5 Ways Parents Can Stay Sane in a Crowded Nest

· First hour is free, then charge for amenities.

No law states you have to let returning adult children use your things.  Internet or wi-fi service in your home belongs to you. If they contribute to the cost, then you’ll share the password. Using cable or streaming service? Way back when television was free, it wasn’t a big deal having a TV in their bedroom. Now there are monthly service charges. Post a schedule when they can use them, and charge a percentage of your billing. These are privileges, not necessities. Otherwise, there are hot spots at the local McDonalds or library available.

· Befriend the storage guy.

Adult children sometimes bring back tons of furniture and paraphernalia that will need storing. Your garage is not a dumping ground. Get on best terms with the owner and employees of the local mini-storage and make them your new friends.

· Use a buddy system.

And speaking of friends, circle the wagons of besties around you when they move back home.  Create a safety net where you can whine and moan about the kids, releasing the emotional pressures from a crowded situation.

· Take care of yourself.

You’re going to need every brain cell and the body strength of Wonder Woman to endure the Crowded Nest Syndrome.  Exercise, eat right, and get plenty of rest.  Remember when you were younger, the old adage was “Calgon, take me away.” The concept is just as important today. Adult children, aging parents, and grandchildren worry more being taken care of than the other way around. Don’t forget yourself.

· When all else fails–double your prescription of Prozac. 

If you’re one of those people who have gone through life without the wonder drug, (applause), take a bow. Kudos. When taking care of an aging parent, Prozac is a tremendous resource for stabilizing moods and emotions. If you don’t have one, run, don’t walk, to your nearest doctor and get one.

The former Queen of Crowded Nest

Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest and suddenly finds herself alone in the house with just her husband, Bob, three rambunctious dogs and a clowder of cats. How did this happen? They hadn’t been alone together since … well, for a short while in 1990-something, and there was that one other time … so long ago.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, I lived in a constant state of a crowded nest. My home
included at various times, aging parents, older siblings, adult children and
grandchildren. It didn’t help matters when we moved from Southern California to
the Pacific Northwest and bought a multi-bedroom home at a time I would have
been happy in a cabin in the woods. (Sigh) That was hubby’s idea, as he is a
paternal father hen who likes his chicks close.

Granted, when we first moved up, it was just the two of us. We rented a
house so we could scout out the new area. I was serious about living alone in a
forest. That dream didn’t last long. Adult children and grandchildren were
ushered in, if not forced in by luring them with the luxuries of in-home
laundry facilities and cable television. Though husband did manage to include
two acres of woods with the oversized house.

What’s a writer to do? Having enjoyed years of reading the darling Ms. Erma Bombeck,
both her columns and books, I did what any sane woman who do. Took out my
frustrations and angst in a book, of course. The Crowded Nest Syndrome,
was first published in 2003. And I had a delightful time creating and marketing
my trade paperback.

I know the subject of a crowded nest can be quite serious. Many Boomers are finding their lives invaded due to the economy and other realities. This is not a how-to book, as
in how to get them to leave, or become self sustaining. It’s a humorous look at
how I chose to handle the revolving door of people moving into my domicile.

My sister offered/threatened to get me a sign to hang up: Hotel Shaputis, many times over the years. It’s been a running joke. Well, as of August 2021, the last grandson has gone off to college. Now what do I do?