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Friday, February 5, 2016

Five Benefits of Letting Your Married Children Live With You (Temporarily)

There comes a time for most parents when their married children ask if they can temporarily move in with them. The kids may be between leases or houses. They might need to save money for a particular reason. Or maybe they're out of work and can't afford their own place. Whatever the reason, you may be tempted to say no. It would disrupt your life and schedule and cramp your space. It might strain your relationships. It may mean extra work cleaning up after them. I get it. Really, I do.

But may I urge you to say yes?

Tyler and Bonnie
We allowed our son and his wife (That's them in the picture. Aren't they cute?) to move in with us about a year after they married. None of us knew for sure how long they'd be there, but it ended up being ten months. We had all the concerns I mentioned above, as do most parents in that situation. But we were wrong.

Here are five benefits we came away with that I didn't anticipate at the onset of this living arrangement.

1. We grew closer to one another.  I didn't see this coming, but it became a joy to work together in the kitchen or sit around and watch TV together. We truly enjoyed one another's company and that has benefited our relationships.

2. We got to witness up close and personal our son as a husband. It was awesome to see this "kid" as a thoughtful husband. He was kind, gentle, funny, loving, helpful, understanding. I'd only had glimpses of him in this role before, but living with them immersed me in the wonder of it every day. It was spectacular. And it was just as fabulous seeing how equally wonderful his wife was to him.

3.  We learned to work cooperatively. We tried to stay out of each others' way in the kitchen or when doing laundry. We parked our cars so the other could get out when they needed to. We let each others' dogs out or fed them when the other couldn't. We were glad to help each other, and didn't do it begrudgingly.

4. We loved our daughter-in-law in a deeper way. Don't get me wrong, we loved her before. But there's something about living with someone that brings you close. You get to see each other at your best and worse, and have the opportunity to support and love each other through life's ups and downs. I am much closer to my son's wife now than I ever could have been had she not lived with us. She feels more like my own daughter now.

5. You appreciate each other all the more when they move out. Obviously, living together isn't an ideal situation, no matter how great it can be. When the kids moved out, they were thrilled to have their own space again and so were we. We were so happy for them and they were so grateful to us. You count the blessings of living together, and then count the ones of living apart. I miss the close time we had and am so happy when they drop in to say hello.

Living  with your grown kids can be challenging. I offered tips on how to do it successfully in a previous post "11 Tips for Sharing Your Home With Married Children." I'm blessed with kids I love and enjoy. They're thoughtful and respectful, so we chose to let them live in our home for a while. I realize not all family situations are like that. Naturally, every parent needs to decide what's best for them and their kids. But if you have a good relationship with your kids already, I encourage you to let them move in if they need to for a time. Set a time limit on how long they can stay if needed. But don't let fear cause you to say no. You may miss out on a huge blessing.



  1. Thanks for this post, Linda. We just finished a 7 week live-in stint with our daughter and her young family. They were between houses and I initially said no. But after their second child arrived in November, we opened our home and I must admit, as difficult as it was sharing space at times, the blessings out weighed the inconveniences. I think the whole experience brought us closer and we now appreciate and respect one another more than before.

    1. Dawn, it's amazing, isn't it? We usually don't want to open our homes, but when we do, God pours out His blessing. That doesn't mean it's always easy. Way to go in taking the risky, yet blessed, road of home-sharing.