Monday, November 4, 2013

How to Survive Being an Adult Living in Someone's Home

Have you ever heard the saying, " You can't be a woman in another woman's house?" Basically, you aren't an adult if you're a tenant in another adult's home. I've been on both sides of this spectrum. I know by having been there, that sometimes situations occur and you may find yourself left with no other choice than to take up residence with someone. It beats being homeless, or staying in an abusive situation. In my case, I've been a tenant with my children in someone's home which made the situation much more tedious and intense. If you've been in this situation or, you're currently in it right now, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has or will need help at some point in their lives. However the goal is not to become a permanent resident. Unless you and the other person have come to that agreement. There are ways to survive being an adult during this time of transition.

DO: The first thing you want to do probably before you unpack your clothes, and put your toothbrush in the bathroom is HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY. It is imperative that you have a plan that includes a timetable, stable employment and a permanent address. While you're getting all comfy and settling in, the people who have opened up their home to you are saying to themselves, " don't get too comfy because you need to figure out what you're going to do." Whether they say it to your face or not, believe me they are thinking it. You need to write down your plan and how you are going to execute it. The timetable is the most important part of the plan. You need to let people know when you are planning on leaving. Depending on your situation ( especially if you have a job) the timetable may be one to three months. If you're unemployed it could be a little longer. However, you shouldn't move in on New Year's Day and plan on staying until Halloween. That's unrealistic and usually around the three month mark is when people start looking at you crazy and every time you sneeze after three months it starts to irk the piss out of them.

DO: It is extremely important that you COMMUNICATE with the people with whom you're living with. When you're living with someone this element is key to your survival. Let people know the moves you are making. Discuss every job interview you have, how did it go, when you expect to hear something back, etc. Talk to them about the connections you've made to valuable resources such as housing assistance, employment services and job fairs. People are looking to see what you are doing to help yourself get out of the situation you're in. And besides from all of the above, don't forget the basics; good manners. Make sure you say good morning to all of the occupants of the home and good night. If company so happens to come over, be prepared for them to look at you like you're a pathetic, freeloader. It's okay. Suck it up and make sure you speak to them too. If your landlord detects any hostility with you, any of the other occupants of the home and their family or friends, then it will make your stay more difficult.

DO: SHARE whatever financial resources you have to contribute to the household. This also goes along with communication. For the most part people will understand that you are not living with them to pay all of their bills. However, let the owners or persons in charge of the household know what you have and together y'all both can decide what is fair for you to contribute.

DON'T:  Go on SHOPPING SPREES, PUT YOUR NAME ON FOOD IN THE REFRIGERATOR AND INVITE YOUR MAN OR WOMAN OVER. I bundled these all together to save time and space and also to let you know that these are huge no, no's. First of all you're living in someone's home so you don't have any discretionary income. If you aren't buying a blouse on sale for a big interview tomorrow, then you don't need it. And furthermore, whenever bags are entering the home there had better be something in there that contributes to the household in some way. Whatever you bring into the home and place in a community property area such as the refrigerator is not necessarily yours anymore. The best thing to do is get enough for all or leave it where it is if you don't want to share it. Don't ever invite your your man or woman over to someone's home you're living in. What do you think they are thinking? People are fickle about this sort of behavior. If you can have a relationship then you should have your own place. Remember you are being watched. And people, while they may empathize with your situation if they feel they are being taken advantage of will put you out.

DON'T: My last piece of advice for this situation is whatever you do, DON'T MAKE EXCUSES. People do not want to hear you didn't go job hunting because you didn't have a ride. If you don't have a ride, you better use public transportation or walk. This is not the time for the pity party you like to have twice per week. You can resume that once you're stable with a permanent address. I've heard people use all kinds of excuses as to why they aren't helping themselves such as; it was raining, I didn't have a ride, or using the death of a loved one as an excuse to not do better. Excuses will only bring about contention and resentment in the household. And it could also put you back into the same situation. You don't have time for excuses. The goal is to do better for yourself and whomever you're responsible for.

There's so much more I can add to this but I'll save it for another day. I see a lot of young people who are existing in this so-called YOLO world living with their parents, their friends, older siblings, baby daddy's cousin on their grandma side who feel it's okay to freeload off others because they share DNA or a kid or they went to school together. Newsflash, once you're an adult no one owes you anything. It's time to grow up and make a way for yourself. However, if you do find yourself on hard times and need help it's okay just have a plan and be proactive with it.