Moving back in with your parents: a survival guide

Written by Caitlin Costello in Moving House on May 31, 2017

Moving back in with your parents: a survival guide

For so many of us, moving out of the family home is a long-awaited achievement, one that you don’t imagine ever returning from. The freedom and the independence taste sweet after years of being under mum and dad’s roof – why would you ever want to even imagine moving back in with your parents?

Sometimes, life gets in the way. Change in job, loss of partner or lack of funds can lead anyone to making the decision to crawl right on back into the nest. But after being away from mum and dad’s rules, it can be difficult to readjust to the life you once knew. This period can be challenging for both parents and the newly returned offspring.

Here’s some advice on how to move back in with mum and dad without causing any casualties:

1. Give moving back in with your parents an expiration date

If you’re worried about moving back in with your parents and are a little less than excited at the prospect of it, give yourself an exit plan and work towards it. Whether it’s a red cross on the calendar a few months away or a figure you want to reach in your bank account; write it down and commit to it. That way there’s a finite amount of time that you have to endure.

2. Lay some ground rules

This goes for both kids and parents. Have an honest chat with your parents about their expectations of you. When you live out of home you are free to come and go as you please, but remember, your parents worry about you and wait up for you – even if you ask them not to! Discuss a reasonable curfew and guidelines on drinking.

3. Prepare to be judged

If you’ve moved in with your parents to save some dosh, don’t be surprised if they’re less than impressed about your latest shopping spree. Even if those heels were on sale, aren’t you supposed to be saving for a deposit? Why are you going out for dinner again when there’s a perfectly good meal waiting for you at home? Prepare for some rolled eyes over your financial choices.

4. Bite your tongue

Families fight. And argue. It’s human nature! You may find that after being away from your family, the little things that make them who they are can really get to you when you return. To avoid a classic “if you don’t like it, then leave!” scenario from playing out, get used to biting your tongue from time to time. Keep that peace.

5. Chip in

If the floor looks dusty, don’t wait for an invitation to vacuum it. If you’re home early from work (or you’re at home while looking for a job), make dinner once in a while. You’re not a houseguest so make sure you pitch in with the day to day jobs. Show your parents some gratitude for welcoming you back with open arms.

6. Give yourself a break

The hardest thing to let go of when moving back in with your parents is the loss of independence – often especially noticed if you have a partner. While some parents can be accommodating of shared bedrooms, many are more conservative and do not appreciate nighttime guests. Keep the romance alive with your partner by treating yourselves to a getaway every now and then. A night away from home doesn’t have to be expensive! Look out for hotel deals or even pitch a tent for free!

7. Keep them in the loop

Yes you’re an adult and you can do what you want, but if you are living under your parents’ roof, you do need to let them know what you’re up to. If you’re out on the town and looks like you won’t be heading home, a friendly text doesn’t go astray. Or better still, plan ahead and let them know you’ll return in the morning. It will save you the 20 missed calls when you wake up.

8. Cough up

Have an agreement that everyone is comfortable with in terms of expectations of household expenses and bills. You’re an adult now, so it’s reasonable that your parents may ask for a share of the groceries or the WiFi bill – even if you are moving back home to save.