Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Live With Your Parents (but not for the rest of your life)

Let me just put this out there:

I still live with my parents.

Put your eyes back in your head. I KNOW it’s a bit weird.

And actually, by “still live with”, I really mean “live with again”, and by “I”, I mean “my husband, kids and I”. Yes, we are just one big, happy, multi-generational family.

Seriously, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

And it’s not as rare as you may think, either. A surprising number of North Americans live in these type of family households (of course I forget the actual percentage, because I’m cool like that, but I think it was somewhere between 15-20%). Not to mention other countries and cultures where this arrangement is the norm.

We used to live in a condo. Now, we don’t. I don’t want to bore you with details about the why and how, but let’s just say that it isn’t the horror story many people may think. All of us get to save money and share household work…and it’s kind of nice having extra help with the kids. It’s pretty much like having free, live-in nannies…who tell you how to parent your kids. And hog the kitchen. (I’m KIDDING, Mom and Dad. Well, kinda).

Here are some pros and cons of sharing a home with another generation:

Getting Ready In the Morning

Pro: People are around to help watch the kids, so that if I get behind schedule (which is often), I don’t have to rip my hair out trying to get ready while two kids wrap themselves around my leg.
Con: I can’t walk around half-naked…not that I do that….

The Kitchen

Pro: Yay! People to share cooking duties with (I hate cooking. I’d rather swallow fire.)
Con: There is literally someone in the kitchen ALL the damned time. Tripping each other.


Pro: If both of my kids are “just done for the day” at the same time, and my husband is at work, I can have help putting them to bed.
Con: Extra excuses for my daughter to NOT go to bed. “But I need to hug Grammy! But Grampy didn’t give me a kiss! WAHHH.”


Pro: Between us, we have three cats, two dogs, and a fish tanks. So much animal life around all the time!
Con: SO MUCH animal life around ALL THE TIME.

Is this plan forever? No, not at all. But for the time being (and for my sanity), it really has been a blessing…



  1. I visit my parents, who live an hour away, pretty regularly and LOVE the weekends with extra help and love having people around and seeing the special relationships form between my kids and my parents. I think it is extra special when families are able to live together for a weekend or long term.

  2. Thanks, Stephanie! I know some people think we're total weirdos, so thanks for the comments!

  3. I think this arrangement makes a lot of sense for people, if is is what they want. No judgement here! Plus, I think it is awesome for kids to grow up with such close connections to their grandparents. Also, I live far away from my parents and miss them every single day, so I envy your proximity to yours. Enjoy every day! :)