Subscribe
Brit + Co Logo

Looking for sweet cookie recipes,

the latest fashion trends and inspo,

or a way to up your calligraphy game?

We'll help you find something amazing ✨

Why It’s So Damn Difficult to Say Goodbye to Your Childhood Home

For those of us who were fortunate enough to live in one, maybe two, houses during our childhoods and adolescences, we may well have subconsciously made these beloved abodes parts of ourselves. Whether it’s baking cookies with Mom in the kitchen, playing spin the bottle in the basement, or doing summertime cartwheels in the backyard that we reflect on so fondly, these memories carry with them a sense of comfort and security. So when our parents decide to uproot themselves after we’ve grown, it might feel like they’re packing up our precious memories along with the rest of their stuff. And this is normal. Even for adults who have been living on their own for years, this upheaval can be hard. Ross Grossman, a Los Angeles-based family therapist, explains why.


As adults, chances are, we’ve “left” our childhood homes on more than one occasion. Perhaps it was for a sleepover, or then maybe summer camp. “(Those were) both anxiety-producing and highly exciting,” Grossman says. “‘Look, Ma, no hands!’ That feeling of independence is invigorating. But we always know that Mom and Dad are waiting back at the home front should we need to refuel.”

Next, we likely left for a more extended period of time: College. “[During college], we are leaving the staid, stable, consistent reality of home and going out to seek knowledge and adventure,” Grossman explains, “but with the ever-present thought that home is always back there, waiting.”

However, when home is no longer “back there” because our parents have separated or moved, we lose the refuge that we were so able to rely on. “Home,” at least as far as we’d come to recognize it, no longer exists. “Once our childhood home is removed in a very real way, our sense of permanence — which is to say a false sense of permanence — is altered,” Grossman states. “It can feel very much like the ground shifting beneath our feet to be unable to enter our childhood home, smell the familiar smells, walk the familiar halls, sleep in a familiar room.”

And we are not only coping with the loss of a childhood constant but also — maybe for the first time — being forced to confront impermanence, according to Grossman. “Saying goodbye forever to a childhood home points out the innate sweet sadness of the transitory nature of life,” he says. “Feeling somewhat sad and wistful is a natural reaction to this loss. Western culture does not integrate the concept of death very well into our daily lives,” Grossman continues. “Yet losing our childhood home is a kind of ‘small death’ and a preview of other deaths to come.”

The most powerful antidote to this type of sadness is gratitude. As Grossman points out, thousands of people are forced from their homes each year due to natural disaster, war, or other circumstances, and we were lucky enough to remain contentedly planted in one safe and comforting home for the most formative years of our lives.

“Home is indeed where the heart is, so take a moment and collect your thoughts about home, that is, the value of what home represents,” Grossman says. “Home can mean many things to many different people: a place to feel safe, a place to relax, a place to gather together, a place to communicate freely.” And once your family moves into their new home, take these values with you there so the new place will feel like home too.

How’d you handle this loss of home? Let us know @BritandCo.

{Photo via Getty)

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie is a Californian who's been plopped in the middle of Missouri for her undergraduate studies in magazine journalism. She's a hiker, an eater, a lover of words. In her opinion, nothing beats a well-made breakfast sammy or a well-crafted sentence.

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)