College, for many of us, is the first step toward cultivating our own brand of independence. No parents to tell you to clean your room, or what time to be home – you learn how you like to live your own life. But as an immediate post-grad, most people go home for a bit. It’s often the only option there is. Despite the (usually) free rent and dinner on the table each night, you still have to fall back into the rules of someone else’s house. You lose the independence that you just became accustomed to. Here are some of the very real struggles you encounter when you come back home again.
Your parents want to spend all their time with you. I don’t know about everyone else, but my mother loves to be in my business. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you get used to being on your own, that can be a little overwhelming. You’ll have to find a way to split your time with your parents, and yourself. When a person gets used to having their free time to do as they please, it can be weird to have to relearn how to divide your time up. Just know your parents are only doing this because they missed you while you were at school. Find a way to explain to your parents that you need your alone time. Just make sure you set some time apart to spend with your family. They’re probably just excited to have you back at home with them.
They treat you like you’re still a child. It can be hard for parents to start seeing you as an adult, I get that. But you’ve lived on your own for a few years now, and you have become your own parent in a way. It could be a curfew or trying to get you to stay in with them, either way, you have to set those boundaries from the start. Sit them down and remind them that you are now an adult. You don’t have a curfew anymore, and they don’t have to stay up and wait for you to get home at 3 a.m. If something went wrong, you’d let them know. Talk about it. Don’t let these annoyances build up before you do.
You have to assimilate to their routine(s) again. When you’re on your own, you develop your own methodology for even the simplest tasks. For example, my parent’s house is super clean, and it’s not that I’m not clean on my own, but it’s a different style of clean. Just respect what they want for now, and you can get back into your own routine when you’re on your own again.
They probably wake up way earlier than you. If your house is anything like mine, I can hear every noise my parents make from walking down the stairs to yelling back and forth to each other while talking. When you’re home with no schoolwork and plenty of time to sleep in, this could be bothersome. Find a way to let them know that they need to tone down the noise until at least noon. You probably haven’t gotten much sleep because of finals and last minute papers, so just find a way to communicate with your parents. Remind them that while they may wake up at 8 a.m., you don’t have wake up that early too.
So while you probably enjoy the benefits of not doing your own laundry, try not to overwork them. Remember to thank them. Your parents are probably just excited to have you home again that they don’t realize how hard it is for you to be back there. You’re an adult now, so act like one. If you’re having problems with these things, talk to your parents. They’ve been in this same position at some point in their lives, they’ll understand. And just remember that they love you, and that’s why they do these things.