MULTI-GENERATIONAL LIVING: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 10-10-2011, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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At present, I am residing with DH and our four children in a very small bungalow with three bedrooms. My mother is residing in a 3500 square foot (plus basement) ranch and she has been suggesting for over a year now that in an effort to cut costs and give me some kind of reprieve from my insane kid-related workload, we should move in at her house. Space-wise, it seems to make sense. The wing of the house that I would be moving my family into is quite self contained. It has three large bedrooms and three bathrooms (one attached to each bedroom). The common areas are all very spacious and when we are all together there as we were yesterday for Thanksgiving (Canadian!), it doesn't feel crowded like smaller places do when I bring my family.

We have determined that if we sold this house, after moving and making a few purchases towards furnishing the kids new rooms at my moms house, we would be able to pay off our line of credit and probably bank $100 000.00. Our thinking is that if we didn't find the multi-generational living thing to be working after a few months, we could just take our hundred grand and put it towards a new house of our own. If after a good solid test run we were still happy at my moms, maybe eventually we would consider buying into the property. Haven't really thought that option through though.

So what appeals here is this short list:

  • Nice, big house in the country with space for all the kids, nice school options, still driving distance to where we are now for visiting friends, etc..
  • Having someone around some of the time to help me with the kids (DH works 12 hour shifts so I am often completely on my own with the kids and as you all know it's a lot of work)
  • Knowing that we can support/help my mom as she gets older. She's a very energetic and healthy woman but she's approaching 70 now and I want to be able to help her out when she needs it.

Drawbacks? I dont' know. I worry about boundaries with parenting. My mom has a strong personality and so do I. I don't want to be butting heads as to who calls the shots with the kids. 

Have any of you ever tried the multigenerational home? How did it go? What else should I be considering?

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#2 of 17 Old 10-10-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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depends on your philosophy and what you can let go.

 

till i sat and talked to myself - i could not stand living with my mom. 

 

but as she grows older (and me too) my tolerance level has completely changed. 

 

i will put up with anything to take care of my mom. including having her nit pick my parenting and my dd. 

 

we are close. she is not mean. she is trying to do her best, but our parenting differs completely.

 

however she loves and dotes on her gchild. 

 

i would give anything to be there for my mom. anything. i will put up with anything if i have to.

 

btw i lived with my inlaws for over a year with dd. i could have done it for more years. it was hard in one way but oh so much fun in another. 

 

i have discovered what matters is how i feel. that makes the biggest difference. if i decide i will deal with anything. i will. and i can. and i did. 

 

btw it was after that dd and i decided we would never live by ourselves - and we havent. we are roommates to multiage people and we work together and it is a lot of fun i must say. because we take each others views in mind. we are right now a good team. we do have flare ups but its not huge. we've been together for 3 years and for us it has been waaaaay more good than bad. we live as a family - not as 4 groups of people living independently without any real interaction under one roof. we pool in resources and help each other out. 


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#3 of 17 Old 10-10-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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We are living with my mil in a separate but ridiculously close house beside us. There are definitely some benefits & some drawbacks.

 

Benefits:

-ds (& now dd) get to have a great, close relationship with her

-we all save a lot of money on living expenses

-as she gets older we are close to make sure she is ok & taken care of

-she can be a great help with ds (this past week in particular when I was in the hospital for 4 days having dd)

 

Drawbacks:

-it takes an honest, open relationship & committment to talking out tough issues when they arrive instead of letting things fester

-I do have to let go of some things I would rather be in control of.

-she sees everything we do so there are definitely times we feel watched/judged

-my mil is escentric & this is a real test of my patience some days


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#4 of 17 Old 10-11-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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We lived with my parents for 18 months.  It worked out really well.  We had a few issues at the beginning, but were able to sort them out because we have a healthy and open relationship.  It did help to have my dad there though.  He is an expert mediator, lol.  They have had adult children and grandchildren living in their house for about 5 years now (the house has a rotating door, lol).  Currently my sister and her son are there, along with my other sister, her husband, and their son.  And so far everybody is comfortable.

