We Want to Move
My wife and I have been married 55 years, raised five children and are comfortably retired. We are 80 years old and ready to give up our home. I am no longer able to maintain the yard the way I once did, and we do not need all of the rooms that my wife cleans. We could do just fine with a smaller place and less land. The thing is, we live in the home our children grew up in. Holidays are such joyous times, and the children would not want us to leave "their" home.
What is the best way to handle the situation and, ultimately, the transition?
First of all, the saying, "Once a parent, always a parent,” applies here. Throughout your married lives, you two have made decisions in the best interest of your family, and those decisions were not always popular with the children. You may have decided to serve balanced meals instead of Fruit Loops for every meal, insisted on a curfew, or demanded no drinking and driving. Parents make decisions that are not always democratic, but necessary. That is all you are doing here.
Your children want nothing to change regarding your home. We all want that to a certain extent because there is nothing like the comfort of home. Respect their feelings, talk about memories with them, take lots of pictures and have a gathering in the home. Honor those good times in your home, and revel in the fact that the children have such fond memories of growing up.
By moving, you are actually giving your children and yourselves some freedom. Think of it as a gift to them. It sounds like you are at the point where the family homestead is simply a bit too much for you to maintain. If you were to stay, how soon will it be until you need the children to maintain your home for you? Maybe there are other places you would rather live that are better suited to your stamina and interests. Your children need to hear that.
It may be best to tell the all children at once because telling the story over and over again gets tiring. The children all receive the same message this way, and there is less opportunity for interpretation errors. However, remember that you have thought about this a while. They will be hearing it for the first time, which may cause some shock. Be firm and kind. You know what the best setting is for you and your spouse.
While it is the end of one era for your family, it is also the beginning of another. Make sure to select a home that is best suited to your spouse and you. Try to avoid settling for anything. Find what you want. If holidays are important, look for a big dining room to fit your family. If your yard is too big, find a house with a smaller one. You know what will meet your needs, a place that you can manage with as much or as little assistance as you desire. The children will be fine once they accept the fact that you have made a decision.
I wish you the best with this situation.
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