Reply To: S.O.S. Trying to explain why I need private time afterwork

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#105956
strwbry
Participant

If your parents are in their seventies, it may be hard for them to change. But that doesn’t negate your need to take care of yourself. Living with parents can be difficult as an adult because you KNOW what works for you, and they don’t understand. Plus, they like you being there and want ALL of your attention because it’s nice having you around and being a family again.

Often, when I come home, I transition in my car. I know my husband will want to talk to me when I walk in the door, so I sit in the car for 15-20 minutes and play on my phone. Even when my husband isn’t home I transition in my car some times. That down time just helps me close the book on whatever I was doing and prepare to open the “home” book. Maybe you could create a new space for decompressing from the day before seeing Mom. The car thing works for me. Maybe going for a walk around the block before going inside or stopping at the gym or a coffee shop otwh? Maybe bring a book or journal to a park? For me, I just need to turn my brain off. As long as no one is talking to me or I have headphones on, 20 minutes on my computer in public is just as good as 20 minutes in my room.

If she has a million questions for you when you walk in the door, you could try calling her in the afternoon or before you leave work. I do this with my husband sometimes, since I can’t be on my phone often at work. Before I leave, I’ll call him and discuss family business, things that need to get done, scheduling, etc. so that when I walk in the door all of that is done and we can just enjoy being together. Maybe that could help with your mom?

You’ve talked to your mom about what you need for your brain, but she needs things from you too. She sounds like she’s super excited to see you when you come home. Maybe you could tell her that you can’t have a big conversation as soon as you walk in the door, but can give her a big hug and a smile and you promise to come back in 30 minutes to chat and help with dinner? Or share a cup of coffee or something? If she knows that she will be able to have that time with you, it’ll be easier for her to let go of when. She’s not giving up that moment with you, she’s just rescheduling it. I think people have an easier time of adjusting their expectations when they don’t feel like they have to give up those expectations completely.

As for the planning two weeks in advance thing, my mother in law does that, and I never know what I’ve scheduled or agreed to. Maybe keeping a family calendar near the door could help y’all plan stuff together. Also, if you feel like their plans are monopolizing your personal/social time, you could ask them to limit the number of family events per week to one or two.

It takes a lot of patience and understanding to make it work. I find that asking questions and trying to understand where they’re coming from helps me to know why they are the way they are. Then, it’s easier to figure out how to get what I need from them (in this case, transition time) without burdening them with all of the weight of the change.

Lastly, you’re not an ungrateful daughter. Being an adult and living with parents is naturally stressful. They expect you to behave like their child and conform to their ways of doing things while you hope to exist more as roommates/equals. You’ve developed your own ways of doing things and expect them to respect your autonomy and boundaries. But they don’t understand. It’s a fickle situation, but if both sides are willing to give in a little and adjust, it can get better. 🙂

Best of luck to you! <3