A new study shows that American adults live an average of only 18 miles from their parents—and the proximity is for good reason, as mothers who live near their own moms have a meaningful amount of extra freedom to handle personal emergencies and work.

According to the New York Times, only 20 percent of Americans live over a few hours’ drive from their parents; people on the West Coast also tend to move farther away from their families than East Coasters do. As people get older, even those who moved far away often return closer to home for their mother’s help with childcare: most families that earn less than $30,000 per year depend on family for help raising their kids.

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A separate study noted by the Times found that mothers with children showed 10 percent more labor force participation when they lived near their own mothers or mothers-in-law—and as the stories in this piece explain, the luxury of being able to call a trusted family member at the last minute to quell a childcare or personal emergency can’t be overstated.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

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