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Living with extended family

(17 Posts)
Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 11:37:55

Hello, I’m living at the moment with my daughter and family. After living happily alone for some years.
This is due to COVID and also to help my daughter and family in a difficult financial situation.
I have an adorable two year old grandson.
But have found that living together the last 4 months is physically and mentally draining on me. I’m 68 years young.
I’m an artist, but haven’t been able to paint for months. And really miss it.
I’m on a pension and I’m used to budgeting. But I’m finding it difficult due to extra people living in the household.
I seem to have become lost in all this new life! And although I love my family I’m missing my independent simple artists lifestyle!

midgey Thu 15-Oct-20 11:42:42

Oh I can imagine! You have morphed into mum/gran/housekeeper. Any hope that you can reinvent a room as sanctuary just for you? I don’t know if it’s your house or your daughter’s, but is there some way you somehow rejig the rooms so you all have your own space?

Illte Thu 15-Oct-20 11:45:20

Do you mean they have moved on with you? Any idea how long it will be?

I spent last year sofa surfing with relatives as house purchase after house purchase fell through. I am eternally grateful to them but it was so nice to get my own space again 😁

If it's going to be longterm I think you need to have a big discussion about finances.

And a sacrosanct shed in the garden 🙂
I'd suggest going away for painting breaks but that's so difficult at the moment. ☹️

Elegran Thu 15-Oct-20 11:52:46

You need to sit down and plan what you need and then discuss with your daughter how your two sets of lives can fit together.

From outside, it seems that you need time to yourself to do your own thing. If you have no space to create, you won't be happy. Your grandson will love to sometimes paint with you - but at a separate time or it will all be about him.

You need to get budgeting sorted out, If your daughter and family have hit money problems, it can be all too easy for you to just keep pouring your money down into a bottomless pit, particularly with a young child in the house, but they need to re-budget too and see where they can cut back on non-essentials. At 68 you have another 20 or 30 years of not earning ahead of you, you can't fund the same lifestyle on savings and pension that younger working adults would be able to.

Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 11:58:55

Thanks Midgey.
Yes it was my home. But I sold, something I had planned long before the family visitors.
Now I’m looking to buy another home. But find that I really need to help my daughter at this time. We’re renting now and sharing the costs.
My grandson is adorable but demands attention from the moment I wake up until he goes to sleep at night! Exhausting!!!
He’s an only child.
My son in law is South American and very much an alpha male. I have lived in South America myself and know how men are. Here in Australia things are very different, especially that he’s not working. But he’s still living the lifestyle he had before.
I do have my own room but it’s very small and all my art materials have been stored away.
I want so much to help my daughter but finding it extremely hard. As I said, I lived happily by myself for years.

twinnytwin Thu 15-Oct-20 12:00:46

My DS, DiL and 2 GC (newborn & 3yrs) lived with me for two years. Luckily I was able to alter the dining room into a sitting room for them and had independent tv arrangements (saved many fallouts I'm sure). They paid any excess to my bills over what I paid before they moved in. We spoke about finances and living arrangements prior to their moving in. My DiL paid me the compliment that she wouldn't have considered moving in with her mother, but loved living with me. I made sure I didn't interfere with decisions about the GC too.

Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 12:19:54

We’re in a small two bedroom one bathroom apartment at the moment. My purchase of another two bedroom two bathroom fell through unfortunately.
So we’re still renting.
We share costs.
Although my food costs have gone through the roof!
But I’m finding my daughters partner is very egotistic and looking online for courses to improve his career at the moment. My daughter has been a full time mum and would also like to study something online. But she seems to come second to his needs and wants.
I don’t want to get involved in their relationship and decisions they make at all. But it’s difficult to listen to.
I’m exhausted and frustrated and just don’t know what’s best to do.
Missing my old life!

Bibbity Thu 15-Oct-20 12:30:32

Toddlers are very exhausting. To the parents. He shouldn’t be bothering you.

Tough. They both need jobs by the end of the week.
Stacking shelves, cleaning toilets. Non negotiable.

