In-laws, a life under the same roof

Is it really possible to live with your in-laws in peace and harmony?

Living with in-laws or parents is not easy. We won’t question the reason why you ended up here. Some are doing it for financial reasons, others because they need help raising children. Maybe somebody in the family needs a special care, of your culture requires everybody under the same roof. Whatever the reasons for living with in-laws are, it is never easy.

You should definitely be prepared to partially or completely lose your:

  • Privacy – forget about cooking naked, or dancing around the house. Having a loud fight with your partner and expecting no questions will be asked during breakfast next morning, good joke! Forget about leaving or returning home without informing anybody. Even a confidential talk with your friends over coffee, is at risk of eavesdropping, off course, if you are allowed to have guests, or have room to host them.


  • Freedom – Living with your in-laws, you will be leased of ultimate freedom. You will have to tiptoe around them physically and emotionally to make sure you don’t offend them in any way. Most of the in-laws still stick to the one: „My house, my rules “. You will have to abdicate and accommodate. But, if you don’t mind following their rules, then living with them may not be such a bad thing. Still, you will have to play your music low, and your quarrels even lower.

  • Stereotypes -you will be forced to question yourself a bit deeper on how you stand with stereotypes and how are you crushing them down. You expected that every mother-in-law cooks and every father-in-law repairs things around house. That is not a case. Maybe you will be surprised by a contrary situation. They may put their feet in the air an enjoy while you “youngsters” do all the work.
  • Solitude – If your idea of relaxation is meditating by yourself, or taking a long bath, or simply enjoying solitude, forget about it. You will be surrounded by people 24/7. Time for your self will occur, but rarely, planned not spontaneous, and probably not long enough. You can always look for solitude outside home.


On the bright side

Living with your parents or in-laws, you will probably get to know them much better, and become closer with them.  You will start understanding their behavior much better. Who knows? Maybe you will end up enjoying their company or even becoming friends.

It will definitely be more easily for you financially. You won’t be stressed out about the expenses of the entire house, and you can take it more relaxed here. Depending on the organization, food and transport expenses tend to become smaller when living in community. They really do come in handy with taking care of the children. That gives you some extra free time so much needed when parenting. If they cook even better, home made meals every da, who wouldn’t wish for that!


Setting the boundaries

When living with parents and in-laws, you’re inadvertently giving them a new level of access and visibility to all aspects of your life: spouse, children and parenting techniques. However king and gentle your roommates are, there will come the time to set the boundaries. React, do it on the first sign. If they become overly opinionated, set a boundary right away. Let them know that you know they are coming from a loving place but that their feedback is not helpful.


Alone spouse time

Getting along with the in-laws is important, but maintaining your relationship with your spouse while you’re living with the in-laws is also crucial. It takes time away from the spousal relationship, in general, but it usually causes greater stress for women, who typically try to please their mothers-in-law more than men try to please their fathers-in-law. Always remember:

  • When you’re all living together, you also need to have some alone time as a couple.
  • Never discuss your marital issues with your in-laws.

Follow these two golden rules and living in a crowded home will be a bit easier. Good Luck!