‘You’re too old to be living with your parents’
That’s the voice you probably hear in your head on that Saturday morning when you just want to sleep and your mother decides it’s the best time to send you on errands. It was tolerable when you were younger, say when you were in your late teens and early twenties but now you are in your late twenties and you cannot stand it anymore because you thought by now you would be out of your parent’s house but guess what…YOU’RE NOT!
From a young age, you’ve been told that you would move out of your father’s house to your husband’s house so even though you are old enough now and you could probably afford rent, you find that moving out of your parent’s house as a single woman is a controversial debate in the Nigerian society especially when you’re not moving out of state/country.
Having to live with parents after a certain age has to be one of the most difficult things in life, especially as a young lady when every comment, statement, conversation and question all boils down to marriage and when you would get married. Typical examples would be:
Scenario 1 – serving a well prepared meal
Comment – ‘your husband will enjoy o’;
Scenario 2 – forgetting to do something
Comment – ‘is that how you will run your home as a married woman?’;
Scenario 3– getting home late
Comment – ‘is this how you will live in your husband’s house?’.
Truth is, at this point all you may ever hear are constant reminders that you are ‘ripe’ for marriage.
Then there are the rules and if you come from a strict home, the curfews. As someone who has lived away from home for a while before moving back, I often find this to be one of my major challenges because after having so much freedom and being able to plan things around my own time I have come back to hear things like ‘no responsible woman is supposed to keep late nights’ or ‘you cannot do what you want while under my roof wait till you get married’ and I get it, well the roof part I get, the others I still struggle understanding.
Anyway, if you’re from a very laid-back and liberal family you may not understand what I am blabbing about but you must realise that not all Nigerian parents are ‘understanding’ or ‘liberal’ so they often believe that these rules and marriage reminders are what will shape you into being a better wife and mother while the idea of moving out of your parent’s house as a young woman is almost considered a taboo.
It some cases it becomes so difficult living with parents and trying not to have a war on moving out that some ladies actually see marriage as their ticket to freedom. I have heard some married women say things like ‘they could not wait to get out of their father’s house so they got married early’ or single women who compare marriage to ‘breaking out of prison’ and of course discussions on how society frowns at the idea of a woman living alone (*rollseyes*)
I know parents care and no matter how hard you try, they still see you as the little girl with ponytails and the puffy Cinderella dress on her first birthday who has no clue that the world is filled with wolves in sheep clothing and maybe they are right or maybe they are paranoid…
At the end of the day, if moving out is not an option for you then how do you deal with living with parents and the pressure of seeing marriage as your ticket to freedom?
I really want to know what you think
P.S.- The only reason I am yet to move out is because Lagos rent is on the rise and mehnnn the bills are plenty…