What I Learned Moving Back in with My Parents During the Pandemic
COVID-19 took the world by storm, changing all of our lives in ways we could not have predicted. I had only just graduated university when the world went into lockdown and I ended up moving back in with my parents during the pandemic. With the new variants spreading I know were not out of this global crisis but after a year and a half of living with my family I have learned a lot about what it means to move back home.
Moving home after having lived on your own can be a real wake up call. This adjustment is two-fold as while you may struggle to maintain your independence, your parents have their child back–but now as a full-grown adult. Setting expectations with your family on the roles you will play is essential to open the lines of communication on what 'moving home' will look like. Clarify what is expected on rent, household chores, and what it means to be a good housemate.
Will this be like High School where it's their house, their rules? Are your parents comfortable with you bringing back some new friends from the bar at 2 AM on a Saturday night? Is there a compromise that will keep everyone happy (and sane) as we all navigate the Pandemic? (Still working on finding an answer to this one).
No matter how much you love your family, having time apart is a MUST! When you move home in your twenties, it's important to make sure you're still allowing for your own growth! Taking up a new skill, seeing friends and trying something out of the ordinary will foster this growth; a lot more than spending every night with your parents anyway. We love them, but you need time to miss them, especially when adjusting from a life of full independence.
As with setting expectations, establishing boundaries on your personal life with your parents is a conversation that will clear the air. After we move out, our parents were not able to keep track of us 24/7 and we made it out alive! Reminding them of this trust, and your respect of their boundaries (being mindful when you come home late, limiting houseguests, etc.) will give back some freedoms while not causing an argument.
For many twenty-somethings moving back home after university can seem like a setback, but it became the reality for many of us during 2020. This transition came at a time where the world went into lockdown, and we were able to exchange isolated apartments for the warmth of family life.
While every family is different, I learned just how much I missed mine! It was a rare pause in life where my parents and I started working from home and my sister did high school online (tragic) and we really got to take the time and connect. Family game nights, movie marathons and teaching my parents about TikTok trends let my family become closer than when I was in high school. The pandemic forced us to look at our priorities and recognize how important our loved ones are.
At the same time, being fully thrust into family life also helped me in my conflict management. There are sibling disagreements, annoying habits you forgot your family had etc. and I had to fight the regression back into my high school self. Through setting boundaries, more open and honest communication, I am able to continue to build maturity while enjoying being close to my little sister before she heads off to college.
When you move back home having a positive mindset about the situation is essential. Creating a timeline for yourself and having specific goals you need to reach will help maintain your sanity and hold yourself accountable. Think about the money you're (hopefully) saving by living at home and spend this time building your familial relationships. It can be difficult to not compare your at-home life to someone who's on their own living in the city, but everyone has their own struggles so keep your chin up! Being goal & action oriented will help keep you in a clear headspace after morning back home with your parents.