|Multigenerational households are becoming more and more common. Most of the time, people will assume this means someone is moving back in with his/her parents. However, there is a high number of individuals moving in with their adult children. These types of moves can obviously be stressful, considering the various situations people may find themselves in leading up to it. But whether it is a spouse's death, the loss of a job, an illness that requires extra care or a shortage of funds, there are ways to ease the transition of moving into your adult child's home.
How to make it work
Similar to a child moving back in with his/her parents, you probably view your son or daughter as your safety net. So, regardless of what circumstances have brought you here, you are looking to this child for peace of mind. For your physical and mental health, as well as your safety and well-being, this is the best option for you. But to make it work, you are going to have to keep some things in mind:
- This is not your home. You will be living with your child and his/her family, so you must adapt to their way of life. When you raised your child under your own rules, you were in charge of the household. But now, you need to recognize that your son or daughter is allowing you to stay and probably expects a certain level of respect. This is especially important if you will be living under the same roof as your grandchildren. Remember that your child is a parent and you should not step on any toes as the grandparent. It is ultimately up to your grandchild's parents to decide how to raise and discipline the kid.
- Housing another person can be expensive. Be sure to discuss your financial situation with your child and his/her spouse. You may want to contribute to family expenses, such as groceries and utilities like water, electricity and cable. You might even want to pay some sort of rent if you have the financial capability to do so. This also comes into play if you require personal care or a nurse for a certain condition. Of course, if you are moving back in with your child because of limited finances, then this discussion might be a bit different.
- Everybody needs their privacy. You are moving into your child's home, so some early privacy issues may be expected. But keep in mind that your child and his/her spouse deserves a particular amount of privacy, as do your grandchildren (if applicable). Another important person to keep in mind is yourself. Make sure your child accommodates your specific needs and recognizes that you deserve privacy as well. Sometimes, a parent moving in with his/her child will live in a guest house or the child will have an extension built onto the existing home to make the appropriate accommodations. Most families cannot afford this type of work, so you will often have to make the best of what is available.
- You all have questions. You're not the only one with unanswered questions. Your child and his/her family want to know how this is going to work, too. So, think about things like:
- How independent are you? Can you get around by yourself, or do you need to be driven?
- How much will you help out around the house?
- How much will you help with your grandchildren?
- What will a typical day be like for you?
- What special accommodations need to be made for you to be comfortable?
Potential benefits of multigenerational households
Now, with all of the questions that need answers, there can also be plenty of benefits to sharing a household with your adult child. If there were no benefits, then we doubt so many families would even consider multigenerational households a viable option. Here are a few of the biggest potential benefits of living with your son or daughter:
Overall, moving in with your adult children is usually the result of a negative situation. But while most multigenerational households may originate from something negative, they can have an enormously positive impact on your family.
- You can save up money while looking for a job.
- If you are out of work or retired, you can help out around the house.
- If there are grandchildren involved, you will get to spend some extra time with them. This is especially great for the kids.
- If this move follows the loss of a spouse, you will be surrounded by people who love and support you.
- Living together could be a good way to establish routines and traditions with grandchildren.