Yes, I said it. And I have a right to, because I did it.
After almost ten years of living away from home I moved back in with my parents at the ripe age of 26.
But you know what? I’m not the only one. According to Statistics Canada, the number of young adults living with either one or both parents has been on the rise for the last several decades. In fact, the 2016 census indicates that about 35% of people aged 20-34 in Canada live at home. That’s more than ONE THIRD of young adults living at home, just like me. And considering that count was done about two years ago now, it’s safe to say the number has probably gone up.
Even just out of my group of close girlfriends, almost half of us live at home. And no, we’re not lazy ingrates looking to coast through life on our parents’ coattails — so get that image out of your mind, because that’s not it.
At least in the case of myself and my friends, we’re living with our parents because we’re prioritizing our future happiness and success over our pride (and privacy!). It also gets me out of accumulating debt and/or stretching myself too thin working a side job for extra cash, because right now I’m working as a freelancer with a less-than-predictable income while I figure out my next step. As for my friends with a similar living situation; one just finished law school and has a mountain of student debt to pay off, and the other is trying to start her own business.
Then there’s the practicality of it while attempting to move up the ladder in one of the most expensive cities in the world, Vancouver, Canada. A city that also has a shocking low inventory of rental apartments.
So judge all you want, because yes, I am often third wheeling my parents, and it IS awkward to tell people where I’m living, but I’m rent-free in a city with an AVERAGE rent of $2000/month for a one bedroom apartment. And while I am giving up a degree of my independence, I’m able to pursue my passion, or at least try and figure out exactly what it is.
But it’s not all roses
While there is no doubt that people like myself, with the option to move home, are extremely fortunate — there is the other side of the coin, ie. swallowing your pride, moving back to suburbia, and living a life that consists more of nights in with Netflix than nights out being young, dumb, and fun…
And having now lived with my parents for TEN months…I can say I am definitely reaching the point of being ready to move on.
I am fortunate to have a very good relationship with my parents, and this wouldn’t have worked if I didn’t. However, I do miss a world in which I can stay in my pyjamas until noon (okay, maybe 4 pm) without feeling judged, and do literally whatever I want, whenever I want, without being questioned. Because, let’s face it, I don’t always have the answers.
So if you can handle it, give it a year. A year to save money, a year to figure out your life, a year be a little spoiled by your parents….which brings me to my next point.
Food is without question the best part about living at home, other than saving on rent (and you know, getting to spend time with your loving parents of course, hi mom 👋🏼).
When I do finally move on, which will be soon, I will think back fondly on the warm dinners, always ready for me when I got home, the packed lunches my mom would sometimes send me off to work with, the homemade soup and fresh green juice when I was sick. The beautifully stocked fridge and cupboards with all my favourite foods, the snacks, the leftovers….I could go on.
I almost feel as though I’ll have to write an obituary for this well-fed period of my life…because the eating just doesn’t get any better than when you’re living at home. If my mom has been trying to ensure that I will always want to come back by plying me with food, she has succeeded.
Get over the shame
If you’re lucky enough to still have a bedroom at your parents house, and they’re happy to have you, don’t be ashamed to take advantage of it. Don’t worry about what other people will think, because first of all, who cares, and second of all, the world is changing and this is becoming a new normal for a lot of people in order to get ahead/save money/find happiness or whatever it may be.
Enjoy the time with your parents, take pleasure in feeling like a kid again, and make the most of your time so that you can return back to a fully independent life that makes you happy. In a society in which being able to afford to buy a home is rarely a reality as a young adult (especially a SINGLE young adult), we need to make good use of all the resources we have, and there shouldn’t be any shame in that.