Should Mom or Dad
Sometimes honesty hurts, but in the long run,
it may cause the least amount of pain for you and your parent if
you're seriously considering having Mom or Dad move in with you.
Any discussion about this new living
arrangement needs to begin with two key questions. First: Have other
possibilities been considered? And second: Is this something both
If you're considering having your mother or
father move into your family home, remember that adjusting to such an
arrangement takes a commitment by your parent, by you, and by your
family. Often the emotions each felt before the move—worry, stress,
guilt, anger, jealousy and so on—aren't eliminated by the new
arrangement; unfortunately, they're intensified.
Sometimes the move just isn't right, for a
variety of reasons. It's nobody's fault that Dad is a late riser and
you have a houseful of young children who are up at the crack of dawn
It's nobody's fault that your house is
already too small and simply couldn't accommodate one more person.
It's nobody's fault that you were recently
promoted at work and right now your new duties leave you little time
for anything else.
It's nobody's fault that you and your parent
get along better with a little more space—physical and emotional—between
you, and that living under the same roof will bring up old issues and
attitudes toward one another that neither wants.
It's better for both of you to be honest from
the beginning. The hurt from hearing "this won't work" is
less painful than the hurt of living in a situation that could
possibly tear the family apart.
Sit and talk with your Mom before the need
arises for any move, a move anywhere. How does she feel about the
idea? She may appreciate the offer, but not want to accept that plan.
Maybe she likes the idea of being with other seniors in a community
setting. Maybe the thought of moving in with you, even though she
loves you dearly, would be her last choice not her first. Or maybe
this discussion would be very comforting to her.
You need to ask yourself: Why do I want to do
this? Is it because I have to? Is it because I'll feel so
guilty if I don't? Is it because my parent or siblings or other family
members are in some way forcing me to do it?
Or do I want to do this? Is it an
opportunity for my children to get to know my parent better? Is it a
chance for me, in some way, to give something back to my mother or
father? Is it an opportunity for both of us to spend time together,
time that is passing so quickly?
When the daily grind begins to take its toll—and
having anyone of any age move into a household can stir things up—you
need to have that basic reason to fall back on.
Yes, today you're tired but . . . . Yes,
today was a hard day but . . . . Yes, tempers flared today but . . . .
You know why you agreed to do this. You know why this is good not just
for your parent but for you.
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