both of our girls straight after they’d finished uni!

I was pondering the other day on the fact that adult children seem to live with their parents longer nowadays. Apart from finances, sex might have been a motivator for us back in 1972! There was absolutely no way my parents would’ve allowed me to go on holiday with my boyfriend. We got married when I was 20y and he 23y. Problem solved!
😊

Apricity Sun 16-Jun-19 13:10:36

This is going to sound very harsh and of course there will be positive stories of sons living at home well into adult years but after 30 plus years working in the health/welfare sector I would have to say that some of the most dysfunctional men I came across were the ones who had never really left home. Mum had pandered to their every need and they were clueless and often with significant drug and alcohol issues.

There is a certain comfortable symbiotic relationship with some 'benefits' to both the son/s and parents although by the time they encounter the 'health and welfare system' usually Dad is deceased and it is just Mum and the middle aged son/s at home.

These men had never fully negotiated the outside world, rarely had ongoing employment, had never really managed money and normal household finances or sustained external relationships. Brief forays into marriage or other relationships usually resulted in them scurrying back to Mum after the inevitable failure.

My own theory is that parents who will not enable and support offspring to acquire the skills and motivation to leave home have personal and usually unspoken and unacknowledged reasons for this. In particular keeping adult children dependent and home bound frequently fills a void in the parents' unsatisfactory marriage or loneliness.

Healthy parenting is always a process of planned obsolescence. We do our best to ensure our children have the skills required and eventually we launch them into the wider world. Not to do this will deprive our children of a life of their own. This is not caring or loving behaviour, it is extremely selfish behaviour. We will inevitably die and leave them and they will flounder and sink and other people, family members and services will try to assist them usually with limited success.

I have always liked the old adage about giving our children roots, wings to fly and a reason to return. Although in my own instance I didn't necessarily expect that the wings to fly would mean to the other side of the world. But it's his life and he is happy and I must be content with that. And he does return.

Grammaretto Sun 16-Jun-19 13:18:58

Interesting stories. I guess each situation is unique and we should listen rather than judge.
I'm thinking about myself here!
The recent wedding I went to, the couple had been together for 3 years and have a 2 yr old so that is reasoned to be long enough to know somebody Urmstongran !

Gonegirl Sun 16-Jun-19 13:24:01

My elder daughter couldn't wait to get away (although we got on together very well). The other DD is more of a home bird and after uni found a place as near to us as she possibly could, and still visits often.

Son, different story. Did manage to shift him eventually. Bless. 😊

Grammaretto Sun 16-Jun-19 13:34:49

Apricity it is those who slip through the net we worry about.
I know what you mean about keeping children dependent as a way of filling a void in their own lives.
Luck could play a part too and there's there but for the grace of god
I still dole out the advice but maybe after reading of your various experiences, I will have a better idea of what to suggest.

rosecarmel Sun 16-Jun-19 14:44:48

There's not much consideration for the aged built into legislation here in the US- Add that to the cost of living, lack of living wages and/or full time positions that provide healthcare- So now some families have begun to include living together in their plans, young and old alike- Even those who can afford to live independently are blending-Many are already living together that I know of, myself included-

Starlady Sun 16-Jun-19 15:24:22

"...they all wish their AS could find a partner and a job which pays enough to lead to an independent existence."

IMO, they need to let go of the wish that their AS "could find a partner" or, at least, put it on the back burner. The idea that he "needs" a partner in order to move out may be part of the problem. I think it gets back to the assumption that women can cook, clean, etc. for themselves, but men... ahh, poor men... they need someone to do all that for them. (I'm glad they're not saying specifically, "wife" or "girlfriend").

Oh, I understand their wanting their AS to have romantic love in their lives, etc. But, IMO, the only thing that impacts the parents' lives is if AS is financially independent and has moved out. IMO, that's what they need to focus on, if anything.

Iv heard that some people won't go with someone who is still living w/ their parents. So they might not find that partner until they become independent.

Regardless, if an AC is paying their way as best they can and doing their share of household chores, etc., and all are happy w/ the situation, then fine. But if the parents want their AC out and/or financially independent, they may have to sit down w/ them and set some (realistic, of course) goals, some kind of deadline for finding a job and a flat of their own.... Just my thoughts...

FlexibleFriend Sun 16-Jun-19 15:26:25

Apricity and all the sons who have successful lives, who have worked consistently since leaving school and have managed to have successful relationships don't come into contact with health and welfare systems. They just get on with life in a way that suits them and their family. Anyway extended families are held up as being the solution to the care crisis. Which is great if you're in a position to make it work.

trisher Sun 16-Jun-19 15:37:23

I've had all my three at home intermitently at different stages in their lives. I don't think they are dependent on me. I simply think I have the space and it's convenient sometimes. All can do their own washing, one irons better than me (the others and I have a passing relationship with an iron). They all cook meals and 2 are excellent at DIY. There's nothing wrong with having your children live with you providing you stop treating them as children and allow them to be adults and they realise you may be their mum but mums don't provide care for life.