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Over 25 & Still Live at Home? Here Are 9 Struggles You Can Relate With

Nkem Ndem

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The whole idea of being an adult is that you are independent and you fend for yourself. Based on this idea, the general expectation is that by the adult age of 25 you have completed your education, gotten a job and moved out of your parent’s home. Unfortunately, the economy and a dreary labour market have created a boomerang effect, which now compels young adults to move back into their parents, or never even leave at all upon completing their education or finding a job.

Sure, it would seem that living with one’s parents would provide the perfect succor: a free room, free and regular home-cooked meal, the warmth and company of loved ones, and perhaps even free transportation; but those who actually live this reality would beg to differ.

Here are 9 of the struggles you face when you are over 25 and still living with your parents:

You are forced to live by your parent’s rules
This can be very agonizing because all the time you spent away at school and NYSC, you had a taste of freedom but now that you are back at your parents’, the joy of doing things the way you want them and at your own pace is completely gone. Your parents take that away from you.

You find that you have to schedule your movements around a curfew set by your parents; you need to seek their permission before going anywhere, or doing anything really. You have to conform to their house rules no matter how ridiculous it seems. Now, this would not be a problem if it did not completely stunt your social life. You cannot hang out as freely as you would like, and/or be in a stable relationship – because you do not have control of your time.

You start to believe that your sole purpose in life is to answer questions and run errands
“Why are you still sleeping? It’s already 6 a.m and you father needs his morning tea”

“Have you taken out the garbage?”

“Please bring that remote for me”

“Where are you going? With whom, and why? Also, when will you be back?”

The questions and errands are endless and you cannot escape them. Your excuses, no matter how valid, do not count; and when you insist, you are labeled ungrateful or lazy.

You find yourself trapped in annoying social situations
“Folake come downstairs and greet our old neighbour’s mother-in-law. She is here to visit”.
Your mother yells at you to come down and greet every Dick, Tom, and Harry, and you cannot escape because It’s rude not to apparently. Some days, you are the designated driver and fuel ‘purchaser’, you spend the whole day driving your parents.

Other days you are forced to tackle Lagos Island alongside your mother in the bid to buy Ankara for the family “and co”. Every event is dubbed a “family event” and you must attend -whether you had previous plans or not.

The worst is when you have had a tiring day at work and all you want to do is get home, eat a large plate and go straight to bed. Getting home, you find a house full of your parents’ friends or even worse, relatives and you have to serve them.

You are forced to listen to your parent’s advice and opinion on everything
Your parents will share their view on everything with you, whether you pay attention or not. They will still give you lectures on even the most obvious things and tell you what they think you should be doing.

Your mother will become your nutritionist and doctor telling what you should eat or drink and why. The most irritating is when they start with the phrase “When I was your age…” Ehen? And so? Are we the same? Were you 25 in 2017, biko?

You parents confuse you with mixed signals about your expenditure
One minute your parents are scolding you for spending money on food outside- when there is food at home, the next they are throwing shade at you for finishing the food they bought with their hard earned money. Other times, they complain that you never pitch in to cover bills at home, but when you actually do, they turn around and say that you have insulted or humiliated them, and they do not need your chicken change.
Basically, you do not know how best to spend your money around them, because you don’t know if you will be condemned or praised for it.

You get blamed and yelled at for everything that goes wrong in the house
You feel like Cinderella after her father passed, because the way you see it, your parents treat you worse than Lady Tremaine.

Aside from the fact that you are not allowed to say no to their whims, you are constantly yelled at, and blamed for any and everything that goes wrong in the house. Even when it is clear that you are not at fault or you have an alibi, the fault will still be linked to you… somehow.

You start to feel like your life is a struggle to exist without annoying your parents. After a while, you decide to operate on the low-key and make yourself scarce to avoid the incessant nagging, but then it becomes a big deal that you are always in your room ignoring and snubbing other members of the household.

Privacy in unattainable
You may have your own room, but it does not in any way guarantee any measure of privacy. Your parents and siblings do not bother to knock, they just barge in and let you know what is on their mind. Should you venture to lock your door, they will pound on it and ask you what you are hiding and why you feel the need to lock the door anyway.

They do not hesitate to enter and search your room when you are away. Worse is when you finally have a visitor. Rather than leave you and your guest to the living room, you parents or siblings will choose that very moment to watch their favorite show in the living room as well.

