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RoseRed135

The multigenerational household -pluses and minuses

121 posts in this topic

In T Ball they don't keep score.  Some how you get a sense of which team has won.  You don't have to keep "score" to tell who is winning.

I think that telling someone not to keep score is pretty dismissive of the OPs feelings.   ETA- Especially when the game seems to be rigged.

Edited by skipped
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But...the leading score in the first inning isn't always the winner.

IMHO...it is how gramps plays the rest of the innings whether or not he can come out the winner or not.

Is winning what he really wants or does he just want to have fun playing the game?

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Some people don't realize that what they're doing is actually keeping score. All they know is that they feel neglected & rejected.

 

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28 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

But...the leading score in the first inning isn't always the winner.

IMHO...it is how gramps plays the rest of the innings whether or not he can come out the winner or not.

Is winning what he really wants or does he just want to have fun playing the game?

1) I think you have to realize you are loosing in order to make changes to come out the winner, so you do have to be somewhat aware of the score (basically what Komorebi said)  and 2) I don't think most people have fun if they are getting clobbered.

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10 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I got an unexpected meal invitation (I had already eaten), so I didn't have to go through the front door.  I went up and had dessert with them and discussed a couple of topics.  One was an open invitation for any of them to visit my living-room at any time.  My DIL was responsive, but my DS was strangely silent, not one word the whole time.  I wonder if he is reading all this.  I am using his WiFi and going through his parental controls.

Glad you got the "unexpected meal invitation!" And that you got a chance to extend your open invite to your home. Good, too, that "DIL was responsive."

The fact that DS was so totally silent does seem strange. I take it he's not usually like that? Granted, he could have simply been tired after work, etc.

Is it possible, though, that he's more into the strict boundaries than DIL? Or that he realized that you're hoping the open invitation will be reciprocated and DIL didn't?

Or could he be reading this thread, as you wonder? I suppose it's possible since you're "using his WIFI, etc." It could be the reason for the sudden dinner invite, too, I suppose. But maybe not.

IMO, if DS is going to a website you frequent and reading what he feels are your comments (he can't know, for sure, of course), that's a breech of - guess what? - privacy. But. on the bright side,maybe it has given them a greater understanding of how you feel (if he is, in fact, reading it). Again, if he's reading here, I hope his silence didn't indicate any upset or anger. But if he were upset or angry, then why the dinner invite?

That's all just speculation though. Chances are, DS isn't reading your material anymore than you would go on a site that he frequents and read his.

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29 minutes ago, skipped said:

1) I think you have to realize you are loosing in order to make changes to come out the winner, so you do have to be somewhat aware of the score (basically what Komorebi said)  and 2) I don't think most people have fun if they are getting clobbered.

The problem I see is that ds doesn't see himself as 'clobbering' anyone. In fact, Grampsx9 stated he doesn't believe that anything is malicious nor deliberate.

Some of the most unhappy folks I know of keep score. How much time x spends doing y. I don't get as much time as x spends on y. If X has time for this, why am I not getting ____.

Relationships aren't supposed to be a game. There isn't supposed to be a winner/loser. If you see relationships as a competition, that's going to lead to serious problems.

Doesn't matter if the relationship is friends, marriage, parents, inlaws. Keeping a list of who did what and tallying what you feel you're owed is seldom going to lead to positive feelings or a healthy relationship. Things wax and wane, go through cycles. Sometimes you give more, sometimes the other person does. It's just human nature and life.

I don't see 3x a week as getting 'clobbered'. I do think that Grampsx9 needs to talk to his ds and DIL about his expectations, hear what theirs are, and take it from there, to see if this is workable, long term or not.

10 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Glad you got the "unexpected meal invitation!" And that you got a chance to extend your open invite to your home. Good, too, that "DIL was responsive."

The fact that DS was so totally silent does seem strange. I take it he's not usually like that? Granted, he could have simply been tired after work, etc.

