According to a very official study that definitely exists, at least fifty percent of adults fantasize about never moving back in with their parents, ever again. They would rather jump in front of a moving train. They would rather live in their car. They’d rather share a 2-bedroom house with six of their friends.
But there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, if anything: that life happens. Whether we like it or not, we’ve got to adapt to the times. Roll with the punches. And when money gets tight with nowhere to go, sometimes we’ve got to move in with our parents.
The relationship between parent and child changes over time, and understandably so. Once you’ve moved out, they see you as an independent adult – at least to some degree. Living under their roof can throw a wrench of confusion into the dynamic of your relationship in so many ways.
Some might be for the better. A parent who relishes the role of a caretaker will probably start to step in and lighten the load: doing laundry, cooking meals, even cleaning your room. They might happily fully fund your rent or groceries. Basically, all the best parts of living at home.
With that can come a certain entitlement to your life. As you fall into some of the old roles of parent and child, they might expect to leverage control over you, to set unreasonable expectations. As if you could live your life around a curfew. Or babysit your little brother on the fly. No, thank you.
Setting boundaries is going to be crucial during a transition, but there’s one thing that can soften any hard conversation: gifts! As you begin dropping off boxes in your old bedroom and filling the basement with your favorite pieces of furniture you can’t live without, consider getting your ‘rents something to smoothe over any tense spots and start everything off on a positive note – all while showing them that you really do care and understand where they’re coming from.
You might think you’re quiet. You might think your music isn’t that loud, or that your video calls are at a totally normal level. Spoiler alert: your young ears work differently than those of your parents. Especially if they’ve been living in the beauty of a tranquil, empty nest.
A pair of headphones that allow them to drown out any of the racket you make will let them know that you get it – they’re adapting. And just like you probably don’t want to see them all the time, the feeling is mutual. Give them a foolproof way to escape your presence and ignore any of the noises you make that they simply aren’t used to hearing – or feel ready to hear.
An air purifier.
No, no, of course you don’t smell that bad. Of course you keep a clean ship. But do you keep it clean to your mother’s standards?
A new person in the house, no matter how clean, is going to trail different smells. Smells that might not be all that pleasant. More dirty laundry, more shoes sitting by the front door, and maybe even the presence of a new furry grandchild.
An air purifier is a great gift in any situation, because who doesn’t love cleaner air? But it can also help in tackling any new allergens you’re bringing home with you, as well as showing that you care about their health.
If your parents are extra sensitive, bypass any chance of insulting their home scent by stating how awful your allergies have gotten as you age. They’ll be so worried about their baby, they won’t have time to think twice. That’s a win-win.
Moving back into their house means you’re coming in with fresh eyes. Your parents have been living however they’ve been living for ages, and they probably haven’t given much thought on making changes, updating things around the house, or what new products are available to enhance their life.
Now is a great time to show them that you do have value after all. Enlighten them.
Do they still have an old push-button doorbell? And does it even still work? A camera doorbell is a great way to upgrade, with the added plus of security.
Are they still talking to each other at home? Bump that. Set them up with a smart home service that’s voice activated, allowing them company outside of each other – or at least the ability to turn up the music to drown each other out.
Is a bulk flat screen still keeping them warm at night? New LED TV’s are more affordable than ever, with a way smaller profile. They’ll lose their minds when they find the remote has a built-in Netflix button.
Whether it’s Mom or Dad that does most of the cooking around the house, they’re going to have to step it up now that they’ve allowed your hungry mouth back in. Often, our parents have been using the same pots and pans that they were since we last lived there. Hey, we all get a little comfortable sometimes.
Skip out on the risk of consuming old Teflon from a pan older than your high-school diploma. Gift them a new set of cookware that looks and functions way better than their old set. If they’re picky, you can even take them shopping. Dropping a little coin on them is worth it considering how much they’ll be saving you.
While you’re searching for the perfect “Welcome Me Home” gift, don’t forget to track down the best deal on it. Make use of coupon codes and sales – because if there’s a time to save, it’s now. Anything you can do to avoid giving them a handmade coupon book of your own – no matter how many backrubs and dish nights they can cash in on.