When I envisioned where my family would be living, I always pictured that we would be in our own home. I never thought I would be back living with my parents.
My husband and I were living in Washington D.C. prior to the birth of our daughter and were given the opportunity to move back to Iowa. We seized the opportunity to move back home, because we knew that when the time came we wanted to raise our child close to family. We had all the logistics planned except for finding where we would live. This made the whole opportunity get placed on hold. Long story short, I asked my parents if we would be able to live with them for a while in order to move back home. The plan was to stay a year, possibly two years max.
Just like any other plan though, life gets in the way.
If you read my story last month, the first surprise was the unexpected birth of my daughter. Since I didn’t know I was pregnant, it was really nice to have my parents around for the help while my husband and I were figuring out parenthood.
Then I decided that it was now or never to go back to school. It made sense to stay where we were living during this transition. Because of this, our two-year max became six years this December.
Although my situation is different from others that find themselves in this same scenario, it has truly been a blessing for my family. The person that benefits the most is my daughter, getting to live so close to her grandparents.
At the same time, we have had our growing pains.
Living side by side with parents or in-laws can test even the calmest of souls, but this situation is gaining popularity and necessity. Here are my 5 tips for a smooth and harmonious multi-generational living arrangement.
5 Tips for Living with Your Parents
Talk openly, no matter how hard it is. This will avoid having things build up and be a ticking time bomb.
Give a hand
Contribute in some way to the household. Helping out could mean that you help in some way with money or around the house it will go a long way.
Define roles and expectations for everyone.
Having my daughter living so close to her grandparents is nice, but the lines can be blurred when it came to discipline. Early on it was important for my husband and I to have my parents be able to be grandparents even with our living situation. We would handle all discipline.
Have clear times defined of when everyone goes back to their space.
In our house my parents’ room is often the hangout room. While it is nice to have a full house, everyone needs their time and space.
Built in Help
Be respectful of their schedule and needs.
This is something my husband and I hear a lot. Of course it is wonderful to have a live-in babysitter. While it is nice not to have to “travel” far, it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s schedules. Even on the quick errands, always ask.
I can’t believe it will be six years in December of living with my parents. While my family’s time of living with my parents may be coming to an end, I am eternally grateful for the time we were able to all live under one roof.