My Middle Class Lens: Staying With Your Parents Can Also Help You Grow

Adulting In Your Parents' Home
It is popularly believed in growing up emotionally, you need to move from your childhood home. But first grown-up lesson you learn is that everything goes differently than your plans. So how does that affect your growth? Is it correct to observe that the only way to become a mature, responsible adult you’ll have to live alone for some time?

As we grow up, we have new experiences from different places, from our educational institutions, families and our community of friends and acquaintances. And we grow in our own time and pace. There should be no comparison of this growth between two individuals because no one understands the struggles of another. But we have all heard the commonly told phrase that the only way to grow up is to move out of your parents’ home.

Is Adulting Equal To Moving Out Of Your Parents’ Home?

Many students choose hostel accommodations for their higher education for better opportunities, and they adapt to a different lifestyle than they have had so far. It is a supervised life but still very different from living with parents, as one has to look out for themselves and be independent. Eventually, while building a career, they are again opportunities that make one move out of their homes and settle in a new city. Of course, living alone has its challenges and a big responsibility to care for themselves. Financial and emotional support has to be curated with hard work. And there is no doubt that this lifestyle makes one self-sufficient and mature, a grown-up.

Is it true that one cannot grow up while living alone in their parents’ home? Moving out and settling into a new environment needs enough financial backing. Everything from rent to groceries and necessities requires much more money than a fresher job pays. So often than not they would need help from their parents. Some people must work two jobs to avoid burdening parents with monetary issues. Now getting busy with one’s own responsibilities to make ends meet and the demands of jobs, there is hardly time to visit their families. As we grow up our parents need us more than we need them. So the added responsibility for middle-class families is taking care of the sick. The children have to step up and help whenever there is an emergency. Living with parents is not all about being coddled.

What Is Adulting In Your Parents’ Home Look Like?

I have been doing a work-from-home job for the past year. When most of my friends were choosing better pay and bigger jobs in different cities of the country, I had to settle for this because my father suddenly had a heart attack and my mother was so vulnerable that leaving the two here for a job outside seemed cruel. Since then, I have contributed to my family financially and emotionally and we have gone through pretty rough patches, especially when my parents got sick last month and I had to handle work, hospital and the necessary duties during a crisis. So isn’t that part of growing up and being mature too?

Hiring full-time help in middle-class families is not the first option and in minor crises, it’s the kids who have to carry out these responsibilities. Bhawana Bisht, who also works from home and has to suttle between Nainital her home and Gurgaon where her parents often go for medical care. She grew up studying in a boarding school and came back home due to health emergencies in her family, says, “I have been travelling on and off to cater to work, handle my parents’ medical issues and their business. I grew up in the truest sense while I’ve been at home with family. It’s not like I was sitting and was shaded all the time. I’ve contributed, hustled and learned that responsibilities come with independence and freedom. A huge part of how my life turned out and the person I am growing into is by being home.” Bhawana agrees that caregiving can be chaotic and exhausting and it eventually becomes a big part of growing up and affects the choices we make.

There are toxic households and children with a problematic parent whose only rescue is moving out, which is a different conversation. But in healthy households but with a middle-class background, many things can hold you back from this independent life we have drawn in our imagination. But taking responsibility for your parents can make you independent too. There is always one way of perfectly growing up.

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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