How To Survive Life At Home With Your Parents

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baby with shirt that says "still living with my parents"

Living at home with your parents isn’t quite as cute as when you were younger.

Living with college roommates is tough. However, living with roommates who happen to be middle-aged and have given birth to you isn’t any easier.

This summer, I moved home after graduation. Living with my parents definitely has its perks: home-cooked meals, a live-in cleaning service, and luxuries I’d never be able to afford on my own (hello, 56’’ flat-screen plasma.)

However, being yelled at to “clean my room” 15 times a day, a curfew, and endless reruns of Lifetime movies also makes me feel like doing this on occasion.


If you’re struggling to get through a summer (or, *gasp,* a longer period of time) at home, check out these three tips. They not only might help you survive until you move out, but they also help convince your parents you’re a mature adult (*double gasp*).

1. Help Out When You Can

My parents never ask me for help with chores. However, after a few servings of cold shoulder at the dinner table, I finally realized that they just expect it. Since they’re basically letting me freeload, pitching in here and there doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

After all, if you’re a millennial like me, your parents may be getting up there in years. They can’t quite bring in the groceries as quickly as they used to, and house cleaning might take an entire day instead of a few hours. So, even though they’ll probably never ask for help around the house, give it to them anyway.

2. Clean Up After Yourself

Your parents will throw away your dirty stuff if provoked. There are no roommate problem resolution meetings with them. I learned this the hard way when my mom evicted some clothes that had taken up residence on my bedroom floor for a few weeks. (My mother is a sweet, ruthless woman.) But, hey, I get it.

Our parents have been cleaning up our messes (of all varieties, I might add) since the day they brought us home from the hospital. So, understandably, they may not be too happy when they see dirty clothes strewn around the floor, dirty pans in the sink, or really, dirty anything anywhere.

That stuff was OK in your college apartment, but not in Mommy and Daddy’s house.

3. Give Them Their Space

Your parents might not have immediately repurposed your bedroom for a hot tub, but after their initial tears, your folks were pretty psyched when you moved out for college. They reverted to their once glorious, childless social lives, and for the first time in a long time, they were probably fully enjoying themselves.

Then, like a human boomerang, you came back to them.

They’re probably pumped about this, because, you know, you’re their child and all. Still, a part of them might feel like this. So, just like you don’t want Mom and Dad ruining your social life, make sure you don’t infringe on theirs either. This past week, my parents went to a John Legend concert, and I stayed home and watched a movie. If that’s not role reversal, I don’t know what is.

Any more tips for surviving post-grad life with the parents? Let me know in the comments!

(Photo: neilcads)

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  1. Shane McNichol July 11, 2014 / 9:13 am

    Yeah I’ve been at home for about 15 months now and other than the occasional “Come on, seriously, clean your room”, I don’t dislike really any part of it. I’m lucky to have a great relationship with my parents. They just started charging me rent ($50/ a week), which is fair and understandable. Are they going to be as fun as my college roommates? No, not always. But I know I’ll spend my work day looking forward to having a drink on our back deck with them this evening.

    • Ryan Lane July 11, 2014 / 1:53 pm

      I spent the requisite time at home post-graduation, too. Maybe about 4 months in (after I landed my first real job), my folks brought up charging me rent. They wanted an incredibly small amount, like $80/month. I paid it, but I can’t say I was nearly as reasonable about it as you were, Shane. Oh, man, to pay $80 for rent now, though …

  2. Shane McNichol July 14, 2014 / 3:02 pm

    $200/month for rent isn’t free, but when you realize that this still includes rent, utilities, food, drink, cable, internet, heat, car insurance, cell phone bill, laundry, financial advice, and cleaning service, it’s worth it.

  3. Aaron Weber July 24, 2014 / 12:49 pm

    I moved back home after college and had no idea what I wanted to do. I asked my folks if they had a time limit – I’d heard friends say that their parents had given them deadlines to launch.

    My parents said that they hoped it wouldn’t be necessary, but they’d worry if I didn’t have a job or at least a plan by fall.

    Anyway, I rapidly moved up to Philly to be near my girlfriend at the time, so they never had to nudge me closer to the edge of the nest… but I got the feeling they would have if they had to.

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