Once you’ve left the nest, you’re likely to find yourself facing a trip back home for a visit with your parents and some good, old-fashioned quality family time. This may mean cramming back into your childhood twin-sized bed.
t Or awkward run-ins with your dad in his pajamas. Three years ago I made the 800-mile move away from my family in New Jersey, and through trial and error, I’ve picked up a few tips that can help set you up for success instead of stress.
Realize you’re a “guest”
t You do not live there anymore. It is not your house. Let that settle in for a bit as it’s a big change for most of us who tend to still think of the house we grew up in as our home. Be a good guest. Don’t expect the royal treatment or for them to drop everything just because you’re around. Don’t think you’re above helping out, whether it’s cleaning up after a holiday party, cooking a meal or even just putting fresh sheets on the bed after your stay is done. It’s not a hotel; it’s their home. Treat it accordingly.
Avoid touchy subjects
t Day two of your seven-day stay is probably not the time to bring up how much better your boyfriend’s mom is in the kitchen or how thrilled you are to be making more money than your sister. You probably have plenty of opinions on things and the decisions you’ve made as an adult have been much different than the decisions the rest of your family has made. But you know the old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all?” This is a prime example. Bite your tongue.
The shorter, the better
t Leaving your urban lifestyle for two weeks in the country with your parents may seem like a good idea. But think again. As time goes on, patience wears thin and you’re likely to reach the point of too much family time. Skip the stress and shorten your trip to keep things enjoyable and prevent yourself from creating a burden for your family and their everyday life.
Prep your significant other
t If it’s your boyfriend’s (or girlfriend’s) first time meeting or staying with your parents, give him the full download and don’t sugar coat it. Prep him with topics to avoid, quirks to not be alarmed by and any awkward stories that your parents are likely to spill. It may feel like you’re going to scare him away but everyone appreciates a little heads up before time with a family that’s not their own.
t At the end of the day, families are pretty darn great (even when they’re driving you absolutely crazy). To see what happens when four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens, you’ll need to check out Warner Bros. Pictures latest film, This Is Where I Leave You. Think of it as your extra-credit opportunity to pick up some more tips and gear up for the extra family time of the holiday season.
tDisclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of SheKnows and This Is Where I Leave You, a Warner Bros. Pictures film.