Joy, frustration, irritation, adjustment, finally happiness! Getting your parents to move in with you is a tough proposition. When they finally agree to move in, it requires a change in the mindset of everyone. The initial euphoria on both sides slowly moves through difficult periods of adjustment leading both sides to question the decision. But if you persevere and remain true to the reason as to why you want them to be with you, it is very rewarding in the end. It is far more difficult for our parents to adjust since it means giving up ostensibly their independence. Giving the limited space in our homes, it also means giving up prized possessions so as to accommodate everyone. It also meant making the home more secure, safer and comfortable for seniors.
Many conflicts arise during the initial phase – things to keep and throw away, finance, medical, the list goes on. When there are kids involved, the demands that are placed on us as parents often lead to what we perceive as interference from our parents. To them, we are still their kids who need to be spared physical and emotional demands. This often makes them intervene directly in delicate situations which make the grandchildren resent them and us. They miss their independence and their life and substitute that with trying to be a part of what happens at home. They constantly tell us when to be home, what to cook, how to buy our groceries and how to save. The conflict arises in how we raise our kids because of very different schools of thought about food, schooling and discipline.
Three generations of mood swings happen at the same time – old age, menopause and teenage. And you have to deal with the aftershocks. You navigate your way through treacherous waters filled with obstacles.
After you successfully navigate your way through these treacherous waters and lead your family successfully, it is richly rewarding to see your parents by your side through the joys and sorrows of everyday life. At the end, I am happy they are with me.