In case you didn’t know, moving back in with your parents as an adult is a fucking nightmare.
Sure, dinner’s on the table and you might get your washing done for you (if you’re lucky), but nothing can prepare you for the internal rage you feel when they ask you were you are going for the 11th time. Flying the nest is one thing, but having to compress yourself back into it is ten times harder once you know what’s out there. And with student debt, unrealistic deposits and housing prices, its a problem a lot of millennial’s have.
I am aware that I have clingy parents. The type of parents who trick you onto Find-a-Friend for ‘safety reasons’. The type who get up at 2am to check you locked the door properly when you came home late (because apparently I don’t know how a door works). They’ve been know to break into my brothers house if he hasn’t returned their texts. They just like being involved in my life. It’s a pain in the arse at times, but I love them to death (and mum turns a blind eye when I nick food from her fridge to take back to my housemates, so I try not to complain too much).
When I moved back in with my parents for the first time, I was coming down from a travelling high. I’d been away for almost an entire year, and with no responsibilities or expectations, I thought coming back would be a great way to recharge before I headed off to University. Big mistake. What was once a trusting, stable relationship had spiralled into a constant power struggle. My parents felt that I needed to get back into a structured lifestyle. I felt like they were suffocating me. Whereas we rarely argued previously, we resorted to screaming matches over the most mundane things (usually about where I was going). The truth is, we all wanted me to grow up, but in different ways. They wanted me to become respectful and responsible, to knuckle down and really focus on getting to the top. I, on the other hand, had found comfort in not having anything planned. I realised that working 9 to 5 just didn’t make me happy, and I wanted to try anything and everything that I could think off, before settling.
Although I was planning on living at home during my studies to save money, we all agreed that it would be best if I moved away during term time. With this set up, the last couple of years have been great. We have enough space to miss each other, but are close enough to still play a big part in each others lives. I often come home on the weekends, and my mum can drives up to see me on a free afternoon. Its been easy, up until a few months ago.
In November, my parents decided to move. To a field, in the middle of nowhere. Where the house they bought didn’t even exist yet. They moved from a large 5 bedroom house, to a 2 bed caravan, on the building site. Ever the perfect daughter, I still continued to (reluctantly) visit them and sometimes stay over. The place was no bigger than our old garden shed and had two slobbering dogs running about, but I could grit my teeth for a few days a month and keep everyone happy. Then I finished University for the summer.
Originally the house was supposed to be done by June but, of course, it got delayed. For 3 months, I had to live centimetres from my parents, with limited internet and only one tv between us. I have stayed in budget hostels where I have had more space and facilities. My parents grate on me at the best of times, but it’s damn hard to have breathing space when you can only ever be 2 feet away from each other. Whereas I could easily sneak out as a young teen (a privilege that I regretfully didn’t make the most of), in the van, I couldn’t even turn on a light bulb without everyone knowing. Nothing worked properly, and so we ended up boiling water on a stove, like it was the 1800’s. Basically it was hell. Kudos to the people who live like this all the time. No child should know their parents bowel movement schedule.
So thankfully, in this past week we have moved into our new house. It is nowhere near finished, but it has central heating and a kettle that works (and doesn’t take 40 minutes). We have rooms and walls and locks. I cant hear my dad snoring. And, knowing that I’m back at university in September, things are starting to settle again. I’m beginning to understand that it must be hard for them to have to live with me again too. That they thought I’d be able to flourish by now. That I would have a house and a life, without having to rely on stealing food from their fridge. They struggle to understand that even though I’ve come back home, it’s not for their advice (although sometimes it still is). I’m not as lost and vulnerable as I used to be. To be honest, It’s mainly because I’m a massive pain in the arse to live with. But they put up with it, because I’m their daughter. Hidden within all of the dirty plates and passive-aggressive notes left, between the arguments about how to categorise you’re washing and if a pickle comes from a cucumber (it does, FYI), their are moments where I feel as I did when I was little. Sat in between my parents with a hot cup of tea in my hand, happy and loved.
After June 2018 it all begins again. And this time, unless some billionaire wants to whisk me away on his yacht, it seems pretty indefinite. But to be honest, I might stick it out. Whilst she’s still offering to do my washing, anyway.