Did you know that, according to recent studies, around 20% of Americans ages 25 to 40 live with their mother and father? There are several factors driving the trend of moving back in with parents at 40, and the most common are the unemployment rate, high rent, and lack of affordable housing.
If you’re in a situation where you have no choice but to live with your folks, don’t worry – it’s not that bad. Although it may not seem so at first glance, keep in mind that there are many people (perhaps your friends, too) around you living with their mom and dad, many more than you can imagine. Since you never know what someone is going through and what tomorrow brings, the safest thing you can do is to make the best of the current situation.
Living with your parents at 40 is not a matter of choice – it’s your only option currently. Whether you are going through a divorce, illness, financial crisis, or any of the other top reasons why people move back, it’s your life. So, whenever dreadful thoughts about other people’s opinions pop up into your mind, remember that everyone lives their own life and actually doesn’t have either the time or energy to think about yours.
That’s a question you should ask yourself. What do you think about that? Are you angry, or maybe sorry for yourself? Are you ashamed to talk to others about it, even your best friend? If you can’t stop thinking: Should I move back home, then you should be aware that all negative emotions come only from within you.
The truth is that real problems caused you to return home. These might be real estate issues, money troubles, job loss, or something else. Your parents’ home has become a refuge from difficulties and hardships. It’s a place where you can regain your mental strength and get the opportunity to overcome difficulties.
You may be fine with the fact that your parents want to spoil you by bringing you breakfast and coffee in bed, but after a while, you might find these rituals tiring and annoying. Also, keep in mind that your folks have their own routine and that they are older than they were when you used to live with them many years ago. Watching your old father age even more or waiting for your mother to take forever walking up a flight of stairs are things you might not like, but you’ll have to get used to them.
Perhaps your room has stayed the same as it was 20 years ago, and maybe the whole house has an identical vanilla scent, but everything else has been changed. Your daily habits, wishes, fears, and character are not the same anymore. Also, your folks are old and retired now and likely prefer their slow-paced lifestyle. Although it may look like mission impossible, your life and privacy are achievable even here.
First things first: define your rights and determine your parents’ boundaries and interference in your life. Explain to them you’re not a child anymore but a grown person with needs and wishes.
It may sound cruel, but if you don’t say loud and clear what you want from them and yourself, things can get complicated day by day. That being said, you’re not obliged to answer all their questions about your private life and eat every meal together. Also, it would help if you asked about any boundaries they would like to establish. Be ready to work to meet their needs and in turn define or write down your rules:
Being in your forties without your own apartment, money, or the job you’ve always wanted sounds like your life is ruined. But let’s be honest: it would be much worse if you had nowhere to live and no support from your loved ones. So, try to look at the bright side of the story – this is only a new chapter where you start from scratch. Having an opportunity to find a better job with an excellent salary and save some money for your own real estate doesn’t happen often. Show respect, love, and patience to your folks for accepting you in a not-so-great situation and being the wind at your back.
Going back home as a 40-year-old doesn’t need to be stressful at all. It might require a bit of compromise and mutual understanding, but that can be a major key to improving your relationship with your mom and dad. This can be an excellent chance to smooth out some misunderstandings from the past and get to know each other better.
So, if you still in doubt about how to move or whether to get professional moving services and schedule relocation to your childhood home, don’t hesitate anymore. This move might be your best decision – you’ll figure out your plans and get closer to your parents.