My way or the highway – NOT

A woman talking about the possibility of sharing a house with her mother cited the kitchen as the deal breaker. Although “Mom” does little cooking, she insists that she control the kitchen. Pushing back, the daughter wants the control. This stalemate decides that they will not share a house.

There is a builder in the area who is developing homes with attached apartments. Not in-law suites but full apartments with kitchen or kitchenette, depending on city codes, separate entrances and garages, and a communicating door. Personally, I would love something like this: a place to entertain a small group of friends with access to the main area for the large family gatherings. Dinners could be taken together in the main kitchen while light meals could be enjoyed in the privacy of our own quarters. I could store the food exclusive to Mike and myself in our kitchen leaving the main kitchen for the bulk of the supplies. ED would be free to entertain her friends in the main living room.

Yes, it sounds ideal. When agreeing to share living quarters there is no “my way or the highway”. The name of the game is compromise, accommodate, and forgive. The shuffling in our household is unending as children mature, adults age, and needs evolve. I can empathize when ED is overwhelmed and snappish (very rare). Now retired I have the time to retreat and wait for her to recover. Patiently she tolerates our forgetfulness and limited tech savvy.

I would caution any families contemplating sharing homes to look at the situation critically. Consider needs, personalities, housekeeping standards, personal habits. Like a young couple in love, an adorable quirk while dating can turn into a pet peeve when married. What appears idyllic to outsiders involves much forgiving turmoil and stern commitment.

Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.