Fear of moving out of parent’s house and how to sort it, now!

People seem to be in two camps – they either want to stay in their parent’s house forever or they want to leave as soon as it’s possible to do so.

Without any shade to my parents, I was the latter.

I spent my life dreaming of the day I’d be able to live alone; I wanted to come and go as I pleased and I wanted to keep things tidy and free from the chaos of family life (and family drama).

When I did fly the nest, as much as I was looking forward to it, I was still sad.

As I’m typing now, I live 250 miles away from my parents and some days, even at 32, it feels harder than ever; I can certainly see why some fear moving from the comfort of their parent’s home.

fear of moving out of parent's house and how to sort it, now!
photo: Florian Klauer

Why is it so hard to move out of your parent’s house?

There are so many reasons why it might be hard to move out of your parent’s house, from financial issues to fear of missing out to just finding change uncomfortable.

Moving out of your parent’s house is one of the biggest transitions you’ll go through, regardless of whether you want to leave or not; that’s why it’s so difficult. It’s all about stepping into the unknown which can be just as scary as it is exciting.

The idea of being financially responsible for your own cost of living can be daunting, especially if you’ve had little experience with this before.

Dealing with direct debits, council tax bills and paying for housing was very overwhelming when I was experiencing it for the first time. Between you and me, I wasn’t very good at it either. I’m ashamed to say it now, but the bank of Mum and Dad was open for business during some particularly tough times.

fear of moving out of parent's house and how to sort it, now!
photo: Amy Shamblen

At what age should you move out of your parent’s house?

In 2021, in the EU, the average age of young adults leaving their parent’s homes was 26.5 with men leaving later than women. As long as you’re over the age of 16, you’re legally allowed to move out.

However, this doesn’t mean you should move out, the ‘right’ time can vary greatly from person to person; I have friends who left home at 16 and friends who still live with their parents at 33 – it all depends on your situation.

Is it normal to be scared to move out of your parent’s house?

photo: Ashley Piszek

Regardless of your situation at home, be that good or bad, it’s totally normal to be scared of moving out of your parent’s house. As humans, we’re creatures of habit and being at home with our parents is, for many of us, what we know. Anything different from that can feel daunting and scary.

What is the fear of leaving your parent’s house?

Fear of leaving your loved ones, in extreme cases, can be down to separation anxiety. This is recurrent or excessive stress related to being away from home and from loved ones.

How do I get over my fear of moving out of my family home?

First of all, show yourself compassion when it comes to leaving home – it’s a very big thing to go through. Secondly, make use of phone calls, messages and video calls with your family to ease you into the move. Knowing a friendly voice is only a phone call away can make all the difference. When I first left home at 20, I would call my Mum almost every day.

Why do I feel guilty about moving away from my parents?

Feeling guilty about leaving home is common for many people. Inflicting pain (in the form of sadness) onto your parents when you leave can be a tough thing to do. You might be worried about them feeling lonely without you or you might have been helping towards bills and household chores, but putting yourself first isn’t a selfish act and you have the right to happiness.

Children flying the nest is all part and parcel of a healthy family life, your parents should realise that deep down inside.

Why living away from parents is good:

photo: Laura Chouette

Living away from your parents helps you to develop a sense of independence. It helps you learn valuable life skills which lead to you becoming a more rounded individual. As well as personal development, the sense of freedom is also a positive – you can live in a way that truly suits you and your personality.

How to cope with moving out:

  • Plan a time when you can go back and visit.
  • Keep regular contact with your family via Facetime or over the phone.
  • Explore the area you’re moving to and focus on getting excited about all the things you can do in your new home.
  • Make your new place feel like home with photos and decorations.
  • Create a routine.
  • Build a community and focus on making new friends if you’re moving to a new area.
  • Give yourself time to settle in and experience all the good and bad things about living away from home.

Read more: decorating anxiety: how to pluck up the courage to start

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