Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

We have a much busier household than I ever imagined at this point. I assumed all my children being moved out, aside from my youngest at 15, with Dave and I wondering how to spend our time and what we would cook for three people instead of seven. Life had other ideas. It’s a good thing that we have a large house, because this is who is currently residing here: myself and my husband, Dave, our oldest daughter, her husband, my one-year-old granddaughter, my youngest son, and my youngest daughter. Needless to say, things get a little hectic in our three-generation household.

How do we juggle it all?

The most important part in navigating a three-generation household is to make sure that every voice is heard. It can be easy to get caught in the shuffle, and each one of us has had to compromise to make sure that everyone has what they need. Dave has one of the most difficult tasks, as he manages the kitchen and the very picky tastes of all who live here. Nonetheless, everyone has a meal that they can enjoy, and this is one of the rare times in the day that we all cram into the same space. Family time is valued, and we do try to sit down for a family movie when schedules allow.

We also prioritize individual time and space. It’s essential that we respect each other’s needs and wants, and with so many voices, it can be necessary to get away from it all. It’s not unusual for everyone to disappear into their own rooms, which is why family time is so important.

Everyone contributes.

With seven different schedules, it isn’t easy coordinating bathroom time, appointments, events, and more. We work together to support each other, whether that means my son-in-law picks up my daughter from school or Dave and I watching our granddaughter. Chores alternate between people and everyone cleans up after themselves.

There are so many benefits.

Despite the craziness of it all, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been lucky enough to get daily time with my first granddaughter, and she has the doting attention from several different adults that she adores. Dave and I are able to help our oldest daughter accomplish what her family needs, and she and her husband are around to keep the household standing when Dave and I want to take a mini-vacation.

A three-generation household is not easy, but this house is so full of love and laughter. I get more moments with my older children than I thought I would have, and I’m in no hurry to have an empty nest. There will come a time when our household is empty, and I will always cherish it being at maximum capacity, despite the stressful moments.