When I originally packed up and left home at the age of 18, I really did feel like I would never end up living in my childhood bedroom again. But alas, here I am sat in my bright pink bedroom with leopard print curtains and bedding – something that the teenage me thought would never go out of style.
After four years of studying I feel so ready for a summer off to sit back, relax, and think about what I’d like to do next! One thing this does mean for me however is moving back in with mum and dad.
If you too are in my position of moving back home, then fear not, because I’ve got you covered with these top-tips on surviving life moving back home …
Focus on the positives
It’s easy to see moving back home as a big step in the opposite direction for seeking freedom, independence and living your best adult life. But perhaps it is actually the most grown-up and mature move you could actually make at this point in your life?
Don’t look at things as if you are now a child again living with your parents, but instead think of it as if you’re an adult living amongst other adults who love and care about you enough to welcome you back into the family home.
Here are just a few of the positives that I’m most excited about:
- Having more time to figure out what I want to do next in life.
- Saving hundreds of pounds on rent and bills, to eventually move out to somewhere of my own when I’m ready.
- There always being alcohol and food in the house for when I need it!
- There usually being someone in the house to chat too when I need it or if I’m feeling lonely.
- Developing a better relationship with my parents, and getting to known them as an adult.
- Being closer to extended family and friends who I have missed so much whilst being at uni!
- Home cooked meals and not having to cook for 1 person all the time! (Maybe my sense of normality when it comes to portion control will come back)
- Having a functioning washing machine and the space to dry my clothes outside.
- Not having to deal with nightmare landlords, flatmates or neighbours.
- Not being in charge of the ‘adult’ jobs such as paying bills or rent.
- Having a fire alarm which is highly unlikely to go off at any time of the night.
- The kitchen, living room and the rest of the house will always be clean, unlike many of the student flats I have lived in over the years!
Enjoy the down time
For me, adjusting back to living at home during lockdown was a dramatic change of pace to life which I actually really needed. I was used to going to countless nights out and seeing my friends every day, but when I settled into living at home, I absolutely loved having a relaxed coffee with my mum every morning, going on long walks with my sister, and spending the weekends sat in the garden with my family. I began to appreciate the little things in life far more and became a much happier, grounded person during that time.
Don’t be a stranger in your own home
Make an effort to spend quality time with your family whilst living at home. Of course you may be busy with work, relationships and other commitments, but also don’t take your family for granted and make sure to schedule in some quality time with them each week. You have probably missed each other over the past few years after all!
Having cereal for dinner, one night stands in the week and staying in bed all day may feel totally normal whilst at uni. But, if your parents don’t approve of these things then my advice would be to just not do it! Following your parents’ basic rules and values will keep the peace and respect between everybody, and once you’ve moved out again you’ll be free to do as you please! However, it’s also important for your parents to make some compromises to help you maintain your independence and also ensure you still feel like an adult while you’re at home. If you feel they’re being too hard on you and treating you as if you’re a teenager, explain to them why you feel this way and come up with some compromises for certain rules and solutions to any issues.
As well as carrying out small acts such as buying food and supplies for your family, consider how much of a financial contribution you can offer to your parents to help cover rent, bills and other living costs. Many parents will not expect anything from you, but it’s still respectful to offer it anyway. If your parents decide they don’t want any rent or bill money from you, consider how you can contribute in other ways such as doing the food shopping or doing jobs around the house.
My most important piece of advice is to make the most of the time you have with your family and show gratitude towards them.
I know so many people who could never move back home due to years of abuse, trauma or family breakdowns. If you do have the privilege or the option to be living back at home, be grateful for it. Small acts like cooking a dinner for your family or buying flowers for the living room will mean a lot to most parents and will show how truly grateful you are to be living there.
Work hard, save money and make the most of what living at home has to offer. Good luck!