Surviving When the Kids Move Back Home

Wait a minute! I sent her off to college & I cried. I sent him off to college & I cried. She graduated & I cried. She moved away & I cried. The house got quiet & I cried. Then the house got quiet and I cleaned the house. I exercised at Orange Theory, and began a healthy eating plan with Faster Way to Fat Loss. I had dates with my husband, had girls’ nights with my friends and then the worldwide pandemic began.

And then the kids moved back home!

Now the kids have moved back. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they are home, especially when there is crisis all around us! My mother nature wants everyone under the same roof, safe and sound. Even though we were talking regularly about the daily news by phone & text, I was completely unsettled. Finally they both kids arrived back home.

We began with some semi-quarantine and I ran a bit of a bed and breakfast. Both were coming in from other parts of the country. You know, I prepared for guests. I washed the sheets, prepped their rooms so they looked inviting, grocery shopped for some of their favorite items (as best as that can be done during a pandemic), and did some cooking. I even did meal trays for my daughter who had been in an airport in recent weeks with the hopes that would contain any of her germs to her space. It was so good to have them home AND because there hasn’t been anything to do, we were actually hanging out for the first time altogether!

What happened to my house?

Visitors to a bed and breakfast are paying customers and tend to keep their things orderly. Twenty and twenty-three-year-olds scatter their items all over the place! They think the sink magically puts dishes in the dishwasher, believe the front hall is a museum for a scattered shoe display, and step over laundry baskets for days before folding the items inside. The note on the top of the basket sitting in the middle of the family room that says “FOLD” didn’t even get noticed. When their infractions are pointed out, each of my dear children sinks back into their childhood and says, “he/she did it!” And what’s worse is that my newly trained husband follows their lead.

At first it’s just good to see their things and have them home, but their personal items begin growing like mold in a petri dish. I realize I finally have had enough when I begin spending time learning my new work situation – teaching remotely – which is not an easy task in a large district that has never done this before! See my other posts on teaching remotely here and here.

Commenting on needing the help, easily sends them over the edge, “That’s why I am moving out as soon as this is over!” and “I wish I was back at school!” And this sends me back to crying!

Turn Your Household Around

The only thing to do is regroup and get organized! Even when the kids that move back home are older, there has to be ground rules! The first order of business is to set up house norms & routines and striking the above hurtful words is the first order of the day. Here’s what my list of getting back to the basics with my big kids looks like:

Back to the Basics

  • Make a job list

Include daily, weekly, and special project jobs.

  • Assign individual jobs

My son now prefers chores with a motor so I gave him blowing off the deck and mowing duty. He’s also getting his old job of taking out trash & recyling. My daughter is under quarantine upstairs, so she gets bathroom cleaning. She will hopefully be more help in a few days after her two week quarantine is over and will be able to help keep the kitchen clean. I am the kitchen & main living area cleaner. My husband is the essentials fetcher.

  • Assign “Everyone” jobs

Everyone makes their own meals during the day unless they want what I have on my Faster Way to Fat Loss plan. Then we come together for an evening meal. Everyone cleans up their dishes and folds their own laundry. Everyone is suppose to clean their own room. I haven’t been upstairs to check on that one!

  • Carve out family time to enjoy them while they’re back

I have to say, it’s been wonderful having them all together in the house again with nothing else to do. Siblings are going out on runs together, we are watching shows together as a family, taking walks and bike rides together, and playing games under duress because I like games. I have named this “mandatory fun” and have to put up with a lot of grumbling and complaining to get this going. I love board games, but have even found a few games on the phone that are quite fun like “Psych”.

Sundays are usually our once a week game night and once we get going we have a good time. I found Risk and Game of Thrones Monopoly on Amazon. Had to entice my Game of Thrones fans with this version from Amazon that plays the theme song from the series. Check out my upcoming post for more ways to have fun with your family at home.

Try your best but don’t try for perfection

This is a unique time and one that will go down in the books, so I will try not to complain too much. Instead of being on the beach itself, my daughter and I are listening to beach sounds on the deck with our bathing suits on while my hubby and son play corn hole on an unusually warm spring Kentucky day. I’ll just be thankful for that!

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