24 answers

Seeking Advice from Moms with Adult Children Living at Home

I wonder if there are other Moms out there who have their adult children living with them (mid to late 20s in age), and said child not working and going to college full-time. If there are other Moms like me out there, I will share the concerns I have. Thanks.

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One daughter working, not going to college age 21
One son, special needs, volunteer work age 25

Email me if you want to collaberate.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., I am 62, have raised 5 and my two youngest sons are 24 and 26 and live with me. One is working full time and renovating a house which he will eventually live in. The youngest is a full time student with a Masters and working on his PhD. He also teaches and tutors for Kaplan. If I can help in any way, let me know. I also have a wonderful husband. Mary

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I am an older Mom with little ones at home - but I felt compelled to write. I went to both undergrad and graduate school - at times living with my single, very hard-working Mom.
Your adult child MUST go to work and pay bills at your home. If you had to move away, this 'child' would have to pay rent/food/utilities etc. alot more than what I am sure that you would accept for he/she to live with you.
This is not cool - there are people who go to school full time and work full time. There is no excuse for this. On top of it, what does your child do with free time?
I wish you well and strength to ask for rent at the very least.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.. Up until the last few months my 2 sons still lived at home. One is 26 the other is 37. The oldest one has an apartment with his girl friend now. The younger one just bought a house with his girl friend. Both sons are engaged.

My 3 girls all moved out quite a while ago (ages 25, 25 and 38). 2 are married with 2 children each. The third is engaged (also with 2 children) and has her own apartment.

I never had a problem with any of them living here as long as they wanted to, but my husband did. He said they needed to go out into the world and grow up. Now he misses having them around. When they lived here they all had full time jobs and paid board and all their own bills. They still had chores to do around the house also. None of them ate here much. They usually went out with friends or with girl/boy friends.

All my children live within blocks of our house and visit almost on a daily basis. We are a very close family and love it that way.


2 moms found this helpful

How long does he have left to going to school. I feel that if he is responsible and getting through school well then you could cut him some slack on paying rent/utilities but if he wants spending money for his car/going out ect then he needs to have his own job. I was in the opposite situation, the child living with parents. I stayed at home with my daughter and went to school full time online while my mother and fiance went to work all day. While I was home I cooked/cleaned and got all the chores done for my mother. My fiance and I were saving to get our own place so my mother did not want us to pay rent, but we did pay our own way as far as all of our needs and my daughter's needs and never asked my mother for money.

2 moms found this helpful

I have experience that I am the daughter living at home with my parents. I am married with 2 little girls and my whole family lives together. There are 7 of us here. My husband and I had lived on our own until shortly after our first daughter was born. He had just had two back surgeries and I had lost my job. We came home to recover. Since then my mother has started to have hip problems and needs her hips replaced. It was just easier to stay here and help her out. It also makes it easier for me to be a stay home mom. We pay rent and I do all of the household chores and cook dinner. Everyone has their responsibilities and everyone works together to run the house. My daughters love being with their grandparents everyday. It can be hard at times to all live together but it also very rewarding.

2 moms found this helpful

No adults but a 13 and 16 yr old. I Feel your pain I am always wishing they were away at college. Most moms on this site have toddlers dont find it very helpful. I am also a single mom for 7 yrs now. Hang in there.

2 moms found this helpful

I had the same situation and I told my son that he really needed to get something part time just to help us out. He already knew that we were a team and when I asked for help I needed it He ended up teaching guitar a couple of hours a week. It not only provided him with some pocket money but built his self esteem. He now lives independently in Mass and teaches music at a high school there. He did graduate from college.

2 moms found this helpful

God bless you. YOu are living my worst fear. I am living as a single mom for the past 9 1/2 years. My boys are 17,9, and 4 in April. I can't wait for my 17 year old to move. He has a part time job as he is still in high school but he doesn't help out at home and doesn't really do much for himself. I hope he gets it together soon.

Whose idea was it that your child stay home?

2 moms found this helpful

I have an expierience from the other perspective. i was an adult child that lived at home. I moved out at 18 buthrought some bad relationships and other misfortunes i had only my parents to turn to and moved back in. I did this three times. I was happy to help out around the house as I did when I was in school. It was just as tough to deal with parents as it is for them to deal with me. But they knew I was working towards something. i had goals. I think if your son is going to school. Cut him some slack until he is done. remember how hard it must be for him that he still lives at home...girls dont dig it:). Anyway, think of how grateful he will be when he is done with school and on his way to his own life that you helped him when he needed you

1 mom found this helpful

One daughter working, not going to college age 21
One son, special needs, volunteer work age 25

Email me if you want to collaberate.

