My kids are never leaving home

circa 2011

The news dropped yesterday that penalty rates will be slashed come July 1 and my first thought was “My kids are never going to leave home.” A lot of parents get upset when they become empty nesters, but not me! The washing alone gives me the silver lining of anticipation. And the bog roll bill will be slashed!

My mate Joe Hildebrand recently wrote an eye watering article about how Australia was heading for an “economic Armageddon” which outlined how we were all basically going to be living on the streets at some point. I look at my kids and their dreams and aspirations. Horatio wants to be a professional rugby player, preferably for the All Blacks if possible while Jack wants to dance for the New York Ballet, although his back up plan is to join the Opera National de Paris if NYC doesn’t work out.

Such lofty goals which indicate to me that they are never going to move out.

When Mr Woog and I were whippersnappers, we saved and saved and saved until we had $17K which we used as our 10% deposit on a rundown 2 bedroom cottage on the outskirts of Sydney. We had Horatio, dropped back to one income for six months and lived very frugally. Everything we owned was second-hand and a little bit dodgy. But we had a ball!

There is a whole generation now known as the Boomerang kids. They leave home between 18-21 only to find life pretty tough on the outside and end up back on Mum and Dads doorstep in debt before their life has even really begun.

Neither of my lads are particularly academic, but they have rat cunning in spades THANK GOD and that trait cannot be taught. Rat cunning allows you to make the most of any circumstance. I try to instil a sense of hard work and the importance of earning their own money. They both have after school jobs at the local shops. Harry in the fruit and Veg while Jack is at the butchers. He is known as “Cryovac Jack.” Us horrible parents, we make them save 50% of their pay for a rainy day. If they want something, they save for it.

They are never leaving home. And they are getting bigger and louder and eat the fridge clean. They piss on the floor and leave damp towels on their bed. The hormones are emerging which is leading to some very interesting exchanges. The fighting is getting worse and man, are they expensive! Lucky I love the little buggers.

When did your kids leave home?

Did they boomerang back?

  • Heidi D

    I have ended up back at home. I am in the granny flat under my parents place with a husband & a teenager. We were renting a 4 bedroom but things changed, as they do, with the foster kids we had & we moved there temporarily while we looked for a smaller rental. Then my health took a nosedive, my husband had to stay home to help me, our income significantly reduced & 7 years later we are still here with no way out.

  • Donna

    I was stupid enough to have my kids at 40 and 42, and now they’re only 5 and 7. So goodness knows when or what they’ll move out to.

    • Feral007

      I had twins when I was 37 and a girlchild when I was 40. Just set the last one free 😀 She’s in charge of my 80th and her 40th! But hoping she won’t have boomeranged by then, but will be ok if she has….I want the granny flat (and I want it soundproofed :D)

      • Donna

        So good to hear from you.

  • mummamoo

    I lasted a month with my parents after a marriage breakdown with 2 small kids in tow. Had to get my ass outta there before the urge to whack my Dad with a hammer became to much to control. Eternally grateful for their help, but needed to parent my kids my way. Lucky enough to find a rental that fit my teeny tiny budget half an hour from them, enabling us to be close, but not too close.

  • Three boys here – two of my own and a stepson. None of them live with us. I left home when my eldest was still at home (the younger one was living with his dad) by moving back to Sydney. He did follow me, but found different places to live. And last year, my partner and I left Sydney to move to Melbourne, and Mr 20 (stepson) moved in with his girlfriend… Happily empty nesting, apart from the two Siamese, who pee in their litter tray and don’t clean out the fridge!!

  • Lauren Russo

    I was a boomerang kid! Left home at 17, back by 19 and out again for good once I was 20. And yep I was in debt and still paying for a car I had sold! But mum and dad kicked me in the butt, helped me sort my shit out and thankfully I grew up to not be an ungrateful little turd. Now my eldest (5 turning 15) has declared she will never ever move out, even once she has a husband and babies…and I’m alright with that too! ?

  • Louise

    My parents live 600kms away. I only go back for visits and after 2 days I think ‘why a I here’. My daughter has just moved in uni 800 kms away. I didn’t think I’d miss her as much as I do. But like you I’ll be saving heaps in loo paper and the house doesn’t reek of her deodorant morning and night.

