Who do you think is right?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Who do you think is right?
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 10:05pm
OK. My older son was 31 in July. He lived at home and went to university. After he finished university he got a job and he continued to live here. He didn't pay me any money, but he wasn't around all that much. He had his own room, did his own laundry etc.

A couple of years ago he and his girlfriend bought a house. They spent a year painting the inside - they didnt want to waste their summer inside painting the house etc. etc. Anyway, last spring he did actually move into the house. He took what he wanted from here and he left the rest. When he went away for the weekend my husband and I loaded his futon and dresser and computer and an entertainment unit into my husband's van and we put it in the spare bedroom in his house. He wasn't terribly pleased! He said he didn't want a load of junk there until he had the house straight. Mind you, the house has a full basement and he could easily store his belongings there rather than in my house.

After he left, I moved a futon into the room and my granddaughter, who is 10, has the room to play in and if she has friends to sleep over, they sleep on the futon. She also has a load of toys in there too. My son had a bookcase which he left in the bedroom when he moved. Every shelf was loaded with "stuff". Stubs from every movie they had ever seen, bits of paper, cassette tapes etc. etc. etc. Things kept falling off the shelves - especially the bits of paper - and my dogs would chew them up so I finally got some brown wrapping paper and taped it across the front of the bookcase so the stuff wouldn't fall off. The closet is totally full of his stuff. Its jammed in there - boxes and boxes of something - I have no idea what. He also has old jackets, including one reefer jacket that I bought him when he was about 12. They are coated with dust. In fact the whole room had cobwebs all over things and great rolling balls of dust in the corners. Which I cleaned up after my husband and I took the big stuff to his house. That was in the spring of 2002.

I have asked him to clean the room out and he just makes a big fuss and tells me to leave his stuff alone. If I happen to mention that its "my" room not his, he gets ridiculous and says stuff like "mine, mine, mine - everything is yours. I have never met anybody as selfish as you." Crap like that.

My granddaughter asked me to paint the room so I got several large cardboard boxes and I took everything - and I mean EVERYTHING off the shelves of the book case and packed them into the boxes. I packed all the movie theatre stubs - everything. And I stacked the boxes behind the door. I did not throw one single thing away. It was all there only in boxes rather than on shelves.

He came round today to get something out of "his" room and when he left he took the boxes with him, slammed the door and wouldn't answer me when I spoke to him. I take it he was sulking because I had the audacity to pack his stuff away after he has been moved out for 18 months!

When I told my younger son what had happened, his comment was that he thought it was just common courtesy not to touch someone else's belongings. I said - so I am supposed to store Julian's junk in precisely the same position that he left it - maybe for ever - or perhaps 5 years or 10 years until he condescends to take it away??? He said he didn't want to discuss it any more.

Who is right - am I crazy. What do young people think? I am not mad at my son - I don;t want him to take his stuff because I am annoyed with him - I just don't want it here and I think I should be entitled to use every room in my house, without getting permissions from him. I just think that when you move out into your own place, you surely don't expect your parents to keep your old room like some kind of a shrine for ever or until YOU decided that you feel like cleaning it out??

Personally, I think he is behaving like a 12 year old. Its not his room and its not his house. He is 31 years old and he has a house of his own!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 11:19pm
Right on, sister! I think you had EVERY right to do exactly what you did. In my house, the stuff would have been packed up in boxes and if he did not retrieve it in a timely manner, I would have set it by the curb and notified him where he could find it before the trash collectors arrived.

When I married my first husband, his parents kept his bedroom exactly as it was when he moved out - every movie stub, every ex-girlfriend's photo, exactly like he left it - for 13 years!!! Incredible. When we came to visit, we slept in that bed with all the paraphenalia of his childhood surrounding us. Very wierd.

Now enters husband #2, with a grown son and daughter. Son left for Taiwan a couple of months ago, and his Dad had him pack up every last scrap, move it to the attic for storage, clean the room, paint it, and shampoo the carpet! The day he boarded the plane and left home, his room was ready for use as a guest room or any way we saw fit.

Now that's the way it ought to be.

