· 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.