We are Family…

… and I got all my sisters with me.

Well, my (one) sister.

Yesterday, my little sister Francesca moved in with Pete and I. She was a student in Birmingham and after graduation worked there too, but when all her friends decided to start moving for their jobs or to be closer to family, she decided she wanted to do the same and chose Manchester. Of course I’m a little biased, but I reckon she made a great choice 😉 Her plan is to buy a house but the market here is competitive and to really stand a chance, she needs to be here and available for viewings. Rather than get locked into a rental contract, we suggested she live here with us for a while and save some money while she scouts about for the right property.

I say ‘we’ and thankfully it wasn’t a decision I had to work hard to get Pete on board with. Pete and Francesca are thankfully close, after all he has been in her life for 12 years now (since she was 14!) but still, after I suggested she move in with us, I realised I should probably have consulted him first. When I confessed to having asked her already, he laughed and said he had already asked her too!

It has been 13 years since I last lived with Francesca, in fact I didn’t ever see us living together again. In that time, our relationship has changed immeasurably. Instead of a university age young adult older sister and barely teenage younger sister, we are now both independent working adults. The huge gap between us that always existed due to age has closed and we have so much more in common. Now she is not just my sister, but my friend.

Still, I’m apprehensive about the move. Our house is small, (sometimes it feels too small for Pete and I to co-exist in together!) but for three of us it will be a real squeeze. Diplomacy and consideration are going to be key and I forsee a few deep breaths being required – Here’s hoping my added years have brought patience with them! I’m excited though, to add another girl to my gang of friends that I’m so lucky to have around me. And I’m happy to that I can be there for Francesca as she makes such a big step, moving to a new city, starting a new job. I know I’m lucky to get the chance to be so close to her again. I can exercise the role of sister and hopefully ease the transition as she settles in and builds a new life here.

I’d love to know if any of you have lived with a sibling since you left home. Have any of you got any tips about living with family as an adult? Maybe you moved back in with your parents after Uni? Or do you wish you lived closer to your family?


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14 thoughts on “We are Family…

  1. I’m luckily very close to both of my sisters and have both of them live with us before for various reasons. It went well on the whole but in the end made me quite stressed so I have some tips for you!

    1) Don’t feel bad if you don’t invite her everywhere. I fell into the trap of feeling guilty if we were going out and one of them wasn’t so we would end up inviting them which meant I began to desperately miss going out just the two of us.

    2) Clear up any small domestic matters IMMEDIATELY – I found that someone not pulling their weight or doing something like leaving crumbs everywhere regularly became a major irritant after a while!

    3) Make time to talk – T and I ended up having most talks about serious/private stuff in bed at night which isn’t always conducive to a good nights sleep!

    Saying all of this, on the whole it definitely bought us closer together and I loved spending all the extra time with them. Hope it goes well!

  2. Oh what a lovely post. And I love her flower crown!

    I always wanted a sister. I don’t think I could ever move in with my brother. I laid live with my parents when I went to law school. It started off as a convenience cost thing, rather than as on purpose. But it worked out really well. It’s obviously a bit different because I was out most days from around 6am (thanks for the lift to the station Dad) and back around 9pmish (they were very long days). And they probably cut me some slack because I was manic stressed and busy with exams and stuff.

    Like Fee, I would imagine the key is to keep your own circles. If she’s moving to a new area it’s important that she meets new people herself and isn’t just friends with your friends. You both need space. Make time to go out just you and Pete and she’ll probably appreciate the space too. It’s difficult to lol in the bath if you know the person that owns the house might want the bathroom but sometimes you just NEED a bath.

  3. Posts like this always make me jealous. I’m an only child and have always, always wanted a sister (seriously, even as a teenager when all my friends at school were bickering with their siblings and telling me how lucky I was, I still always wanted a sister!) I think it’s lovely that you and Francesca are so close. No survival tips but love the flower crowns!

  4. Quite jealous about how gorgeous you both look in those crowns. I now have visions of you both sitting in the garden with a Pimms, in flower crowns, having a gossip after a day at work.

    I’m with Anita – am an only child too. I could never imagine sharing my space with someone (when my husband comes home adjusting is hard!)


  5. I moved back in with my mum and little sister for two months while our bathroom was being ripped out (took longer than it should have done!) and my now husband moved in at weekends when he was home from the base. I thought it could be awkward but I loved being with my girlies. I currently live in a different country to them and I miss them every day.

    Enjoy the time together, you’ll miss the closeness when she moves out. But also make time for space apart and space with your hubby, you don’t have to do EVERYTHING together. I think living with a sister is easier than living with a roommate, you can tell a sister you need space (works both ways) without upsetting her as you have that special bond.


