Whether you are still living with your parents as the big 3-0 rolls around or simply moving back home to get back on your feet or help look after a parent, you can expect challenges to present themselves. Living with parents is no easy feat, but sometimes it is a necessity.
Living with parents in your 30s is going to be tough, regardless of how much love and respect you have for each other. However, it doesn’t have to be agonizing, if you’re prepared for it and are also willing to put in a bit of time and effort to make the situation work. Below are considerations to have in mind when living with the parents in your 30s, for whatever reasons.
14 considerations when living with parents in your 30s:
1. Have an official agreement before moving back in.
Living with the parents can quickly get tricky if there are no ground rules or rules of engagement in place. You don’t have to have an officially witnessed legal document, but perhaps jotting down some agreements will make things easier. Perhaps the parents can mention a suitable time to come and go and can also assign a few of the chores to you so that you are pulling your weight.
2. Prepare to be “parented”.
Keep in mind that regardless of how old you get, your parents will always be your parents, and you will always be their child. As such, they feel warranted to judge your life and make certain comments, recommendations, and provide guidance. This isn’t going to go away when you live with them after 30. In fact, it might intensify. Prepare for it and try to handle it with grace. Just because your parents parent you as an adult doesn’t mean that you have to retaliate. Just play it cool.
3. Have an exit strategy in place from the very start.
It’s a good idea to have a set period of time in place for your stay. It gives you something to work towards and also provides a limited time period for your parents to mentally and emotionally prepare for your stay. If you have an exit strategy in place, you know where your next step or stage is; and that can be empowering for you too.
4. Balance your time carefully.
If you move back in with your parents and plan to spend every waking minute on the couch, chances are that they are going to get fed up with the situation. Much the same, if you move back in and spend every minute of your time out and about, they may start to feel as if you are just using them for accommodation. Try to set some time aside as quality time with the family and make sure that when you are out, you come back at a respectable hour. It might not be what you want to do, but balancing your time during this interim phase in your life can really help you.
5. Always pay your way as much as you can.
If you are staying with your parents again in your 30s because of financial issues, it’s important that you don’t rest on your laurels. Just because you can’t get the job you want, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find a temporary job to bring in some income. Get a restaurant or bar job so that you can pay for some of the groceries or contribute to the utilities expenses.
6. Being mature and responsible will make things easier.
Moving back home can make you suddenly feel like a kid again, but it’s important to remember that you need to be mature and responsible. You can’t treat your parents like they are your keepers. You cannot use things without asking, leave the doors unlocked when you get home tipsy, or get into a heated argument with mom and dad over something petty. Instead, be mature and responsible, and it will make your life back home a whole lot easier.
7. Adopt an attitude of gratefulness and helpfulness.
It sometimes feels all too natural to take parents for granted. We stop seeing parents as humans and treat them as something to be taken advantage of. When you move back home, this type of treatment is something that needs to be scrutinized. You need to be humble and grateful for the help that your parents are offering you. The best way to show how grateful you are is to be helpful around the house as much as possible. Offer to do the dishes, do the laundry, feed the pets, clear up the kitchen after cooking a meal – all these things show gratefulness.
8. Respect and courtesy are an absolute must.
Gone are the days where it could be acceptable to lie on the couch with a bag of chips in your pajamas all day. That would be quite disrespectful to your parents. Now that you are an adult, you have to practice respect and courtesy, and this means behaving in front of them as you would in front of others.
9. Contribution is key.
The more you contribute to the living arrangement, the easier it will be. You don’t necessarily have to contribute money. If you can’t afford to pay for food and rent, perhaps you can mow the lawn, help your mom clean up the house, or offer your kind services for whatever they need.
10. Clean up after yourself.
As kids, many people get used to parents cleaning up after them, but that’s different now. As a 30-something person, it’s time to show that you can clean up after yourself. If you leave a room, take your dirty cup and plate with you, turn the television off, pack the kitchen food containers away, pick up your clothes off the floor and make sure that the bathroom is spotless when you leave it. When you finally leave, your parents won’t think that they made a mistake helping you out.
11. Adopt a healthy, social, and active life.
Sitting at home moping about life is going to be unhealthy for you and probably put a strain on your relationship with your parents. If you are short on cash, you don’t need to spend money. Make plans to meet a friend for a walk in the park or join a free local book club. Just focus on being healthy and showing your parents that you have healthy activities in your life.
12. Bite your tongue.
It should come as no real surprise that your parents have different ideas and thoughts to you. Chances are that you grew up knowing how you differ from your parents. This isn’t going to magically change with age. When your parents say things that you don’t agree with, first stop and consider if snapping back or getting into an argument is going to serve any sort of helpful purpose before doing so. Learning to bite your tongue will make your temporary living arrangement a lot easier to get through.
13. You are now an adult.
Remember that you are now an adult. While you might sometimes be seen as a child to your parents, you aren’t actually a child in the greater scheme of things. Now is the time to let your adult skills shine. If you want your parents to show you respect, you need to show them just how much you have grown and how much you are thriving as an adult in your own right.
14. Make sure that you leave on good terms.
Don’t make a rash decision to leave your parents’ home on bad terms. Make sure that you are at peace and on good terms, or it could have a lasting negative effect on your relationship going forward. Protect the future of your relationship with your parents – it’s far more important than you think.
If you need to move back to your parents in your 30s, it’s really not the end of the world. Millions of people still live with their parents between the ages of 25 and 35, so you’re really not alone. Make the most of the situation and keep in mind that for whatever reason you are there, it is only a temporary situation. Best of luck and success with your new living arrangements!