I have another confession to make: I’m a boomerang child. Apparently this is a trend with millennials- we get educated, get jobs (or not), and sometimes even start families before deciding to move back in with our own parents. People do this for A LOT of different reasons. We are blessed that we didn’t make the decision to live with my parents temporarily out of necessity- we have no financial or medical need to live with them right now. However, we are building our dream home, affectionately known as #heavilinhouse, and that costs MONEY, honey. So we decided to take my parents up on their 3 extra bedrooms (and really, who has 3 extra bedrooms if they don’t want someone to live in them?) and save tens of thousands of dollars during the construction process. It’s also SUPER convenient that my parents live literally right across the street, as in 20 feet, from the site of our #heavilinhouse. Ain’t nothing getting’ by us. Sorry, Jon (the builder), we’re those people.
As little as a year ago I would have inserted a HEAVY eye roll at this latest confession and made a quick judgement on the author. She’s either lazy, an unfit mother who needs more help than her husband alone can offer, doesn’t manager her finances properly, etc. And I can TOTALLY see how others might think that. In our American culture, it’s just not normal to be living with your parents once you have initially fled the nest. So, I feel the need to represent this emerging subculture. Our transition has been a real eye opener already.
Life is SO MUCH easier living with 2 other adults (and one tween)
Can you even begin to imagine how much 4 (and a half) adults can get done? When we’re running at full capacity, we have 4 (and a half) capable bodies to do laundry, clean up the house, cook our meals, entertain the babies, tend to the plants and animals, etc. We are a serious force to be reckoned with. With only two adults in a house with two small children, it’s hard to get much done besides getting everyone fed and keeping the littles entertained. Anything else before bedtime is basically impossible. Gone are the day of laundry at 10PM and cleaning the kitchen at midnight. With a team big enough to hit the basketball court, we get it all done by the littles’ bedtime.
Life is really FUN for the littles to have unlimited access to their grandparents
My mom and I lived with her parents when I was little and it bonded me to them in a way that I can’t describe. I am still SO close to my grandparents and I attribute this to the intimate relationship we were able to develop in my early years. Of course, all families have different ideas as to what the perfect grandparent/grandchild relationship is. My idea of the perfect grandparent/grandchild relationship just happens to mirror my relationship with my grandparents- all access all the time. I want my children to have memories of Nanna and Pappa fixing them dinner, taking them swimming, watching Beauty and the Beast with them- things that are easily done at a weekend visit but also so fun to experience on a Tuesday afternoon.
Life is also really FUN for my parents to have unlimited access to their grandchildren
Seeing my mom’s face light up when she sees my babies in the evenings is indescribable. My parents being able to tuck the babies in at night and see them when they’re bedheaded and sleepy-eyed in the mornings are memories we couldn’t replicate without sharing a house for a while.
Life is a little bit cramped
Besides the incredible amount of STUFF we have all somehow accumulated over the years, merging two families under one roof is a little cramped. Sure we have plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone to have privacy- but we share living areas and a kitchen. Therefore, we all have to be on board with watching Bravo, soccer, Bubble Guppies, or what-have-you because we only have one living space to watch TV. We all have to agree on what we all feel like for dinner because we only have one kitchen to cook it in. We all have to generally agree on a good time for everyone to vacate the living areas and go to our own corners of the house.
Life is about compromise
Being an adult living with my parents is a little bit tricky. They are my parents, and it’s their house: those things haven’t changed. What has changed is my perspective, the fact that I’m now an adult, someone’s spouse, and a mommy. So sometimes our opinions on things are SO different they have to be hashed out. No, you can’t feed the 8 month old strawberries. Yes, I will stab you with the fork you’re trying to feed him with if you try it again. Turns out some grandparents have forgotten quite a bit about raising infants in the past 30 years. But, as in most areas of life, there’s a lot of compromise on all ends. We’re finding that bed time schedules are flexible when living with grandparents. We also have a lot of discussions that end with one or all of us citing the CDC, licensed pediatricians, and, when all else fails, our own intuition as parents.
It will be over soon!
For us anyway, this whole cohabiting with other adults thing will just be a blip on our family radar. 10 months of living with extended family will grow us ALL in ways I’m only beginning to understand. Soon, we will permanently go to our side of the street and life will continue on. Our kids probably won’t remember ever living with their grandparents. We will have dinner together a few times a week and not be a part of every waking second of each other’s lives. I
hope believe we will look back on this season of life and wish it had lasted just a little bit longer. If you’re lucky enough to have parents who will accept you (and your chosen spouse and new little humans) back with open arms, you really are pretty lucky after all.