Is it possible, though, that he's more into the strict boundaries than DIL? Or that he realized that you're hoping the open invitation will be reciprocated and DIL didn't?

Or could he be reading this thread, as you wonder? I suppose it's possible since you're "using his WIFI, etc." It could be the reason for the sudden dinner invite, too, I suppose. But maybe not.

IMO, if DS is going to a website you frequent and reading what he feels are your comments (he can't know, for sure, of course), that's a breech of - guess what? - privacy. How is that possible, when this is a public message board? There's no passwords needed, it's not like his ds is breaking into his email. Anyone can read here, without an account.  But. on the bright side,maybe it has given them a greater understanding of how you feel (if he is, in fact, reading it). Again, if he's reading here, I hope his silence didn't indicate any upset or anger. But if he were upset or angry, then why the dinner invite?

That's all just speculation though. Chances are, DS isn't reading your material anymore than you would go on a site that he frequents and read his. 

Edited by ImpishMom

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About score-keeping - No doubt, members here often advise against it when, say, a GP is comparing how often they see their GC to how often someone else sees the GC (the other GPs, family friends, etc.). Usually, it's futile and frustrating b/c they can't know for sure what the dynamics w/ the other people are, and they can't do much about it, anyhow.

Gramps isn't doing that - instead, he's comparing how much he saw DS and family before the move to how it is now. And, of course, he knows exactly what the difference is in the frequency and the length of visits, etc.

Yes, IMO, he is still tallying a kind of score, but as Komo says, that's b/c he's noticed a shift. IMO, it's very "normal" of him to notice it. And I don't think he can help having feelings about what he sees.

I'm glad, though, @GrampsX9 that you appreciate the shift may be, largely, a result of the change of seasons and start of the school year. School may also be impacting the length of the visits, as there is probably a schedule to be followed, regarding finishing HW, bedtime, etc. The fact that the shirt began before school started may simply reflect the demands of moving. Maybe not, but, hopefully, so.

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19 hours ago, JanelleK said:

We will paint the walls sunny warm bisque and stain the concrete a warm brown.

My basement colors exactly.  There is an advantage to the painted concrete -- It is easy to clean.

As for the wall colors, although they are a good choice, without much sunlight entering the apartment it will seem dark.  For example, in the room where I am typing now, I have a table lamp on in one corner, and the opposite corner is dark.  Artificial light doesn't seem to travel far.  Even in daytime, unless I turn on all my lights, hallways and windowless rooms are almost pitch dark.

Edited by GrampsX9
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IMO, if DS is going to a website you frequent and reading what he feels are your comments (he can't know, for sure, of course), that's a breech of - guess what? - privacy. How is that possible, when this is a public message board? There's no passwords needed, it's not like his ds is breaking into his email. Anyone can read here, without an account.

Point taken, @ImpishMom Perhaps "breech of privacy" was a poor choice of words. But, for example, if I'm babysitting at YDD's and she lets me use her computer (as she generally does), I wouldn't think of going on a forum site she frequents and reading her posts. Nor have I ever known of her doing that vice versa either (not that I think she'd object to anything I've said). And, IMO, in a scenario where there has apparently been some tension, I don't think it's necessarily the best move to make. Also, it just doesn't seem to me to go together w/ the business of trying to establish boundaries.

But, in Gramps' case, if this is what has happened, it may have led to something positive for him (Gramps) - the additional dinner invite. Also, if DS is reading here, I hope he realizes that many people need a place to vent their feelings. And that it's probably better for a parent/PIL/GP to vent them here than to unload on their AC and CIL. 

Again, however, chances are, DS isn't reading here at all.

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17 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

IMO, if DS is going to a website you frequent and reading what he feels are your comments (he can't know, for sure, of course), that's a breech of - guess what? - privacy. How is that possible, when this is a public message board? There's no passwords needed, it's not like his ds is breaking into his email. Anyone can read here, without an account.

