A feature in last weeks Sunday Times looked at a group of 20 somethings and how they felt about still living at home. The aptly named ‘Peter Pan’ generation talked of the ups and downs of living at home well into their 20s, as low (or no) salaries and high rents keep them from the independence our generation enjoyed after we had left university.
I remember having dreams (well nightmares actually) about having to move back home after college, but assumed that as our kids generation enjoy a much more liberal relationship with their parents, they wouldn’t feel the same constraints. But we all need privacy and a sense of independence, and no matter how well we all get on and how easy going we think we are as parents – there will always be a period of adjustment when it comes to multi generational living.
It’s not just the kids who have to try to adapt when adult children come home from university for the holidays, or to live full time once they have graduated. It’s the parents too. We go from tearful empty nest syndrome to quite enjoying a tidy house/fridge full of food/no-one crashing about drunk at 4am etc etc scenario, in not too short a time. So when newly independent under grads/graduates come home wanting a fully catered vegan menu/entertainment/lifts/money and not too much prying into their personal life, things can get tricky.
In our house we had about 25 minutes of empty nest – between one child leaving home and the other one moving back. We currently have an ongoing full/empty house and I never know if there will be six for dinner or two, who is staying or for how long, or where anyone is at any particular point. Sometimes I long for some peace and quiet and equally can’t wait to have a house full of loud music and lots of young people in the kitchen.
This is the way we live now and its fine – just as long as they are gone by the time they have children of their own – or maybe that would be nice too!
What about you?