How to live with your parents {part 2}

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A few weeks ago I shared part 1 of “how to live with your parents“. Your comments were funny and very sincere. It’s amazing how many of you are thinking about living with your parents and how many of you parents, are already living with your grown kids. Multigenerational households are on the rise and most of what makes our situation work is the ability to create private spaces under one roof. Respect and privacy are the key ingredients to a multigenerational home.

Give and Take

Like any relationship, I have learned that living with my parents is all about give and take. Now of course, you throw my grandparents in the mix and there is a slew of issues that arise but for the most part, you have to be willing to give up a little. I have learned that my mom needs her space sometimes to just do her own thing. She needs her down time which requires people to just “leave” her alone. My husband is very similar. Hopefully my mom doesn’t read this post……..she is going to kill me for sharing this goofy picture! I was trying to teach her how to make the kissy face. She didn’t really like that pose :).

how to live with your parents part 2

Learn to say nothing

I have learned to say nothing. What do I mean by that? I have learned that if something makes me mad or makes me want to pack up and leave, I say nothing at first. I know that I tend to be hot tempered and quick to speak up, much like my grandfather, so I “try” to say nothing initially. I don’t let things go that upset me, I definitely speak up and I most certainly communicate my thoughts but I have learned, saying nothing at first usually has a better outcome in the end. Does that make sense? It’s hard though! I try to pretend I have duct tape over my mouth…… 😉

how to live with your parents part 2

Don’t invade their space with your stuff

Because we have created multiple living areas under one roof, I have learned that invading their space with my (our) stuff is not cool. My dad could careless but it drives my mom crazy. I can’t say as if I blame her. I go crazy when my husband comes home and dumps is crapola all over the kitchen island and in two seconds, destroys a clean kitchen that took me an hour to clean. For the most part, we don’t invade each others spaces. It’s that simple rule of common curtesy and respect. If any of you live with your parents, I would love to hear your take on this topic! Be sure to also check out our article on our generational differences. There is a huge gap between my grandparents who grew up in the depression and my son who lives in the age of social media and electronics.

Four Generations One Roof home tour



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What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Jessica, living in a multigenerational family I can certainly attest to the less said the better.. Especially in the heat of the moment.. I have also learned that my stuff/crapola has to be kept carrolled in one area and not all over – with this diy/crafting I have a lot but am getting it organized so it does not infringe on other areas – I am also learning to finish projects now and clean up afterwards instead of leaving them to sit for a couple days. A lot of give and take in a relationship like this but, we are learning and I wouldn’t have it any other way. PS we are the parents and our adult children live with us…..

  2. This is so great. My boyfriend and I are planning on moving back in with my mom in June so that we can save up money for a house. Your “say nothing” advice is golden.. and difficult! But I really feel that it will keep the peace.

    I can’t wait for the next installment!

  3. I live in a very unique situation as both my parents and my husbands parents live with us. We still have two children who live at home who are 11 and 12 and we are also raising our 3 year old granddaughter. Unlike your situation we space share, one kitchen, one living room, one family room….I think you get the picture. I think your advice is great! Walking away is sometimes hard to do but I think it is the best piece of advice for living with others. I am trying to teach my husband this as he works in a job which requires him to react NOW, so he usually does 🙁 we all practice tolerance though and by the grace of GOD are a successful multigenerational household!

  4. We were a three generation family for years until recently, when my mom had to go into a nursing home because she required more care and attention than we could give.

    After my dad died and she moved in, I had to tell her that she could not involve herself in the decisions or discipline consequences we had for our children. It started because we had said our son couldn’t do something and she said she thought he should be able to do it.

    I explained that she mustn’t interfere with our parental authority, especially in front of the kids. I also assured her that we would ask her for her input if we needed it, but reminded her that we had been raising our kids all those years on our own and that we really would be o.k. and she needed to trust us.

    She stuck by our wishes and respected our authority really well. I just didn’t feel like I wanted to justify our decisions or explain our actions to my mom all the time. That would have been annoying as time went on, I think.

    On the other hand, I had to remember to respect HER authority over her own life. As time passed and she grew more frail I had to walk the line between taking care of her and yet allowing her to still make decisions for herself.

    There were times that I had to intervene and insist that she eat, insist that she not drive, insist that she we take her to the doctor, etc. But those were health or safety issues. Even now, in the nursing home, I still have to allow her to have a say in her own life, but she is 90 and is forgetful so some things we have to take over because she just can’t do it.

  5. My husband and I are considering moving into my in- law’s basement until he can finish school. I was wondering, is your family considered a separate “household” for things like taxes and financial assistance (since you pay rent)?

  6. I too live in a multigenerational home. My parents moved in with us 18 months ago. It is very hard. I try to enjoy the good times. I completely agree that learning to keep your mouth shut is very important. I have never been one to keep my mouth shut so this has been hard for me…..especially in my own home.
    Anyone who is thinking about living with family….by choice, not by need, should really think it over before doing it.

    1. You are right, it’s definitely something to be mulled over before taking the plunge. The key for us is privacy and having multiple tv rooms ect. Good luck!

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