Third Stage of motherhood

Tamara - posted on 01/05/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




Hi, I am in what i call the Third Stage of Motherhood. My son has graduated from high school and turned 18. To me, Stage One is birth to end of elementary school, Stage 2 is high school. Are there anymore mothers out there in Stage 3? Some people might think that mothering is over at this point. You've given them all the life lessons you can, which is mostly true, but it's been a difficult transition for us. My son and i are really close. He is paying a little money for rent, as we want him to get into this habit, plus, we've supported him all through high school, not insisting that he have a job because he had a very active extra-curricular life which we encouraged. He's now making some money and we have asked him to contribute to things like the cable tv and internet bill, and he's responsible for his own cell phone bill.

The biggest issue is whether he should be expected to let us know if and when he's going to be home when he goes out with his friends. He feels that because he's 18 (we're in Canada where age of majority is 19) and pays rent etc. that he can just come and go as he pleases. I don't think that this is right. I tell my husband when i'm going to be home when i go out and call if that changes. This is probably from my upbringing of having to let my mother know all of that and i didn't leave home till i was 20.

We are very lenient and it's not like i'm going to tell him he has to be home at a certain time, i just want to know if (especially) and approx. what time to expect him so that if he's not home by a certain time i know that something might be wrong. Living in a big city that has it's share of big city problems including gangs, which i know he's not involved in, is challenging when your child is out late at night. That said, he is 6'2" and somewhere around 230lbs so i know that some people would be intimidated by him, but if there is a weapon involved size does not matter.

He might be older, but i'm still his mother and i'm still going to worry. We've already had numerous discussions about his friends drinking/driving etc. and i'm not worried about that, as he assures me that he knows better than to do that.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else is going thru this or has, and has kept their sanity.



Vancouver, BC, Canada


Firebird - posted on 01/05/2010




When I was 17 I was paying rent (for about 3 months, then I moved out) and I made it clear to my parents (who demanded the rent money) that if I was going to be paying them rent, then I was to be able to come and go as I please. If I was traveling out of town for the day or wasn't going to be home that night (even if I was in town), yes I would tell them so, as well as when they could expect me back. That was just out of common courtesy so my parents didn't worry. But if I was just going bowling with my friends for 2 hours, then no I didn't tell them. But my situation is a bit different than yours... I live in a very small town, everyone knows everyone and their dog, no gang activity, and my parents spent more time at the bar than they did at home, so they didn't usually notice when us kids weren't there. If I lived in a big city with danger lurking around every corner, I probably would have been asked to check in more frequently too. Your house, your rules. Maybe there's a way to negotiate with your son so you get your peace of mind and he gets to feel like an adult.

Erin - posted on 01/05/2010




I agree that if he is living in your home, no matter how old, he should be telling you when and where he is going regardless if he is paying rent or not. Tell him if he doesn't like it he should move out.

Sharon - posted on 01/05/2010




I live in the US and I will expect whoever is living in my home to let me know when they are coming & going and where. Especially if they are my child.

Its common sense to let people know what you are doing.


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Kiala - posted on 01/06/2010




i am a daddy's girl raised by him & never has my own mother in the picture. My dad was very strict my whole life & it made me rebelious. I had to be home by midnight as long as i stayed with my dad ( i had no bills to pay) but it was a very embarrassing situation for me stepping into a new life (college, serious dating, work & personal life) when i had to be home by 12 i feel like once you start paying bills you are an adult & should be able to live as a adult, but as long as your are still walkin into someones elses home & you want to do so at 3 or 4 am after the club & breakfast, the curtious thing to do is just let someone know not to expect you until late. but you have to understand that sometimes you're out & having a good time & unfortunately the last thing on your mind is (MOM). just know your kids routine, so if you know he usually comes in no later than....3 if hes not home by 430 call, then panic. itll save you alot of stress.

Connie - posted on 01/06/2010




We have six children....three which are of "adult" age. As long as they have lived in our home.....return from college for breaks, too.....we discuss with them when they plan on being home from an event. If it is later than we think is resonable, we say so. If for no other reason than their own safety. If for some reason they run late from when we discussed, we ask them to call us. We explain that this is done out of courtesy and we do the same if we have told them we would be home by a certain time. Pray and stand firm.