 

If you have a good relationship with your mom, and if you sort out possible issues (like parenting conflicts) beforehand, I think it could be a very good thing.

 

Interestingly, it would *not* have worked to have my grandmother living with us when she was alive.  My mom wanted to take care of her, but there is *no* way anybody would have been happy living together, neither she nor us.  Her relationship with my parents was very different than what we have with my parents.  That would have been utterly miserable.  So she lived in a retirement home a few miles away.

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#5 of 17 Old 10-11-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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i lived with my in laws for almost a year. 

 

the serious main problem for us was i only had one baby at the time, so everything he did/foods or toys that were given to him/words were a first and *I* wanted to experience all these firsts. my MIL, on the other hand, is from the culture of "give new baby to grandparents to raise while you go to work and do everything that grandma says." seriously. thats how the whole family is. she expected that and couldnt understand why i insisted on saying home with them, why i wouldnt just hand over the baby and go on vacation for days, why i would have a problem if she gave him all sorts new foods.

 

these were baby problems though. i probably wouldnt feel so much the same if it were for older kids. 

 

she also refused to accept money for anything but mentally made notes about how she is doing us a favor and other ways for us to pay her back, often not letting us know til the last minute. and it was usually very inconvenient.


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#6 of 17 Old 10-11-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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Well, I have lived with my parents since DD was 15 months old...so it's been two years now. I am an only child and DD is my only, so that makes three adults and 1 toddler in the house. At first, this was to be a temporary arrangement until I "got back on my feet" and while I hid from my abusive XH, but after a while, I realized the important advantages to DD, so I elected to stay. Also, I couldn't figure out how I would take care of her on my own considering how far my job was from the daycare I found for her. I work downtown and there weren't any open spots in any of daycares close to my work. Add to that a tumultuous separation period with threats made from my X...and I realized we were much better off with my parents.

 

My parents and I have very similar views on parenting, and we all believe in the strength and support of an extended family unit. Perhaps it comes from the Asian side, but my Caucasian mother ascribes to these values as well. In the beginning, we had some serious discussions about how *I* want to parent, and I asked them to support my decisions (they weren't so keen on the extended bfing or cosleeping, but they supported me anyhow). Also, they make sure to redirect DD to me whenever she asks for something in order to make sure that I am seen as the final authority. Whenever something doesn't work, we sit down and discuss it, and all adopt a new strategy where DD is concerned. It's worked rather well so far...

 

For me, here are the advantages and disadvantages.

 

Advantages:

DD spends a lot less time in daycare because she gets picked up early by my mother who works 5 minutes away, or my father who is semi-retired.

DD gets to grow up in an awesome neighborhood, close to a cute park, walking distance to a great school, walking distance to the subway and all the essential amenities

DD gets to grow up having an excellent relationship with both her grandparents.

I have a lot of help with childcare and actually get to go out once a week after DD is in bed.

I get home and the meals are cooked (semi-retired dad who cooks yummy food!), and the laundry is done

We share living expenses (property taxes, utilities, cable/internet, food) which has allowed me to pay off debts and save substantially.

I am there to help my parents with certain physical chores around the house and will continue to be there as they get older and need more help.

I am far less lonely with them around, but then, we have an excellent relationship.

 

Disadvantages:

I have virtually no time to myself or intimacy because I have DD full-time and the house is rather smallish. It's 2 floors of about 630 square feet each, plus a basement/garage downstairs...At some point, we considered selling this house to buy a duplex, but the market being what it is, we decided to remain in this house, but remodel the entire lower floor to build a closed bedroom for DD, a 3/4 bath and a studio-like apartment for me, with a separate entrance. This way, everyone gets a bit of personal space, but we continue to share the main level where the kitchen and living room are located. My parents are also completely redoing their kitchen to increase storage space; they will no doubt redo the fence around the property to extend it to its limits and take advantage of the space we do have.

