Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Leaving Home . . . or Knowing What Side Your Bread is Buttered On

When I was about 8 years old, I packed my pyjamas a clean pair of knickers, the dress my mother hated because it had to be dry cleaned and my patent buckle up shoes and announced that I was leaving home.

I hated her, she was cruel and boring and I was off to live with my flapper Nana with her feathers and jewels and makeup and jelly some of which resided in Room 22 of Bleak House Hotel . . "O really" my mother calmly said " . . and how are you going to get there?" . .far from announcing that I'd catch the number 21 bus from Romily to Stockport and then connect with a Manchester bus to Sandy Lane Stretford . . . with nothing more than a Barrett's sherbet in my pocket, I asked her to drive me! Of course the answer was an absolute no and ' If you're big enough to leave home, you're big enough to find your own way'. I sulked for half an hour on the brick wall outside the front with a fully packed pink suitcase designed for dolly clothes and gave in. It wasn't worth the effort. Besides, she'd cunningly made hot pot and dumplings for dinner.

There's been much talk about moving out in my house. Not through petulance but both realise that they're old enough to be out of home. I was married at 22 but they're still here. Both kids are old enough and would really like, no love, to fledge but economics has taken it's toll. Much as I wish it was me moving out sometimes (actually I am considering a house sitting consignment in April and leaving them to their own devices) I do love having them around. But it is they who are considering the pros and cons. One is 24 and returned from an overseas trip with a credit card debt that needs nailing. The other in a long term relationship and dying to move out with his gorgeous girl but also in the process of building a burgeoning business and a little short on cash.

I'm actually not in any hurry for either to leave, I love having them home but the relationship is moving from one of Mum and the kids to - well - flatmates (by my command) who need to meet their obligations and by and large, they're damn good at doing it. Adam is happy maintaining the pool and mowing on command (we live on five acres so that's a day's work). Clare is a great tidier of mess and washer of dishes. Both are my confidants and friends and even fantastic company at lunch. There are however considerations. If you move out, you're looking at:

Living Away
Rent $400 per week
Electricity about $150 a month
Phone/Foxtel about $20 a month (not including personal iPhone or mobile accounts)
Internet about $40 a month
Partying hard say $400 a month
Food/groceries . .who needs food .. say $400 a month (because neither see the point of cleaning products)
Health insurance $100 a month (as long as they stay home, they're covered by the 'family' policy)
E-tag for tolls say $60 a month
Clothes . .who needs clothes . . .

Stay at home:
Board 10% of your income - varies for the Landscaper, fixed for the Graphic Designer between $10 and $75 a week
Washing done $0
House cleaned $0
Beds changed and rooms tidied $0
Food bought and meals prepared $0
Internet $0
Space to ask your friends over to play XBox or party hard $0
Agistment, feed, vet and farrier for your horse $0
Regular mumsy hugs and play $0'
Banker on demand (although this does cut three ways - socialism works folks)
Can I borrow your car 'cos the van's dirty $0
Can you drop me off at the Tav 9pm on Saturday night $0

Having my two besties at home. Priceless!

Who else would live with a live Christmas tree and Jesus and ask them to move out!


Ces said...

Oh these western and European cultures, so adamant about leaving home at 18...I did not have to deal with that. We all left anyway because we lived at our own flat at the university campus residential area with my sisters (for me, since I was 16 throughout college and grad school until I was 23 even though I was already working). In our culture, we only leave home when we get married, (some even move in) or if work makes us. Otherwise we live in the same house where we grew up. In turn, those of us who do, care for our parents when they are old or infirmed because we don't have nursing homes, no social security, no welfare. The life cycle continues. To this day, I still say "I am going home" when I visit the home where I grew up and my siblings and I still consider it "our parents' house" even though they are gone. New American families with oriental origins have grandparents living with them even though the house is owned by the parents. Somehow, in my culture we never equated leaving home with independence but rather bringing money in and contributing to the family coffers. While my money is my own, I will write a check when the need arise like someone's hospitalization if no one else can pick up the tab and it's not a loan. Of course we can't have wild parties. :) I hope you find a suitable and happy arrangement with your epsilons!

