Living at home

17Feb08

I’m single, I live in the same city as my parents and so I live at home. I’m nearly 29.

Does this make me weird?

Some of my oyinbo friends think so, because the one thing they were looking forward to once they left school and joined the working force was moving into an apartment and exerting their independence. The thought of living with a bunch of slobs (I hear they’re called “roommates”) who could potentially steal your food, go through your personal things and turn the other roomies against you sounds like a stupid idea to me, yet many of my friends rushed out of their parents’ houses to do just this. They moved from a house with a decent sized room for them into a place with a room half the size and this is considered a step up in life.

No thanks, not for me.

Granted, perhaps I am unusually close to my family, but I never thought I’d be moving out of the house before I moved into a home with my husband. Of course I also thought this “husband material” man would have showed up 5-7 years ago so one thing we know is that I am not good at predicting things. As the years went on and my single status persisted, I decided that I would like to live on my own for a while before moving to married life, but instead of renting my plan would be to buy a little place. Because I had lived at home, I had had the opportunity to pay off my student loans and then move to saving for a downpayment. Dealing with the questions of “Where are you going?” and “When will you be back?” and ” was worth it after all…I think.

My plan is to be living outside of my parents’ home by my 30th birthday, which means I better start house hunting soon

I’ve talked to my parents about this and they are prepared for it (probably excited actually, hoping that I will encourage my three younger siblings to think similarly) but I wonder if they really are happy about the situation. I don’t want them to feel like I’m leaving because of them, but at the same time I am: I need to live my own life, and deal with adult things like mortgages and property tax, without having them around to take care of everything (or like typical Naija parents give their opinion on everything!). I’ll probably only be 15-20 minutes away by car but it’ll feel strange not to live with them after living with my parents for three decades.

To those who have ever been in this situation, I’d love to know your answers to these questions:

  1. If you lived in the same city as your parents and went to school in that same city, would you have continued to live at home?
  2. Do you feel the pressure to move from the family home by a certain age (for me that age is 30)?
  3. Did your parents ever make you feel like when you reached a certain age, they’d expect you to pack your bags and go live your own life?
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7 Responses to “Living at home”

  1. I finished school and national service at 23 and had to move back home, I tried to counter this by applying for jobs in other states but it didnt work..got back to lagos and got a job immediately, a good job..It didnt stop my parents from treating me like a child.Told my dad I wanted to move out,somewhere closer to the office and he erupted,started yelling that I wanted to be a prostitute…Next time I brought up moving out it was to the UK, they couldn’t refuse as I said I was coming for my masters…Been here 3 yrs, tired and miss them…I’ll start the masters this yr and go back home..age…30!

  2. 2 Oya

    If I where still in the same city as my folks I’d probably still be living at home. I stayed with my folks 2 years after graduation with no intention of moving out to rent (I was saving for a downpayment) but I got a better job in a different city and I had no choice.

    My parents liked the fact that I chose to stay at home and they did not think it odd because I am a girl (maybe different for a man). They where more worried about when I was going to find a husband and still are. Lol

    But after living on my own for a couple of years, I can honestly say that it is an amazing experience, you “grow up” in many ways, ur finances take front row and u learn to be 100% independent. I am glad I got to learn these things b4 I move into my husbands house.

  3. 3 GoodNaijaGirl

    @ Afrobabe – I laughed my head off at your “yelling that I wanted to be a prostitute” line because parents can be sooo funny. Did you ever think you’d miss living with mummy and daddy? What will you do if you meet a bobo who wants to remain based in the UK?

    @Oya – Ok, you’re reminding me of all the good reasons to experience living on my own…I had forgotten. I really must get my act together and do this. And you said you’re in Canada too…we must met up! Check your email!

  4. My parents’ house is less than 30 minutes away from my school but I’m only now living at home for the first time in four years. I guess because I had a scholarship my parent’s couldn’t really complain about paying for an apartment or dorm. I’ve always wanted “freedom,” so I loved living outside of the house. Being back home kinda sucks because I can’t just go out whenever I want without having to get my parent’s permission. They’ve always wanted me to live at home but I’ve made it known that I plan on moving out after graduation. I just wouldn’t be able to handle it if I were living with them after graduation.

    I’m surprised that you actually lasted this long living with your parents. Please tell me your secret?

  5. 5 meeee

    girrllll, i love your blog!!! is there an email address to reach you at? i think ive got some useful resources for you. thanks. muah!

  6. i live in lagos with my parents.i’ve always wanted independence and moving out was my goal.service year was my opportunity.when it came,i was over the moon.after two months,i was missing home though i didn’t call much so they won’t think i was home-sick.before i knew it,they redeployed me.how?i don’t know.though my “freedom” was short,it taught me a lot-relating with different people,managing ur resources,trusting god and facing life.
    its ok,if u want to move out,i mean,its part of growing up and since u r not far from home,u can pop in once in while just to say hi.though i still want to move out and even planning it.this time,they(parents) can’t redeploy me.

  7. Well, it’s established I’m just different in a weird kinda way. Probably too much western influence. As soon as I turned 18, I joined the Navy and never looked back.

    I don’t do roommates (except my son and even then, they are making me) and cannot stand paying rent, but I’d rather pay rent than live with my parents.



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