“Being 30 and Living With Your Parents Isn’t Lame – It’s Awesome.” — Ehr No, It Is Actually Lame

There’s actually a column at Time, I kid you not, extolling the virtues of being 30 years old and living with your parents.

Just how much of a bummer is it to be well past the age of adulthood and still living under your parent’s roof? As this living arrangement grows increasingly common, the perception is that it’s not so bad after all. In fact, living with mom and dad can be pretty sweet. According to a new survey, young adults who live with their parents are nearly as likely to say they are satisfied with their housing situation as those who live on their own.

Granted there are a few exceptions (people taking care of their parents, lots of traveling and having the retired parents take care of a kid while you’re gone, etc.), but most people would quite correctly take being forced to move back in with their parents as evidence that they are failing at life and need to make some serious changes. On the other hand, if you think living with your parents is “pretty sweet,” it’s a red flag the size of an office building that’s telling everyone, yourself included, that there is something very wrong with you.

According to a new Pew Research poll, 21.6% of Americans ages 25 to 34 now live in multigenerational households. The figure has risen steadily since 1980, when it measured at just 11%, and it spiked, unsurprisingly, starting in 2007.

Not only is Obama the “Food Stamp President,” he’s the “Moving Back in With Mom and Dad President.”

In a column published by the Los Angeles Times over the weekend, one college grad forced to move back home explained why her living arrangements have proved, surprisingly, to be pretty great:

After four years of dorm living in New York City, with fire alarms that wrenched us from bed at 2:30 a.m., cursing whatever drunk sophomore had pulled the emergency lever “for fun,” I appreciated the quiet. I loved having a house to myself, 9 to 5. I loved hosting elaborate meals for my parents’ friends, the overworked adults sighing with relief into their glasses of wine. I loved my parents, come to that, and the long conversations we had on world events prompted by my hours in the kitchen listening to NPR.

Maybe he should have been out looking for a job instead of sitting around the house all day listening to NPR and drinking his parents’ wine. Also, it’s a pretty good bet that it’s not so much about conversations on world events as it is about having someone else pay the rent and do his laundry.

The Great Recession has brought with it a reevaluation of the American Dream, and even whether a college degree is worth the money. Now, the idea of living at home with your parents isn’t associated with failure or a lack of achievement.

“Now, the idea of living at home with your parents isn’t associated with failure or a lack of achievement.”

Wrong.

That’s exactly what it’s associated with — and it should be.

Part of being an adult is living your own life, not trying to recreate your teenage years under mommy and daddy’s thumb. It’s nice to have parents to fall back on if you get into a jam, but if you’re still content to eat your parents’ food, live in your parents’ house, and suckle at your mama’s teat in your thirties, it’s a sign that they didn’t raise you right in the first place. So maybe, in a perverse way, having your shiftless children camping out on your couch all day listening to NPR is a fit punishment for failing as a parent in the first place.

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