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Can you be independent and live with your parents?

JamesJames Deactivated Posts: 1,706 Extreme Poster
(^ a classic stereotype for y'all. But how realistic is it?)

One of the news stories that seems to keep coming up this year is about the number of young people are living at home. According to government stats, around 25% of 20-34 year old in the UK live with their parents (here's the BBC article).

Although that's not as high as in some other countries (a whopping 79% in Italy for example!), it's much higher than it used to be. It seems that more and more of us are either choosing to live with our parents or unable to move out.

For lots of people, moving out is a really important step in feeling independent, but is it possible to live independently at home? If you're living with your parents, how do you find your own space?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My mum had to move back in with me first because she was unwell and then stayed
    because I'd become unwell. We do our own thing at times and then do things together and play things by ear - I think we have to respect each other's time and space even more so but I think it can work. But that doesn't mean we don't have roaring arguments at times!!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is me all over. My family call me a yo-yo because i keep coming back!

    My parents have said they dont mind me living at home as i can save more for buying a house (i think they secretly prefer it) but i do know i have to move out soon and i do want to have my own place and do my thing. It was the first thoughts i had after moving home from uni but im starting to get to the point where ive been at home so long, leaving is scaring me!

    In terms of independence at the moment: I pay 25% of my wages as rent, we eat as a family so no doing my own cooking, but i cook and clean etc regularly. I also pay for my own car stuff - insurance, petrol, oil, servicing etc - socialising etc.

    Im not really keen on moving out into the local town, Id like to move somewhere bigger. Ive recently been thinking cambridge or norwich and would like to change jobs so if/when i can get a job in a location is prefer ill be moving out. Unless they kick me out first
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think it's perfectly possible to be independent and live with your parents, but a lot of people who do it tend not to be because of the circumstances.

    Living independently to me doesn't mean doing everything on your own, more that it's about taking responsibility fully for yourself, your wellbeing and your actions.

    A lot of people who live at home probably don't do their equal share of running the household for example. Gas, electric, council tax, DIY, cooking, cleaning, laundry, insurance etc all magically get sorted - and while there may or may not be a financial contribution to that there isn't the responsibility that comes with having to juggle it all.

    When I lived with my parents (as an adult) we were reasonably interdependent. I did the majority of the laundry - which meant that I had to deal with my own, and other people's, and that they were reliant on me doing my bit for the whole system to work. To me, that's a far stronger indicator of being independent than people who try and live with others (family, friends) but in their own miniature bubble.
  • JamesJames Deactivated Posts: 1,706 Extreme Poster
    Some really interesting replies there.

    There seems to be some agreement that it is possible to attain a level of independence when living with (a) parent(s), but that actually it's more about building a role for yourself when it comes to the running of the household rather than, as Scary put it, creating your own bubble within it.

    Bearing that in mind, maybe it's helpful to think about independence as the opposite of dependence? So being dependent on your parents would mean relying on them to take care of all the things Scary mentioned ("gas, electric, council tax, DIY, cooking, cleaning, laundry, insurance etc") whereas independence would mean taking on all/some of those things. Is that about right?

    Lexi and Scary, you both talked about contributing to household costs and chores (paying rent, cooking, doing the laundry etc.). These are some great practical ways to become more independent. Does anyone have any thoughts on the more emotional/feelings side of things?

    Lexi, you say you think your parents quite like having you around, but it seems that you're quite keen to move out even though it's a scary thought. I wonder what you think would help boost your confidence a bit..?

    Miss Riot, it sounds like you and your mum sometimes find it tricky to live together without the occasional roaring argument! What do these tend to be about? Is something not working particularly well do you think, or is it just part of the process?

    Scary: At the risk of inviting a discussion over semantics, I think the relationship between independence and interdependence is really interesting. Would you say they amount to the same thing in this case?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In this case I think they probably do.

    To me, my independence is that I have a strong influence over my own destiny, my wellbeing, and what happens to me. I'll never be able to do all of that in isolation - but I can make my own decisions with input from others. I get support from my friends and partner and also support them back. If it's just a case of you taking support (in whatever means that might be) rather than giving anything back then to me that's not independent.

    As an example, I bought a house at the end of last year. Fairly solid example of something that a lot of people would consider to be a sign of complete independence. Did I do it on my own? Well, yes and no. I had saved up the deposit. I rang the solicitor. I signed the paperwork. I pay the mortgage.

    Did I do all of that without any support from others? No. I paid a mortgage advisor to help me sort that side of things. I used a mortgage advisor that a friend recommended to me - and I took their word for it rather than researching mortgage advisors. I leant heavily on a couple of people who were familiar with how the house buying process worked in that area. One of my friends dealt with the paperwork for me while I was away.

    So, to me that's independence (and interdependence) but it's not me working in total isolation.

