An Unexpected Decision
All throughout high school, I couldn’t wait to move out; to be on my own, living independently. I think I may have literally counted down the days to ‘freedom.’ Despite that, a little less than a year ago, I made the life-changing decision to move back home.
‘Moving home’ was a little different for me than it is for most. I was moving into a new home with my mom and grandmother. Yes, three generations under one roof. At the time, the move was supposed to be temporary, or at least that’s what I told myself.
My Personal Insecurities
When I first made the transition, I felt insecure telling even close friends. In my mind, I saw it as failure. This is despite the fact that in 2013, 21% of 25 to 29-year-olds lived at home, a number that has been steadily on the incline.
Most people, or so I thought, saw moving home as a sign of weakness and lack of financial stability. Not only that, but I had friends who were getting married and starting their own families and building their own homes. How was it that I was reverting back to a child-like state while my friends were turning into full-blown adults?
Meeting My Family All Over Again
Once I got beyond my initial insecurity I realized that moving home was, in fact, a gift. So often young adults move out and rush to start their own lives. In many cases, close family connections take a backseat to building their own lives. Me on the other hand? I had the opportunity to get to know my family all over again.
During my time at home, my aunt, uncle and brother have all come out for extended stays. While I lived on my own, I would go on short trips to visit them or to dinner when they were in town, but these experiences were always rushed. It seemed like just at the moment we were settling in, it was time for us to get on a plane and go back to our own lives.
After living on my own the last seven years, moving in with my mom and grandmother was like moving in with two new roommates. I learned about their new habits, lifestyle, likes and dislikes – things that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. People change, and after being away for so long, I had missed so many of those changes. Now I have been given the opportunity to learn about them all over again.
It’s Not All Sunshine & Rainbows
Like with any roommate, there will be conflicts. Combine this inevitability with some fun grandmother-mother-daughter dynamics, and sometimes, things get crazy. During my time at home, my mother and I especially have had to work hard to build a new type of relationship. One founded on respect for each other as mother and daughter as well as two adults.
There’s also another fun component: my love life. No matter what anyone says, no parent is totally apathetic regarding their children bringing someone home. I recently had to have that incredibly awkward conversation with someone who had only known me since I’ve lived at home. Saying, ‘well I’ll have to check with my mom,’ before having someone over isn’t ideal, but it’s a small price to pay for the new relationships I’ve forged with my family while being at home.
If you have the chance to move home for a while in your twenties, do it. November will mark one year that I’ve lived at home, and I cherish every moment of it. You learn so much more about your family once you’ve experienced life on your own than you ever would when you’re a child or a teenager.
It’s highly unlikely you’ll have that opportunity later in life. Plus, there’s the added benefit of delicious food around the house all the time, which doesn’t hurt.
Have you or someone you know lived at home? What was the experience like?