Are you a long distance grandparent who longs to be closer to your grandchildren? Moving closer to your grandchildren is a big step. While every family is different, there are some considerations that need some careful thought.
Susan Adcox writes,
“The possibility of moving can be complicated by family issues, especially for those who have more than one set of grandchildren, living in different locales. How do you choose which family to be close to? In an even trickier scenario, what if you want to move away from one set of grandchildren to be closer to another? Such a decision is bound to open grandparents to a charge of favoritism.
In a slightly different scenario, what if you move to be close to one family and then discover that the proximity is hard on your relationship?”
“It’s possible that some families work best at a distance.”
“A third possibility is that you move to be near a son or daughter’s family, and then the younger family decides to relocate. Today’s young people live in a very volatile, mobile job environment, and it is very common for young families to move several times before putting down any real roots.”
The fact is that job stability is a major factor for many young parents, as is childcare. It’s also important to decide how close is too close. If you are moving closer to your children, will there be an expectation of babysitting on demand? Consider well how mentally and physically prepared you are.
If all of the above is in order, and moving closer to your children and your grandchildren will be beneficial to both you and your family, you might want to consider moving in.
“Some grandparents don’t just move to be near their grandchildren; they move in with them. Obviously having a successful multigenerational home requires a lot of commitment from all. Being able to share expenses is a plus. Also, child care and elder care can often be handled within the family in a multigenerational home. These advantages can rapidly be offset, however, by an inharmonious family situation.”
Living in a multigenerational home does require a lot of bending. In American culture, it isn’t as common. Although it is becoming more common as young families depend on two incomes to survive, and trusted childcare is hard to find. However, in other cultures past and present, multigenerational homes are the norm.
Throughout the years we have had “bounce-back” kids move in with us bringing with them our grandchildren. It’s been our experience that having our children, and grandchildren live with us has been wonderful experiences. It brought back the laughter in the house that only young children can bring.
It also brought back the mess.