My parents have lost their space and "adult only" time.

My mother has received A LOT of criticism from her friends and family, who tell her she's crazy for agreeing to have me live with them, and how she's actually robbing me of my independance blah blah blah. It's been hard on her to deal with such criticism and she's lost a few friends over this, which is really dumb.

 

I guess this kind of situation could only work if all parties are willing to be flexible, openly communicate, and have a good relationship.

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#7 of 17 Old 10-12-2011, 03:35 AM
 
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Quite opposite of other posters, my mother actually moved in with US.  Since it was our home and not hers, the dynamic may be different.  We support my mother financially, and have done so for more than 5 years now.  Now she is terminally ill, so I have also been her primary care giver the last year or so.

 

My #1 piece of advice:  No matter what, write down rules of the house, in advance, in a contract that is agreed upon by all parties.  I know that sounds kind of stark and sterile for a close relationship, but setting the rules down formally is, IMO the one key thing for living together.

 

The #1 disadvantage for me has been lack of privacy.  We built on to our house, a small living/bedroom suite, but she comes into our area for kitchen and bath.  Having her separate living area has been very beneficial, but I would have added a half-bath if I knew then what I know now.  Some mornings I would just want to putter around the kitchen by myself and she would be in a dozen times on the way to the bathroom (takes a water pill) and, while she wasn't *doing* anything, I just wanted time to myself.  She is now ALWAYS home, so I haven't had any time alone in my own house for what seems like ages.  Coupled with the fact that she needs 24/7 care (including hygiene)

 

The big advantage was that we've never needed a babysitter.  She always took care of dd and even before she was terminal, would help out by picking up dd from school sometimes (a 2 hour round trip).

 

We've had other issues along the way, and some have been resolved more easily than others.  She kind of looked to us taking her in as "retirement" and the green light to just do NOTHING, so she was not ever very helpful around the house.  She can't cook, anyway, but she also didn't do much more than fold clothes for us and sometimes do the dishes.  The rest of the time, she has always just sat around watching TV or playing solitare on the computer.  If we had put it all in writing first, I think the issues would have never even arisen.

 

I think it can work with some well-thought-out advanced planning.  Good luck!

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#8 of 17 Old 10-17-2011, 03:24 AM
 
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 We've been on every side of this now.

 

1. When I was 22 and DD was 10 months, I moved in with my parents to get back on my feet. I stayed for almost 2 years, but even after I moved out we stayed very close.

 

2. When DH's father died, his mother came out and lived in a nursing home nearby. When the nursing home had a decline in their capacity to handle her (dementia), we bought a house with MIL's money (DH has no sibs) large enough for her, caregivers, and our family. It's actually two spaces on one property, one ground floor "apartment" of sorts with 2 bedrooms and an efficiency kitchen/dining room, and a bathroom with shower, that was very easy to make handicapped accessible, and one large house. My sister and her husband moved in to be her caregivers at night and part of each day, we had a service in for a few hours per day, and my husband and I did part of her care each day. 

 

3. MIL died in 2009, peacefully, in our living room, and shortly after that my sister had a baby. So now, our constellation is this:

Mom and Dad live half a mile away

Sis and BIL and my niece live on our property and pay rent (or clean in lieu of rent) for the apartment.

I live with my husband and two daughters in the main house. 

 

4. My adult daughter (just turned 18, out of high school, not in college yet) is living with us rent free at the moment, but she's so helpful that it's not an issue.

 

What it boils down to is this:

 

BOUNDARIES

 

Everyone, and I mean EVERY adult in the living situation needs to be clear on what their boundaries are and what other people's boundaries are, and what needs to happen to keep everyone content with the living situation. 

