Second Chances Girl - a Miami family and lifestyle blog!: My High-Traffic Home

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My High-Traffic Home

My home is a high-traffic home. There are lots of people there all the time. That rare moment of quiet is cherished because with 4 adults, 3 kids, 3 dogs, 2 birds and 1 fish, there's always noise. Luckily, during the week there is only 1 child, Adrian,the others come for the weekend. Blue, the fish is a dream-come-true pet. He is not high-maintenance and he is quiet. We are Cuban, so we are LOUD. We are not screaming, we are just LOUD. We are also a big family (siblings, friends, nieces, nephews) so at any moment there could be 10-12 people in the house. Did  I mention we live in a townhouse? Yes, it's not like there is tons of space for that many people.

On a normal day, there's my mom, JC, my brother, Adrian, the three dogs and me walking/running around the house. There's lots of cleaning, lots of food, lots of laundry and lots of patience-pushing. My mom is over it already and says she is moving out on her own in January which means JC and I will have to find a place for us. Of course, us includes my brother. So pretty soon, we will be on the hunt for a new place. Well two, since we need to help my mom find a place of her own. She wants to live by the beach, so that should be fun.

To tell  you the truth, it would be weird to live by myself at this point. I have grown accustomed to this chaos. It's all about setting rules and boundaries.

1. Try to make space for everyone. 

 Establish some space for everyone. My mom has her own room, we have a room, Adrian has a room and       my brother has a room. We don't have enough bathrooms, so we share those, but at least, we have enough bedrooms. For the kids, they each have their own toys and space to store their toys. Sure they share and take each others toys, but for the most part, everyone has their own.

2. Everyone pays their way.

Our house is expensive. We are renters and the rental market in Miami is very expensive. We each contribute to the household bills in one way or another.

3. No Power-Trips

We try to be as equal as possible when it comes to running the house. Obviously, my mother has a hard time with this one. She likes to be in charge but slowly, she has had to give up the power stick. It's hard for her to realize we are adults. This is also hard when it comes to my son. She wants to be in charge of his upbringing, criticize all my decisions and here is where I lose it. I will put her in her place, because I am the mom. This is truly the hardest rule to follow in a multi-generational home.

4. Mind your business.

With so many people in such close proximity to each other, it's hard to have some privacy. One thing my mom is great at is staying out of my relationship with JC. She doesn't even offer "advice." Whatever goes on between us stays between us, unless I talk about it with my mom. Sometimes you do want "mom advice." Mostly, just mind your own business!

5. Get out as much as possible.

Really, just get out of the house for a while. Go to the park, to the movies, go somewhere. It is not healthy to be cooped up in a house all the time. Enjoy the outdoors when you can.

6. Know plans and intentions.

How long will you be living together? Ours has been a two-year situation which will be ending in January. Not knowing everyone's plans and intentions can be stressful. Have family meetings, discuss issues, be open about what is going on and what your plans are so everyone is on the same page.

Sure it's easier to establish rules than it is to follow them. They become guidelines. You can use these as guidelines to run your own "high-traffic home." It's not easy but it's do-able.

Do you live in a multi-generational or "high-traffic" home? How do you make it work?

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