It’s called the “boomerang generation” and it’s one of several terms applied to kids who move out of home only to return after, well, it doesn’t work out for them. Hollywood made a whole movie out of it – 2006′s Failure to Launch, where Tripp, 35, played by Matthew McConaughey needs an “interventionist” to get him to move out of the family home. Whatever happened to just moving out because it’s the right thing to do? Or to gain some independence? I really don’t understand why you would want to live at home past the age of 25. Is that weird?
Living with your parents can be challenging. Hell, living with anyone can be challenging. When I left “the nest” just after my 22nd birthday it was the best step I have ever taken. It wasn’t without drama and it happened fairly quickly (I made the decision and moved out within two weeks) but it’s what I needed to grow up. Was I scared? Sure. But I needed to learn how to stand on my own two feet; pay the bills; cook for myself and all the other adult stuff that comes with it. Probably the biggest dilemma I had was my first shopping trip. You seriously underestimate just how much stuff you need when you’re settling into your first home. Do you know how expensive vegemite is? Let’s not even get started on cooking oil.
Last year a Venetian couple hired a lawyer after several failed attempts to convince their 41-year-old son to leave the nest. The son “has a good job but still lives at home. He demands that his clothes be washed and ironed and his meals be prepared.” Whatever happened to “Pack up your stuff, move out and don’t come back. Period.”? Written in Italian it would probably sound a little more elegant.
Of course this is an extreme case but it shows just how much some “children” expect from their parents. Don’t these parents deserve to live quietly and comfortably into retirement age? Why should they be expected to keep providing for their children who have stable jobs, a healthy social life, their own car and in some cases their own investment property.
After I left school and got myself a part-time job in my working-out-what-the-hell-I-wanted-to-do-year I started paying board. $70 a week if I remember correctly. Did I want to do this? Not really. Did I think it was unfair? Probably. I do remember kicking up a stink quite a few times. Sorry mum. But it taught me to appreciate money and that I had responsibilities now that I wasn’t in school anymore. It taught me how to be more frugal with my money so when I moved out it wouldn’t come as such a shock and I wouldn’t become yet another “boomerang kid”.
I have found since I moved out of home I’ve developed a much healthier and happier relationship with my mother. She is one of my very best friends. While I was living at home, at times we wanted to kill each other. It has strengthened us and I thank her for making me learn how to be self-sufficient. Of course there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal from time to time, but now I love cooking my parents my own home-cooked meals.
This isn’t a post to say that I’m any better than kids who still live at home – I do realise there are some exceptional circumstances and some parents actually like their children living at home well into their 20s or even 30s. Gulp. I’m just not one of them. I guess because I’ve seen first-hand what effect a “child” living at home till nearly 40 can have on a relationship. It does no one any favours. We all need to learn how to live independently. Sure we can turn to our parents for emotional and sometimes financial support if they can afford it but I’d rather stand on my own two feet.
I often wonder how young adults navigate relationships while living at home. I would be mortified to bring someone home to my parents house only for an awkward conversation around the dinner table with murmurs of “whatever happened to Sam? He was such a nice fella” How do you maintain a sex life without necessarily being in a relationship? That gear stick in the car must be getting awfully uncomfortable well into your late 20s. No?
I live on my own so these uncomfortable situations just don’t happen. If I stop seeing someone I usually move every few years so they no longer know my address. Neat.
Do you have grown up kids living at home? Or are you a boomerang kid? What do you think about the “Boomerang Generation”?
Rose Russo has written 56 posts.
Rose is a freelance writer, blogger and self confessed chocoholic who could quite easily live on a diet of turkish delight and English breakfast tea. She loves the fast paced nature of online media but sometimes feels like she’s the only member of Gen Y who still gets excited to pick up the newspaper on weekend mornings. If anyone has a Sportsgirl addiction cure please let her know [I may be on a first-name basis at my local store] She also writes a weekly column focusing on relationships, friendship and life stuff on her blog at The Budding Rose
Follow on twitter: @thebuddingrose