Thursday, May 2, 2013
Living With Parents
I've been living with my parents since November. It was originally thought we'd only be here 6 weeks and now it's been almost 6 months. I know what you are thinking - that I'm about to start complaining and saying how horrible it's been. But I'm not. (& my mom just let out a sigh of relief) In fact, as I've mentioned before, it's been pretty great. But that's not to say that I didn't realize a few things about living with parents as an adult.
First, the guilt. Oh my gosh the guilt. Part of this is just my personality, but still. I think any normal/non-leech child would have at least some guilt. So, dinners. We always eat dinner together pretty soon after John and I get home from work. My parents are retired and pre-having-adult-child-plus-her-family living in their home, they ate out. A lot. We (meaning John and I and Charley), do not. We cook almost every single night. And since we both work full time, we did a lot of crock pot meals during the week.
At first when we moved in, I made a very good effort to try and cook at least half of the weekdays. And slowly, that's been becoming less and less. My mom will say "you worked all day! I have been here, I can make you dinner!" and I've let her. And then I feel guilty when I walk in from work and she's standing over the stove. And the guilt makes another appearance if she beats me to the dishes afterwards.
I'm sure it's going both ways though. She feels guilty on the days when she hasn't cooked anything even though I tell her not to. Guilty, guilty, guilty!
But there are good things too that have come from these 6 months.
Staying on the cooking subject, my mom is a really great cook. When I really started to venture out and try other foods besides pizza and french fries, I was in my late teens/early twenties. No, I'm totally serious. So, I missed out on lots of her meals growing up because I was just that picky. And now, I can eat her chicken fried rice and enjoy how good it is! Who knew!? I'll have to collect a few of her recipes before we leave.
You know what else I learned? My mom's tried and true way to fold a t-shirt. Just think. When you are a teenager or a young adult still living at home, you don't take the time to do chores properly and thoroughly It's not until you are in your own place that you start appreciating things and want to do them correctly. So my t-shirt folding method left a lot to be desired. In particular, once the t-shirt was unfolded the sleeves had all kinds of wonky wrinkles. So as I was folding laundry the other night, I had my mom demonstrate her method because I remembered that her t-shirts were always folded so perfect and flat and smoothly. & now I know. No more wonky wrinkles in my house!
As far as the space goes when having two families share common living areas - no issues really. There was room enough for all of us at the table and in the living room. My mom and I have identical TV taste, and so do my dad and John. For the sleeping arrangements, Charley had her own room, and John and I shared a room. Again, no issues there.
But storage is an issue. We had packed out completely a 10x15 storage unit.
We had NO space left in the closet in our room. We were starting to place things along all of the walls on the floor. And as we bought things, and got gifts (Christmas, for example) our stuff kept piling up. You know what you do when you are envisioning decorating and living in a new house? You buy stuff! As you see good deals on things you may need, you just buy it. When you have no space in closets any longer, you start stacking stuff. And that is how our room turned into a hoarder's paradise.
Ok, not really. But it's way more clutter than I'm used to and I'm over it. Just 700 feet away is an empty house just waiting to be filled with stuff. I also have an IKEA (couch, cabinets, pantry organization items) pile in my parent's garage, and on top of that all of my garage sale finds from this year so far. It's a lot of stuff. My parents are going to rejoice with all of their reclaimed space when we leave.
But most of all, I have learned (or, was just reminded of the fact) that I have great parents. And they are great in-laws to John and they are fantastic grandparents to Charley. I don't think this is the norm- to be able to live with your parents as an adult and be SAD when it's time to leave. I think most people will be chomping at the bit to get out after this long. The good news is we'll only be 700 feet away. And my parents have made it as easy as possible to get to us/Charley.
Parents: Come on over whenever! We'll miss you!