Living at home used to be something people only did until they were 16 or 18. Your parents were probably in their first home after they left school.

Nowadays, however, it’s becoming more normal for adults to live with their parents until they’re 30. It’s not always by choice either. With the cost of living increasing and the housing market at an all-time high, it’s near impossible to move out straight after school.

Even if you have a decent job.

But with so many of us staying at home for a variety of reasons, it’s strange how no one is talking about how difficult it is – for everyone.

It can be uncomfortable to live at home in your 20s. Tensions and relationships can intensify. Especially if you’re no closer to moving out and your parents start questioning why. 

Even though I’ve actually bought a flat, I’m still living at home (stupid new build delays) and wanted to share my tips on making it work.

Set boundaries

Whether you’ve moved back home from uni, out of a bad relationship or if you’ve never moved out in the first place – you need to set boundaries with your parents. For them as well.

It might be about if your partner can stay around, knocking etiquette or if they want you to leave one day a month so they can have some time to themselves, do this sooner rather than later.

Being clear about everyone’s expectations can help to avoid some difficult or awkward situations later on.

Hand holding an iPhone displaying apps

Communicate

Living with your parents and living a fully fledged adult life can leave you without seeing your mum for days, even though you’re in the same house. In my experience, this can cause tension and resentment between you and your folks.

One of the ways my family and I have combatted this is by setting up a Facebook Messenger group. For you, this could be a Whatsapp group. Whatever it is, you should use this as a tool to keep conversations progressing even when you’re not physically together.

Things like ‘does anyone need anything from the shops’ or ‘is it alright if so-and-so stays round tonight’ can help make you feel like a family unit without having to hang out with each other all the time.

Expect arguments

Living with your parents as an adult is hard and a tough experience for everyone involved. Therefore, arguments are inevitable and this isn’t something you should shy away from. Sometimes it’s necessary to have a heated debate to sort out the root of the issues you’re facing.

It could be something as simple as ‘who keeps forgetting to wash up?’ or more troubling like ‘when are you going to get off your ass and move out?’. It can be tricky to navigate these uncomfortable conversations, but it’s important to let everyone have their opinions and thoughts listened to.

Laundry basket on a wooden floor

Help out

You might have never been asked to unload the dishwasher or take out the bin when you were a teenager, but when you’re an adult – it’s a completely different ball game. You’re parents are letting you stay in their home out of choice, not obligation anymore, so respect that.

You don’t need to become Cinderella, but there’s no harm in helping out with the upkeep of the house. Whether it’s small things like keeping your bedroom clean or washing up after dinner, your parents will feel appreciated.

Make a plan

You may think your mum and dad will never want you to move out, but let’s be honest – they do. One way to diffuse a lot of the tensions is to come up with a realistic plan on how you’re going to move out. Whether that’s by saving money for a deposit or looking to rent a flat, be proactive.

Not only will this ease the concerns of your parents, but it’ll give you a goal to work towards. Which’ll make the difficult times a little bit easier to deal with.

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