“I can’t afford my rent; my roommate is moving out and I don’t know what to do.”
This has become common place for our younger generations. As the cost of living grows and starting pay remains low, many young people need to move back home. At a time when they are striking out on their own, truly seeking independence, it is a shock to return to their parents’ home.
Don’t think of it as a step back but as a time to regroup.
The pandemic forced us into a similar situation, except there was no time to plan. Our youngest, Hannah, came home for spring break and then her university closed causing her to move back home for six months. The suddenness of this event threw us together, as did many of you.
Unexpected returns can occur in many of life’s events. Loss of job, sickness, and death can change the direction of our life in a moment. More than ever our “I trust You, Jesus” prayers are vital to our adjusting to a new situation. It is hard to communicate expectations when the return home isn’t part of anyone’s plans. Amid this adjustment, take time to decide how this new time together will go.
Unchecked I can fall into a martyr mindset if I feel my children are taking advantage of my hospitality. Under the guise of grace, I internally grumble about their lack of help. Silently, I suffer through it when I realize someone needs to slap me out of it and that someone is me.
Once again, I check myself remembering that they may need guidance in this new situation. My daughter and I discussed the difference between proactive help around the house instead of waiting to be asked. What a difference it has made! There it is again, the beauty of good communication.
I remind myself my children are adults, so I need to treat them that way.
I remind myself I need to let God be in control. (Romans 8:9)
I remind myself I don’t control anything but my response.
I remind myself I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
I remind myself this is temporary, and she needs to leave when the time is right.
I remind myself to hold her loosely, confident of our relationship.
I remind myself I can continue in the new life I’ve built.
I remind myself that I can have fun without including my returned child.
I remind myself of the fun I can have with my returned adult child.
I remind myself that each stage of life contains joy, and that joy will spread to my children. (Zechariah 10:7)
Our daughter moved to her own apartment last November. She is living the independent life she dreamed of, facing each new challenge on her own. But I am thankful for the time she lived here. There is a richness to our relationship that may have been missed if we didn’t share that time together.
Maybe you have that revolving door at your home. Whether you are the parent, or the adult child may each of you extend grace and walk through this new season together.