Should You Let Your Adult Children Move Back In?


Thing 1 & 2


Okay, this is a tough one.

I have always (since the kids started walking on their own) told the kids that when they hit 18, they’re out. They need to have a job, be in college or living with someone else, but they are out. Harsh? Maybe. I said this to them with the idea that it would prepare them to move on and become independent when they graduated high school. But, I mean who hasn’t been cleaning up their teens room or doing their God awful smelly sports clothes laundry and thought, “I can’t wait till they are on their own and I don’t have to smell this anymore”. I know the kids would say, “mom, you don’t have to do it. It’s not bothering me”. Seriously?

Then I envision them actually living on their own. Their tiny apartment strewed with clutter, trash and smelly laundry with flies buzzing around. The neighbors calling the police because they think someone might be dead in there. Nope. Just dirty dishes and trash that never gets taken out. Then the landlord kicks the kids out and they COME BACK HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I’m crying just writing this).

You feel me? You parents with small children may not be there yet. Just wait. When they become teens, you start to have dark thoughts of sending your kids to military school. But they are really pricey. (Someone told me that, it’s not like I actually googled it). Ok. Yes I may have googled one or two.

But Margarita Girl, I thought you loved your kids? Calm down, I do love them. And yes if one or both of them needed to come home for a short period of time, I would let them. (Please Dear God, let this be the one blog post of mine they DON’T read!) But only for a short period of time. And they have to sign a contract that they will keep their room/bathroom clean and do their own laundry and actually put it away out of sight! Oh and they are gonna pay rent. I know, big talk from a mom who cries at the thought of her youngest graduating from high school this coming year and the other graduating from college too!

Let me also make this part clear. If my kids move out, do well in life, have my grandkids and still visit me on occasion, I will gladly let them take care of me when I’m old. I won’t take up much room, I will do my own laundry and clean my own space. I’ll even babysit the grandkids for free. I think that’s a fair deal. Don’t you?

So reader friends, what are your thoughts on letting them come back home?

30 thoughts on “Should You Let Your Adult Children Move Back In?

  1. Mine is only a toddler but I dream of college for her. Far enough she can’t bring me her laundry to do but close enough I can weekend vacation/visit her. I also plan on visiting while she’s hungover and making her do all the things with me. Payback? Where can I get an air horn? Agreed only moving back with contracts if its absolutely necessary! 🙂

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  2. I think it totally depends on the kids and the circumstance. It can be really useful if they have a job that is close to home to be able to move home for a while and save money. Of course, I think there should be different expectations – for example, they should be responsible for keeping their areas clean and should actively help out with house chores, etc. I didn’t move back home because I had a job away from my hometown, but I know plenty of people who did for a limited time and it was really helpful. All were so grateful for being able to move back and really appreciate their parents. I think the answer is different for each family though.

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  3. This is an interesting topic! I don’t have any children yet, but I can share from my experience as being the one who had to move back home. When I graduated from high school, I went to college and pretty much spent all four years away from home minus a few summers. When it came time to graduate from college, I was having a horrible time finding a job. I had no choice, but to move back home. I lived at home for three years, but I did work full time. While I was home, I did make sure I purchased my own groceries, paid my own bills and washed my laundry. Moving back home was not what I wanted, but I’m so grateful my mother allowed me to.

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  4. As an adult “child” who lived at home for 6 months post college graduation, I can say I was very happy that my parents let me live with them rent free for a little while. 🙂 I was working an unpaid internship and simply did not have enough money to live on my own during that time, so my parents and I agreed that I could continue living at home until I found something that paid. Circumstances are different for everyone, but I think leaving a little room for flexibility should something unexpected arise is always a good idea.

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  5. My mom had a similar rule for me – out by 18, cut off financially once I graduated college. That said, I’m pretty independent (I left for boarding school when I was sixteen), but I also think if I’d gotten into a really tough situation that my mom would let me live with her short-term. I know so many people my age who are drowning under crushing college debt so living independently is not an option. I’m lucky that I got scholarships and didn’t graduate with debt, but it’s stressful to think how hard it would be to make it work with so much education debt. Of course now that it’s been a few years my mom is always trying to get me to be closer to her. When I was buying a house last year she tried to convince me to buy the house next to her, even though it was an hour long commute to my work without traffic, ha!

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  6. I don’t have children, but from my childhood I can tell you my parents prepared me to be on my own when I graduated High School. I was welcome but it was expected that I become a productive member of society. For instance my mom stopped doing my laundry when I was 13. I was expected to wash, fold and put away my clothes. My dad enforced this by taking away privileges if it wasn’t done.

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  7. I chuckled a few times reading this post! My mom was like you in that she made it clear that we had to either be working or go to college after graduating high school. She encouraged us to be independent, but we know that if we needed to move back in, we could. I’m well past that stage now, having a family of my own. And in a couple of years I’ll have my first high school graduate. I’m hopeful that she’ll go off into the world and be successful and independent! But no matter what she’ll always have a place to call home!

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  8. My husband and I were just talking about this last night, but more generally. We talked about whether or not we’d “bail our kids out” (not literally, as in jail, but figuratively speaking) when they’re older. I think it’s a really hard decision to make. Our kids will always be welcome to stay in our home as long as they need to (not want to, haha!). I think our instincts will kick in if one or more of our kids was hanging around longer than necessary.

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  9. I’m in a situation just days before Christmas. My adult son just finished a leasr with his roommates, and he has no place to live. Naturally, he has requested to move in with me and my wife for 3 months. My wife and I have only been married for 11 months, and I am terrified that he will destroy our marriage in that short period of time. He’s not all bad, but he definitely has his problems. He lived with me before I was married and there was a lot of fighting between us because of personality differences as he lived with his mother prior to becoming an adult and we had different ways of living and differnt expectations of each other. He had a good job so I charged him an extremely affordable rent so he would be able to save money to live on his own, and I laid out some basic rules (like don’t smoke in the house for example) which he followed for a short time and eventually became the source of every fight. Now, he’s been on his own for over a year, but wants to move back in. I simply don’t trust him to treat my wife with the respect she deserves. I love him dearly, but i feel likehe kinda burned the bridge. I feel absolutely terrible for feeling that way, but I also feel that my marriage is the most important part of my life. I’ll take all the advise and criticism I can get. Thanks.

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  10. Wow, fantastic weblog format! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The entire look of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

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  11. Economy is different today when I was their age.. rent was 300 a month for $4 an hour. Now for $8 an hour rent in 1600 a month. ..way too expensive to move out

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  12. Every circumstance and each child are unique. For me, I graduated college in Vermont and went straight to Hong Kong, lived on a tight budget and did not come home for 4 years as I wasn’t going to go home until my career and finances were solid and I could invite my parents out to a proper dinner and show them I was actually independent. Fast forward 20 years, and I own my home + five rental properties in Hawaii, including the house next door to my primary residence because that’s how close my kids/grandkids may be in 10 or 15 years from now.

    Americans are a great bunch of rebels. We do what we want, and I think that’s precious.

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