The unwritten rules of society dictate that one must move out of their parents’ home upon reaching adulthood. However, this is not the case for all adults, and certainly not in today’s economic context.
Despite how common living at home in adulthood has become, there is still a negative stigma around it. Whether individuals are regrouping or seeking proximity to their support system, stigmatising this decision is wholly unwarranted. Here are 3 reasons why.
The depiction of those who live at home is often inaccurate (and a little offensive tbh)
In 2018, Michael Rotondo was evicted from his home. His parents had a court order issued to expel their 30-year old son, who had been living with them for 8 years without a job. Michael said that he was never expected to contribute to chores or upkeep of the family home. Despite his pleas for 6 months to prepare to leave, the judge sided with his parents.
This is the image that we often see of adults who live at home. They are depicted as slovenly, middle-aged, often male individuals whose presence at home slowly but surely becomes parasitic. Despite this, the Pew Research Center reports that it has become more common for younger people to live at home and for longer periods of time. In fact, the study found that a lack of jobs was not the reason for young adults living at home. It seems then that the Michael Rotondos of the world who shirk any responsibilities do not make up the majority of adults living at home. In this case, we should cease to push the image of adults at home as basement inhabiting hobbits with not an ounce of productivity in them.
Moving back home is not always an easy decision
As a result of coronavirus, some adults have found themselves moving back home to recover from the effects or take care of loved ones. Whatever the reason is for moving back, there should be no shame in returning to your childhood bedroom and secretly finding solace in a long lost teddy bear. Don’t tell anyone but know that you are not alone.
In her book ‘Mom & Me & Mom’, Maya Angelou likened independence to wine. ‘It does not matter that its taste is not appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.’ Living alone isn’t a piece of cake. It can be isolating and there are plenty of opportunities for one to struggle through making things work. The trappings of being at home including free food, laundry and even company are sometimes not available in the big, bad world.
Despite this, adults living at home could very well miss the growth experienced in finding one’s own way. This can even make up for the lack of guaranteed leftover rice in the fridge. Unfortunately, in a generation of perpetual renters, living at home can often make more sense than leaving and paying the financial consequences. Navigating the conflict between staying and leaving is not black and white and not all adults staying at home do so with the sole intention to mooch off of their parents.
It is not the end of the world
Living at home can often be seen as an indication of one’s failure to jumpstart their life. Despite this, moving back home does not mean that one will never move out. According to research, those who move back home spend an average of 3 years there. There should be no arbitrary time limit on when one leaves the nest. Life is never that simple. That being said, however long your time at home lasts, just make sure it’s not long enough for your parents to decide to take you to court.