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Anyone have experience with keeping families seperate under one roof...

walfredo's picture

Curious what the groups thoughts on this are...

We seem to have settled on the basic idea, that it is both easier and better to punt on trying to make one blended family unit be a goal, and instead keep the existing 2 that moved in.  We have seperate dinners, seperate activities etc...  We take as many or more couples trips, and existing family trips each, then we do blended family trips.

There are numerous reasons for this, but the primary catalyst I beleive is her sons autism, ADHD, mood disorders etc make it impossible for group functioning on a routine basis to be anything other then exhausting and terrible. The other probably biggest catalyst is I have 3 kids of varying ages 11, 8, and 3 and it just truly requires a lot more time and work, and if we tried to make a setup where responsibilites are even, that would mean shifting a bunch of stuff from me to her.

We both believe we have the ability to make special outings, group activities, and/or a family vacation work from time to time, but the daily stuff, or making it our primary group setting just isn't gong to happen.  

As a couple, we get along really well, and I'm just curious if this is batshit crazy or not.  I love spending time with my kids, and I love spending time with her.  I tolerate the big group, probably better then she does... but I can say with honesty it is far from my favorite thing to do.

Anyone have experience trying a setup similar to this?  Advice?

ESMOD's picture

My thoughts are if it works for you.. it works.  Blending can be hard.. forcing people to interract. You must have a decent sized house to accomplish this without people tripping all over each other.

Alternately.. you could actually live in separate homes.. or even a duplex?  

Survivingstephell's picture

Buy a duplex and each side lives separately.  You can join forces when it's convenient.  

walfredo's picture

This is a good idea, and I do think with 20/20 hindsight we would have just maintained separate residences and moved her closer to us and her sons school. 

Unwinding the decision to buy this house while staying together I don't think is an option, it just gets too complicated. 

Nearly all of our problems stem from cohabitation and specifically each other's kids while cohabitating.  What we are doing now was not the plan prior to joining homes.  I'm fairly certain I would have said no if it was.  With that said, it does seem to work better then what we planned for everyone's sanity.  

I think if we had all middle schoolers and this was 6 year plan I could get more optimistic. Raising kids is what I'm doing the next 15 years, and partnering with someone who is allergic to interacting with them is hard for me to accept as the best course for me as a parent of them.



Rags's picture

If one is incapable of integrating and being a reasonable part of the whole,  adjust that part out enough to minimuthe negative impact.

How about a visitation shed  in the back yard?  A modification of the granny shed concept.  The bio parent of the toxic visitor can head to the shed with the toxic visitor during visitation leaving every one else in peace. It can be a nice place. Calm, peaceful, separate.

A nice quiet place for the toxic visitor and their parent to deal with the toxic stuff.  Think tiny house.