When to Leave the Nest

Who says there’s a “right” time to leave the nest?

This western train of thought baffles me. Many other cultures live together indefinitely. That’s almost unheard of in the United States, though. Leaving for college aside, the age at which a young adult leaves home to live on their own is not something that can or should be set in stone. To expect everyone to have the maturity, knowledge, and even the guts to move out of the house by a certain age just doesn’t make sense to me. What makes us think this is how it’s supposed to be?

Then, what about those who have left the house to live on their own and are struck with a bit of bad luck. Are we to tell them “tough luck!” and turn our backs on them? I don’t think so!

Once I was out of school, I paid a mere $100 per month to my parents while I still lived with them. The beauty of it is that every penny of that was used to pay for my wedding. So it wasn’t like I was paying them to continue to feed me and keep me warm and dry. They were essentially acting as a savings plan. That was pretty cool! I had also been doing housework since I was 14. The only part of it that I really balked about was having to clean their bathroom as well as my own. I wouldn’t change the rest, though.

While I believe in letting adult children live at home until they are ready to move out on their own, I also won’t wait on them hand and foot. They don’t expect me to, either. They do their own laundry and fix their own meals on their varying schedules. There are certain things that they can even purchase for themselves. Moving out is not cheap, and they need to save to be able to afford to do so. Plus, there’s the whole credit risk and the need to build a good credit score before a renter (at least one in a safe neighborhood) will even consider letting you sign a lease without a co-signer.

To each his own, but I’m not about forcing anyone to do something before they’re emotionally ready and financially able. Shake your heads at me if you must, but I will not waver. I believe in this so strongly that we’ve taken in such a young adult who has been kicked out of her parents’ house “for her own good”. She had already been out on her own, but a series of unfortunate events had her down on her luck. She’s back on her feet and scrambling to save money now, but I guess it’s just not fast enough for her parents.

One Reply to “When to Leave the Nest”

  1. My mermaid is only six so I can’t relate on this one just yet, but I do wish I could move my parents in with my family. And my MIL too. I hate being apart even if only by a few miles. It would be so good for all of us.


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