New feature: Taking advantage of mum?
Jess McCabe // 8 September 2012
More and more young adults are living with their parents well into their 20s. It’s cheaper, and even the prime minister is encouraging it.
But what are the practical consequences? Who does the majority of the housework in a family? It’s often women, and when older children return it can become the default setting again, extending mothers’ years of picking up after their offspring even longer.
In a feature I just posted, Rebecca talks about how this is happening in her family.
Her family’s situation makes it doubly difficult, as her mother is in temporary accommodation and would have to move again if Rebecca left. I think this is particularly important; policy makers appear to continue to base policies on their notions of the configuration and challenges faced by an imaginary ‘standard’ family. We need to challenge this and ask why.
As Rebecca says:
I don’t want to give her more work than is necessary and I don’t want to benefit unfairly from her labour. I just want to live on my own, but I can’t.
She talks widely about her own experiences, and observations on the gender politics and general consequences of young people deferring adult independence.
Photo of yellow rubber gloves next to a bottle of washing up liquid, by Flickr user fras1977, shared under a Creative Commons license