What multigenerational living has taught me “about me”

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Getting a little philosophical today. This is a rarity for me but multigenerational living has taught me so much about me! Almost 6 years ago when we moved in with my parents, never did I think about how different or alike we were. Prior to moving back home with my parents, I had lived at college, graduated and started a career. I was living on my own, married and taking care of a young child.

multi gen living taught me

Here is where we lived prior to moving in with my parents in 2008.

what multigenerational living has taught me about me

Life seemed so different then now that I look back. My relationship with my parents has always be exceptionally good but I didn’t know them “then” like I do now.

What I mean is, when you live with your parents as a child, you see them one way but if you have the opportunity to live with them as a middle aged adult (I can’t believe I just said I am middle aged, that sounds so weird!), you begin to seem them as “other adults” and as “a friend”. This picture of me as a kid makes me laugh :).

what multigenerational living has taught me about me

You begin to see them as individuals who have emotions, feelings and legitimate ideas. They are like “you” or really, you realize ………”you” are like them.

how to live with your parents-1

I see lots of things in my mom and my dad where I say to myself, “hey, I did that a few years ago or hey, that’s how I felt.” Living with them as well as my grandparents has made me realize where some of my “issues” and “qualities” come from. ha. My dad and I are so much alike it is scary. Even more scary, I’m like my grandfather! ha. The three of us will be awake at 3am together with our heads spinning about what projects we are doing and getting them completed. Our minds do not shut off when we are in the middle of a renovation or project. It’s scary how the three of us are alike. My mom is much more easy going then me but we certainly share the sensitive and caring quality to help others. Clearly, we all inherit pieces of our bloodline but not until I was older and now living with my parents and grandparents has it come full circle where I realize, “gee, there really is something to heredity.” I’m not talking about inheriting high cholesterol or diabetes, I’m talking about your sense of “self” and who you are as a person. Multigenerational living definitely has taught me a lot about family and the importance of sticking to together. I often wonder if I didn’t live in this multigenerational household, would I have ever figured out these things about myself? 


About The Author

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.

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  1. It is interesting as you get older how you see your parents as more of a peer than this authoritative adult! You get to know their personality on that level and it’s an eye opener to who they are and who you are!

  2. I think it is incredible that you all live together and have made it not only work, but have made it such a wonderful environment. You kids are very lucky to be around that much family all the time 🙂

  3. LOVE this post Jess and so glad you got all philosophical with us! 🙂 It is so true that the older we get the more we realize how similar we are to our parents….the good, bad and ugly. LOL! I can only imagine how more evident it would be if you are all living together. I’m so thankful that I consider my parents my friends and I hope/pray I have that kind of relationship with my own kids when they’re adults too!

    1. I hear ya Vanessa! I told my 7 year old the other day that this way we live, all together, has to continue on when he grows up. hehe. I told him his wife and kids will have to live with us and he said, “huh?”. 🙂

  4. Jess…..

    You are such a rock star.

    I’m just sayin.

    And you are so right about truly getting to know your parents. You are giving your family such a blessing!

    Happy day friend!

  5. I worked with both of my parents for ten years so I totally get what you are saying and now that our daughters are 17 and 26 I find myself ALWAYS pointing out how much they are like me and my husband. our oldest is SO much like Steve and our youngest is almost a mini me…….yet I can totally see qualities in each of them of both of us.

    I love how close you all are, I know just working together was tough some times.

    1. Thank you Cheryl! Isn’t it funny how we become so much more aware of things when we get older! The evolution of life is a crazy thing! haha

  6. Certainly the give and take required each day to live in a multigenerational household is unlike what most of us experience each day. It is great that you are learning more about yourself and your family through this experience—probably faster than most! I can’t believe you are all awake at 3am planning projects! Get some sleep 😉

  7. It’s so great to see we aren’t the only “crazy” ones out there. We also live in a multigeneration household. Up until a few weeks ago, four generations also. With my family in Canada, living with my husbands family, I know how much of a blessing it is that my son (2 years old) gets to see his grandparents every single day.
    More love the better!
    Can’t wait to read your posts and follow you guys. Already have a shopping list for the glass shelves in your bathroom! LOL

    1. I know what you mean! Sometimes you definitely feel crazy 🙂 So glad you found us and look forward to getting to know you guys! Stay in touch and good luck with your shelves 🙂