 

When I was living with my parents, I had a bedroom that was for me and my daughter, and used the common spaces with them. They had a lot of boundaries about what I could leave where, etc. etc. in their space. I needed the freedom to not have them in my bedroom. And we worked out a lot of personality issues. This living arrangement would not have worked if i had not been paying some rent to them, because it put me on an "Adult living with adults" footing rather than "We're paying for everything, do what I say" adult/child relationship. 

 

Babysitting boundaries: My parents said that in order to feel good about saying "yes" to babysitting, they ABSOLUTELY needed to be able to say no without guilt. This is actually great for me, because I know if they say yes, they mean it. 

 

Parenting boundaries: My mother is absolutely within her rights to insist that diapers be changed either in the bedroom someone lives in, or in the bathroom at her house. But I'm absolutely within my rights as a parent to not have people feed my kid things I don't want her fed, or to discipline my child in ways I do not consider acceptable. And just because I was living with them or visiting them didn't mean they had the say-so over how I parented my young children. We sorted that out pretty quickly. 

 

Cleaning boundaries: We've run into this in every constellation. I'm not a particularly tidy person by nature, but how I am in my own space is different from how I need to be in other people's spaces. Likewise, because I'm not a tidy person, and I'm essentially paying people to clean my space most of the time, I cannot stand it when my sis and her family leave their stuff in the main house, and we set boundaries about that and it's a constant thing to keep enforcing them. 

 

Food and money boundaries: Much the same thing. Who's paying for food? How is it being purchased? Are meals being shared? If someone buys something for their own use, how do they "stake a claim?"  While my sis was being a caregiver to MIL, we were paying for their food (room and board were part of their compensation)... but that didn't mean that they could just have everything from our fridge. I was perfectly willing to buy them good healthy food, and we often, almost always for a long time, ate meals together, but if I buy smoked salmon at $15 per pound for special treats for me and my husband, I don't feel obligated to make that open season for everyone. So while we were buying their food, we kept a separate fridge in my husband's office for "off limits" foods. Likewise, if food is in their fridge, we don't go in there, ever. 

 

Utilities and money boundaries: We include utilities with rent, but during the winter I find it stresses me out because they often keep their place wastefully hot. It's a good idea to look closely at how the utility bills change when you move in, and find thermostat settings that work. Who's paying the utilities? How do people like to keep their environment? What about Internet? Phone? I'm on the verge of having them get their own phone line, it's not quite annoying enough most of the time for me to do that, but just about... 

 

Would you be contributing to the mortgage payment? If you pay rent, are you paying rent, or helping with the mortgage? Is there any expectation that if you contribute to the mortgage you would have any ownership interest in the house? In general, the answer is "no", but I know people have said that they helped their parents pay mortgage and were extremely upset when the house was sold and they were not reimbursed a share in balance with their contribution. IMO, if you're paying rent to your mother, you're not "buying a share in the house" unless you have a written agreement that says so. And if you're not paying rent, what does that mean for the relationship, if anything?

 

When it comes down to it, if you do it, you'll need to sit down not only before you move in, but after you move in, and on a regular basis after that, and say, "okay, how is this going to work? How is it working? Is there anything we could do to make it work better? Is there anything that is actively NOT working?" If you don't have the kind of relationship where you can have that sort of talk with your mother, it's a risky, risky move. With my parents, we can sit down and talk about things that aren't working and know that we're not looking to criticize, but to find ways of making it work better. Back when every talk of "this isn't working" was derailed into a "Oh, I'm a bad person" conversation, it was a much, much harder thing. When we got past that, and started looking at discussions of things that weren't working as opportunities to make them work better, the whole family got a lot happier. 

 

I know that my relationship with my teenager is still very much parent-child, though she's an adult, because there was no real transition from "school-going kid" to "living at home kid". On the other hand, she's such a fundamentally helpful and generous person, and is doing SO much for us right now during my current pregnancy, that I make a huge effort day to day to keep it in perspective. She helps us, we'll be helping her when she's at college, it's not quid pro quo, but it's in balance.

