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How to live with your parents {part 1}

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Seriously, if someone had told me a few years ago I would be writing on a blog about how to live with your parents I would have told them they had lost their mind. I kind of feel like I have lost my mind even typing these words! ha. How to live with your parents? That is the craziest question that floods my inbox on a daily basis as well as in real life from people I know personally. They don’t mean it like it’s a bad thing, it’s just a very odd scenario that is actually quite prevalent now in society. As my family says, “Jess, you are the only crazy bird who shares our living arrangement with the general public.”

how to live with your parents

I decided to share a few tid-bits of how I live with my parents and grandparents. When I started writing this post, I determined instead of writing a novel, I would break it out into individual posts. I plan on sharing a couple times a month, things I do to maintain my (our) sanity and well being while living with my parents. It’s not only for me but also for the rest of our family. If “we” as individuals in our family, are not all doing our part to “be happy” in our living situation, then chaos ensues and needless to say, the drama is unleashed. Trust me, we have drama, I just don’t share all of it.

When we first moved in almost six years ago, I had been out on my own for almost 15 years after graduating college, having a career and then getting married and having my son. It’s not that common when you hit your mid 30’s, that “you”, hubby and child move back in with your parents and actually never leave. I found it difficult in the beginning when we didn’t have our “own” house, “own” yard, “own” driveway, “own” everything. In fact, I thought I would be fine and my husband would have been the one to struggle but it was the complete opposite. I missed everything about our “own” stuff. It wasn’t until we started making my childhood home (my parents home), “our” home. Does that make any sense? We designated areas of the house that would be each families “spot”. Look, even our boxer has her own spot, my dad’s lap in his chair! haha

how to live with your parents

TIP #1: Find a way to get over the fact that you don’t have your “own” stuff anymore and look at the positive in the situation. We don’t live with my parents out of necessity, we are actually here because we want to be here but that doesn’t mean I still don’t miss having my “own” home sometimes.

TIP #2: Create and maintain your “own” family spot within the home. We are fortunate that we have a large home so it makes it easier to create an additional TV room but you don’t need to have a huge home to create your “own” space. An unfinished basement may work, a bedroom that has the potential to add a slim lined love seat or comfy chair to create a sitting area to watch tv or a porch that may be easily converted to another room by adding heat. I understand that many of you who email me may not have this option but some of you may if you think outside of the box. Create your “own” space! Privacy is one of the most important aspects of this arrangement being a success. I’ll get more in depth on the privacy and respect thing next time.

TIP #3: Don’t act like you “own” the joint! I (we) am very respectful of my parents and would never make any changes to their home without asking first. What I mean is, when we first moved in, I would always ask before I started painting a room or painting a bathroom vanity. Finally my mother said, “why do you keep asking me, just do it!” ha. They don’t really care what I do because they know it adds value to their home and they know I’m not going to destroy anything. However, be mindful of your parents if they own the home and respect them by asking first. This way they won’t feel taken advantage of and you will keep the peace! If you do “own” the joint, well then maybe let  your parents have the freedom to make minor changes cosmetically to make them feel more at home and like it’s “their own” space.

how to live with your parents

Isn’t my momma cute :)? These are just my surface tips on how to live with your parents. I will be back again in a couple weeks sharing more tips and how we manage to keep the peace around here “knock on wood”! You wait, now that I said that, my grandfather will drop a bomb in a few hours and we will be at each others throats 🙂 hehe. Want to read more? Check out part 2 of, “how to live with your parents.”

PS. You may also like our finances article as well about “who pays the bills” around here.

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18 Comments

  1. I have always lived with my mom, even after I had my son. Now that I have a new relationship and step-kids, my mom can no longer handle it. She wants to live by herself. We are constantly arguing because she does not see me as an adult. I’m still a child to her and privacy is a useless topic. PRIVACY and RESPECT are the biggies when living with your parents!

    1. You are so right! Privacy and respect go hand in hand in this type of living arrangement. So sorry it’s not working out but you are right, you as an adult, you need that privacy and ability to live “on your own” even if under the same roof. Hopefully things will get better and thanks for commenting. I always love hearing from others in our same situation. Good luck!

  2. I think it’s amazing you’re able to pull it off so gracefully. It sounds like your house is the place to be.

  3. I SO needed to read this post!! My husband, daughter and I are getting ready to move in with my in laws and I just don’t know how to handle it! They transformed their garage into an office and that is where we will be staying. Thank goodness for some privacy, huh? 🙂

    1. Good luck with your new endeavor! 🙂 That is definitely a good thing you will have the converted garage 🙂 Stay in touch!

  4. My husband is an amazing man who agreed to moving my parents in with us over 7 years ago. It is definitely not easy by any means, however my parents cannot live on their own anymore so it is a necessity. Our family has grown in the past 7 years, they have been with us as we added two more boys (total of 3 boys) to the mix. I look forward to reading more about the things you all do to make living together easier for everyone.

  5. Alice Jackson says:

    My husband and I are looking to move into a bigger house from a townhome with our 5.5 year old to a regular single family home. My Mom is going to be 80 this year and while she gets around fine for now, I’m her primary person for medical, etc. So, we are thinking about asking her if she’d like to move in with us – we’ve found a few homes where she would have her own area. My question to you is, how is discipline handled in your home? If me or my husband are not around at say a family function, I expect one Mom/Grandma, one of my siblings/my child’s aunt or uncle, or one of her cousins to set her straight. Also, have you encountered any problems from your siblings, if you have any? Thank you!

