If you've moved in with or already live with your parent(s).
How do you make that work?
And if it doesn't work, how do you get out?
When DD was 15 months old, I left my abusive alcoholic XH to move in with my folks. Didn't really have much of a choice in the matter since my XH threatened to keep me prisoner in our apartment if I didn't give him custody of DD.
My parents and I share a single-family 3 story detached home. There are 3 bedrooms; my parents each have their own. DD and I share the master bedroom, each with our own beds. It's a narrow house, so quarters are tight sometimes, but the basement is finished so everyone has their own little space. My father is pretty much retired, so he's available to help me care for DD, and to cook, clean, do occasional laundry and work around the house. My mother works FT, and until last spring, so did I. At that time, she and I shared the daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, since I worked so much and so far from the daycare. Now that I am at home FT doing my Master's degree, I deal with all daycare-related traveling, unless there is something exceptional.
Financially speaking, I contribute to 1/3 of the household expenses (municipal taxes, cable/internet/phone, heating, etc), as well as 1/3 of the cost of food. I also fill up my mother or father's gas tank once or twice a month, since I use the car a lot. The other expenses (my cell, gym membership, bus pass, daycare fees, tuition fees, etc) are my own. It wasn't always this way though; when I first moved in, my parents gave me a year to "get back on my feet". During that time, I paid nothing, worked FT, saved up money and paid off all the debt XH had put in my name. Once the divorce was over and done with, and once XH was out of our lives for good, I started helping my parents with expenses. Since I saved up a good deal of money, I was able to lend them a hefty sum towards the renovation of the kitchen.
Socially speaking, my parents tell me in advance whenever they have an outing, so that I don't count on them to watch DD. I teach dance classes on Friday nights so they generally take DD for me then. I can also count on them to watch her after I've put her to bed, pretty much any night of the week. In this, I am extremely lucky.
How it works? Well, for us, it is socially acceptable to live in a multigenerational household. My mother took a lot of criticism from her side of the family (the Québécois side), but my dad's family approves completely of our arrangement. My parents get to see their only grand-daughter grow up, and I get their support in raising my child.
Also, we laid down the ground rules from the beginning: I am the mama and final decision for everything, comes from me. There was some tension regarding this at times, but my parents have always ended up respecting my wishes.
Finally, we communicate. A lot. We had some good practice when we discussed how to deal with my XH's harassment, so we were able to discuss what I want for DD, how I want them to act around her, etc. I probably helps that we generally have the same values with regards to raising kids, and that we respect and love one another a great deal. Right now, I plan on staying with them all through DD's elementary school, since there's an excellent one 5 minutes away from here. Also, we've made friends in the neighborhood...
The downside: I have virtually no intimacy at home. Forget about having a boyfriend over, and bringing friends over is a bit tricky as well, since my parents have to meet and interact with them as well. We do have a plan in the works to deal with that: renovating the basement into an apartment for DD and me, but it'll have to wait until I'm working again, since I'd be footing the bill for the renovation. In the meantime, I count myself lucky that I am able to have a social life, as a FT single mama with no help from my XH.
Hope this helps!
Oh and as for "how to get out of it", well, I think that this needs to be established BEFORE you move in. In my case, I was clear with my folks that if we found that living together didn't work, at any time, that I would move out with DD and that it would in no way mean that I loved or respected them any less. They also promised to tell me straight away if they felt uncomfortable in any way...
BTDT! I also moved in with my parents after I kicked XH out of the house we were renting. I moved in with DS, who was 3 at the time, and 2 dogs and a cat. It was a bit hectic! I had also been laid off so my parents didn't / wouldn't let me pay for anything. They paid for one debt I had, as well as most of my attorney fees. In exchange, I cooked dinner and did a lot of the cleaning. My mom doesn't work but would regularly be out of the house doing "stuff" so we weren't in each other's way very often. My parents have a rather large house so DS had his own room and I had the "extra" room over the garage. It is where my dad's computer is so sometimes he just barged in there to watch TV and be on the computer at night. I just rolled with it.
I knew I would be moving out once I got a job, which took about 7 months. I agree with Halfasianmomma that communication is key! My parents aren't great communicators and would complain about things behind my back...sometimes it would boil over in a non-helpful way. I couldn't change my behavior if I didn't know what was bothering them! But overall, it was good. They enjoyed DS being around and paid for his preschool. I would go stay with friends on the weekends sometimes and they would watch him. But I tried not to take advantage of that.
I moved in with my parents almost 2 years ago. Ds was five and in kindergarten. It was SO HARD. I am still so grateful that we had somewhere to go. My ex is an alcoholic with extreme anger issues. He was verbally abusive to me and had started to become physical. I knew I had to get us out. I was only working part time, so I paid my own phone bill and contributed to one half of the power bill each month and bought groceries when ever I was able. I was unable to find full-time employment (until this week Yay!) so we didn't move out until my dad's mom passed away and he inherited her house, eight months ago. Now, ds and I live there and will start paying rent once I get my third paycheck. It turns out my mom had been putting all the money I gave her for bills away for me and gave it back when we moved out to help us get set up. Moving in with them was difficult but in the end was really awesome for all of us. My son has a great relationship with my parents and it really helped my parents to see me as an adult (I am an only child) and respect me. At first, my mom tried to parent both of us and would undermine my authority with ds. That sucked. But, she eventually cut that out and I calmed down about it and was less strict with ds about junk food, tv etc. We are back into our routines now, and junk food and tv didn't ruin him, he's fine. ;) All in all, it was one of the best, hardest decisions I ever made. Good luck mama!
