Why I loved my ‘boomerang generation’
PUBLISHED: 07:24 12 March 2018
Parents’ lives are being made miserable by the ‘boomerang generation’. Sharon Griffiths has happier memories...
A picture in the papers last week showed a very tiny hedge sparrow struggling to feed an enormous cuckoo in its nest.
There’s many a parent will know how it feels…
Adult children who boomerang back home are making their parents miserable, says new research. Just when the old folks have got used to the empty nest, the peace and quiet, a grown child bounces back, hogging the bathroom, borrowing the car and nicking the last of the bacon.
Parents, apparently, don’t like it. Quality of life changes. Happiness levels plunge.
It is, according to researchers at the London School of Economics, the equivalent of developing an age-related disability such as difficulties with walking or getting dressed. Which seems a bit harsh.
I was that cuckoo. What’s more, having left my job and my flat on a whim, I went home – where else? - after five years away without a moment’s thought about whether my parents might not be overjoyed. I assumed those heavy sighs were just suppressed delight at my presence.
Luckily, they were very tolerant.
Except about the midnight baths… and the phone bill… and their drinks cupboard… and noisy visitors in the early hours…
So years later, when both my sons boomeranged back for months at a time, I knew the drill.
They might be back in their teenage bedrooms but your grown-up children aren’t children any more.
The least they can do for their bed and board is look after themselves. No cooking meals especially for them, or doing their washing or ironing. They’re adults.
This means they should cook for you occasionally, do the shopping, make themselves useful and not treat you as the hired hand. Otherwise, why would they ever leave?
Actually, I loved having my boys home again. It was a real bonus. Husband and I like our sons, enjoy their company and conversation. In return, they toned down the noise but never got out of the habit of sprawling on the sofa reading the papers spread out in bits all over the floor.
There again, they could effortlessly reach the tricky light bulbs and trim the high bits of the hedge and collect their non-driving father from the station. And we all knew it was only short-term.
The true job of parenthood is to make your children independent and yourselves redundant, so we were equally happy when, in turn, they loaded their cars again and drove off into their own lives.
Husband and I went back into the house and relished the silence.
It took us, oh, at least an hour to get used to it again.
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