1 mom found this helpful

M., I don't have an adult child living with me but my older brother lived with my parents until he was 30. I don't know about your child but my brother had social anxiety disorder and depression there for could not function outside my parents house. Could this be the case with your adult child? Not likely if he/she is able to go to college. Also my brother did work full time and contributed to the house hold. Since your child is in college I'd cut them some slack since they are getting an eduction which will eventually lead to a good job. Maybe in the future they will re-pay you by offering to pay for things for you, take you on vacations, re-model your home, pay for adult nursing home situation, buy you a new car...If your kid was not working and not going to school that would be a different story. At least you're not lonely and you always have company. Have you heard Trace Adkins new song "you're gonna miss this"? Maybe since you've been a single Mom since he/she was 4 and its always been just the two of you they are afraid of abandening you. Maybe they think it would break your heart if they moved out and left you all alone. Just a thought, good luck with what ever you decide to do.

C. R

Hi M., I am 62, have raised 5 and my two youngest sons are 24 and 26 and live with me. One is working full time and renovating a house which he will eventually live in. The youngest is a full time student with a Masters and working on his PhD. He also teaches and tutors for Kaplan. If I can help in any way, let me know. I also have a wonderful husband. Mary

I wasn't going to respond, but was curious about people's responses, and after looking at them felt compelled to write. I know you have heard from many people from the other side... like myself. But I think the bottom line is... Can you afford to take care of him, or do you need some type of financial support? I lived with my parents after graduating from college, and once again when I got engaged. Both times, I had my own bills to pay, but my parents never made me pay rent to them. But my parents did not need money from me. They would prefer that I saved that money... which is what I did. I also had no curfew... I was an adult. But I always told them where I was going, and if I planned on coming home that night. If I didn't come home that night (i.e. stayed at a friends place) I would call them in the morning to let them know that everything was fine. Another alternative which was really great, was that my husband had to pay his parents $100 a month for the several years that he was living at home. His parents saved that money, and on our 1 year anniversary his parents gave us a check for all the rent that he had paid. It was a really great idea, and we greatly appreciated it (he had no idea that his parents would do this). Good luck! I hope this helps a little.

i also have a 21 yr old at home. he is "working" one day a week since the holidays, he is in retail work and had lots of hours during the holidays. he attended a private arts school the first two years but was not able to keep up his gpa. he took a semister and is not enrolled in a county college. i am sure ia have many fo the same issues as yourself, sleeps most of the time and does not do give any time to his personal needs for room cleaning and more than likely, homework. he needs money for gas to commute but always seems to money for eating out and going to the bars. he has little to no motivation to do things to make more money or progress better in life. have any tricks up your sleeve?

M. ~ I see you have many responses – Her is ‘our’ situation. We have three children over 20, none currently live at home; are childrens ages are from 22 to 5.

All the ‘older’ children know <knew> that they are able to live with us as long as they follow the house rules, <clean up after themselves, act / talk appropriately, lights out etc.> they must either be in school full time or work full time. Most recently, our 20 year old choose to leave last May, when the locks got changed. Hhhhhmmmmm….. He was working, on and off, and then decided that the house rules <esp. appropriate times and clothing /no cuss words> were not ‘for him’. In April, We advised him that the locks would be changed the first of May. Two weeks prior we placed the new packages of locks <without the keys> on the counter and reminded him that on May 1 – the ‘locks would be changed’. He moved out. He has since found better employment and although I don’t agree with his living arrangements, he is not ‘effecting’ our daily situation <there is a cloud over a family when things are not ‘good’>. If your child is going to school, FULL TIME, and getting good grades, you need to sit down and have an ‘adult’ conversation with him. Plan out a financial plan that works for both of you – be sure to keep the conversations open-ended and agree to revisit the situation in 3 / 6 months etc. You might want to take ‘him’ to a coffee shop or somewhere you can talk without things getting ‘loud’ or out of control. Have the conversation when you are well rested and not ‘stressed’ – it will go MUCH better for the BOTH of you. GOOD LUCK!!

Hi I am alberta

I had my mom son with his wife and two small childrens,one grandson 3mo old,one son in college and no husband at that time. My son and his family did nothing to help only made a dirty room and trail. So they created a super delight when then moved out after one year and no help with any tasks of funds.My mom quitely moved out into her appartment after six years with her lump sum of money and speachless.
My son in college changed schools three times and ended up in Tech school after five years. I told my only girl to leave and get her own afetr she let her boy friend destroy parts of my home four times.
the baby grandson after seven years went to live with his mom / grandmother
I got married just as all of this house cleaning begain to unfold.

