Have you heard the phrase “Sandwich Generation”? This is the phrase social scientists and the media are using to describe the steadily growing ranks of people who are raising their children and caring for their parents at the same time. If this describes your situation, the name probably makes perfect sense since you’re likely feeling a little ‘squished’ by responsibilities – just like the peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread.
Let’s be real here. When you were younger, moving out of your parent’s house was probably very high on the list of things you wanted to accomplish. Independent living is wonderful – especially when you have a different worldview and lifestyle than your parents. But life happens. For health reasons, or because of financial considerations, many parents find themselves in a position where they need to live with their adult children.
Here’s how to manage that without losing your mind:
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries You may be one big happy family, but you and your parents or in-laws have two separate households. As much as possible, you’ll want to maintain that dynamic. One way to make this easy for everyone is to create a distinct space that is your parents, such as an in-law apartment.
Yes, your parents may have spent much of your childhood telling you how it was very important to share. But the fact is that everyone will be happier if your parents have their own bedroom, sitting area, kitchen and bathroom. Having your Medway building contractor add an in-law suite to your home makes life simpler.
Each household can continue to run the way the people who live there like best. If your Father needs to spend three hours in the bathroom every single morning, it won’t disrupt the family’s morning routine. If your Mom believes the whole house needs to be vacuumed every single day, she’ll have her own space to clean to her heart’s content. Don’t forget your parents value their privacy as well – and as much as they love their grandchildren, sometimes it’s good to get away from them!