How To Move Back In With Your Parents (& Not Lose Your Mind)

Archie v. Meathead: Those All in the Family head-butting sessions always made me laugh and cringe. Poor or not, I would think to myself while watching the show, Gloria and Michael need to get the heck outta Dodge. Years later, at age 30, I found myself in a similar predicament: returning to the nest—with a husband and baby belly in tow.

As cash-strapped aspiring homeowners, we couldn’t resist my parents’ generous offer to crash in their basement for a year, expense-free. Thankfully, my family is more like the Bradys than the Bunkers, and my folks love my husband like a son. Still, no one had any privacy in the Brady home—would we? Here are a few key lessons we’ve learned from the experience.

1. We’re too sexy for our family. Save the Cirque du Soleil-style bedroom acrobatics for your own pad—especially if your mom has extra-strength hearing.

2. Respect the laws of the land. To remind us to conserve energy, my dad likes to holler “Liiights!” from two floors up. No matter. It’s their house, their rules—and their dollars paying for hydro.

3. Soap operas belong on TV. Family dramas are entertaining on All My Children, but when you’re in them, it’s a whole other story. Stay out of personal arguments, don’t take sides and don’t share your relationship woes with your in-laws.

4. Freeloading can lead to offloading. Excessive mooching may get you shown the exit sign. So help with chores, and behave like family, not guests.

5. Don’t unpack your birthday suit. The one time you cross your living room in the buff is precisely the same time your mom will pop in unannounced. Shock and awe indeed!

Image(s): iStock

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