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My Parents Are My Roommates

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Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: The recession is coming home as more families find themselves moving in with relatives to survive the economic downturn. Adult children are moving home with mom and dad when they lose their homes, and countless families are moving their aging parents into their house rather than pay for assisted living care. Even divorce rates are falling as couples opt to continue living together rather than than try to sell their devalued home.

Family eating dinner together

"Times are rough," Kanessa Tixe, a 26-year-old publicist told USA Today. When her dad lost his job and couldn't pay the mortgage on his house in Queens, NY, she and her stepbrother moved into the top floor. Her stepsister and her husband moved into the second floor and her dad took the ground floor. "It's been very beneficial that we're all together. My stepbrother and I have a wonderful relationship now. We eat together for dinner, and I've become closer to my dad, too. This is an important time for family to help, the way the housing market is going. Our story is a testament to how families should come together to help with a mortgage."

There are upsides to these new living arrangements: young children get to live with grandparents who help take the pressure off of a struggling couple. They help out with childcare or just make life a little more manageable. Families who might otherwise have nowhere to go feel loved and supported by a willing relative.

But moving in with Mom and Dad when you're married with kids is not always smooth sailing. Resentments brew over how money is spent and how much people contribute to the household. The situation can be "demoralizing, humbling, dehumanizing -- but a lot of people don't have a lot of choice," Nicholas Aretakis, a career coach and author of No More Ramen: The 20-Something's Real World Survival Guide, told USA Today.

Moms, weigh in: Has your family grown during the recession? How have you been coping?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
ame i. February 6, 2009, 9:25 AM

it would take a little adjustment to have my parents move in with me, but I think it would work out okay. My mom is a wonderful cook and my dad can clean like the dickens ;)

Tammy February 6, 2009, 10:47 AM

Two years ago my Dad lost his job and didn’t have any savings. I offered for him to stay with me and my daughter and it was really hard to adjust. after about 6 months, I needed my space and privacy back and gave dad the boot (in a nice way, of course). That was 1 year ago and now I’m starting to reconsider that decision. The financial burden off of me would be great and I would have someone to help out with my daughter. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t suck it up and have him come back!!!!

Mary Scott February 6, 2009, 3:56 PM

Tammy, you sound very selfish. It sounds like when your dad needed you, you couldn’t deal with him and threw him out. Now that you need the help you want to move hime back in?

Mary Scott

Melanie February 8, 2009, 11:37 PM

In the past three years my husband, son and I have moved in with my parents on two different occasions. Not really because of financial reason but do to big transitions with my husband’s job and moving. Personally, I enjoy living with my parents and they like having us. My parents love getting to spend all the extra time with their grandson, I take over most cooking duties and I rarely ask them to watch my son. If there was a garage/basement apartment I would live there permanently!

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