 

And that balance is critical to making any sort of long-term extended family living situation work. 

 

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#9 of 17 Old 10-17-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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wow! where were you when i lived with my inlaws?!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrose View Post

 We've been on every side of this now.

 

1. When I was 22 and DD was 10 months, I moved in with my parents to get back on my feet. I stayed for almost 2 years, but even after I moved out we stayed very close.

 

2. When DH's father died, his mother came out and lived in a nursing home nearby. When the nursing home had a decline in their capacity to handle her (dementia), we bought a house with MIL's money (DH has no sibs) large enough for her, caregivers, and our family. It's actually two spaces on one property, one ground floor "apartment" of sorts with 2 bedrooms and an efficiency kitchen/dining room, and a bathroom with shower, that was very easy to make handicapped accessible, and one large house. My sister and her husband moved in to be her caregivers at night and part of each day, we had a service in for a few hours per day, and my husband and I did part of her care each day. 

 

3. MIL died in 2009, peacefully, in our living room, and shortly after that my sister had a baby. So now, our constellation is this:

Mom and Dad live half a mile away

Sis and BIL and my niece live on our property and pay rent (or clean in lieu of rent) for the apartment.

I live with my husband and two daughters in the main house. 

 

4. My adult daughter (just turned 18, out of high school, not in college yet) is living with us rent free at the moment, but she's so helpful that it's not an issue.

 

What it boils down to is this:

 

BOUNDARIES

 

Everyone, and I mean EVERY adult in the living situation needs to be clear on what their boundaries are and what other people's boundaries are, and what needs to happen to keep everyone content with the living situation. 

 

When I was living with my parents, I had a bedroom that was for me and my daughter, and used the common spaces with them. They had a lot of boundaries about what I could leave where, etc. etc. in their space. I needed the freedom to not have them in my bedroom. And we worked out a lot of personality issues. This living arrangement would not have worked if i had not been paying some rent to them, because it put me on an "Adult living with adults" footing rather than "We're paying for everything, do what I say" adult/child relationship. 

 

Babysitting boundaries: My parents said that in order to feel good about saying "yes" to babysitting, they ABSOLUTELY needed to be able to say no without guilt. This is actually great for me, because I know if they say yes, they mean it. 

 

Parenting boundaries: My mother is absolutely within her rights to insist that diapers be changed either in the bedroom someone lives in, or in the bathroom at her house. But I'm absolutely within my rights as a parent to not have people feed my kid things I don't want her fed, or to discipline my child in ways I do not consider acceptable. And just because I was living with them or visiting them didn't mean they had the say-so over how I parented my young children. We sorted that out pretty quickly. 

 

Cleaning boundaries: We've run into this in every constellation. I'm not a particularly tidy person by nature, but how I am in my own space is different from how I need to be in other people's spaces. Likewise, because I'm not a tidy person, and I'm essentially paying people to clean my space most of the time, I cannot stand it when my sis and her family leave their stuff in the main house, and we set boundaries about that and it's a constant thing to keep enforcing them. 

 

Food and money boundaries: Much the same thing. Who's paying for food? How is it being purchased? Are meals being shared? If someone buys something for their own use, how do they "stake a claim?"  While my sis was being a caregiver to MIL, we were paying for their food (room and board were part of their compensation)... but that didn't mean that they could just have everything from our fridge. I was perfectly willing to buy them good healthy food, and we often, almost always for a long time, ate meals together, but if I buy smoked salmon at $15 per pound for special treats for me and my husband, I don't feel obligated to make that open season for everyone. So while we were buying their food, we kept a separate fridge in my husband's office for "off limits" foods. Likewise, if food is in their fridge, we don't go in there, ever. 

