Cutting the apron strings!! - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
47,667 members59,614 posts

Cutting the apron strings!!


So its all picture no sound, as we say here in belfast, everyone including me is sulking in the Donnelly house hold. My teenage adult children have been causing me considerable stress, angst and aggrivation as they champ at the bit to be recognised as an adult.

A power struggle has been in progress for the past few weeks and my ear drums and those of the neighbours have been subjected to the sound of banging doors and shouts of "stop treating me like a baby" Today things finally came to a head and after another almighty row I have decided to conceed to my childrens right to be recognised as fully fledged adults I called a house meeting today and explained that being an adult grants them many rights but that with rights come responsibilities and as off today I am handing over to them the following responsibilities;

Preparing/cooking their own meals

Doing their own washing/ironing

Getting themselves up for and out on time to work/school

Making and attending appointments e.g. Gp, dentist, gym, barber/hairdresser etc

Attending to their grooming routine e.g. Blow dry hair, apply tan

These are just some of the many tasks i carry out daily for my children but as off today I am on strike and will remain so untill my children learn that being adult is not just about having rights and entitlements but is also about being responsible and respecting the rights of all the other adults who live In the house.

So battlelines have been firmly drawn and I will keep you updated :-)

Dixie xx

16 Replies

stay strong!



I went through the very same thing with my son's a few years ago and told them that rent and bills also have to be shared in a house of adults, so they would need to get some part time work for there share, otherwise they would not have the comfort of electric and heating in there room, that hot water would be limited to 1 shower or bath a week and gave them there own cupboard for food in the kitchen, amazing they did not last long before they gave up and learn't to compromise lol good luck stay strong Hugs xx

Lol thanx sandra Im full of fire and passion and rightous indignation tonight and am hoping that this feeling of resolution lasts. Im feeling a tad ganged up on at da min lol wouldnt mind if I was dealing with 4 wee teenagers who dont know any better but these are big lumps ranging in agd from 18 - 26!!! Ive spoilt and pampered the wee gits for far too long so have to share some of the blame so now its war and may the best mum win lol :-)

Well done!! i am a parent of 4 and a working one and over the past 2 and half years things have had to change and like you have just listed this also had to change in mine!

A member of staff was quite shocked that i pretty much did everything for my kids and i had to shout and my vocals were then having to take a recovery break !

So rules were laid down.. my children are 23, 22 this week, 16 and 12 yrs so really mine are of age to look after themselves ie. the washing of their own clothes, the tidying of their bedrooms, prepareing and making tea, going to their appointments without me having to be on hand to chauffeur at drop of a hat .

my 16 year old said one day as his tea was not on the table for him coming home from school as my day at work went on too long with staff..

i said have you had anythign to eat .. he said no .. me why.. because that is your job to put our tea on the table !!

From that moment it hit a nerve and i thought to myself well...i never forget the Midwife of my 1st child saying to me

YOu are not entitled to a life your life is now your child and you are their life until the age of 16!

puh oookay so i stuck to most of that and 3 more later .

so now i had the power to turn round and say are now legally old enough for this this and this and you will now if i am not home make your own tea and sort your own washing and empty the bins, wash the pots after you use them and put away. etc etc etc as i will do a book hahaha..

my son of 16 moved out to live with his dad my 23 yrold he moved out to live with his friend after saying that he would stay home until i was in a home puh again!!

my 21 yr old wanted to keep going abroad for months on end and coming back to a roof over her head and giving her a job back time and time again and not paying board, so now

like you over the past 2 and half years it all changed and i persisted.

My 12 yr old is the most independant and loves cooking and sees to the pets and helps with the shopping etc and they all thing she is 'spoilt' i think that is the wrong word i think she has been more deprived of living a 12yr olds life like they had because she has had to do more than they ever did!!!

So i say HERE HERE you stick to your guns too and keep that Diary or a weekly rota like i did if not kept up with on one then they do extra next time to make up they soon learn to keep up with their 'own' chores !

sorry i have to go on... i once in a customers house before i got like i am saw a rota and thought OMG that is so not rite the house looking so formal on a weekly job sheet shared by the kids.. now i say to myself never 'judge' there may be a reason like ours for it :-)

Thats it for now heheh

any talks you want to have or to defuse i think it is you can blurt off at me as i am full aware of what its like with a house full of kids and not keeping up if no order is kept.

my hubby does a full day, comes home cooks tea or prepares for following day, he always done pack lunches, , keeping the kitchen cleaned as we have a big dog that i get all hyped about hygeine so cannot cook without it being cleaned lol he does the washing on Fridays and saturdays, he puts it all away, he gets a bit confused with our teenage daughters bits and ppieces as he believes her room is her privacy.. it is to an extent but mould would grow in them bedrooms lol , he hoovers or my older daughter does, he does the activities with our daughter, DIY decorating (where i loved doing it) he does the garden (i used to do it)

i think they starting to realise how much i did prior to this ..

