When I moved out of my perfectly cozy mother's home, with an island in the kitchen and a lake in the backyard, to live with a roommate in a decaying apartment in South Beach, they didn't say this, but I think my parents questioned my sanity.
I'm one of the lucky ones who has gotten away with doing nontraditional Latinx things — like moving in with a roommate 20 minutes away from my own home — without too much resistance. But I know it's not like this for many Latinxs who choose to follow a version of the millennial dream versus our Latinx parents' American Dream. It's tough to move out on your own — for Latinx women, it's 10 times more challenging.
Let's face it: it's hard for our parents to grasp the concept of personal space, understand why you'd want to waste money on rent instead of saving it for your own home, or — the biggest concern of all — why you'd do it as a single woman instead of a married one. Luckily, there are a few ways to ease the burden on them, but just like with all things, it takes time and a whole lot of understanding from both parties. Keep reading to know how you can ease your parents into it.
The first step is to break it to them slowly. Sometimes the Band-Aid approach works, but this is not one of those times. We each have different circumstances, but you'll want to mentally prepare your parents about your intentions to move out and your reasons why. Are you seeking more independence? Do you need more personal space? Have you outgrown your lilac walls and floral bedsheets? Start with mentioning it to them over dinner, or in a relaxed setting, so they're aware moving out is on your mind and likely on your agenda.
Once they know it's on your radar, be mindful of integrating it into conversations as often as possible. For example, talk about what style you'd like your new place to emulate, or how you'll invite them over for dinner every week (or month), and ask them for their advice — after all, they'll still want to be a part of this exciting process for you, even if they have a hard time with it. Anticipate their responses during these conversations, so you'll have a strong answer to ease their concerns. Then, find a fitting time to do the unspeakable: tell them your move-out date.
It's not always that easy. If they are having a hard time accepting your decision, reaffirm them that you're well prepared for this move. If it helps, let them know you have enough savings in your account and that you're mentally and financially equipped to make this move on your own. More importantly, speak to them about the advantages of having your own personal space and being able to explore that before you share it with someone else in marriage — or not, if that's not the route you decide to go. Living with a friend is suggested for a first move — it'll help your wallet, and it will ease your parents' safety concerns.
Lastly, and most importantly, reassure them that you love the nest they have built for you, and nothing will ever take the place of your childhood with them, that you'll return often, and that you'll miss them. If none of this works and they still don't come around, don't be surprised to find them helping you load boxes or buying you your first housewarming gift. No matter what moves we decide to make, parents are always our biggest fans.