 

Utilities and money boundaries: We include utilities with rent, but during the winter I find it stresses me out because they often keep their place wastefully hot. It's a good idea to look closely at how the utility bills change when you move in, and find thermostat settings that work. Who's paying the utilities? How do people like to keep their environment? What about Internet? Phone? I'm on the verge of having them get their own phone line, it's not quite annoying enough most of the time for me to do that, but just about... 

 

Would you be contributing to the mortgage payment? If you pay rent, are you paying rent, or helping with the mortgage? Is there any expectation that if you contribute to the mortgage you would have any ownership interest in the house? In general, the answer is "no", but I know people have said that they helped their parents pay mortgage and were extremely upset when the house was sold and they were not reimbursed a share in balance with their contribution. IMO, if you're paying rent to your mother, you're not "buying a share in the house" unless you have a written agreement that says so. And if you're not paying rent, what does that mean for the relationship, if anything?

 

When it comes down to it, if you do it, you'll need to sit down not only before you move in, but after you move in, and on a regular basis after that, and say, "okay, how is this going to work? How is it working? Is there anything we could do to make it work better? Is there anything that is actively NOT working?" If you don't have the kind of relationship where you can have that sort of talk with your mother, it's a risky, risky move. With my parents, we can sit down and talk about things that aren't working and know that we're not looking to criticize, but to find ways of making it work better. Back when every talk of "this isn't working" was derailed into a "Oh, I'm a bad person" conversation, it was a much, much harder thing. When we got past that, and started looking at discussions of things that weren't working as opportunities to make them work better, the whole family got a lot happier. 

 

I know that my relationship with my teenager is still very much parent-child, though she's an adult, because there was no real transition from "school-going kid" to "living at home kid". On the other hand, she's such a fundamentally helpful and generous person, and is doing SO much for us right now during my current pregnancy, that I make a huge effort day to day to keep it in perspective. She helps us, we'll be helping her when she's at college, it's not quid pro quo, but it's in balance.

 

And that balance is critical to making any sort of long-term extended family living situation work. 

 



 


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#10 of 17 Old 10-18-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBombMama View Post

wow! where were you when i lived with my inlaws?! 

 



Heh, I don't know, what year was it? ;)


Jenrose, Mama to DD1, born 1993, DD2, born 2005, and DS1, Jan. 2012. Babywearing, cosleeping, homebirthing mom with fibromyalgia and hashimotos.  DD2 has a rare chromosome disorder. 

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#11 of 17 Old 10-18-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrose View Post

Heh, I don't know, what year was it? wink1.gif


About a year and a half ago. The time of my life known as "the dark ages"

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#12 of 17 Old 10-19-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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Then the answer was probably, "Second life"...lol! Or writing fanfiction. I only started coming to MDC regularly recently because the ddc I was in on another board was driving me up a wall. 

 

 


Jenrose, Mama to DD1, born 1993, DD2, born 2005, and DS1, Jan. 2012. Babywearing, cosleeping, homebirthing mom with fibromyalgia and hashimotos.  DD2 has a rare chromosome disorder. 

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#13 of 17 Old 10-21-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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DH, DS and I have been living with my mom for about 6 months now, and it's been going well in general.  My mom has a 2700sqft ranch-style house on 1/3-1/2 acre, and here we have our own "suite" of 3 bedrooms and a bath, totally separate from her bedroom, so lots of privacy is possible.

 

The hardest part has been the adjustment of expectations.  My mom had been living alone for 9 years, so her expectations for neatness of the living areas and ours are vastly different.  She is used to constant cleanliness, never a dirty dish left by the sink.  We have a toddler.  And DS hates sleep.  And another one on the way, with all-day-long sickness.  And DH is in grad school.  SO...we've all had to adjust our expectations.

 

In general, however, it's been great!  My mom adores ds, and he idolizes her.  She's very respectful of our parenting and remaining in the "grandma" role and not overstepping, though she has on occasion, but she's also willing to acknowledge and discuss such things.

