Living With Your Parents Again? Here's How To Deal.
Home again ... It’s not your fault. Downsizing, the global health crisis, injury or accident, brutal divorce, or simply that your parents are needing YOUR support. Whatever the reason us independent and modern adults find ourselves living with our parents after 35… it sucks.
Why? Let’s list a few reasons, to stay on the same page:
Lack of freedom. I don’t know about you, but my parents mean well when they ask “where are you going?” or “what’re you doing?” or “when will you be home?” Srill, I find myself living within their hours, trying to get home before they get to bed so as not to disturb them and sneaking out when they are at work so I can get private errands taken care of.
Opinions. “You’re eating that?” or “What time did you go to bed last night” and “Did you order on Amazon, again?” are just a few of the things I hear on a weekly basis. I also get reminded of my situation and things I can do to make it better, unprovoked and unsolicited advice. The worst.
Expenses. Do you share expenses? Pay rent? Share groceries? Order a meal out together? I find that often if the lines aren’t strictly outlined, you can find yourself wondering if you owe them money or the other way around.
Decor. I want my room to be comfortable. It’s the only room I have. Literally. But, my mom was upset that I took down her “little house on the prairie” curtains. She nearly cried when I asked if I could change the shower curtain too. I won the bedroom curtains fight, but still have 1,000 hummingbirds staring at me from the shower when I’m brushing my teeth.
Cooking. This one is tricky sometimes. Perhaps you have a mom who loves to cook for you and spoil you with food. Maybe you don’t… I have the in-between mom and she cooks delicious foods, but I never really know when I should eat with my folks. I recently started an eating plan for my food allergies that makes it easier for me to just cook and keep my own groceries.
Space. I found that in the community space areas, there’s always a little bit of a tug of war. I can never find my mustard in the fridge even though it’s always stored on my one shelf. It gets stolen, misplaced, and used up more often than you think it would. And where’s my favorite couch blanket?
Now what? I know these are just a few of the scenarios that cause drama with ya mama. So how do we solve them? I am not your therapist (although writing this seems to have been my therapy for the week), but here’s what worked for me…
Stay in the right mindset
At the end of the day, you needed assistance or they did) and they let you move into their home. You are getting reduced living expenses vs living alone in exchange for the inconvenience. Remind yourself that as imperfect as your parents are, they did raise you at a cost and are still taking care of you now. And you don’t actually have to be there… you can choose to live elsewhere. Try to appreciate it!
What would "Real World" roommates do
Remember that first reality show on MTV that had nightmare roommates living together on camera? Living with any roommate can be tough without boundaries and it’s especially difficult to set boundaries with family. But, try to at least set them for yourself. Things like “Hey mom, I am going to use this shelf on the fridge only, ok?” or “I will be getting home late on ____, so don’t worry” or even having a family calendar for activities, shopping and meals can help. Even if they don’t use it, it can help your routines, establish a precedent, and show an attitude of trying to work together.
Grow a thicker skin
Don’t listen to the negative comments. Whether or not they strike a true chord, you have enough on your plate. Filter them out, knowing your parents either mean well and want what’s best or they are just jerks… but either way, they don’t live your life and they have no right to judge you for the adult you are. If it’s really bad, consider finding another space to live and do not put up with mental abuse. And the hardest thing to remember: Don’t insult them back or make it a fight each time. If it needs to be addressed, do so in a mature way possibly at a later time, stating how certain things make you feel and why.
Let things go
Circle back to mindset. You are living in someone else’s home with someone else’s routine and it’s most likely to save you at a time you most need it. You may find yourself more sensitive because of the trauma that landed you home, embarrassed or even angry. Don’t take that out on your parents. They don’t want you to take down the decor? Fine. They have weird rules you find difficult to live with? Try harder. They say annoying things… put it out of your mind and let that stuff go! If you really can’t… then maybe it’s not the right situation for you.
The bottom line: you don’t want to lose your family over these things. Use this chance to grow in more ways than one and level up your life, mindset, and relationships by practicing kindness, forgiveness, and peace. The childhood issues you had are heightened when living at home again, if you aren’t able to deal with this… you don’t have to. Find a new plan.
Either way, it’s temporary and won’t last forever. Try your best to learn from this any way you can. You grow through what you go through.