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Living At Home With Mum And Dad

Living At Home With Mum And Dad

February 23, 2010

Even though it’s fine to live at home until marriage, why is it so off-putting to meet someone yet to fly the nest?

A hot cup of tea on arrival, fresh home-cooked meals, fluffy towels and sparkling clean surroundings. If that was a hotel you’d booked, you’d be pretty happy with your deal. Well, for many Indian 20 and 30somethings, that’s exactly what they’re getting if they choose to stay at home with their parents.

If you think about it, it makes practical economic, social and environmental sense. With the current recession and overpriced housing market, the property ladder is hard to climb, and renting is expensive. Plus, living en masse is eco-friendly, and you’re also benefiting from a strong family support system that has long been part and parcel of Indian culture. In Mediterranean countries, men (and women) do this all the time. In fact, in some circles, the idea of renting a flat in the same city is considered unusual, if not quite strange.

But why then, do some of us with our own places find it distinctly off-putting when we meet a potential partner who lives with their parents? As a woman, I often wonder if these men may have unrealistic expectations of their partners after years of being pampered by their mother. Of course, many men would be contributing financially, often generously, so I’m not suggesting a simplistic advantage of just getting ‘free board’. But they are invariably getting their cooking, cleaning and ironing done - so where and when will they learn those skills if they don’t have them by their early 30s?

You could say we’ve gone backwards in this respect. Whereas it was once more common to leave home at 18, get married young and set up home in your early 20s, now it can be your late 30s before that happens. And if you’ve lived at home for the bulk of that period, it’s a steep learning curve. I’ve not lived at home since I was 18 and that early independence has shaped me as a person and I look for that streak in others.

Anyone rational understands that it is not always possible to live away from home, be it for financial or family reasons. And often, the reason will be simply, ‘Why not? I like living at home.’ Fair enough. But if the reason is simply because ‘it’s easier’, that’s when the alarm bells ring. Loud and clear.

7 Comments

  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    17.10.12 09:20 PM
    @ SJC

    Lets say for example I agree with you on what you are saying. Why does he has to be solvent? And he is mummys boy and your point is what?...when he gets all the perks at home, which no relationship offers, why should he care what a total stranger thinks. One must know which side his bread is buttered.

    Lets look at this from different point of view, which part of the society says one must follow this rule regarding living separately. If you jump in the cold pool, why should he has to follow rest of them? He doesn't have to. Why does he has to prove that he is that sort of man. The point I'm making is about choices and if you add the pros and cons living at home you will realise which side this tilts.

    I'm married with three kids, this does not mean that I love them less but the point I'm making is that, you don't have to follow the crowds. period.

    Single people living at home doesn't know how good their life is. Look at pros and cons and you will know what I'm talking about.

    You don't have to do anything that society says or does. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to living, only choices that you and I make.

    HARRY
  • SJC
    By
    SJC
    17.10.12 03:32 PM
    id say that for most women, the alarm bells come for two reasons 1) hes not solvent 2) hes a mummys boy who expects the same from his wife. but women who have never lived away from home do get a much easier ride, even though half the time theyre equally naive about what living away from home means. plus living at home just isnt as acceptable in most of western society.
  • SJC
    By
    SJC
    17.10.12 03:27 PM
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    17.10.12 12:36 AM
    @ Meera

    A great article.

    I don't know why it's a big deal for women when a man is living at home. One other thing, why do women makes a big drama out of living with the mother in laws, when they quite happly live with their own mothers. I've never understood this.

    The final thing is why does the alarm bell starts ringing when the man lives at home, like you said he likes ready meal, clean cloths and clean living space without puting any efforts in doing those daily chors and what is wrong in that. It's a best hotel in the world. Period.

    The other thing is what is the point in getting hitched up with somebody for bit of a nooky. I am sure you can get this and the above all in one without all the emotional baggage called relationship.

    Considering this is same as carrot and stick scenario, what is the whole point in getting married. A friend once said to me, marriage is place where sex comes to die and I couldn't agree more.

    Now at this point I am sounding bit of a selfish bastard, but you know what I am saying don't you. So to the final point, what is the whole point in leaving home for all the so called relationship and marriage and sacrifice which one has to make for the good thing that home comforts offers on the plate. let me see. NONE.

    What I know now I wish I knew earlier. Now let me see what would I choose. On this thought, Happydays.

    HARRY
  • Meera Dattani
    By
    Meera Dattani
    06.09.10 05:48 AM
    Tys and Lazy Pineapple. Sounds like you're on my page when it comes to independence. Absolutely agree that it doesn't mean you care any less. Keep reading on the-NRI.com. Meera
  • tys
    By
    tys
    25.02.10 11:11 PM
    I was very not so subtly told to either pay rent or move out when I got my job. Cant imagine living with my parents but at the same time I would love to be there for them when they get older and need help (if they let me, i doubt it though)...the same goes for my inlaws too...
  • Lazy Pineapple
    By
    Lazy Pineapple
    24.02.10 04:59 PM
    Totally...the alarm bells do start ringing. I feel that Indian men who stay with their mothers are definitely pampered. Plus add to that the expectation from the wife to do the same.

    Privacy becomes another factor. Most people tend to live away from in-laws due to unnecessary tensions between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

    I grew up in a joint family and I have seen my mother suffer many times. It all depends on what an individual wants in the end

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