Never in my life I thought I’d ever live with my in-laws. Or even my own parents after I graduated from high school for that matter. I moved out of my own parents home when I was 18 years old and never moved back. Not because I didn’t love and have a good experience with my family and my home, but because I thought I was super independent.
I’ve had a job since I was 13 years old. Come 15, I have never not had three jobs at once since. I’ve always had the mentality to work hard for what I want and never wanted to rely on my parents. And living with them meant I was relying on them.
When I met Jamie, he was living with his parents. And to be completely honest, it was a total turn off. I actually hid it from my own family a bit. ha! But he pursued me and I fell hard for him so I thought how silly to not date him because of the fact he was living with his parents. And he was just in a transition period, as I like to tell myself. haha!
After I met Jamie, we quickly hit it off and got married. During that time he was in the process of renovating a home to sell, which is what also started our blog, construction2style. As soon as we got married, I moved into that renovation property for a short while until we found “our home.”
When we found our home, of course, being the renovator Jamie is… he needed to renovate the entire home before we moved in. And a little secret, I was pregnant! So he really didn’t want me to be in the fumes and renovation until it was done. #firstchild
A lot of people live with their parents for a number of reasons. It could be because of a transition period, or financial trouble, sickness, or to help them. My mom is a teacher and has stayed with us for long periods of time over the summers, which feels at times like she lives with us.
Frustration, resentment and tension can all build when living with family. And I never want that to happen with mine because I have a feeling that living with our parents or them living with us will still be in our future.
So… we moved in with the in-laws…
Living with your in-laws also has a ton of benefits. I mean, we had home cooked meals every night as soon as we got home from work. The laundry got done, the house was clean, and we saved a ton of money.
When we also transitioned from our second home into our third, we did the exact same thing, moved back in with the in-laws while we renovated the place. And hello, free childcare for Greyson! I honestly can’t think of anything better than that.
But living with your in-laws can also go south quickly if you don’t have expectations and put some effort in yourself.
So today I wanted to share some tips of things I did which made for smooth sailing.
Everyone needs their space. My in-laws are empty nesters and have a spacious home, but Jamie’s former bedroom is on the same level as their room. So when we moved in, we decided to make the basement into our living quarters instead of being up in their space. And let’s be honest, we were newlyweds and there was no way I would feel comfortable doing you know what with them next door!
Their basement has a living room, bedroom and bathroom, but we wanted to use our own mattress so we forwent the bedroom and just plopped our mattress right into the space off the living room. But that way after dinner or if we wanted our alone time to watch TV, we had it. It felt like our own little home.
Think big when moving in and if the in-laws are ok with you re-creating a space to make your own, do it. Get comfortable and don’t be scared to ask to reconfigure a space, if it’ll make your time there more comfortable which makes it less stressful for all parties.
If escaping within the home isn’t an option, find privacy in other ways. Take daily walks, hang out by the fire pit, find your favorite new coffee shop, or just take some time to read alone in your room.
Stay out of Family Battles
Remember, they raised your spouse and have sacrificed so many things just for them.
Jamie’s parents are so respectful to us and our marriage and the choices we make. I know that’s not the case for all, but I still want to urge you to do these things because at the end of the day, you’ll feel better.
Jamie is pretty respectful to his family as well. But anytime he’s not, I cringe, bite my tongue and talk to him later privately. I try not to ever give my views during any of their family discussions.
Be Respectful and Don’t Talk Politics
Never, ever… ever talk politics. I don’t care if you’re on the same side. Because no matter what, it turns into a negative conversation. If you have the same views, you’ll start bashing the other side, other humans, which is not healthy for anyone. And if you have different views, everyone will get heated. Negative conversations are not healthy for anyone. Period.
Same goes for religion.
I’ve told my friends this same advice and sometimes they’ve told me, especially with religion, they feel that they have to stand behind their beliefs. I get it. But I think it comes down to respect and living your beliefs instead of talking about them.
If you’re living with your in-laws and they have different beliefs, what I always tell myself and friends is that you are living in their home. THEIR HOME. They’re opening up the doors to help you. Respect them and their views. Because you would never want anyone to disrespect you in your home.
Be on the same page as your spouse
And at the end of the day, be on the same page with your spouse, always. You probably already know what is going to stress you out before you move in and just be open with your significant other. Because I promise it’ll make you feel better to let it out. And more than likely, your spouse feels the same and has learned a few tips or two on how to cope. I know I gave Jamie a few words of wisdom when it came to my mom and he felt a ton better after I told him how to roll with the comments and the reorganization of our home (haha, Love You, Mom).
Take a Vacation
Plan your vacations during your in-law staycation. That way you have something fun to look forward to and it not only gives you a break but it also gives in your in-laws a break. Because they may need one just as much as you!
And at the end of the day, be thankful. You have a family that is allowing you to live in their home. That’s pretty awesome. Not a lot of families do that for one another. Make sure your in-laws know how much you appreciate them. Because that little recognition and gratitude will go along way.