Problems During Takeoff: A Survival Guide to Living With Your Adult Children

Updated on February 21, 2018
Meggie S profile image

Megan has been married for 26 years to John and they have two sons, Mark, 23, and Mike, 20 and 2 fur babies, Trini and Lucky, both cats.

The New Nest

Today is the day! Your child has reached graduation! Degree in hand, they cross the stage. You feel incredibly proud of their accomplishment, and find joy celebrating this amazing moment with them! As the day comes to a close, the reality of what lies ahead returns to your consciousness.. Where will they find employment and how will they/we pay off the student loans? Today's young adults have accumulated greater student debt, but jobs are more difficult to find. Welcome to the reality of trying to "launch" adult children in 2018!

Ready for takeoff?
Ready for takeoff? | Source

Are you dealing with an aborted takeoff?

The New Reality

It's a tough world out there. Many young people are highly educated, yet facing a job market that can be quite challenging to break into and even harder to earn a salary that helps them recoup their investment. It's a right of passage that many have endured, but in today's world, it is tougher than ever. Student loan debt is the #2 cause of debt in our country, second only to credit card debt. As a result, adult children are living at home longer and parents are dealing with a new dynamic: sharing a home with adults who happen to be your children. You may have never though about sharing space, but you might find yourself with a nest that is refilling or never emptying.

25 Years ago, college grads couldn't wait to get their first apartment. Today, they are often moving from college dorm back to the family home.

— Megan Swope

Preboarding the Flight

Making the cohabitation work is a choice. Everyday you have to choose what you will react to and choose to say the "I am going to pick my battles." Total disclosure warning: I bite the bait sometimes...ok, almost every time. My son seems to know JUST what to say to get my goat. He can get me going quicker than anyone. However, making our home life peaceful is worth the effort, and requires ongoing maintenance. We are learning as we go, with some setbacks and many lessons learned. I adore him and want our relationship to be great! It's just not easy: we are two strong people...under one roof.

Avoiding turbulence

Living with anyone can be challenging, but your own children can be downright frightening. I speak from oldest son is 23 and a recent graduate. Having him at home has been quite a test of my patience.over the last few months. He is full of bravado—that confidence that only a 23-year-old can carry off. I have to be honest: the daily reminder of my shortcomings is a more than a bit irritating. There are days I barely keep it together. I try to remind myself that the day will come when he may live far away and I will miss him...right?? LOL . We are proud of who he is, the interests he has, and the goals he has set. I know the day will come when I will wish for these days.

We are proud he is who is, the interests he has, and goals he has set.


Choose to Find Peace

In the end, your home is meant to be a sanctuary and I choose to find a way to find the zen. Do I always find the respect I seek? No, I do not...and that is really frustrating. I feel I deserve at least that after raising these children. However, we have found a middle ground. I pray we can keep that clear of barriers and road blocks. After all, he WILL takeoff for his flight at which time that empty nest might just seem a bit too big. So for today, I will try to choose patience and peace. At least that's the plan.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Megan Swope


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