by Weam Namou
On Wednesday night, I went to visit my brother who had just been released from the hospital for a minor health issue. He lives less than a mile away with his wife and their three children and with my mother. Before I got married eight years ago, I lived with them as well. That’s the eastern tradition. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you live under your parents’ roof until you get married.
Shortly after I arrived to their home, I took off my shoes and curled on the couch as my children went to play with their cousins. I was exhausted and needed some rest and this was the one place where I can feel free enough to sleep well and be attended to. When I returned home, I tried to do research on when it became a norm in America and other western countries for children to start leaving their parents’ homes at age eighteen – a custom that easterners cannot fathom.
I couldn’t find the answer to that, but a report published in London, co-written by associate professor Enrico Moretti of the University of California-Berkeley, found that eight in 10 Italian men ages 18 to 30 live with their parents, compared with one in five in Great Britain and one in four in the USA. There were a lot of articles discussing the fact that these days a lot of adult children (14 million) are still living at home for economic reasons. Dr. Phil has an article out called “Steps to Independence: How to Get your Adult Child Living on their Own” where he talks about the simple steps both parents and their kids need to take to make their lives more productive, fulfilling and healthy.
But what better way is there to have a more productive, fulfilling and healthy lifestyle than when you grow up amongst children and elders, amongst birth and death? This type of lifestyle can teach a person the type of independence, responsibility, love, cooperation, maturity, and respect that no book, class, school or doctor can teach.
Love the photo of your mother and daughter. Your daughter reminds me of my youngest granddaughter and they look about the same age.
I lived at home until I married. I think there are good points and negative ones to doing so. In my case, the situation in my home pushed me to get married probably before I should have….in the desire to get out from under it all. My daughters lived on their own before marriage. They are stronger then I was. But I was always nearby. Of course, the way things were then and when my daughtrers were the age I was make a different too. Too, for some there is a great desire to strike out on your own that is deeply imbedded. Like a part of our genes. It’s an interesting subject.
Nice post, Weam. I agree with you.
I think it is great to remain in the womb of the family as long as the family is a nurturing, loving and caring “safe” place. That is what is ideal. Sadly, that is not always the case and it does more harm then good. In my daughter’s cases, it was their great desire for independence and getting on with their lives while in later years of college, and I would not hold them back. But “Mom” was and still is always there for them. 🙂