Actress Natalie Portman, who moved back in with her parents when she gave up her own home, reveals that things do not always go as expected. "It was cool in the beginning because I get good meals and my laundry done but it turns into trouble. It's rough."
As the reality of shared housing sets in, here are some more tips that Sandwiched Boomers will find helpful:
Think about the problems that can come up and make a Plan B. Just because you all are having some difficulty with the new living arrangements doesn't mean that you have to discard the entire idea. It is important for a sense of control to have scheduled family meetings to discuss the issues and conflicts that come up. The lack of privacy, intruding on other family members' boundaries, and unwanted advice are often sore points.
Be flexible and learn to love compromise and cooperation. Look at the situation from the perspective of the other family members as you work on understanding their positions. You all in this together and while you may not get exactly what you specifically want, you can work out a solution that is good for everyone.
Respect the needs of everyone involved. When each person feels heard, it takes away some of the frustration stemming from the lack of control. You can be supportive to one another just by listening even if you don't agree with the reason for the complaint.
Tomorrow we will look at savoring some of the real positives that come out of sharing a home with other family members.