many people would gawk at the idea of moving back in with a parent as adults. coincidentally, the cbc had a piece on the topic this morning and it turns out that many people in their twenties and even their thirties are finding themselves temporarily back in their childhood home with their parents for various reasons…usually with the intent of saving a bit of money, re-evaluating their goals and values and/or re-establishing themselves in some way.
our society places so much pressure on people to move out. it’s practically a rite of passage. some might even argue that to move back in with parents after being away could be a sign of pathology…lets get this person on anti-depressants! however having multiple generations under one roof is common practice in many places in the world, and in spite of the drawbacks, there are lots of advantages.
take today for example. i wasn’t at work today (in contrast to my mum, sister and partner…all at work today) and I had time to make a nice meal. normally, my son and i would brave the grocery store together after his nap (a risky endeavor when you’re as big as a house pregnant and your son is 2). i would prepare the meal alone while he played alone, and then we would eat alone. when dh arrived home, he would eat alone while i would be madly cleaning up the kitchen alone while he finished eating. he would then prepare our son to go to bed while i tied up any other lose ends. on days we work (we work opposite shifts so as to avoid outsourced child-care) such a routine leads to much frustration some of the time, and utter exhauastion most of the time.
today, in contrast, my sister got home at 4 (she too recently moved back into the family home to pursue university education). she watched toddler while i efficiently went to the grocery store sans child. upon arriving at home, i promptly started preparing food while my sis entertained my son by watching arcade fire and tegan & sara videos online (my son loves watching musicians perform). part way through cooking, my mum arrived home (exhausted after a hard day) and had a chance to unwind, whereas normally, she’d be rushing to prepare something edible. while i cooked we had stimulating conversation about controversial topics in the news today (e.g. polygamy). meanwhile, sister and toddler come back and joined in the fun. we all ate dinner together (i much prefer meals to be a social event) and they helped clean (i HATE cleaning after preparing and cooking meals). meanwhile dh arrives home from work at 7:30 pm and eats while we’re all casually cleaning…not such a big task when everyone’s doing it. we all help put the toddler to bed calm and relaxed. FUN!!
anyway, there clearly are drawbacks to moving back into your childhood home under your parent’s roof. but there are so many benefits. my mum gets to see her grandson every day (his smile can melt away even the worst day’s stress). i get to have help with him while doing things i love (like cooking). my toddler gets to see a community of faces on a more regular basis than usual, rather than just see my tired old face all day long.
in today’s post, I could have easily bitched about the negatives of living at home, and would likely have elicited much sympathy from others. but where would that get me? why not challenge conventional beliefs about the way things “should be” and share the positive experiences? I look forward to having my own space again but until this happens, i will definitely make the best of our situation :)
here's some pictures of the chaos of moving. into my childhood bedroom...so weird. we even made a make-shift computer desk in our bedroom because there's simply no room for it everywhere else.