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Moving Back Home with Parents


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In order to save money, I'm going to be moving back home permanently (at least for the next two years!) after undergrad to live with my parents while attending grad school. Even though I know this is the best decision for me, I have some doubts. My parents have proved again and again over the course of my undergrad career that they do not fully respect my autonomy as an adult, even after living on my own and holding down jobs both while at school and at home. I worry that I'll be trying to study, do homework, or go out and be social, and they'll harp on me not "being closer with the family" or "not doing enough to help out around the house," etc (speaking from experience since they made comments like this when I've been home for breaks or vacations over the last four years). Obviously, I'll still help out with chores and errands as needed, and obviously I'll still try to spend time with them-they forget that I was still doing chores and errands when living with roommates in off-campus apartments! However, I know that grad school has to become my biggest priority, and they need to realize that even if I'm living at home, my focus and availability is going to be different from what it was in undergrad. I have my own desk/study space in my childhood room upstairs, and I intend to make that a place where I'll be spending most of my time at home-that is, if they can restrain themselves from saying I'm "ignoring them" all the time by being in my room with the door shut. Yes I lived at home when I was in high school, and I got my homework done just fine then, but that was different from undergrad, and will be especially different from my life in grad school! 

I guess I'm just looking for advice on how to tell my parents that I need to draw the line. They were about to become empty-nesters since my youngest sibling just committed to moving away from college, but now that I'm staying home, they're relieved-and also may be thinking that I'm going to have more time being around them than I'll actually have.

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I did my undergrad and my masters in my hometown, so I lived with my parents most of that period. I suggest you treat the chores part as if you and your parents were roommates: don't slack off and don't make them have to ask you/remind you to do stuff. It wasn't clear from your post if you will be paying rent or helping with groceries, but if you're not paying rent, you should probably help with groceries.

As for space issues, if I were you I'd spend as much time in the library/your desk at uni as possible. Treat grad school as a full time job and do your work there if you feel your parents won't respect your space. Also, if you're at school all the time they might realize you're actually working and not blowing them off.

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