It is a big change in lifestyle when children move home for the summer, for the students and the parents. Sometimes students think
- It will be just like before I left
- I will have the same responsibilities as I did living away from home
- I am on vacation for 4 months
- and so on…
Sometimes parents think
- they have lived on their own so they should have no problem contributing around the home without being asked
- now I have someone to help with all the work
- things have changed and we do things differently now
- and so on…
Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectation are. My daughter presented me with some rules when she moved back home for a few months. She asked me to look at them and see if they were suitable and to add any rules. It made things very easy and simple because there were less misunderstanding.
Your contract/ agreement might cover the following ideas.
- Who pays for gas?
- When can they use it?
- Do they have to ask to use the car or can they just take it?
- Who buys the groceries?
- Who pays for the groceries?
- Do you buy everything on the list?
- Do you buy only the things you need from the list when you go shopping?
- Who cooks?
- Who plans the meals?
- Do you cook for everyone or only yourself?
- Who cleans up the kitchen?
- What needs to be cleaned, floors counters, stove, sink?
- Who does the dishes?
- Who empties the dishwasher?
- Do you record your activities in a specific place, electronic or paper?
- Do you need to tell where you are going and when you will be back?
- Are there any activities you are expected to attend?
- Who is responsible for laundry ?
- Who does the cleaning, is it a shared task?
This checklist of ideas makes it seem like working out an agreement will be a lot of work. The agreement only needs to cover areas that cause conflict, tension or have changed since the student last lived with you.
Our agreement looked like this:
- Buy groceries: give Mom the bill, buy everything on the list
- Weekday meals: First one home cooks, Mom will try to plan the meals for the week
- Mom will pay for gas
- Clean and wipe counter and island and stove
- No dishes in sink or on the counter, put them in the dishwasher before going to bed
- Record your evening activities and times when you won’t be home for supper on the calendar
- Politely and conversational let us know where you are going and when you plan on returning. This for safety reason, if you don’t return we need to know where and when to start looking for you
Tell me what items you put on your contract in the comments below.
Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org