My married son marriage went to hell on a fast train. So he moved to a new city where me and my husband were living lovingly for three years.
Then the days of hell came upon us. my son got into trouble and then when he got out went to school and did not work. i would not listen to my husband i supported my son after all i allow him to come two hundred miles away from our home. my husband said i was supporting plan for total failture if i did not put my son out and let him grow up. my husband wanted him to do all kind of carpet cleaning,grass cutting,washing cars,truck paint walls. While not having what he call wayward no good people who he said were so bad the devil did not like them. So he has said my son must go or he will move and sell the house in one day at any cost just so my son way stay in the house with ous, and said if i did not like it then go with my son to the moon by spoon. my husband sais a man needs three or more skills then a two or four yr degree.My husband thinks the skills or like fishing poles in the pond of life for employment the more pole the better the changes of cathing a job. IS HE RIGHT, AM I HURTING MY SON AS HE GOES TO SCHOOL AT AGE 25 FULL TIME WITH A WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN MILES AWAY.

I've had adult children living at home for years; ok right now I don't - but my 19 year old recently quit college & moved back home. I have a 28 year old & a 25 year old that have been here on & off; plus my 25 year old lives nearby & is frequently needy! What are your issues?


My step son is 18 and though not quite your situtation, he is heading for that direction. He will barely finish HS and when he does I have told him in no uncertain terms that he must work and go to college. For one reason. If he is allowed to just go to school he will do so until he is 50. I know the type. Home is comfortable, Mom does everything, takes care of him feeds him laundry, etc. At his age he needs the responsibility of working himself through school so he knows what its like to be his own man. The longer you take care of him the longer he will be living at home and off you. Good Luck
G. L.

I am also a single parent with older children. At this time, they no longer reside with me. I had to come to the place where I stopped feeling guilty for being a single parent (and all that they missed out on because of that). I was the best mom that I could be with the knowledge and resources I had.

As for your child being in school full-time, I do not see that as a reason to not hold down a part-time job. I was a single mother of two, worked full-time and attended classes full-time. It is possible to do both.

If I am reading your post correctly, it sounds like you are getting tired of taking care of an adult child... and you should be. You have done your job in raising this child now it is his/her turn to do the same.

I had a friend say to me once that by taking care of everything or fixing every circumstance, we are actually denying our children the privilege to learn from it. Also, it sends a message that we don't really believe in them and their ability to make wise decisions. It was just the counsel I needed at that time. I never wanted to send the message to my children that I didn't believe in them.

I have 3 kids in college full time and living home with me. 2 work part time and one does not due to a funky schedule this semester.

My husband and I are able to afford everything in the household so my kids don't pay room and board. If I was in financial need I'd think nothing of asking them to pitch in toward household expenses. After all they use more utilities than I do and definately eat more of the food.

If money is tight then by all means sit down with your child and have a chat about it. He/she could easily pick up a part time job for a night or two a week and cover a bill for you.

Hi M., I also have two young adults living at home. I also have a high schooler at home. My college student comes home most weekends and so does my other young adult who has an appartment nearer work. Things are good. What's up?


Hello! I am a 40 year old mother of a 6 1/2 year old, so I don't have an adult child living at home, but I wanted to respond. If you need additional income have you ever considered a home based business where you can work it around your family and current schedule?

I have my own home based business, I am a Mary Kay consultant and have been for 8 years now. I started using the product, fell in love with it, decided I wanted to share it with other people and I was working full-time. We then had our daughter and I did go back to work but only part-time. I recently left my job (of 18 years) in June 2007 to pursue my business only and I have never looked back.

Why not look into something like that? If your child is a girl she maybe could sign up, you must be 18 to sign up (at least with Mary Kay).

With Mary Kay you are the boss, you make your own hours, decide when to give yourself a raise, it's very flexible, there are no territories or quotas, and nobody will tell you what to do. I absolutely love my life now, my husband works 2nd shift and before when I did work part-time, because of our schedules we hardly saw each other and that didn't help our marriage. Now I can spend time with him, and get our daughter off to school and be here when she returns.

Well I wish you the best of luck and may God bless you and your family...

24/7 website:www.marykay.com/lbaumgartner1

I Don't know anyone who has this same particular situation,

However, my EX and His brother still live at home with their parents, and they are in their 30's,
both do not work regular jobs on a regualr basis nor contribute to the household, or pay rent,
I find this sad,

I also blame their mother for not pushing them to be more responsible and take life seriously.

