From Break-up to Boomerang
Rachael Scharrer, Divorce expert, coach and founder of DivorceAnsewred.com.au, shares her review of the ‘boomerang’ generation and how the market is greater than we may first think.
We hear so much about the ‘boomerang’ generation, the millennials who have to move home after living their lifestyle lavishly. However, what is being overlooked are the copious number of people who boomerang after break-up. What’s more, some of these mature boomerang-ers come with children in tow.
When parents (or grandparents) live near the original family home, often the first and easiest decision to make is to move in with family. When children are sick, they want their parent. When a child is hurt, they want their parent. Parents are the comfort-zone, represent security and stability. It is the familiar and it is your history – and returning to the past (or home in this case) is where many people go, if they are able to.
Beyond the familiar, there are so many reasons to run home to your parents. They include:
- Emotional support. Breaking-up is an emotionally charged time. Living with your parents and family are able to emotionally support you with an environment that is familiar. By being in their presence, you can emotionally unravel in the safety of their home. You can lean on them to vent, for support and receive encouragement
- Subsidised rent. Cohabitating with other people is a natural economy of scale. The cost of rent or any outgoing is cheaper with more income producing people in the house and the direct result is a cheaper cost to keeping a roof over your head and the children’s heads
- Time to find the new financial norm. Separation means a change to the cost of living and the amount of money earned. It is encouraged that you take time to find your financial feet and balance your new financial situation and living with family makes this much easier and more possible. Create your budget using the Budget Tool to get a firm grasp on your spending and savings
- Shared responsibilities. As you navigate your new life-chapter, being able to share the parenting responsibilities with a trusted family member offers an incredible amount of peace of mind. For instance, your work may not allow for you to be able to pick up your children each afternoon after school, but knowing that they are able to go home to loving and caring family members until you can get there will help put you at ease
Living with family may sound rather wonderful – but there is always a flip-side to moving home and living with family. Nothing comes without challenges… Living with family may also mean:
- No true independence. Often living with family means that you have to consult them when you make decisions – be it inviting friends over, going out for dinner or moving furniture
- Scrutiny for your choices, behaviours and actions. Everything that you do and say will be observed and analysed. Trying to be and stay on your best behaviour can be tiring. Try to make sure that you have your outlet for your emotions and energy
- Criticism and opinions shared by those that you are living with. Additional adults who are incredibly invested in you, your choices and what you do means that they will watch and comment. Some family members may not be able to stop themselves from commenting!
- Feeling confined. Many people in a small space (especially if you bring in children) can feel small very quickly. Yes, expect longer bathroom wait times and queues. Yes, you may not feel like you have privacy or a space of your own. Yes, you may have to find some routines with cleaning, cooking and other domestic chores. Try to keep a clear head and remain as calm as possible
Many people feel like they don’t have much choice but to live with family and they would much prefer living with family than continuing to live with their ex-spouse. However, just like every marriage is difference, so too is every family, the dynamics and the politics. Make the best and the most of what you are able to (however that may be) – and if that means moving home with your parents, then that is what you do. You need to make the best decision for your overall wellbeing within what your finances allow.