Home Sweet Home? The Positives and Negatives of Living with Your Parents in Your 20s

The term “parent” is loosely used in this, it can refer to parent/parents, siblings, an aunt or uncle, generally anyone who is a parental figure in your life.

Living with your parents (in your 20’s has definitely become more of a common phenomenon within the young generation. Approximately 52% of adults (ages 18–29) are living with their parents. For me, I have a hot/cold relationship with this. You feel as if you are old enough to start on your own journey and live by yourself but at the same time, you don’t have enough money to do so. Then there’s that feeling of embarrassment when asked “where are you at now?” Or that feeling of shame when you see your peers who have places of their own and you start thinking “what am I doing wrong.” Well the answer to that is…. Nothing. You are doing nothing wrong. I am in my mid twenties and I moved back in with my parents after I finished my undergraduate degree. I did not have any direction of what career path I wanted to pursue. I had no money and had a bunch of loans to pay back. There was no way I was ready to start living on my own. But I won’t lie, at times I did feel shameful seeing people my age that I once knew having careers and living by themselves in a new city yet to be explored. This is actually part of the reason I deactivated instagram, But that’s a story for another time. The instant feeling of pressure and living by their rules since it is THEIR home, can be frustrating. One way to alleviate this pressure, for me, is to contribute. Be a part of the household, not just a body in it. Also,you have to realize that everyone is at their own pace. No two situations are the same. The fact that you are able to live with your parents and for them to allow you to be there is a privilege (assuming you have a good/close relationship with them). Positives of it are saving money, building close relationships, and the comfortability of being “home.” Side note, Not everyone will have the same experience with living with parents as I do and I realize that. This is purely from my experience.

Three (3) positives of living with your parent(s)

1. Home Cooked Meals

The home cooked meals…..amazing. My father and sister are truly gifted in the cooking community and enjoy the process. I definitely took advantage of this since I personally do not enjoy the process of cooking. I cannot stand it actually. Cooking is just not an area of passion for me. The time freed up in the absence of cooking allows me to accomplish tasks that are higher in my priority list. I became preoccupied in completing my goals where I would often skip meals in order to avoid the time it took to cook one. This is a bad habit to get into and my family helped me realize that. So, I started training myself to be patient
(Building your Patience Muscle) and look for some enjoyment that comes from it. Even though I did not enjoy the process, I did enjoy making the day a little easier for my parents when they would get home from work.

2. Get those benny’s

Saving Money… amazing. I was very privileged; My parents allowed me to stay at home without contributing in any sort of monthly payment (utilities, rent etc.). My parents would also refuse to let me pay for food, whether it be in a grocery store or out at a restaurant (unless I found a way to pay for the bill without them knowing). But generally, I did not have to pay for much. I spent 2 years working and saving as much as I could. I am aware of this privilege I was blessed with and am extremely thankful and appreciative of that fact. This allowed me to be in a great financial position where I could support myself on my own.

3. Strong Relationships

Closer relationships… amazing. I became a lot closer with my siblings and parents which is something I will never change/regret. I got to know my parents as an adult. We broke down boundaries and became more open with who we are, what we were struggling with (and what we still are). For example, I was experiencing panic attacks/anxiety regularly this past summer. It was probably one of my lowest points in life. My siblings and family took notice. There were moments I found myself in a dark room with tears running down my face, being overwhelmed with anxiety and emotions. My family was there. They did not say anything or expect me to say anything. They just sat there with me in silence. And when I was ready to open up, they were there too. I’m trying to find the words to explain this exact feeling but I cannot. Being able to cross this barrier with them by my side allowed me to grow so much as a person.

Three (3) negatives of living with your parent(s)

1. The anxiety

The anxiety…. I can live without. The anxious feeling you get when you know you should be somewhere else in your life, or where you are mentally ready to move on but are unable to due to whatever personal reason you are experiencing (financial, familial, etc.) is draining. Your parent(s) will constantly know your every move. Are you working today? Why aren’t you working? Why are you just lying on the couch? Why did you spend most of your time in your room today? Your parent(s) will be constantly aware of everything you are doing and everything you are not doing and this induces anxiety, at least for me. Especially since I am still trying to figure out who I am and who I want to become. It can be emotionally exhausting.

2. The pressure

The pressure to live according to someone else….. I can live without. You want to buy 10 tubs of ice cream because they’re on sale? Do that… no wait, how would your parent(s) feel about this? That freedom of doing exactly what doesn’t exist. You’ll be questioned about spending your money. “You got another Amazon package, really? You should be saving your money.” Referring to the paragraph above, when your parent(s) question why you have been lying on the couch all day, you now feel pressured that you HAVE to do something in order to not feel like a lazy piece of shit. This can be hard because you are not spending that day on the couch because you are lazy, you may just be emotionally drained/tired and need to take a few hours for yourself.

3. The old you

Falling back into the person you once were. As you get older, you learn and grow and develop into a “new” person compared to who you were as a kid. That kid is not who you are anymore. So, when you go back to live with your parent(s), you have to “cut parts of yourself in a destructive manner to fit into the person you once were” (Jordan Peterson). This person you once were put your parent(s) on a pedestal. However, as an adult, you start to realize that your parent(s) do not know everything. You’ll get to a point where they do not know any more than you regarding a certain subject. The answer you are searching for will no longer be at your parents’ house.

Generally, it is nice to be in the comfort of your parent(s) but there will come a time when you’ll hit that point where you’ll feel it is time to move out in order to continually grow and heal. I am at this point in my life. I NEED to move out for ME. For my personal growth journey. There is nothing left for me to gain at home. I can no longer climb to my full potential If I were to stay. And yes, I won’t lie, the constant reinforcement of seeing people around my age (even my best friends) having places of their own in places they have yet to fully explore played a bit of a role in this decision. It wasn’t that I was jealous of them, I was happy for them but at the same time I want to start a new chapter in my life. I can say now I am financially stable and am ready. You’ll have to decide when it is time for you.

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