You have to share everything
You cannot buy anything for just yourself anymore. Doing so will make you look ungrateful and greedy. If you feel like ordering Dominos pizza, you will have to order the large box, so that you can offer to you parents, siblings and house helps some slices. If you go for a party, an event or short trip, you have to bring back something for the house. Your mother uses Armani ‘Idole’, but the moment she smells Gucci ‘Envy Me’ on you, she decides she is in love with it and now comes to your room to spray it before going out every day.
“Obinna, please ‘borrow’ me your phone let me quickly call your sister” and 1 hour 15 minutes later, when your credit has run out, you are handed back your phone.

You still do not save as much as you thought you would
The idea behind moving back to your parents’ is so that you can save enough money to rent a nice place and probably get a car. Two years later, your account is still in the same state as it was before you moved in. You realize the living in your parents’ home has done more harm than good. You actually spend more (on yourself and family) because you feel more secure and basically, you have become a little spoilt…you indulge more.
You keep procrastinating too, because…who wants to go through the stress of moving out?

Do you relate with any of these struggles? Do you have more to share?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Andrea De Martin

Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for copywriting, editing and proofreading. She is also a content creator (web, T.V, radio) who has had stints with Jumia and SpiceTV Africa e.t.c. Now she works at Glam Africa as Online editor and BellaNaija as Features writer. E-mail: [email protected]; IG: @kem_dem; Twitter: @ndemv

47 Comments

  1. Fashionista

    May 31, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Over 25 ke??!!!! How can 25 be the benchmark??!!!! You people are setting dangerous benchmarks and this can only lead to all manner of unhealthy and unrealistic goals and expectations!

    Abroad, yes! In England, even much younger but the culture in Nigeria is different. Please don’t give young adults migraine oh! Let them work hard without feeling they aren’t doing “well enough” because they still live at home at 26. Hian!

    • Baymax

      May 31, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      Nkem did not set the benchmark abeg! These days, most 25 years old and above are done with at least first degree. Anybody who is back home after school or NYSC can relate to this article.

    • Me 2

      May 31, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      My own was the awkward and uncomfortable stare and look that I would get from popsie when i walked past him. At 29 then. He wouldnt talk but the silence screamed “dont u have any shame still living with your parents at your age?”.
      It got embarrasing at a point. I sha married at 36. But had left the house before i married. I couldnt shout!

  2. Baymax

    May 31, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    True to everything!
    You omitted the pressure to get married

  3. Olori

    May 31, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Privacy is unattainable. Spot on sister, spot on. And “Where is your boyfriend?”, a sharp detour from “I don’t want to see you with any boy ” between ages 16-20. LOL. I tire. I’m literally planning my escape plan now. Another city is the way lmao. I’ll be back with my future boo for introduction hehe.

  4. Nunu

    May 31, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    My life right now plus marriage matter

  5. ABENAGH

    May 31, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    ‘When i was your age , I had a kid already’. Its just annoying

  6. me

    May 31, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Well, I remember in my father’s house its was not so bad.
    You actually have a good support system emotionally, financially, socially, spiritually too.
    You also don’t have to do the house chores alone and there were plenty people to gist with all at once. You had a pool of wise people to advice you as well.

    Plus nobody was sending me on UNNECESSARY errand.
    I had a whole lot of younger ones around and my parents staff were also there for any form of errand that was not so convenient.

    It was okay seeing my relatives as well.
    At 25 nobody was pressuring me for marriage.

    Maybe it depends on your type of family and your house.
    I don’t wish to go back to my father’s house but it was not so bad being there at 24+.
    I left at 25+ eventually.

  7. Fabulous

    May 31, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    I can so relate to this. You forgot to add the Babanla of them all, “when are you getting married?”

  8. Bad gang

    May 31, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Finally! something not far-fetched from nkem ndem…quite relatable

  9. Eagleeye

    May 31, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    It is sad that the standard is set at 25. 25 is still young, and this is why Nigerian adults are quite childish. grown men and women, acting like children – because they weren’t allowed to grow and know themselves because of pressures like this the article talks about (how can we forget marriage?)

    • Dorcas

      June 1, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Yes while I perfectly agree that the Nigerian adults are quite childish, the cause behind it is not that they were forced to leave home early. It is the opposite sef!

      The main cause is that they are not made to take responsibility at an early age! I live in the UK and I see how young adults here behave and comport themselves. When you are made to start working, paying bills at home, even while living with your parents and being responsible to buying most stuff for yourself you will have no choice but mature quickly! Feel less entitled or have your self bypassed and shat on by younger ones.

      This happens even in Nigerian homes here in the UK. it is the culture.

      Due to situation beyond my control I came here at age 28 to do masters and all my classmates were mostly people I was at least 6 years older than.

      Their level of reasoning, maturity and comportment could rival mine by far! Going by their behaviour and reasoning you would think a lot were much older than me. This is because most of them have long seen the world and all ! They Have experienced corporate the working world, or the aggressive retail market. They have paid rents and lived on their own even while single.
      Meanwhile I was the only married one in my class.

      So it’s not about living with parents in fact it is good to live with parents but while at it, try to take charge of responsibilities around the house even if it’s not required. It is a preparation you would thank your self for in the future. The world is now a global village and your competitors are not only your fellow classmates and friends in Nigeria but your contemporaries all over the world even when you don’t know them!

  10. Tumininu

    May 31, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I can relate very well. I’m 28 years old and still single, still live with my parents. It hasn’t been easy. It’s a matter of time.advice from parents, oversabi church members especially on marriage matters, things will change soon.Nigerian parents pressurise their wards too much. that’s why most young people make costly mistakes and regret it

  11. Weezy

    May 31, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I recently befriended a Kenyan lady in her 30s and a Ugandan also in her 30s. Both of them told me they were living by themselves shortly after graduating from local universities in Nairobi and Kampala. Nigeria’s problem is that the cities where there are jobs (Lagos and Abuja) are too expensive for someone to start out, and the electricity situation is so poor. One of the main reasons people live with their parents (apart from safety) is that there is light or generator, and you don’t need to pay for them, and there is stable water.

    Imagine a scenario where you’re likely to have electricity 75-90% of the time and piped water, subsidized by government. There is fan, there is a deep freezer, and there is a sturdy padlock for your house door. No diesel wahala.

    Also, imagine a scenario where the middle class lifestyle is normal – everyone is taking bus and no one is looking down on you because you don’t own a car. I swear Nigeria has finished its young people.

  12. Weezy

    May 31, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    One more thing – I wonder what role climate plays in this. In East Africa, the weather is nice. Its normal to not have AC. People can survive with just fan, sometimes nothing at all. Whereas in Nigeria, it is so hot you need fan or AC, and for those you need stable electricity.

    • Jay

      May 31, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      In East Africa?
      1. Do not generalize.
      2. Do not say what you’re unsure of.

      It is damn hot in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and even the Kenya you mentioned. Nairobi and Mombasa to be precise.

      1
  13. Dinny

    May 31, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    I am 25,and you are absolutely right!Sometimes you are made to think something is spiritually wrong with you if there is no sign of a man in your life. I wish like screaming out loud sometimes. Ergggghhhh

  14. Smilie

    May 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    This so me right now,I’m 23 doing my House job,contemplating on leaving, esp d part-where I’m always in my room and they feel I’m snubbing everyone or is it d part where I’m expected to watch movies with them in d sitting room everyday after a hectic day at work….. Lord have mercy

  15. Kay

    June 1, 2017 at 1:49 am

    My mum once said, all these movies you’re going to watch in Ikeje city mall, has it landed you a proposal. You better join the church bus going to Mowe for RCCG monthly vigil.

    • me again

      June 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Hilarious I love your mum so much

  16. Julian

    June 1, 2017 at 7:01 am

    I am tempted to send this write up to my family whatsapp group so they can give me a breather! The areticle is apt! The only thing missing is the pressure to get married. In my mum’s voice “look for husband if job isn’t coming naw” my 25th birthday this year , I was depressed .it dawned on me that I had spent a year after nysc job hunting to no avail..even interviewers are beginning to ask what I’ve been doing with myself. The most annoying part for me is having to constantly explain that I can’t hang out late or sleep over sometime leading to misunderstandings with friends. They think Im being stuck up, they don’t believe I truly don’t hv a choice!

    • Susan

      June 1, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      What’s your email address? If you reply, I’ll send you a recruiter where you can get a job. PR/Communications. If you’re in Lagos, it’s on the Island.
      You’ll be alright. The best way of dealing with Nigerian Parents is simply by ignoring them, else you’ll have hypertension.

    • Julian

      June 2, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      I tried to reply your comment SuSan but can’t cz the reply option isn’t under your comment. I’m not sure why.please contact me [email protected]. Thank you.

