Moving back home when you’re used to living on your own will be challenging. The rules (or lack thereof) that you’ve set up while independent will have to adjust according to the new circumstances. Home-cooked family dinners on the table will be part of the schedule instead of eating takeout food while watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory. You now have to store your clothes properly instead of piling them up on the clothes chair. And the list goes on.
Having roommates again is also hard. More so, if they’re your parents. Yes, they took care of you when you were young, responsible for your upbringing from food and shelter to education and guidance. But they are also a source of the psychological problems you might be facing. Living with them can trigger past negative experiences, especially if you have not come to terms with the issues.
To make the arrangement work and less stressful, a balance between your lifestyle and expectations as well as your parents should be achieved. The dynamics are not the same when you were young and lived at home. It’s important to respect their house rules, but it doesn’t mean you have to completely change your lifestyle, and vice versa. Here are the do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for a harmonious relationship.
Help out wherever you can
It might be tempting to keep your life as separate as possible from your parents. However, this doesn’t mean you should leech from their goodwill and love for you. Your parents will appreciate it if you can contribute to the household, be it by paying rent and buying groceries or volunteering to cook and bring their broken vacuum to the vacuum’s service center.
Talk about boundaries and respect them
Moving back home as an adult is a different ball game than living there as a kid. You’ll have your expectations, and they will have theirs, but both sides won’t know unless you openly discuss them. Your parents might not be comfortable with the late-night company or you waking up in the afternoon after an all-nighter of bingeing Netflix shows. It is better to lay all the ground rules and negotiate in the beginning rather than finding about them later on.
Set a timeline and work toward it
This arrangement will not work forever. At best, you’re biding time and money to be able to stand up on your own again. Have a timeline and communicate this with your parents. It will give them a general idea of what your goals are and when they can expect you to move out again. They might also have leads that can help reach what you’re trying to accomplish faster.
Expect your parents to clean up after you
If you want your parents to treat you as an adult, then you have to act like an adult. Leaving dirty dishes on the sink, your bed unmade, and clothes strewn everywhere will send the signal that you can’t be responsible for yourself. This will invite nagging and unsolicited advice from your parents (with good reason) that can create tension in the relationship.
Hide problems and any issues
Pretending that everything is fine when it isn’t will only worsen the situation. Those hidden feelings will find a way out, whether through passive-aggressive comments or getting unexplainable headaches. Talking with your parents about problems, especially pertaining to them, will help in lessening the tension and even find a way forward.
Living with your parents again might be a tricky situation. But it can also be an opportunity to spend more time with them and get to know them on equal footing. You just have to pull your own weight, communicate often, and stick to the set timeline.