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When a cat has a litter of kittens, she nurses them, sees they're growing up all right, then sends them on their way. This is similar to what we do. Humans rear their children, give them the best shot they can at being independent, functional adults, and then they go off to college and beyond—and their old bedroom becomes that DIY art studio Mom's always wanted.
But what about when your kid comes back home as, gasp, an adult? Not just to visit, but to once again live under the parental roof? This is the "boomerang generation," and they're ready to move back home one college is over and the prospects of finding a job become a difficult reality—not to mention the cost of living that many recent grads can't afford.
How is this working out for the middle-class families that are most likely to have their oldest kids flock back to the nest? Not so great.
As reported in the Telegraph, the boomerang generation fails to do its fair share of household chores and is often unaware of the strain it puts on family relationships, according to research by the London School of Economics.
"Our study found that the graduates tended to be more positive than their parents about returning to the family home, although both groups expressed mainly negative feelings about the situation," said Professor Jane Lewis, who led the study. "There is resentment from some parents about children expecting to be treated as adults on the one hand, but not pulling their weight when it comes to household chores or taking responsibility for other aspects of their lives."
Reasons why adult children return home include a competitive job market, modest entry-level salaries and the high cost of living on their own.
In Great Britain, where the study was conducted, around 50 percent of university graduates aged 22–24 return to the parental home, and the number of university graduates returning to their parents' house has grown by more than 20 per cent since 1997, the Office for National Statistics has estimated.
So don't be too surprised that four years after dropping your kid off at the dorm, he or she returns home after the graduation gown comes off.
Have your children returned home after graduating college? Would you let them? Tell us in the comments.