After 12 months of travelling, volunteering abroad and a spell of living in a slightly complicated friendship arrangement I returned to live with my parents in January 2017.
At first my pride was hit and I told no one out of embarrasement of being seen a failure, but then I got over myself and got down to work, afterall, if I didnt do this how could I ever move forward!
However, it was no easy feat living with dad with him grunting at me what ever I did, constantly checking his booze cabinet to ensure I had not delved in (He still has no idea I watered his vodka down….teenage trick still works), questioning me on why I eat soup or vegetables for breakfast every day and why I was always cluttering up the dining room table with 2 computers, a printer and piles of files. All the while mum sticking up for me and telling me to ignore him which would result in them having a high rised row while I sat at the top of the stairs feeling guilty like a teenager!
Sigh…Yes returning home at 42 was much harder than I anticipated but one that was absolutely necessary to allow me to get my new business up and running. In my head I was building an empire at the dining table day dreaming that I would one day tell my story in entreprenuer magazine giving hope to everyone, but to dad I was a pampered misfit who just didn’t want to work!
Now, let me tell you I never expected to move back to the parental home, after all I left home at 19, went on to have multiple houses with ridiculous mortgages and eventually took the huge decision to leave the North of England to settle overseas before returning to the South of England to work in London. I had a successful career and had never relied on anyone for anything mainly because I was earning well and also due to pride.
Yes, I had fled the nest a long time ago but had no choice but to come back to the North with a crash, bang (and an almighty wallop) when my finances hit an all time low after walking out of my paid job in the back end of 2014 and starting a business with “friends” which for me went tits up!
The sensible thing would have been to find a pal and move in and some did offer, or find a shared house which horrified me but would have been bearable. The reality was after 12 months of living in various parts of Italy, Malaysia and Cornwall I couldn’t face yet another bout of living from my case and I needed every penny to get my business going. No, I had experienced the gap year as an adult child and now I had to grow up but that meant starting from the bottom up.
I have always got on fab with my parents with every Christmas enjoying sunny Spain as a family, but let me tell you when I moved back I upset their routine and it can become a war zone within a couple of months which I did understand but didn’t know how to manage so would creep about as much as possible no easy feat in a 3 bed semi detached designed for two not three.
I tried to be as quiet as possible, help with the chores and became chief cook, showing my chef training that they paid for when I left school was not totally wasted. Thankfully I don’t watch TV so no hogging the remote control to crash their love of the chase or pointless (which I agree is). I follow a plant based diet while they are hardened carnivore animal produce lovers so they never had to worry about me eating their food. And as I had returned after 20 years away had few friends visiting and I was single (lets not go there) so I thought I was an easy guest!
The issue came in February when dad simply couldn’t understand why I sat on my computer all day on Facebook instead of getting a job, (might I add here I don’t have Facebook) but dad can only relate computers to face book as thats all my mum uses her for. So yes, dad thought I was sat in the kitchen for 10 hours a day liking peoples lunch and photo edited profile pictures!
Yes, it was not easy!
However, there were a few things that were totally great which made me stick around.
- I felt like a kid again because I had no responsibility
- There was always good coffee
- I found myself downloading all the tunes on spotify from my teens and took to dancing in my tiny bedroom
- I found there was always an abundence of crisps on tap (can’t resist a bag of walkers in a multi pack)
- I had no bills (yes, despite the offer from me the deal was I didnt have to pay anything towards bills while I got back on my feet again
However dancing to bobby brown and getting bored of crisps I then started to see it also had problems. And that problem wasn’t booze, food or actually returning home. It was because my dad at 80 is from a generation where putting on a coat, leaving the house and returning 7 hours later is what one should do.
And so with a small income coming in I knew the only way to avoid another raging row was to get somewhere else to work without him crashing doors and banging glasses every time I took a call.
And so thankfully it worked!
I found a cool co-working space in Preston at a price that was not much more than what I was spending on coffee in Starbucks.
Not only did getting up to go into the office do me the world of good it helped me focus more as well as meeting some really great people and actually getting a social life in a city where I knew very few people.
Co-working has huge benefits for entrepreneurs and my hot desk soon moved to permanent desk the busier I got of which I now have 4 desks as I await my 2 staff starting.
Moving back in with your parents no matter how good the relationship is can be hard but for some they have no choice. Now I am out of the way most days dad actually offers me a vodka in the evening which I turn down (who wants watered down vodka when I have my own Guinness)! I tell them about my day and we all get on great. I share the highs and lows, thankfully more highs and they give me an insight into what is happening in the world of politics with my reluctance to follow the news. I am gone before dad wakes and apart from weekends don’t clutter the dining table.
I now have a social life so find I am out a lot more than normal and we have almost become like ships that pass in the night, in fact they probably forget I am here most of the time with me taking trips to other cities and overseas.
The thing is now I am now in a position to flee the nest and pay rent after 6 months of being very careful yet I am reluctant to leave what is a bloody cushy number and if the truth be known they don’t want me to leave either. When I raised the subject of a flat I had seen I was met with why would you want to waste money renting……aha, so now we are at deadlock because how can I argue with that!
The idea of not paying bills like most adults is to good to pass over. I can invest more into my business which is taking its value to heights that some might of had to wait years to reach and I actually enjoy spending time with them knowing that they are the closest I have for being critical of decisions I am making. And lets face it I am incredibly lucky to have my parents here.
As for dad, well he now knows I wasn’t on Facebook and was working hard on building a business from the ground up but he still has no idea I own it and thinks I am putting on my coat to go work for someone else. To be honest rather than upset the apple cart I have decided its much better that he still thinks that!