Are your families ready to merge? Read on to see how we approached the subject and process of moving in together…
Feelers & Housing: Gently mention the idea to the kids (send out feelers) to start gauging how they would feel about it. Give them time to ‘marinate’ on the idea. This allows them to keep it in mind when they visit. They started noticing that there’s lots of kids in my neighborhood. TBear has always wanted a little brother. Finding out their fears, you can help address them.
You can also use a few months to discuss which appliances, furniture, and other belongings are going to merge, stay, or go. Asking TBear which room was better for 3 girls, vs 2 boys helped him realize that giving up the ‘big bedroom’ made sense.
Are either of your houses equipped for the entire group? Do either of you own vs rent? In our case, I owned a home that could fit us, and Birdy was renting a place that (while very nice) didn’t have as much space.
However, my house could use a “few things” before they move in, which prompted my super-accelerated remodeling schedule. Instead of 1 summer project, I tackled 4! The goal was to move in before the start of school. I did not succeed.
By the end of October, I had new living room windows, a functional second bathroom, new water main, and a new sidewalk poured. (Those last two were prompted because of a house being built next to me.) This was as late as we dared before “snow flies” and we’re committed for another winter apart.
We moved in the middle of the month, allowing 2 weeks & 3 weekends to do the task. While convenient, I wished for one more weekend for the yard sale, as we had to move large items we weren’t keeping.
Adjustment: While we moved in together with the commitment to work out our (& our childrens) issues, it wasn’t without challenges. We found that some kids were concerned about losing time with their parent, and they needed some times without competing for attention. Looking forward to these times helped them cope better with the larger group.
We were surprised to find that getting up earlier (to catch the bus) was a benefit, and the mornings went smoother than before. All kids were able to be fed and ready in time, and gave us parents a moment of pause together before tackling our day.
Despite all our planning, preparations, and discussions, there’s still a lot we’re “figuring out as we go.” Things are all over the place, and I’m sure it will take quite some time for ‘my’ stuff to merge with ‘our’ stuff, but that’s something I’m looking forward to!
Hopefully, you found this post useful or entertaining in some way, because it’s all I’ve been doing for the last month. Next, I should be able to start wrapping up those bathrooms, if the holidays allow…