    On the emotional side of things - these days I do a reasonable job of looking after myself, and looking after others. I can have a bad day, or a bad week, and I know how to deal with it. I've got the maturity and experience to be able to do that. Doesn't mean that I do it on my own - I'll organise to go for coffee with a friend because I know it will help me, I'll arrange to work from home for the morning to give myself some headspace. I'll phone a friend as a distraction. I'll ring my parents and have a chat through bits. I'll give my brother a shout and help with some of his uni stuff. It's using other people to help me look after myself, rather than relying on other people to look after me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    With me and my ma it's not normally to do with the house it's normally because one of us hasn't been that sensitive towards the other or I said something and forgot to do it or something messed up and I couldn't.

    I would say that we both have our own independence within a wider interdependence - we need each other in different ways but we also go about our own thing very often too and if we talk about it all it works but if we don't it goes to shit! Like any relationship really!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Reading everyones comments about wether u can live independently whilst living with ur parents is very interesting to hear. I agree with most of people's comments but I would say that u can still live independently with also getting some help from ur parents at home two. Being independent is not just showing people that u have moved out on ur own accord, are working, paying ur own bills and buying ur own shopping it's about doing ur own fair share like the cleaning, the washing, the cooking and the chores etc.

    That's most important that the other things on life. I would rather live with someone who did their fair share of those tasks then someone who was lazy not to contribute to the home. I pay rent, i contribute to the household buys, I have a steady job and I do chores so how can that make me any different with not living on my own.

    There maybe personal reasons to why people can never live on there own so people shouldn't judge untill they know the full story but as for someone living the easy life says it all. This is similar to employment, comparing the both in terms of claming benefits and staying at home being lazy to going to work and earning money can have there own reasons behind each one.

    If someone u know living on tax payers money and claiming anything but everything so thru don't have to work shows a good example of not contributing to society but having someone who works three jobs with putting into community day by day shows that their contributioning when they are already doing enough. Again it depends on peoples circumstances. So before u judge u need to look at the bigger picture.

    With James saying about with emotional side of living at home can be when u have arguments with the people u are close to, not having ur own space, earring all the food and not doing ur own washing can triggure wether or not living with ur parents at home whilst being independent is a good thing or not if u think about cuz even if u was living on ur own or with friends u may think that u wish u still lived at home as it was a little bit easier with the terms of saving at home whilst ur living at home.

    One day everyone will have to move out to start their own lives but having the indepence can still mean doing things for urself also.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As you all know, I don't live with my parents but I imagine that you could still be independent yes. You could clean your own room, wash your clothes, pay rent ect

    Sent from my C1905 using Tapatalk
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    James wrote: »
    Lexi, you say you think your parents quite like having you around, but it seems that you're quite keen to move out even though it's a scary thought. I wonder what you think would help boost your confidence a bit..?

    I don't know really, it's something I think a lot about and struggle with. In terms of cooking, cleaning, shopping for myself etc, I can handle that. It's the emotional side I'm struggling with. I enjoy living at home still as I have someone to talk to all the time, but when I move out (and I'd like to live on my own) I'd feel really isolated and separated with no one to talk to or lean on.

    Who knows I may end up in a house share so would make new friends that way but would like to live alone, it's just the emotional side I'd have to deal with on my own as well
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Celina B, I agree with what ur saying. Parents can have an effect on u when ur living at home with them 24/7 and it can be annoying being around when they are there all the time. When u still live with ur parents no matter what age u are u are still gonna be treated like a kid and tell u what u can and can't do. I get that they have provided u with everything and u shouldn't have it easy and need to pay ur way but there comes to a point when u wanna be independent at home urself by doing ur own washing, cooling, cleaning etc. Parents say they want to be earn ur keep only that's not the right term to say, ur still gonna be treated like u can't do anything for urself so its a no win situation. The only way they will be able to tell that ur independent is if u moved out and provided for urself. No matter what age u are they will still boss u around so there's no point trying to argue back when u know and they know that u have to obey by the rules.

    Lexi99, yes I agree with ur answer to the question also. Being independent at home isn't always a bad thing and sometimes u just need to show ur parents that u can live with them but be independent urself. With the cooking, cleaning etc are all good ways if showing ur parents u can do the basic tasks and will trust u to move out knowing u have a wise head on u. I do think it's nice to be around people as often as u can but sometimes this can be a problem. Maybe someone feel shy or low in talking to people and that way they are always on their own at home with no one to talk to so can be a very lonely place. All of us would love to have someone around with us when we need it but its not possible and so have to try find a way of how to go about the problem. Places like clubs or social events can be a good way of getting out and meeting people if u have no one at home or for u just someone visting u now and again checking to see if ur ok, so everyone is different and deal with their emotions in different ways but the more u get out the likely ur gonna meet people and u may become friends then and have them in ur life, for u it could be when u get to know them to think about sharing a flat with one another. You never know what the future holds, either way u have to put urself out there.
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