  6. Alice Jackson says:

    We’re thinking about inviting my Mom to live with us when we sell our townhome and move into a single family home -she’s about to be 80 years old and while still in relatively good health, she is slowing down and even though I have three siblings, the majority of her needs and care, fall on me. Did your siblings have any issues with you living with your parents and grandparents? And two, how does it work in terms of disciplining your kids? I guess my concern is that my Mom would criticize me, mainly behind my back

    Thanks and love your blgo!

    1. My husband and I do all the discipling unless of course, my mom or dad are watching kids. Both my grandparents are old and kind of a short fuse (my grandfather) so I don’t leave them in charge! ha. Of course, my parents have full authority if they are in charge but they, for the most part, spoil rotten and don’t follow the rules. haha. My brother thinks it’s great and he is glad that we are there for my parents. My aunts (my dad’s sisters) are so thankful that my grandparents live with us b/c neither one of them could ever live with my grandfather. haha. He would drive them crazy! Good luck and it’s a great thing for kids being able to spend time with their grandparents. Set the rules early (boundaries) so there is little room for misunderstanding 🙂

  7. I stumbled upon your blog and had to tell you it is great! I can’t believe that I am not alone in such an uncommon living situation. I would have cried if anyone would have told me that my children and I would be living with my parents at this time in my life (late 30’s). My three children and I moved in with my parents/grandparents when my husband and I separated, four months ago. At this point, it is no longer out of necessity, but it is convenient and it just works. I have always had a close relationship with my parents as well. We also live in a large home, that gives everyone their own space. The kids and I even have our own living room. I think space is definitely the key, and everyone carrying their own responsibilities. My kids wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know their great-grandparents as well as they have, if we hadn’t moved in. My grandfather thinks my 3 year old daughter, even though he has a short fuse these days also, is the best thing in the world. He tells me how lucky he is, everyday 🙂

  8. I stumbled upon your blog and had to tell you it is great! I can’t believe that I am not alone in such an uncommon living situation. I would have cried if anyone would have told me that my children and I would be living with my parents at this time in my life (late 30’s). My three children and I moved in with my parents/grandparents when my husband and I separated, four months ago. At this point, it is no longer out of necessity, but it is convenient and it just works. I have always had a close relationship with my parents as well. We also live in a large home, that gives everyone their own space. The kids and I even have our own living room. I think space is definitely the key, and everyone carrying their own responsibilities. My kids wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know their great-grandparents as well as they have, if we hadn’t moved in. My grandfather thinks my 3 year old daughter, even though he has a short fuse these days also, is the best thing in the world. He tells me how lucky he is, everyday 🙂

  9. I commend your family for making it work. My husband and I lived with my parents for a few years and both our children were born during that time. However, there was very little privacy and even less respect. In the end we moved out and I really feel that my family has benefitted from the change.

    As with anything else in life, it’s all about give and take.

    God bless.

    1. I agree, our living arrangement isn’t for everyone but so far (knock on wood) we are all surviving 🙂

  10. Catherine Melton says:

    I just discovered your blog while browsing Pinterest. Very interesting. 6 years ago my husband and I invited our daughter, her husband, almost year old granddaughter and pets to move back in with us. They have made very large sacrifices on space. They have also been blessed with 2 more daughters in that period. I believe we are all benefitting and gaining immeasurably from this arrangement. Respectful communication is one of the most important factors contributing to the joy of all under our roof. We are all constantly learning and passing on that education to the generations growing under one roof. We believe it is becoming a priceless keystone in our unusual family history! I am eager to continue reading!

    1. That is great to hear Catherine! I always love hearing others and their stories about living together. You are right about communication and the respect aspect. Sometimes we have issues but for the most part, it’s pretty civilized. haha

  11. We are just starting this journey of moving in with mom who is 82 & needing assistance. Both of my siblings lead very selfish lives & each passed at the age of 58 from alcohol related illnesses. One in 2016 & the other in 2018. My husband is medically retired so he is home with mom all day & that’s a blessing. He is handling the situation fine. I, on the other hand am extremely unhappy. My mother try’s to control every minute of my life. Even when my husband is here with her & she is safe & well cared for, she gets incredibly angry with me if I don’t spend every free minute with her & do exactly what she wants me to do right when she wants it done. I’ve tried to talk with her but when I say something that makes a valid point, she tells me to just go on & leave her alone that she doesn’t want to talk anymore. I completely understand her “clingyness” since I’m her only remaining child & I try hard to keep that in mind & be patient but she cannot seem to return the favor of being patient with me. I’m still grieving over my second brothers death which was just over 6 months ago. Now, I’m living in the house he spent his last days in & sleeping in his old room. This is so hard. I started seeing a therapist after my first brother passed in 2016 & was just “getting back to my old self” when the second brother passed & now my mom needs me so of course I am here for her, but I’m at a loss as to how to find a “happy medium” where I can care for her but not loose myself & my marriage of 32 years.

    1. oh geez Linda I am so sorry to hear about all the loss :(. That has to be so difficult never mind dealing with your mom too. The one thing that I have learned out of all the family, multigen living, loss and whatever else is going on in my life is that you HAVE to take care of yourself. Whatever that may be. Sounds like you have a good plan and are seeking out help so that is great! Sometimes taking a step back helped me regroup and refocus. I wish you all the best and stay in touch!