There is an old saying that tells us that “It takes a village to raise a child.” You are probably thinking to yourself that you already have a village and as fate would have it, they are all under your roof. Whether it’s the economy or family members with special needs that you have been helping with, it is becoming more and more common to see three and even four generations in the same household.
If you are struggling to try to find ways of keeping your adult children and their kids happy while also caring for your aging parents, it could be that you are living in a constant state of chaos. Are you ready for a few tips that will help you get through the day without having a nervous breakdown. Let’s see what we have.
Provide Age-Appropriate Space for Everyone
Unless you have a rambling bi-level ranch house, it may not be possible to space the generational bedrooms far enough apart to give everyone the space they need to live in comfort. This may be the case when there are great-grandparents in the house who are getting up there in years. However, it is important to try to keep them as far away from the noise and chaos of young children as possible.
If you find that your elderly parents need more care than you can give them and all the activity in the house bothers them, you may be asking yourself about the availability of senior assisted living near me. While this may make it easier on everyone involved, you may feel like you are abandoning them, but don’t.
They will almost assuredly have an easier life getting professional assistance with their daily needs and some much-needed respite from those overactive youngsters! If it’s near you, why not visit often? Until that time, try to keep your parents on one side of you with your adult children on the other and those boisterous kids as far away as possible. It’s all about providing everyone with the space that is best suited to their needs.
Family Meals May Not Be Entirely Necessary
One of the things that may be putting too much pressure on you is cooking for what feels like an army. There is no way to satisfy everyone and gone are the days when we say, “Eat it or go without.” This is especially the case with picky toddlers and elderly parents who can’t manage very many solid foods. Even if you take turns cooking with your adult children, you will find yourself in the same situation. Your aging parents can’t enjoy their meals with kids bouncing in their chairs.
Perhaps your parents would rather eat in their room with a TV tray and your own kids would like to fix meals for their children. There is no reason to expect the entire family to eat at the same time, except perhaps on special days and holidays. As long as your adult kids clean up their mess, why not?
Assign Specific Household Duties
The same holds true for all those daily and weekly chores that need to be done. No one can expect you to do their laundry, make their beds, and pick up toys from the hall so Great-Grandma and Grandpa don’t trip over something. Make sure that everyone knows their responsibilities and since you have taken on the needs of your own parents, there is no reason you should have to take care of adult children either. They can see to their own needs.
Older children should learn responsibilities as well. Perhaps they can take out the trash, help with the dishes, and maybe do a bit of vacuuming and dusting as it is needed. If everyone pitches in, life can be a whole lot better for everyone, except those teens who will always rebel against everything at that stage of their lives. Even so, it’s for mom and dad to deal with. You did your time, so you deserve a break!
Making It Work
There is no reason that undue stress should be put on anyone in the household. You can find ways to make it work so that everyone can enjoy a quality of life they deserve. Just remember, if it gets too hectic for your elderly parents, there are options to explore. The best tip of all is to do what you can. It may mean moving mom and dad to a senior residence, but even then, you’ll still have three generations under one roof. With a little effort and a lot of cooperation, you really can make it work.