 

I think your ability to have open dialogue is important thing to consider.

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#14 of 17 Old 10-24-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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We have been in a multi-generational living arrangement for almost 3 years now. It includes myself, DH, DS (almost 2) and my mother. We all moved into this house together. We bought this house purposely intending this situation.

 

It was great at first. And then a slow decline started. And now its utterly miserable, and we are all trapped by this mortgage now. Feeling trapped in it makes it about 100 times worse.

 

I think some of the main problems are these:

 

My mom and I both want to function as the head woman of the household. And that doesnt work.

 

We had 'rules' set up in the begining, and now my mom has gone back on some of them (like no chemicals in the house, I have severe asthma). It has started more than one bitter argument.

 

My mom and DH are oil and water. My mom is very controlling and passive agressive, and my DH is high functioning autistic and thus VERY blunt, and not socially what my mom is used to. They are currently not even speaking, except through notes left in the kitchen.

 

Parenting ideals. My mom does not like some of the things we do with DS, and is getting more and more vocal about it, and even goes behind our backs sometimes to do things we have already said no to, etc.

 

My DH and I recently made the decision to save up money, and just let her keep the house herself. We have to move if I am to keep any kind of relationship with my mom. It really really sucks.


Mama to Xavian, born 11-24-09
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#15 of 17 Old 10-24-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Hi! I've lurked off/on on this site but haven't been an active member so I hope its okay that I respond here.  I saw the title and it caught my eye!

 

My  98 year old grandmother who has alzheimer's lives with  us.  (us being my husband, our 21 month old daughter, and myself.)  She has been living with us  for almost a year and a half now, and we hire my mother-in-law to come in 40 hours a week and help take care of her so I can take a break,  because my grandmother cannot be left alone at all.  There are so many pros and cons, and they'll be unique to each situation and some times its hard to know what they are until you're living in it.

 

For me, its nice having my MIL around.  As a SAHM (and full time student) it gives me someone to chat with over coffee in the mornings, and she's a ton of extra help around the house.   My daughter loves spending time  with her and its nice that she can be around her grandmother so often.  With all of that said, my MIL doesn't live here... but she does spend 40 hours a week here and we went through a patch of time where she was driving me crazy and my husband and I planned to fire her and then she quit because she knew how miserable I was.  Like the previous poster mentioned -- it IS all about boundaries.  My MIL was great at cleaning and organizing things but it drove me crazy when I couldn't find something I wanted.  Or she would leave grocery lists with really obscure things on it she wanted me to buy - specific brands of trash  bags or random things I'd never heard of.  You will really need to have lengthy conversations with your mom prior to moving in and lots of open communication once you're there.

 

As far as having my Granny live with us, she is nearly deaf so that makes things easier for my husband and I.  We can talk at normal levels and she can't hear us so that affords some privacy.  After dinner, one of us puts our daughter to bed while the other gets Granny ready for bed and she sits in her room and watches tv or whatever until bed time -- so my husband and I can have some alone time in the living room to catch  up,  play cards, watch TV, etc.  Having that time and space is invaluable.

 

We also made our room and bathroom off limits to everyone.  We gave up so much when we let my Granny move in.  We gave up all of our privacy -- before we never invited people over and liked our house to be 'ours' .. and now multiple people have a key and come/go as they please.  If we want to go out of town for the night, someone has to stay in our house to take care of Granny.  We went from being very private to having hardly any privacy so keeping our bedroom off limits helps a tiny bit.  We also gave up our freedom, because we now have a curfew.  We know my MIL leaves by 5 and only works one of my husband's off days... so the days of going out for dinner or whatever are gone.  Its hard to find someone who will babysit both a toddler and a 98 year old with alzheimer's.

 

I think if you move in with your mom that you'll enjoy her company and you won't regret the extra time you get to spend with her and watching your kids be close to her.  But I do suggest getting everything in writing and thoroughly speaking of expectations because that will be a BIG adjustment.

