I’ll admit it, it’s rather hard for me to proclaim our current situation loudly and with exorbitant pride. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed that here we are – two marrieds in their late 20’s, with a new baby living in my parent’s basement. With the new up roar about the “boomerang generation” who wouldn’t be. Obviously my husband and I are total slackers who can’t cut the apron strings. Shouldn’t we have a big new house, with big new furniture, a big new car in the driveway (or two), along with a big new wardrobe and big new toys? That’s what a married couple in their late 20’s with a new baby should have right?
PfffSsshhh…. (this is the sound of milk shooting out of one’s nose at the concept of something ridiculous).
Whoever is controlling our societies expectations of my generation must be walking around with their hands covering their eyes saying “LALALALA…. I can’t see you!” . They are ignoring the basic higher education most of us need to get even the most basic entry-level job, not to mention the higher-higher education you need to get ahead in competitive fields – which is almost everything right now. They are ignoring the time and money that takes, and the time it takes to work up the ladder and lets face it most of us are not fortunate enough to land those big paychecks at the age of 22/23 particularly if we want to be in fields like education, or live anywhere except a large city.
Since when did it become expected for us to have everything right out of the gate?
Luckily I have a lot of great reminders from a lot of great people who had to do a lot of making-do themselves.
My grandparents remind me that when they were new parents in the 50’s they lived with my grandfather’s mother and spinster Aunt for 5 years (with a growing baby!) because they couldn’t afford a home of their own… and that was okay, expected even because my grandmother couldn’t work (she had to help take care of her child, in-laws and invalid mother) and my grandfather had to work his way up the ladder in the little mining community they lived in.
My parents scrimped and saved for years as they finished graduates schools and landed their first professional jobs, never having enough to update their college furniture until their mid-thirties and that was okay and even expected. As my mother pointed, when she was a kid no-ones parents acquired their “good” furniture before they had been married and work up their ladders for about 10 years.
I had a great-aunt who lived with her husband and child with her father until he died because it was expected that someone stayed around to help take care of aging parents and the parents in turn helped out with their grand-kids.
This all seems to wise, helpful and caring a way to live yet here I am finding creative ways to explain away my living situation and constantly fretting about what people are thinking when we explain our situation. I just want to repeat until their ears bleed “Hey! 50 years ago this was totally normal!”, “Hey! We have a loving, supportive family and we’re all mutually benefiting from this arrangement!”, “Hey! We’re swallowing our pride because we’re making wise financial decisions!”
What do you think? Is the way our grandparents and parents lived truly a thing of the past? Should all current 20-somethings be able to have “it all” before they turn 30?