Point taken, @ImpishMom Perhaps "breech of privacy" was a poor choice of words. But, for example, if I'm babysitting at YDD's and she lets me use her computer (as she generally does), I wouldn't think of going on a forum site she frequents and reading her posts. Nor have I ever known of her doing that vice versa either (not that I think she'd object to anything I've said). And, IMO, in a scenario where there has apparently been some tension, I don't think it's necessarily the best move to make. Also, it just doesn't seem to me to go together w/ the business of trying to establish boundaries.

But, in Gramps' case, if this is what has happened, it may have led to something positive for him (Gramps) - the additional dinner invite. Also, if DS is reading here, I hope he realizes that many people need a place to vent their feelings. And that it's probably better for a parent/PIL/GP to vent them here than to unload on their AC and CIL. 

Again, however, chances are, DS isn't reading here at all.

I could see someone having something pop up in the url bar and wondering what it was. But it would seem to me that using wifi wouldn't allow access to that sort of thing. I honestly don't know. I never thought to check and see if I could access wifi history, vs computer history. (Yes, I totally check computer history when my kids have been on, to ensure that they didn't mess around instead of being on approved sites for school work)

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22 hours ago, ImpishMom said:

Honestly, I think you'd be happier if you quit keeping score. Everyone's trying to find a 'new normal', and you're counting hours. I just don't see how this is going to make you happy in the long run.

As a couple of members pointed out, it's human to remember the past and compare it to the present.  We're not robots with erasable memories.  When you make a deal with someone, don't you compare their performance to your expectations?

But at its core, my situation is best described not in those terms, but in terms of the frustration that I feel when, day after day, I hear the footsteps and voices of my family above me, and I cannot even go up the inner stairs, open the door, and say "Hi".

Edited by GrampsX9

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Maybe I'll buy a megaphone and say Hi without opening the door.

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8 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

Maybe I'll buy a megaphone and say Hi without opening the door.

LOL! Good that you have a sense of humor about this!

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I can't criticize anyone's privacy needs no matter how extreme- But those needs need to be expressed when discussing living arrangements prior to the move, not after- Laying down such laws after a move is clear cut manipulation disguised as a healthy boundary- Bait and switch-

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6 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

I can't criticize anyone's privacy needs no matter how extreme- But those needs need to be expressed when discussing living arrangements prior to the move, not after- Laying down such laws after a move is clear cut manipulation disguised as a healthy boundary- Bait and switch-

Not when it seems neither of them discussed it beforehand. They might be as surprised by Grampsx9 expectations as he was by theirs.

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16 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

Maybe I'll buy a megaphone and say Hi without opening the door.

"Winchester Cathedral you're bringing me down .. "  :)

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3 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Not when it seems neither of them discussed it beforehand. They might be as surprised by Grampsx9 expectations as he was by theirs.

A person can't discuss a behavioral shift that had yet to happen- They can discuss it now, after it has happened-

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29 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

As a couple of members pointed out, it's human to remember the past and compare it to the present.  We're not robots with erasable memories.  When you make a deal with someone, don't you compare their performance to your expectations?

But at its core, my situation is best described not in those terms, but in terms of the frustration that I feel when, day after day, I hear the footsteps of my family above me, and I cannot even go up the inner stairs, open the door, and say "Hi".

The problem I see is that the expectations were silent. Did they know that you having open access to their living space, their family time, was your expectation? Did you know that they expected to have their own space and you'd need to be invited?

That's what I mean by mismatched expectations.

Don't get me wrong. I feel badly for you. For *all* of you. And I really do hope that you guys can figure out a way that this living arrangement can work out. I can see both sides, very clearly.

You thought that you would be sharing a home. They thought they were sharing a building. You thought you'd be included as a part of their every day lives. They thought you'd each continue your independent lives.

Neither of those ideas are wrong. Unfortunately, they clash, and likely to end up in resentment if not sorted through. You'll resent paying a mortgage and living in the basement if things keep going as they are. They'll resent losing privacy and autonomy if they have an open door policy.

