I am known for speaking my mind, and I tend to attract and build friendships with others who have undaunted opinions. So, I can’t say it surprised me when the friends and family in our lives responded to the news of my husband and I moving in with my parents, with phrases like, “I thought you had more pride than that”, “I would NEVER let my children backslide like that” or “Really? When are you going to grow up?”
Danny and I got married about 4 months ago, and quickly moved into our new home in St. Francis, Wisconsin. We loved it! However, Danny and I both had a deep seeded desire to live in the country and employ permaculture design on a larger scale. Upon expressing our dreams one day, my parents mentioned that we could move in with them and live on their 6 acre lot in Mukwonago. I can’t say that fear and indifference didn’t cross my mind when we started to consider the invitation, but after analyzing the situation and all of the pros and cons, I quickly realized it was solely my misguided pride, built by a skewed culture, that hesitated at such a move.
Because of this culturally built idea that living with your parents reveals some sort of failure to launch or lack of success, I have decided to give my take on it from a ‘permaculture’ or ‘abundant sustainable living’ standpoint. Here are 5 reasons my husband and I are enthusiastically moving in with my parents.
In order to fairly express these points, I think it is necessary to know that my husband and I can afford to live on our own. We have absolutely NO debt (no loans, no mortgages, no outstanding payments, no credit card debt…etc) And while neither of us have high paying careers, we save more money than we spend. We have lived extremely frugally and we both have a minimalist approach, when it comes to spending money. So all of my reasons are solely based on DESIRE rather than NEED, and yet it should be noted that need does not negate the positive effects stated below.
- Personal Efficiency: There are so many tasks that can be shared when 4 people are living in a house, versus 2. Something as simple as taking the time to make breakfast. 1 person can make breakfast, while 3 are able to be productive in their own schedules, and then a different person can do the dishes to give someone else extra time. Tasks like getting groceries, cleaning, or carpooling are all easier with more people. Everyone’s time becomes more productive when they are working together.
- Greener: The idea of taking two couples and putting them in the same house allows us to cut down on our environmental footprint. By existing in the same house, heat, electricity, water, and food can all be shared.
- Saving Money: Now, I already mentioned that my husband and I do not have any debt (Praise God). But we are definitely not ‘wealthy’. We are at a perfect point in our lives to save money. By moving in with my parents, we are saving money on rent, internet, electricity, and heat every month!
While we are helping with bills and food here at my parent’s home, it is SIGNIFICANTLY less than we were paying. IN fact, we have figured that we are saving about $1,000 every month WHILE helping my parents offset their monthly expenses. #winning.
- Traveling Freedom: Traveling has ALWAYS been an important part of my life. When Danny and I were considering the various trips we wanted to take, we realized it is hard to leave our home and various chores (like taking care of our jungle) behind. Likewise, my parents hardly EVER travel for long periods, because they have always had horses that need to be fed morning and night and rental properties to tend to. NOW, Danny and I are able to plan month long trips or spontaneous vacations without worrying about heating a house for nothing, or losing our microgreens and other plants. My parents are also able to plan long trips and vacations, knowing they have someone to take care of their animals and properties.
- Time: My parents are in their sixties and while they are aging beautifully, and I expect them to stay healthy and vibrant for many years, I am not willing to take opportunities to be with them for granted. I have not “lived” at home for longer than a summer vacation since I was 18 years old! I am loving the opportunity to see my parents daily and experience life with them again. I can help them with technology and keep them strong and fit by making them workouts. Furthermore, my husband also thoroughly enjoys his time with them and I love watching him and my father learn from each other. We are able to do nightly prayers together, and discuss what we are learning from the Scriptures. We eat meals together, try new recipes, take walks, and discuss our adventures and dreams. This time is precious and meaningful to me!
I am hoping to catalog this process. An intentional community with family and different generations can be risky, but I am optimistic and I plan to blog about the entire experience. Stay tuned 🙂 (And pray for us ;))