Tips to help the transition of moving in with a family member or loved ones...
Is there really no house big enough for 2 families?
We all know how hard things have been for everyone during the pandemic. Unemployment is at a record high. Many families have had to resort to moving in with other family members or close friends to help each other make ends meet. The thought of having to swallow your pride and ask for help is tough. This will take the manliest of men to their knees. This is not easy for most women either; however, when push comes to shove one must look at the bigger picture. They must do what is best for all involved.
We already know how hard of a decision this was to make but the hardest part is yet to come. Actually living together. Two, three even sometimes four families living under one roof. Multiple generations living side by side. Usually by day 2 tension is already beginning to rise. Here are a few “survival tips” which may help out during your stay....
1. DO NOT TAKE ROOT
The day you move in, start setting goals you need to achieve so you can move out. Most family members and loved ones are more than willing to help; however, they also want you to help yourself. Do not plan on moving in and never leaving. Just because they love you and are willing to help all they can does not mean they want you in their home forever!
2. Set Boundaries (especially with children)
Upon moving in, make sure you set boundaries with each other. Let grandma and grandpa know you do not allow chocolate cake for breakfast. Many times people want to help smooth over the transition of moving in with loved ones. They will do this by letting the children get away with certain things mom and dad would never put up with. In other words, they will let them get away with certain types of behavior because they feel sorry for them. Make sure to stand your ground on this. Make sure everyone knows the rules from the get go! This will eliminate major problems later on.
3. Be Grateful with Limits
Most people greatly appreciate allowing you and your family to move in while times are tough. Be grateful and appreciative to their hospitality but with limits. When I say limits I mean do not do everything and they get to sit around and do nothing. Many people feel they must cook all the meals, clean the entire house, mow the lawn, take out the trash etc,. Remember you did not move in to become a live in maid or house boy. Do your part and help but if you start doing all of the daily household chores when will you have time to work on your main goal of MOVING OUT! Remember the first few days you are there sets a precedent on how things will continue. So, do not concentrate so much on household chores but on the goals you have set for yourself.
4. Pay Your Way
Paying your way is not the same as showing how grateful you are for your loved ones help. When you add members to a household costs go up. Your loved ones were very generous by allowing you to come stay but they are like everyone else. They are living during a time of a pandemic. Money is tight with everyone. Try to pitch in when possible. You cannot expect someone else to buy your favorite cookies at $5.00 per box when they usually buy the box which only costs $3.00. Just because you are moving in with someone due to a financial crisis does not mean you have to cut out all your little luxuries. Remember, you must also keep your spirits up and sometimes a $5.00 box of cookies is all you need.
5. Stay Out of Arguments
Do not stick your nose in where it does not belong. If your other family member is in an argument do not step in and try to mediate and help. More than likely they will stop arguing, both turn and start on you. They will take out their aggression on you! I have seen this happen more than I can count. You become their common enemy even though you are just trying to help. Trust me, in the heat of the moment you will be the victim and not the rescuer. Try to mind your own business and when an argument breaks out and it does not involve you, WALK AWAY!
6. Find Your Own Space
Walls of any home no matter how big can feel like they are closing in. Most of the time if one person in the house is feeling this, others are to. Try to give each other space and time away from one another. Go outside, take a walk, spend time in your room listening to music or reading a book. There is always something to do without being under each other's feet. Nothing will cause tension to begin building faster than people needing a break from the other. This does not mean you do not love each other. It is human nature to need time alone to decompress and gather thoughts along with other mental health activities which are vital during a pandemic.
7. Do Not Talk Politics
If you want to cause a dad to get red in the face and spit fire talking politics usually will do the trick. Very few people have the same views on what is going on in Washington D.C. Most people feel very strongly about their political beliefs and will fight to prove they are right. So this is one battle you should never step into. Even if you are not the one who brings the topic up. Take my advice, just nod and keep about your own business. Do not even comment. Your comment will not be welcomed with understanding or consideration.
8. Keep an Open Mind
Remember, your loved ones are just trying to help you in your time of need, Sometimes they will give you advice on how to do things or what they think you should be doing. Try not to get aggravated with them when they try to guide you in the direction they think you should be heading. Many times the ones offering you the advice have already been down the same road you are traveling. Try to keep an open mind and consider what they are trying to say. Some of their advice is usually helpful if viewed in other ways.
9. This Is Not A Hotel
So easily we can forget this is not a 5 star hotel with daily maid service. Be courteous and pick up after yourself. Little things like, hang the bath towel up after use, make the bed in the morning, or even do your own laundry. Little things like this will go a long way. This is showing them how much you respect their home and respect yourself. No one wants to live with a slob or someone who is lazy. Now, I am not saying revert back to tip #3 and become a house maid. Just follow the general rules of most homes:
10. The Kitchen
The last thing I want to add is a tip about the kitchen. Remember ladies, there is not a kitchen on this planet big enough for 2 women. Do not forget who is the rightful owner of the kitchen. This room is the heart of the home. Love is put into everything made and served from this room. If you find yourself wanting to help the owner of the kitchen in preparing a meal, just ask. Most of the time the help is appreciated but there is always that one time when you need to stay out of the kitchen. Most women will be able to tell by the energy in the room if she is needed or not needed in the kitchen. Just be polite, ask and do not be offended if sometimes you are told to get out if you are not needed. The kitchen for some people is where they escape and get their minds off of other things. Respect it, and in return they will appreciate you for it.
These few tips have helped me and my husband many times when we had to move in with loved ones or someone had to move in with us. Just take my advice and consider my suggestions. They have prevented many knock down drag out fights. At the end of the day everyone loves and cares for one another. If they didn’t they would have never welcomed you into their home. Just be respectful and treat them how you would want to be treated. Everyone will make it just fine.