If you are a parent, you have heard that line from your child at some point in their lives in one form or another. it is either "I need to move out!", "I am old enough to make my own decisions!", "I need to get out of here!", or even "I can't wait to get out of here!". The interesting thing is that they say it like it is some big threat to you! Like you are going to respond with "Oh please don't go. Who will I spend my money on if you aren't here. Who will I buy all of the groceries for. How will I be able to pay the lower utility bills when you go?!"
The whole thing generally starts as they near the end of high school, when they think they know it all. It continues in college, especially if the transition home during the holidays and summers are rough. They forget quickly how many times you have bailed them or their friends out of trouble, financially and otherwise. If they live at home after college, it can get worse. I have tried to instill an idea that I have certain expectations at our house. Do they always meet them? No. But I address it individually with each one and sometimes I have to leave it with me being disappointed in their decisions. I definitely do not always like where it ends.
We have a few basic rules when you live with us. Out of courtesy, you are asked to let us know where you will be and that you have arrived safely. We expect to be notified if you aren't coming home or at least given a time frame of when to start searching ditches or calling the police. If you live with us, you are expected to maintain your living space. You are also asked out of courtesy to notify me of when the last item of something has been used. It is pretty tough to eat cereal without milk, or use the bathroom without toilet paper, or wash your clothes without laundry soap. For the most part the system works.
Occasionally, at a much earlier age, you get a precocious child who attempts to run away. Our first experience with this, was when "Mommy" was in second grade. We moved away following that school year. She informed us that she wasn't going with us. She had plans to get an apartment and continue in her school. We were not to worry because she knew how to make mac and cheese.
Our second experience came when I was pregnant with "Pook". Unlike today, we did not have tests to see if it was a boy or girl. We knew it would be one of those. "Calvin" was the only boy at the time, and had three sisters. I noticed that whenever we had adult friends over, he would start questioning people about their homes. He wanted to know if they had toys and other children around. I finally asked him what the deal was and he very calmly looked at me and said, "I am looking for a new family. If this baby is another girl, I am out of here!"
Our third experience was also with "Calvin" and I believe he was also in second or third grade. He did not like my rules or being disciplined so he was moving out. I told him that was fine. He proceeded to start moving everything he owned down the driveway. Needless to say, he did not get very far with that load. I got him to come back home and we worked through it all.
As the kids got older, I got a little smarter too. If they wanted to go, I told them it was fine and then reminded them that they get to leave the same way they came in - with nothing. Everything that they thought was theirs was purchased by us. It usually provoked a little more thought and a change of heart.
Not that kids listen to advice, but I find it necessary to give this a shot. Stop and think hard, even as a young adult when you decide that you are ready or want to move out. The expenses that you incur can be very surprising and it isn't the sweet deal you think it will be. It can get lonely and very expensive. Suddenly you won't have all that extra cash to "play" with. If your parents are gracious enough to let you live at home, offer to pay rent. It will give you a very small idea of putting money aside for living. Pay your own insurance. Take your folks out to dinner once in a while or maybe contribute to the groceries. Do your own laundry. Offer to help any time that you can and make sure you follow through. Your parents have provided all of this and so much more for you for 18 years and often more. It won't kill you and it might give you a little character. It will definitely put a big smile on your parents' faces!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!