Is It Weird to Live with Your Parents?


The growing trend is for young adults to move back home with mom and dad. This can sometimes seem unusual or even weird. But is it? Everyone has a story.

It is not weird to live with your parents. A young adult may not be ready financially or maturity wise to live out in the world. Currently, due to the pandemic and resulting economy, more and more 18- to 39-year-olds are moving in with their parents. Job loss has contributed to this.

The world is somewhat in turmoil, and you might find your life is too. Home is a refuge and place of security. We’ll discuss why so many young people are now calling mom and dad’s house home.

Culture Has Changed What’s Normal

Two generations ago, people graduated from high school, married their high school sweetheart, and moved into their own home. One generation ago, they graduated from college, married their college sweetheart, and moved into their own house. This defined normal for a long time, now things have changed.

Entering adulthood comes with a different set of priorities and challenges. Today people want a post-secondary education or some other training to help them through life. Marriage is also delayed. In 1950 most people were married around 22. Now the age is more like 29. This creates a lot of single-income homes. With escalating rents, unless you have a roommate, this can be a challenge.

Just Not Ready to Be on Your Own?

“I’m 25, and I don’t know what I want out of life.” Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Between 2018 and 2019, 17.8 percent of 25-34 years old, lived with their parents. This was before the pandemic. Many   were finishing up school, looking for a job, or just not ready to be living on their own.

Larry was a 24-year-old college senior who usually worked construction during his summers and lived at home. Upon graduating, he was able to get a good professional job and moved into his own apartment. But he moved back to his parents’ home. “I had never lived away from home. I commuted to college. I just wasn’t ready for a full-time job and living by myself.” Larry wasn’t emotionally prepared to be out in the world. Regardless of the reasons; he just wasn’t ready.

Let’s face it; the 20s are tumultuous. Things are changing fast and furious. Sometimes you just need mom and dad for that extra help both emotionally and financially.

The Economics of Living with Your Parents

Even before the pandemic, young adults were finding it difficult to finance their own homes. In fact, the 18–35-year-olds of today rent. Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit many lost their jobs, were forced to leave their apartments and move in with their parents.

The new reality is that for the first time since the Great Depression, 52 percent of young adults live with a parent. The pandemic severely hit millennials. But they shouldn’t hang their heads. This is a time to reevaluate what you want out of life and how you’re going to get it.

Parents May Need an Economic Shot in the Arm

It’s not always the kids needing that economic boost. Some parents are finding their wallets strained with the current economic instability. They are welcoming back adult children who can contribute to the household income.

Other countries have always combined multi-generations into one household for economic reasons. It’s only in the U.S. with the touting of self-reliance that this is wrongly judged. Self-reliance doesn’t exclude helping family.

Pooling Expenses Saves Money

Combining living arrangements is a way to diminish high housing costs. Rent or even a mortgage can be shared. The adult child contributes to the economics of the household by sharing in:

  • Purchasing food
  • Paying utilities
  • Contributing to maintenance
  • Covering taxes

This can help stretch a parent’s fixed income check further.

Separation or Loss of a Partner Send Young Adults Home

Kayla found herself divorced with a 3-year-old, a stack of bills, and unable to afford childcare. Her parents welcomed her back into their house. At first, Kayla felt demoralized but came to realize how great the situation was.

Kayla found a loving support system. Her parents provided childcare so she could work.  But the bonus was experienced by her daughter. Her little girl loved the attention she was receiving from three adults. And was thriving more so than when they were on their own.  It worked.

Conversely, Kayla’s parents developed a deeper bond with both their daughter and granddaughter—a win, win.

Separated or divorced young adults are heading home. Some are needing emotional support and financial help. While others need a refuge to take a step back and examine their lives. During a storm, home is a safe port.

Mom and Dad Need Additional Help

Sometimes it has nothing to do with the child and everything to do with the parent. Parents grow old. And if a millennial has an aging parent living alone, moving in with them might be the best course of action.

The new trend is to keep parents in their home as long as possible. Gone are the days of just “placing” mom in a “home”. Home healthcare is the way to go. But it’s costly and can’t fill every void. Adult children are moving in to fill the gap.

There’s an abundance of baby boomers. Many millennials are stepping up and moving back home to act as their parents’ safety net. It’s not just about the young adults’ needs; parents have needs too.

Boomerang Kids Hold Your Head Up

Touted as the “boomerang generation,” young adults have a bad rap. The economics of both the Great Recession and the pandemic have interrupted many people’s lives. It’s extremely hard to live on your own in this world. If the millennial has a child, it becomes almost impossible. But how is all this closeness working?

Often Parents and Adult Children Are Happy with Arrangement

Most parents and their adult children are satisfied with the living arrangement. Raul, a 29-year-old web designer, says moving back in with his parents was the best possible decision. He states that he’s closer to his father than he’s ever been. “We never had time to really get to know each other before. Now we talk. It’s great.”

No Stigma Living with Your Parents

There is no stigma attached to living with a parent. Other countries have been doing it for centuries. In the U.S., multi-generational households are coming back and coming back fast. With more than half of today’s young adults living with their parents, it has become the norm.

This is a time to step back. Get your finances and your emotions in order. Take some time to figure it out. But most of all, enjoy and relish in the “adult” relationship you are establishing with your parents.

Anne Johnson

Anne is both a writer and a Nana. She attended University of Akron and went on to have a career in television sales. She now writes and promotes the multigenerational lifestyle. Currently she resides in South Carolina with her husband, two cats, a horse and fabulous grands.

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