Grannymar said...

Baino, it is amazing how noisy the house becomes when the young folk move out. You get to notice all the creaks and groans.

Enjoy the party while it lasts!

Cuppa Jo said...

Ah, you have those 'priceless' commercials too, huh?

And where exactly do you live because I would love to pay $400 rent!

I personally left home briefly at 18 or 19, and returned home about 1-1/2 later. Then I stayed till I was almost 30 while I attended university, full-time to maintain health insurance. I have always been very grateful to my parents who never asked me to pay rent or the monthly bills, though I did try to help out when I could, but who were instead happy that I was so committed to finishing undergrad (took me ten years!). Thanks to them I finished my bachelor's degree debt-free.

I probably wouldn't mind living with them again, but as I've lived alone for ten years, that would need some getting use to. I like Ces's idea though. Very nice.

laughingwolf said...

yeah, the challenges of 'growing up' in a depressed economy :(

Brian Miller said...

you make it so tempting for them to stay with your price breakdown. What will be amazing is to see them flourish when the time does come to move out and know that the time you invested in them has made a difference.

nick said...

Good that they're such cooperative housemates, doing their share of the work. I think in the UK there are more and more kids in that situation, still living with parents (or moving back in) because of the economic crisis. And not all of them are as helpful or charming as your two.

Jay said...

Ha! I couldn't wait for mine to move out. Not that I don't love them, cos I too, quite ferociously, but I needed the space and I felt they needed to spread their wings and learn the things they couldn't learn at home, like budgeting!

Now they've gone I have two spare rooms, which is great, and there is always somewhere to stay for them when they like. One lives five or ten minutes from here so we see him often, the other lives about an hour and a half away and we see him less often. Both have matured enormously since leaving home. It's quite stunning.

I look forward to their visits, and Christmas is lovely - they both come back home then. :)

Anonymous said...

It's happening here in the USA, only more so. Mum and I have been splitting rent, utilities and food for almost four years. She even kicks in a few $$$ for petrol( which I try in vain to refuse ); mostly for all those clinical visits I take her to. My step-sis is newly divorced and living with her Mum( as my Pop didn't leave much in the way of anything, when he died ). The list goes on and on...

Grow Up said...

It's a no brainer. I never understood the intense desire in others to leave a regular meals and laundry service situation. Look at Italy for crying out loud, they are usually in their 30s when they leave the nest.

Susan said...

Having such great kids makes all the difference, doesn't it? I love the photo, and the runaway story--I tried that to and didn't get very far, because I wanted the dog to come with me but my mother said no. Oooh, so cunning that one...

Terence McDanger said...

Meh, they'll be moved out and up to their pits in worries and debts and all that shite before they know where they are, tell them to stay at home to feck with it and kick their heels up with their mad mum, I know I would.

Anonymous said...

Howdi pal,

I moved out at 18 in fairness my mother never washed my clothes or cleaned my room, had those kind of perks been on the table it would certainly have put a different spin on things. You and her work full time so I would not expect or allow either of you.

Rent is dead money and I think you are better off saving for as long as you can get away with. The more money you have moving out the easier life is. I was damn poor when I moved out, I shudder at the mere recall of some of the skimpier days.

It paid off in many respects I guess. I don't have the ridiculous morgages some people have but like you I never have the house to myself, my other half lives with me, my little mofo lives in the country and he uses my house as a half way house, my little cous resides with moi and an array of animals have also set up shop here. It's like a farking train station I don't think I could handle quiet now.


Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* It depends on the relationship I guess, but I think your flatmate basis is a good idea, just make sure they can't veto you out if you get too noisy or messy ;)

Anonymous said...

I am more or less resigned to the fact that my 2 boys, now 15 and 18, will be with me for some years yet. My aim is to get them to independent living, but boy do they have a long way to go!

Although they bring their 'challenges', I do like having them around- and their friends. They are so funny when they get together. I like giving them lifts to basketball- and hearing them all chat together about what is important to them- so funny some of it, but i just smile benignly.

Your two sound great to have around- I wouldn't be in a hurry to move them on either :)

Miladysa said...

