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Working Hard


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I am a hard working 48 year old. I have a 20 year old son I have brought him up well on my own. Now I feel that I need a life now. I am there for my son. I do his washing, Ironing, making sure that he is ok. I have nobody to answer to. I go out when I can and I come home when I want to. My best friend Margaret was on holiday for seven weeks in Turkey. She is 72. A young 72 year old. Her advice to me is 1: I work hard go out and enjoy yourself. 2 : Go out now you are housebound long enough when you cant go out. 3 : Mix with company enjoy life. My shifts are long.I would like your views on this topic.

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I could wash my own clothes (by hand) at the age of 11 and iron 'em too (with a solid-metal iron). I also tidied up my big brother's bedroom which we shared ... for 2 shillings-a-week)[ he was a milk-delivery-boy and was 'loaded' on a friday night].At about 14 I learnt how to cook the sunday 'staples' of either chicken or ham-on-the-bone soup by watchin' what my Mum did.

Unfortunately, 40 years on, I cannot do these things!

The spirit is willing ... but the flesh is weak....alas!

Your son has a lot to learn ... but you should let him fend for himself [sometimes it's cruel to be kind] so you can take stock of your own life and future happiness.

It's more difficult if he has no brothers or sisters [I am assuming this].

Good Luck.

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pine man and jb. I thought of mentioning service life but, I always get told off by kids because I keep telling youngsters to join up in the military. When they are out of work I reckon it will give them a damn good start in life. But my kids just say "For God's sake dad, just because you liked it doesn't mean others will". But I still think they should give it a try. You can join up for a short time now or as jb says try the reserve forces (Territorials etc).

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Never mind if these lazy, long haired layabouts (no, not your son, Shopgirl, who I'm sure is a nice enough lad!) want to join the services, do the services want them?

It was bad enough trying to train the semi- illiterates turned out by our schools who only joined because they saw no alternative (and good luck to them for trying) without having the pool of non-cooperaive resentment that National Service engendered.

The vast majority of National Servicemen simply knuckled down and got on with it as best they could, but the disruptive ones could be a real pain.

Today's people are already stretched to, and sometimes beyond, the limit, and they simply cannot afford to have anyone who will not pull their full weight and more.

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This all sounds a bit dramatic to me. I'm wondering why this situation is demanding an all or nothing response? Your son is 20 and more than likely a nice enough lad. We don't know what his situation is? Is he working, can he work etc etc? Why does he suddenly have to receive some sort of ultimatum?

For me I would certainly agree with some of the advice above, and that of your friend, in that you should definitely get out and do the things that you want to do, and at those times your son get's told he's on his own for a week or three, or however many. You should not let caring for him restrict your enjoyment at this time of life, but if you're happy to continue caring for him without sacrificing severe amounts of your valuable free time, then why not?

There is a balance to be struck though, 20 is not soooo old, but you'd be surprised how easy it can be for the habit to stick too long. I know one or two people around our age (I'm the same age as you) that never moved out from home and still lived with their parents until the parents died of old age... now in my opinion that is not a healthy thing, they were cared for by their parents far too long. Now they are having great difficulty in coming to terms with growing up in late forties!! They do have to grow up and fly the nest at some point, but they need to be prepared for that and also be in a position to manage. Maybe you have opportunity to here to 'wean' him away from your care and have fun at the same time.

Go have fun, you might regret it later if you don't, but don't feel he needs to be evicted in the process.

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My niece encouraged her oldest to leave home. He moved in with his grandma, and now the next son has done the same. So grandma has 2 of them living with her (2 more are still at school and with mum and dad). It works for them and all seem happy and content.

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