There could be several reasons why you might find yourself staying with your in-laws; perhaps you are saving up for your dream house, awaiting the completion of your BTO, or providing special care for your in-laws. Whether you are moving into their house or they are moving into yours, navigating different upbringings and values can make the living arrangement complex.

So, how do you live with another family while still caring for your own? There are a few things you can do to make this situation more manageable!

Preparing for the big transition

Before embarking on your day-to-day life together, it is crucial to establish a few guidelines to ensure both of you are setting boundaries and respecting each other’s privacy and personal space while living under the same roof.

It is also good to establish shared responsibilities for chores and living costs early on. When everyone pitches in, it fosters a sense of trust and lays a solid foundation for a harmonious relationship!

Dealing with conflict

Despite taking these proactive steps, conflict may still arise. Always resolve them early to prevent festering animosity. Open communication is key. Start by discussing the issue with your partner to make sure you are both on the same page before bringing it up with your in-laws. It doesn’t hurt to have someone who can back you up! An amicable solution often lies in finding middle ground - seek a fair compromise that respects the needs and concerns of both parties.

Navigating different parenting style

When raising children alongside your in-laws, it is common to encounter differences in child-rearing approaches. You may find them secretly feeding your children sweets you do not want them to have or disciplining them in a way you do not agree with. This can be frustrating, and you should address it openly.

When discussing these issues, use "I-messages" that focus on your feelings rather than blaming them. For example, you could say, "I prefer to limit my children's sugar intake, so I feel upset when they are given sweets without my knowledge" instead of accusing them with statements like, "You never listen to me about what they eat."

By expressing your concerns without attacking or blaming, they are less likely to be defensive and can prevent the situation from escalating. This approach creates more constructive dialogue and promotes mutual understanding.

Making time for your family

Taking time away from the house is a great way to prioritise your mental well-being and focus on quality time with your family. With your in-laws around, it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to openly express affection towards your spouse. Nurture your relationship by making time for date nights to keep the romance alive. Additionally, plan and schedule regular family outings with your children to strengthen bonds and create lasting memories together. When you and your family are happy, you will find that the shared living space is not so bad after all!