I love my kids and step-kids, but believe that my job as a parent ends when they leave the nest. Oh, I'll still be around to encourage them, even give hand-outs when it's needed, and a spare room to stay in when they're down on their luck. But that's it, Jack. They WILL pay rent if they stay here past the age of emancipation. (How would your son feel if you chose to use a room in HIS new house to store some of your junk? Betcha he wouldn't like that one little bit!)

You go, girl! Stick to your guns and tell those selfish brats to grow up and get their own lives, so you can have yours back!



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Mon, 08-18-2003 - 11:49pm
Well let me tell ya I am totally on ur side and I am 18! I live w/ my parents still and even now my mom is like "WHY is ur stuff in MY living room" because heck I have a huge bedroom and a bath that I share w/ my 16 yr old sister, upstairs. The only stuff of mine she tolerates downstairs are things I am using at that moment or of course food I might buy which is in the fridge, etc. When I move out u better believe my room is going to be immediately turned into a crafts room for my mom and I think that is FINE because ur right, it is YOUR house. Your son has his own house. He is being crazy IMHO, expecting u to leave all his stuff exactly like it was. I think u totally did the right thing moving his stuff into his spare room, in fact if anything I think its kinda crappy that u even had to do that, he should have taken it himself. Maybe I am just being weird here but I totally agree w/ u and actually if I were the mom in ur shoes I think there's no way I would have just taped up those bookshelves w/ all his junk, I would have put it in boxes and been like "come and get it or it goes to the trash/thrift store in 7 days" THE END! Sorry its causing such probs for u, it sounds to me like ur son needs to get over the fact that ur house is not his personal lifelong storage unit. Maybe for his bday or Christmas u could rent him a storage unit LOL :-) Rhiannon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 3:22am
I havent read the other responses yet but here is mine.

You are entirely within your rights. He obviously has money enough to own a house and is now on his own. If he wanted to use you as a storage facility fine BUT he should have had to pay to keep his things there especially if he has the means to store them at his own house (the basement). Im sure that would have gotten everything out of that room asap :)His things belong in his house. You said something about him wanting to wait til his house was setup before he took his things. I think you deserve your house the way you want it just as much as he wants his house the way he wants it.

Anyway hugs and dont be too hard on your younger son. He probably just doesnt want to be caught in the middle but at least he knows that once he is out he should take his stuff with him :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 10:06am
Actually, we discussed this last night with friends. They laughed. My neighbour, Marie said - there is no way I would have left that stuff sitting there for over a year. And the stuff in the closet - I would go through that before he left and make him take it or I would store it in the crawl space or chuck it.

My husband said - after they had gone - that my problem is that Julian knows full well if he comes back here and I am on my own and he gets mad and starts shouting and yelling - I will back down. He said its your own fault for letting Julian intimidate you!

I know he is right, but the reason why Julian does this is because back years ago, when the boys were teenagers, I would get into a disagreement with one of them. I would go to my husband and say stuff like "His room is a total mess with food on the floor and dirty dishes." And my husband would say "well tell him to clean it up or you will throw the stuff in the garbage" And then come meal time when I tackled the son about the mess, the son would get rude and my husband would back him! After the son yelled and made a fuss and I turned to my husband and said "you agreed with me he should clean up" my husband would say something like "he's told you he's not going to clean up. Its your problem. So shut the hell up about it."

In disciplining kids you need a united front. I had NO chance when my husband either backed the kids or was rude to me - which the kids took as backing them!

According to a friend of Susan, my older son's girlfriend, Susan asked Julian why he was so rude to me and Julian told her that "my brother and I started being rude to my Mom and my Dad didn't seem to care and so we kept right on doing it."

Now I am older and I am not a wimp and my husband now knows he can't get away with it, he will back me, but my son is smart enough to know that if he wants to pick a fight with me, he can do it when my husband is at work!!

Anyway, Julian wanted a ride to the airport on Friday. As he left I called out "what time do you want me to pick you up on Friday" and he slammed the door and left. If he thinks I am going to lose sleep about missing an opportunity to drive him to the airport - he is mistaken.

