Seriously, if someone had told me a few years ago I would be writing on a blog about how to live with your parents I would have told them they had lost their mind. I kind of feel like I have lost my mind even typing these words! ha. How to live with your parents? That is the craziest question that floods my inbox on a daily basis as well as in real life from people I know personally. They don’t mean it like it’s a bad thing, it’s just a very odd scenario that is actually quite prevalent now in society. As my family says, “Jess, you are the only crazy bird who shares our living arrangement with the general public.”
I decided to share a few tid-bits of how I live with my parents and grandparents. When I started writing this post, I determined instead of writing a novel, I would break it out into individual posts. I plan on sharing a couple times a month, things I do to maintain my (our) sanity and well being while living with my parents. It’s not only for me but also for the rest of our family. If “we” as individuals in our family, are not all doing our part to “be happy” in our living situation, then chaos ensues and needless to say, the drama is unleashed. Trust me, we have drama, I just don’t share all of it.
When we first moved in almost six years ago, I had been out on my own for almost 15 years after graduating college, having a career and then getting married and having my son. It’s not that common when you hit your mid 30’s, that “you”, hubby and child move back in with your parents and actually never leave. I found it difficult in the beginning when we didn’t have our “own” house, “own” yard, “own” driveway, “own” everything. In fact, I thought I would be fine and my husband would have been the one to struggle but it was the complete opposite. I missed everything about our “own” stuff. It wasn’t until we started making my childhood home (my parents home), “our” home. Does that make any sense? We designated areas of the house that would be each families “spot”. Look, even our boxer has her own spot, my dad’s lap in his chair! haha
TIP #1: Find a way to get over the fact that you don’t have your “own” stuff anymore and look at the positive in the situation. We don’t live with my parents out of necessity, we are actually here because we want to be here but that doesn’t mean I still don’t miss having my “own” home sometimes.
TIP #2: Create and maintain your “own” family spot within the home. We are fortunate that we have a large home so it makes it easier to create an additional TV room but you don’t need to have a huge home to create your “own” space. An unfinished basement may work, a bedroom that has the potential to add a slim lined love seat or comfy chair to create a sitting area to watch tv or a porch that may be easily converted to another room by adding heat. I understand that many of you who email me may not have this option but some of you may if you think outside of the box. Create your “own” space! Privacy is one of the most important aspects of this arrangement being a success. I’ll get more in depth on the privacy and respect thing next time.
TIP #3: Don’t act like you “own” the joint! I (we) am very respectful of my parents and would never make any changes to their home without asking first. What I mean is, when we first moved in, I would always ask before I started painting a room or painting a bathroom vanity. Finally my mother said, “why do you keep asking me, just do it!” ha. They don’t really care what I do because they know it adds value to their home and they know I’m not going to destroy anything. However, be mindful of your parents if they own the home and respect them by asking first. This way they won’t feel taken advantage of and you will keep the peace! If you do “own” the joint, well then maybe let your parents have the freedom to make minor changes cosmetically to make them feel more at home and like it’s “their own” space.
Isn’t my momma cute :)? These are just my surface tips on how to live with your parents. I will be back again in a couple weeks sharing more tips and how we manage to keep the peace around here “knock on wood”! You wait, now that I said that, my grandfather will drop a bomb in a few hours and we will be at each others throats 🙂 hehe. Want to read more? Check out part 2 of, “how to live with your parents.”
PS. You may also like our finances article as well about “who pays the bills” around here.