He’s not an alpha male. He’s an idiot. Tell him to pipe down or get out.

sodapop Thu 15-Oct-20 12:33:16

I think your family are taking advantage of your kindness Jazmine whilst you are supporting them there is no incentive for them to find work.
I don't understand why you are looking after your grandson if both parents are home. Possibly because you are altogether in a small space. I would start looking for a place of your own quickly and in the meantime talk to them about having your own space/time.
I think you have to be quite clear with them about how you feel otherwise things will not change.

Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 12:42:36

Thanks Bibbity.
Yes toddlers are extremely exhausting. And yes I would love that quality special time with him. But it’s never ending the time he demands! Exhausting.
But living under the same roof it’s extremely hard for everyone I know.
I can take him for a walk or to the park but it’s never enough!
With COVID on the far north coast NSW jobs are very few.
My son in law was an executive in South America and feels he wants to get back into his career. English as a second language!
I too feel he should be looking for any job!
But my daughter supports him totally.

Bibbity Thu 15-Oct-20 12:47:40

Your daughter isn’t innocent here.
She isn’t a SAHM. She’s just unemployed. She’s a parent her child needs to eat. So she can go out and get a job as well.
She is actually worse than him because look at what she’s doing to you.

Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 12:55:27

Twinnytwin, sounds like you worked it out really well.
As I said my daughter is great getting around tidying up, cleaning etc. Generally a huge help.
I have tried to sit down and talk with her. But she’s very defensive of her partner. And I always seem to come out the bad guy!
I’d just like to live in harmony, help my family.n
But not lose myself and my life!

Feelingmyage55 Thu 15-Oct-20 13:11:21

Can you expedite looking for a property for yourself? If so then you could agree to childcare for a few hours a day Monday to Friday.
However, to the here and now. If possible, and it may not be, take a fixed timeout for yourself daily, perhaps 12 until 3. I presume but don’t know, that the weather is good. Could you take some sketching items and sit in a park, beside a river, in a botanical garden, museum cafe and do some drawing. As money is tight, take a small rucksack with a picnic. Can you bow out and go to bed or at least your room at 9 pm. This will give you quiet time and you family privacy. As adorable as he is make sure you alternate bath time, bedtime etc for your grandson. I hope you have a comfy chair in your room and your family knock before entering.
If you moved out to rent a one bedroom or studio flat until you buy, would your family receive some government help?
I really feel for you. I have had to say to family that I will not help financially unless there are literally NO jobs. They have had to compromise with retail or bar work instead of their particular choice. It also looked better on a CV that they were in employment, keen to work and be independent. It is about personal integrity. Employers prefer people who are flexible and will turn their hand to an alternative when needs must. After all what would your family do if you lived also where and could not help? Buying your own place and putting a time limit on the situation will force their hand. You also do not want to run down your capital. Time for a/nother calm conversation before there is a big falling out. Don't be around to be a referee. Two fit young people should be helping themselves. If your SIL is proud he should be compromising to support his family himself.
I wish you well. Come back and talk to us.

Eviebeanz Thu 15-Oct-20 13:12:26

I help out with childcare for my almost 2 year old grandson 3 days a week - we love him dearly and it's great to see him but it is exhausting and luckily he does go home at the end of the day. I know it's hard to be tough with your children even when they are adults but sometimes you just have to do it. Sometimes they are so wrapped up in their own stuff that they don't see things from anyone else's point of view until it is pointed out to them
Maybe SIL' s family could help out

Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 13:49:21

Thanks everyone for all your supporting words.
It’s been a mix of advice and ideas.
I’m just trying to do what’s best for everyone including myself.
Understanding that these are difficult times.
I’ll try and have some words with my daughter.

Jazmine Thu 15-Oct-20 13:57:25

Ideally I would be renting a small place for myself and be nearby to help out and spend quality special time with my grandson.
But financially it’s not possible at the moment.
I do feel that my son in law is in a very comfortable situation right now.
And although my daughter does protect him if I say anything against him. I don’t feel there’s any intention to hurt me.

Bibbity Thu 15-Oct-20 14:12:41

Is it financially not possible for you? Or them?