A couple of weeks ago, I made a post called "The Blessing of a Daughter at Home". In that post, I talked about how a family can benefit from having a grown-up daughter that chooses to remain at home instead of moving out and living on her own or with roommates.
Today I would like to talk about the other side of the story – the daughter who continues to live under her parents' roof while her peers are moving out one after another. So what about her? Is she making some sort of noble sacrifice, giving up the freedom and independence she could have had if she hadn't chosen to stay with her family? Is she missing out on fun and experience?
Many of you probably know I'm one such woman. I'm about to graduate from college and I already get a lot of questions, such as: "Well? Have you started looking for an apartment to rent? When are you moving out?"
Imagine how this trickle of questions will turn into a flood if I'm not married in a couple of years and continue living with my family "without an apparent reason"!
To say it simply, I enjoy living at home. I don't see it as a sacrifice or handicap; I'm blessed by having an opportunity to help and serve my family, but I also think I'm much better off at home than at some shabby rented apartment, spending my evenings alone or with a couple of random roommates.
Many young people claim you can't learn to take care of yourself until you've moved out. That one always puzzled me. Why can't we learn to take care of ourselves – and others – while living at home? I know twenty-somethings who never bothered to learn how to cook or clean before they moved out. Why, though? Is there some magic barrier between them and the kitchen? A friend of mine is 23 years old; she has no idea how to operate a washing machine. Another twenty-something never did grocery shopping for her family or mopped the floor anywhere but her own room.
Another common argument for moving out as early as possible is "freedom". You'd be independent and free if you moved out, I'm told. No one would ever nag. No one would ask you to help out in the kitchen or run some errands when you'd rather read a good book. No one would ask when you're going to be home; you can come and go as you please. No one would wrinkle their nose if there's a pile of dishes in the sink. Isn't that grand?
Yep, I could be free. Free from responsibilities, free from having to count with other people, free from having to worry about anyone's needs but my own.
You know what, I'd rather not.
Here's a paradox: most people want to have a family someday. Yet the single years are portrayed as glamorous and put on a pedestal. No wonder there's so much dissatisfaction when party-time is over and diaper-changing time comes. People pass from the role of rebellious teenagers to that of carefree young singles, and miss out on learning to be an adult who functions in a family, contributes to its well-being and faces obligations and requirements.
I can't ignore the financial issue, either. I didn't put it on top of my list, but it's definitely something to consider. Not having to pay for rent saves a lot of money; instead, it can be placed in a saving program and used later in a better way (when I say "better way" I don't mean buying the most expensive clothes or going out as much as you like).
Sure, I could live with roommates, and then my rent would be much cheaper. But who promises they will be a positive influence? As a student, I chose a college near home so I wouldn't have to live on the campus. I know there were drugs, alcohol and promiscuity. There was even a case of rape during a party. I successfully avoided that for 3 years. Why start now?
I understand circumstances can be different. People might decide to move out for a variety of reasons. What I speak about is the general attitude that moving out as early as possible is desirable, and that wild party life stimulates maturity and personal growth. I love living at home, I know I'm needed at home, and that's where I choose to remain.