Living in the house with an adult child is sometimes a challenge, especially if they have a disability, like our daughter, Shantel, who is totally blind. On one hand Shantel wants to be treated as an adult, and is even talking about wanting to move out on her own. She has been trying to find an apartment she can afford with a roommate, but so far that hasn’t panned out so well. More on that in a later post.

While Shantel wants to be treated as an adult, she still wants me to do certain things for her. My challenge is always trying to find that balance between helping her and letting her figure out how to do things on her own, especially since that is what she will be doing when she does finally move out on her own… I call this challenge my transitional journey. The reason it is such a challenge for me is I have spent Shantel’s entire life making sure she had what she needed, as needed. Dealing with medical issues, fighting for her rights in school, helping her find ways to get involved in activities when she was left out of things other kids her age were doing, helping her understand homework when it hadn’t been brailed for her to read it herself…

Most mother’s try to help their children reach their full potential just as I did with Shantel. However, at some point most sighted children do get jobs, driver licences, and begin to spread their wings little by little. Shantel will of course never have a driver’s licence, and dealing with dial-a-ride as her only means of transportation is a nightmare in and of itself most of the time… As far as finding a job goes, I have never seen anyone work harder at trying to find a job than Shantel has over the years. She wants nothing more than to be working and earning her own income. I can’t tell you how many interviews she has been excited to go to only to come away disappointed when she was told one reason or another for why they will not be hiring her… So, I continue to help Shantel work through all these issues as best I can. I continue to drive her to job interviews when she gets called to one, I continue to drive her to places she wants to go so she won’t be left sitting on a dial-a-ride transfer bench for hours on end just so she could get to a store to pick up something she needs… and I will continue to do these things for her as long as the motivation for me to do so is there… What do I mean by having the motivation there for me to keep helping her now that she is an adult? Let me explain…

I clean our house top to bottom every week. All I ask is that once the house has been cleaned, everyone living here help keep it clean…  There are only a few simple rules I ask them to keep, which are:

If you open it, close it

If you drop it, pick it up

If you take it out, put it back

If you know the trash needs to be taken out in the bathroom, take it out

Keep the shower curtain closed so it dries well

Wipe the counter tops dry after you use the sinks

Put your clothes in the hamper and not on the floor.

That’s it. Simple and easy… And, as long as those things are done consistently, you won’t hear me bitch!!! Note to readers: keep this message in mind as I continue to speak about my motivation to help those who want my help…

Shantel is struggling in her biology class so her instructor asked that she come to a one-on-one meeting with her every Friday from 7-8 a.m. That means an extra 40 plus mile round trip for me to drive to Phoenix. But hey, she is my daughter, and I want to help in any way I can. However, now, since we are going to be in Phoenix on Friday’s anyway, Shantel is asking me to take her to several other locations.

Here is the Friday line up for this week:

6:30 a.m. – Drive to the bank so Shantel can withdraw money

7-8 a.m. – Shantel meeting with her bio instructor while I sit somewhere outside and read a book

8-9 a.m. Shantel and I find something to do until her Mid-K store, where she buys her make-up, and her Sally’s beauty supply store open

10:00- 11:00 – Take Shantel to Wal-Mart

11:30 – take Shantel to get her nails done. Then, after the nails are done, Shantel usually wants me to take her somewhere to pick up something she can buy and bring home for lunch…

I told Shantel I would be happy to take her to all the above mentioned places as long as she continues to keep her end of our deal and keeps her room picked up, the bathroom clean etc… She agreed and said “OK, sure, no problem” Readers, hold that thought.

Yesterday, I went into Shantel’s room and found clothes all over the floor. In addition, the hall bathroom, that she uses, was a real mess with paper towels laying on the floor because she has issues putting her hand close enough to the trash can so she holds the used paper towel over the trash can and hopes it goes in when she lets the used paper towel go. She doesn’t seem to think me picking up her used paper towels is as much of a problem as it is for her to make sure she gets her trash in the trash can… her sink counter was all wet and the shower curtain was half in and half out of the tub. I was pissed to say the least.

When Shantel got home from school, and got settled in, I told her about the mess in her room and in the bathroom she uses… Shantel said “oh yeah, I was going to clean all that up but I forgot.” I simply said “That’s OK, now see if you can forget about all the things you wanted me to do for you on Friday, because that deal is off.” I said “if you want me to help you, I need you to do what you agreed to do to help me too.” That is what will motivate me to want to do things for you. So we’ll see how well you can keep up your end of the deal  for next week.

I never saw a bedroom and bathroom get cleaned up so fast in my life… Seems like she got a little motivation of her own… 🙂

Stay Tuned!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 01:12:53

    well they always say…you gotta lay down the rules and stick to it! It definitely works both ways!! xoxo


    • beyondcinderella
      Oct 31, 2013 @ 01:21:47

      As much as it pains me to “lay down the rules and stick to them…” Especially with Shantel, I know I have to as she is now an adult child living in the house… So, all I can say is AMEN to that Frissy,


  2. katsbynp
    Nov 02, 2013 @ 00:06:35

    You are doing a wonderful thing for Shantel. You are continuing to assist her in her independence. I think you will continue to have the motivation! Great post and thanks for sharing


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