Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I think every mom knows at this point that kids are expensive. Holy crap. I’ve never invested so heavily in anything, and I have many more years of expenses. But according to whatever life timeline I’m supposed to be living, I’m doing it all wrong.
Apparently, I was supposed to go to college (check), get a good degree (check), and enter into the workforce with my own career and living space (double check). I did all that, and still ended up crashing and burning in my own special way. I circled back to my parent’s home for what was supposed to be a temporary stay as I gathered my wits and started again.
That was three and a half years ago.
Not only do I still live with my parents, but so does my husband, our daughter, and soon to be newborn son.
I’m just grateful that I’m able to live with my parents at all. Not every millennial has the luxury of returning home and having the family support that I do. Without my parents, I would be pretty toast as far as being able to support my own family.
So how dare I have children? Don’t I know that children are supposed to come after the marriage and the home buying and career building? Except, every millennial knows it’s not that simple.
And guess what? I don’t want kids when I’m 40. Women are doing that now, which is super awesome. But I don’t want to do that. I want kids now, while I’m in my late twenties or early thirties.
Shouldn’t I have that right? Or are children a privilege of the wealthy, too?
I owe $90,000 in student loans and can get a job that maybe pays a third of that. Even working full-time, my family is eligible for every government assistance program under the sun. We aren’t poverty level, thank goodness, but we are considered poor by government standards.
There’s no way my husband and I would ever be able to afford a house. We’ve got plans to move to England (hence living with my parents) but if we were to rent a home, we’d barely be able to afford it. Life would be paycheck to paycheck. Living in a multigenerational household is mutually beneficial financially, so why would we do anything different?
I wanted to do everything “the right way.” I truly did. But this country has saddled millennials with crippling debt and zero opportunities. There is no right way. Now it’s just survival. And I deserve to have a family. I deserve to have health care. I deserve a good paying job for busting my ass in college for 6 years. I took all the right steps, yet I would never be able to afford to provide for a family without the help of my parents.
Sometimes, I do feel guilty. My parents didn’t ever expect to be living with another round of newborns and toddlers, especially so close to an empty nest as their youngest children head off to college. Yet, it seems to be working out perfectly. This living situation has more than financial benefits, with a lot of love to go around. Will we live with my parents forever? No, definitely not. Am I going to be thirty and still living with my parents? Probably. But this is the right path for my family. These are the right steps for our situation, and as a millennial, I don’t have many alternatives.