living with extended family

Discussion in 'Culture' started by dzurisova, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    This is taken from the post - Culture Shock. I started a new post so we wouldn't get yelled at for going off topic. :)

    Dannae, You asked why I wouldn't want to live with extended family.
    Well a # of reasons:

    1. enjoying my stages of life and not someone else's stage in life. Ex. I have 2 teenagers. I enjoyed the years when they were little and toys were scattered, nights were filled with little feet running around the house, etc. But I'm glad now to be out of those years and enjoying new experiences with my teens such as all of us watching a movie and there are no kids crying or trying to play with toys in the middle of movie, etc. It's a different time for me, I'm at a different stage in my life and want to enjoy that stage just as I enjoyed the time when they were little. My husband's adult daughter lived with us for a few months with her two young children and husband. My husband's daughter and I are VERY close - best friends. Yet, for ALL of us, there seemed to be NO relaxation. Her stuff was in storage (there's no room for it in our two story, 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom house). She allows her little ones to stay up till 10 or 11 when I wanted to just sit and relax with peace and quiet since I had work the next day; but I couldn't because a 4 year old was running around in circles playing and a baby was crying. There were always toys scattered in my living room and no matter how much I put them away, they were back in minutes. Now my house may have been just like that when my kids were little, but I'm past that now and have a different life and want to enjoy where I'm at presently. Also, she couldn't decorate her house the way she wanted cuz it was my house with my stuff. Perhaps my kids and I wanted to listen to music together and she and her kids wanted to watch TV - couldn't do both. Perhaps I wanted to veg out and just relax watching TV and her kids wanted to run and play - couldn't have both. They now have their own place and their own way to run the house. Her kids stay up as late as SHE wants them to and no one cares, its her house. She has toys where she wants them and who cares, its her house not mine and I don't have to live in it. She takes pride in decorating her home with her things. We are ALL MUCH happier.

    2. Each year, my husband's parents come from Czech Republic and stay a month with us. My mother-in-law is VERY sweet. I love her a lot. My father-in-law is also very sweet and a hard worker. We love the visit. Yet, I wouldn't want to live with them always nor they with us. She loves to sit on her couch after dinner and have a smoke or get up in the morning and sit at the table and smoke. I HATE smoking in the house. She likes pets - a dog & a cat. I HATE pets. I like to listen to music in my kitchen while cooking dinner each night. My music makes her nervous. She likes to keep up on the dishes so much that my husband says he can't finish a cup of coffee and if he walks away from it, she's dumped it and has the cup washed and put away. However, her obsession with dishes got to her as she had difficulty keeping up on 6 people vrs the 2 she is used to. She got upset that we should all wash our dishes as we use them. That's not how we do it in my house. After dinner each night, someone washes all the dishes (usually me) and they aren't washed again until after dinner the next night. Not a big deal for me but a big deal for her. She likes the South western look and her house is decorated nicely in that style for her. I would never want the south western look but enjoy my "old world" style. I love decorating my house, I take pride in it. So does she.

    So can you see why life is just so much more enjoyable for everyone when we each have our own home. Not to mention that when the kids are gone (my teenagers work and are in sports so they are gone often) you get quality alone time with your spouse. You can make love anywhere in the house you want (dining room table, where-ever), you can have candle light dinner, you can do whatever you want in the privacy of your OWN home.

    Now lets say your boys marry a woman that is different than you just like the differences I explained between my mother-in-law, my step-daughter, and myself. These aren't bad differences. Neither of us are right or wrong for our differences and neither of us should have to change our different opinions. After all, we only get one life to live so we should live it in our home the way we want to live it. As long as it's not hurting anyone else, why shouldn't we? So would it be so bad if your son's wife wanted her own place to raise her kids the way she and her husband wants, to decorate their own way, to choose to have pets or not have pets, to make love on the dining room table or living room floor? Is that really such a bad thing? As long as you live close by and see them often, will it be ok with you if the wife says "absolutely not, I'm not living with your parents"?
  2. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Off topic again: You don't look old enough to have teenagers!
  3. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Well I'm a young mom. I married at 18 and had my son at 20 and daughter at 21. -- then divorced at 28 - that's what happends when you marry so young. :)

    So now you know..... the rest of the story (Paul Harvey - a radio personality that shared behind the scenes type information regarding random things. His famous line is used when one gives more information that what is necessary)
  4. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Dzurisova, you are right in your remarks. I know everybody is different and everybody has a right to live his/her own life.

