What makes it work: Respect

I scoured the internet in 2013 to learn what to consider when anticipating a multi-family household. There was some information about children moving in with parents or parents moving in with children but very little about two families, albeit related, moving in together. We were making a 15 year commitment and would need to consider the issues seriously.

ED and her pre-ex along with Blue Boy lived with us for a few months when relocating to Arizona. Knowing ED since conception, we all had a good idea of personality quirks. However, as adults, a week-long holiday or even three-month cohabitation doesn’t prepare one entirely for 15 year contract. Another major difference, ED and fam were moving in with us on the previous occasions, meaning the house was organized and run pretty much by my standards. Multi-family living means that no one person is in charge no matter how many cries of “I’m the matriarch” are pronounced.

A recent test was the sudden and late evening crash of our refrigerator demanding that Mike, ED, and I transfer the contents into a second refrigerator and coolers way past my bedtime.

My style of cooking is simple, using few ingredients, plain herbs and spices, and few condiments. ED likes the spice and cooking blends of Tastefully Simple and condiments. Lots of condiments. At 11:00 at night we were faced with a refrigerator full of condiments and much more food than I ever kept on hand. We decided to keep the condiments in for the night, figuring the sugar and vinegar would allow them to survive a few hours.

Whenever I get overwhelmed by the spice cabinet and refrigerator contents, I remind myself that ED does the shopping and the cooking qualifying the pantry and fridge as her domain. I eat the meals and the leftovers and sort the contents now and then, respecting her right to command.

This respect is reciprocated. She supports me when I rant about items left in the common areas and asks for suggestions regarding the organization of the kitchen. Respect is the number 1 rule for living with anyone. Without this, life could be H*@(&.

Author: Mary Cornelius

I am an aging woman who writes three blogs.

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