Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Gold at the end of the rainbow….. November 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 5:00 pm
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It’s been a good week in the man-child household – we are on the up.  Headlines of the week:


Man-child cleans room after threat from Mother!

clean room

You would have seen last week that I had reached the end of my tether.  Finally the dust and debris littering man-child’s room was too much for me.  Under threat of ME cleaning his room (and finding who knows what) he actually stayed home over the weekend and cleaned his room.  OMG!!!  There was actually enough carpet visible that I was able to run the vacuum over the floor.  I wanted to show him how nice the room could look with a small amount of effort.

I also had three loads of washing to do as a result of his room cleaning efforts – I told you there was a lot to clean up, not to mention the nice sheets that had been on his bed for a few months (yes, totally gross).

Now that we can see the floor, he has another task to tackle – his desk!  Such are the organisational instincts of our man-child, that he has everything on his desk and NOTHING in his desk drawers!!  Hasn’t he worked out the easiest way to “clean” is to shove it all in the draw or cupboard? 🙂

messy desk


Man-child actually has a paying job!

In another exciting development last weekend, my other man-child actually did some paid employment.  A bit of lateral thinking by mother of a man-child secured a short term gig mowing lawns for a school family.  Also this week, another job in the pipeline came off, with some garden maintenance work he can do during the Dec school hols (the latter through his initiative I am delighted to say).

He is clearly happy to have work, and enjoys manual labour and working outdoors like his twin brother.  He is also excited about the prospect of banking some money before the Christmas holidays.  Not nearly as excited as me!!!  He even needs to get a tax file number – all good as far as I am concerned – welcome to the real world.

So all in all a good week on the home front.  Small but important steps for the boys.  And a small step towards sanity for Mother of a man-child.  Now that’s a good job!

Here’s last weeks post:

And my previous musings and about job prospecting:


Clean Your Room – Part II November 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 10:25 pm
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vacuumA few months ago, I wrote with some excitement about the initial efforts of one of the men-children to clean his room.  So full of stuff was it, that two garbage bags of clothing barely made a dent to the mess on the floor.  But I was excited nevertheless, that we had made a small step towards cleanliness.

Now that said man-child is on “holidays” whilst he finds a full-time job, I mentioned the other day that it was the perfect opportunity to continue to clean his room.  My request was met with compliance and complete agreement from my man-child – with one caveat – he refused to commit to a time frame.  I realised this as each day passed with yet another excuse.

“Give me a break, I’m just on holidays”

“Mum, it’s the weekend, I’ll do it next week”

Q: “When are you doing it?” A: “Dunno”

And finally last week’s response – “you just don’t encourage me or motivate me do you” to which I explained that the first few requests were in fact quite pleasant, but by the time I had asked TEN TIMES I was no longer being nice about it!!!!

We reached a tipping point recently when I was in his room and noticed the layers of dust in the corner – and that was only what I could see readily.  Now to be fair, I wasn’t overly surprised by this, as I have instructed the cleaners to only vacuum carpet that has nothing on it – that’s about one square inch each week.

To top things off, his sheets went unchanged for about 2 months (yes, totally gross, but I absolutely refuse to do this for almost 18-year-old boys) and after he eventually stripped his bed and threw the dirty linen on the floor way back when, rather than make his bed he then slept with a blanket on his mattress, and just the doona (no cover) for another 2-3 months.  Ewwwww!  I tried to explain the benefits of fresh linen, and the wonderful collection of bugs etc that thrive on the human body and live in our mattresses and doonas if we let them, but to no avail.  The other day I explained that I had shared his delightful habits with a friend who was absolutely appalled, and surprise, surprise, that night, he actually changed his sheets.  I must have embarrassed him into doing it (the irony of further sharing his revolting habits with an even wider audience is not lost on me).

As to his room, I have now delivered him an ultimatum – either clean your room by Saturday night or I will clean it myself on Sunday.  Now that caused him to think about his options:

  1. Let Mum do it and find stuff I don’t want her to in my room (who knows what treasures I might find)…..
  2. Let Mum do it and throw out whatever she wants (I will file a lot of “rubbish” in the bin)…..
  3. Do it myself!

I will report next week as to the outcomes of my threat and/or efforts to clean his room.  In case you are wondering, no his twin brother is not like him (thankfully) and does keep his room reasonably tidy and change his sheets regularly.

You can read about my earlier excitement here:


The World at his Feet November 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 9:24 pm
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BulldozerA few days ago, one of my sons finished his course (and in effect his school life), and is now ready to enter the workforce.  He literally has the world at his feet, and the future of his career in his hands.  It’s an exciting, but also scary time.

For those who know our men-children, we made the decision over 12 months ago to let one of our sons leave school at the end of Year 10 and undertake a VCAL/Pre-apprenticeship course.  The academic life wasn’t for him (no matter how bright he is) and life as a “tradie” was begging.  He has spent the last 9 months at TAFE, doing a building course and to his credit thoroughly enjoying it (that’s the practical side of things, it’s fair to say he still didn’t love the academic requirements, no matter how basic).

In that time of “adult learning” they have taught them all manner of skills, both building related and not, and undertaken a vast range of modules, including green bowling (I kid you not), and community oriented activities such as teaching kids in schools.  I think our son has learned things about himself, and also about others.  He has certainly been exposed to a life outside of his sheltered private school upbringing (always a good thing) and probably has a new sense of appreciation for how fortunate he is.   This particular man-child has always been pragmatic and pretty down to earth, so I don’t think he’s been too far outside his comfort zone.  I have to say though, I’d like to send his twin brother along to TAFE for a short time – it might open his eyes a bit more!!!

So where to from here for our future “tradie”?  He has a part-time job he will continue, whilst he looks for an apprenticeship.  We have encouraged him to contact everyone he knows to make them aware he is job hunting, and also to seek recommendations from his lecturers.  I have also ensured that he realises it’s a tough employment market, and it might take a while to find an apprenticeship – not wanting to dull his enthusiasm – quite the opposite, to create a sense of urgency.

To the credit of our man-child, I am not at all concerned about him.  I know he has found his “thing” (how fortunate at 17 years old) and I have confidence he will do well in his chosen field.  I know he is not afraid of hard work, and therefore will be rewarded with success in due course.  He has also come to the realisation that his desire to leave home as soon as possible might be thwarted in the short-term, now that he has learned exactly how little the hourly rate is for an apprentice!!   As I said, if you want the ute, and have to pay for petrol, there won’t be much left for anything else (secretly of course I am happy about the chance to keep him at home a little longer – REALLY!!)

I told him the other day that we are extremely proud of him for completing his course and following his heart – I hope it confirms how much we believe in him, no matter how often we disagree about mundane details in our daily lives.

So onto the next chapter – whatever that brings.  I can’t help but share in the excitement of what might be around the corner for him…..I will worry when I need to, but just not now.

Our decision to let him leave school early wasn’t easy, but we survived the journey.   Read more below: