Becoming a Boomeranger: Why Moving Back in to My Parents’ House Isn’t All That Bad

When I left for college and moved into the dorms, I never thought that I would move back in with my parents. I knew that I could always consider my parents’ house my “home,” but I saw myself becoming more independent, moving into an apartment or renting a house after I graduated. Life has a way of changing our plans, however—I received my degree two months ago, and I’m packing my things and reclaiming my room at home. For many people I know, moving in with their parents after being on their own for a while would seem like the end of the world for a number of reasons—admission of failure, loss of independence, parents drive you crazy (mine don’t, but I know this is an issue for some), etc. The more I think about it, though, there are some significant advantages to moving back home for a while.

Money saver. That’s right, money. It’s not the only reason I’m moving back (keep reading) but it certainly helps. My last job forced me to drive roughly forty-five miles a day roundtrip. That’s 225 miles a week, not including trips to the grocery store, going to friends’ houses, or any other “normal” driving I would do. For my vehicle, that’s at least $200 a month, and gas prices are only getting higher. My hometown isn’t that large, so I’ll be able to find a job that’s not so far away from where I live, cutting my gas costs. I’ll also have a smaller grocery bill, and I’m sure that being around Mom’s home-cooked meals will keep me from wasting money on fast food. All that money I save will be put toward payments on my student debt—neat, huh?

Reconnecting with friends. I’ve been away from home for four years, and I feel as though my bonds with my friends there have weakened as a result. Now that I’ll be living at home, I’m going to have more chances to hang out and have fun. Some of my favorite memories from high school are of late nights spent playing video games and shooting the breeze, or of weekend-long musical extravaganzas. I’m eager to relive the times when a case of the best root beer and a guitar were tickets to a great weekend.

Quality time with my family. Money and friends are good, but my family is the biggest and most important reason I’m officially becoming a member of the Boomerang Generation. My parents both have significant health problems (the top reason I’m moving), and they’re not going to be around forever. From the moment I entered this world until I left for college, my parents had to be…well, parents. They had to enforce rules, teach lessons, monitor behavior, and all those other parent-type things that parent-type people do. That being the case, I was only able to see a few sides of who they were. Whenever I’ve made weekend trips home to see them, I’ve seen them not just as my parents, but as people. Though my parents have always been frank and honest with me, I still want to get to know them better while I still have the chance. My brother and sister are also continually growing into what my mamaw (that’s southern for “grandmother”) would call “fine young adults.” My brother has been married for just over a year, and my sister is going to graduate high school next May—it’s going to be great for me to build stronger relationships with them (and hopefully pick up some golf tips from my brother).

I make enough money to cover my expenses, but these three things are more than enough motivation to bring me back home.  I won’t be there for a great deal of time—my current timeframe is twelve to eighteen months—and I want to make the most of my stay.  Therefore, instead of dreading going back to my parents’ house because of foolish pride or a fear of what others may think, I’m throwing that junk out the window and focusing on what really matters.

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4 responses to “Becoming a Boomeranger: Why Moving Back in to My Parents’ House Isn’t All That Bad

  1. I’m part of that boomerang generation too.. my main reason being that I was screwed by a roommate and my secondary reasoning being that my mom is now alone after a reaaallly nasty divorce.

  2. formerboomerang

    Moving back in with your parents is a double-edged sword. I did it twice after college. The first time was to student teach. That is an unpaid internship and the town I went to college was prohibitively expensive to live in abnd on top of the tuition and fees so there was no such thing as “saving money.” I did it a second time after my first job where I got laid off and was teaching in a very poor district and so, like in college, “saving money” was an illusion. After the second time home, I was able to land a good job and now moving home would mean that I really messed up.
    However, I think that saving money can be such a cop-out for a lot of people (I’m not singaling anyone out here, just generalizing). For one thing, if you are in such an expensive town, then maybe it is time to find somewhere cheaper to live. ( I know that is not always possible, but it should be attempted). Also, renting does not make you un-American. It is called paying your dues and having a little pride. A house is not an impulse purchase and people need to accept the fact that it is normal to rent a fleabag and eat macaroni and cheese for a period of time. Probably most of us had parents who did this.
    A big aprt of why people move home is probably because they continue to call their parents house “home.” Home is where YOUR house, apartment, or trailer is located. Once you get out of college it is time to cut the cord. While you should feel welcome at your parents’ house(s) it is time to start calling them your parents’ houses.
    Another factor in this phenomonon is how acceptable it has become to live with parents. We tend to think that being an adult now means you are over 30, married, own a home, and have a litter of kids. The belief that 4 is the new 30 should also include the line that 30 is the new 20 and 20 is the new 16. I am asked all the time if I am going “home” for any break from school or even if I am going home for the summer. (This would not cross anyone’s mind if I wasn’t a teacher, but I digress). The fact is, our society has taken a disturbing trend of dependence. While there are valid reasons for moving home and I am no excpetion, it is also time that people had a little pride and if their parents won’t cut the apron strings then they need to do it themselves. Sorry for this incredibly long essay, but I think this is important to read and take to heart.

  3. Hm….

    @formerboomeranger: While I believe that some of what you say is correct, there is also that with which I disagree.

    The big reason I moved home was to help my family. My dad has serious (read: terminal) conditions, and while I have the freedom to do so, I’m taking care of my family. Imagine if I’d cut the cord and stayed where I was, and something had happened to my father already—the guilt is unfathomable.

    A house, by the way, is only a house—a physical thing. A home is a collection of memories and ideas, therefore, it can be anywhere. Your writing is a bit aggressive for the topic at hand, but I do thank you for your input. Glad you stopped by.

  4. Pingback: Goals for 2009, or This Ox Is On The Move « The Corner Booth

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