I LOVED this post :D

I was gobsmacked when I read your leaving home tale. Would you believe my grandma lived off a Sandy Lane too? For years I thought the Lane had been named after my dad. We both had "dry clean dresses" which our mother hated and patent leather buckled shoes too!

I've nicknamed my eldest son (he's 30 next year) the Boomerang Kid. He leaves home and then comes back every so often.

Ronda Laveen said...

Loved the story of your first attmept to leave home. I'll bet your flapper granny seemed like a lot more fun than dodgy ol' mum.

My husband told me a story last week about an entire family that moved back to the old homestead in order to save it from foreclosure. Living in the US of A is getting increasingly communal.

Jefferson Davis said...

I was 21, when I moved out. I was scared to death but glad to be gone. 1993 was a party year! :)

God, I'm getting old!

kj said...

baino, better come visit me. there's an award waiting for you...

i'll be back to comment on this post. like so many others, i have first hand experience.


Annie Ha said...

$400/week?!?! I'm moving to Australia!

River said...

My daughter wanted to leave at age 4 and live with Grandma in another state. I managed to convince her that children weren't allowed to travel alone on buses and trains until they were 16 so she'd have to stay home till then as I was much too busy with housework and the younger kids to be able to take her anywhere.

Baino said...

Ces,you're quite right. Moving out of home early seems to be a very western concept although the Mediterranean folk have known the value of extended families for donkey's years. I'm in no hurry for mine to go that's for sure. I still live with my extended family! I do think they'd like their own 'space' at some stage though! And you're so right, chipping in together does make the economies of scale worthwhile.

Yep, not looking forward to it Grannymar although I know Adam won't wonder too far from home. Clare's an unknown quantity though!

$400 rent is quite low for Sydney Cuppa Jo but this would be a townhouse in the burbs. Inner city can be much more expensive.
Yes, pooling resources can work as long as everyone trusts each other. A rare thing in Western families I fear!

I dunno Wuffa, we're a lot better off than my parents were at their age in a post war economy!

Brian, they're pretty independent as it is actually. Rarely are all three of us at home at the same time. That's why we're more like flat mates, they do their own thing, the only mollycoddling they get is their washing done and the odd meal prepared!

Same here Nick. . those who have moved out are moving home in their late 20's to save for a home of their own . . .charming? Ha! Well they do have to be prompted on occasion! The odd hissy fit on my part works wonders!

Jay if I had two boys I might be the same, messy smelly things that they are!

Subby it makes financial sense. Especially for singles, that's why so many kids share when they leave home in the first place!

True Grow Up. I have a Macedonian friend and their whole family pool their financial resources. There's four generations living in the one house! Very comfortably too I might add!

McDanger! Who are you calling mad!

Yeh, I think I 'ran away' a couple of times Susan but got scared at dark or lured by food. . .yeh, they're pretty good most of the time! One of the few advantages of single parenthood I think.

Hello Nonny,love it when you pop in out of the blue! Yeh, you had your head screwed on though and got in quick! Rent is dead money, you're right and neither have the wherewithall quite yet to start investing but it wont be long. I HATE peace and quiet.

God Bimbimbie! I never thought of that! Erm nope, I pay the mortgage so I think I'm safe for a while.

Cinnamon, boys are incapable of independent living, that's why they move out with their girlfriends or live in a Tipperary Midden!

A Miladysa what a coincidence. Yes my Nana was a joy to behold and let me play with her clothes, cloppity shoes and makeup. Well I've boomeranged a bit myself!

Makes sense Rhonda. I've just read that Almost 25,000 Americans lost their jobs every day in December, January and February with 8.1 per cent of Americans now out of work - the highest percentage of jobless since 1983. There will be a few more moving home before this crisis ends!

Yes JD you and your creaky knees are getting very old! Yeh, but you're still very close to your family right?

kk kj brb!

Annie, you're the second to mention that $400 is cheap rent? that's based on what Adam's girlfriend's sister is paying and one of Clare's friends is paying the same for a shitbox flat mind you, in the inner city. That's average rent for a 2 bed flat or apartment. Of course it can be much more expensive once you get into the ritzy areas or bigger floorplans.

