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In Praise of Living with Your Parents

I was able to work my way through college paying as I went. Good for me. My daughter on the other hand worked three jobs the entire time she was in college and ended up with a psychology degree, a head full of feminism and $35,000 in debt. Probably many of you have similar stories: crushing debt, poor job prospects, etc. I am not blaming you. I’m not, like so many in my generation, lecturing you to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” and just work harder, kid! You did what your parents, your teachers, and the TV told you that you should do. You would like to get married, buy a house, and most importantly have kids. But that f’ing debt and the best job you can find in your field pays $35,000.

But there is a solution, albeit one that might be at present unpopular. Hear me out. The solution is: move back in with your parent or parents. Believe it or not, some of us love this idea. We want you to be married and have children. We want to help with them. It is nuts for us to live in a huge house paying utility bills and preparing meals for one or two while you live in a crappy neighborhood paying rent and utilities of your own. The obvious solution is to live in a multi-generational house.

I can hear you groaning already. You want to be your own man, out on your own, making your own way in the world. You know what? That bullshit only happened in 20th century. Before that, multi-generational homes were the norm. Even when I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s the family across the street had their grandmother living with them. Mammy McGraw looked after and often played with all the neighborhood kids.

As I have aged I have come to the conclusion that we have evolved to live in a multi-generational household. I think this just because of the way my preferred sleeping patterns have changed. As a teen and into my early 20’s staying up all night and sleeping til noon seemed normal. In my 30’s and 40’s up at 6 or 7 in the morning and asleep by 10 or 11 seemed right even when I had to work second shift. Now pushing 60, I like to be up at 3 or 4 in the morning and asleep by 7 or 8 at night. I can imagine a family group living in Ice Age Europe always having someone naturally up and tending the fire, keeping an eye on the children and watching for danger. Those of you who already have children can imagine how nice it would be to have someone you trusted waking up at 4AM to rock that colicky newborn while you and your wife sleep.

If you live with your parents and even work out a sort of economic partnership with them, you can afford a wife and children. Possibly your wife will be able to stay at home with them. If your wife does have to work, then you don’t have to put your kid in Dindu Daycare where your child can learn to be anything he wants to be, even a girl.

I am not ignoring the downside to this. You do give up the freedom to do things like date women your mom wouldn’t approve of. You might have to put up with your parents’ poor taste in home decor. They might give you advice you don’t want to hear. They might even get mad if you come in late on a Saturday night. Oh gawd, how awful having your parents concerned about you!

There would have to be adjustments on both sides. It might be difficult for your parents to think of you as an adult and it might be hard for you to see them as something other than your prison warden. Work through it for the sake of the children you will have and you will reap the rewards. You need to iron out the bugs in the system so your kids will think it is normal and even cool, though, because it will be again, and you will probably be living with them when they are adults.

Originally appeared at: The Anatomically Correct Banana