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Hello! Due to some unforseen circumstances, my SIL and her 3 kids (DD16, DS13, DD9) will be moving in with DH and I and our 3, soon to be 4 kids (DD14, DS12, DS3 and newborn next month) We live in a split level 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house, appx 1500 sq ft. This will probably be at least for the school year, so not temporary. I have questions regarding meals, sleeping arrangments, chores, ect...I'm thinking of putting the older girls (16 and 14) in one room (buying bunk beds), the 13 and 12 year old boys in another, and my SIL and her 9 year old in the nursery, and move my 3 year old and the baby into our room (yikes!). How do you fit 10 around a table? Do you have chore charts for the kids? They have come to visit a few times, but this will be their home now, and they will all be going to school, have homework, friends over, ect...I'm starting to STRESS big time! I'm very nervous about having so many people in my house with a newborn too. Any advice from BTDT moms? Thank you!
As someone who had opened her home to her SIL and her grown children (and paid a dear price for it) I am going suggest laying of ground rules up front. If you have a set bed time for kids, rules for where toys are or are not allowed, rules for ANYTHING at all, you need to make that none up front. If you don't want them eating anywhere but in the dining room, be sure they know that. If you expect them to pitch in around the house, help with utilities, etc make sure that is known ahead of time.
I will be honest and tell you I wouldn't do it ever again. Not ever. My adult nephew molested my (then 10 yr old) daughter, so the price in helping family was way way way to high for me to ever risk it again. MY family and MY children come first.
That being said, set rules up front. Chore chart absolutely. You might need a bigger table or set one for adults and one for kids or have all the kids at the table and the adults eat in the living room. Not ideal.. but you do what you have to do.
Planning planning planning. Plan all your meals, chores, laundry. We have 11 total in our family and I do 3-4 loads of laundry a day. You can't let it pile up. Kitchen cleaned after every meal. Assign pairs. You can make it work efficiently if you keep it simple and do it every day.
When baby comes have planned ahead who will be doing what. It could be great having your sil there to help out, take the lead, etc.
Good for you helping, but keep your eyes and ears wide open.
I would sit and talk with sil ahead of time and figure out rules, bedtimes,chores etc. together. I would put all boys in one room all girls in one room sil in her own and nb with you and your dh. If you don't want to buy a new or extra table, you could eat in shifts younger dc then older and or then adults.