real life

"I'm 31 and still live at home with my parents. Here's why."

Firstly let me introduce myself – I’m Emma, I’m 31, I work full time as a nanny, I love going to the movies, I am currently vegan and working on being nicer to our planet and I am utterly obsessed with my dogs (Sonny & CJ).

Oh and I still live with my parents; I always have and sometimes I feel like I always will.

I have worked as a babysitter since I was around 13 and started my first full time job the day after my last Year 12 exam and I haven’t stopped working since. I was lucky enough to work at a childcare centre that offered traineeship programs that saw me getting my certificate three and then a Diploma in Children’s Services. While working in childcare I also babysat regularly and became a casual nanny. Basically I worked 6:30am – 2:30pm at childcare then picked kids up from school and had them until around 6:30pm. I worked a lot. Since leaving the childcare setting (five-ish years ago) I have become a nanny full time and still working the same crazy hours plus stints of “live in nanny” while parents are on holidays. I have had breaks to go on my own holidays and I have also been lucky enough to travel interstate and overseas with some of the families I work for. I love my job and I think that I am good at it and I don’t intend to change careers any time soon.

You would think that working this much would allow me to be a home owner by now but sadly you would be wrong. I am single and I don’t earn very much money so the banks are unwilling to give me a loan for enough to buy anything, well unless I want to buy a beach box in Brighton but I think it may be illegal to live in one of those. I have a fair amount of savings but apparently that doesn’t matter to the banks, I need to earn ‘x’ amount monthly to qualify for a loan. So, I still live with my parents.

I am so lucky that, number one, I like my parents and number two, they let me live with them. We have totally separate lives, I cook, clean, shop etc. all for myself and I even have a separate part of the house that I live in that I have furnished and decorated to my taste. Living with them hasn’t held me back at all, hasn’t hindered my ‘becoming an adult’ and it hasn’t hindered my independence however it does give me a complex when meeting new people. Society doesn’t overly approve of this – someone in their 30s living with their parents. If ‘society’ would like to buy me a house or pay my rent then I would happily let them.

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I know that I could rent somewhere or find some roommates and we could all live together and share rent and bills but that’s not what I want. I have been trying my whole adult life to buy a place and I don’t particularly want to waste money on paying rent if I don’t have to. Sometimes I wish I had a different profession just so I could be earning more money or sometimes I wish that people got paid for how hard they worked because I work bloody hard and don’t have much to show for it. At the same time, I know people who don’t work overly hard yet they are in a profession that pays really well. I can’t work out if they are the smart ones who have found themselves a job like this or if I am because I found a job I love.

It’s hard to find the balance of being a hermit and spending no extra, unnecessary money and enjoying my life and spending money when needed. Luckily I don’t drink so I haven’t wasted a heap of money on that but I do like a coffee and avo toast so maybe I should give them up. Also I have found that although I love being vegan and the amazing effect it has had on me, it can be so expensive!

Who doesn't like avo toast? Image: Getty.

There are times when I think that the world may be different for me if I had my own place. For instance I would love to open up family day care and be a foster parent, and one day (sooner rather than later) be a mum, all of which I can’t really do while living in my parents house. I wish I knew a simple solution to my predicament but I just can’t see one. As much as I try to believe that money isn’t the end all or be all of a person, sometimes it feels like it is. I know that many people are in my same boat currently and I know that many people have been in my boat but have worked their way out of it. To those people, please share your wisdom with me...  aside from winning the lottery I just don’t see how in the foreseeable future I will be a property owner.

For right now, I live an incredible life and I am so very happy so I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about it all but the older I get, the more real my predicament becomes.

You can follow Emma on Insragram: @melbourne_nanny_life

Do you have any advice for Emma? Please share in the comments below.

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