Mom and Dad’s: a place to overindulge in food, booze and music. Strike-that. That’s New Orleans. Instead, mom and dad’s place might be a setting to regroup for a few months.
1. Clarify expectations before you move in. Ask for a sit-down with your parents to ask them about expectations. Remember they can take a boarder and charge rent so see how this can be a win-win for you both if they decide to forego earning market rate from a part-time commuter through Craigslist room shares.
The family had a scare when granddad seems to show warning signs of bowel cancer. Cancer turned out to be a false alert but the whole family has made lifestyle changes. Dad prefers mom’s comfort food cooking and mom is afraid dad won’t eat enough with the new diet.
That’s where the law school graduate young adult wants to be useful: to cook so mom has a break from kitchen-work three times a week, dad can eat well and according to doctor’s orders and while job hunting can spend some time with granddad after a health scare. Is any of this discussed? No.
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Let’s take the illustration farther. Imagine that the young adult is spending $115 for groceries every week and he/she still reads dissatisfaction on the faces of her host parents so he/she takes it up a notch by spending an additional $75 per week for ingredients and sets back the savings plan for move out.
Meanwhile, still no conversation has been broached about expectations: the parents are worried why their adult child completed law school but seems obsessed with culinary pursuits.
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Everyone’s disappointed. Imagine a blow-up on Thursday night. The young adult comes home after two exhausting job interviews, changes out of a suit and makes early-bird dinner for the folks. The three sit in resentful silence. Then ol’ dad scrapes his fork against the ceramic plate of roasted eggplant in a way that shows that he’s going to burst into a fit. He says, “How can you take advantage of us like this?”
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Keep your sense of humor and jot notes for comedy material while seeing your current challenges through the lens of The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny even if You’re Not by John Vorhaus. Maria Bamford’s comedy set about “joy whack-a-mole” will also help you laugh when conversations with family are difficult.
Impossible to Please: How to Deal with Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses, and Other Incredibly Critical People by Dr. Lavender and Cavaiola might be a good communication guide for all parties involved.
|Photo Credit: Amazon.com Impossible to Please by Lavender and Cavaiola|