Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ripple Effect Life

My two adult children have fairly good heads on their shoulders. They also though have picked work fields where stable 9-5 employment is rare or nonexistent.  They both need to pay their dues, taking the short term jobs, building a work portfolio, lining up the next gig, hopefully leading to a time when they have such steady work, they truly are making a career out of it.  This has meant sleepless nights for me, as I hear about the in between times, and can't help but take on a mothers worry. The last few weeks have been particularly anxiety inducing for me.

DS's lease on his apartment was up the end of November and his roommates going in different directions. He really wanted to find something very small and live on his own.  Without  12 months of one employer, and not having a bank account with 12 months of rent in reserve, nor a documented salary of 3X his rent, he was having no luck finding something new. On top of that, if he did find someone more understanding of the nature of his work in the entertainment industry, the place was snapped up before he could meet the landlord in person. I was seriously worrying about him landing on the street, sleeping in his car, his futon bed, desk, television, clothes and cookware as his roommates. Not his perfect plan, but yesterday he was able to find a sublet room in a three bedroom apartment, a legal sublet, in the same building as his former place. While not what he wanted, it is affordable, and can work month to month until something more of what he wanted and more in the area he wanted to live comes available. He did unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, have to stay two nights in a motel, spending money he doesn't;t have because he hadn't lined up a storage locker for his stuff, so couch surfing with a friend, his original plan, wouldn't work. He hadn't gotten some money back, and a delayed paycheck deposit, meant his cash flow was a little tight.  Welcome to Bank of Mom for a 30 day loan. 

DD#1 is back home, more than likely at least until February.  In the last twenty four months, she has had eight addresses, not counting three months living on the road in an RV for her job last spring. This only counts one of her three stints back home with us. The job she took this fall with the organization she worked for this summer turned out to be nothing she was promised, nor what she wants to be doing.  She used little to none of her experience and expertise, and was working with young people in a completely different need than she felt she could do.  Misrepresentation on salary, working hours, and staffing structure made it just a not workable. Add in the fact that she was geographically isolated from not just her friends and family, but also with a work schedule that would make meeting anyone new, friend or potential more than friend, difficult, she was quite miserable. She has a couple freelance projects lined up, and is massively looking for something in the Twin Cities.  She is giving herself a two month window to pull something together enough to relaunch on her own, but for now, her apartment contents are back in our garage, basement, and crammed in her old bedroom, again. . 

I wouldn't describe their lifestyles as boomerang, where young adults end up back with their parents for endless periods of time.  I feel like it is more like a ripple effect-they make decisions, and then if things go faulty, it ripples back to me and DH. Granted, neither has anyone to look after besides themselves, but it doesn't help me yearn for stability for their lives. My home will always be open for any of my kids, and if the occasional hand up is needed, well, what are parents for. When both DH and my parents were our age, or when we were our kids age, they provided hand ups in ways like free babysitting, picking up clothes or miscellaneous "gifts" for our young, just launching family. While I don't believe parents owe adult children anything, and certainly should not put their own future and retirement at risk, helping out when needed is what families are for. However, it might be along two months. 


  1. We have been in this arena recently. We had to co-sign for eldest's first apartment as he had little to no credit history but it was a formality only as he had the income to pay it fully. I spent money going with him to VA to find his current place and happily we didn't have to cosign again. We did need to loan him a couple K to repair his car recently as he spent quite a bit of his savings relocating from Pittsburgh to VA but we have a written loan contract with him for this money.

    We ended up giving Daughter the rest of her college money to buy a house 2 yrs. ago as she was in a bind finding some place to rent to live in LA. If she goes back to school she'll have to figure out how to finish paying for that now.

    Short of throwing money at them if they are not making good choice with their own money I'd help my kids as much as I can. True we won't jeopardize our own retirement but if they needed a temporary place to live, food, etc. I'd be there in a heartbeat.

    1. I wonder sometimes if I have stepped in too early, instead of making them sweat it out. I don't think I have thrown money, but it is a balance to push for and know they will attain self sufficiency.

  2. Anna graduated with a teaching degree in 2014. She moved with her boyfriend to CA to live with his best friend. Then the best friend got a better job in Denver so the 3 of them packed up and moved there. She worked in a second hand store until she could find a teaching job. BUT since they got their degrees in IL the standards were different SO they would have to go back to school which they didnt' have the money for. They did just land jobs at a teaching center/day care so that is good news but still, I worry all the time. DJ is still in college but he is going into accounting so I hope that he will land a good job right out of the gate.

    1. I admire that these young people are willing to pick up roots and start in a fresh place.Sometimes I wish I'd have taken a few more leaps of faith. Some stability though would make me sleep better.


Join the conversation. Your respectful comments are welcome. Spam and advertising products or services without permission will be deleted, as will anything deemed hurtful to others. A change, I moderate comments older than three days to be sure I read them all and stay ahead of the spam. If you're a blogger, feel free to include your blog URL.