Humor Helps When Sharing Housing

Reader Stories: What It’s Like to Have Several Generations Living Together?

From MidLifeRoadTrip, About.com Member

What Led Our Family to Move in Together

We have four generations under one roof. My daughter moved home a few years ago with her two daughters while going through a divorce. Last year my father became very ill. He was hospitalized for for six months, almost near death several times. During that time my mother came to live with us so she wouldn’t be alone. Then, when there was nothing else hospitals and rehabs could do for my dad, we brought him to our house.

How It Worked Out

It’s a work in progress. There has certainly been an adjustment, a learning curve having three families, four generations under one roof. At first there was the added pressure of learning to have to care for my very ill father. He is in a wheelchair, on oxygen 24/7, he has a catheter and a trach. Since none of us had any experience, it was very stressful. It’s been almost nine months now. My father’s medical care has become second nature to us all. Truly, he has surprised all of his doctors, doing far better than they ever expected.

Having this many people living together brings with it many opinions on about just about everything from what’s for dinner to what’s on television. We have all learned the art of compromise.

Advice

  • Respect each other’s space.
  • Knowing when not to say something is as important as knowing when to speak up.
  • Pitch in, all hands on deck.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Don’t hold a grudge.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Count your blessings.

The Hardest Thing About Sharing Housing

The hardest thing about sharing a house with several generations is lack of privacy. No matter how many square feet or how many bedrooms there are you just can’t seem to “get away.”

The Best Thing About Sharing Housing

The best thing about sharing a home is that you are never lonely. It’s amazing how loud the quiet is if no one is home.

The Funniest Moment

There are countless funny moments on any given day. It could be something one of the kids says, or a joke my dad tells at dinner or just laughing at the crazy. We laugh a lot!

Susan Adcox, Grandparents Guide, says:

Multigenerational living works best if all participants not only know how to compromise but also have a spirit of adventure, which Sandra certainly has. Get a glimpse of her adventurous spirit on the Midlife Road Trip website.

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