You’re bright-eyed and fresh outta uni, you’re still searching high and low for your first job (minimum wage at McDonald’s/Pizza Hut/Starbucks does not count), and you definitely drank your student loan a long time ago; you really have no option but to move back in with your parents, at least for now.
How is this my life?
But it’s not all doom & gloom, is it? You’re paying little or, if you’re really lucky, no rent (take a moment to process how sweet of a deal that is); food is always lovingly cooked and on the table for you when you’re hungry, it’s comfortable and safe, and you can usually bat your eyelashes and sweet talk your dad into lending you some money for cheeky Wednesday/Thursday/Friday nights out. What on earth is there to complain about?
Oh yeah, I forgot, you have to live with YOUR PARENTS.
No more strangers making their way back to your house at 3 AM, no more impromptu Tuesday night house parties in the basement…no more freedom. You find yourself having to explain where you’re going every time you leave the house. But it won’t ever be just one question. Oh no. That would be too easy. Each time you make plans, you will be subjected to playing 20 questions: “Where are you going?”, “Who are you going with?”, “What time will you be home?”, “Will you be having dinner here?”, “That skirt is a bit short, isn’t it?” etc. inevitably followed by the “Be safe/ don’t drink too much/ watch your handbag/ wear a jacket/ drive carefully” spiel. A full play-by-play is always on the cards.
They quickly fall back into treating you as their baby, which of course you always will be, but note to Mum & Dad: I am 22 years old, survived 3 years living on my own without you (often with some questionable other people), mostly on a diet consisting solely of alcohol, cereal, and pizza, and am here to tell the tale. You don’t need to worry about me, because I’m clearly made of steel. There is nothing I cannot handle after that… Just watch me go out there and storm this world.
So yes, at times returning to the nest will grate on your ever thinning patience; but it’s quite a cushy number if we’re being honest, right? And here’s the thing: it won’t be forever. It probably hasn’t dawned on you yet, but these are likely to be the last few months or years that you ever spend living at home with your family. After you move out, things will never be the same again. Pretty soon, you’ll make a whole new family. And when you think about it like that, it’s kind of sad really. The end of an epic chapter. Know that no matter how much Mum & Dad drive you bananas, you will no doubt miss them when they’re no longer there. Don’t roll your eyes at me. That’s how life works. We only realize how good we had it once it’s gone. It’s true, us humans aren’t always as smart as we like to think.
The moral of the story? Until you can afford to move out and stand on your own two feet, suck it up, deal with it, and ENJOY it.
Please, don’t go carelessly wishing these days away. You’ll never get them back again.
Featured image via Freaky Friday screengrab