No one ever said shopping for an apartment in New York City is easy, but if you’re fortunate enough to be able to do so it certainly doesn’t equate to suffering. That’s a parallel made by the Times in “When Mom Picks Out Your Apartment For You,” an article that is precisely as insufferable as the headline suggests. Within, moms and psychologists opine about the parental impetus to shield their kin from the harsh realities of purchasing and renovating their very own New York City abode.
“The whole process of buying an apartment in New York City, it’s overwhelming for them,” says an interior designer mom, who oversaw upgrades to both the Gramercy studio purchased for her daughter and the Village studio purchased for her son. To be fair, updating co-ops does involve a fair amount of headache, what with persnickety co-op boards, obtaining permits, and the like.
But Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult (yes, really), warns against parents heeding the initial pain of homeownership for their children, noting that when parents take on all the responsibility, their children are “less happy ... less grown up” and on top of that have no idea what the hell they’re doing when they need to move yet again.
So what’s the benefit of intervening? It fizzles down to two things: maintaining control, as helicopter parents are wont to do, and freeing up time for the beloved spawn to do things like work, and probably take Soulcycle classes followed by a nice, crisp green juice. The instinct, the Times notes, comes from a “natural, albeit misguided, urge to protect their children from suffering.”
After all, “[a] parent who is footing some—or all—of the bill might worry that an inexperienced millennial will make an unwise investment without a guiding hand.”
What ever happened to the mantra “live and learn?”