Respect to all large numbered families who (constantly) live together under the same roof!
Due to my mom’s recent operation we have temporarily moved to my sisters house in order to help her recover. One big family. 5 Adults (one freshly operated, one recently retired), 5 kids (3 of them sick) and 2 dogs. In theory it was the only logical thing to do. In practice everything is different. This is my list of 10 things to remember when wanting to survive peacefully the cohabitation:
- ‘My way or the highway’ doesn’t really work. Finding equally good ways to do things is of utmost importance for the psychological well being of everyone involved.
- Be more forgiving and less criticising (that includes my no1 person at the moment, my mom).
- Be patient. Everyone is tired and cranky and exhausted. It would be great if we all had a bit more patience.
- Be understanding. She feels like shit so she should be ‘allowed’ to be a bit more difficult and edgy.
- Don’t be too hard on the kids. They are still there and they still have needs. Moaning and attention seeking are absolutely normal since our attention has shifted from them to our mom.
- Appreciate the food set on the table three times a day even if it does not meet everyone’s expectations. I honestly try to reach perfection while cooking but the million dollar question my oldest niece asked me when I served her schnitzel with (overcooked) rice: ‘is this Pluto’s and Micky’s – the dogs – rice?” kind of threw me back to reality! noone is perfect!
- There is actually not a lot of spare time when catering for a big family. Don’t forget that apart from the cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, ironing, caring for the pets, caring for the sick (adult and kids including), there is actually some time needed for caring for oneself. Shocking, right???
- Buying correct quantities of food at the supermarket actually saves you from needing to go to the supermarket every other day (5 tomatoes and 1 carton of milk really won’t do it).
- Be loving. One more hug actually does make the difference! Thank you N., my knight in shining armor!
- Sleep more and don’t watch a movie at night. Yeah, I know. This does not really work. Trust me. My sister and I are quite desperate to wind down after a long day and this is our way of winding down. Especially if it includes a pack of chips and some gummy bears!!