LIVING WITH YOUR PARENTS OVER SUMMER (AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT)

LIVING WITH YOUR PARENTS OVER SUMMER (AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT)

Summer Expectation:

What time is it?
Summertime, it’s our vacation!
What time is it?
Party time, that’s right, say it loud!
What time is it?
The time of our lives, anticipation!
What time is it?
Summertime, school’s out scream and shout!

Summer Reality:

What time is it?

The time is 6am.

What time is it?

It’s time to get up and head to your shitty full time summer job that’s not even going to make a dent in you 50k+ student loan.

What time is it?

It’s also time to kiss good-bye a social life that exists during the weekdays.

What time is it?

Time to move back in with your parents.

So thank you again to Disney, who’s unrealistic expectations have already left me in waiting for Prince Charming and my ‘true love’s kiss,’ but who have also led me to believe certain falsehoods about summer, and what it entails. Not all of us can get jobs with our best friends at a – dare I say it – boujee – country club, and sing and dance our way out of all life’s problems.

Shit You Should Care About… Living with your parents over summer (and how to survive it)

Before I get into it, let me put a caveat on this whole “moving home” situation.

Moving home is fine. We all do it. It’s just different from being a student and spending day in and day out with your best friends, seeing, eating and doing anything you want whenever you want – with no rules. I’m not bagging on those of us who move home. I’m simply making sure we all live to tell the tale.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because I understand that moving home for summer and living rent free is a privilege. AND, thanks to the separation of my parents about a year ago – I’ve got not one… but TWO places to call home at the end of the university year (weird flex but ok.) Both of my homes are full of love and laughter (and good food), but both of which require me to actually be held accountable for my lifestyle, behaviour and habits. When I’m away at uni, I can substitute the word “shitty” in front of each of those three words, and no one is going to blink an eye, because everyone lives that way. At home, however, I’m expected to substitute the word “good” (or at least “acceptable”) in front of those words, or I will be quickly told to “wake my ideas up!” or worse yet, the wooden spoon will come out (lol jk, thanks to the anti smacking law I’m safe now.)

For some of us, living back at home is a breeze, and for some of us it’s not. And that’s okay. But here’s a quick wee survival guide to get you through those tough summer months, and to prevent you from turning back into the angsty piece-of-shit teenager you probably were when you lived at home for real.

What you’ll need:

  1. Patience

  2. Wifi

  3. A car (or other means of escape)

  4. A local coffee shop, or local pub (or other means of escape)

  5. Two sets of EVERYTHING (if you’re lucky enough to have two houses like me) (stop flexing this plz luce)

  6. Gratitude

  7. Headphones (you don’t even need anything to plug them into, your parents will be none the wiser)

Survival tip 1: Socialising when you live with your parents.

When I get home from a year at uni, the dinner table feels like a foreign country. Manners and polite dinnertime chat are required (though chat is marginal at best at the Blakiston household), and my temper only goes so far when I’m having to explain the entire background of every person I mention, on the off chance that one of my parents might know them. 

“What do they study? Where are they from? Oh, not so-and-so’s kid are they? No? What do their parents do? I used to know a *insert last name here* back when I was at varsity….”

So for that first week or so, you might have to bite your tongue a bit. But once you settle into a routine, no doubt the dinner table will be surrounded by your guests, because we are so used to being surrounded by people constantly at uni, that a week of family-only chat seems hideously monotonous, and it simply cannot happen.

But do you know what? Socialising is actually fun when you involve your parents (and brothers in my case.) It not only means that someone else is there to pick up the slack when chat runs dry, but parents are always great as the butt of a joke, or simply as alcohol providers. I mean it when I say it though, some of my favourite nights have been sitting around with my mates (who also live at home for summer) and their families while we play cards and have vivacious yarns. 

And for the times when you don’t involve your parents and find yourself stumbling home after a night on rark (sometimes with company), don’t stress about it! It will turn into a meme in the morning for your family members, and maybe in a few weeks you’ll be able to laugh about it too. It’s all just character building really.

Survival tip 2: Eating when you live with your parents.

This is easy. Just accept that while you’ve been living at uni your dietary habits may have strayed from what your parents are used to. Maybe all you eat is 2 minute Mi Goreng noodles now? Maybe you’ve developed a taste for caviar? Maybe you’ve turned vegan? (Probably, if you’ve been living in Wellington.) All the advice I can give you, is don’t bite your parents heads off (pun count 1) if the fridge isn’t stocked with your ideal ingredients when you get home. Instead of chewing them up and spitting them out (pun count 2), politely tell them you’d like to add a few things to the grocery list, or even offer to do the shopping for them. Better yet, tell them that you’d be happy to cook once or twice a week. Show them how grown up you really are now. 

Survival tip 3: Drinking when you live with your parents.

We all know what New Zealand’s binge drinking culture is like, and at uni, it’s grossly accentuated. If, like me, you (try to) use summertime as a bit of a detox (and by that I mean – it’s no longer ok to get fatbird fucked from $7.99 wine, or drown yourself in Scrumpy, but it’s absolutely fine – encouraged even – to do so via g&t’s, Corona’s or Aperol Spritz’s), then try and get your parents on board with the detox too. If that doesn’t work (it won’t), all I can say is refer to survival tip number 1 – If you cant beat ‘em, join ‘em. So you’ve got some mates over for a couple of quiets? Get the rents in on it. And then sit there smugly in the morning when they can’t function due to a debilitating hangover, while you’re already onto round two. 

it’s no longer ok to get fatbird fucked from $7.99 wine, or drown yourself in Scrumpy, but it’s absolutely fine – encouraged even – to do so via g&t’s, Corona’s or Aperol Spritz’s

LUCY BLAKISTON

N.B. This is all hypothetical, I don’t binge drink. I’m just assuming that’s what the kids are into.

Survival tip 4: Cleaning when you live with your parents.

Nothing. Don’t do anything. They chose to give birth to you, now they must reap the consequences. 

This is was literally my thought process until age 20. But, after living in a flat with an internal lounge (that’s right, no windows folks), cleaning became both the bane and the blessing of my existence. Nothing beats the high of walking out of a spotless lounge after giving it a nice thorough clean, but nothing beats the low of walking into the lounge on a Sunday morning after you’ve hosted “drinks” and coming to the realisation that someone has pissed in the washing machine and punched your fridge.

Ah, those were the glory days. But, I digress. Cleaning! Oh yes, cleaning! Help out! It will make your life, and your parents’ lives so much easier if you just pick up a vacuum cleaner once in a while, do the dishes on the odd occasion, or if you’re feeling really generous – give the bathroom a go (but if you’re like me, your mum will go in and re-clean the whole thing, because “she can do it better herself anyway.”) Just be respectful – you’re living in their home, so look after it they way they would. You’re a grown up now.

Nothing beats the high of walking out of a spotless lounge after you’ve given it a nice, thorough clean, but nothing beats the low of walking into the lounge on a Sunday morning after you’ve hosted “drinks” and coming to the realisation that someone has pissed in the washing machine and punched your fridge.

LUCY BLAKISTON

Yeah, nah, living at home is actually great. I love it. But that’s because I live religiously by this survival guide and because I have a ridiculously cool family. 

So the last thing I want to leave you with is the sentiment that your parents are people too.They were young once, and they get that coming home is kinda bogus for you. So be nice to them. Don’t forget to tell them you love them, and appreciate the roof they put over your heads.

And don’t ever piss in the washing machine.

Luce xx