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When your Adult Kids Move Back Home

Updated on August 15, 2013
You've graduated! What now?!
You've graduated! What now?! | Source

Two years ago, I faced an empty nest. Just as I was beginning to get the hang of it, everyone moved back home. My home went from one adult with two grown cats to one adult, two adult children, two grown cats and two wild and crazy kittens! We had to come up with new rules and apply them quickly!

I needed to remember that my son was an adult and had, essentially been on his own for the past four years. It was more difficult defining the relationship with my daughter who had only been gone for a year and was still a teenager.

New House Rules

Well, since there weren't really any before, it's kind of hard to establish new ones. In our family, the old rules were to respect each other, be mindful of time, space and other things that affect the group. Feed, clean, play with the pets! Take responsibility for your actions. Call if you are not coming home for dinner or running late. We worry about you! That's about it. Now they are adults and at first thought, they didn't need any rules. Wrong.The rules in our house are good rules in general. They can apply to the workplace, with friends, etc. But, I've added a few thoughts and reminders: I do not need to make a chart or write a request to have household chores get done. (Yes, one of them told me I should have written what I wanted done!)

  • If the garbage is full, empty it.
  • If there are dishes in the sink, wash them.
  • If the litter boxes are full, change them.
  • Everyone does laundry or at least, sorts their own.

The main rule is this...if you want me to treat you like an adult, act like one. Pretty fair! It's been going pretty well even if we do tend to slip back into our former roles now and then.

“All I know is that I carried you for nine months. I fed you, I clothed you, I paid for your college education. Friending me on Facebook seems like a small thing to ask in return.”~Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)

It's Funny...

They argue at ages 19 and 22 as if they are still 10 and 13. I still fall into the "mommy" role. I also slip into a good martyr role: "How many jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb? Don't worry, I'll do it myself"

"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans"~John Lennon

What I have learned

You really don't always know what is coming tomorrow and the some of the best laid plans do go awry. That is not to say that you shouldn't make plans or have goals, objectives and directions in your life. It is to say that even with those things in place, we can't always control the other things that happen around us. We don't know when we may just happen to step off the curb and into a new reality.

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe things happen for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it." ~Author Unknown

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    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So true, Susan!They can go back and forth as much as they need to. This will always be their home. But, like mine, your kids are still young. Ben just turned 23 and Tori will be 20 in April. I think your friend may be onto something though. Maybe if we keep it boring and bland, they'll want to move out, lol!

    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carol. They haven't really come back home since they haven't actually left home yet! Thank you so much for the votes and sharing!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      They move out, they move back in, they move out and right now I have all three of them back. Twins are now 24 and the youngest turns 20 next week. Do they ever move out and stay out? LOL My rules are pretty much the same as yours are. Except for some reason I have to always say come on guys take out the garbage its full. I ran into my girlfriend the other day while shopping and she looks in my cart and says "Well you buy butter no wonder you have all 3 boys at home again". It will always be their home no matter where I live.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      this is really good. Though my kids never came back to live with me I understand exactly what you mean. One son spent a summer after graduating from college..There were lots of issues. Voting UP++ and sharing.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for reading, Kerry! I couldn't agree more! It's all about respect. But, that being said, for the most part, I love having them around and consider myself blessed!

    • profile image

      Kerry43 5 years ago

      Loved this, how precious. Our youngest is now 18, and all we ask is that if he's not coming home, and as you said, running late - call! Sometimes they need their heads deflating lol, but overall we have a terrific bunch of minis.

      Thanks :)

      Kerry

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Amy, thank you so much for reading. I actually never saw that video before, either. I was pretty excited when I looked up the song and found the whole package!!! Thank you so much for your warm and beautiful coomments. They are so appreciated!

      Randi

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Oh, btrbell, I've never seen the John Lennon family video before. Thank you for including it here. It made me smile, as did the relatable yet charming "real life" honesty of your "New House Rules". Sometimes we all need reminders on courtesy, respect and working together for the common good of family life. I've found flexibility in life, like you have noted, is necessary, too. Love this article, btrbell. It rings so true. You have a beautiful family!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Well, if I have to show someone my work, I sure am lucky it's you!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....I understand completely, Randi!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Bill! For reading and your insightful comments! I always find it kind of fun when I am commenting on your hub and I get a notice that you have just commented on mine. Kind of like grade school when we had to trade each other's paper!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My son came back to live with me on two occasions after he tried it by himself....and I agree completely, there are times they revert back to being ten years old. Maddening, and yet quite comforting in a warped sort of way. :) Good job Randi!