  6. Lovely post…I’m lucky in that I come from a close family and lived with my brother for 10 years before I moved in with my now husband. I don’t think either of us intended to live together for so long but we got on so well and really loved living together. In fact, as excited as I was about moving in with my husband, I missed my brother, we’d had so much fun living together it felt quite strange…which is ridiculous really given that I now live about 5 minutes from him!

    Some tips…similar to what Fee has suggested

    Don’t obviously feel like you have to spend loads of time together just because you live together. Whilst we do have some friends in common which is great, we would sometimes go for days without seeing each other as we both did our own thing.

    Our biggest issue was keeping the house tidy…I suspect this may be more of a brother thing as I can’t imagine sisters are quite as messy! I found that I was doing most of the cleaning which led to resentment from me so we finally agreed to share the costs of a weekly cleaner. Best decision for us.

    Enjoy your time living together! x

  7. Wow – you and your sister look SO alike! I don’t have a sister and rather envy you the closeness that you seem to have; I always wanted a sister. Probably because I have two brothers! I’m not close to either but the one I’m closest to is a neat freak so I think I’d annoy him.

    We moved in with my parents for 6 months after selling one flat and waiting for a new build to be completed. My husband says it was the longest 6 months of his life! You won’t find this but I found it quite hard essentially living out of one room again – and there’s something about going back to your childhood home which makes you regress to being a teenager. Or it did me! We were used to making our own deicisions which you just can’t do in someone else’s house.

    I am not saying that this will be your experience – I think a sibling relationship is not the same as a parental one. I hope you have fun.

  8. I love my little sister to bits and we’re closer now than we ever have been. My tip for living together again as adults is to be ultra careful that you don’t slip back to the same headspace you were in when you lived together as kids. Despite everything we’d been through since, we couldn’t seem to help becoming 10 and 13 again (despite actually being 31 and 28!) which meant that non-issues often became bigger than they should have! To just have acknowledged this early on would have helped I think.

    And also, remember that while living with your sister is pretty ‘normal’ for you – i.e. you’ve done it already! – remember that it might be quite strange and unfamiliar for your husband. I’d encourage him and your sis to have their own dialogue about living together so that you’re not always the channel all that stuff goes through, just because she’s your sister.

    Hope it goes brilliantly for you all, have fun! x

  9. I have a younger sister. There is just under 3 years between us and when we were growing up we had some great times and also some awful times. We fought like cat and dog and I couldn’t wait to move out!

    Both of us moved out the family house in the same month (my poor dad) and since then (3 years) we have been much closer and more like best friends. She is one of the most amazing people I know and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing sis.

    We don’t live far apart (both in Glasgow) but she does come and stay with us near enough every other weekend when her boyfriend is away. I love having her over and there is never any awkwardness about silences / staying in / leaving her downstairs whilst I’m busy upstairs etc. Totally different to having a friend over. She just fits in with our family life. I am a bit gutted though as she is now finishing university and will be moving to Aberdeen to live with her boyfriend so we will be much further apart. Last weekend was her last time staying with us! Will miss her tons so enjoy every minute Rebecca! It’s great having your sis around!


  10. You beautiful girls, you!

    I can offer you no advice here. I have a brother, with whom I am very close, but when we (hubby et moi) were homeless last summer we moved back in with my parents and bro. He was doing my conveyancing as a favour whilst we were all living under the same room. I worked with lawyers all day. I came home and had to work/eat/drink/converse with lawyers at night… ones that were dragging their feet on my matter.

    It did NOT go well.

    Saying that – the house move and contracts aside with it was actually rather fun living with the family, I get really lonely when Nick’s on shift work so having people to hang out with all the time was nice. I’d happily have any of my accumulated siblings and cousins come live with me! 🙂

  11. How lovely that your are able to put her up, that’s what families are all about 🙂

    I am lucky to have 4 sisters, none of us have lived together for years but often say ‘we would love to live in one big house together’ ha ha… not sure about the reality of that though!

  12. My sister and her husband, have moved back home with myself and my parents, and it is tough. The thing that we have found is it is important to carve out space for yourself, you and your husband and let your sister have her own space. I never realised how easily we managed it before it got taken away!

  13. I’m very jealous as I (Rebecca) am 34 and live near brum and have a sister (Francesca: weird or what?!) who is 27 and in London and unlikely to be leaving any time soon. Although living together would be scary (the last time we shared an address I was 18 and she was 13) it would also mean lots of time to reconnect and learn about one another as adults (our age gap meant that there were few sisterly confidences I wonder if it was the same for you?). Good luck! X

  14. Moving home was hard as an adult. I wanted to do my own laundry and my mum and I did it different ways – there were other things, not getting to choose what or how much I ate and so on but I am glad I did it.

    My sister stayed with us for a while as well. It was not entirely easy as it was not totally out of choice on her part, but it was great to have her around. 🙂

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