Living with mum: No chance for some, no choice for others

As Mother’s Day arrives in the UK this week, two new studies reveal the far from ideal positions that some mums face when it comes to accommodation.

Flatsharing website EasyRoommate conducted a survey to ask users whether they would flatshare with a single mum, but found that the majority said no, with 43 per cent ruling out the idea altogether.

“Obviously it depends on the person and the kids. But nobody wants to end up with a screaming monster that will ruin being home,” says Cristian, Londoner of 22. “I know it’s unfair for very decent single mother and kids, but how could I be sure?”

6 per cent of respondents said they would only do so if the mother had just one child, while 2 per cent said they would consider if it there were no more than two children, and 8 per cent said they would be open to any situation that did not involve a baby.

Not everyone discounted the possibility, though.

“I would give it a shot,” assures Claire, 35, as 40 per cent of the respondents. “A kid cannot be more annoying that a hot-headed flatmate who lives to party… at least you can hope someone will scold him if he misbehaves!”

However, when it comes to bioligical parents, there is often no choice for many but to live with their mothers.

A recent YouGov study by property portal found that soaring house prices and increasingly unaffordable rents, coupled with low wages for the under 30s, have resulted in more and more grown-up children staying in the family home well into their twenties – and beyond.

Despite the fact that over 80 per cent of GB adults believe that a person should permanently leave the family home by age 25 at the latest, recent ONS analysis of Labour Force Survey statistics show a staggering 3.3 million 20-34 year olds are still living at home. On top of this, research by the Centre for Modern Families think tank shows an estimated 2.7 million “full-nester” households in the UK, with 1 or more adult children living at home.

Full-nester parents are starting to feel the strain on their finances too, as 62 per cent admit to financially supporting their adult children, on top of providing free room and board, with 32 per cent conceding that they don’t expect to recoup any of the money spent supporting their “failed fledglings”.

Elizabeth Cox is 59 and lives in Kingston with her husband Rob and their 22-year-old son Tom, who has been back in the family home for two years after failing to secure a home of his own after university.

“Unfortunately there’s a constant need to nag: to pick up discarded clothes/trainers/wet towels,” says Liz. “It also means having to buy more food and paying more for gas, electric and other bills.”

“Really the main downside is the lack of privacy – for both us and him,” she adds. “I’m sure he’d rather have his own place to host parties and have friends round. It will be good when Tom is able to get his own place. It will enable him to grow and hopefully let him find his own way in life. We’re not pushing him out, but we’re certain he doesn’t want to live with us forever either.”