‘Boomerang kid’ returns to her parents’ nest

I’m a “boomerang kid.” No, it’s not the name of a really elusive indie band. Nor is it the name of a gang I belong too. Although, that title would look pretty nice on the back of a leather jacket.

At the ripe age of 23, I’ve joined the club of young adults asking to move home because of their financial situation.

This time last year I was living a dreamy life overseas in France. During my year abroad, I developed a taste for a lifestyle I couldn’t exactly afford. My gluttonous consumption of ridiculously priced wines, delicious macaroons and a few non-deserved weekend trips to other countries left my bank account in disarray.

Luckily my parents willingly opened their spare bedroom to their travelling fool of a daughter and I unpacked my bags in August. Many young adults are asking their parents if there is any room left for them in the nest.

Photo illustration by: Kyra Macpherson.

It has been more than eight years since I’ve lived with my parents and younger brother and adjustments have had to be made. It took only a few weeks for my parents to call a family meeting. The dishes weren’t being done, the dog was being neglected and my mom’s wine was vanishing. I took the blame for the latter.

I never expected that at this stage of my life, I would be arguing with my brother over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher or take out the garbage. It’s also become a morning ritual to battle for the first shower. No woman appreciates having to share a bathroom, let alone with her dad and brother. My dad refuses to shower in the bathroom in his bedroom due to his newly developed claustrophobia and the shower being too small.

Of course it has been an odd adjustment for my parents as well, living with both of their adult children. My mom has mentioned what a transition it is has been to go from raising her children to becoming “roommates” with them. She feels it is all about finding a balance.

Many people see huge advantages of living at home. Free rent, yummy meals and of course, being with your family. Although I was excited to reap all of these benefits, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of failure. It was hard to admit that I needed my parents’ help.

Other boomerang kids may find comfort in knowing that many young Canadians are in a similar situation. A study done by Statistics Canada in 2006 reported that 43.5 per cent of four million adults surveyed, aged 20 to 29, were still living in the parental home.

According to an article published by the Canadian Journal of Sociology in 2004, sociologists believe that adult children are returning home for numerous reasons. Factors such as “transformations in employment opportunities, later ages of marriages, increased post-secondary enrollment, and higher immigration patterns” all have an effect on children moving back home or may delay the process of moving out. These cultural shifts may have helped to lessen the stigma surrounding adult children living with their parents.

I’ve since moved past my bruised ego and am trying to enjoy the little things about living with my parents. What a treat it is to come home to my baskets of laundry folded or to wake up to a pancake breakfast being made. I’ve never had a roommate go to those lengths.

To the boomerang kids out there, let us appreciate our parents’ generosity while we can. Just don’t forget to do the dishes.