I really have no clue how the heck to sort this out. It seems that what you want/expect is completely the other end of things from where they're at, and I don't see a way to meet in the middle. You suggested a compromise of a chair in the living room, but as others have pointed out, that means they have no privacy b/c you could be there at any time. You spend time w/them 3x a week, but I'm not clear on if it's the brevity of the visits that bother you, or that you thought it would be more than the 4x a week than before, or both. Or something else.

1 minute ago, Komorebi said:

A person can't discuss a behavioral shift that had yet to happen- They can discuss it now, after it has happened-

No, but they could have, and, imo, *should* have discussed expectations about spending time together, visits, etc. That way, it would have been clear what the disparity in views were, and both parties could have made an informed decision about moving in together.

I'm betting that if Grampsx9 knew that he wasn't going to be a daily part of their lives, he would've thought twice about buying the house, if not decided against it altogether, if he knew that "I hear the footsteps of my family above me, and I cannot even go up the inner stairs, open the door, and say "Hi"."

I'm also betting that if his ds or DIL knew that he would want to be popping in at any time, they would also have reconsidered moving in together, since their privacy appears to matter to them.

Again, neither Gramps nor his ds/DIL are *wrong* to have had the expectations they did/do. The problem is, nobody talked about them before hand.

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5 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Again, neither Gramps nor his ds/DIL are *wrong* to have had the expectations they did/do. The problem is, nobody talked about them before hand.

B/c it probably didn't occur to either Gramps or DS/DIL that they had different expectations. A common mistake, I'm afraid.

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15 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

The problem I see is that the expectations were silent. Did they know that you having open access to their living space, their family time, was your expectation? Did you know that they expected to have their own space and you'd need to be invited?

That's what I mean by mismatched expectations.

Don't get me wrong. I feel badly for you. For *all* of you. And I really do hope that you guys can figure out a way that this living arrangement can work out. I can see both sides, very clearly.

You thought that you would be sharing a home. They thought they were sharing a building. You thought you'd be included as a part of their every day lives. They thought you'd each continue your independent lives.

Neither of those ideas are wrong. Unfortunately, they clash, and likely to end up in resentment if not sorted through. You'll resent paying a mortgage and living in the basement if things keep going as they are. They'll resent losing privacy and autonomy if they have an open door policy.

I really have no clue how the heck to sort this out. It seems that what you want/expect is completely the other end of things from where they're at, and I don't see a way to meet in the middle. You suggested a compromise of a chair in the living room, but as others have pointed out, that means they have no privacy b/c you could be there at any time. You spend time w/them 3x a week, but I'm not clear on if it's the brevity of the visits that bother you, or that you thought it would be more than the 4x a week than before, or both. Or something else.

No, but they could have, and, imo, *should* have discussed expectations about spending time together, visits, etc. That way, it would have been clear what the disparity in views were, and both parties could have made an informed decision about moving in together.

I'm betting that if Grampsx9 knew that he wasn't going to be a daily part of their lives, he would've thought twice about buying the house, if not decided against it altogether, if he knew that "I hear the footsteps of my family above me, and I cannot even go up the inner stairs, open the door, and say "Hi"."

I'm also betting that if his ds or DIL knew that he would want to be popping in at any time, they would also have reconsidered moving in together, since their privacy appears to matter to them.

Again, neither Gramps nor his ds/DIL are *wrong* to have had the expectations they did/do. The problem is, nobody talked about them before hand.

It appears to me that resentment has already begun to set in- But it could be nipped in the bud if Gramps takes the initiative to gently communicate his concerns to his son-

Set aside expectations for a moment and consider intent and what his family "was" aware of before the move:

A man with health concerns, that his family was aware of, purchases a home for them all to live in- He carries the mortgage, they pay the utilities- After the closing, the man is asked to spend the majority of his days and nights in the basement -- in "his" space- Now, just going on what the family "was" aware of in advance, who does that?

