Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We Live With Our Parents and We Like It

Sooo ... I've been trying to think of a "socially acceptable" way to talk about our living arrangements for ages. There isn't one. Because it's not socially acceptable.

I'll just say it.

We live with my parents (and my three younger brothers) in a house owned by my grandparents (who live about half a mile down the road).

That was a mouthful.

When we tell people this (or they come over and we have to explain why there are seven cars in the driveway), we get some pretty interesting looks.

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Technically, we could be classified as pesky millenials who have returned to the nest. Our situation is a bit different than the typical failure to launch, however. For one thing, we aren't buried under masses of debt (credit cards, student loans, a brand spanking new car). Grover has a job. We pay all our own bills. We have been married almost five years. Annnd we have three kids.

Not the usual situation for young 20-somethings, huh? I was never very good at being an irresponsible twit, so I figured there was no reason to waste 10 years doing so.

But it looks so FUN, right?
Although it isn't the typical "American dream", there tons and TONS of benefits.

1. Saving money.

The house we live in is paid for (my grandparents bought and paid off the property 30+ years ago with the idea that everyone would eventually return. They're psychic. And smarter than all the rest of us combined). This means we're not hemorrhaging money into house expenses, which are ridiculously high here because it's a resort town. We pay rent, which goes toward property taxes, utility bills and groceries. We put a good chunk of the rest into savings. That way, when a typical home ownership problem pops up, there is no panicked credit card swiping at Lowe's.When the upstairs shower leaked into the basement and no one noticed until there was giant mold spot on the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom, we bought the materials outright and fixed it. Win.

2. Teamwork.

Mom cooks, I do the dishes. She hates mopping, I hate vacuuming. We split up the housework (the house is 4000+ square feet, so not exactly small). We have more free time. No one gets poisoned by my cooking. The floor stays relatively clean. Win.

3. Support.

You guys, parenting is HARD. There was a very good reason people used to live in multi-generational homes back before credit card companies and other greedy entities were like BUY ALL THE THINGS. If I need a moment ...

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... I don't have to lock the kids in a closet or something. I can just ask for help. If I have to take the dog to an emergency vet visit, I don't have to bring along all three children, which would be extremely comical and possibly disastrous. Win.

4. It scares away company. WIN.


Sort of.

But we are a little overwhelming O.o

There are cons to the arrangement, too. Grover can't sit in his underwear in the living room all weekend. The floor reverberates with the sound of dubstep on occasion. Sometimes we get sick of each other. We have to be mature grown ups and think about how our actions will affect the rest of the family (is that a con?). And that's about it.

Is it going to stay this way forever? No. We're 99 percent sure the situation will change. But for now? It's perfect. I'm SO blessed to have help. It's a very good lesson in the school of "you can't do it all, fool". I mean, I could. Other people have. But there would be a lot more yelling and a lot less love ... and we would probably subsist on PB&Js.

It's not for everyone, but it works for us.

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My mom wrote a post about this, too. You can check it out here.
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  1. I love this... you guys are truly inspiring!!
    Susie aka Recovering Church Lady

  2. This arrangement would have been much more "normative" a generation ago. Sounds very reasonable to me!

  3. Win (fist pump) I liked your mom's post too! Way to go!!
    We live with my mom too, my hubby and I and mom's dogs, chickens... and soon goats. O-o lol


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