How to handle moving back in with your parents in your 20's.
Moving back home in your twenties has it's ups and downs. The ups happen early on – you’re eating a lot better (no brown rice doused in BBQ sauce) and your head is more settled when you’re in the presence of 'real adults'. They’ve even got designated draws for cutlery and toiletries instead of that plastic bag that lives under your bed that you use to stash dirty socks, spoons and tampons.
Financially you’re better off too. You don’t want to mooch off your parents forever (as tempting as that may be), but moving back home will insure that you're saving a few pennies. You'll probably be laying off the booze a little, which will save some well needed moniez and you can forget your nicotine addiction because who can be bothered dealing with the frosty glares and concerned comments that your family will put you through? Not us, that's for sure.
Your parents are generally happy to see you as well. Being away for months will get you some extra love for a week or two. Like a straggly run-away dog that’s finally found its way home, you seem extra cute and little for a while and they may just throw you a dried up animal limb to chew on because you're a very good boy.
But listen up, because this is where the downs come in. I’m talking about the constant questions. Where are you going? Who will you be staying with? When are you working next? What’s a Tinder? They seem to be never ending.
In your own house if you felt like waking up and having a cider with your cornflakes, you’re a loose dog. At home? You’re irresponsible. At your place it was OK to spend the first four hours of your day watching Grey’s Anatomy in bed. At home? You’re apparently 'wasting your day away'. At your place, it was OK to hang your underwear from the ceiling fan to dry. At home? You have 'no respect for the people around you'. Geez.
Oh and then there’s the issue of fornicating. Just forget about having sex over while you're back living at home. That’s never going to happen under your parents watch. I guess we really do take it for granted how easy it is to bring someone home when we write our own rules. Personally, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the only non-plutonic male who’ll ever have the privilege of sharing my bed at home will be my husband of ten years or a dog.
Even if you want to shack up at someone else’s place, it’s a fucking ordeal. If they haven’t already sniffed the sex out on you when you get home then they’re bound to notice that you’re wearing the same clothes as last night. there’s no way they actually believe that you stayed at Stacey’s house again last night. For the fourth time. In a row. They were young once, too, they know when you're trying to pull the wool over their eyes and up around your laden neck.
When you move back home you’re plunging yourself back into teenage hood with a few years of adult experience under your belt. It’s difficult for both you and your parents. They’re just trying to relate to you and to be honest you’re living under their roof and what’s so hard about answering a few questions? “Where was I last night? Well, I got irresponsibly drunk and fumbled my way into bed with a guy called Kyle. You remember Kyle Dad. He’s the guy that helped you to carry the fridge to the car that time. Remember? Yeah well, we had sex last night and I doubt he’ll call me or try and see me again – he’s a notorious player. But I'm okay with that because I'm kinda into casual sex now anyway. Now, would you please excuse me. I’m going to go and faze out this hangover with some bad food and re-runs of Sex And The City.” Nope, stick with the Stacey story. It’s better for everyone that way.
I think what we find so hard is the fact that we feel entitled to all the freedoms of independent life, but still want all the perks of living at home. But as the great wise ones will tell us, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. Try and focus on the good parts. Spending time with your family can be lots of fun. If it helps, think about the canned soup that you’ll be eating in a few months’ time. That should help you savour the moment.
Images: Alex Jack
Kate Neilson is a twenty-something list-maker who isn't sure what she wants to be when she grows up. She likes to talk to dogs that she meets and drink red wine with her pals. She is also the creator of Twenty Something Humans.