Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Survival Guide To The Big Move Home

So more and more 20 and 30 somethings are moving home with their parents. Obviously we have done the same and although the financial rewards are enormous you would have to be totally blind to not realise that it wont all be smooth sailing.

In order to survive this challenging step I have created my top ten rules for surviving the big move home....

1) Daddy’s little Girl
Rule number one is an easy one … and at the same time the hardest one ever. You will always be mum and dads little girl. They will want you to call when you get there to make sure your ok, they will pop their head in to say good night on their way to bed and if you have a bad day they will want to make you feel better buy stuffing you full of your “favorite foods’ and copious amounts of conversation.

2) Boundaries is a dirty word
Be aware there are no such things as boundaries…. You don’t have any privacy when you move home no matter how well intended your family are. They will raid your room to check if you have any clothes to add to the washing, your sister will still “borrow” your favorite top and then leave it in a crumpled heap in the corner of their room for weeks on end until you desperately need to wear it, They will ransack your personal space trying to find that DVD you were watching last week. Bare in mind, none of this is done in order to snoop into your personal belongings its just the way family is, there are no boundaries.

3) Feign Ignorance
My biggest piece of advice is to feign total ignorance on anything even slightly technical or electrical. You know absolutely nothing about ipods / computers / tv’s. Failure to do so will result in you becoming in-house technical support. This is a draining, annoying occupation where you get endless calls at weird times asking how to change the foxtel channel or why your sat nav is telling you to turn left in the kitchen.

4) The Keep Button
Always press the “keep” button on any of your saved foxtel channels. Parents and other family members have this unbelievable ability to only delete the programs you really want to watch, despite your repeated explanations on not pressing that particular button.

5) Your New Lifestyle Coordinator
Moving home means your automatically expected to attend all big family events, you no longer get a say on whether you are busy that particular Saturday, its just like being that painful teenager dragged to Auntie Mildred’s BBQ and getting asked all sorts of awkward questions about boyfriends and kids.

6) Menopause IS an Ugly Word….
By the time adults return home most mothers will have started to go through the change of life…. Hot sweats, mood swings, discussions on how different they feel are all fairly normal and the trick to surviving this time where usually your dad would be taking the full brunt of this is to nod and smile where appropriate and never ever make them feel like the emotional, unreasonable person they really are. Just remember, there is a very good likelihood either you or your partner will go through this eventually so this is all just good practice.

7) Money Matters
There are many reasons to move back home but one of the main reoccurring themes I keep coming across is money. Either you are trying to save for something or whether you don’t have enough to do anything else, it all seems to revolve around money. Therefore it seems parents feel it their right to have a say on your monetary lifestyle. Whether the polite … “Do you really need that” comment to a new pair of shoes or an enforced budget because they know better be aware this is another area of your privacy that is on its way down the toilet. Now you not only have to justify your spending habits to your partner, bank and self, parents feel they have every right to suggest ways to “better” finances.

8) Staying the Golden Child
Doing something small and helpful occasionally without being asked makes your life a lot easier – it's a mental thing, they think you're being helpful so won't ask you to do anything else that will certainly be bigger and more cumbersome. Attack is definitely the best form of defense on this one!

9) Retreat
When tired and grumpy, retreat. I personally love a bit of confrontation when I'm grumpy. However, it is advisable not to use your live-in parents as your steam valve. They don't appreciate it; and then you get the "I'm just very disappointed in you" chat – hideous.

10) Grateful but never again
Finally, realize that you are not ungrateful or a horrible child because you find it hard to slot back into the life you had 10 years ago…. You are a grown up now and if you didn’t find yourself longing for your own space I would be even more worried. Moving home, trying to fit back into someone elses house rules and lifestyle is hard and even though im sure you are not only grateful but indebted to your parents in their selfless act of goodwill I can guarantee it wont be easy…. And unless you are desperate you wont be doing it again any time soon so enjoy it while you can!

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