How to Survive Moving In With Your Parents

You’ve got to admit it: No one dreams of moving back in with their parents after they have reach adulthood.  Especially not with a spouse and/or children as part of the arrangement.  But with the current economy, more and more grown children are moving back in with their parents to make ends meet.  How are you going to survive this move if it happens to you?  Here are 10 tips for surviving when you must move in with your parents:

  1. Show Gratitude.  Be grateful for your parents and others in their house who are willing to let you live with them during this difficult time.  Write thank-you notes, and show an attitude of thankfulness and humility.
  2. Communicate.  In addition to showing gratitude, express yourself.  Discuss questions, schedules, responsibilities, concerns, frustrations, and anything else that might cause friction.
  3. Make Efficient Use of Your Time.  Be intentional about your time under your parents’ roof.  Pay off your debts, do odd jobs, and schedule job interviews.  Discover new hobbies and skills.  Achieving something will help to keep your hopes up.
  4. If Possible, Schedule A Date To Move Out.  A deadline will help all parties with scheduling, goal-setting, and tolerance.
  5. Take Special Care of your Spouse…who did not grow up in your family.  He or she will have the most difficult time fitting in with a different family culture.
  6. Find Times To Get Away.  Schedule date nights, weekends, or entire weeks away in order to have time alone together as a couple or a family.
  7. Pitch-In Financially.  Even if you are unemployed, you can find ways to contribute.  Offer to pay for some groceries, utilities, phone, or Internet.  Secure your own insurance, and cover your own medical and auto needs.
  8. Pitch-In Around The House.  Wash the dishes, do the laundry, give rides, cook dinner, pack lunches, or clean the bathrooms and kitchen.  Again, communicate on every topic to be sure that expectations are clear for both parents and grown children.
  9. Don’t Assume That Your Parents Are Babysitters.  Be responsible for your kids, discipline them, and clean up after them.  Be respectful of your parents’ rules and things.  Ask their permission before you assume that they will watch your kids for you while you’re out.
  10. Appreciate the Perks.  Your cost of living is low, you have babysitters available (who probably love your kids), you may not have to cook dinner every night, you have time to pursue new interests and learn new skills, and your kids have ample time to develop relationships with their grandparents.

Our family of four lived with my parents for almost exactly a year, and lived to tell the tale.  You can survive too!

If you’ve had to move back in with your parents, how did you survive? 

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7 Responses to “How to Survive Moving In With Your Parents”

  1. Amy says:

    This is such great advice! My husband and I lived with my parents for a year about 3 years into our marriage, and it was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do. But following some of your guidelines above really helped us too!

    • Jessica says:

      I’m glad it worked out for you too! It was probably the hardest year of our marriage, but we were also able to pay off a significant portion of our college loans. So we were able to get ahead financially, and save the money necessary to start over again 2700 miles away.

  2. Elise says:

    Hubby and I moved in with my parents while we were moving and in between houses. Whew, that was a nightmare, like moving twice. But I digress…

    I totally agree with everything you said! Most importantly, make sure you carry your weight in the chores and every other way you can. Do everything you can to avoid resentment on your host’s part.

  3. Amy says:

    I am in the midst of this exact situation. My husband and I have been married almost 4 years. We have a little boy turning 3 next month. We were young (I was 19 and he was 22) when we got married and we were dumb. We had no clue what to do with our money. We spent and spent and spent and were sooooo in denial. We are 23 and 26 now and have racked up quite a bit of debt, and just lost our apartment because we couldn’t make our rent. We had to move in with my mom, and it’s been one of the hardest things, by far, we’ve ever dealt with. But, it has helped us to wake up, stop spending, set some goals, and work harder to get out of this hole. My dh just got a way better paying job with health insurance, and he is also working part time at Dominos. I am starting a new work at home job, and working on getting licensed to sell insurance and investments. My time right now is spent studying to take my first insurance exam, taking care of my little boy, and helping around the house. It is hard, so hard. Things are really cramped, and we are all sharing a small bedroom. Things are tense…and it is hard to find the balance of who cooks, who cleans up, etc….We’ve been here almost 4 months and we are hoping to move out in about 2 months after my husband has a few decent checks, plus our income tax check. We are going to pay cash for a small travel trailer, and park it in a mobile home park near my husband’s new job. We are gonna keep our expenses as low as possible (no car payment, no payment on a trailer, no crazy apartment is sky high everywhere here right now…just a small electric, water, and lot rent, plus our normal expenses like internet for my new wah job, phones, groceries, and gas for the car) and continue to bring in as much money as possible, pay off our debt, save a 6 month emergency fund, save for a better car (ours is paid for but old and very worn out). We are hoping for an SUV capable of pulling our travel trailer, decent gas mileage, up to date on safety standards, and that will accommodate our growing family. Once we have debt paid off, 6 month emergency fund, a reliable car that meets all our needs, we then hope to move to Colorado. We have some dear family there, and the climate is beautiful (we live in the desert, no trees, lakes, mountains..nothing), and Denver (where our family is) is so much bigger with more opportunities than where we live. We hope to get dh’s company to transfer him (if not he’ll find another job, but that would be ideal), pull our trailer down, find a nice little park and start saving for a piece of land while deciding in what part of Denver we want to settle down (based on school districts, etc), then buy a piece of land outside the city (kinda in the country) and park our trailer while we build our dream house. Anyway, while this is going on, dh will be going to school and he ought to finish by the time we have our house up (we have a timeline to do this in 5-7 yrs), and he wants to open his own restaurant. We are hoping by then we will be completely debt free, with a paid for car, land, and house, and all his school paid for so he can just focus on opening his business and getting it off the ground. Sorry for rambling, but living with my mom, and basically hitting rock bottom has really made us think through where we want to be in life and sit down and make a long term plan. We opted to go this route, even though it is kinda unconventional, because rent is insane where we live, and there is no way, getting back into an expensive apartment we could possibly save and pay off debt as quickly. This will also give us somewhere to live as we build our house and will serve as a vacation travel trailer down the road. Anyway, it can be done….and I think we are so much better off for having done it…because it forced us to wake up, and re-evaluate our goals and get serious.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you for writing such a long and thoughtful response! I am sorry for not replying sooner (we just flew across the country and attended a funeral over the weekend). You are right in saying it is unconventional, but it has brought about so many good things already. Sometimes it takes a lot to make us quit old habits and begin new ones. It sounds like you all are making some great decisions now, and getting your priorities in order. That takes a lot of courage and perseverance. Congratulations on a job well done! When I struggle with the frustrations of my current situation, I try to remind myself, “This too shall pass.” I know it’s not necessarily a biblical phrase, but it reminds me that today’s situation is a temporary one. Soon you will be out of your mom’s place, and living in your travel trailer or in Denver or somewhere else. You are making great strides to improve your life, so stay confident knowing you’re doing what is best for your family in the long-term. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  4. Good post. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

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