“Let’s hang out at my (parents’) place”
It used to be that you loved having people over at your place. Your mom would be all “cool mom” à la Mrs. George from Mean Girls and pop her head into the rec room periodically to be like, “You girls want some fresh-baked cookies? Party mix? Pop? Delivery pizza? Tell me how many. Are any of you vegetarian? Should I ask for no pepperoni?” Now that you’re back at home, you want to be able to mingle with your friends without feeling like your parents are going to bust in on you at any moment and be all, “Okay guys. Fun’s over. It’s a school night. Everybody get on home.” Or perhaps more confusingly now that you’re older, “What’cha guys talking about? Can I join?”
It’s not about gratefulness; of course you’re grateful to your parents for everything they’re doing for you. But just like you know when to leave your mom and her bridge ladies alone on Sunday afternoons to gossip and eat scones, and when to let your dad watch the game and yell at the TV with his buddies on Friday evenings, you want the same treatment from them when you bring a friend or two back to your place to hang.
Beth found it easier to simply meet up with her friends elsewhere. “Luckily my parents had a family room separate from the living room where they usually hung out, so my friends and I could have a little privacy, but 90% of the time I preferred to go out.”
Dylan, however, saw it another way; not wanting to impose on his parents, he found ways to peacefully share the space when entertaining friends. “My parents have a decent-sized patio, so I would typically host my friends outside. It's all about respect of your parents’ space, but striking a balance in the ‘shared space.’”
Talk to your parents about what’s cool as far as having people over. Making it clear that you value their feelings on having company over from the beginning will make it easier to get the green light for hosting a wild rager down the line.
When you’re living with roommates, the realm of privacy is easy enough to negotiate. The sacred oath of privacy is practically unsaid between housemates, and all it takes is a sock on the door handle, or a screening of this video featuring Leighton Meester, to drive the point home. When your housemates are your parents, however, this is a point of potential contention.
Beth found it difficult initially to break her mom of the habit of treating her bedroom like just another room under the roof. “When I first moved back, I returned home one afternoon to see that my mom had made my bed, put my dirty clothes in a hamper, and stacked my books including my journal on the night stand. I knew she meant well buuut… I made an agreement with her to stay out of my room completely and that I would dust, vacuum weekly, and return dirty dishes to the kitchen daily in return.”
While it’s important to set certain boundaries with your parents upon moving home, you also don’t need to close off one wing of the house to achieve the privacy you desire. Despite how it may seem, any parental invasions of your space are probably not intentional and can be worked out through a discussion of the difference between checking in on you every so often and being a total helicopter parent.