Mamamia chats to five mums who explain the good and the challenging aspects of having boomerang kids and why becoming an ‘empty nester’ is not always a linear process.
Annie and Doug.
When eldest son Jonathon moved back home with wife Sarah and their five kids to save money, Annie and Doug’s modest house and one bathroom had to be shared between 13 people!
“We already had youngest son Jeremey, his partner Maddie and their two kids in the spare room, so it got pretty busy when Jonathan and his family moved home,” grandmother of seven and full-time assistant manager in the family and homeless support space, Annie says.
“I pull up in my car from work and I can hear the noise from the street – it’s a circus!”
“There’s not a lot of physical space or privacy and there can be a bit of waiting about for a shower, but I get up early at 5am and go to the gym so I often don’t see everyone until the very end of my work day.”
Watch: Things mums never hear. Post continues below.
While the practical aspects are challenging, Annie says the fact they have all been together during COVID has been great.
“We have been able to witness our grandkids growing up, and that is a real blessing. As I still work full time, I would normally only see them on occasional weekends if we weren’t all together.
“I will absolutely miss seeing all the cousins in the bath together when they move out, they have a really special bond and are more like siblings now. It’s been a privilege and I get a lot of love from them every day!”
Dana and Bob.
Dana and Bob have been happily married for 39 years with three adult children and until recently, everyone still lived in the family home.
“We have a Macedonian background and family is incredibly important to us,” Dana says.
“I was married at 18 and lived with Bob’s family for many years while we saved to buy a home. It was hard as young newlyweds with no space, but Bob’s mum was a widow and her house was an important central meeting place for the whole family.”