When it is OK to live at home with your parents without it being embarrassing?
According to the Huffington Post 21.6 million young adults live at home with their parents. Is living at home with your parents embarrassing? In European cultures, no one is shamed for living at home in their 20’s and 30’s. In the US, it is harder for people—especially older generations who as a rule left the house by eighteen—to accept the new reality that young adults are moving back home due to the poor job economy. Although more young Americans are living with their parents than ever these days, it’s important to not feel like this is an embarrassment or that there’s something wrong with you because of it.
Moving back home might sound like the worst idea in the whole world. You may have to sleep in the same bed in the same room that looks like a tribute to the 1990s and covered in Star Wars posters and N’SYNC memorabilia. You might have a hard time choosing to bring a girl or guy home to your house because you’re embarrassed about your décor. Worse yet, the idea of hooking up on your bed in your parents’ house. On top of that, whoever you bring home will probably meet mom and dad. So much for casual flings. Sex is totally not an option. Sure, you might not have a curfew anymore but coming home at 2AM after a couple drinks with friends could mean waking up the whole house if you aren’t quiet. It could also mean being interrogated by your parents asking questions like, “What are you going to do with your future?” and “When are you moving out on your own?” Questions like this might stress you out even further or make you feel like you are doing something wrong. If you believe this, you might sink into week long binges of Breaking Bad marathons while stuffing your face with leftover casserole and cookies. You might even feel disconnected from your friends who don’t live near where your parents (and now you) live.
So why do it? Why suffer through the embarrassment? Because sometimes it isn’t a choice and all if the time it isn’t as bad as you think. It can actually free up your life in a lot of ways and open new possibilities for you. If you have a good reason for moving home—which everyone does—then there is no need to judge yourself for it.
What if I told you that moving back home with mom and dad could be awesome and meaningful? Would you believe me? Jennifer Lawrence lives at home with mom and dad. Sold now? Not to mention the ton of free food and perhaps even prepared meals waiting for you (better than a restaurant? I think yes!). You might not have to worry about paying rent every month or utilities (that’s right- use up that AC, it’s too hot outside!). Because you could be free of or have seriously discounted rent and grocery bills. Living at home frees you up to use your money exactly how you want to use it. Think about that. You could put your money towards your future. There are countless entrepreneurs who lived at home while starting their businesses. Because they didn’t have to pay a mortgage or lots of bills, they weren’t as afraid of monetary failure. According to Forbes Magazine, “The (millennial) entrepreneur usually doesn’t have a mortgage, a car payment, or a built-up lifestyle to maintain.” In a way living at home is the ultimate millennial lifestyle. You have nothing to lose. If you are strategic you could save some serious cash so that when you do move out you can start your own business, travel the world, or become a baller who lives in a fancy place that you could not afford otherwise. Plus, even though it can be annoying, our parents know us best and sometimes having a healthy and level-headed person to bounce ideas off of can be useful. You can totally transform your room into your man cave, office, art studio, or sacred space. Bradley Cooper is an example of an older millennial who moved back home with his mom in 2011 after his dad died. Moving back home can be a way to get closer to your family and spend quality time getting to know them in your adulthood. It might also be a way to help you and your family deal and process challenges. If you do this, it is one way to show that you care a lot and are willing to nurture the relationships that mean most to you. Sounds to me like the opposite of embarrassing.
Create a plan that works for you and don’t be afraid to stick with it. It is important to think about your long term goals in your 20s rather than just what’s ahead of you for the next week. If you know what you want and you go for it or if you need a safe place while trying to find a job, no one will criticize you for moving home. They will applaud you for taking time to figure out what you want, save money, and work to achieve your goals. It also helps to try thinking of your parents as roommates. Treat them with the same respect you would a friend and your time at home will be a lot easier. Find little things around the house to do to make them see that you appreciate them like take out the trash when you can or do the dishes. These simple things will help them see you are responsible and grateful.