Congratulations, you survived raising your kids during their tumultuous teens, and now they are adults. Chances are you’re very proud of them, even if they may have a few false starts getting their own adult life off the ground. So, what comes next? A quiet house and more expenses than you ever imagined. That’s because the price of rent, groceries, and gas has skyrocketed, making it nearly impossible for our babies to afford their independence. But with a little help and a lot of emotional support, they’ll spread their wings and fly from the nest you built to protect them.

Here are 10 things you can expect in this new chapter of your life with adult children:

1. No matter where they live, their mail will still be delivered to your house and accumulate on your kitchen table like the Great Pyramid of Giza.

2. You will be their official pet sitter. Dogs and cats are easy, but once they bring home their bearded dragon, snake, or pet tarantula, you’ll need to practice the art of saying NO.

3. Keep extra stock of toilet paper and paper towels. Your adult kids will always sneak a few rolls in their bags before they leave.

4. Your pantry will also become their personal grocery store. They’ll go on a shopping spree when they find your stash of chips, cookies, condiments, and pasta.

5. Buy laundry detergent in bulk because your adult kids will be over at least once a month to wash 20 loads of clothes (including their partner’s dirty laundry).

6. They’ll call you every ten minutes for step-by-step instructions while attempting to cook Grandma’s secret beef stew recipe. Be prepared for an onslaught of texts, including Instagram-worthy photos of their meal.

7. As much as they complain about not having enough money to pay rent, they’ll come up with $300 for concert tickets because they think ear-splitting music and flashing strobe lights are worth it.

8. The first thing they’ll do when they enter your house will be to explore the contents of your refrigerator. They’ll leave it open a good ten minutes, staring in wonder as if it’s the wardrobe door that leads to Narnia.

9. Even though you are incredibly proud of your adult kids, they won’t appreciate the old photos you post of them on social media. This includes the picture of them in an ultra-tight Power Ranger bathing suit at their 10th birthday party when they were serenaded by Chuckles the Clown.

10. Keep a bathrobe and flashlight next to your bed at all times because you’ll receive S.O.S. texts in the middle of the night when they’re stuck on the highway with a flat tire. They’ll also call you for help when they have a fever and believe they are dying from the West Nile Disease. You’re the parent, after all, and even though they may not say it, you’re still their number one hero.

Author Bio: Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of Who Stole My Spandex? Life In The Hot Flash Lane and the voice behind the midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Independent, U.S.A. Today/Reviewed, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, AARP, Woman’s Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, and many others. You can find her at http://www.

4 Responses

  1. Love this and so true on so many levels. My older daughter has always lived so far away, that she has never done any of these things. Our
    middle child lived with us for a very short time after college, and now when we visit her it would be me asking for recipes, she at this moment
    in time being the better and more interested cook. Our son, our youngest, lives just down the street, so now we enjoy he and his wife popping in
    for a beer, dinner, whenever they want. Or we often do take-out. Life is so relaxed and we love reminding him of his younger days.

  2. Loved this piece and it’s soooo true! But then I remember staring into my mother’s frig for a good few minutes when I first moved out, searching for worthy leftovers! Some things don’t change. Terrific essay!

  3. I love Marcia’s outlook and all spot on! Mine are all in their 30’s now and the refrigerator comes right after the hug and the pantry is next in line! Then it’s laundry. Every. Single. Time!

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