Yes. It was a clusterwhoops.
I think that realistic expectations, collaborative problem solving, and agreements going in may have helped. What it comes down to is that it was not a good fit for my family, given who and where each of us was at that time.
I got out of it by moving back into my marital home, which my husband had left by then. The "getting out" part was pretty ugly. I had a move out date, wasn't allowed to have anyone come over to help, and would come to the house after picking up kids, running errands, to find more of my stuff had been flung into the yard.
I moved in with my parents over 2 years ago when I left my abusive husband. It's not the ideal situation, but the only choice I had then and have at the moment. My parents and I have different values and we bump heads a lot. They also love to undermine my parenting choices and are overall not very supportive. But I simply do not make enough money to get my own place, nor do I qualify for housing assistance, so rather than be homeless, here I am.
They do help me some. It's become less over the two years I've been here. We all entered this as a temporary situation, although I told them with daycare expenses it will be at least until the kids are school aged. They are currently 3.5 and almost 2. So a ways to go yet.
I pay a small fee for rent and I help buy groceries and make dinner a few nights a week. Everything kid care is on me alone. They help out only by bringing the kids to daycare twice a week for me. They used to do everyday so the kids didn't have to spend as long in daycare, but this year they decided it was too much to do and only wanted to commit to two days.
It really depends on the kind of relationship you have with your parents. If you guys respect each other and share values, it's likely a decent choice and option. If it's your only option, you make the best of it and realize it won't be your life forever. I'm currently working towards a goal that will set us up better in the future.
Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula
Student, Aspiring CNM
DD ~ 1/7/09 DS ~ 9/22/10
yeah, I'm surprised I didn't write more into this thread, but I guess I was in one of my odd moods.
Living with my mom is very tough...she doesn't communicate no matter how I try...and she doesn't share the same values and is very controlling and negative...it is only an apartment so I share a room with my two girls and although I don't have to pay anything, I help my mom with her groceries and I don't get any help from her except she will very ocassionaly(once or twice a month) take my kids with her somewhere and it will end up being a disaster as they'll come back way too late or end up eating something that makes them sick. I know it can be awesome for some people in some situations but in this situation it is not. My mom works all the time and when she's not working she is inappropriate around my kids most of the time. However, I realize I need to keep trying to communicate with her even though she seems uncomfortable with it and that when I model positive parenting skills around her she usually will repeat those things, I just usually feel so attacked by her opinions and "you have to's" and she is very violent and negative with my children so I get upset about that.
Thanks you all for sharing...I am working on moving out but it will be at least a few months still, so I have to try to make it more efficient while we are here.
I first moved back in with my parents last winter when my ex went from acting like an alcoholic jerk to a complete psycho, I literally had to sneak out of the house with my kids and leave everything but what I could fit in the stroller! I lived with my parents for a couple of months and my daughter loved it. Basically they did not expect me to pay rent or bills and my kids and I shared the room I stayed in in high school. My mom has never had a job and was really happy to have my daughter around to keep her company and 'help' with things like feeding the chickens. Then they got a mean dog that growled at my kids so my kids and I mostly stuck to our room except for when their dog was outside and then we would go upstairs to watch the one tv and cook food.
After a couple of months I got a call from the sheriff where my ex lived because my car was impounded and my dog was in the pound. For some reason my ex decided to take my dog for a ride with him and ended up going to jail. So I went there and got my dog and my car and moved to my own apartment with my kids and I. Now it's about six months later and I think I'm going to have to move back in with my parents again. I just can't afford to live on my own because of how expensive childcare is in relation to what I can get paid.
However this time I have my dog and my car so finding a job while I live with them (very rural at least ten miles to nearest bus stop) and they said they would watch my kids if I got a job but don't want to watch them full time. I am kind of afraid about their mean dog growling at my kids again and about having to keep my dog locked in a kennel because their dog is aggressive. My plan is to get a job and save up till I can get a bus or a rv to live in for a while so my dog can be a 'house' pet even if my house is on wheels.
I guess what I am going to do to make it work out is keep my dog in a kennel and keep my kids away from my parents dog. I will try to find a daytime daycare for my baby to go to so they do not have to watch my kids full time. I am going to offer to pay bills but they are very anti taking money from me or my sister, like if we go shopping or to a restaurant as a group they have to pay for what she or I get. So I might just try to save up some money to buy them something as a going away gift when I move out. I see this as a temporary situation not a long term one, maybe six months at the most.
be good family...
I have just moved in with my mom, who lives with my grandma and is helping take care of her since she has Alzheimer's. It seems like it might work out, although we definitely have our differences and a history of arguing and not being able to stand each other.
It's the best option for us right now. I've tried for years to get back on my feet without her help, but after staying in a homeless shelter with my daughter for three months, I'm willing to try to make the most of this and it seems like my mom is too.