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Talk to me about adult children still living at home

(14 Posts)
Firefliess Sun 25-Aug-19 21:46:54

I went to uni at 18 and never moved home again. All my family and DH's family did likewise, so this is all new to us.

DS is 19 and doing an apprenticeship locally, living at home. DSD1 has just finished uni and about to move back home, for a few months at least. We also have 16 year olds and student children who come back in the holidays which complicates things further. I feel a bit unsure how to manage family life with young adults at home. Tell me -
Do you charge rent? Do you still cook family meals? Do they do their own laundry? Do you take them with you on holiday? Do they tell you where they're going and when they'll be back? Do you like having them at home? I'm finding people being randomly in and out for different meals particularly hard to manage this summer. Any advice for how to make it work for everyone?

HennyPennyHorror Sun 25-Aug-19 22:38:20

I didn't leave for drama college until I was 22. I paid rent but my parents were flexible...so if I had auditions coming up, they'd tell me not to pay rent for a couple of weeks or more so i could afford to travel to London.

I cooked my own meals as my parents worked shifts....except on Sundays when my Mum made a nice dinner for us all.

I did my own laundry from about 14.

I didn't go on holiday with my parents past the age of 17.

I did tell them where I was going but sometimes didnt come back the same day.

My parents definitely liked me there. My older siblings had all left.

I would tell your children that they have to let you know by a certain time if they want to eat with you....and if you're cooking, cook for them too. So for example...if you get home from work at 5 and cook at 6....they need to let you know by 6 if they're coming in for a meal.

Firefliess Mon 26-Aug-19 07:17:35

Thanks Henny. It's good to hear the experiences of someone who's been the adult child at home.

The trouble I've been having with meals lately is that I've been trying to figure out who'll be in for the week ahead and to get them to commit to cooking one meal each, but they don't know their plans, or change them at last minute. I do a weekly internet order but I guess you're right that mostly as long as I know who's in when I start cooking that would work. DSD is vegan which makes things harder.

Nice to hear that your parents enjoyed having you at home. I enjoy DS's company and it's mostly good having him around so far. DH is currently cross with him (as am tbh) as he keeps failing to lock the house up when we've left him home alone.

It is more complicated with having the younger ones still at home as well though, and I kind of feel in term time at least that I should be doing more stuff for them. Maybe it is time everyone did their own laundry though. DS does do his own bedding but I tend to do most of the rest currently.

HennyPennyHorror Wed 28-Aug-19 15:08:00

Make sure you tell them that failure to tell you whether they will be in for a meal will result in them not being counted....ie. you won't cook enough for them....and they can make scrambled eggs or something.

corythatwas Wed 28-Aug-19 22:23:06

Dd lived at home for 2 years after leaving college; ds has just left college and will be living at home for the foreseeable future.

Financial contribution once they are earning.

Required to shop and cook one family meal a week. Once you have committed to that day, you simply can't change your plans (at least not without negotiation), any more than a parent can suddenly decide not to cook for the family.

As I often work late anyway, those around for a meal eat together when food is ready and whoever comes in late can heat up the leftovers. Whatever is left the next day can be eaten for lunch by whoever wants it.

Expectation to let family know if you will not be home in the evening, and particularly if you will be staying out all night (I don't want to wake up at 3 in the morning and have to wonder if that is my son or a burglar).

NO expectation to tell us where he is going. Really none of my business- though of course it is nice when he comes and talks about his life.

General usefulness around the house on an ad hoc basis.

Laundry we tend to do as family loads, and whoever finds they are running out of clothes first puts a load on, but fills machine up with other people's clothes once their own are in.

I do like having him around. I miss dd, though in her case it was more worrying that she was still at home, as she had health problems which I feared would make it harder for her to move away.

