As you may already know, moving back in with your parents isn't always an easy thing to do. When I briefly moved back in with my parents last August, I had mixed feelings about it. Don't get me wrong, I was (and still am) extremely grateful to my folks for providing me with a safe, peaceful, and free place to crash while I prepared to move to New York. At the time, I was trying to heal from a break up that — despite the fact that I initiated it — was so devastating I needed Xanax just to fall asleep at night for awhile. Home was exactly where I needed to be.
That said, moving back home after living on your own can feel like a huge step backward — and figuring out how to respect your parents' home but still do your own thing can be really challenging.
Whether your folks raised you in a conservative, religious, home-school setting like mine did, or they were a bit more liberal than that, all parents have rules — and considering our parents literally gave us life, and are doing us a considerable favor whenever they let us crash with them, it's really important to respect their rules. But it's also really important to remember that you're an adult, and you shouldn't have to completely change the way you live your life just because you're temporarily living at home again.
If you're about to move back home for awhile, or you already have, don't freak out. There are ways you can respect your parents' home but still do your own thing. Here's seven tips on how to move back in with your parents like the adult you are.
1. Be Upfront With Your Parents About Your Plans
Being honest with your parents can be difficult, especially if your family's dynamic is already a little uncomfortable. But if you're going to be living with your folks for a while, you need to be open with them. I'm not saying you need to write out an extensive itinerary for them every day, but if you're heading out for the evening and hoping to end your night with an adult sleepover or crash at a friend's house, you might want to let one of your parents know that you won't be coming home until the next day.
Yes, you're an adult. And, no, you don't need to ask permission to stay out all night. But you should try to be as considerate as possible. Your folks may be, at least somewhat, planning their days around your schedule. You don't want them to assume you'll be home for dinner and then make extra food that you won't be around to eat. Plus, as upsetting as it is to think about, parents need to have sex, too. So, if you give them the heads up that you'll be gone all night, they might be able to plan a special night together.
2. Be A Considerate Roommate
I'm not suggesting you be sneaky as a way to hide what you're up to, because like I said, you're a grownup now and shouldn't feel like you have to "sneak out" or "sneak in" after a long night of drinking, smoking, or sexing.
However, you should still try to come and go as quietly as possible, because that's just the polite thing to do. Don't slam doors, don't stomp around, and do be aware of your phone's brightness and volume settings. You wouldn't expect a roommate to put up with excessively loud entrances and exits, so don't expect your parents to be OK with it, either.
3. Do What You Want When You're Out, But Respect Your Parents' House Rules When You're Home
Even if you're paying rent, but especially if you're not paying rent, you need to respect whatever "house rules" your parents have. When you move back in, if they don't straight up tell you what things they don't want going on under their roof, then ask them. You may be their kid, but you're an adult, too. They really aren't obligated to shelter you anymore, so it's important that you don't make them feel taken advantage of by disrespecting their home.
Personally, I knew any weed I smoked or sexy sleepovers I took part in during my time back home needed to take place away from my parents house, (even if they were out of town and I had the place to myself) but I also knew they had no problem with me drinking at home. In fact, half the time, they drank with me.
4. Contribute To The Household Chores Without Their Asking
I'm not suggesting you should feel obligated to keep your parents' home and lawn excessively neat, but always clean up after yourself — and pitch in with yardwork, too. Most importantly, do it before your parents have a chance to ask you about it. They already raised you once, don't make them feel like they have to start over now that you're back home.
5. Pitch In For Groceries
Understandably, kids don't generally move back in with their parents if they're doing super well financially. But you don't get to move back home at 25 like I did and then just eat all of your parents' food, either.
Just try to help out with grocery shopping in the little ways that you can afford to. If you're heading out for the day, check and see if your folks are almost out of coffee. If they are, pick some up before you come back home. Your parents will appreciate the gesture, and you'll appreciate not running out of coffee.
6. Offer To Run Errands Once In Awhile
Obviously, you're not your parents' personal assistant. But if you're already going out, check and see if they need anything mailed or if you can drop off/pick up their dry cleaning. It's just a super easy way to show your gratitude, and it should make your parents feel appreciated.
7. Make The Time To Hang Out
Getting to know your parents as an adult can actually be really cool. You all can talk about things you've never been able to talk about before. Obviously, you probably don't have a ton of free time to hang out with your parents, and that's OK. Chances are, your parents are pretty busy, too. But don't treat your parents like landlords that you don't have to pay, either. There has to be something you can do with your parents that will be fun for everyone involved.
My mom and I share a Gilmore-esque addiction to coffee, so when I was living at home, every morning the two of us would have at least one cup together and chat. My dad and I share a love of pool and beer, so when we were both available, we'd drink beer and play pool together for a couple of hours. It was really fun, and I can't wait to do more of it over the holidays.
I know taking the time to hang out with your parents, especially when you all live in the same house, can seem less appealing than hanging out with your friends — but trust me, you won't regret designating a little time out of your busy day to get to know your folks a little bit better. In fact, you might even end up enjoying it. I know I did.
Images: Apatow Productions, Giphy/(7)