Thursday, 4 February 2016

Graduate Life | The Pros and Cons of Living with Parents

This post goes out to all those soon-to-be graduates who are no doubt wondering where they're going to be in just a few months time. From experience, I know exactly how fast the next few months will pass and honestly I didn't have the slightest idea where I was going to be living post-university. To begin with, this time last year graduation seemed such a long way away and my boyfriend and I, being from counties over 300 hundred miles apart, were really unsure about where life would take us. I think in part we left it up to his pre-registation job to decide for us, as it was a case of where opportunity takes you, but our ideal (maybe ideal is the wrong word) living situation was moving in with either of our parents.

Now, having lived with my boyfriend's parents for 8 months, I feel like I'm ready to summarise the pros and cons of living with parents post-university. Of course, you've lived with your parents before and maybe even other people's parents but after student life and living independently things can never really be the same. I've covered some of the realities of living with parents post-university which you can check out here, but this post focuses on what you can get out of living with your parents, or someone else's in my case, and what you can, I guess, lose. 
The Pros
You can save money
It's the most obvious one of all and probably the main reason us graduates choose to return home. Your parents aren't as likely to charge as much rent as a landlord would in most cases, though it's not something I can guarantee on. I know someone who paid her parents more rent than we were ever charged at university. My advice, don't move in and wait for your parents to drop the bombshell, talk it our with them beforehand. We made an agreement with my boyfriend's parents not to start paying rent until we actually had money coming in that kept us out of our overdrafts, which made sense to them and worked well for us, obviously. 

You can frequently get away with being lazy
Even if you've been at university and lived independently for years your parents will likely slip back into the same routines. Yeah you may be assigned chores but they will, fingers crossed, recognise that you're still their baby. If that's how you want to be seen and treated anyway. 

Personally when I visit my parents I do the majority of the cooking and wash-up frequently, as well as laundry tasks every once in a while but that's just something I like to do to help my parents out. My boyfriend's mum on the other hand doesn't tend to accept your help when you offer it, though she will likely moan at you for not helping out. But what more can you do aye?

You probably won't have to face the meal planning dilemma
I always found this a little bit of a task come dinner time at university, especially if I was only cooking for myself. I'd often end up just having some Ramen noodles, a tin of soup, pasta, pesto & cheese or a stir fry (not all at once obviously) because cooking for one is dull, and you always make too much anyway. But whoever cooks dinner in your house is sure to be inspired at some point during the day and delight you come dinner time. Though see the con's below about why, sometimes, this can make you a little disappointed. 

You may not have to do your own laundry
Does anyone really like doing their own laundry? Sure me and Michael do our own on occasions but my boyfriend's mum saves all the weeks-loads for the weekend and has always popped ours in with it if we haven't already done it. She also irons it which we appreciate, but have reassured her she really needn't worry. 

Someone will likely always be home when you get in from work
I'll be honest, I love to be home alone but coming home to an empty house unsettles me. I'm fine once I've been in the building for a little while but I can't yet imagine coming home to an empty house and waiting for Michael to get back. I don't like the dark and I still run upstairs at the speed of light in case a monster is chasing me, so coming home knowing that someone will be there is always nice.

After admitting that you've probably lost all faith in my advice.
The Cons
You can't use work as an excuse to be lazy too often
'I'm too tired from work' will get a snappy 'yeah well so am I' rather than a supportive agreement from your friend and a shared look suggesting you're probably going to get drunk later. People in this weird real world have other tasks to do once work is over and you know, you're used to spending an entire day watching Netflix and still feeling too tired to do anything, but that just won't get you any sympathy here. Even if you're genuinely exhausted from work, there is no sympathy when 'you're an adult now' and this is life. 

You're not in charge
When living in a student house you're likely to live with a person who enjoys organisation, structure, someone who does a lot and is more or less the mother/father figure of the house. They're not there to put their foot down and tell you off (that often anyway) but more so to take out the bins or take care of you when you're too drunk. Real parents aren't about that and they own the house you're living in and won't hesitate to remind you of it. No matter your age or education, you're living under their roof. You may be a grown up but they'll sometimes treat you like a child and then tell you to stop acting like one. 

You won't often be able to 'fancy' something for dinner and have it
So yeah, I said how great it was to have your meals cooked for you so often but what happens when you fancy a Dominos? Do you suggest it to the whole family - who then expect you to pay for it? Or what if you come home having thought about a certain dish all day to discover your mum/dad has cooked something that couldn't be farther from what your taste-buds are desiring. It's a real first world problem, like all these cons are, but I'm sure it's driven some graduates out the parental home. 