FairyBunnyAgain Wed 28-Aug-19 22:39:09

One DD permanently at home after uni, the other during her holidays.
Eldest pays rent to cover her phone and food, and the. Can add what she likes to the weekly order. Youngest is being fully supported by us whilst at uni.
Eldest has a ft job but as we are in the SE she won’t be leaving home soon. Youngest has worked throughout her summer break but doesn’t work during term time.
Washing has been their responsibility since they were in their mid teens.
Housework is done by whoever is around and our wonderful cleaner.
Dinner is generally sort yourself out as we all work on different schedules (not 9-5 jobs) although if we are all home the DH will cook for everyone.
I usually know where they are, not because I insist but just because they mention it or send a txt. If they aren’t coming home they usually let me know just so I don’t worry, especially DD2 as she has her own car. I certainly don’t wait up as DD1 usually arrives home in the early hours either from work or because she has been out.
Holidays, DD1 shares a sport with DH and they go away each year, this summer DD2 came away with us and DD1 chose to go away with friends and has already paid a deposit on her holiday for next summer. If they come with us we have paid so far.

If it helps I lived at home until my mid 20s as I couldn’t see the point in paying rent (saved for my house deposit) and my parents had the space. DH hasn’t lived at home since he was 18 except for short periods during uni breaks as he always had placements during the summer breaks and went straight into employment after uni about 2 hours from his home town.

SapatSea Fri 30-Aug-19 19:05:56

I have twins who have just finished uni back to live, a 17 year old at sixth form and our older DD has just moved out after coming back to do Masters at the local uni and save on rent costs.

I'm self employed and have had a pretty awful few years so I do take a small amount of "keep" from the twins to help pay council tax, food, water etc it doesn't cover things but helps. If financially things were rosier I probably wouldn't until they were earning a FT wage.

They all clean their own rooms, change beds etc. They do the dishwasher (I have had to stop myself doing it sometimes when dishes pile up) recycling and hoover the stair and hallways. I sometimes need to remind them.

I do a shopping delivery once a week and always ordersimilar core things for all, they can add to it if they want as I gave them the password.
We are flexible about food. Everyone makes their own breakfast and lunch but we tend to eat together most nights. at around 7.30 to 8. The twins make for themselves and DS as they are veggies/vegan and I cook for myself and DH , if we are all eating the same thing I might start it off but get help with plates, condiments etc from whoever is around. We seem to share the kitchen
and house really well. It has all been remarkably smooth, no rancour. I'm amazed. All very adult. Luckily we have more than 1 toilet/ bathroom as that would be a sticking point as they seem to spend hours in there

When my older DD lived here doing her masters she said she wanted to cook and shop for herself but then spent such long hours in the lab that she asked if she could eat with us all again.

Firefliess Sat 31-Aug-19 16:06:07

Thanks all. It's really helpful to hear about different ways people have of organising lives. I've now started a weekly tick list for when they'll be in, and asked them to sign up for one meal each to cook.

DS has been fine about it in principle though didn't get off to a good start this week by forgetting he was cooking and going out. I'm thinking a regular day might be better for him as he tends to have fairly regular days of seeing his friends and GF. DSD2 (student home all summer) has been grumpy about it and doesn't see why she should be asked to cook. I'm letting DH handle her as I get too cross with her entitled attitude, and DH does agree that she should do it. She's now down for cooking on Monday this week so we shall see.... Her older sister (the one who's just finished uni) will be home in a week, but I think she'll be ok about it as she's a better cook than DSD2 and it'll be helpful to have that expectation in place from the start.

I'm also now asking them all to put their own laundry on if they have a lot of stuff and add other people's in too if it's not a full load. DSD2 is good with laundry and I'm hopeful DSD1 will be too having done her own for 4 years at uni, so just DS to work on there really. It will be good not to be doing everything smile

