Friday, April 19, 2024

‘TBH I’ve Realised How Lucky We Are To Have This Relationship.’ Brodie On Why Living With A Parent As An Adult Is Cool

Welcome to TBH – To Be Honest – Capsule’s monthly column with our columnist and old pal, Brodie Kane! This month, Brodie is flipping the narrative on living with a parent as an adult.

And for her previous columns, click here!

Remember when we were in our late teens, even in our 20s – hey, there’s probably still a bit of it at any age – where there seemed to be a slight lack of coolness around living with your parents. It was particularly rife in the flatting era, and in classic Millennial fashion, if people were still living at home with their parents, you definitely threw a little bit of judgement at them. Gosh, we loved to think we had to play by the societal norm rulebook, didn’t we?

Anyway, I’m 37 and I’m back living with my Mum. I can hand on heart say I feel so ridiculously lucky to be able to do so. 

Now, me and Jo Kane are pretty close. I am extraordinarily lucky we have such a wonderful relationship to be able to do this in the first place.

We first tested it out really when Covid hit. I’d been made redundant, the lockdowns came, my flatmate at my house in Christchurch was going away for work… and there was no way I was doing it alone.

So I moved out to Waikuku Beach- the beautiful settlement I grew up in – and moved in with Mum. We had bought the beautiful little house that she was living in together, after her and my dad (Muzz) separated. 

Eventually, I moved out there full time, and put tenants in the Christchurch house, because I couldn’t afford to pay the mortgages on my own whilst trying to set up my own business.

I didn’t shy away from explaining that to people either. Often we are so quick to try and hide the speed bumps in our lives, but I feel like now we are learning more and more to talk about – and own – those speed bumps.

Well, Jo Kane and I had an absolute hoot living together. We had some good boundaries in place, we communicated well and were good at giving each other space when we needed it.

I realised I was going to come back to Auckland, as it’s where I wanted to be for mahi, but also because a lot of my very good friends live there. Last year, I realised I wanted to try and buy something in Auckland for myself. I didn’t want to flat anymore, and wanted to lay some single girlie roots down.

Somehow we got talking and she was feeling like she wasn’t sure about Waikuku Beach being her forever home anymore. Neither of her kids (or grandkids) live there, and it might just be time for a fresh start. We had a few discussions and landed on her deciding she’d move to Auckland.

On that – can I just say how epic it is for a 68-year old single woman to do that? She’d lived in Christchurch for 40 years!!! I’m absolutely in awe of it.

I sold my Christchurch house, and we sold the Waikuku Beach property together, and that, my friends, allows you to just scrape through on the Auckland property market!

We had a really tough time finding a house. What we were actually looking for was something that would offer completely separate living. Unfortunately, these were simply not in our budget. We did find a beautiful, smaller home that we were successful in buying just before Christmas – and settled in January.

I’ll admit – there was a moment where I thought “this wasn’t part of the plan”. We were supposed to be able to live separately and now we’re actually housemates. I wasn’t quite sure about it.

Then, over the Christmas break, while trying to patch my burnt-out self together and do all my brain filing for 2024, I realised something. How lucky am I that I CAN do that? That I have this super special relationship with my mum, and that we are able to help EACH OTHER out at these stages of our lives like this? I completely flipped the narrative and suddenly realised this is indeed a very cool thing to do.

The only other person I’d live with is the love of my life/person I would start a family with. He is unfortunately not available right now (lol), so my wonderful housemate is my mum.

I love having her around. I love her company. I love that we respect each other’s boundaries. And sure, we have the occasional scrap, or sometimes need to have a bit of a discussion or reset, but we’re really aware of being aware (if that makes sense). 

I have heard of similar stories of people (singles and couples) purchasing with their parents, building on the same land and so on, and I think it’s wonderful to hear we’re shifting the goalposts to suit what we need, but also, what we can actually achieve. 

Plus!!! She drops me at parties (ok, ok social gatherings, haha) and LOVES to fold the washing. 

To hear more of Brodie, jump onto her podcasts The Girls Uninterrupted and Kiwi Yarns

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