How to Live at Home and Not Go Insane

One of the main reasons I was able to save up so much money in such a short length of time , was my Mother, who was generous enough to let me live at home, rent free for the past two years. It was a pretty sweet deal that not everyone can swing, but if you have the chance, it’s a really great opportunity to save some green.

Still, I won’t lie and say it’s the easiest choice. At 23, 24, 25 years old I wanted nothing more than to be decorating my own apartment and having my own space where I could lie around in my underwear and eat macaroni and cheese (that’s my fantasy and I’m sticking with it). Sleeping in my childhood bed felt like stagnating. It was frustrating at times, but I figured out how to cope, and now I’m going to impart my wisdom to you.

Ashamed SEO
photo credit: Search Engine People Blog

Don’t Be Ashamed

There’s nothing worse than meeting someone new at a bar or at work, and having to admit, under your breath, that you live at home. It never stops feeling immature. Whenever I started to feel down I reminded myself that it’s not that unnatural for twenty-somethings to live at home in the current recession era. I knew my reasons, I knew I could have moved out, but I was working towards something bigger. If you own your decisions, than it becomes just another fact about you. Not a dirty secret.

215/365: Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast
photo credit: by Janine

Create Your Own Space

Just because you’re camping out in your high school bedroom doesn’t mean it has to LOOK like your high school bedroom. If you know you’re going to be stationary for awhile, spend a little time and money redecorating your space into something that suits your current personality. It doesn’t have to be a huge chance, but it will keep you from feeling stuck in the past.

Red dots
photo credit: Håkan Dahlström

Define Your Boundaries

While you are updating your room, it’s probably time to update your parent-child dynamic. I’m not in high school anymore, so it was understood that I could stay our as late as I wanted and eat cookies for breakfast (not that I DID, but I COULD).

photo credit: blmurch

Respect Your Parents Needs

The flip side of being treated like an adult is not acting like a child. If you are 24 there is no justification for your mom to be doing your laundry or cleaning your room. Pitch in and empty the dishwasher or vacuum the living room once in awhile. Maybe pitch in and pay the cable bill if it’s needed. It’s just good manners. Acting like a grown up will make you feel better and probably keep your parents from wanting to throttle you.

Give a Little

In an ideal world those last two points would keep things running smoothly, but this is not always the case. So give in a bit; you are the indebted one after all. Did I need to tell my mom where I was going when I left the house? No. Did it make her feel better? Yes, and it cost absolutely nothing from me. Sometimes you need to take a deep breath and let things slide for the sake of harmonious living. Otherwise known as: choose your battles.

Have an Escape

When all else fails, it helps to just get out of the house. Have somewhere you can escape to, and remind yourself you are a grown up. For me, decompressing during my daily commute by singing at the to of my lungs was a great way to reduce tension and transition from Home Stephanie to Work Stephanie. For you, it might be retreating to a nearby park, or coffee shop.

Moving back home can be very emotional, and it’s easy to slip back into old family dynamics. But if you approach your living situation honestly and rationally, then it can be a really great stepping stone to greater things.

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