 

One suggestion, as someone mentioned people whose utilities are paid for being wasteful -- in our family when we've had someone rent a room from others... we request a copy of the last 12 months of utilities to get the 'average' and then they pay the difference if it goes up substantially.  (and define substantially!)

 

 

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#16 of 17 Old 10-25-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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We all moved into the house together, so we had no history on the utilities (and the last occupant was a single woman, so no comparison.)


Jenrose, Mama to DD1, born 1993, DD2, born 2005, and DS1, Jan. 2012. Babywearing, cosleeping, homebirthing mom with fibromyalgia and hashimotos.  DD2 has a rare chromosome disorder. 

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#17 of 17 Old 10-29-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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think about what your relationship was like living w/them as a teen/young adult.  think about if they have habits that will drive you crazy.  my mother moved in w/us when dad passed, and i made the mistake of thinking things would be different because we are now both adults.  NO.  there are reasons we did not get along that are separate from the normal parent/child disagreements and were overshadowed by my father's more blatant abuse.  also, even though she has a tv in her room, she insists on constantly sitting in the living room watching shows i do not consider appropriate for my kids.  i have asked many times for certain shows to stay off, and finally blocked the worst on our dvr.  my standards are not super restrictive lol i am asking for no maury, steve wilkos type talk shows, that is what i finallyblocked on our common tv.  she has a set in her room.  my kids are 7, 4, 3 next week and 11m.  Also, I am not a big TV watcher, and I mostly DVR the shows I like and put it on when they are in bed, so having it on 24/7 in the main living area is a HUGE annoyance to me.  The other problem I have with my mother (sorry it won't let me paragraph!) is that we really expect that everyone contributes something to the household, and I feel like I have to BEG her to help most of the time.  Or she has no sense of what is actually helpful and timing--like stop doing the dishes and help with baths/pj's/bed because the dishes can wait and we're struggling tonight for example.  I really don't know honestly if I do sometimes expect too much, but I do also know that she lives to complain and likes to make more of being old and sick than is real.  I am seriously not picky about WHAT is done to help, just SOMETHING other than sit and stare at the box 24/7.  And like right now my baby is in the hospital, we've been here 3 weeks.  I just got a report last night from DH that she is not even heating leftovers to feed the children.  He is working all night, making breakfast before he goes to bed at least on the mornings where I talk to him, and making dinner when he gets up.  Literally ALL she has to do is heat them lunch leftovers.  Now I have the stress of trying to confirm if they're not being fed really (dh says they snack all day) or if what is really happening is the fridge is still full of leftovers because 4 days a week DD is in school and she eats lunch when she arrives at preschool so it is just a 2 yr old and mom.  I would tend to go with either one.  I know I was allowed to snack quite a bit as a kid.  also he says she is making herself stuff like sandwiches and toast but not them.  Don't know, but I'm seriously considering talking alone with DH tonight and trying to decide how to handle the situation.  She does generally support my parenting choices and respect our authority, but she also is immature in things like refusing to talk to one of the kids because they did/said something upsetting.  For days.  Without telling the child or any of us what happened.  She does this to us too.  It's not a behavior pattern I want my kids to learn and absorb as "normal."  She does back down when I say she is doing too much for them or something along those lines, but sometimes she gets angry with me.  I'm sorry but my 7 year old child can pick up his own things and he is not benefitting from learning that if he waits long enough and ignores me asking him to do it, Grandma will do it.  I need to get creative on how to deal with that when it happens.  Don't take the decision lightly, think it through--in summary the biggest things to consider, at least in my opinion are---general living habits and whether you can put up with them, expectations of how the household will run--who does what, and agreeing on discipline issues.  Also as others have said, boundaries and personal space....it would be a HUGE problem if you have someone who thinks they must now be included in EVERYTHING or they take it personally and get upset, for example.


lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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