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AIBU as an adult child living at home?

(77 Posts)
bunnybird Sat 19-Oct-19 12:17:55

I recently started a very demanding grad job. It just so happens my first placement is in London and not too far from my family home. It made sense that I would move back home for the next 6 months at least. I contribute by paying a couple of bills (I insisted) and I also do my bit around the house re cooking, cleaning.

I'm not very happy right now - I've very recently been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. My parents aren't aware of the full extent of my problems (ie that I've just started taking sertraline). I'm very good at putting a brave face on. Anyway, for the most part, the living arrangement works well but our family dynamic has fallen right back to my pre-uni days.

Last weekend I had the most intense anxiety (I contemplated ringing 101 as it was so intolerable) but at the same time I had to scrub the house clean and play hostess for a distant family member. It really knocked me out physically and mentally. The same thing is happening again this weekend. I honestly just want to be in bed today and rest/stop thinking about the job I hate.

I know it's weird navigating family dynamics when adult kids move back in but I'm curious how a similar situation would be handled in other households. In my family, it wouldn't really be accepted for me not to help out with the cleaning/spend time with the random family member.

Venger Sat 19-Oct-19 12:20:48

Could you go out for this weekend? Say you have a work thing and stay in a hotel overnight so you've got your own space and a chance to decompress then when you go back to your parents house have a frank discussion with them about their expectations and your ability to meet those expectations, see if there is a middle ground.

EmrysAtticus Sat 19-Oct-19 12:23:39

If well I would expect you to do your share of the cleaning (not the whole house) and briefly greet the visitor for 10 mins or so but that would be it. However if I knew you were unwell that I wouldn't expect any of that. If you don't want to tell your parents about the mental health issues can you pretend you have a stomach bug instead?

Applesanbananas Sat 19-Oct-19 12:26:06

can you do your share of the cleaning and just go to your room for the day?

quincejamplease Sat 19-Oct-19 12:28:02

What would happen if your parents were ill? Would they be "allowed" to rest? Would you pick up some of the things they would ordinarily do when well?

Because it should be the same for you. You shouldn't be in a position where you have to put on a performance to prove you're not a "lazy fecker exploiting her poor parents".

You're adults living together. It should look like that. Give and take and freedom for all parties to make plans independently of one another as long as there is respect and communication.

There are some really toxic attitudes in this country (and on MN) to adults living in an extended family unit with their parents that often enable and hide abuse by parents of adult children (not suggesting that's what's happening here for a moment, just putting it in context), so don't get into trying to "prove" anything to people who hold those toxic views.

larrygrylls Sat 19-Oct-19 12:31:16

I think adult (as in post uni) children living at home is, in general, not a good thing.

It delays independence and, OP, as you have noted, tends to lead to an unhealthy parent/child rather than adult/adult dynamic.

For some it works fine but, if it doesn’t, the solution is to move out.

Lifeisabeach09 Sat 19-Oct-19 12:38:51

OP, you need a new job and living arrangement. This would make a vast improvement to your mental health, I have no doubt. I know you are in a graduate scheme but you clearly are not happy.
Make the changes.

PeppermintPatty10 Sat 19-Oct-19 12:41:01

OP I understand what you’re saying.
How feasible is it for you to talk to your parents about your anxiety? Is there any way you could tell them at least part of what is going on, and agree with them a way of letting them know from time to time (well, as much as you want) that you need some space?

I think you’re really considerate and thoughtful to contribute socially and financially to the household.

Your living at home makes sense to me and this is a time where your parents could really support you.

bunnybird Sat 19-Oct-19 12:45:08

I don't know why (possibly due to medication or that I'm about to get my period) but I have absolutely no energy/motivation today. The idea of plumping on sofa pillow seems really not doable fro me today.

I cried a lot yesterday which I think has made me quite fuzzy mentally. If I had more energy I would definitely just go out for the day.

The idea of putting on an act for another day seems so daunting. I really want my body/mind to rest.

Thanks for the replies.

purplelila2 Sat 19-Oct-19 12:47:50

I think you are being little Unreasonable.

You're not playing hostess and you haven't been honest about the true extent of your problems.

How are your parents to know how unwell you are?

The distant relative is also a relative of yours.
If it were one of my kids I'd expect them to spend 10 /15 mins chatting before going off.

bunnybird Sat 19-Oct-19 12:50:54

I actually do like living back home for the most part. I've cut myself off from a lot of friends (working my way up to fixing this) so it's nice to have "safe people" around otherwise I'm sure I would feel intensely lonely.

I'm still getting to know colleagues so socialising with them feels like hard work.

LemonPrism Sat 19-Oct-19 12:51:55

Can you not sit your parents down and tell them what's happening? Sounds like a convo is in order

bunnybird Sat 19-Oct-19 12:52:39

I sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself but I'm really doing my best - finding my posts very cringy. Hopefully, my medication will kick in soon.

