I was once terrified of what this would do to my social life and my ability to date. Not only do I live in the suburbs of Chicago, away from all of the “young people,” but I also live with mom and dad. Yes, seeing friends in the city is more of a challenge than I’d like it to be, but I am thankful to be able to live with my parents during a time of transition. I’ve also been surprised by the number of people who have told me they WISH they could still be living with their parents. Why is this? Parents can help us not only financially, but mentally and emotionally. While it’s never good to be too attached to your parents, it is nice to have that unconditional love and support around you — especially when you’re trying to change careers or find a new job. You know that someone is rooting for you and believes that your future is a good investment.
If you lived at home after graduation, but have since moved out, remember to thank your parents for the help they gave you. And if you’re currently staying with your parents or are considering moving back in, here’s a few things to prepare yourself for:
- It is not your house. Show some respect. You may have grown up there, but you’re an adult now. Make sure you contribute in some way. Keep your room clean, put your dishes in the dishwasher. When you parents ask for help, even if you’re busy, do it. After all, they are doing you a huge favor.
- Set some boundaries. While I love my mom, sometimes I will be working in my room and she will wander in to tell me about the latest sale at Nordstroms. While this is great information, I have to make sure I’m still productive at home. I’ll tell my parents that I’m off to work for a few hours so that they know not to disturb me. I’ll close the door to have my own space.
- Keep in contact. Sometimes we forget that parents worry about us when we leave the house. My mom always says that she knows I’m an adult, and that I’ve lived in other states on my own, but she still wants to make sure I’m okay when I’m out. I let her know with a text message or call if I’ve arrived somewhere or if I’m heading home. It might seem invasive, but if you had a roommate, wouldn’t you worry if they didn’t show up when you expected them?
- Don’t be embarrassed. You’re doing the best thing for yourself by taking some time at home. You can feel comfortable searching for the right job or apartment or condo when you don’t have to obsess over rent. Just make sure you don’t take too much advantage — keep yourself busy working toward the goal of moving out (finish school, keep job hunting, keep working part-time jobs). And if you still feel bad, check out this info graphic: