According to the Pew Research Center, a record 36.4 % of young women were living at home with their parents or relatives last year, while an even greater percentage of young men could say the same. As more young women choose to stay home than ever before, why should it be a deal breaker when men do? We found six young brothers who proudly live at home and asked them to share why they do and their response to women who might judge them.
Atarhe Henry Clarke, 27, Personal Trainer/Estate Manager
Status: Lived at home all of his life.
“My family bought a house in Houston about 10 years ago where my two siblings and myself lived. My parents themselves live back at home in Nigeria but visit Houston once or twice a year. When they are in Houston they stay in the family house and usually stay for about 2-4 weeks. The house also serves as a home for family and family friends who come from out of town for holiday or just to visit. So essentially I don’t “live with” my parents.
Although I do pay house bills, the house has been paid off and I don’t have to pay rent. I could leave home and go get a condo or apartment closer to the city and pay rent upwards of $1200 or I could stay at home and save up while planning towards my business. I chose the second option because I felt it only made sense to stay at home and endure having to drive longer distances to school and work while working on my personal training profession and estate management. It’s less of a risk and I still get to be close to my family that I love dearly. There’s nothing wrong with a man living at home as long as he has a clear, concise plan to leave. It’s for the greater good of the future. It’ll help me save more money to get your Valentine’s Day gift.”
Damon Hoyle, 31, School Administrator
Status: Lives at home with parents.
“My parents actually asked me to move back in because they didn’t want me to struggle trying to pay rent along with my student loans and other bills. My graduate and undergraduate student loans are monumental. I was struggling to pay rent and meet my other financial obligations. So instead of continuing to struggle, my father suggested that I move back in to allow me some room to develop a financial game plan. I am grateful for my parents’ generosity. I am planning to make a move within a year. In other cultures men stay at home until they get married, but often in the African American community there’s this stigma, which leads to some men living beyond their means just to keep up appearances. In hindsight, I might have made some different decisions in regards to funding my education.”
“I also feel like the woman who has a problem with me living at home even after I give my rationale isn’t the woman for me. There are plenty of women who are mature enough to understand that I made a wise financial decision. I choose not entertain those who get caught up in the stigma of man living at home with his parents. This is a temporary situation; I have a game plan. Just be mature when assessing us, ladies—lead with questions and check your assumptions at the door. When it comes to how women who live at home are perceive, there is a double standard, which I understand. Traditionally men are supposed to move out, get a good job, a nice place to stay and establish their independence. I honestly don’t disagree with the double standard, but I feel there are exceptions to the rule, especially in our current economic status as a country. I’m not trying to make excuses but rather give some context to why there might be an influx of brothers choosing to live at home for an extended period of time.”
Temi Coker, 22, Recent College Grad
Status: Lives at home with parents.
“I graduated college last year and when I couldn’t find a job in Houston, I made the choice to move back home and continue freelancing as a photographer and graphic designer. Living at home, I was able to save money for future expenses. For example, I was able to save up to visit my country (Nigeria) last year December and through my trip I was able to capture images, which eventually turned into a book. It has actually helped me manage my money better. I save a lot and try to spend very little every month. I found a job as a high school teacher at my old school teaching photography, video and animation. Although I earn a salary, half of my paycheck goes towards my loans because I want to pay them off as soon as possible. According to my calculations, living at home and using half of my pay check per month to pay off my loans will make me debt free by the summer of 2016. This is why I live at home.”
“At first I thought it made me look weak, but I’ve realized it takes strength to be able to live like no one else now so that in the future I can really live like no one else. Right now I am making a sacrifice that will make things better for me in the future and also make things better for the woman I marry. If a girl chooses not to date me because I live at home then there’s a bigger issue there. Some women look at men who live at home as little boys and never give us the opportunity to explain why. I’m not saying all men need to be home, but I think men who have a vision of where they need to be and are willing to sacrifice and put their pride down now so they can live how they want to later is something that should be admired by a woman.”
John Richards, 40s, Communications Manager
Status: Living at home for the last 10 years.
I live with my mother, in the home I grew up in. My mother has several health issues that she has been dealing with and she was recently diagnosed with early onset of dementia. I was leasing a house in the suburbs, my mom was starting to have a hard time taking care of herself and her house, and I was getting pressure from family members to go back home. When my lease was up, the plan was to go home for a year, help my mom out, get her back on track and I would buy a place for myself. Things were a lot worse than I thought. Depending on if she took her medicine or not, she was erratic, moody, and I would never know which version of my Mother I would get when I would come home from work. It just really seemed like she didn’t care about anyone or anything. It was just a really bad situation. My mom needs someone here; she cannot take care of herself without help. If I don’t do it, who will? As her son, it is my duty to take care of her and be here for her. Is it tough? Of course it is, but with the help of family and friends we’re making it work.
“I get it, my situation is not ‘ideal,’ but I’m very upfront with the women I meet. I’ve probably been judged but I really don’t care, I’m doing what I need to do to take care of my mom and that’s what’s important to me. They all know that I’m a caregiver. They all know I have a ton of responsibilities. At the end of the day, we all have to do what’s best for us and we know the things we can accept and the things that are deal breakers. I can’t blame anyone for doing that. Guys who live at home are “scrubs” or “momma’s boys.” That may be true in some cases, but just not all. Women run the world. They usually get a pass when it comes to stuff like this. They are considered nurturers and caregivers. Their ability to provide doesn’t come into question if they move back home. I understand that. That’s why open conversation is so important in relationships. You get a better understanding of the situation and can decide if it will work for you.”
Brendon Boyd, 31, Insurance Agent
Status: Living at home the last three years.
“I live with my parents. I moved back home around October 2012, but I’d spent time living on my own prior to that. I partnered with my parents to start a real estate investment company and wanted to save for a down payment on a home. I made this decision because I believe that money is a tool/ resource and that mine would be best used to generate residual income and home equity in the future. I’ll probably live here for another two years. My company should be at a certain level by then where there’s an ROI to enjoy, and I should have the 10% home purchase down payment I desire.”
“A woman once judged me because of my living arrangements. But I shook it off because she probably wasn’t the right woman for me and she clearly didn’t understand the vision I have for myself as an entrepreneur. I can only say that women should put things in their proper context. The reason a man lives at home should matter more than the fact that he lives at home. It would matter to me why a woman lived at home. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if she is exercising a plan or pursuing higher education.”
Lucius B. Gantt IV, 32, Business Development Agent/Music Producer
Status: Living at home with grandmother.
“My 81-year-old grandmother (at the time) had a hip surgery, and needed to hire a caregiver because she was unable to completely take care of herself afterwards. In April of 2013 I lost my job and in May of the same year, my grandmother’s caregiver had to resign for personal reasons. With my grandmother still needing someone to care for her, and me needing some time to get my life back on track, I decided to move in with her. I do all of the things that she isn’t able to do, which include but are not limited to: all of the cooking and cleaning, making sure she takes her medicine and has her prescriptions filled, taking care of her cats, maintenance and repairs around the house, and many other unspecified duties. It was around this time that our family found out that my grandmother had lung cancer. With my grandmother’s health decreasing and my responsibilities for her increasing, as well as juggling my full time job, it has definitely taken a toll on my social life and on me. However, it’s worth it and I would do it all over again one million times over. Over the last four months, my grandmother has had numerous surgeries, two chemotherapy treatments, a heart attack, and been in and out of the hospital, with the last visit leaving her hospitalized for a month and earlier this week she was moved to hospice care.”
“I am well aware that women, and people in general, are very judgmental of a 32-year-old-man who lives in his grandmother’s attic. I rarely have the opportunity to explain why, and even when I do, some women seem to wonder, “why am I taking care of her and not somebody else?” They also assume that I will not be able to make time for them, which is a legitimate concern one could have. Family is important to me. Yes, sometimes I feel burdened with responsibility, and in those moments I remember and focus on all the things my grandmother has done for me and everyone else in our family. It’s truly a blessing to even have family that cares enough to put parts of their lives on hold to care for someone who cared for them first. Until a woman becomes my wife, she will never be more important to me than my family and I have no qualms in regards to expressing those sentiments. I do feel like men are judged much more harshly and quickly if we live at home as adults. In the eyes of society at its simplest form, men are supposed to be providers, breadwinners and leaders. Unfortunately, most people assume that you cannot be those things and much more while living at home. Some of us do have very valid reasons why we live at home, and I wish more women would be more open and understanding of some situations that aren’t necessarily in our control.”