Almost three months ago I decided to move back into my family home. I live on my own in London so when the government announced a lockdown was imminent and my office told us to all work from home, I upped sticks and fled to parents house in the countryside with no idea how long I’d be there for.
After short home visits every now and again when I usually spend more time in the car than actually there, this was a chance for some proper quality family time together. My brother was sent home from university too amidst the pandemic so it was like one big family reunion.
The thing about having a family home in the middle of nowhere is that you soon realise just how much you miss the buzz of a city when it’s been home for the last few years. The echo of late night ambulance sirens whirling up and down the road and urban foxes rummaging through bins were quickly replaced with an almost eerie silence. The only stranger I had seen for weeks was the postman.
At the beginning, I felt quite claustrophobic being here and all I wanted was to get back to reality and my previous life in London. It was a strange transition from living alone to having to adjust to my family’s routine all over again.
Of course, my parents love us being back. I quickly found myself occupying the new role of in-house IT manager, dealing with their daily Zoom woes as chief internet troubleshooter. My mum says it’s like we all came home for Christmas but never left, they’re pleased it’s a full house again after years of it being just the two of them.
The extra time with my family has actually been useful too. For the first time, I’ve been home long enough for my mum to teach me how to cook a full roast and I even planted my first lettuce seeds. I’ve tried not to regress back to my teenage years by helping out as much as possible but I’ll admit, there are plenty of bonuses for being home – I don’t have to worry about what I’m eating for dinner, I’ve been able to save money and haven’t had to juggle work and a social life. Plus, I’m getting pretty used to the waft of banana bread seeping up the staircase every afternoon.
At the beginning of lockdown, my dad came up with the idea of Saturday Night Dress Ups to keep us entertained and we’ve kept it up ever since, choosing a different theme (from ‘Creatures of the Night’ to ‘Star Wars’) with dinner, wine and dancing thrown in. It’s kept us all laughing and helped fill the gap of my nights out. I never thought I’d enjoy their company as much as my friends.
While I’m looking forward to having my independence back and being able to have my own space , now restrictions are easing, I’m feeling sad about fleeing my family’s nest. It’s been a massive comfort during such a period of uncertainty and I doubt I’ll ever experience a time like this again – all of us working and living together like old times without the angsty growing-up dramas.
If anything, I’m savouring every last moment I have here while I can.