I hear all these horror stories about families who don't speak to one another etc. etc. that I am afraid that if I stand up to Julian and make him mad at me, he will go off and never speak to us again. As it is he spends all his time at Susan's house because her parents are really well off and I think he likes it better there. We are certainly not poor but we don't live in the style that Susan's parents do by any means. The reason why he wanted a ride to the airport is becuase Susan's father is flying him down to Florida where Susan's brother has been living and Julian and Susan's brother are going to drive the brother's car back up to Canada.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 11:18am
Prince Julian needs a wake-up call. You are his mother. You deserve to be treated with honor and respect. I noticed in your last post that you said you are afraid to make Julian mad at you because he might not speak to you again. Would that be so awful? Where is the loss when he is so rude and demeaning anyway? Stop catering to him and stop letting your fears rule you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 11:41am
"According to a friend of Susan, my older son's girlfriend, Susan asked Julian why he was so rude to me and Julian told her that "my brother and I started being rude to my Mom and my Dad didn't seem to care and so we kept right on doing it." "

I think all teenagers do that to an extent as their way of asserting independence but he is a grown man now and should act like it. Its ashame that your husband wouldnt back you up when they were younger. I suppose now he can see how that did more harm than good. I hope Susan has the common sense to stand up to your son if he treats her that way. They say if a man treats his mom badly then he will probably do it to his wife/gf as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 1:16pm
Amen to tika! You are the mom and you should be treated with respect, especially if you did your job of taking care of your children. And any man that treats his mother with disrespect will definitely treat his gf like that, even more so if she is really submissive. Dont take that shiz niz girlfriend! You do what you want when you want HOW you want in your house! He needs to grow up if he wants to live in the real world.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 4:53pm
I think if he is rude to her she gives it right back.

Its interesting how the dynamics of a relationship work. Years ago, for some reason, I was totally afraid to stand up to my husband. For some reason I was afraid that he would leave me and I couldn't live on my own. Now I realize that I could do very well for myself thank you on my own and so I don't give a sh** - and he knows it and so he doesn't push it with me.

Sometimes when I think back and remember all the things I let him get away with - spending all his spare cash on himself when I spent mine on the house and the kids etc. etc. - I cannot believe what a goddam wimp I was! Why the heck I thought I couldn't manage without a man I have no idea. Most women could manage a lot better without a man than a man could without a woman!!

I saw Julian today and he said that I might have told him first before I packed his stuff away and how I hadn't packed it properly etc. etc. So I said - for heavens sake - you moved out 18 months ago, how many times do I have to tell you to take your junk away? And by the way - I want that stuff moved out of the closet so I can paint the room.

He muttered something about not wanting to take it until his house was straight - which at the rate they are going will be 20 years!! I just ignored it. I will tell him once more once I have a look at it, becuase I think its all in little shoe boxes and I don't fancy breaking my back moving the crap!

Edited 8/19/2003 5:00:11 PM ET by lizwil98

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 3:39pm
I think your son is acting like a 12 year old. I think you were totally within your rights. In fact, I don't think it would have been unreasonable for you to tell him that you needed the room and he had 30 days to move all his stuff out and that anythign which was left was going to be given away or thrown out. He's an adult now.

I still have some stuff stored at my mom's house since I live in a small apartment and she has a garage, but it's all boxed up. My old room is now the guestroom/office.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-20-2003 - 11:44pm
I'm trying to think what happened to my STUFF after I got married. I packed what I wanted, and since we were going from one state 3000 miles away, not knowing I'd be coming back home a year later, I found my stuff still as it was when I left. But month by month, after we bought a house, my mom went thru them and asked if there was anything I wanted from my old room. I guess I didn't have much to begin with. . . Now about my oldest son when he move. . . .My basement was beginning to get too crowded, since he lived there during his high school years. Then he started coming home with STUFF from work, and college, and my basement AND living room was getting too crowded, and since our old room now belongs to our youngest son, our oldest son moved into a condo and brought what he wanted there. His basement and my husband's stuff from the boat (we're buying a bigger boat) now overstuffed the basement, I don't even want to go down there, there's no place to walk. But, if you have to make room for your granddaughter and he bought a house, I'd say YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to move them! ! ! ! You gave him plenty of hints. He was just being too immature and it's time he grows up. What does his wife thinks of his behavior?

He'll get over it, he'll have a son and / or daughter he'll KNOW AND UNDERSTAND what you did wasn't WRONG. Let him pout for a few days, and he'll come around.