Moving Home: Mixed Feelings About Going Back

By By Brenda Ballou

By Brenda Ballou

When I made the decision to go back to school and finish my bachelor’s degree, the thought never occurred to me to move home. It was something I hadn’t considered?wouldn’t ever consider! Why would I? I’m 26. I’m self reliant and independent. Why would I ever move back home again? I’m too old to live at home!

But the sad fact was that no matter how I figured it, I couldn’t afford to live on my own and work part time. My mom could see the worry and frustration in my eyes. Being the wise problem-solving woman that she is, she came up with the perfect solution as she called it.

“I have the perfect solution,” she said. “This will enable you to work part time and go to school full time. It will be perfect.”

I could hardly stand it. I had to know the perfect solution to my dilemma was.

“What is it?”

“Move back home,” she said simply.

The words had barely left her mouth before I nearly fainted. How could three little words cause my world to spin out of control? I felt like throwing up. Move home? I’d been on my own since I was 19! How could I possibly move home after all these years? Wouldn’t this be considered regressing? What would my friends say? I could almost hear the snickering behind my back already.

I basically had two choices: stay working full time and continue to live the lifestyle I had been living or move back home so that I could finish school and make something of my life. The only way I was going to accomplish my goal was to work less and devote more time to school. And working less meant no money for rent; therefore, the offer of free room and board plus my mom’s homemade meatloaf began to sound like the perfect solution after all.

After a few days and some serious soul searching, I came to the conclusion that living at home wasn’t nearly the prison sentence I’d made it out to be.

So I moved home. It wasn’t quite the Nirvana I had pictured in my mind. My sister and I had to share the bathroom again, an arrangement we both hated. The closet in my room was filled to the ceiling with all my precious possessions wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and boxed up. And suddenly all of my stuff that wasn’t boxed up became fair game for my sister to borrow?without asking I might add.

It felt like being in high school again. Did I still have a curfew? I’m not a partier by any means, but if on a whim I decided to stay out until all hours of the night, would I have to clear it with my parents? I began to wonder if I’d made the right decision.

But I have to admit it hasn’t been that bad. I’d forgotten how much I missed waking up laughing as my dad bursts into my room, flips on the lights and starts singing at the top of his lungs, “Good morning, good morning! What a great, great, great, great, great, grand wonderful morning!” I do like having my toasted bagel with cream cheese waiting for me as I leave the house in the morning. And the fact that I don’t have to shovel the walks or start my car on frosty winter mornings are reason enough.

My sister is still messy, my dad still pesters me until I’m almost to the breaking point, and my mom will always wait up for me when I go out. But I’ve come to realize there is comfort in these things. There are times especially when I’m on the phone that I miss my privacy. But when I start to feel trapped or pathetic, I remind myself that this is just a means to an end and not permanent. Plus I really missed my mom’s homemade pot roast and mashed potatoes.

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