PeppermintPatty10 Sat 19-Oct-19 12:56:05

I sense you’re uneasy about talking to your parents about your mental health - is there a way of gearing up to this by, for example, starting off with saying, ‘I’m finding adjusting to work really difficult at the moment - some weekends I just want to rest all day!’
That way you’re starting the ball rolling about sometimes struggling, but giving details at your own pace?

LemonPrism Sat 19-Oct-19 12:59:07

@larrygrylls most people don't have a choice...

HollowTalk Sat 19-Oct-19 13:00:45

Would it be a good idea to join a gym, OP, so that you have a reason to get out of the house and also something which would help your confidence and health?

larrygrylls Sat 19-Oct-19 13:04:26


But it sounds like the OP does...

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Sat 19-Oct-19 13:04:44

If you just need to get out of the house book yourself a cinema ticket and go and relax. You can say you forgot you had already booked it.

CushyButtercup Sat 19-Oct-19 13:05:31

My 23 year old son (in university) was acting a bit stand-offishly with me recently. He finally told me how difficult he had been finding things. It sounded to me like he had been suffering from depression. He 'didn't want to worry me'. He's an adult and I can't drag him to a doctor but I will do anything in my power to support him. If you were my child I would want you to talk to me about how you were feeling so that I could give you all the love and help any parent would want for their child, adult or not.

TheMustressMhor Sat 19-Oct-19 13:05:32

Are you feeling unable to confide in your parents about your poor mental health?

They would surely want to know and offer your their support.

Sertraline (like the other ADs) takes several weeks to kick in so you're not going to feel better for quite a while.

If you were my adult child (I have four) I would be very sad that you didn't feel able to tell me how bad you were feeling.

I disagree that it is a bad thing for adult children to live at home temporarily. It's not as though you've arrived with all your possessions and have taken over the house permanently. You're doing a placement for six months so of course you're staying at home.

If you really think you cannot tell your parents about the depression and anxiety, you could invent a physical illness which would mean you needed to stay in bed.

You're struggling at the moment - have you tried ringing Samaritans when you're really down? They would be more help than 111 (I don't think you meant 101 in your OP.)

I hope you start to feel better soon. flowers

Drabarni Sat 19-Oct-19 13:09:12

Well you need to be honest with your family. You know what it's like living there so why go back if you don't want to live like your parents do.
It sounds like you need a new job and new living conditions to improve your mh.
The job maybe isn't for you, neither is living with your parents.

StillMedusa Sat 19-Oct-19 13:16:24

Talk to your parents.... I say that as a Mum of four young adults, one of whom has been on Sertraline for years now. Three live with me still , one lived away for a few years after Uni then came home struggling with depression and anxiety, and all I wanted was for her to be home, feel safe and loved.

They all contribute a little financially ..saving to move out (vv expensive here) and all help a bit round the house, but if one is unwell or has a lot of work on, I don't expect them to pick up the slack.. they contribute to our household as and when they can.

But parents aren't psychic... they need to know that you are struggling! And that you don't spring from Uni a fully fledged 'face the world' adult necessarily... yes some people do, but a lot more still need a bit of support! My eldest never moved back home and has been entirely independent, but I don't judge the others as less wonderful because they are with me!

JellyfishAndShells Sat 19-Oct-19 13:18:43

I do have sympathy, OP. We have had two adult DCs boomeranging back to the house - and moving out and moving in again- post graduation. It’s an accepted part of life here in London in this day and age, but you will get jumped on by the ‘ they should be standing entirely in their own feet after uni because I did’ brigade - or from those who live somewhere with lower housing costs where it is possible to do that on a grad scheme salarY. Many of those salaries are below the level that landlords will entertain for letting, inc house shares anyway.

We asked that our DCs tidied up any mess they made in common areas and had an assigned common area task like a bathroom , let us know if they were in out out for dinner and would have been expected to have been at least passingly polite to a guest. We also didn’t subscribe to the infantilising ‘ we took board but saved it up for them and gave it to them for a house deposit ‘ - we let them make the decision to save up the rent they weren’t paying, in order to cushion things exactly like grad schemes not working out ( there’s a built in attrition rate for those who don’t know about these things)

What were your family dynamics like before you went to uni and during the holidays ? It can’t have come as a surprise to you what their default expectations are .

Your parents will be worried, because they will see that things aren’t right with you , no matter how well you think you are masking it -/is it not possible to try and talk to at least someone in your family ? We have been through this with one DD, so I do understand .

Fink Sat 19-Oct-19 13:19:05

It's different for every family. If it doesn't work for you, then it doesn't work, what other families do is irrelevant.

For instance, I'm an adult living with my parents and dd. I have previously lived independently but that became financially untenable when ex-h left so we moved back in with my parents. For us it is a fantastic arrangement. I absolutely love it and would not want it any other way. We've been here about 8 years now.

But that works for us. I wouldn't think the same arrangement would necessarily work with different family dynamics and personalities.

Gimmechipschocolateandcake Sat 19-Oct-19 13:22:19

I lived with my folks temporarily last year . Never again .......

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