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3 Generations Under One Roof–Should I Move Out?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you've been looking for a sign to wait a little longer to move out, here it is! Many don't know what it's like to live in a three-generation household of only women. I live with my mom and my grandma (gram). Below are three common disagreements I've noticed happen pretty often!

#1: Work/Life balance

My grandmother and mother have varying opinions when it comes to balancing work and life.

My Mom

My mom graduated high school, went to CGEP for a term to become a nurse, realized biology wasn't for her, moved to Ottawa, then raised my brother and I almost always by herself. She did so while also working full-time as a project manager to afford daycare, food on the table, a roof over our head, and putting us in extracurricular activities--I'm really not sure how she managed it all!

My Grandma

My grandma, on the other hand, raised her children in a different way from what she had been raised to do from her upbringing: she grew up on a farm with eight siblings. She didn't graduate high school, but instead started to work at a factory where she met her husband (my grandfather). When she became pregnant, she stopped working altogether, and her husband became the only breadwinner of their home. She was a stay-at-home mom who raised her three kids while also being a volunteer at her children's elementary school so she could pass the time and always be near her kids if anything were to happen.

Both my mom and grandma feel like life happened how it was supposed to; they express nothing but gratitude and have no regrets for how they've handled situations in their past.

Me

I graduated high school and applied to five different universities and one college within anywhere from a 20-minute to a 12-hour drive away from home. I decided to accept the post-secondary school that would not only offer me a wide variety of opportunities and experiences and allow for me to keep my French immersion, but also be the easiest for me to get to and afford since I was paying my way through school. With that said, I went with the University of Ottawa, studying both Sociology and Communications in the French Immersion stream, and I don't regret that decision whatsoever! Although it hasn't been the easiest transition from high school to university given having to live through the global pandemic, experience many protests in the downtown area, and work a job that drained my energy just so I could afford continuing my education, I can say that I am very grateful to be a student at the University of Ottawa. I can't wait to learn more about myself (as well as my subjects of study), better my French skills, meet more new people, and make some memories!

All of that to say there are reoccurring disagreements that have risen in the past about my current work and life balance. Where my mom believes school and my social life are two of the most important things a person my age should focus on, my grandma believes that making money is very important in forming independence and setting me up for a good future. So, there's the first disagreement that we have, all because I believe that balancing all three of those things is needed for a woman's independence, not just one or the other.

#2: Kitchen rules

Our one and only rule in the kitchen is that no one's allowed in the kitchen if gram's in the kitchen! This is a blessing and a curse...

  • It's a blessing because her food always tastes amazing (after all, she has had years to perfect every family recipe).
  • It's a curse, however, because I may never learn to cook or bake until move out and experiment with cooking for myself!

Okay, so maybe being in the kitchen doesn't cause that big of a disagreement, but the vibes from gram definitely switch to being more silent and high-key judging every wrong step I make in the kitchen when I'm with her! I also don't mind not learning how to be in the kitchen right now either. It's a win-win because she prefers to do all things cooking and baking, and I have no need to cook or bake! But, that is a disagreement that our home tends to have always on the back burner (no pun intended), ready to be used because being in the kitchen is something that I'm not super confident with!

#3: Tv interests

You may have fought over the remote with your siblings, but have you ever fought over the remote with two hard-working, stubborn women from two different generations? My mom is home from a long day of work and all she wants to do is relax (understandable). My grandma had been cooking and baking all day to the point where she also wouldn't mind watching something on TV (also understandable). But why can we never agree on a show to watch?

My mom likes crime shows (like NCIS and Chicago Fire) that are on cable, while my grandmother enjoys watching CTV News at multiple different times during the day (also on cable). I, on the other hand, prefer watching comedies like Friends and New Girl, binge-worthy comfort shows, romance movies, horror films, and documentaries on platforms like Netflix, Crave, and Amazon Prime Video. As you can see, we have very different interests. You can imagine what it's like, then, when we're trying to figure out what to watch together!

Moral of the story

It may not be the most common group of people you'd see under one roof, but that's us: we're three generations who may argue a lot with one another, but we also learn a lot from each other, and we love and respect one another unconditionally.

At the end of the day, I'm grateful to be sharing a space with the two strongest women in my life and have learnt, along with the three common arguments we experience above, that varying views help us grow. So, I might just stick around for a bit longer, and you should, too!

I’m a third-year student at the University of Ottawa pursuing communications and sociology. I don’t know what I want to do for a living but I know that I love to write!
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