People tend to approach multi-family living with curiosity and intimidation. This is the start of our third week of multi-family living. If I had to stress only one thing, I’d say it should be grace.
When people have their own space, they begin to develop norms that other people may not be used to. This can vary from leaving the sponge wet on the sink, to how hot the thermostat should be set. As an American, the American dream is taught early. Even though my family did not fully subscribe to the expensive car, home and pet, I was surrounded by it when growing up. The neighbor was proud of their new SUV, regurgitating much of what the salesman had told them. The grocery store boasted how you deserved organic food. Those other people lived below the dream…maybe they didn’t know what it was?
There’s nothing wrong with having your own space. What I am communicating is that sometimes the American dream belief is so strong, that anything different is rejected due to being different.
Here are some things I’ve noticed:
- Living together doesn’t mean you are always together. Interestingly, work schedules are not always the same and people are not home every day of the week. On average, we have two weeknights to ourselves, and 1 weekend day.
- Living together does mean that you are consistently aware of the existence of other people in the home. This means that you need to be extra gracious in keeping areas clean, and not mess with other people’s stuff. So an example of this is that this morning the cat almost hopped on the wife and my bed. We don’t own cats…we go off and on with being allergic. When attempting to shoe him away, the cat wouldn’t let me push him out. So I picked him up, put him out of the room and closed the door. This all happened while the baby was asleep. The old me would have put him out of the house and complained about him all day.
- Married people still have sex in this situation. Not sure more needs to be said.
- A person being in your area becomes normal. This is completely foreign to the American dream. However, you get used to it.
- Life is less dull. More things go on in the house. I can still rest during down time. It is nice though that quick babysitting is more available for a few minutes.
There are more observations to come. Living in a multi-family home is not for everyone or the faint of heart.