Lets face it she is enabling them, and encouraging immaturity in her children.

However, If your child, is not WORKING but DOES attend school full time, I see there to be no problem unless they expect you to support them .

At that age the bills for college tuition should be coming in your childs name, as should the loans,

There is nothing wrong with letting them live rent free at that stage,

They should have at the very least a part time job, to feed themselves, and clothe, ect..

You need to use discretion, If they are in say Medical School or Law School--FINE help OUT MORE if you can, IF NOT well then you need to draw the line somewhere, and give them a little push out of the nest. Worst case scenario they FALL
and you help them get back on their feet,

Post graduation they need to pay rent, and the grocery bills.

And if your child is NOT respectful and appreciative of the situation, you can lovingly offer them the door,


FRIENDS-- at this age they may want to have over night friends, I think its OK, BUT again they need to contribute in some way, cleaning or cutting the grass, SOMETHING.
Fair is Fair

In todays day and age its very hard to live, forget about alone, and off of one salary, but it can be done,

You know your child better than anyone, EXCEPT they are NOT a Child anylonger......Are they.

Good luck And I appologize in Advance if I am offending you.


i see that you have many responses, unfortunately, like me, most of them were on the "child's" side. i myself am 29 with a 2 yr old, also married. when i was about 21,22 i moved out, but due to living with roommates that chose to "live off me" i had to move back. when i got married almost 5 yrs ago, we were living here in my grandmother's home (1st mistake), then my husband hurt himself right before we were almost ready to "get our act together" and do something on our own and my grandmother gave him a certain amount of time to get a job or get out...well he's got a MAJOR attitude problem and insisted that he'd rather just get out and did so. well, i found out that i was pregnant (for a fact, and not just the suspicions i had a couple weeks before the ultimatum), we then moved in with his mother and about 3 1/2 yrs later (and an almost 2 yr old later) there was a huge blow up and i had to move out. i am not back living with my grandmother and everyone else in this house (my brother 24 yrs old and NEVER attempted leaving)and my mother had been in and out of this home coming up on 10 times (at least 7) since she's been 17! sometimes there's nothing you can do to help the moving back in with family, sometimes there seems like no way out when you're STILL living with family. up until now (being married and living separate from my husband because he's not allowed back here) i'm paying for cable (which saves $50/month that helps towards my water and/or electricity that i use, which i try to use bare minimum) and i pay for my own things, food, laundry stuff, things like that. unfortunately i can't afford to pay for anything else, though if i was the one working, and it were up to me (not my husband) i'd be helping my grandmother out much more, but like i said earlier, he's got an attitude problem. for the 3 1/2 yrs that i lived w/ his mother every time he'd borrow money from her BEFORE she'd give it to him, she get ME to promise that she'd get paid back because he's the type to borrow w/ no intentions to pay back, yet knowing that i'm the complete opposite she knew that the moment we got the money, even if i'd have to "steal" it from him i'd make sure she'd get her money back!

basically, coming from the "child's" side, i feel that as long as there's no major issues on living with family (like i'm going through now, major sibling rivalry, and fighting w/ my mother now that she's in the process of moving back in because i'm here and my grandmother's not doing well) then there shouldn't be a problem as long as everyone contributes what they can. pay for what THEY use (like i do, food, laundry and body cleaning supplies, etc) and then any extras going towards bills like electricity and water that they can help with is always nice. of course if you wanted you could always charge rent on top of that (though you would be paying for whatever property taxes and such whether they lived there or not). i like the idea that another mother had mentioned, where her in-laws charged her husband a certain amount while he was living with them, and when they got married, they got that as a gift. i had a friend that was charged rent from the moment she turned 18 and it was considerable (i think about $500/month) and when she said that she had enough money to rent an apartment and leave home, (about 5 yrs later) her parents took that money (that they put in a savings account) and put it towards her buying a nice starter home, plus whatever she saved! i guess it all has to do with what you yourself can afford. that and what your children are willing to contribute. my brother refuses to pay for anything other then what he eats (and laundry detergent) UNLESS asked for the money...he says "if you don't ask, you must not need it!" well, i'm not sure what you're concerns were, or if i was of any help, but i know that you got many responses from my/your children's point of view, i just hope that you got enough responses from the parents' point of view too.

Been there did that. The best advise I can offer is to treat your child as an adult, make them responsible for their actions. Help when you can but keep them responsible.
Going into this world is not easy, so we must prepare them to depend on themselves & God.

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