Why They Left Their Parents’ House and How They Are Doing So Far

January 20, 2022

Leaving home is a big step in adulthood. Many people do it for many reasons. In this article, six Nigerian women talk about why they left their parents house and how they are coping so far. 

Zee, 29

I moved out to Canada because of school. In the first few months, I felt alone. It took a while before I made friends. When I fell sick, there was no one to care for me. I had to go through a lot of things on my own. I couldn’t share some of my struggles with my family because I knew they could not help. My depression and anxiety even became worse but I am better now. 

The best thing about leaving home is that I became my own person. I also learned to appreciate my parents more. Right now,  I’m making plans to move my parents to Canada and I don’t mind them staying with me because I have realised  that family is everything.  

Blessing, 27

I moved out to do better for myself and family. I wanted a high paying  job and a new life. After doing my NYSC in  Port Harcourt, I stayed back. I haven’t been home since then. 

I wouldn’t trade the freedom I experience living alone for anything or not having anybody in my space. Things are better this way but I hate having to pay bills on my own, especially light and water. 

Lade, 28

I moved out because it was time. Many things indicated that it was. I have seven piercings on my earlobes and one on my nose. My parents gave me a lot of flack for it. I felt stifled living with them.  I couldn’t wear what I wanted. Also, their house was far from where I worked and town, in general so it was difficult to hang out with friends. I just had to leave. 

About a year ago, I moved to Surulere and I was really happy when I did. The best thing about it is the freedom. I smoke in peace now. I don’t have to inform anyone before I go somewhere or if I will come back. Also, I noticed my relationship with my parents is much better. They don’t complain about my piercings anymore or police my whereabouts. The worst thing about moving out  is having to decide what to eat everyday. I also hate having to call other men to come and fix things in the house. When I was living with my parents, my dad fixed everything. Handymen can be so condescending towards young women living alone. I love my parents and like visiting them but I can’t live there anymore. 

Tiff, 27

I moved out because I knew I wouldn’t survive with my parents. I am an only child so they expected a lot of things from me. I wasn’t  allowed to go out or have friends or wear the kind of clothes I liked. I needed to find myself without the restrictions they imposed on me. 

In 2019, I moved to Lagos where I got a job. I was so happy to leave. It wasn’t easy to survive on my own but it felt right. Raising money for rent was hard as fuck but I was ready to drink garri for as long as it took before going back to my parent’s house. I was glad to be able to do things for myself by myself without anyone’s unsolicited opinion guiding my every move. I love learning about myself at my pace. I also love sleeping in on Sundays. I wouldn’t go back to my parents’ house for anything. They haven’t even seen my tattoos LMAO. 

Eno, 25

I left home because I needed to be able to live life on my terms and have autonomy over my decisions. I wanted to be a different person from who my parents wanted me to be. In 2020, I left Abuja for Lagos. 

Leaving home was a particularly thrilling experience because it was the year the pandemic shutdown everything. I had already spent the first ten months with my parents and I almost ran mad.  

Since I left home, I have become more financially literate and have grown so much towards the person I’ve always wanted to be. The one thing I hate is paying hospital bills but it’s not enough to want to go back home. I’ve learnt that it’s safer for my relationship with my parents that we have separate lives. 

Oyin, 25

I moved out of my parents’ house because of the distance it took me to get to work everyday. I was the first to leave the house and last to come back. My mother didn’t want me to move out because of the Nigerian idea that a girl is supposed to live with her parents until she’s moving to her husband’s house. I tried living with family friends for a while but it wasn’t convenient.

My mum got tired of waiting for me at odd hours and advised me to get my apartment. It took a while to find one but once I did, I felt relieved. I now have more time for myself. I leave home and come back at my convenience. I don’t have to take permission for anything. 

So far, what I have come to dislike about living on my own is the bills that come from family. In most Nigerian families, once they see you moved out of your parents’ house, they assume you now have money somewhere and proceed to bill you. I hate it. 

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