My mother is one of the most intelligent and resilient women I know, and for this Mother’s Day, I’m going to stop being ashamed that I live with her.
Yes, I’m a thirty-three-year-old married woman with an established career who lives with their mother. For the past 15 years, I’ve carried a growing shame about living with her, and it wasn’t until I was in quarantine with my Mom did I unpack that baggage.
Shame is interesting, it’s non-discriminate, and regardless of status, it finds a way to infect our souls. A seed that is planted in our psyche and grows over time, influencing how we move through the world, protecting the little secrets we have around our shame. Movies, television shows, media, in general, has painted the picture of a very pathetic adult who lives with their parent. A person who is unmotivated, non-directional, a slacker, lazy, ungrateful, entitled, a stunted-adult who is irresponsible and has a bad case of Peter Pan syndrome. It’s a characterization that I don’t identify with and does not accurately depict my husband at all. I am absolutely terrified of being boxed in by that stereotype. If the story were flipped and my mother happened to be living with me in my house, I’d be painted with a sweet altruistic multi-generational home narrative, but that isn’t my story. I would be lying if I tried to spin that story too. Instead, I’m tangled up in my shame because except for a small three-month stint in Venice when I was 20 and living with a few co-workers, I’ve never lived on my own.Continue Reading