"What a modern family really looks like."

What I and most families have to do. 

I am 29-years-old and currently living with my parents-in-law.

It’s exactly where I wanted to be at my stage of life (not) with a husband and two children but for us, it was the only option if we ever want own our own home in a suburb we love.

We wanted the Australian dream. Nothing fancy; but a house none the less. A house with a little bit of land that our children could run around on and play. Something that we could call our own with our own bins and letterbox.

The reality of owning your own home is getting further away for a lot of young families Image: Istock

The cost of housing is scary we didn't know how we could own a big enough house on a family budget.

Then my in-laws came to us with an offer. "Move in with us," they said. "You'll be able to save for a place."

We graciously accepted. And moved our family out of the area we loved and more than an hour away from our community and friends.

We weren't alone. Four friends of ours had already done the same; moved back home with their parents. All of which are married and with a young family of their own. All describe it as a necessary step to getting what they wanted in the future. So we did the same.


It's been ten months since we moved in and to say it's been an adjustment period would be a great understatement.

It's a very different life, living in someone else's house. With young children you are aware of the mess they create, the noise that follows them everywhere and the way you need to adapt everything you to do fit in to a new household. Everyone had their ways of doing things and it's tricky not to step on toes, especially when it's not your own parents. It's not easy, on anyone.

My in-laws are great. But I am sure they envisioned their 60's being a lot quieter.

What happens when you move in with your parents, or the in-laws, relationships get blurred.

One example, is a grandparents role is to love and spoil their grandchild, seeing them regularly but not enough to have to stand in and be the main disciplinarian. But when you are all under the same house, you can find 'Nan' struggling on whether she should draw the line with misbehaving grandkids.

But that, and all the other downsides, is just now a part of modern parenting life.

These days it's not uncommon for young families to be living in a multigenerational house hold. 2013 census data indicates that 1/5 Australian's are living in a similar arrangement (1/4 in Sydney) which is an increase of almost one million people (30% of the population) since 1986.

That is an awful lot of mixed households.

And almost all of them blame finances. Whether it is owning or even just renting.

And our parents, the ones who should be sipping mojitos at 4pm, are either letting us take over their retirement or buying uas a home or land.

Luckily, we are at the end of our 'modern parenting life' with finally having scrapped enough to purchase a home. And if it wasn't for my in-laws, it wouldn't have been possible. We feel so fortunate that they would want to help us out in such a significant way and know that not everyone has that opportunity.

Are you living with your parents? How are you finding it? 

Want more? Try:

“Don’t judge me but… I don’t want my mum living with us.”

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