With the economy growing still worse and the cost of child care and preschools on the rise, mothers are feeling the stress to be both nurturer and provider, in addition to the responsibilities they are already burdened with. Both parents are feeling the pressure to depend on child care or school institutions so they can work longer hours to make ends meet. To make matters worse, our parents and grandparents are getting older and the economy has affected their ability to afford the independent lifestyle and the senior communities they had hoped to settle into.
My question is this… What if families had it right generations ago? What if the solution to everyone’s problem is to institutionalize neither our children nor our parents? What if we refuse this outsourcing and isolation of our precious family members and return to the natural way families dealt with similar challenges since the beginning of time?
Sure, I cringe at the thought of having to live under the same roof as my parents again…Heck, I bolted a few months before I turned 18, I wanted out so bad. I get it. But, a few decades, marriage, divorce, a lot of maturing, four teens, and a new business later, I have a whole new perspective about my parents and what it might be like to bring them to live in my home. If my kids were toddlers again, and I had to work (inside or outside the home) to keep my family afloat, I think I would much rather my parents collaborate financially with us to buy a larger home and have them settle into their half of it, knowing they will be loved and cared for the rest of their days by family. They in turn could provide real accountability, proper character training, loving and consistent care to their grandchildren; which by the way, in days gone by used to provide a sense of value, contribution, and purpose for older folks.
Would the challenges of finding common ground, harmony, and learning how to care for one another sacrificially under one roof really be any worse than the stress and challenges families are experiencing as they work extra long and hard to afford God knows who and what to raise and shape their children that they never get to see and enjoy?
Do you think we have slid too far down the slippery slope of selfishness to bring this lifestyle back into fashion?
I would really like hear feedback and your view of pros and cons if we were to be more open to this option again as a society. Would you do it?