Megan said...

I once asked a very wise man what advice he would give my son, and he said, "tell him to stay at home as long as he can!"

I'm beginning to agree. Why this great rush to independence? It brought me nothing but trouble, I'll tell you straight! :)

That picture is bloody brilliant.

Baino said...

Well they can stay as long as they like Megan.

The photo was taken at Christmas when we all dressed up for Christmas Lunch. DrummerBoy in his wisdom decided to break the mould and grace our table as Jesus seeing as it is his 'birthday' after all! The pose just 'happened'. They are humerous to say the least!

Ronda Laveen said...

I'm back. Well, the unemployment rate in the county in which I live in upper northern California is nearly 2x the national average, weighing in at over 15%. And we are not the worst in our region. A couple of counties to the south, Colusa county is nearly double that at over 27%. ScarY.
Nice post. And guess what?

And guess what? I've been tagged by mrsupole. And now I've tagged you. You are IT! These are the rules:

1...Put the link of the person who tagged you on your blog.
2...Write the rules on your site.
3...Mention 6 things or habits of no real importance about you.
4...Tag 6 persons adding their links directly
5...Notify the person that you tagged them.

Good luck!.

Mrsupole said...

I now think you are double tagged, I did like your taggets. Oh well.

When reading about your story about running away, it reminded me about when I was young what I used to do. I would put my stuff in this hankercheif and tie it to the end of a stick (yes, just like the movies) and then walk out. My parents would drive down the street following me, waiting until I got tired and was ready to come home. Sometimes I would get a few blocks away, usually just to the end of the street. I finally quit after a few times.

Yes, with the cost of everything, we all need to live together like in the past.

So I just wanted to know if I can come move in with you all. I will need to take a cruise to get there, and my hankerchief is packed. Got my laptop and underwear. Do I need anything else? I'll let you know when I buy the ticket, it might take quite a few years, but I will work on it.

I got a funny feeling your kids know they have it made. If not, just let them know that they have a line of us waiting to come there too. We got the grandkids trying to move in with us now. I really will work on that cruise ticket. Oh well.

God Bless.

kj said...

well, here's my story. my jessica moved back home after college for two years. she had her own "space" on the 3rd floor of our victorian house, we often ate meals together, and certainly shared resources and lives.

but one morning jb and i awoke to find a note under our door. it said, "i have a boy staying with me tonight. just wanted you to know so you had clothes on in the morning. ps. he is sleeping on the couch"

the next morning, after mr 'guest' left, i handed jess the note and said, 'honey, do you think it's time you got your own place?" we both smiled. "yup" she grinned.
we helped her find a wonderful apt, moved her in, and loved her roommate. it was the best thing for her! and i admit i liked having my private little space again.

for what it's worth..

i beati said...

my son did it the right way - he just left one day and said time. I had no time to grieve beforehand. I however went off to college and never returned. Good post made me think a lot .My son is coming to visit in 38 days - boy do I cherish that..

Baino said...

River I think we all must have contemplated leaving at a young age! I was one of four as well so maybe my mum used that excuse, I can't honestly remember!

Thanks Ronda but I did the tag on Monday! There's plenty more onion peel so I'll save it for later!

Mrsupole how very Dick Whittington of you! Was it a red hankie? As for moving in, I'm afraid the inn is full but I have a rather comfy sofa bed if you get desperate!

kj he stayed on the couch? I've always been pretty liberal about boyfriends and girlfriends staying over. Much preferable to the alternative. Mine would love their own space I'm sure but when they do the sums it just doesn't add up at the moment! For now, house-sitting gives them a few weeks away in their own pad without the expense!

ibeati, I think I'd prefer some warning and help them leave. (Besides, I want to see what they're pinching!) I bet you're excited about your visit?

ashleigh said...

All those $0's. Sooner or later they have to move out, and pay their own way.

Or you could jack the board up. Perhaps 30% or 40% of earnings :)

Anything that makes it look like real economics makes the pain less when the move happens.

I'm a hard bastard :)