By Tom Meltzer
Around a quarter of young adults in the UK are living with mum and dad, the highest number since records began in 1996. They are the victims of rising house prices, a difficult job market for young people and, worst of all, the mental anguish of living with someone who used to brush your teeth for you.
Here’s our five-point guide to living with your parents as an adult:
Do your share of the cooking, cleaning and washing-up
Don’t let yourself go into “child mode” just because it’s the house you grew up in. Housework is just as tediously joyless for your parents as for the rest of us. Do your share, or forfeit the right to call yourself a grown-ass adult.
Don’t call yourself a grown-ass adult
Aim to have the right, but not to use it. Especially not on your CV.
Save, save, save
The major advantage of living at home is the price. Unless your parents are charging you full market-rate rent (in which case, surely move?) you should be able to squirrel away some money. If you’re working, living at home and not saving a penny, you’re basically walking blindfold into the future humming show tunes. It won’t end well.
Savings plan: squirrel away some money. Photograph: Alamy
Have an exit plan
Know how, if not exactly when, you plan to leave. In the darker moments of parent-child co-habitation, when you see in your parents’ flawed behaviour a dark portent of your own future failure, and ball your hands into fists, and gulp back the urge to punch a lamp, the knowledge that you have an escape plan will be your only defence against an existential tantrum.
Get to know this strange new housemate
This is as good a time as any to find out your mum’s backstory. Learning to see your parents as full people and not just personalised hovering emotional life-support machines will make you a better person. It will also make it easier to forgive them whatever daft foibles made you smash that lamp.