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Living with your parents is something many of us didn’t intend to do past the age of 18. But in many countries, multigenerational living is on the rise. And in some, especially parts of Asia and Africa, it is normal.
Multigenerational living is living with two or more generations under one room, so parents, grandparents, and grandchildren.
For some people, it is their worst nightmare come true. But for others, it offers plenty of benefits that are just too good to pass up. And for lots of families it is a necessity that straddles these two stances.
A rise in elderly care costs, house prices, and living costs combined with a decline in marriage rates, pay freezes, and a lack of public funding after the global economic crisis has led to it being a solid option for millions of families around the world.
If you are considering living with your parents or in-laws and children under one roof, read on to see our three advantages and three disadvantages.
Let’s do the disadvantages first.
1) Less Space For All
Moving in with your parents, or having them move in with you, will inevitably mean there is less space for everyone. Not only will you need an extra bedroom, but also extra spaces at the dining table and extra places to sit in the living room. You might even decide you want separate living quarters, so you can each have a lounge or snug to get some time away from each other.
If you have space, building an extension or granny annexe will solve a lot of these problems as you will each get your own space. This will go a long way in helping to solve disadvantage number 2!
2) Boundaries Need Establishing
Whether you are moving in with your parents or your in-laws, you might be concerned that there will be a lack of boundaries.
Will you ever be alone with your spouse and kids again? Will they expect you to cook all the time? Will they criticise you for everything you and your kids do, say, eat, and wear? Or worse, will they insist on having the TV remote every night?
Multigenerational living will no doubt change your relationships and lifestyle but establishing these boundaries early will help to maintain a bit of the status quo.
3) Relationships Change
Like we said, living with your parents or in-laws is bound to change your relationships, and not just with them. You might find that you and your spouse have a different relationship as your routine is disrupted and allegiances are formed and fall.
The relationships between your kids, parents/in-laws, and you are likely to change too. You might find that the type of relationships you all previously had are amplified. This can be great if you were all one big happy family beforehand. But it might be difficult if there were tensions before.
Advantages of Multigeneration Living
1) Financial Benefits
It is no secret that Gen-Xers and Millennials are struggling to buy houses for a very large number of economic and social reasons.
Living in multigenerational households is, for many, a necessary rung on the ladder towards buying their first property. Bills can be shared, and therefore savings can be made.
Living together can also help to protect the savings and assets of the older generation. Elderly care is almost prohibitively expensive and can quickly soak up any funds that the family have. By removing that financial burden, the entire family will be better off now and in the future.
2) Precious Time Together
We aren’t going to get morbid here. But it is nice to be able to spend time with your parents or in-laws and develop a deep relationship.
A grandparent/grandchild relationship is one of the most special there is and one that can be nurtured through living together.
By living multigenerationally you will be creating memories that you, your parents, and children will cherish.
3) Providing Elderly Care
For most of us, there reaches a point in our lives when we realise the roles have reversed in our relationships with our parents and they are needing more and more care.
As we said, elderly care is extremely expensive, whether it is a nursing home or carers.
Living together allows you to take care of your parents from the comfort of your own home. They get the company, help and support they need from someone they love and know. For Dementia sufferers in particular, this can be a blessing.
Is It For You?
Multigenerational living isn’t for everyone. But it can provide a number of benefits for all involved. And we didn’t even mention free babysitting!