2020 certainly changed the landscape of our living situations. Because of the pandemic, many of us are now cohabitating with extended family. Living with several generations under one roof can help provide support and ease stress (both emotional and financial) during these trying times. But living with so many people — who all have different needs — can be a challenge. So how do you make multigenerational living work? Here are some excellent tips to remember as you begin your journey.
Start by establishing rules
The key to making multigenerational living work is to set some ground rules. This is especially true if anyone in your pod isn’t accustomed to living with many other people. Now that you’ll all be sharing a space, you need to decide what behavior is acceptable — and what isn’t. Talk about how day-to-day activities will be handled. For example, will everyone eat dinner together? Who will cook? Will everyone eat the same thing? Who buys the groceries? It’s also important to establish boundaries so that each member of the family has the privacy and alone time they need. Since many are working from home and going to school online, you may also want to establish quiet zones or quiet times so that distractions are limited.
Have regular family meetings
Don’t stop at one meeting, though. Once you’ve discussed the ground rules, it’s critical that you continue to communicate with each other. Schedule regular family meetings and stick to them. This is an opportunity for you all to discuss what is working with your situation and what isn’t. Give everyone a chance to speak and listen respectfully to what everyone says.
Set a chore schedule
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a regular cleaning service, you’re going to need to decide how and when the chores get done. If possible, everyone in the household should contribute in some way to the chores. Create a cleaning schedule and assign tasks to each member of the household. You can rotate tasks so that nobody feels like they are stuck with the worst job, like cleaning the bathroom.
Discuss household expenses
Money trouble can seriously affect any relationship. Make it clear from the beginning how household expenses will be divided. Who will be chipping in for mortgage payments, utilities, and other regular expenses? How will these bills be paid? One of the biggest benefits of multigenerational living is that expenses are shared, making finances easier for everyone. Just be clear who will be responsible for what.
Get help when you need it
Even the most highly-functioning family can experience troubles from time to time. During the pandemic, it’s important that we take care of our mental health and seek help when needed. If anyone in your pod is experiencing a health crisis, then don’t be afraid to seek professional help. We all need to look out for each other, and living together with extended family can be a great way to help provide that support.
Contact the Clark & Gilman Team
Are you ready to buy a North County San Diego home for your extended family? Then contact the Cristine Clark & Jamie Gilman Team at 760-758-1211 or [email protected]. Let’s make 2021 a great year for you and your family!