You probably can't get away with doing as you please
Yes you can perhaps be a bit lazy but you can't come and go as you please. Some parents might let you but if you've got a worrier in the family they'll at least like to know where you are, when you'll be home and what you're going to have for dinner if you're out. You also MUST let your parents know if you're going to be late or won't need dinner. It's absolutely fair enough, I'd be annoyed if I cooked food and the person I dished it our for never turned up but there's still something in you that feels tethered to yours/someone else's family when sometimes you just want to be a little spontaneous, without having anyone worry about you. It's probably an inconsiderate way of viewing things, but when you've left the house day in day out for the past three years without having to warn someone of your where-abouts aside from your friends, in casual conversation, you get quite used to it. 

You're unlikely to get everyone over for pre-drinks - at least not as often as you'd like
Michael and I haven't had a friend over in this house since we moved in here. Why? Because it seems a little weird to have people round when we ourselves don't actually sit downstairs very frequently. Not only pre-drinks but also university catch ups. When everyone wants to do a meet up your place will never be selected as the meeting point because there's no where for your friends to stay, especially if you're living with your partners' parents and not your own. 

Your parents will want to know your savings from paying low rent are going someplace sensible 
They probably don't want to see you dining out and going to clubs, wearing brand new threads and drinking Starbucks on a daily basis, but rather hearing that you've opened a savings account, that you've invested some money in the stock-market and that you most certainly have not impulsively bought yourself a pet dog.

Still having to hide your food
You think hiding your food from thieves (like me) was something you only had to do as a student? Fools. If I leave anything in the fridge or cupboard downstairs that I'm really looking forward to, it will 100% get eaten. And when you go to eat it after looking forward to it all day, man the feels. If there's something that needs to be kept in the fridge sometimes I'll just risk it and put it in there, but other times I just eat it there and then, hungry or not, just to save the heartbreak. Everything else we really want is actually stored in our room - mostly this includes sweet treats but I also have to keep my hot chocolate, cappuccino sachets and even my tinned peaches and other fruit hidden in the room too.

Find out who you can trust guys, food is important. 

Trust me, I've had to resist hard with that last one.

And lastly, it has an affect on your sex life
I'm sorry if you're reading this Mum and Dad but living with someone else's family or even your own doesn't exactly give you many opportunities for some alone time. And even when you get the chance it's so likely that it'll be right when someone returns home, or walks upstairs. Basically, your sex life doesn't stop but you just have to be more wary that spontaneous moments can be easily interrupted.

On that note, I can't imagine what it's like to date and live with your parents still! At our age it's probably not a big deal but nonetheless, lack of privacy can be a real mood killer.

Basically, the fact that you save a lot of money tries it's hardest to trump all the cons but really, sometimes you'll think would it be that bad paying out most of your wages for a place you could call your own, where you'd be able to walk around in your underwear and eat left-over Domino's pizza (if you could afford it after bills and rent) for breakfast most mornings and just basically do your own thing without having to take into consideration that you don't live in your own home and you can't really do what you want. 

As I said, it's a real first world dilemma, but the age of people leaving home is rising so it may well be your best option. My overall advice? No matter the cons of living with parents it's a pretty sweet deal we have at this moment in time. We're successfully putting back a good bit of money for our own place, my boyfriend's parents don't demand much from us as we're both in full time work (working more than them sometimes) and we pay just what they request us too, and it's really not very much.

Whilst I'd love to have a place to call our own besides my boyfriend's bedroom, as two graduates in our first year of work it's a pretty sensible way of life.
MissIsGoode

4 comments :

  1. My boyfriend and I live with my parents and this was a great read. My mum and dad have always been pretty chilled about things so some cons don't apply to me (e.g. food requests) but the pro's are pretty good. It's interesting to see just how many people have moved back in with their parents, and I think because so many people meet at uni, they are more likely to move in with their partners and parents too as opposed to facing a long commute to see their loved ones!

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

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    1. Thank you :) Yeah my boyfriend's parents don't hassle us or anything but his mum is kind of intense so seems to get annoyed so quickly. And it's not so much about the food requests as it is just wanting to cook my own dinner. His Mum sort of buzzes round you when you cook and it never feels relaxing! Yeah I know a lot of people who have to be honest, it does save so much money!

      Thanks for stopping by :) xx

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  2. I lived with my parents (back in Portugal) for ages as I couldn't afford to live on my own and also needed to save up so I could travel and move to Ireland... It definitely spoiled me a bit, and I'm an only child, you can imagine... My mother always cooked me the best meals (and she still does when I go back to my hometown) but bringing someone home late at night was out of the question... The house was also quite small so any noise could be heard anywhere in the house. Oh well.

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    1. We do what we have to do, don't we! Was it worth it? Aha yeah I think it's spoiling me sometimes, I get home and just be lazy, blog or do some yoga when if I was living with just my boyfriend I would probably be making dinner or spending weekends doing washing! Yeah, that's a real downside!

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