Those of us included in the Sandwich Generation know full well how our adult children returning to the once swept clean and renovated empty nest changes our preconceived ideas of what we will do  “once the kids grow up and leave home.” I, for one, have written many words on blogs about my take on this recent phenomenon. In fairness, there are always two sides to any conflict, and I have invited a guest blogger, my daughter, to lend her perspective to what it feels like to HAVE to come home after she thought she had “flown the coup” never to return.

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photoComing home to live with your parents again is like a dog returning to the pound. (LOL) Seriously, I don’t think anyone who strived to be a successful student through four plus years of college with all the blood, sweat, and fears involved in earning a degree believed the reward would be to a free trip home to live with mummy and daddy. I felt like a bird with a broken wing returning to the nest, and I figured my recuperation period would be short lived. After all, I was a college graduate. The truth is I was so focused on making good grades and trying survive the next test and the next project that I did not realize getting gainful employment would be next to impossible after graduation.

My parents have been very generous to let me come home and live with them. Although technically I consider myself somewhat independent – like a non-paying tenant.There are rules by which I must abide such as keeping my place clean and buying my own food (when I have the money); and taking care of my dog, Molly. Although, this arrangement has been a blessing and comfortable for me, I do want things to change. It’s hard to make important decisions in my life when I feel responsible or accountable to those who are keeping me from becoming homeless. Yes, they have a “right” to tell me if they think a life choice I am considering makes sense (to them.)

I am an artist. Most artists I know have trouble finding employment. They work at fast food places and some retail stores while pursuing their passion. Yes, I have been told, “passion doesn’t always put food on the table or gas in the car.” One thing my generation has learned is that money, power, and prestige has not made a lot of the Sandwich Generation fulfilled or contented. Weren’t we put on this earth to make a positive difference for others by using our gifts and talents? That’s what I was taught. I want to see if it’s true for me.

Overall, the experience of coming home has made me appreciate what I have been given in my life and also helped me appreciate my parents more for being gracious enough to let me stay. But I want to get out and start my own life, keep my place as clean (or not clean) as I want, and make decisions without having it approved by the parent “committee.” I know that there are others out there like myself who have worked their tails off trying to make a better life for themselves by going to college only to come home to their parents. To them I would say:  this is not forever (at least I hope not).  Eventually, we will find our way out of our parents’ homes and start a future for ourselves. Then we can actually change the channel from FOX and watch whatever we want. Oh happy day!