I moved out when I was 17. I was 21 when I moved back home with my parents. It lasted a crazy four months. I moved back because of a traumatic experience and my mental health was in serious need for restoration. In that time my mother made sure that I was healing and not moping or wallowing in self pity. I started working at the local grocery store. I was still responsible for paying rent, and buying the things I needed like toiletries, food, etc. So I get it. Your twenties are hard. The job market sucks – you can only get a great job if you have had 20 years of experience but can’t get 20 years of experience because nobody will hire you without it. Astronomical student debt loans is the first lifelong commitment many people make. More and more young adults are moving back in with their parents. Here is some advice to how to “successfully” live with the parental units as an adult.
1. Make Moving Out a Goal – A goal, not a dream. Write down what you need in order to move out successfully , and steps you can take to get there and give yourself a time limit. If you are in the same environment you were as a child – same friends, similar situation and job etc – you are not going to grow and mature. Think of a plant in a pot. Plants that stay in their germination planters can only grow so big and are often stunted – (then they die.) Act like a child – and you will remain a child.
2. Get a job/keep your job – Because you’re an adult and not a child. And the money you get from your job should be going towards rent and saving up towards independence.
3. Pay Rent – even if all you can afford right now is $25 a week. Pay something. Electricity, water, food etc all cost money. You should be grateful your parents are helping you out. True gratitude is not something that can be expressed passively. Don’t be a lazy parasite.
3. Take Responsibility – part of being an adult is that you become responsible for yourself. If you were living on your own you would be responsible for doing all the laundry, dishes, grocery shopping etc. Don’t treat mom like a maid. You should not be commended for doing basic shit. This is a part of life. It’s not “helping out” or doing your folks a favor, they are things you should be doing and without having to be asked. Your parents are helping you out, don’t take advantage of that by having them coddle you. Please grow up.
4. Be Respectful – Its still your parents home. They pay the bills. Its their roof, their rules. If you were renting somewhere else you’d still have to abide by a landlord’s rules – same with your parents. If you’re going out and won’t be back till late – let your folks know. Don’t have people over at odd times, be quiet at night, don’t use up the last of the milk and not replenish it, restock the toilet paper if you use up the last of a roll — You know, be a good roommate at the very least.
5. Give Them Some Privacy – Parents are people too and one of the benefits of having little birdies leaving the nest is that they get to have their own lives, space, and fill their new founded free time how they want. They still did their job by raising you even if you move back in with your fully developed wings. Don’t go through their things, or ask probing questions. If they want to share that’s up to them. But respect that they have their own things.
6. Don’t get Comfortable – if you are uncomfortable , then you are right on track. You are an adult, so having to rely on your parents should be uncomfortable. If you are perfectly content being a dependent on your parents, then that is what you will remain.
I am so grateful to have had parents who believe in my ability to succeed and who taught me important life skills. They empowered me by teaching me to succeed on my own and not cripple me by teaching me to be dependent on anyone. After all, parenting is about raising up functional adults – not children.