As you know, we currently live at “Home” with Mum and Dad. They are kind and supportive enough to let us stay for free while we claw our savings together. They treat us to untold food, drink and entertainment and they don’t ask for anything in return. However, there are common courtesies that can be overlooked, and will surely bring the house down around you if you don’t pay attention.
This is how we survived a year at home.
It’s a fact that more people are relying on parents to hold them up in times of need with 26% of 20-34 year olds living with their parents in 2013 (Office For National Statistics, 2014). These range from new graduates that have sunk themselves in debt to unfortunate souls whose relationships have come to an end and need somewhere to lay low and recuperate the funds. There’s talk of an increasing number of people that are facing redundancy in their jobs and facing rejection from work they do apply for.
Then there is us, the small minority that move home voluntarily to save money for travel.
Just because it was our own choice doesn’t make it any easier. Moving back in to your Mum and Dad’s is hard for any reason, and harder still when you’re bringing your boyfriend with you.
Every household, at christmas or easter or birthdays, has an abundance of “Expensive Food” in the fridge and cupboards. This generally comes in the form of luxury cheeses, wine over £6 in value and a french stick (which was inevitably bought to go with something else in particular, not for hitting people with).
Teaching your boyfriend which items are “Expensive” and which are just normal foods in your home is a tricky one. But he’ll get the hang of it quickly when he needs to drive out in his house pants and buy some more.
This is crucial to keeping everyone in the house happy. There is nothing worse than needing to pee and somebody has JUST dipped into the bath for an hour long relaxing soak. The next worse thing is being the person relaxing in the bath when someone starts banging on the door for “just a quick poo.”
Mum cooks, cleans and does everything for us… everyday. She doesn’t allow us to put our own washing on and she doesn’t understand how we can put clothes away without ironing them. But on my days off I like to cook dinner, or do the ironing, or hang the washing out. Just cleaning your own room can win you points with Mum. It also removes the danger of standing on a plug, earring or lego piece that might be lurking in the undergrowth of your laundry strewn carpet.
Funnily enough, I was spurred to write this post following a disagreement between Mike and I. It’s actually not over, but immediately after divulging all the information to my Mum (who happened to walk in from work half way through said argument) I felt guilty. Mike now has to return to this alien house, full of people that are automatically Number 1 Zoe Fans.
This works both ways. When my Mum and Dad argue, thanks to the close quarters we share, everyone knows about it. You’re left feeling on the fence. You love them both, but you can’t let it bother you too much. It is not your argument to have, and giving your opinion could just make things worse. Treat them both as parents and let them hash their own problems out.
This is self explanatory. But it took me a couple of months to realise how noisy we were. Squeeky beds, chandelier style lights and plaster board walls are not your friends. Your Mum and Dad don’t want to hear it.
Don’t bring randomers home either.
Yes. Really. Don’t just try to stay out of your parents way, they will begin to feel like a hotel. After everything my parents have done for me the least I can do is sit through various episodes of Real Housewives… I actually quite enjoy it and the quality time with Mum is a great way to spend a day.
At night, Mike and I make an effort to sit downstairs and watch TV with the family over dinner. It would be rude to take the meal that my Mum has lovingly prepared and eat it in seclusion.
Unless you’re inviting one of the parents along, it’s just not going to happen. Similarly, don’t make too much noise when you return in a taxi. Arguing outside the house and then proceeding inside to vomit all over the bathroom floor will not entertain your parents.
Well, the vomit might. If you clean most of it up.
I’m preaching something that I am learning to do myself. You can not control others, you can only control how you react to them. I’m working on letting people do what they want to do, not involving myself in their business, and reacting in a calmer more reasonable way to bad things that happen.
Unfortunately, I’ve not learnt the art of letting Mike do as he pleases. Maybe it’s because I’m around him all of the time. If I can just learn to let him do what he likes, I will save myself plenty of stress, arguments and I will begin to feel free again. He’ll also stop accusing me of trying to control him or making him feel small.
Milk is like gold in our house. Everybody drinks tea and coffee and Mike has cereal in the mornings. If you are asked to get milk on your way home. You better not forget it.
Or what your parents are watching on TV. They pay for it all, they get to choose what they want to watch. Oh, you’re willing to fork out for faster internet? Go ahead. If you’re not, quit complaining. Some internet is way better than no internet. How about you get off your online games and spend some time with your family that you’ll be leaving behind in a months time?
As I said before, Mum and Dad don’t really expect anything from us. In reality, living with Mum and Dad just utilises all of the common sense you’ve acquired in life. Being respectful of space and effort, being conscious of feelings and maintaining politeness are the best things to keep in mind when living with anyone, especially Mum, Dad, Brother and Boyfriend.