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Tips for living with "Old Roomies": Parents

MyApartmentMap - Jun 20, 2011

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Moving back in with your mom and dad has its perks, but it also has its unfavorable moments. Let’s be serious, nothing is better than free rent and free food. However, the price to pay for the new affordable living comes with large (and strange) consequences.

At 24, I decided to move in with my parents just for the summer in between graduate school terms. I went from living in the constant traffic of people in Manhattan to living 2 miles from the beach and complete tranquility. Since I was in constant mayhem the rest of the 9 months of my life, the idea of being a beach bum for the summer seemed perfect. Well, my 3 months of Zen turned into a 2 year stint due to various circumstances. I became a Boomeranger. After 7 years of living by myself, I started having to be more cognizant of certain things that never crossed my mind. Don’t get me wrong my parents are awesome, super laid back and the refrigerator is always stocked, my mom does my laundry once in a while (when I’m too busy), and having constant love has been amazing. But as much as I would like to say it has been a perfect, stress free situation- it hasn’t. For one, I have forgotten the meaning of freedom. Not only the freedom of being able to go into my room without hearing, “where were you?” but also the freedom to just be by myself and come in and go as I please. With this said, your parents will realize you’re an adult, in certain situations. For instance, the filter your parents had when you were a kid- is long gone. There are some things that I’ve learned about with this new found dynamic, and a few things to always keep in mind when living with your new “roommates”.

Your parents: 

1.) are opening their house to you, at the end of the day it’s their house. Not yours.

Although your parents have been kind enough to open up their house to you, they are doing you a favor. Parents have been “kid” free for quite some time and have their own routines. It is always important to respect these routines, and try to work around them.

2.) have feelings. I know, it’s a crazy concept, but it’s true. Parents are your rocks because they are rocks, but they are also people.

Because parents are parents and you know they will always be there, sometimes it’s easy to treat them how you want. But remember, they are still people. 

3.) love having you at their house, but make sure to be respectful in all aspects.

No matter how laid back they are, telling them if you’re not coming home, cleaning up after yourself, and keeping the noise to a minimum is always a nice gesture. It’s even nice to help out with groceries, bills, and errands.

4.) understand you need to be left alone, but sometimes a (nice) reminder doesn’t hurt.

The hardest part about moving in with your parents is losing your independence. Your parents are more than thrilled you are staying with them. Your parents may show you their excitement through wanting to spend all of their time with you. It’s okay to tell them no, but it’s always ok to say yes once in a while.

5.) will always be your parents, they will give you their thoughts on whatever it is you are doing/wearing/saying/using.

This is their job. There is no changing this, unfortunately.


1.) are not the same person you were when you left at 18. Make sure you remember this, and remind your parents of this.

Anothre difficulty of moving home is living in a familiar place during an unfamiliar time. You have grown into your adult version of yourself, and even if your parents recognize this, sometimes they may not show it with their actions. Once in a while, it’s okay to remind them that you’re not 18 anymore and you’ve lived on your own for X number of years.

2.) need to set boundaries, early.

When moving home with your parents it's also a challenge to figure out the lines that should not be crossed. Tell them early your boundaries, and every once in a while you may need to remind them of these. By setting boundaries you are doing everyone a favor, and will most likely lessen major blow outs.  

3.) should set a time limit of departure, it’s possible to get too too comfortable living at home.

The most important part of moving home is knowing you are moving out. Make sure to set a limit for leaving your parents’ house, otherwise you can become too comfortable, or on the opposite side not enjoy the experience. 

4.) will hear a lot of advice from your parents just go with it, nod your head and smile. You don’t have to take their advice if you don’t want to.

Again, parents will be parents. They always think they know best, and most of the time they do. But you are still you, and can choose which pieces of advice to take.

5.) and your parents will always bicker, but bicker with tact and respect. And if you’re angry about anything, walk away at first to cool down.

With any relationship will come disagreements. Be sure to be respectful in your “debates”, and as I tell everyone, walk away first, cool down, and then address the issue.


Lessons from our Contest Participants:

At MyApartmentMap we held a Facebook contest for our fans to teach us a thing or two about moving home with their parents. This is what they said...

1.)  No matter what advice my family asks for, they will ignore it, do the opposite, than later tell me I was right. 

2.) Don't let anyone move in without rules in place first.

3.) I realized that I couldn't just roam around the way I used to because I didn't want to be rude

4.) I will continue to get advise (sometimes unwanted), and they will always continue to worry about me

5.) I learned I didn't know as much as I thought and I should listen to other viewpoints.

6.) My greatest lesson learned from this is... I am my Mother.