Recently, I’ve heard and read several discussions about married couples living with or near their parents, and although I think I’ve already written about this subject once, right now I have no possibility to re-read it, so I beg your pardon if I’m repeating what I already said.
There is, of course, a plus in living near one’s parents, especially if they are elderly and frail and need their children’s help. There’s love, friendship and lifelong closeness. Also, the grandchildren, of course, benefit from having their grandparents near and really involved in their lives, not merely visiting a couple of times a year.
However there’s the danger of the parents/in-laws becoming excessively involved in their married children’s private life; sometimes with the best intentions, parents pry into their children’s marriages, the way they run their home and finances, the way they raise their children. It can become a real source of conflict, and far more difficult to bear when opinions clash on a daily basis.
I’m not saying the parents’ experience is not worth listening to, but I do believe that young couples/parents, especially in the first few years of marriage/parenthood, need the necessary space to develop as a new, unique family and a set of parents.
There is also another side of the coin, of adult married children living near their parents and continuing to rely too much on their parents’ help, always asking their mother to prepare dinner for them to take away to their homes, counting on her to become a free babysitter 24\7. And I really do think that in the grandparents’ stage of life, they should be allowed more to enjoy their grandchildren, in a way of less commitment and work, and more carefree time spent together at their leisure. I also believe the parents of adult children should have more time for their own pursuits – the mother of a thirty-year-old married son isn’t supposed to cook meals for him to pick up every evening.
As in many cases in life, “it all depends”. Some people are just so wonderfully tactful they can live together or very near, and avoid frictions. Most of us aren’t angels. I’m of the opinion that in most cases, a bit more space won’t go amiss.