Sounds perfect

My Kids Can Live At Home For As Long As They Want

I don’t care about other people’s opinions; we are happy together as-is.

Originally Published: 
My adult kids still live at home and I am fine with it.
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I have three kids, between the ages of 17 and 20. As of this spring, they’ll all be out of high school. And none of them has any plans to move out any time soon. And I’m completely fine with that.

My two older kids have been out of high school for a while. They both work full-time, they’re independent, and they pay for things like their haircuts, gym memberships, cars, and coffee addictions. They just don’t pay rent, and I don’t see any reason for them to, either, when I have room and enjoy having them here. They’re also a tremendous help to me around the house. My oldest takes care of all the snow removal and lawn care. My middle child does all the laundry. And my youngest takes care of all the trash removal.

I’m a single mom and all of this is extremely helpful. It’s really hard to take care of your house on your own.

And they’re perfectly happy to pitch in at other times, too. Last summer, my washing machine was leaking all over the place and my youngest fixed it after figuring out we needed a $30 part using YouTube. When I need to figure something out that involves technology, they always help me.

Besides being great housemates, we all get along really well and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. Especially given the sky-high cost of living these days, I’m in no rush for my kids to move out, and I tell them they’re welcome to stay as long as they want. And I mean it.

I get asked quite often when my kids are going to move out. People seem to think that because they didn’t go away to college and work full-time they should naturally want to get the hell out of my house, or I should push them out. Everyone seems to have their opinions about it, but frankly, everyone should mind their own business and worry about their own family. I’ll worry about mine.

When I graduated high school in the ‘90s and went to college, it wasn’t super common for people my age to be living at home. I may have had a few friends who moved back home after college for a short time. But after you graduated (or if you didn’t go to college), you moved out of your parents’ house. I remember many of us struggling with student loans, rent, and car payments even though we had good-paying jobs.

Why would I make my kids go through that? If living at home for a few extra years can help them get started out in adult life and prevent them from going into extreme debt, why wouldn’t I be OK with the set-up? Especially when we’re all happy with the living arrangements as they are. It would be one thing if they weren’t working and were sitting on my sofa playing video games all day. But they’re working hard and learning as they go.

I don’t listen to all the noise or other people’s timelines about what I should and shouldn't do when it comes to my kids; I don’t care how old they are.

The most important thing is their health and happiness and I feel lucky to have them live at home. They can stay here as long as they want, and everyone can keep their opinions about that to themselves.

Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.

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