|Sidney enjoying the backyard - 2009|
A lot of young parents that I know have lived, or still live with their parents for support. Especially while they are still teenagers in high school. Other young parents that I know have managed to get out on their own and fully support themselves either as single parents, or with a partner.
I have done both. I lived with my parents until Sidney was just over a year old and then Nick and I got our own apartment. We lived in our apartment for three and a half years, up until we could no longer afford it after Nick was laid off from work. We tried keeping out apartment for more than a year, both of us working minimum wage, but it was too difficult and stressful. I guess you just have to figure out when to call it quits.
Now we are living at my parents again. This time is different though. When we lived here before we were young and anxious to move out. This time we're taking advantage of our situation to pay off debt, save money and go to school.
Of course, there are downsides to both circumstances.
Living with Parents/In-laws
It can be hard living under someone else's roof. Especially if they're your parents or in-laws. There are a lot of awkward situations to deal with. The two biggest problems I face are having my own personal space and time, and helping out with the housework.
My mom and dad gave us the basement, which is one of the biggest rooms in the house. However, we have to fit an entire apartment in our room, and store the rest in the garage. Our little room is currently holding two beds, a couch, an entertainment unit, a dresser, a computer desk and two bookshelves. It is so cramped, but it's the only space we have. My parents never come into my room, which is something that is important when living with parents. You have to set boundaries - that is your space, even if it is their house because we all need our privacy. My main issue with this is making my room feel comfortable and cozy, something that needs to be fixed if I'm going to live here happily.
My family is different from many. I say this because we have a lot people living in one small house. All it takes is for each person to leave a couple of their things out and the house is trashed. By the end of the day almost every dish is dirty. The biggest problem is that everyone is busy with work and their lives and plan on "getting around to it." This is a problem, but the only way in dealing with this is to pick up after myself and my daughter, and help out with the dishes, sweeping, cooking and other housework when I can. Obviously our own laundry is our own responsibility, and I try not to hog the washing machine.
Abiding the Rules
I don't necessarily have this problem, my parents are extremely lenient. All I can say is that when they do ask something of me I try to respect them by doing it. After all, this is their house and they're doing me a favor by letting us live here.
There are benefits to living at my parent's house, most of them financial.
- It's cheaper than renting an apartment
- I have more help with Sidney
- I have live-in babysitters for planned nights out (which isn't very often)
- I can go to school
- I can pay off my debt instead of building it
- I can save my money
- And to top it off, we have a backyard!
Then there is the odd time I feel like a loser for having to move back in with my parents. Nothing like a blow to the self-esteem than feeling like a failure. Not only does it feel like I have failed, but I feel bad that my daughter has to go through this, too. I see my friends who have their own apartments or houses, and the things they can provide for their children and I feel bad that I can't do that for Sidney. She can't have a princess room any more. She doesn't get those quiet, one-on-one times with mommy as often. My daughter is five years old, she doesn't even realize these things. She loves living at Grandma's house She gets to play with her cousin every day, spend time with her beloved family and play outside whenever she wants Still, I feel like I should have worked harder, been smarter, done better. I guess now is the best time to work on these things, no time like the present.
The truth is there are a lot of adults living with their parents these days. Whether they never left, or had to move back. Most of my friends in their early twenties are still living at their parent's houses. So I try to convince myself there's nothing wrong with it and I guess there isn't.
Are you still living with your folks? How old were you when you moved out? Did you ever have to move back in?