When Kids Move Back Home

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // Aging, human interest


August 1  

my son and I in Chicago

For many reasons, largely economic, grown kids are moving back home.

I’ve not experienced this for myself – but soon I will.

My son and daughter-in-law have decided to leave Chicago and move to Portland. While this has never been his “home” they will be staying with me for a while.

I moved to Portland well after my son had left home – and the home he left was not any of the ones he grew up in. So our story is already a bit different than kids returning to their original nests. But – although the nest is different, I am still his mommy and he is still my kid…and it is that relationship that will go through interesting variations.

He has visited me as an adult, even staying for a few months one summer. But even that was different as that's when he met the woman who is now my daughter-in-law and he spent a lot of time at her place.  And i have been to Chicago and stayed with them.

But now we will be spending more time together than we have done in 14 years! We will share meals, cooking, household chores and fun times.

I’ve written about issues that arise at holidays when one goes to a parental house for say thanksgiving and one is again treated as a “child.” But over the years my son and I have racked up hours of phone conversations, or in person conversations, and we have been able to pretty well negotiate that shift from parent-child to two equally stubborn, talkative political minds.

And now there will be another person in the mix, my son’s wife, adding to the intrigue. She’s stayed with me when she’s come to visit her friends and family but we have never had all of us together for a stretch of time.

It’s great having a child who knows you write about his life….as he said when referring to You Can Totally Screw Up As A Mom And Still Raise Great Kids “it’s my life but you are part of it too”

It won’t all happen til Fall and I’ll keep you posted about how we manage.

  • Great article; right up my own alley. I’m 53, and for economic reasons, had to move from my beloved New York *back* to Richmond, VA, where I was raised…into my Mother’s home. I’ve been here for almost 1 & 1/2 years — it has only been difficult because we were not close to begin with, but we’ve both survived. I’ll be moving out tomorrow, and as excited as I am to finally have my freedom again, it’s a bit bittersweet. *sigh* It is hard seeing my Mom age sometimes, and how fragile she has become. But she’ll be okay; I hope. 

    • Thanks Jann. It is difficult no matter who goes to live with whom. Your mom will probably be fine and you will too. My house here is a two-part house so they will actually have a separate space with it’s own entrance so that will give us all a bit of separateness that may make it easier. [I hope]


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    About the Author

    Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

    Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.