Whether it’s the death of a spouse, a divorce, or a job loss, you might find yourself back under the roof where you grew up, back in your old bedroom in your old bed, grateful your parents have come to your rescue, but also wondering how on earth you are going to co-exist without killing each other. We’ve created the ultimate survival guide so you can live under the same roof in relative harmony.
1. Mark your territory
You need somewhere you can escape to when the reruns of A Country Practice are too much to endure. A self-contained sleepout, basement or junk room which you can transform into your own living area would be perfect, but isn’t always practical. You may have to settle for hiding in the tool shed or a corner of the garage. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, give it your own personal touches with bright flowers, photos of your friends or scatter cushions — anything you can find to make it more homely.
2. Pay your own way
Contribute as much as you can to paying your own way. This might be difficult if you are jobless, but it will save you from the “Do you think you should be frittering your money away on [insert appropriate vice] if you can’t even afford to pay board?” lectures. It will also stop them pulling out the “we didn’t make you pay rent” card years down the track.
3. Invest in noise-reducing headphones
If the constant sound of your mum jibber-jabbering about what the neighbour from hell has done this time, or moaning at your father for leaving his undies outside the laundry basket instead of in it, a decent pair of headphones will block out all the noise and save you from going crazy.
4. Don’t mooch around at home
Go out often, even if it’s just for a walk up to the shops. Living with your parents will be more bearable if you make plans with friends to go out, visit the gym, go shopping and do your own thing.
5. Plan for your escape
While you appreciate the fact your parents have agreed to let you come home while you sort out your life, working on your exit strategy and regaining your independence is a must if you plan to stay sane.
6. Bite your tongue
In their eyes, you will always be their little girl, so be prepared to bite your tongue when you start getting lectured on what you’re wearing, the way you’ve done your hair or your eating habits. Just go to your happy place, smile and nod.
7. Remember your manners
Keep in mind that it’s not a hotel; it’s your parents home, so it is only courteous to let them know whether or not you will be home for dinner or if you plan to stay out all night. If they don’t want you to bring home random men for sleepovers, then they have the right to express their feelings. Once you are back in your own place, you can do whatever you want.
8. Have your own personal mantra
When you feel that rage start to bubble over when you get criticised over what you are wearing or the way you do things, take up relaxation techniques. You can make up your own personal mantra and chant it out loud.