I’ve been living with my parents and my little sister for 24 years. My whole life.
Unlike the Western culture (or at least what the Netflix shows and YouTube personalities show me), it’s common for Indonesians to stay with their parents until they’re in their 20s, even 30s. You don’t really move out unless you’re getting married or working in another city (because staying with your partner before marriage is frowned upon here, like, really frowned upon).
30 and still living at home? Is it an ‘Asian thing’?
Before researching and writing for this piece, I had assumed that this is only happening in Asian countries.
But I was wrong.
The reasons behind this are varied, but it can be summed up as follows:
- More and more families need to combine their finances to fulfill their basic needs
- Family caregiving needs for the elderly or disabled person
- We can’t really afford to buy a house
- Strong family ties, it’s just the culture
Should I move out or stay in my parents’ house? There’s even an article on Cut for this.
Your family is the best thing in the world (sometimes)
I have tried living by myself before.
It gets lonely. It’s less exciting.
You don’t have someone that you can talk to whenever you want to. You don’t have someone to share your food with, or debrief your day with.
Living with my parents and sister has mostly been a blessing for me, especially in this pandemic. I really cherish the time we spend together. It’s nice having someone who has known you your whole life.
Also, ever since I had my own source of income, I’ve been able to contribute to my family finances, and that feels really great 🙂
Staying with your parents can also be frustrating
But sometimes, it can be too much.
Because we all (my parents and I) work from home, there’s really no time to be apart from one another. And you know what happens to people who live in the same space for a long period of time.
I get annoyed at times. We fight, sometimes we would even go silent for days, but after that, we would get back together and play cards and have fun.
So, does staying at home make me less ‘adult’?
Yes, at some level. I’m not trained to cook or buy groceries or pay rent.
But it also makes me (I think) a more mature person. I have the support of the people that I love, I get to spend my time with them, and I get to save some money before I finally move out and live on my own*.
What’s your living situation like? Do you still live with your parents?
*(A secret that’s not a secret anymore now: Instead of renting, I wanted to own and live in a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment. One day.)
P.S. The featured image is me and my family, being random and creative in our hotel room in Hong Kong (2015).