DelphiniumBlue Sat 31-Aug-19 16:37:21

At the moment I have one at home working, having finished his degree. He now pays £200 pm keep, but didn't when he was unemployed. None paid during uni holidays. One is just off go uni, I doubt he'll be paying in holidays either. DS2 lives and works away.
This year 2 out of 3 wanted to come on holiday with us, we paid ( airbnb in UK) but the working one contributed to costs, eating out/ drinks etc. He often subs his younger brother for cokes/ takeaways etc. He's not been working for long and we're still working it all out really, but we're close, we're not too hard up, and we're all flexible with money. If things were tighter, I'd be stricter about who pays for what.
I do all the laundry, because I have a laundry routine and don't like people doing it randomly as we don't have much drying space when its not summer. Working one puts his in a queue by the machine. Youngest has to be shouted at to bring his down!
I cook dinner most nights ( this is bone of contention, as no-one one helps with that now middle son has moved out- we used to share the cooking and meal planning.) I like us to eat together, but shifts make it complicated. I don't get as much help in kitchen generally as I would like. DS3 helps with garden and heavy lifting, and hoovering if asked enough. He's obliging but wont think of doing it himself.
I ask them to let me know when to expect them home, partly so I can time dinner and DS3 will text when he's got on the bus if its late at night so I'll know to worry if he's not in shortly afterwards! DS1 says he too old for that but will let me know if he's planning on going out.
I like having them home, and will miss them when they go.

picklemepopcorn Sat 31-Aug-19 18:34:57

Mine are 23 and 19. Ds1 went to uni for three years then came back. He now works. DS2 is at uni, home in the holidays.

We eat together, so they tell me if they are eating elsewhere. They tell me if they are going out, so I know who is home, whether to lock up etc.

We don't ask them for money- but we know they are saving and living sensibly. We might if we felt they were frittering it all away, or if we needed their contribution.

They look after their own areas of the house, do their own washing.
They look after the dog and garden if we are away. They shop and cook for themselves when we're away.

They'll cook a meal if I can't be bothered. Join in with the everyday clearing the kitchen, dishwasher etc.

Aroundtheworldandback Thu 19-Sep-19 22:19:21

Why wouldn’t you cook family meals? Isn’t it nice to eat as a family? I do their washing which I know is ridiculous. They love coming away with us as they’d never be able to afford the same holiday, their partners come too. They have to tell me if they’re sleeping out, just as I would expect from anyone.

Aroundtheworldandback Thu 19-Sep-19 22:20:58

And no we don’t charge rent, the cleaner picks up after them so I guess they’ll be here forever...

crimsonlake Thu 19-Sep-19 23:13:14

My eldest is home at the moment and working for a couple of months to save enough money to travel abroad for a few months. He contributes nothing towards his keep, I tend to throw his clothes in the waching machine although he would prefer me not to as he thinks I shrink them.
He is a hopeless cook and would buy ready made meals if I was not around, so mostly I cook for us both. If he is not around when I am cooking I usually make enough and put it aside to reheat or even keep for the next day. I have trained myself to take a laid back approach, although I hate cooking.
I have 2 sons and throughout their 4 years at uni it would never have entered my mind to ask them to contribute towards bills during the holiday despite it being a struggle. They but their own clothes and treats.

HappyBumbleBee Thu 19-Sep-19 23:36:59

My 25yr old son moved back home with us a few months ago (he was unemployed but now back working f/t ). I also have an 18yr old son - just finished school and working f/t and a 16 yr old son with 2yrs of school left.
I found it a bit hard when eldest moved back home - reminding myself regularly he was an adult and didn't need to tell me where he was etc etc 😉
The two eldest are supposed to pay €30 each a week towards bills & food but I'm not super strict about it. If they're a bit short of money, have something to pay out for and I can afford to let them off I will - but they're very good at picking up a few groceries if needed.
I've been ill so they've been a great help with my youngest and are always on hand giving their dad/hubby a hand and will regularly help out cooking/cleaning and doing their own washing.
I think we've found the right balance - but it wasn't planned....we all just kind of went with the flow and went with what worked which is my advice to you and others who find themselves in this situation.
I'm used to the more chaotic, less structured routines now and as I'm getting better, am looking forward to getting back into cooking meals that they'll reheat and gobble down as they pass through the kitchen with a thanks mum at the end of it 😉
Xx

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