Lessons on parenting while being a landlady….

My husband and I have been landlady/landlord since we moved to Florida.  The property came part and parcel with the purchase of my husband’s chiropractic practice (which we have sold, but still have the property).  The major property is an early 1900’s house that now is a 7-apartment complex.  It’s not the Taj Mahal, but it’s in decent shape.  They are low-income, basic apartments.  I have learned much in the last 8 years.  I have many many times considered them my “thorn in the flesh”.  I could probably write numerous blog posts on things I’ve learned.  Even more than I did being a social worker before I had my boys.  And that’s saying something.

But here is one thing I can relate to my parenting.  I would rather rent an apartment to an ex-con than someone whose Mama has to help them get the apartment.   The Mama calls on behalf of the “child” (usually 18-21 years old).  They pay the deposit and first month’s rent assist their child in securing the apartment.  I am a slow learner.  I did this at least 3-4 times.  There were always loud, drunken parties at their apartments.  EVERY SINGLE TIME I had to either evict them or they abandoned the apartment, always behind on their rent.  I’ve cleaned apartments where I couldn’t see the floor.  Old food, dirty diapers, and unpublishable things were found.  One guy spray painted swastikas and dirty words and left excrement in the stove. (His mama worked at Legal Aid so he thought he was above getting in trouble).

As I homeschool my kids, I’m trying to incorporate the “home” part of the homeschool more than concentrate too much on only academics.  I want my children to be able to keep a checking account, look at apartments, change their oil,  etc.  Without me. Eventually.  If they can’t secure an apartment/home, why does it matter if they are microbiologists?  People used to bug me about when my kids were going to quit co-sleeping and breastfeeding.  My answer morphed into “my goal is to accomplish that before they leave for college”.  The conversation stopped after that.  But I think that should be my goal on life lessons, the basics.  Stuff you need to do to make it through general life.

I have a tendency to want to be too hands-on, and fix it all.  I can not do that.   Well, I can, but then I’m creating the irresponsible people children who have been trying to rent the apartments.  It’s not the age, as I have some very responsible tenants in that age bracket.  So, thanks Mama, your irresponsible child has had a positive influence on me.  In at least one area.  The rest, um…….no.

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