My 24-year-old daughter is set to graduate with her master’s degree in early May. Because she is also serving as the Graduate Assistant for her department, she is staying in her adopted city until the end of the summer.

Empty nest

She’s been sending out numerous resumes, and interviewing for jobs, but so far nothing has materialized. Fortunately, through scholarships and her GA stipend, she has incurred very little student loan debt, but will be dedicating a significant portion of any income to paying that off once she is established in her chosen career.

I’m adjusting to the reality of having my firstborn moved out of our family home, but as the weeks and months tick by, I’m also assuming that I may have a boomerang kid instead.

There is a possibility that she will have to move back home temporarily while continuing her job search. Just when I was resigned to having her living hundreds of miles away, I’m now faced with how to navigate having her back home.

I did the same thing when I was first out of college.

I graduated in an off-term, Winter Quarter, and was engaged to marry in less than six months. It didn’t make financial sense for me to get a job, find an apartment and live alone for such a short time. I moved home and saved money for my wedding and eventual across-the-state move. Six months… it seemed like a lifetime.

More and more young adults are moving back home, because the economy and employment prospects are so dismal right now. It’s not what she envisioned either, it’s a last resort option. She wants to be on her own, independent and working in her chosen profession.

She’s an adult. Other than asking her to follow a few house rules, there’s little parental controls I can exert. I still have a younger child at home. What will having her back… after six years away… do to that dynamic? He’s grown accustomed to being an only child, to not having his big sister “watching out for him,” and telling him what to do.

I can see this getting ugly, and just when they finally got to be friends. And, I’m losing valuable storage and closet space in her room.

Moving home, I know, is not what she wants either. It’s a last resort option. She wants to be on her own, independent and working in her chosen profession

My concern may be moot. I’m borrowing trouble before it happens. A problem I have for a lot of issues. Instead, I need to anticipate a change in our family living arrangement, and accept that if it does happen, it will only be temporary.




About Tara

Tara, a new 50-something and empty-nest mom, lives and plays along the Florida Gulf Coast, taking pretty pictures and writing big words. You can find her at Thin spiral notebook or on Twitter at @Tara_R. Her three words for 2013 are: Acceptance, Change and Courage. All of these will come into play as she navigates this new phase in her life.

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