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8 hours ago, Komorebi said:

It appears to me that resentment has already begun to set in- But it could be nipped in the bud if Gramps takes the initiative to gently communicate his concerns to his son-

Set aside expectations for a moment and consider intent and what his family "was" aware of before the move:

A man with health concerns, that his family was aware of, purchases a home for them all to live in- He carries the mortgage, they pay the utilities- After the closing, the man is asked to spend the majority of his days and nights in the basement -- in "his" space- Now, just going on what the family "was" aware of in advance, who does that?

Uh, pretty much everyone that's ever had an arrangement that includes a home w/an inlaw apartment? They're *usually* in the basement.

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Hubby and I are retired.  We have lived in 1200 sq ft for 40 years.  We watch many Home Shows and look at websites online for "large" houses between 4000 and 8000 ft. just dreaming...you know...what IF we won the lotto etc.

For some reason if my Mom, an AC and family or even a college age GC should ever move in with us.  I would love for them to have their own space whether it would be we forfeit a space in my present home OR a space in a large home.  I can't imagine wanting my own chair in their space, but that doesn't mean their wouldn't be extra chairs in my space for company.

I get bored now and I am not in a basement.  Get out and volunteer, heck if you are physically healthy get a part time job.  Entertain yourself.

And yes, I have lived in a basement apartment twice and also regular apartments...I can't really say one was any better or worse than the other, but I am a country girl at heart.  I had a stroke about a month ago and many days I feel like a prisoner in my own body.  I can't clean house or work in the yard.  Setting at the computer, watching TV, my yard work is getting a mow every once and awhile by my DD and I am "being lazy with my feet propped up" as told by the doc except for the 30 minute walk I am taking each morning as instructed, but I perfectly satisfied with a couple of hour visit once a week if my AC can squeeze it into their schedule.

 

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When the overall health of the individuals entering into living situations are "considered", the general attitude is one of inclusion, not seclusion-  Anyone who moves closer for reasons other than to be closer has an agenda or intentions of another kind-

 

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49 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

Hubby and I are retired.  We have lived in 1200 sq ft for 40 years.  We watch many Home Shows and look at websites online for "large" houses between 4000 and 8000 ft. just dreaming...you know...what IF we won the lotto etc.

For some reason if my Mom, an AC and family or even a college age GC should ever move in with us.  I would love for them to have their own space whether it would be we forfeit a space in my present home OR a space in a large home.  I can't imagine wanting my own chair in their space, but that doesn't mean their wouldn't be extra chairs in my space for company.

I get bored now and I am not in a basement.  Get out and volunteer, heck if you are physically healthy get a part time job.  Entertain yourself.

And yes, I have lived in a basement apartment twice and also regular apartments...I can't really say one was any better or worse than the other, but I am a country girl at heart.  I had a stroke about a month ago and many days I feel like a prisoner in my own body.  I can't clean house or work in the yard.  Setting at the computer, watching TV, my yard work is getting a mow every once and awhile by my DD and I am "being lazy with my feet propped up" as told by the doc except for the 30 minute walk I am taking each morning as instructed, but I perfectly satisfied with a couple of hour visit once a week if my AC can squeeze it into their schedule.

 

And the reason you are in the situation you are in is because you are being "cared for" because your health is being "considered"- Nobody is keeping you at arms length, the person closest to you has made the necessary adjustments to the change in the living situation- (I say that based on what you yourself have expressed)  Even you yourself are caring for you by following instructions and allowing your body to do what bodies need to do to heal- 

But will volunteering, or finding a job, or hobby or two address the matter being discussed in this thread? No, it won't- When my grand daughter fell and got a big ole strawberry on her thigh from sliding across the pavement nobody applied disinfectant to her foot and then proceed to bandage her elbow-

Pretending a situation doesn't exist doesn't make it go away-

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And addressing it head on doesn't always "fix" it either. 

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