  17. john

    June 1, 2017 at 7:18 am

    u even belong in a family whatsapp group..damn..I dey feel ur pain but I believe u should send it ,so that they can read it..why cant ure family arrange money and open a business of ur idea for you

    • Gina

      June 1, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Well damn! Look at John being nice and personable. He didn’t even insult the women folk in any part of his comment.
      Oluwa tobi loba o!

  18. Deleke

    June 1, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I started to feel these, and more and all of the above at 19 when ASUU strike struck and I thank God for opening the way for me to move to the USA and I haven’t looked back since.

  19. Enny Heart Heart

    June 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

    And when you don’t even have a parent’s house to go to?.
    *sigh*

  20. yummymummycumchick

    June 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

    if there is something like write-up on fleek . this is it. thank GOD I moved out at 22 ………. i love my independent die,,,,,,,,,, plus they respect more from afar seeing how m coping ok………..

  21. tola

    June 1, 2017 at 10:47 am

    so true, i moved out of my parent house at the age of 26, i moved out because i want to be independent, to hustle and make money, and stop asking money from them, they have really tried for me, it is my time to make my own money and send some money to them, not me collecting money for recharge card from them at the age of 26,i also moved out because i want to change my environment and to be more matured, when i was still at my parent house, they will always shout that i don,t want to do anything, always staying at home, always want you to do their will, not what you want, when a family member is around they will call you out to come and greet everybody, and when you decide to stay in your room, you are ignoring them, and they will always ask me when are you getting married, the last time i saw them, the prayer point every morning and night is to for me to get married this year, if am living with them am sure they will be using marriage as morning greeting for me everyday.

  22. Adaoma

    June 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Spot on Nkem. Tweak that a bit to when you are living in an uncle’s house at 31. 25 and living in parents house is heaven compared to that. From the stares and the ever bubbling grapevine on any little activity of yours, to the fact that you can’t stay out past a certain time, to the fact that you can’t eat what you want when you want, to the fact that although you contribute towards things in the house, it seems like much more is expected of you than from their own children. And this is me that started living alone from 19, but life circumstances brought me here. And yes you are right Nkem. You actually don’t always save more by staying with family. You don’t pay rent, yes, but you make up for it in many other ways.. Anyway, God dey…

  23. Itoro

    June 1, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Ah! I’m a youth corper and I’ll pass out in October. From the moment, I tried to redeploy to another town for a job and couldn’t, I started thinking of how I’ll cope with my family when I return home. My mum alone is equal to ten mothers and I have no plans of getting married anytime soon.
    I just pray I get employed before going home cos I don’t have it in me to endure all of this.

  24. Princess P

    June 1, 2017 at 11:38 am

    My current situation right now.
    Mine is that I am working and can afford to move but my parents refused, saying I’m still single and will be perceived as being irresponsible if I live alone in the same town as my parents.
    I’m always explaining to my boyfriend why I can’t sleep over.
    When I hang out, I’m always the first to say I’m going home o because I know the evil eyes my parents will welcome me with when I eventually get home,

    So many disadvantages mehn!

    • Diuto

      June 1, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Take a bold step and get a place of your own. They would survive and you would thrive.

      1
    • tola

      June 2, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      @princess p what if you are not in nigeria, they will live their life, children can,t stay with their parents forever, you can get a place of your own, or change your environment, but you must not forget them, always have them on your mind, call them and visit them, and also send money to them if you have the money.

  25. jayden

    June 1, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I can totally relate. I would be 34 and unmarried. Still live with my dad (mum is late) and my Sis In Law (another flat). one more thing I can relate to is babysitting for my SIL whenever I am at home. She either wants to push her baby on me everytime i am home or bore me to death about her marital problems with my bro.

    I finally decided to move out this year (targetting Sept). Everyone is surprised but I am just tired of the environment. i am soooooooooo looking forward to it.

    • me again

      June 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Great idea babe. Chnaing one’s environment can well heal and refreshen.

