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Update: Back in April 2013 I shared how my daughter and her family, which consists of 2 little boys (ages 7 and 2 at that time) and her husband, moved in with my husband and I while they attended Graduate school. They sold their beautiful home and moved in with us in the Spring of 2013. We were planning on building a multi-generational home but that was placed on hold. It was a pleasure having them for the 2 1/2 years they lived with us. The key to our success definitely was having 2 separate living spaces, sharing household expenses fairly and being considerate of each other. They took the lower level and we had the first floor. We shared the upstairs kitchen and laundry. We went downstairs very little in order to give them the privacy a young family needs. But we found that they were upstairs all the time because they actually enjoyed "together" time with us watching TV, cooking and having dinner most evenings. I found that in this type of arrangement it pays to be tolerant when living with a young family because you have more of a mess because of toys laying around, little sticky hand prints on the walls, coats, etc. dropped on the entry floor, etc. If you have an OCD type personality you would go crazy at the end of the first week. But if you can go with the flow, living with your young family is a beautiful thing ..... it sure was for us. When they moved out this past July after graduating (and getting great jobs), it was traumatic for all of us. But we were happy that we gave them the support they needed during the grueling time they had while in school and working too. We will treasure the 2 1/2 years they spent with us.

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Campanula UK Z8

I share my house with my youngest (28) and his partner while until 3 years ago, our daughter, partner and infant were also living with 2 large dogs and 1 anti-social cat. We still share a web of dependencies, sharing childcare and resources. This is how the majority of people across the globe have always lived...many still do with the nuclear family, separate housing model a jmere blip in the history of human social developement. Because the aspirational home-owning independence theme has been the dominant way of life in an industrialised capitalist society for a few generations, it appears radical and even unworkable when, in fact, the pros vastly outnumber the cons with only a slight shift in perspective. I mentioned capitalist, not because I am a class warrior (although I guess I am) but because the investment opportunities of bricks and mortar, much like land did in previous ages, is again operating in a bubble unrelated to all other metrics of normal life - such as ability to afford shelter by means of selling ones labour or expertise. Through no fault other than an insanely skewed market, my hard-working, skilled adult children are in a position where owning a home has, in just one generation, become an unrealistic to survive, one does not rant and whine but gets on and shares. And largely, because we love each other, we do...and it beats sharing a house with strangers - the other 'normality' available to young families priced out of a housing 'market'.

Because this is how it has to be - we have had to suspend the previous dynamics of parent and child - we are equal partners. This, more than anything, has been the most difficult habit to break...but as I do not wish to be cooking family meals until death, I have had to rather quickly get out of maternal mode...and they have had to grow up into adults. Of course, adding in a third generation helped enormously...although I found I spent an inordinate amount of time seeking out quiet corners such as our pick-up truck (very comfy seats) or the greenhouse - our house is (very) small but handily stretches over 3 storeys. Mornings, in our single bathroom, can be frantic...and any extraneous grooming has to be done somewhere else. Thankfully, we tend to have eccentric working hours so it has been easier than I imagined - to maintain personal integrity, privacy and respect for boundaries...and everything else is, like all life, eternally negotiable.

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We share our house with my mother-in-law (85) and my college sophomore daughter (20). It's not too bad with our daughter, since she really never left the house, so she still has her own room. There are plenty of times where she gets a bit independent and talks back to us, but we go with the flow. It's really not her that is the big problem...she has 2 cats! One decided 2 years ago that he only wanted to visit the litter box on a part time basis. If she had gone to college, I do have to admit, the cat would be gone. (I love the cat, but just can't stand his habits.) My mother-in-law stayed with us part-time for 8 years. She had her own condo about 2 miles from our house, so she was pretty independent. But would come to stay with us on weekends because she wanted to be around people. Then 3 years ago she went to live with her son in Alabama. (She figured out pretty quickly that we had spoiled her rotten.) So, she moved back a year ago. I have a feeling she will remain here the rest of her life. She is a great person and I love that she does the dishes. I do not care if it isn't completed the way I do it. I'm just thankful someone else does it besides me. Plus, she doesn't mind cleaning up after that stupid cat because she can't smell. :) The way our house is set up, we have a bedroom and full bath on the first floor and it can be closed off for privacy. So, she has a TV in her room when she wants to watch something we don't. Plus, we give her the first floor bath as her own. It's hard sometimes, because that would be the bath visitors would go in. And, if you've lived with an old person....they like to have everything out so they can see it and not forget. But, I'm not a clean organized nut, so I'm going with the flow. She does pay us monthly rent, which is good because we do all her laundry and she eats every meal with us. Don't get me wrong, there are issues. She is really quite scared to be alone for more than the day, which I understand. But, my husband never goes on vacation because he worries about her. We just need to get a nurse or someone to come and stay during that time and it will work. So, overall it's good. It sure would be lonely and quiet if we didn't have everyone in the house. I also have a 16 year old son. Oh and an old dog. Always something going on. :)


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