Trying to back off, mostly succeeding

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Ann1010, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    I've read a lot of posts and I do realize that we have it much easier than most everybody on this forum. I am grateful for any advice everyone has to offer, and I realize that I don't have much to offer in return.

    As of today, I am not looking forward to the holidays. We usually go out Christmas Eve for brunch, and I don't feel like that can happen. I'm using the fact that I have to work as an excuse, but I can easily take off for a couple of hours. I have no expectations that she will attend Christmas Mass with us, and I don't plan on asking her. If she asks about it, I will gladly give her the time we're leaving, etc but I'm being realistic. I am hoping that she'll have to work Christmas Day, so that gives the 3 of us some relaxing time. That being said, she may completely shock us and ask for her boyfriend to have dinner and be very pleasant. I guess now it's prepare for the worst and hope for the best...and keep praying for God's intervention.
  2. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Hi Ann,
    Your situation sounds similar to mine with my daughter. She is pulling away , and it's painful. They pull away in the best way they know how . They are traversing this no man's land between childhood and adulthood , and have no idea how to do it gracefully . I learned a lot about that on here from another member, Copacobana. If you read my threat on "Arguments over the car", you can see Copa's response which is very, very helpful on this subject .

    Your daughter is functioning. She is slowly taking responsibility for her finances, she is working towards her future. I am learning that my daughter's moods are high highs and low lows and that I need to protect myself and my equanimity by whatever means necessary but in ways that do not involve her changing . I am powerless over her and I cannot change another person. I can only change myself and my responses.

    I do feel that too much was said at the restaurant. She was willing to go. I would have refrained from saying anything about her eating . It's a personal boundary. Her eating or not eating is none of my business. When your husband says he spent $10.50 but has let it go, he really has not let it go. If he had, he would not have brought it up. And I can see how that is annoying to someone.

    These young people want autonomy. They want freedom and independence. And what they need to learn and what we can teach them through our actions is that freedom and independence come at the price of responsibility. I read in an article that it's a good idea to make young adults realize that nothing is free - so any time they ask something of us, we require something in return. With my daughter when she wants to use my car , she has to wash and vac the car before she takes it. I need to do this much more. I often forget. The other day she wanted new headphones and I forgot all about this set up. In the past, I have said "ok what will you give or do in return?" and if she has no answer, suggested something I needed done in the house. She often declined which also meant she didn't get what she wanted.

    Your daughter did not ruin your birthday lunch. Nobody can take our power away from us unless we give it away. We are responsible for our own happiness. This can also mean that we don't invite family members out. And if we do to not have any expectations whatsoever.

    I am slowly learning with my 2 adult kids that I just need to let go. To accept that right now they do not want to be around me , don't want to spend time with me, have a hard time liking me as a person. To make my own plans how I see fit and allow them to fit into my plans IF THEY SO CHOSE.

    With Thanksgiving last year, both adult kids were at college 2 hours away and I knew they did not want to come home. Son had stayed at school year before and daughter was feeling morose towards us. I planned what I wanted to do and did exactly that. I will do the same this year . I ran a 5K that morning, I did not cook, and I attended a community function with Thanksgiving food.

    Young adults need lots of space , lots of decision making ability over their own lives , and they also need to see Mom and Dad as independent adults not waiting around for them to complete us. We can complete ourselves and empower them to live their own lives and complete themselves .
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    How would you feel if your daughter asked you about your sex life or fussed over what you ate or complained if she took YOU out and spent ten bucks on a meal then told she that you ate too little for the ten dollar investment? What if she wanted to dig into your every thought? She is an adult too. Adult kids can both be very close to us yet decide what to share and what not to share with Mom.

    I have a very difficult daughter who I can't be close to because she is too hard. But I have another daughter I am VERY close to as well. It would never cross my mind to talk to her about her sex life, what she does or doesn't eat when we are out or to pick her brains. She shares when she wants or needs to share and we have fun together without my digging into her life unless she needs it. We play board games together and cards and do yoga classes and talk about books and theatre. We make silly jokes and window shop. We have fun, but I don't pick her brains. Amy, Rick and myself and our husband are more like great friends. Adult kids can be close to their parents. Many are. But I think treating them like children puts many off so they run.


    Amy and her kids are temporarily living in our house while she waits for her home to finish being built.

    Under your roof, you are justified in expecting normal peace of mind and politeness. Amy HAS to tell me if she is going to stay out all night so that I won't worry about her. She is happy to let me know. She doesn't want me to worry. This is common courtesy.

    If I am making dinner (sometimes she does) then Amy needs to tell me if she won't be home for dinner so I can plan how much to make. If she is detained unexpectedly and will miss dinner, she still calls me, "I'm sorry, but I can't make it home!" Amy tells me why. I don't know if why is necessary, but Amy is caring and sweet. She explains.

    If there is a guest in your home, and your daughter lives in YOUR house, it is not in my opinion intrusive for you to know if she will come home at night and be home for dinner. This is being It's different than being intrusive. It is being respectful.

    Just my thoughts.

    God bless you.
  4. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    So much yes! What a lovely relationship you have with Amy. That is what I want with my daughter!
  5. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    If I gave the impression that I ask about her sex life, I don't. She likes to be a shock jock and come up with stuff to see how everyone reacts. Well, my reaction was to push her towards getting on birth control....and that was returned with a none of your business. As for telling her how much dinner cost and that she didn't eat enough....I already explained that he let it go until she went off the deep end and started swearing and told him to F... off.

    She lives under our roof and, like I said, we aren't allowed to ask where she is going or if she is going to even come home at night. I don't pick her brain, she comes and goes as she pleases with no regards to us. I never know if she is going to be home for dinner....up until now I've always assumed that she would be, and if she isn't she can eat when she gets home. Just 5 minutes ago I actually asked if I'm to assume that I should to make enough for her, and she gave me an I Don't Know. So from this point I'm done. There is enough food in this house for her to figure it out, and she's not helpless. My son works 50 hours a week and goes to college 2 nights. He makes his own lunch and makes sure he has something to eat (on his own) on the nights he isn't home. From now on, when he isn't home I'm just planning for my husband and I, no more.
  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    Good for you. Focus on yourself. Set some boundaries or "lines of peace" as I heard it once phrased. Define for yourself what kinds of behaviors you will or will not accept. This was you are being kind to yourself and respecting yourself, when others won't.

    It may or not happen any time soon, but when your daughter sees you respecting yourself, maybe just maybe at some point she might too.