'Thanks To Lockdown, I've Learned To Love Living With My Parents At 30'
It's not as bad as it seems, says Cigdem Tanrioglu, 30, from north London.
I never planned on living with my parents at the age of 30.
Before coronavirus struck, I used to resent the fact that I still relied on the Bank of Mum and Dad to provide a roof over my head.
In the end, I decided to stay at home for a while and save some money. So, in my late twenties, while most of my pals were hosting housewarming parties for their newly purchased flats, I was still drunkenly tip-toeing through the front door trying my hardest not to wake anyone up.
And if I'm not attempting to silently make cheese on toast at 3am to curb my drunken hunger, I'm being rudely awoken up by the painful sound of my mum hoovering at 7am.
Last year it was reported that 3.5 million 20- to 34-year-olds still live with their parents, a number that's expected to increase as our economy continues to struggle.
But trust me when I say, it isn't as bad as it seems. Two weeks into the national lockdown and stuck at home with my parents, without the usual respite of seeing friends, I thought I'd be at my wits' end by now. Instead, I've actually grown closer to my family than ever (minus the hoovering).
Since the pandemic struck, I've been plunged into a childlike confusion about the world around me. Am I washing my hands enough? What will happen if a loved one catches the virus? What if we run out of toilet paper?
Just as they did during my childhood, my parents are there to reassure me that everything will be absolutely fine, their reassuring words comforting me just as they have since I was five years old.
And it seems I'm not alone; Joanna Freedman, 25, has recently moved from London back to her family home in Hertfordshire, admits being back with her parents makes her feel 'more protected'.
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Sure, I'd love to be more independent - never more so than when my mum bursts into my room during a virtual first date - but I'd be lonely too. Several friends in flat shares have been complaining about feeling alone, or finding relationships with housemates crumbling under the pressure brought on by the lockdown.
Thankfully, that's not an issue with my parents who have witnessed the hormonal rampages of my teenage years and know when to leave me alone. Somehow, I can't not imagine my friends dealing with my quarantine mood swings quite so gracefully.
Don't get me wrong, there are times where the pair drive me bonkers. Even now as I'm writing this, my mum has This Morning blaring away on the television. It turns out Holly and Phil are hugely distracting.
Joanna agrees: "Little things like having to eat at the table every evening, and being told off for my messy room are taking some adjusting to." But when we argue about silly things, like who ate the last homemade cupcake (spoiler: it was Dad), or why my bed hasn't made, I remind myself that I'm not far from perfect either.
Ultimately, as we sit around the kitchen table to eat dinner, I realise how lucky I am to ensure that my loved ones are safe; that I'll be there should anything bad happen.
My older brother, Ali, lives nearby but we have not seen him for weeks now. Every time my parents hang up after their video chats they look crestfallen, knowing that it will be weeks until they can see him in the flesh again.There are the obvious financial benefits, too.
Before we were in the grip of coronavirus, I decided to live at home because it made sense. I pay the bills and do the food shop in return for a roof over my head, and right now it's the best decision I've ever made.
I'm one of the unlucky few who have slipped through the government's efforts to support the nation, and as a freelance stylist I'm unable to work from home. Knowing that I will have a roof over my head, no matter what, gives me huge comfort.
It's the same for Joanna, who admits: "I'm saving so much money not paying London renting prices, having meals cooked for me and generally not going out in the city."
And as much as it pains me to admit it, as I've grown older I've realised that my parents really do know best. Sure, I have to respect some of their rules until I eventually move out - but is that really such a bad thing?
Featured Image Credit: Cigdem Tanrioglu
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