Dear Barb—Home Again, Home Again

Dear Barb:

I am almost thirty years old and live with my parents. After graduating high school I went and got my degree.  I had a job before I even finished school.  Unfortunately, the job was only a one-year contract.  When the company didn’t renew it, I wasn’t able to find another job.  There were some jobs I could have taken, but they were low paying and I wouldn’t have been able to afford my rent and car payments etc.  So I talked to my parents and we agreed that it would be best for me to move back home until I found a better paying job.  At first I was excited, as they said I could have the whole downstairs of the house as my personal space, and I would not have to pay rent or even contribute to the cost of groceries.  Well I moved in six months ago and I feel like I’m back in high school.  My mom wants to know where I’m going, when I will be back and who I’m with! I can’t stand it.  She even comes downstairs and makes my bed and cleans up my room.  If I am not coming home my parents expect me to call and let them know.  Sometimes when I leave the house I don’t know if I will be coming home, so how am I supposed to let them know.  I love my parents but geez, I’m almost thirty years old and I don’t need to be monitored like this.  How can I get them to back off? Thanks, Danielle.

Hi Danielle:

The best way to get your parents to back off is to move out! In the meantime there are things you can do to make the time with your parents less stressful for them and for you.  Consider why you have moved back home, which in your case is financial.  You said you need a higher pay job, so your focus needs to be on actively finding that job so that you can get your own place.  While you are living with your parents, if possible, you should financially contribute to the household, even if your contribution is small.  Paying your share will help you to maintain a sense of independence, plus it will help your parents out.  Discuss the house rules with your parents.  If you feel some are too stringent, communicate that to your parents, but respect their decision.  It is their home and even though you are an adult, they still have rules, which they expect you to follow.  While living with your parents, it’s unrealistic for you to expect the same freedoms you had while living on your own.  My advice is to follow your parent’s rules, while actively working to find a job and so you can move out on your own.  Also, be thankful and appreciative of the generosity of your parents.