More and more young adults are moving back home post-college, which can be a big adjustment for both mother and daughter. MDF follower Lauren (daughter) recently moved home to make a career change; in this week’s post, she and her mother Karen  share their thoughts about how their new living arrangement has impacted their relationship.

Lauren…

When and why did you come home to live? How long do you expect to stay?

After graduating from college in 2013, I was living in NYC and working for a Fortune 100 company doing exactly what I studied in school. Two years after working for the company, I identified that I wanted to grow in a different direction. My family supported me in the very difficult and scary decision to leave the company and pursue different opportunities.

After I left, I moved home briefly before taking off for a three-month backpacking trip through Central America. I intended to apply to full time jobs immediately after I returned home from my trip; however, I found a part-time job at a dynamic start-up and pursued the role while figuring out my next best step. Four months later, I’m still working part time and living at home, embracing this time off from a 9-5 role as a chance to focus on my health. My family knows that I’m driven and seeking out the right opportunities and they’re still very supportive– I can’t complain!

What do you hope to achieve while you’re home?

So far, I’ve been able to spend a significant amount of energy concentrating on my health; from cooking healthy, delicious meals for my family to undergoing a two-month detox to “reset” my body. My ultimate goal is to find the right full-time role in a socially conscious company based out of NYC.

What’s been the biggest adjustment living at home again?

I’ve noticed that living at home, we are all victim to reverting to old routines. I have to make a conscious effort to contribute to the household and make sure my parents notice that I’m not just lazing around! It’s also easy for them to treat me like a younger version of myself if they don’t take a minute to remember that I’m an adult. It can be frustrating if they are “checking up” on what work I accomplish each day. We’re all working on it.

What’s been great about being home?

A big bonus of being at home is enjoying a lot of quality time with my family. Our favorite activities are exercising and hiking together, watching movies, doing morning yoga and meditation, making bonfires in our yard, reading, and playing A LOT of Bananagrams! Each one of my family members has unique relationships with each other.  For me, my mom is a great exercise buddy, my brother and I bounce professional ideas and advice off each other, and my dad is my sous-chef! We’re all focused on being healthy in our home and are able to offer great emotional support to each other.

How has your home stay impacted your relationship with your mother?

My mom and I are spending a lot more time together these days than we have in the past 6 years. We’re learning to create the right balance of giving each other enough space and supporting each other through challenges that arise. As I grow up and our lives change, our relationship inevitably changes as well. We spend more time analyzing our relationship these days and talking things through if we don’t see eye to eye. We’re learning to accept each other for who we are.

Karen…

What was your reaction when Lauren told you she wanted to move home? How did you feel about it?

It was actually my idea! I encouraged Lauren to move home while she figured out her next career move. I also fully supported her travel plans because I had traveled at that age to do some soul searching myself.

What’s been the biggest adjustment having Lauren home again?

The biggest adjustment seems to be how to treat her as a fully competent adult, and not as my child– very challenging!  It is hard to resist telling her not to bring a jacket or even nag about household chores.  We are learning to make space for each other’s choices. Also, we are all challenged to be good housemates and accommodate each other’s way of living.

What’s been great about having her home?

It is truly so much fun to have her home.  We have a regular playmate in each other and enjoy our companionship.  We have increased our attendance in Broadway, vacations, shopping, mani-pedis and hiking on wooded trails.

How has Lauren’s home stay impacted your relationship with her?

There are times amidst the fun and companionship, deep talks and shared activities, that disagreements and bickering can take on a life of their own.  We need to work on being gentler with each other’s feelings and genuinely more sensitive to each other’s moods.  Depending on the day, her being home has given us a new opportunity to improve how we relate to each other.  We are a work in progress.