Everything hurts my hands or dropping things or i just do not have the strength and as i have to work running my work i just cannot cope anymore end of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThank you for that it helps to know i not feeling guilty as a parent

Thanx tess glad to meet another mum whos been through it and not only survived but secured a successful outcome :-) gives me some hope for a victory lol

Xx dixie Xx

Hi cazzie thanx for the reply again its good to hear in not on my own with the parenting of wanna be adults. Im all for promoting maturity and independence in my adult children but lately its been all about their right to come and go as they please, stay up to whatever time they please, disrespect me and the house rules as they see fit and still expect mum to cook clean prepare and cook meals wash nd iron their clothes all whilst holding down a job!!! So things need to change in the Donnelly household and its now or never so im gonna give this strike my best shot :-) fingers crossed I break em soon lol x

Dixie xx

Oh Dixie, i so understand, i too have a teenager, one minute wanting independence the next not coping with life, needing help, lifts, washing, meals, last minute arrangements etc My problem is she has had depression for two years and was so ill that i had to do everything for her, she has been slowly recovering but relies on me when it suits, so difficult to withdraw. I too struggle with depression and i am feeling my husband has no idea how it all effects me. Good luck and stay strong xxx

Hi RJ63

Sorry to hear that your battling with depression as well as the dreaded fibro. I too find it difficult to withdraw as some if my children have mental health conditions e.g. Aspergers and personality disorder so the lines between mum and carer can become quiet blurred and you can find it hard at times to step back and be firm and disciplined as people with mental health conditions can become very adept at manipulation. Im hoping things begin to improve at home soon as im hating the atmosphere and feeling of isolation at the min but im determined to see this through because i need to teach the children a lesson and help them learn to appreciate the things I do for them. Thanx again for the support and heres hoping things improve for all us dedicated fibro mums :-)

Cheers Dixie xx

Dixie xx

I also had 3 sons, when each one of them turned 7 they started to learn to cook, to sew, and to do laundry. I did it for several reasons it was good math lessons and reading lessons. I told them because I won't always be around and they may not get married or have a girl friend around to do it for them. My son Gary was divorced and had 3 sons of his own. Being a single dad was never a problem for him as far as meeting the boys needs, Food, Clean Clothes and he even made their costumes for Halloween. He use my treadle sewing machine. Too many men don't know how to do these things because their mothers did it for them. He is such a wonderful dad, I'm very proud of him. I love my boys so very much and didn't like the thought that someday they could be alone and not know how to sew a button back on a shirt or cook himself a nutritious meal or have to keep wearing the same clothes because he didn't know how to do laundry. This does not mean that when they became teenagers there weren't struggles and discipline problems, thats just a teenager they are self absorbed. One of my son's isn't married nor has a girlfriend at this time but he can take care of himself. My middle son is a better cook than his wife. I am glad I did what I did, it was never punishment, just part of life.

Gentle Hugs, Hugs, Hugs

Precious 44


Hi kathy

Thanx for replying and well done on bringing up your boys so well. I agree that mothers definetly spoil their boys and make it hard for the girl they eventually marry who has to spend time moulding them into shape, unfortunetly us irish mammys are the worse in the world at this lol. My two oldest children have acquired a high level of life skills unfortunetly the two younger were only 2 and a half and 5 months when I split up from their dad and I think I over spoilt them to make up for the lack of a dad in their lives. Whatever the reasons behind it I am determined to change things now and teach them a lesson :-) heres hoping i succeed keep your fingers crossed for me xx


Morning Dixie would you believe it you sound so like me. Yes I did the same thing it had to be done.... particularly my daughter who was attempting to rule the house and I was caught up in it all. I can still hear her boots thundering up stairs (didnt have any carpet then) crash bang slam of the door. The lights in the kitchen used to shake and I feared for the ceiling.

Did my rules work did she take responsibility well yes we are now very good friends lol

Our teenage rucktions were while my husband was suffering from Cancer she could not cope and he could not cope with her . He died after six months and both my children were marvelous we all pulled together. I am terribly proud of them!

Dont be afraid of standing your ground they will love you more for it I send you gentle hugs

from over the water ((())) xgins

i have 4 teenagers 1 has just left home with his pregnant fiance but theyve all learnt from an early age how to use washing machine, iron, and how to cook.

so they have been doing their washing since they were 12 i do cook for them when i come home from work unless im too tired then they get their own without complaining, although sometimes cook for my daughter as shes pregnant and is suffering from terrible sickness so need to make sure she eats.

its never done them any harm and they can stand on their own 2 feet. ive never given them pocket money as couldnt afford it so they have always had part time jobs to earn their money that never interfered with their schooling so know the value of money. i may have been hard but ive always thought if anything had happened to me they would survive!

Well done Dixie so happy for you. It will be hard as they are stubborn little so and so's but stay tough.



Stick to it to extent if not fed make them aware how hard it is even with cleaning, they soon realise i not doing it as mot fit enough thats when they have realised how hard its becoming xxxx

Thanx all for the replies mum united or what!!!! Lol its day 2 and theyre slowly starting to realise that I mean business as I didnt rush home from work to make dinner and as a result theyve been making their own supper and I think beans on toast or baked potato is gonna wear thin within a week lol. Fingers crossed they get the message soon enough and we can sit down and negociate a truce, sort out a rota for chores and start communicating again. Untill then its a case of continuning to strike untill they start to recognise & value my role. :-)

Dixie x

Don't know what to say to you - I went thru this terrible crap it is so draining and quite heart breaking when you do your best. I have always been at logger heads with my daughter and she's 35 now!!!!! Stopped seeing her for over 12 months well actually she stopped seeing me when I became ill with fibro etc and had hysterectomy. I am gob smacked and over the moon at how well she has done without me !! She's got a job and already they are talking of making her a manager AND she's starting to phone, mainly to discuss grand kids AND I've just heard she will b joining me, my mum and dad for weekly fish and chips at pub!!! I can. Only conclude that kids no matter how old need space and time to reflect and appreciate their mum!!! She has told my sister how much she loves me and knows she has been not nice!! Hope this helps. Don't give up AND value yourself please!!! It may take time but your kids will realise you do your best. Good luck. I really feel for you xxxx