  26. Maria

    June 1, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    “You parents confuse you with mixed signals about your expenditure
    One minute your parents are scolding you for spending money on food outside- when there is food at home, the next they are throwing shade at you for finishing the food they bought with their hard earned money.”……

    Story of my life! That was how i went to live with an aunt one summer many years ago, got a summer job was being paid weekly so my responsible sef would come home every Friday with small small shopping nothing too major but basics like milk, eggs, bread, fruits and the likes. That was how this woman now started scolding me that my mother her sister did not send me to her to be feeding her household that I should save my money for better use….fast forward two weeks later she buys apples you know them one pound a bowl market apples…she bought like two bowls knowing very well that my cousin her son and I loved apples like nothing else. That was how we cleared about half of the apples bought on one rarely hot summer day. You should have seen her reaction how we are just eating food anyhow it went beyond the apples to clearing her pantry, the fridge is empty how her food budget has doubled etc and we are not even contributing a dime to the house expenses! I was so shocked me that ate an average of one meal a day at her house because i would have breakfast and lunch at work the only constant i had at her home the entire time i was there was dinner and that was when i did not go out with my workmates for dinner. I just called my mum to speak to her sister or send her money for my feeding because i cannot come and chop abuse on top food matter when i am capable of buying food but had been banned from doing so by this same woman.

    • me again

      June 1, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Maria, comeback here. how did you resolve this finally.

    • Maria

      June 3, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      “@me again we had to have a family meeting more like a family conference call with my mother coz I called her to talk to her sister. So I told her to give me an amount that she thinks would be ok for me to contribute to household expenses she refused. They later talked with my mum just the two of them I was never really told what they said exactly but it seems like they came to some sort of resolution. She said she was not really mad at us but had a bad day at work bla bla bla i stopped listening at one point and decided to respect myself and still buy whatever foodstuff I could wether she wanted me to or not after all it was my money i was using to buy the food items.

  27. J. Matilda

    June 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    I will be 26 this July… Currently running my masters program (forensic science), came out with a third class (B. Sc)… Due to circumstances beyond my control and…It’s been hard I’m tired of expecting monthly stipends from home, no one wants to employ a third class graduate, will soon be through with my Postgraduate program all I need is a job….

    • tola

      June 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      @j.matilda having a third class is the not the end of the world, you can get a job,. YOU can apply for a job, having a masters degree will grant you a better chance of getting employed.

  28. Sam

    June 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    @j.matilda it really isn’t the end but the beginning if you can look inward and find your passion, No one really works with a 1st degree these days…
    Also, Amazing Article Nkem!! this brings back a lot of daily memories which we all will look back on. Just to add for praying parents where devotion is time to scold, remind you of your past mistakes and need of money. And also coming late means you have gone to smoke! Parents and the ability to self-assume everything

    1
  29. Cheryl

    June 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I am 26+ and have msc with no job. Everyday is just like a cycle. Its either endless errands, or never ending house chores (there’s no maid), endless calls (up to 35-40 times in a day), shouting and arguments sometimes with parents who fail to see you’re overworked or tired, im plotting my escape plan since i dont hv money to go live on my own which i wont be allowed. Nigerian parents are unbelievable. If ur parents are not christians they force you to follow them to d same religion (Eckankar). when they know your mind isnt there. Its by force by fire to attend their church as long as u live under their roof. They will ask of husband-when is he coming to do marriageand the same parents will tie ur legs at home not to attend birthday parties,cinema sessions with friends, some enjoyable outings young people can relate to as if they are sharing pregnancy in all those functions. How else will i meet reasonable guys and select a date from the lot and find a husband?? make ona tell me. Ive decided that if i cant find a man and im 30years il simply do surrogacy and get twin kids and live my life. Life is like a far cry frm what u expected it to be when youre with parents. They over control u, dont wanna know how you are feeling or your choices. Its really all about them. If at my age Im not allowed to make certain decisions that will make me responsible & be happy,then what the hell am i living for? Well i guess my whole life is to please them parents till i find a decent christian to marry!! everyone’s struggle is different pray for me!! i pray for elevation from this level to be self-sufficient.

  30. Angee

    June 4, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Mine has come to the point where I just feel like killing myself abeg! Was forced to quit a job in the capital city to come back home for one nonsense job. I just pray a miracle happens for me this year so I can leave cause I can’t survive like this.

  31. Seth.M

    June 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I am 34, married with 3 kids and I live in a flat inherited from my late Father. My aged Mother lives in the house too. Does this mean I still live at home?

    1
  32. Classy

    April 19, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Where have you been all my life? I like you already for this post.
    I can definitely relate to these and more! Most nigerian youths within this age range need help.
    It’s really tough now and some have given in to taking their lives out of frustration but I know there’s always a way out and as a Christian, I believe suicide isn’t acceptable.

    Do you think, we could be hookup sometime? I love connecting with like minds.

  33. Classy

    April 19, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Do you think we could *maybe hook up sometime? I love connecting with like minds.

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