It’s getting crowded in here.

The Husband and I are quite happy that our Middle wants to live at home for now as she starts her teaching career. Teachers don’t make enough to live on their own and still be able to pay off college debt. It’s a sensible decision.

Plus, she’s really good company. I like having her around.

But, here at the end of her third week of her career, some issues are starting to bite us in the ass. Witness:

  • The evening last week when she chose to make home made peanut butter while researching for an upcoming lesson she wanted to teach. Fine, as far as that goes. The problem arose when I awoke the next morning to find the 17,352 pieces of her food processor floating in the greasy water of the Crock Pot I had left in the sink to soak. Being a neat freak, I always clear up all the dishes in the kitchen before I leave for work. I was not thrilled to have to play “bobbing for slimed-up, sharp metal implements” at 8 am.
  • Last night when the daughter kindly finished up the dishes after supper. But didn’t manage to turn on the dishwasher. Today I awoke to a load of smelly dishes and not a single clean pancake turner for my French toast.

I can’t fault the kid for her enthusiasm and total devotion to her students. She’s out the door by 6 am, and not home until at least 6 pm. Except for last night when she didn’t leave school until 7:00. Not a word from her, so of course I was picturing her attacked and left unconscious in the parking lot.

That’s part of the problem. She’s old enough she doesn’t need to check in with anyone. But when you live under the same roof, there has to be some communication, simply out of courtesy.

I waver between thinking “Gosh, it must be nice to have someone to do all your laundry, buy your groceries, and pick up after you day in and day out” and remembering how on fire I was when I first started teaching. I’m in the same job I’ve had for 12 years – rarely anything earth shattering (although just now there actually are a few earth-shattering things in the works) and she’s just starting out. I’ve got perspective and years of experience keeping a house running. She’s been a great help around the house for years but currently is 100% consumed with her work.

So there’s tension.

We have good reason to believe that the nest will become even more crowded in just under a year, when our son graduates. He hopes to find a teaching job in our metro area, and will be in the same boat financially, though he’ll have almost no debt to repay. It’s likely the nest will become even more crowded, and we’ll be in even more need of ground rules.

I guess by then we’ll have some practice.


6 thoughts on “It’s getting crowded in here.

  1. It’s an increasing issue as independent life becomes prohibitively expensive for early-twenty-somethings. Some people daydream of millionaire wins or luxury holidays, I dream of a day when I’ll have somewhere to store the ironing pile! Eight people over four generations divided by five bedrooms isn’t an ideal fit for our family and I definitely share your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Living with adult children can definitely be a challenge. We just ended an extended full next period and are now adjusting to our empty nest with a few baby chicks popping in and out while their mommy and daddy chicks work. I love my kids and will help them any way that I can but I’m definitely happy to have them in their own nest. 🙂


  3. Very relatable post. At least you can find your dishes. I have to beg my son to bring what he has stashed among his things. Bowls and plates that have to be soaked before they can be washed. Our conversations seem to go through his ears because it isn’t working. I try to respect his space and don’t go digging for the dishes but it gets a bit difficult when we don’t have any spoons, etc. to eat with. That’s when I get passive-aggressive. I pull out the paper plates and plasticware. He gets the hint.

    It is exciting to have them back home, but they are adults and we expect more from them, I guess. I know you have great communication with your kids and I’m sure you’ll find a solution before you go crazy. 🙂


  4. as someone who has lived at home after being independent for a while, and now deals with boundary setting since i’m still living close to home, my only suggestion would be communication. my mom and i have conversations when i feel like she is not letting me be an adult. and she lets me know if she feels she’s not being treated fairly. we try things out, we both try to adapt certain things – we prioritize what we really need, and what we are willing to deal with to survive. she is independent but she is still in your house. and maybe because before when she was there, she didn’t have to do certain things, she assumes that’s how it is. so having a conversation about the difference of living there now might be productive. you are a really good mom, i can tell by how patient and thoughtful you are when writing about your children. i laughed when you said the thing about her not being home and you thought she was hurt. my mom always wants me to text when i get home and i feel like i should be able to get home when i want. (i am 35 though). but she then pulls out the guilt card that she won’t sleep if she doesn’t know i’m ok and she has visions of horrible things and it just becomes easier to text “home” and look for work in another time zone. lol. good luck!


  5. Good luck with setting some ground rules. I’m also a neat freak, but have deliberately learned to accept dirty dishes in the sink when I leave for work, because nobody else in the house cares, and I don’t want to have to wash them every morning. (We don’t have a dishwasher.)

    But “text if you plan to work late” is eminently reasonable to expect from anyone under your roof.

    And she may also settle into more of a routine with household tasks, as she settles into more of a routine at work. That may make it clearer what sort of ground rules are most necessary, and what are rarer problems you can just live with.


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