This document was inspired one morning (now more than fourteen years ago) by the fact that I walked into the basement laundry room to find the towels of my grown daughter Ashley all over the place, with lint all over the dryer. Although Ashley is typically a wonderful helper, she surely was unaware she had left the laundry room in that condition.
I realized I did not want this to recur. Accordingly, I also realized that was the time I must formulate the much-anticipated and many-times-promised (or threatened, depending on your point of view) rules for Alice Haddow’s House for Grownups, or AHHG, as we lovingly called it.
These rules were written in 2002 as our family prepared to move to a new home. I realized it was the right time to set a new set of ground rules as the transition took place: new home, new rules. Most of our six children were in various stages of true adulthood -- attending college, working at full-time jobs, and looking for what they wanted to do in their lives -- so the need for setting our new rules was vitally important and timely.
Now, some 14 years later, I have read news reports about how more than a third of the “Millennials” are living at home with their parents, which may mean slim to zero empty nesting for my generation. I have personally observed that phenomenon in our experience with our six children, and now six (almost eight) grandchildren. Because I love my grandchildren to the moon and back, and because they are small children, I have found a strong proclivity to exempt them from any and all AHHG rules.
“Living” with parents, as one writer characterized it, does not mean “taking advantage” of parents. To that end, I dedicate these rules to every mother who finds herself with these “roommates,” whom she will likely adore not only in young adulthood but perhaps well beyond.