Lots of us have found ourselves as adults back in the family nest (thanks, Irish government). For Vicki Notaro, it's been an enlightening experience.
I left home the same weekend I started my first real job nearly ten years ago. I was renting both alone and with significant others for nearly ten years, through the recession, poor salaries and break-ups, but that all changed at the beginning of 2017 with one phone call from our lovely landlord. So, mere seven weeks before our wedding and honeymoon, my fiance and I moved out of our cute little cottage and in with his mum and sister. It’ll be grand, we said. And for the most part, it really has been.
But it hasn’t always been easy. Yes, it was easier than trying to find somewhere else to rent with two dogs in tow during a housing crisis. Yes, it’s forced us on to the mortgage bandwagon, but nobody could ever say that process is anything but vile. Yes, we know thousands of other adults are in the same situation, and we’re not alone. But look, it’s taught me a lot about myself – and about others.
I’m not a failure
After ten years of surviving alone renting in Dublin, it made me feel like a loser to give up the ghost and move back in with parents. I’ve always been very proud of my ability to make it all work, to support myself through my own spates of freelancing, an ex’s unemployment and a break-up.The decision to take a step backwards in life is never an easy one, especially in the age of social media perfection we now live in. But we did it for the greater good – I never understood the Irish obsession with owning property until the house I considered a home was no longer mine to live in. Once we sign on the dotted line and own our place, I will consider it all a triumph.
I’m a little bit too independent
Not only have I been without an Irish mammy in the house for a decade, I’m also an only child. Adjusting to family dynamics outside my own has been… interesting. However I have learned not to throw a strop if someone eats my cheese, and to appreciate the proximity to full wardrobes that aren’t mine.
Quiet sex is kind of exciting
I don’t think I need to explain the thrill of having to be silent. Or of running around in the nip when nobody else is home.
Nobody else should wash your knickers
I feel uncomfortable that my mother-in-law knows I wear Disney Princess and Mean Girls pants sometimes, and what size my bras are. But sure look, at least I wear knickers.
Impromptu barbecues for the win
My husband and I were always far too lazy to fire up the barbie when it was just the two of us, but now we have them all the time, complete with tablecloths, napkins and an array of previously untasted condiments. Oh, and there’s always someone to open a bottle of prosecco with.
There are always tampons
Good oul’ mams. We never run out of dishwasher tablets or toilet roll either.
I miss doing my own supermarket shopping
One of the things I found most difficult during the transition was not being able to shop for myself. I LOVE grocery shopping, I drive my husband demented because I take so long deciding all the wonderful things I want to buy and visit every single aisle in the Big Tesco. There simply isn’t room in the fridge for all the shite I’d bring home, but I’m very much looking forward to getting back to wrecking his head in the freezer department very soon.
I miss my dressing table
It’s where I kept all my stuff. And I’ve nowhere to put my magnet collection, or the lovely pastel kettle we got as a wedding present. Patience, I’m told. I know, I know.
I’m homesick for my old life
It only occured to me recently that this was what’s been wrong. I’m still in mourning for my old day to day, my old little house, my old neighbourhood. Before long, I’m hopeful we’ll be right back there, but it will never be the same as the pre-marriage time. No matter what people tell you, things do feel a lot more serious when you’re married and mortgaged. But I will also miss this period. It’s been the craziest few months of my life, but a time I’m bound to look back on incredibly fondly. After, we’ll all appreciate things more – our independence, privacy, space. But I guarantee, I’ll forget to buy tampons every damn month.
This article first appeared in STELLAR’s August issue. Our September issue is on shelves now!
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