Single Mothers: Tips on Living with Your Parents

Moving back home is an economic necessity for many single mothers. However, one of the major issues cited by women who have moved back with their parents is that of being treated like a child again by one or both of them.
Some mothers were raised to believe that a woman’s success was measured by how long she could hold a family together and not so much by how she felt about herself or her ability to create her own life. So these moms often feel responsible for what they see as their daughter’s failed relationship or marriage. If you try and see things more from your mother’s perspective and understand where it comes from, you will cope more effectively with your current living arrangements.

Here are some more tips to help you live peacefully with your parents:

  1. Don’t expect your parents to give up or change habits just because you and the children are now living with them. Insisting that they do so will diminish their own feelings of security and confidence and maybe cause disruption in everyone’s lives. You have the capacity for greater flexibility, and you may need to demonstrate this skill more consistently than will your parents.
  2. Remember that your parents’ energy levels are not as high as yours. A trip to the grocery store to buy supplies may be routine for you but might be exhausting for your mother. From simply a fairness perspective, heavy chores should be your responsibility.
  3. Help your parents to locate resources that might make their adjustment to this situation easier.
  4. Simple gestures can also go a long way toward making life more pleasant for everyone. How about getting up a little early one weekend to make your parents a special breakfast? Why not complete that extra chore that makes the house look especially nice? Have you considered hiring a babysitter and taking your parents to a movie or to some activity that they might really enjoy?
  5. Keep in mind that sharing a home with your parents will be a temporary solution to your housing problem. However, if it turns out to be successful through your combined efforts, welcome the knowledge that you and the children will have the privilege of living with all the benefits of an extended family under one roof.
  6. Always pay something toward rent or any expenses for living with your parents.
  7. Be open to change. Your parents may decide to live in a warmer climate or nearer to their friends for part of the year. Be prepared for any change in your living arrangements by having a backup plan.