Cover Photo: A close-up photograph of a woman lying on her stomach on a bed. Her face is turned  toward the camera but is mostly obscured by long blonde hair.
Photograph by Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash

Unlearning the Shame of Living with My Parents As an Adult

I’m already leading a different life than the nuclear family I’d envisioned. There’s freedom in stepping away from that, but I find it uncomfortable too.


Living with my parents has afforded me more physical space than I could ever dream of alone. I’ve benefited from sharing costs—I was able to pay off my graduate school debt and save money again—and it’s more environmentally friendly. I look forward to eating dinner together on the couch in front of the TV after an intense day of work. We laugh as we personify our cats with high-pitched voices and jokingly argue over who their favorite child is (me, obviously). Living alone, I didn’t laugh much.

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Samantha Paige Rosen is a writer and teacher. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Catapult, Electric Literature, The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, Post Road, and elsewhere. She earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College and is a proud Smith College graduate. She lives outside of Philadelphia and has three cats who are her children. Say hello at or on Twitter  @samanthaprosen.