Today’s economy is making families make some hard decisions. People are losing their jobs, everyday needs are going up and no one is financially stable anymore. It is a time of uncertainty, hardships, and tough decisions.
Most families that are facing an economical hardship are loosing their homes or on the verge of doing so. It has left hundreds upon hundreds of moms, dads, and kids with out a roof over their head. To keep surviving financially, most of these families are choosing to move in with other family members such as parents, a sister’s family or a brother’s family. When you put multiple family households under the same roof you are asking for hard feelings to occur.
You say “No, that won’t happen in my situation. My family and I get along great with all my family.” , but even the most Partridge acting family will eventually have a hard time if their situation goes down this road.
Nearly three years ago my mother had to move in with my husband and I and our kids. Of course our situation was due to my father’s death, however we have been through some trying times trying to co-habitat with one another. At first things were fine and we all got along rather well. As the years have passed the arguing has occurred more as we are letting the pleasing attitudes go out the window and being replaced with smart mouths, deep, angry sighs and a ton of eye rolling, and no this is not from the kids, but the adults!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother. My kids and husband adore her. She is a huge help and so loving (when she wants to be) to all of us. I wouldn’t want her to be anywhere else except with us. Now on the other hand it has been extremely hard to adjust to her living with us.
My marriage has suffered due to the fact that since she now lives here I feel like a little kid living at home again and I don’t want my mom to see me being affectionate to a boy (even if he is my husband). So to say the least my romantic relationship with my husband did die out a lot at first. We acted more like friends then we did husband and wife.
As far as my kids go, they just love having Maw-Maw around. Whenever I try to discipline them, all they had to do was run to my mom and she would cuddle them and tell them they were not at fault. Basically under-minding my authority of being their mom. I felt like a providing mother, but teaching them right from wrong caused conflict with me and my mom because as a grand-maw she never wanted to see her grandkids upset, even if they were at fault!
Don’t think my mom does not have problems with the living situation because she does and expresses them often. For example, she will never refer this house as her home. She always said she will never feel like this is her home. It is just a place where she lays her head down. That bothers me because when she says things like that it makes me feel like she will never be comfortable here, and she really don’t want to be here.
So now I have discussed some of the relationship problems that can occur when multiple families live with one another. Don’t think that is all that can go wrong because we haven’t even touched on the financial matter!
We only have one extra person in our house, however, as the person who writes out all the checks for the bills, I can vouch that all our bills (electric, water, phone and groceries) have increased a great deal. It was hard at first trying to figure out what money will go where because my husband and I already lived on a paycheck to paycheck income. How much should I ask my mom for? Should I even ask her for anything considering she was the one who raised me and provided for me all those years. Those questions were constantly in my mind. Thankfully we got on a good financial arrangement, but it did come with some arguments along the way.
I am not telling you all this for any sympathy. Even with the hardships we faced, I am so grateful for my situation. I am telling you this because I have been down this road. I want to offer you some valuable tips that has helped my family during this change of living situation. I believe these tips will help you and your family(s) if this is a situation you are in now or you can foresee this happening in the near future.
If you are moving in with someone due to your financial situation, and this will be only a temporary change, then make sure you set a date for when you will be out. Try your hardest to make the “get out” date happen. Since you will be living with someone now and your cost of living will be cut in half, take a little extra cash you will have to put into a savings account each paycheck. This will show the people you are living with that you are trying your best to make matters better!
If you are moving in permanently, make sure you and the other adults of the household come up with a rent plan you all can live by. Yes, moving in with someone is suppose to help out because the financial matters are not up to par when it comes to paying for what they had. However, you can make some small payments to the head of the household in the form of paying for a bill or two. If financially things get better then you can offer more money. Whatever you and they decide together, make sure it is a decision you all can live with.
Communication is the biggest key to making this work! If something is bothering you or them, make sure there is a calm and mature conversation about it. When you bottle up your problems about your living situation, it will just make it all worse! Have a house meeting at least once a week to discuss any personal, or house matters. This way there will be a time to open up and you won’t feel nervous about just bringing it up.
You do not have to include anyone else in your families activities. Say you and your kids and husband want to go out to eat and catch a movie, do not feel like you have to invite your mom, dad or whoever you are living with. This is your families quality time. You will need it now more then ever!
When it comes to relationships with your kids and husband, treat them the same way you did when your family lived by themselves. If you discipline your kids a certain way, then stick with it. Tell whoever says differently that you are their mother and you thank them for caring but you will discipline them the way you see fit.
As far as any romance with your husband, keep it all behind close doors. PDA is fine and dandy, but make it PG rated because you still have kids in the house regardless. If anyone in the house can not except that then remind yourself, or tell the other people that you don’t have to live here. This is a special thing someone is doing for you!
If the other family is having a family argument or discussion then BUTT OUT! This is their business and not yours unless they ask you to participate in it. Visa versa as well. If your family is having an immediate family argument or discussion then do not make other people in the house feel out of place and call them out when you are doing so.
Stay calm when it comes to sharing items like the bathroom, TV time, and the computer. Set a schedule that comes down to what hours and days each person in the house will use that one thing.
I am not saying that if you follow these tips you will be singing the Brady Bunch theme song anytime soon. I am telling you that if you try them maybe things will be a little easier. Just remember that with a little praying everyday, not going to bed mad, and trying to keep a positive outlook on this situation then this will can be very doable.