Saturday, November 12, 2011

The refilled nest

According to the New York Times, since 2000, more people in the 25-to-39 age group live in their parents’ homes. By 2008, before the full effect of the recession was being felt, their ranks had increased by 32 percent nationwide, and we can assume it's even higher now.

We've got one of those "boomerang kids." Molly, on the left in the picture, moved home this past April. For the past six years she's lived two hours away, making use of her degree in chemical and biomedical engineering and earning a substantial salary.

But she wasn't happy.

After much discussion and consideration, at age 29 she sold her townhouse and moved home to pursue a dream to become a veterinarian. She spent the summer volunteering full time to get the requisite number of volunteer hours to apply to veterinary school, and is now studying veterinary science at Drexel School of Medicine in Philly. Her applications are in and we're all waiting to hear.

So how are we managing with a 29-year-old "child" at home? I have to say, just fine. But it really depends on the kid.

There's a quiz: Are You Ready for Your Grown Children to Move Home? on, and it's a good one. I think the most important factor is that Molly has specific plans, a real goal, and she's constantly working toward it. She goes to classes and studies pretty much all the time.

The other important thing for us is that she fits in with our lifestyle. She helps around the house, doesn't expect us to do things for her the way we did when she was younger, and even encourages us to live healthier lives. She goes to the gym with me and walks around the neighborhood with Dave, helps with the shopping, and even helps Dave with yardwork and the pond. It's especially nice that Dave and I can go away for a week or two and not worry about the house.

Lucky us.

What do you think about grown children moving back in with parents? Did it ever happen to you, either as a parent or a child? How did it work out?

Inquiring minds want to know. :)


  1. When we were newly married we had to live with our in-laws for nine months while we waited to be transferred 1200 miles away.

    All I can say is: NEVER AGAIN.

    I loved my in-laws, and we got along great, but it taught me early on how much I prefer my privacy.

    In your daughter's case, I can see how practical that is. She's lucky to have you while she switches careers. That's what family is all about.

    And yay for her for taking up veterinary medicine!!

  2. Your daughter is not the typical boomeranger, IMO. This move is a very purposeful, goal-oriented burp in the continuum of her life, and I'm sure she knows how fortunate she is to have the luxury of having parents that are able to help her achieve it.

    Curiously enough, just two days ago I watched a documentary from the Canadian aspect...or rather, I watched parts of it because I was too annoyed at the subjects to bother watching it all. Don't get me started on the whole Peter Pan/entitlement/you-don't-surely-expect-me-to-live-on-pasta-and-without-a-cell-phone generation... *snort*

  3. May I move in with my mom? I'm ready. She's in FL, has a pool, and it would be so much...erm. Nevermind.

  4. Since mine is just nine, I figure it's early yet to talk to him about his goals for leaving.

    I had to go home for three months between the end of my flat lease and completing on my house. As Maria said, never again. I love my mother, but we can't live together.

  5. @Maria--I don't think I could bear to live with my inlaws, or my parents, either, though we did live at their cottage for the summer after we were married before going back to school. But they were only there part of the time. Mostly we were alone, the way we wanted to be.

    @tartlet--I commend you for what you put up with. At least with Mol having been on her own, she's developed independence and a sense of responsibility, unlike the kid that never leaves home at all.

    @muddy babe--You know you'd go insane with your mom, right? Of course you're already halfway there, LOL! j/k... it's more like 3/4... :D

    @Rosie, it's never too early to get them ready to be on their own. Just keep telling him how great it is to have your own place, stay up as late as you want, watch whatever you want on TV, yadda yadda yadda. By the time he reaches 18, he'll be so sick of hearing the sound of your voice that he'll break for freedom. :)