How to Cope as a Single Parent Living at Home with Your Parents
Whether it is the result of a divorce or other circumstances, being a single parent is a difficult task. When you make the decision to live with your parents with a child or children of your own, that situation can become a little more tricky. Your parents want to run the house, which means they may try to interject and overrule your parenting. Though it is a full house, living in a multigenerational household as a single parent can be achieved with a little respect and rationality 2.
Start a discussion about moving in. Before the moving in even occurs or shortly after, sit down with your parents and discuss your reasons for moving in. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to expectations of why you are there. Aquaint them with all your reasons, such as saving money, going to school, starting a new career or recuperating from a divorce.
Set the household expectations. Both your parents and you should have a clear understanding of expectations when it comes to expenses and chores in the house. If you cannot afford to help out financially, ask your parents their expectations when it comes to helping around the house instead.
Be courteous to one another. You are guests in your parents home. Respect their bedtime by keeping yourself and your children from making noise that could disturb them. Ensure that you clean up after yourself and teach your children to clean up after themselves as well.
Set schedules. What used to be the dinner time in your own home may not what your parents follow. Sit down and discuss times everyone likes to do things throughout the day such as shower, meal times and even errands. Try to find a medium where you all can eat meals together. When sharing bathrooms, it is important to ensure that everyone knows what time people have to get ready for the day so that no one is late with their new living arrangement.
Do not make your parents the sole babysitters. If your parents are working themselves, you will need to seek outside help to watch your child. Look into hiring a babysitter or local daycare centers. For nights you need to get out, ask your parents to watch your child, but never assume they will. Your parents should not feel like they are your child's primary caretaker.
Continue doing the parenting duties. When moving back with your parents it can be difficult to get caught up in all of the additional help. Adhere to your role as the primary caregiver of your children by bathing them, making their meals, cleaning up after them and reading them bedtime stories.
Remain the authority figure in your children's lives. With so many adults present, everyone will have their own discipline and child-rearing methods. Sit down with your parents and communicate to them your parenting style, rules you have set for your children and what you would like them to do to comply. Your children should respect their grandparents as authority figures, but they should also know that the final decision is that of their parent.
- parent et enfant image by Philippe LERIDON from Fotolia.com