"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

Growing up.

Nobody told me that having children was easy, although at the moment I am finding it even harder realising that one of my daughters is about to fly the nest. Coralie went to get her exam results on Tuesday and despite having had to re-take seven exams she passed with “satisfaction”, whatever that may translate into in English. When she called me I was naturally delighted and then started crying for about an hour. I am so proud of Coralie who now has a degree in tourism that I cried tears of joy, pride and a rather peculiar feeling of inferiority.

I was crap at school and hated studying. Coralie was good at school and college but hated studying and yet it’s paid off wonderfully. Until she decides what she actually wants to do with her degree, and I don’t mean bin it, she will be working full-time as an hotel receptionist.

As of tomorrow.

Yes. Coralie will be earning as of 10 September, 2010.

At the rate I’m going I can’t see myself doing much more than flipping burgers – and even then I think I have to speak Flemish as well.

So I’m an extremely proud mother, yet sad to see the first child ready to leave home.

On the plus side, while she’s still here, how much should she pay me?;)


  1. Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to Coralie. It’s amazing how much satisfaction we get when our children do well.

    When I was earning and living at home my Mum took a third of what I earned. I hated it and everyone said she was mean, but when I left home I coped better with money than friends who’d never paid ‘rent’ to their mums. I don’t think I’d ask as much as that if mine lived at home. It will be interesting to see what everyone else says.

  2. Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Same university degree as me!!! I wish her all the best in her work. Where did she study? (I really relate to being interested in the course but hating deadlines and studying. I was OK if I was in the mood!).

    In reply to Anji my other-half never went over the fact that his mum took half his wages in rent. He’s crap with money and I am not great either, even though I never paid rent.

  3. a
    Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    They’re only grown up when they actually pay for lunch- rather than invite you out and then pretend they’ve forgotten their credit cards…

  4. Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to Coralie for her achievement. Now what can she use it for?

  5. Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Gina, Coralie (and her sister) studied at ISALT, here in Brussels.

    I think that Anji’s idea is good as it will make Coralie budget more – but then, I will have to note down when she eats and showers here, etc. Aaaaarg, difficult.

  6. Hilde
    Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to you & Coralie !That’s how I started my professional life as well.
    I would do it gradually and start by giving her once every 2 weeks, a grocery shoppinglist:-)

  7. Anonymous, too
    Posted Friday, September 10, 2010 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Coralie, congratulations! And setting a good example for your sister and brother, too ;-)!

    As for paying rent in cash money, I don’t know if that’d help or not. I didn’t have to, but can keep track of my basic finances. I think what helped me was having a part-time job throughout my teenage years. My parents told me I could use the money however I wanted. I ended up buying all my own clothes (if my Dad paid for them, his complete lack of fashion sense came into play), my own entertainment (movies, music, etc.), and my own textbooks and school supplies. Doing this helped me learn to shop smart — catching reduced-price sales, determining if an item was really worth the price on the tag, etc.

    Instead of rent, maybe Coralie could contibute to the magnificent McCarthy wine cellars. A half-case here, a case there. Reasonably good stuff, too — not the watered-down lacquer thinner with a little cough syrup for color and flavor.

  8. Posted Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Take as much as you can :p

  9. Posted Friday, September 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    A lot!

  10. Posted Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    A third of her take home pay sounds pretty good to me. If you think it’s too much then just save it up and give it back to here at her wedding.

  11. Amanda
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Heard a good method recently. Get her to pay a reasonable rent for a room and keep it for her for when she´s ready to move out! Compulsory savings will help when she eventually moves out!

  12. Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Well done to Coralie! My two ‘children’ are in their thirties, unemployed and living at home. They do help out with cooking, cleaning and gardening but a bit of loot would be lovely. See if Coralie offers anything from her paypacket at first -or is that hoping too much?

  13. Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Amanda, that’s presuming I take some of the money out for living here? It’s a good idea although I think it would push Coralie away 🙁

    Sandy, I think that would be hoping a bit too much. Although she didn’t blink when she had to pay to get her hair cut the other day.