    I think I am different from you a bit. Since I grew up in a big family, I did not care that much when my mom redecorated my apartment. If I did not like it, I simply put everything back the way I liked it and this did not bother me at all. I know that more people living together brings more opportunities for tense.

    On the other hand if you have more people together and those people get used to live with little compromises, they get way closer.

    Sure, I also hated some habits of my parents and I am sure it was mutual but we simply talked about it and in the majority all was fine. When I was in my 20's and early 30', I also learned from them so many things I could not do so as a teenager (because as a teen "I knew it all").

    I simply meant that for the family is probably cool to live as close as possible - maybe the same roof with more apartments could be a way to go (separate kitchens and living rooms).

    See, for instance my mother-in-law is a sweet woman and very caring but on the other hand when I need some advice she either forgets or says I dot not want to tell you how to raise your kids. Not sure if this is the American way but it drives me crazy. I need her to tell me something like this "get your fat butt off the couch and start busting it a bit" :lol:.
  5. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    So its really all about what you want out of life. If you want to make small compromises because living together is worth the little things you have to give up or if you are happier living seperately so you don't have to give up the little things. I guess it all depends on what one wants out of life.

    I just pray that your sons future wives and you are able to come to an agreement about what it wanted/expected. :)
  6. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Dzurisova, I think so too.

    And to be tolerant - it is not just a matter of extended family - it can be your own husband/wife. For instance I know I drive my husband crazy because I talk Czech to kids and he does not understand (I already wrote about this). Or I want to watch Czech TV online and he feels left out. It is funny when I e.g. watch US movie in Czech (he's seen before) and he gives me comments on Czech dubbing like "it does not sound like Nicholas Cage" etc.

    I try to reduce watching Czech TV as much as possible but this is another example that - in my opinion - the whole life if full of compromises.

    P.S. If you tell me I can watch the same movie in English with my husband I will say right of the bet that for me is still 100% better to see the Czech version. I understand pretty much all English movies but I do not enjoy it that much; English is not my native language after all.

    Thank you for your nice wishes ... about my future daughters-in-law. Whatever happens, the "kids" need privacy, their own space (separate apartment etc.) and I know I am not the person who likes to intervene much. Well, not sure what happens in future but my 15-years old thinks that he might to join me in our family business and if he really does, it would be very impractical (nearly impossible) if he would have lived somewhere else.
  7. Petronela

    Petronela Well-Known Member

    I think there really is a middle way.
    I grew up in very small town in south Moravia and when it was time for kids to leave the nest they usually didn’t go too far. It was very common for the next generation to build an addition on their parents property.
    Two of my aunts build their houses as an additions flanking my grandma’s house turning it to a U-shaped building, but it really were three separate houses with shared driveway and back yard.
    When my best friend got married she done the same thing, building an addition to her in-law’s house turning it to L-shaped building but again only the back yard was shared.
    I don’t know if this is still being done these days, but during the communisms it was very common thing to do, at least in small towns/villages.
    It may have had something to do with land not being available for new construction, or being too expensive, or a way to sidestep some zoning laws, or just wanting to be close to your love once but still being your own boss. I don’t know. But similar scenario could be converted to American way of living by for example a family buying out all the houses on cul-de-sac so they could all live together yet separate….
  8. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of sharing a garden with family, you have to share it with nosy neighbors peeking over the fense/through the window anyway so you might as well be with family!
    Still I prefer Czech garden walls and fenses because at home hedges are usually 8 to 10 feet tall, a nightmare to cut, and they block out all the light from the garden!
  9. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    So it seems we all got to Rome - after all :lol: :lol: :lol:
  10. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

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