I’m writing this after spending five nights over Christmas at my mum’s place; the home I moved out of eleven months ago.
It’s no secret that our mother-daughter relationship was strained in the final years of me paying board, and at sporadic intervals over the past year, so I approached this Christmas with some trepidation.
But I was oh-so-pleasantly surprised that there were no major arguments or fights (like last Christmas… and the Christmas before that, come to think of it!), and I found myself wanting to spend time at the family home, as opposed to only being there to sleep, eat and catch up on my TV shows, as was the case in the few months before I moved out.
MamaMia had a post up a few weeks ago from site contributor Lucy Ormonde, who is 23and still lives at home. Ormonde detailed the benefits of living at home, such as a free laundry service, lower rent/board costs and the comforts of having your family around.
Well I’m here to rebut those comments, listing my top five reasons for leaving…:
1. I needed some “me” time (long-time readers of this blog will know how important that is to me), without parents hounding me to hang out my washing or sisters yelling at me to turn my TV down. Now I hang out my damn washing when I can be bothered, and have to TV as loud as my heart ears desire (see above).
2. Independence. I’m quite an independent, solitary person by nature, and whilst living alone is hard fiscally, it helped me gain financial independence that I otherwise might not have.
3. Overstaying my welcome. While Ormonde is 23 and her living arrangement with her parents is still going strong, I feel I overstayed my welcome about two or three years. While I was not ready to go out into the big, wide world and fend for myself, my mum felt that I was, and that caused friction.
4. I’d been studying and working in Melbourne for four years before I made the move here from country Victoria, so it only made sense. It was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
5. Cutting the apron strings. In this day and age, the apron strings are cut much later in life, as about half of my good friends would attest to. The other half would probably default to the rest of the points on this list as reasons for severing their family ties.
… and those for loving living out of home:
1. Doing what I want, when I want.
2. Developing my own decorating style, as opposed to working within the limits of my mother’s.
3. Having parties, board game nights and as many people stay over after a big night out as I want (or as many as my sofa arrangement will allow).
4. Getting up as early as I want to vacuum, make smoothies or watch morning television. Most normal people would say “sleeping as late as I want”, but since I grew out of the sleeping-til-1pm phase in high school, I’ve been an early riser. Now I can do noisy things in the morning without risking the wrath of late sleepers.
5. Taking the next step. A study in the New York Times lists “completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child” as the milestones of “emerging adulthood”. Well I’ve achieved three of the five, so now I just need to get married and pop out some babies. Although, getting a boyfriend first might help…
Related: The 10 Commandments of Work/Life Balance.
Elsewhere: [MamaMia] I’m 23, I Live At Home & Here’s Why.
[The New York Times] What is it About 20-Somethings?