One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a working mom is making a decision about who will help care for my child while I’m at the office. Do we choose daycare? Do we hire a nanny? Do we take in an au pair? Or do I stay home instead?
For some, grandma is the solution. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30 percent of preschoolers with working moms receive care from a grandparent. ChildTrends, a research center that studies children, reports that almost half of all grandparents routinely provide some type of child care.
There’s a lot of comfort in knowing grandma—or maybe a sibling or other family member—is caring for your little one. Some family members even move in together to make it easier. My mom did help care for my first-born for the first year, but I wasn’t lucky enough to have her move in with us. I wish she could have in order to eliminate her commute, but we simply didn’t have the space.
Today about 57 million Americans are living in multi-generational households. The Census Bureau defines multigenerational families as those consisting of more than two generations living under the same roof. Homebuilders are responding to this growing need to accommodate more family members with multi-gen living spaces. Multi-gen living spaces can add an additional 250 square feet to a home and may even include features like:
- a mini kitchen
- separate living room
- bedroom and bathroom suite
- a separate entrance
Multi-gen families are fans of this living arrangement because these spaces are separate—yet connected to the main home, giving everyone some breathing room and limiting familial arguments and bickering, but still promote family bonding—one of the main advantages of living with extended family.
That in-law suite or multi-gen space is available at Pulte Homes’ newest community in Franklin, Amelia Park, which is just a few miles from the heart of Cool Springs. Amelia Park features two home collections. The Charleston Singles, inspired by the charming streetscapes, double front porches, and rear garages, often found in Charleston, South Carolina. Harpeth Manor offers more traditional homes with larger homesites, 4-sided brick, and 10-foot ceilings.
In addition to dedicated multi-gen living spaces, Pulte has identified some other key home features to accommodate a multi-gen family:
- Separate living spaces: While family togetherness is valued and important, family members want some retreat spaces to make sure there are places for the kids to play video games, Grandma to do her yoga, and mom to enjoy a quiet book. I love this third floor loft space option in the Waterview home design at Amelia Park.
- Additional bathrooms: Not a surprise that you’ll need more bathrooms with more family members.
- Large gathering spaces: Family bonding is the best reason for living with extended family, so make sure your living room, great room, or basement can foster board game or movie nights with plenty of seating. Here is Amelia Park’s loft space in the Northridge home design where everyone can watch the latest Disney movie.
- The basement: The lower level offers a wealth of space. You can transform it into a mini-apartment, a gigantic playroom, or a big gathering space where all generations can come together.
- Kitchens: Add some universal design concepts, such as raised dishwashers or lowered microwaves. Perhaps even consider touchless faucets or rounded islands to better accommodate a wheelchair. Some decide to add another kitchen sink to accommodate multiple cooks. This kitchen in the Northridge home design is the perfect place to bake cookies.
For more information about Pulte Homes’ Amelia Park community, visit www.pulte.com/AmeliaPark.