Moving Back Home? The Pros and Cons from Someone Who’s Been There

Remember when the stereotype of “still living with your parents” meant this really disheveled basement-dweller nerd guy who hung out on his computer all day in his poster-gallery bedroom (comic book heroes, naked ladies, you know what I’m talking about) and was basically waiting for his parents to die so he could inherit something rather than work for it?

Well, guess what twentysomethings/thirtysomethings: that guy is now YOU. Kind of. Thanks to this sucky economy, more and more of young adults (those Millennials you’re always hearing so much about) are moving back home with Mom and Dad. In fact, a recent study that’s been floating around the interwebz showed that more 27 year-olds live with their parents than with roommates. I could go on and on about why this is happening statistically (short version: fewer jobs, more debt), but I’m all about emotional equipment rather than logistics. And as someone who’s moved back home with her parents a couple of times since I turned—you guessed it, 27—I know what I’m talking about.

Moving back home with the ‘rents is a definite adjustment, especially if you once had your own place and were a wholly independent person who did her laundry at 1 a.m. and mopped when she felt like it (almost never). If you’re moving back to casa tua, here are the pros and cons to expect as you make your way through your (temporary) arrested development.

PRO: No rent!
Chances are your room and board is free (or minimal) at your folks’ place. No more covering your roommate’s half of the cable bill. No more post-dating your rent check because you’re worried you won’t have enough dough for groceries. Without the stress of paying half a dozen bills, you’ll be able to save money, pay off your debt, and help prepare yourself financially when the time comes for you to move out again.

CON: Privacy? What Privacy?
Without a kitchen or living area to call your own (or at least, half yours), your bedroom (or wherever you’re sleeping—old rec room? The aforementioned basement?) will become your sole sanctuary.  And despite you living with a houseful of roomies at one time, living with your parents limits your privacy way more because of a little problem to file under “boundaries, lack of.” Parental units aren’t great with the B-word. They think they can talk to you or see you anytime they want because you live at home. A closed door only means it’s not open. Get used to meeting your friends at their houses or going out all the time in order to catch up (yep, that means no more hosting Oscar parties, “Bachelor” parties, or parties, period). Couch-surfing will also become a thing if you’ve had too much to drink and can’t drive back to the suburbs where your folks live.

PRO: Lots o’ hugs!
Let’s face it: moms and dads are pretty awesome at making sure you’re taken care of. I was recovering from an emotionally raw breakup the first time I moved back home and needed tons of TLC. My mom’s cups of tea in the afternoon were a simple comfort that I took great pleasure in, and just her being there to offer advice, listen to my worries, and witness my major sobbing without judgment was extremely healing. Parents are fine playing the role of Human Kleenex as needed. They want to be the first thing you grab onto to help absorb your troubles and wipe away your messes. It’s their job. So, use them.

CON: You Feel Like You’re Still in High School
The whole “as long as you’re living under my roof” scripture is still a thing. Yes, even at your age. This means that your ‘rents will want to know what you’re doing, where you’re going and who’re you going with. Checking in would be much appreciated, too. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in one of New York’s sketchiest ‘hoods and lived to talk about it, your folks will still urge you “to be careful” and wonder if taking the TTC after midnight is a good idea. They’ll hassle you to clean your room and make your bed and all that annoying stuff you couldn’t wait to leave behind when you moved out the first time.

PRO: Comfort food 24/7
Look, you’ll offer to cook a few times a month, a few times a week even, but inevitably your culinarily-inclined parent will bat your hand away from the spatula to tell you that “you should really only boil an egg for ten minutes,” and ask “how long has that quiche been in the oven?” even though she knows the answer, but that’s her way of saying it’s been in there too long. She does this because she wants to take care of you and cook for you. Let her. You’ll eat like a queen without doing any of the heavy lifting, except some minor cleanup duty. Plus, you know your mom will make your favourite dish no matter how many times you’ve requested it, so it’s like eating at a your favourite restaurant everyday. Enjoy it, my friend.

CON: Sex gets tricky.
Sex can still happen, of course. It just has to happen at your partner’s place. Or when your folks are out (again, just like high school!). Or maybe at a hotel, which can be sexy but expensive after a while. And, of course, if you’re telling your parents that you’re staying over at your boyfriend or girlfriend’s house, you’re basically saying “Bye Mom and Dad, your little girl is off to get RAAAAIIIIIIIIIILLED. Call you tomorrow!” Cute.

It sounds scary, but it’s not so bad. The main piece of advice I can give you is to remember this: you will move out. Trust me. There is another abode, another life, another lifestyle, waiting for you. In the meantime, enjoy your stay chez les ‘rents. Take it day-by-day. Don’t get bogged down with FOMO stress about what your friends are doing and you’re not. You’re doing you. And that’s the most important thing you can do.

Plus: Bradley Cooper still lives with his mom, which instantly makes living at home really, really hot, right?


  1. MegenCiel
    February 12, 2014

    shedoesthecity This is normal in Asia where families have maids so the singles there can party after work more than they do here.

  2. MegenCiel
    February 12, 2014

    shedoesthecity Lots of singles in the Phil. take group vacations locally & abroad coz they can w/o relying on credit.

  3. MrsVonDoom
    February 18, 2014

    shedoesthecity And how you’ll have to eat every bite before you can leave the table.

  4. MegenCiel
    February 24, 2014

    shedoesthecity I did that before in the Philippines when I was there for a year & it’s tricky.

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