How to Live with Your Mother


Are you wondering how to live with your mother? There are many dynamics when it comes to living in your mother’s home as an adult, especially if you have lived independently for any length of time.

There can be tensions if you are an adult and have suddenly found yourself thrust back into your mother’s home. But, let’s face it, you have matured and you have your own way of doing things that your mother may not agree with. Let’s discuss ways to make this situation work for both of you while building on your relationship.

How to Live with Your Mother

Everyone’s situation is different, just as everyone has their own unique personalities. Living with your mother now that you are an adult will require:

  • Expectations
  • Mutual respect
  • Setting and respecting boundaries
  • Be responsible and helpful
  • Set aside time for yourself

The reason behind living with your mother again has probably brought stress to you. It is important to realize this is stressful for your mother as well. If you are going to live under the same roof peacefully, you will both have to make adjustments and accommodations to your daily life routines.

Setting Expectations When Living With Your Mother

Before you move back in with your mother, it is important to have an adult conversation about the situation at hand. You are an adult now and the childhood rules you lived by are no longer applicable.

But there will still be house rules that your mother has and these should be discussed and respected; after all, it is her home. Have a heart-to-heart with your mother to learn of her expectations and to share your own.

When you have the conversation with your mother you will want to discuss key elements such as:

  • Learning what is expected in the way of rent and utilities. Even if your mother insists you do not need to worry about this, you should still attempt to set your own goals and help take some of the extra financial burden your mother is now challenged with.
  • Discuss grocery shopping and meal preparations. There may be dietary guidelines someone in your family needs to strictly follow. Also, if you are returning to your mother’s home with children of your own and or a significant other there will be a much larger strain on the groceries.
  • Talk with your mother about her rules and expectations. Find out if there are areas of her house that are off-limits to you or anyone with you.
  • If you have children, discuss any rules you may have pertaining to your children as well as any issues of importance that your mother may not know or not remember about your child.
  • Be sure to talk about viewpoints on entertaining guests. Depending on what your mother is used to, she may not want anyone aside from family in her home. On the other hand, she might also be the complete opposite and have few boundaries.

When you talk with your mother, try to find common ground that you both can live with. If this is a temporary situation, remind yourself and her that the situation will not last forever.

You and Mother Must Have Mutual Respect

You might be an adult now, but that doesn’t mean you can be disrespectful to your mother or her home. However, your mother should also respect you and view you as an adult. Having more people to clean up after and mouths to feed can put a lot of extra strain on someone who has been living alone.

You may find your values and ideas clash. This is okay. You are both entitled to your opinions. If discussing certain opinions inevitably brings disharmony, attempt to avoid these conversations, especially if they are not relevant to your well-being or your relationship with your mother. Try to keep a neutral ground.

Respect is a major reason for communication. It is only through communicating with your mother that the two of you will learn to have a new perspective on your relationship as adults. Your mother might have a way of bringing out the child in you. For example, she may talk about embarrassing things you did as a kid or speak to you as though you were little.

When this happens, gently remind her that you are an adult now. You learned many lessons growing up and you are better for it. Try not to get too irritated with dear old mom. Often, she is just reminiscing. Try to reminisce with her; you might find some of the stories are hilariously embarrassing for both of you. You might also learn things you were not aware of about each other.

Set and Adhere to Boundaries and Rules

As touched on, your mother will have rules and boundaries for her home that she will expect to be followed.  This is just a given when rooming with anyone, not just your mother. Talking with your mother to learn what the rules of her house are now will help show her that you have matured.

Only you know the dynamics of your situation, but there are areas where you will need to have your own set of rules and boundaries for your mother as well. Be sure to talk with your mother about your rules and expectations. These could be about:

  • You need to discuss not entering your living space when you are not there. Also, ask that she knock before entering. It’s just common courtesy.
  • Check with you before including you in commitments she is making.
  • Talk about rules you both have for your children. This should include not undermining your authority.

By working out the details of your boundaries and your mother’s boundaries, it will make living together much easier. There will probably be things that you don’t like or completely agree with. Again, try to find common ground to work on.

Responsibilities While Living with Mother

When you move back in with Mom, don’t let your responsibilities take a backseat. You have been taking care of yourself. Continue with this trend in your mother’s house.

Here are some pointers:

  • Clean up after yourself. This means keeping your space clean and tidying areas where you have been.
  • Do daily chores. Wash dishes, do laundry, vacuum, mop, clean counters and tables. This helps keep the home feeling welcoming. It takes undue stress off of your mother and allows her time to enjoy your company.
  • Pay your share of the household bills. With more people in the house more money will be going out for food, power, water, and more. Be sure to pay your share of these bills so your mother is not stressing her finances to ensure you have a roof over your head and food to eat.

If it is only the two of you pay half of the bills. If you have brought more people into the household, you should be responsible for a greater share of the bills. For example, if you have brought your two children and your significant other to live with your mother, you should pay four-fifths of the household bills.

Being responsible and helping your mother will instill in her that you have grown up. It should give her and you a sense of pride knowing how far you have both come. However, if you begin to shrug responsibilities, don’t be surprised if your mother begins treating you like a child again.

Self-Time is Critical to Your Mental Health

Making time for yourself is incredibly important. This should not be neglected just because you move back in with your mother. The two of you will need this respite from one another. So, set some time aside where you can focus on yourself and your interests. It will help you feel focused and free to be you.

Living With Your Mother

Living with your mother doesn’t need to be a battle. The two of you will be able to move through stressful situations with ease if you can communicate your expectations and respect each other. Show your independence to your mother by helping with financial obligations and chores. Don’t forget to take some time for self-care. Living with your mother can be rewarding with the right mindset.

Anne Johnson

Anne is both a writer and a Nana. She attended University of Akron and went on to have a career in television sales. She now writes and promotes the multigenerational lifestyle. Currently she resides in South Carolina with her husband, two cats, a horse and fabulous grands.

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