Dalia! So before you get all over me for spreading my friends business all over the entire www, she asked me to tell her story. Let this serve as a warning for all of you parents, soon to be parents, and grandparents. If you have babies or toddlers, I know they are cute now, but start setting those boundaries today. This could be you in a few years.
Our Bible passage of the day comes from Genesis 2: 24. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."(NIV) In the King James it says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." In other words, LEAVE AND CLEAVE! You can't learn to cleave if you won't leave. Why would you ever need to learn to weather the storms of life together if there are never any storms?
As you know, I can be just a teeny bit bossy. If I know that you are breaking the law, I will turn you in. Then I will visit you in jail...maybe. As a rule, I don't put up with nonsense, except for my own...even if I am the Queen of Nonsense. People generally don't call me if they are doing something foolish and ask me what I think, because if you ask me...I will tell you. My friend Dalia can't seem to learn this, so occasionally she calls me in the middle of her foolishness. Now, you need to know that God only made a few hearts like Dalia's. She is one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I have ever met. She reminds me a lot of my Mom. She is a loyal friend and I believe she loves Jesus with all her heart. She is also a doormat. A beautiful doormat, but a doormat nonetheless.
Dalia is the Mommy to 3 grown sons. I use the word "Mommy," because she still babies them all. I have seen her leave an adult, dress -up party to drive home and cook them a meal from scratch because they called and told her to. THEY WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND ALL HAD DRIVER'S LICENSES, JOBS AND CARS! They are now all adults. The youngest two still live at home, but they go to college and have jobs. The oldest one recently married and inherited an instant family. He lived at home until he got married. He has his own home now, but apparently, even so, they have moved into Dalia's house without asking. She would rather be liked than happy, so she is letting them just live in her house. She is cooking for them, watching their kids and not asking one thing in return. She hasn't asked them why they are there because she doesn't want her son mad at her. She also won't tell them to leave. AAAGGGHHHH!!!
I remember telling my Daddy I was mad at him one time. He was unconcerned with whether I was angry or not. He didn't stop to worry that I might not like him. He told me that I could "get glad in the same pants I got mad in." That is country speak for, "Watch your mouth. I don't care if you are mad. Get over it." When Ashley was a baby I developed my parenting "mission statement." I didn't call it that, but I have quoted it enough over the years that both kids know it by heart. Terry and I have set this standard, and I think it has worked. It goes like this: "It is not my job to be your friend. It is my God-given job and responsibility to be your parent. You will grow up to be a God-fearing, law-abiding, tax paying citizen of Earth. You may choose only whether you do it the easy way or the hard way. Either way, I'll go with you. I'm up to it. I love you!"
One of the things I first loved about Terry is that he treated his mother like a queen. I wanted to be a queen, and so I knew that he knew how to treat a woman because I witnessed it in them. They both think the other is perfect. She loves to spoil him and do special nice things for him. He loves to do nice things for her. It makes them both all happy inside. However, it is a treat and not an every day occurrence. He would never, ever take advantage of his mother. To him, she is a gift from God and should be revered as such. He would put her on the throne and meet her every need before she thinks of it, if he had the means. She would do the same for him, but she knows solving all his problems would keep him from being independent. I love their relationship. She is available for him any time he needs her, but she never meddles or butts in. They are an example I think everyone should follow.
Here is the Rant of the Day: It is not loving or kind to your children to set no boundaries and to let them just run all over you. It is not loving not to cut the cord when they are adults. It is not loving to allow adult children to take advantage of your kindness. It is not loving to allow your son to teach your grand babies to run all over you. It is not kind to allow them to grow up thinking women are nothing more than their servants. It is not loving to "baby" your adult children and meet their every need before they have a chance to be independent and work things out on their own. It is not loving to let your adult offspring be children! It is abusive, and a strong godly woman will not allow her son to treat her in such a manner. She is setting an example and she will not want her daughter in law to be treated this way. Your adult children cannot learn how to have a successful marriage if they have a "mommy" in the middle.
So, obviously I had to put Dalia ON NOTICE! She is a fearfully and wonderfully made woman of God who needs to grow a backbone. She wants you all to comment and give her some ideas as to how to get her son and his family out of the house. (OK, she thought you would all tell her how sorry you felt for her, but I told her this audience would probably not come to the pity party.) Here is my suggestion: On a large fluorescent pink poster board, write the following in large letters and attach it to your front door. Then there can be no confusion.
HOUSE RULES FOR ADULT CHILD WITH HIS OWN APARTMENT:
1) Love you. Mean it!
2) GO HOME NOW.
3) Call next time before you VISIT.
4) GO Home NOW! You should have left before you got to this line. Now GO!!!