Rabecca - posted on 01/06/2010




I lived at home till I was 20 I think and I def told my mother wher eand when I was comming and going this is what you do for people you care about who may worry I dont think he has to give you every detail but some just so if anything ever happend you would know where he was and with who thats just common curtesy he is getting older hes more than likely needing some independance which is normal but he is still your son and in your home and if hes not wanting to tell you hes more than likely doing things he doesnt want you to know about I know even though my mother knew where I was she had no idea oh what we were up to because I didnt want her to so I would be a little careful on how you broach the situation because you dont want to alienate him but that you at least need a time frame and a general idea of what hes doing I can tell you my mother lives about 10 min from my house if I am going over to the next town or anything like that I tell her because thats what you do for people you care about

Amy - posted on 01/06/2010




I'm in stage 1 of motherhood, but wanted to mention how things worked when I was still living at home.

When I was in college my parents didn't exactly make me pay rent or anything as I was in school and at the time couldn't find a job that worked with my school schedule. They required me to let them know if I was going to be home for supper. They didn't require me to let them know when I'd be home just if they would be expecting me for supper.

I usually told my parent's what I was up to, but not necessarily what time I'd be home. They did have my cell number, and by having a cell phone it made them feel a little better about not really knowing when I'd be home. They did, however, want me to also tell them if I was spending the night elsewhere, and if it changed that I must call them.

Even if he didn't live at home, you might worry as well. It's good that you have a good/close relationship with him. My mom worried for a while, but eventually she got used to it and didn't' worry as much. I think she worried more when my sister spent a semester in Spain.

Girlio - posted on 01/06/2010




I was the exact same way as your son at my parents house. I thought that my parents were totally unfair and unreasonable. Their response? Its my house, my roof, my schedule and my rules. It is NOT a hotel where you come and go as you please and help yourself to the food. So you have a choice to make, you can stay and follow our rules or you can move out and have your own rules, We can assure you though the latter is far more difficult. They were right.

NOW me living on my own...Well with roommates over the years, a hubby currently I have learned it is called Common Courtesy (however not so common). Living with girls it was so we didn't scare eachother coming in and if you weren't home and didn't call every single girl would call the others parents or start the major hunt. Not to mention, when we were dating girls, we ALWAYS left the boys name and phone number and where we were going, what if he hurt us?

Living with a hubby, we call eachother to make sure we get to or from work safe (both have long commutes and roads in winter are wretched) and let eachother know what time we expect to be home for dinner so we can kindly have a hot meal ready. And make social plans. Communication is key.

I think my parents sanity was me moving out...

Amie - posted on 01/06/2010




My parents had much the same rules as you seem to be trying to apply to your son. When we turned 18 we were legal adults, that's the same for all of Canada. We paid rent and were expected to tell our parents when or if we'd be home. It was simple and just common courtesy. Not only that 9 times out of 10 they'd ask what we were up to and we'd just tell them anyway just in case something did happen. They didn't demand we tell us which probably what made the process easier.

Their house, their rules. It's no different then when you have guests. They don't NEED to tell you where they are going and what time they'll be back but it is common courtesy to let you know. Not to mention freaking annoying to be woken up in the middle of the night by noises you aren't expecting and having a mini freak out.

Marcy - posted on 01/05/2010




Mistakes! We all make them on occasion. Better to let him practice adulthood while under your roof. At least then you have the opportunity to give good counsel. Otherwise he will not have any experience at independence and when those mistakes come later when he is on his own you will be lucky to ever even find out. Pray with him put on his armor of god and let him go. God can be there and do more for him then parents can.

Tamara - posted on 01/05/2010




Thank you all for your words of wisdom. After i wrote my question i realized that we are in the 4th stage. I realized that birth to 5 yrs. is stage one and school years are stages 2 & 3.

Rosie - posted on 01/05/2010




if he's not of legal age in your country then he should be asking you if he can go out and how long. i feel that if he is of age (i don't know if that will be soon for you or not) then i feel it's a different story. he should be doing what he wants to without interferance from you as long as he's not interfering with your home life. and if you feel strongly about it then he shouldn't be living with you at that time.

this is of course only my opinion, and you should do what you feel is right in your own home and like i said if your son doesn't like it then he should move out.

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