  • Feral007

    Yes, one moved out 5/6 yrs ago. Not boomeranged (oh wait, he did, and had to move back out when Mum wouldn’t take up the slack). One just Set Free – well physically set free, she’s still financially dependent according to centrelink, centrelink is taking their time to decide who she is dependent upon. The middle one is still at home. But since I work away, that is a good thing most days. First child has on occasion had to ask for some financial help. Always pays back without any prompting. Just got himself an apprenticeship so is sometimes under the rental line. Mum’s penalty shifts come in handy then. Number 2 is working for a business that is trying to get a foothold on Thriving, so he is going to be looking for a 2nd job in a country town where people get stampeded to the ground when any job of 5 mins or longer is advertised. Currently he is paying board with his bday money – TG for grandparents. Baby child is just installed in accommodation that Mum’s penalty shifts pay for, spending time not studying, looking for work (for jobs that will have cut penalties before she even lands one) and Mum’s penalties are still buying her food at the butchers same as before she left home. None of mine are in debt. Probably because their mother was a single parent with an inconsisten payer of child support so they learned early, money does not only not grow on trees, but it costs money to pay someone to cut down trees so you don’t freeze to death in -10C winter nights. We did have particularly cold winter where we wore more clothes and paid for less wood.

  • Yvonne Duke

    No 1 son moved out 2 years ago aged 21 to live with his girlfriend and is still there. No. 2, aged 18 moved to Canberra 3 weeks ago to study at ADFA. We are left with 2 girls, aged 17 and 15. The 15 yearold assures me she will always live with me !!!!! ?

  • No kids but I left home at 25 went to London with one bloke, returned with another bloke, broke and aged 29. We stayed for 3 years to pay off debt and save our deposit for our teeny tiny shoebox. For that I am forever grateful as I would have had no chance without the free rent to save our deposit!

  • My lovely girl did a bit of tooing and froing but she was only just 18 when she first took flight. I reckon the coming and going and coming is ok, maybe because now she’s too old to be coming back. Love her but together we’d bring down the roof.

  • Jess @ Thefitspirit

    I was a boomerAng kid. My parents divorced when I was 18 and they both left. We rented my Mum’s house from her for.awhile (for way below market rent) and then I moved out pretty early. I came back late 20s with my 2 kids because we had been living overseas and couldn’t find anything affordable. We have now left again, probably much to her relief. But we pay about 60% of our earnings on rent and 25% at least on food. Budget is soooo tight!

  • I moved 1500 kms away to escape my five kids and one has recently moved down here and in with us. Another called in from 1500 kms away so he could get his usual birthday dinner at a restaurant and cash in hand. He’s 26.

  • Mel G

    Ugh. My 20yo son finished school year before last. Announced he was having a “Gap Year” and proceeded to sit around the house and do nothing. Bought a computer, installed it in his bedroom and lives in there gaming. He does have a casual night-fill job at Big W but no real ambition to do anything else. Including moving out. I’m at my wits end, I don’t know how to get through to him. Man, I wish we still had Nasho….

  • I didn’t boomerang i just never left! i was 30 married and pg with our eldest and only left home because hubby insisted that we had to be in our own house when we had our son (i wasn’t so keen lol) so luckily i had saved the 10k we needed for our deposit on the home we are in today! meanwhile my parents quickly sold and moved into something smaller so i couldn’t move back! (and twice more in the same 15yrs ive stayed put!)

  • living where we do (middle of nowhere), my kids have no choice but to move out of home once they leave school. Jobs, Uni, and TAFE are all too far to commute from the farm. (I’m also keen for them to move away from the tiny town near by for a while at least!) I fully expect that I am going to have to shell out some cash to them regularly so that they can do this, but there really aren’t any other options.

  • whicocan

    My son went off to college for a year and then quit. Came home and we gave him 2 weeks to find a job and start paying rent. He stayed @18 months till he moved out to live with his now wife. My daughter moved out in college, then back again right after, worked and paid rent. Moved out to marry and moved back with 2 babies(1 born 3 days after returning) when she divorced her husband. She stayed almost 2 years then moved out for good. Don’t foresee either of them ever being back. Missed them like crazy but we were a great couple for almost 8 years before we were parents and we are again.

  • My kids are too little but I do wonder how expensive life will be when they are doing uni/working and want to buy a house. Will they be able to afford to move out of home? I didn’t boomerang myself. I saved money for my first house deposit and Jacob moved into the house when we were engaged and I moved in after we got married. Not everyone gets married as young as we did, but I wouldn’t have changed it.

  • Jenny Martin

    Aaah the joys of parenting older children/teenagers/young adults, whole plethora of names for them these days. My eldest was 18 when she got married and not only moved out of home but to my horror moved to New Zealand…. thank goodness for technology and Skype, five years on she is still in New Zealand and has a nearly three year old of her own (the female genes in my family are apparently very dominant in that they they both look like me hahahahah, oh wait, those poor poor people). As for my youngest, she is 22 and just got married and it wasn’t she who moved out of home IT WAS ME hahahaha I left to move out bush, this is proving wonderful, not too far away to have minimal contact but far enough away not to be under each others feet:)

  • Marg

    My horrible parents also made me save half of my pay from when I started working at wollies at 15.
    Best thing they ever did.
    Managed to buy my first flat in inner city Melb at aged 22.