Sharing a Home with Your In-Laws or Parents
As an adult – whether it is due to financial stresses or an aging parent – living with your parents or in-laws can present some unique challenges. There can be several pros and cons to living with family. You can survive living with your in-laws or parents – we promise it’s possible! Below is some information, as well as some tips, to help you make the experience a fun, valuable one.
Living with family can have several benefits for everyone, if handled in the correct way, such as:
- Closer familial relationships – Your children will gain a unique and valuable bond with their grandparents, because they will see them every day! This will help them create wonderful, lasting memories.
- Help – Having another set of adults in the household can take a burden off your shoulders. In the ideal situation, housework will be split, and you will have more time to enjoy your family.
- Monetary benefits – You may find you are able to save a bit of money when you’re living with a set of parents.
Just as there are some pros to living with family, there can also be some cons, such as:
- Blurred boundaries – It can be easy for your in-laws or parents to butt into your life when you are all living under the same roof. Be careful, emotions will rise!
- Stressed Relationships – In some instances, relationships can become stressful, and may ultimately become irrevocably broken when living under the same roof.
It is important to have a family meeting to ensure that everyone’s expectations are out on the table, before you move in together. This meeting should include where each member of the family will sleep, and what the expectations are for cleaning, cooking, and monetary contributions for the household. You should also state your expectations regarding your children and their care. Your parents or in-laws may feel it is their place to discipline your child, if this is not something you agree with, make sure it is known. If you are moving in to care for elderly parents or in-laws, make sure everyone understands each other’s needs and desires. Talking openly about all of this should help to limit conflicts.
Set Aside “Me” Time
It is important to keep your relationship with your partner intact as you deal with the stress of living with family. Set aside date nights, or ask your parents or in-laws for one night a week for everyone to stay in their respective areas, guaranteeing some uninterrupted alone time.
Stay Out Of Family Arguments
It is easy to relapse into the old family routine whenever you move back in with your parents. This may bring up past hurt and issues, which you may not have been aware of before. Stay out of any arguments between your spouse and his or her parents; it can cause additional pain and hurt feelings if you attempt to intervene.
Have Frequent “Family Meetings”
It is important to keep the lines of communication open whenever you are living with family. Have monthly family meetings to go over any concerns, and find a way to address them then. Successful relationships depend on good, open communication.
Even though living with family may just be a temporary fix, it is possible to have a good experience if everyone is willing to work together!