How To Move In With Your Family And Make It Work

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It’s time to get to know your new housemates.

When Katy Perry sung ‘Teenage Dream’, I’m fairly sure she wasn’t taking about living with her parents in Santa Barbara.

While it may not be ideal, you can still move in with your family and make it work.

COVID-19 has put strains on the economy, financially pressuring many to move back home. A survey by St. George Bank Property Monitor, says that one in six Australians have changed living arrangements due to COVID-19 and another survey by comparison website Finder showed that 31,000 Aussie adults have moved back in with their parents. That’s a lot of moving.

However, just because you have moved back home doesn’t mean you can’t retain a sense of autonomy and independence; you may just have to work at it.

Here are our top 5 tips for making it work.

Acceptance

The earlier you accept that the economy is struggling, and the pandemic is an unfortunate reality, the sooner you can accept the move back home and in turn move on with your life. This might mean a career change, starting that online business you’ve always wanted to, or focusing on self-development.

Food

Instead of being told to come to dinner, why don’t you cook dinner and invite your parents to join? If your family has dietary requirements (vegetarian, vegan, gf), perhaps you could cook a meal with different components, such as Tacos where family members can serve themselves.

Whilst dinner can sometimes be tricky these ‘flexi-meals’ allow for your family to eat together regularly whilst remaining satisfied with meal choices. Miriam Weinstein’s book ‘The Surprising Power of Family Meals’ explores how eating together makes people smarter, stronger, healthier and happier. Weinstein writes that evening meals allow individuals to connect with their loved ones regularly and get more enjoyment out of family life. Give back to your family by cooking for them at least once per week.

In ‘Bridesmaids’ Anne (Kirsten Wiig) has to move in with her mother after losing her job.
In ‘Bridesmaids’ Anne (Kirsten Wiig) moves back home with her mother after losing her job.

Household Chores

Remember getting $2 pocket money for emptying the dishwasher? Now its time for you to pick up the household chores again, this time using your initiative. Helping your parents with the food shop,  vacuuming, doing the washing and walking the dog will go a long way, in addition to refuelling and washing the car if you share.

Schedule

Scheduling your day and week will not only allow you to maintain autonomy whilst living under the same roof as your parents, but it will allow you to be out of each other’s hair. This may mean getting up before your parents and going to bed earlier then them, or vice versa. Consideration is essential to make this work- this means keeping down the noise to a minimum if others a sleeping or working, minimising disruption.

Gratitude

At the end of the day YOU are staying in THEIR house. Whilst you may clash at times, gratitude is imperative to show that you acknowledge and appreciate all that they do for you. The Harvard Medical school writes “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Gratitude is what you need to get you through this challenging time.

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Sarah Oughtred

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