December 18, 2015
If all goes as planned, we will be moving back home next Wednesday. Our house won’t be finished, but it will be close enough that we can live comfortably until it’s completed. This means that we are closing in on our time at our in-laws, after living with them for over 6 months now. When folks find out we are remodeling our home, the first question they ask is”Where are you living?” When I tell them we are living with my in-laws, they at once get a look of horror and ask with intense scrutiny, “How’s that going?!” I chuckle and answer that it’s going fine and to lighten the tone I always say, “But it’s a dry house, so you know” hardy har har. But really, after looking back at the last 6+ months, what I will tell people going forward is that Art’s parents are friggin saints and we are beyond lucky to have had their help the last 6 months. Between 3 screaming kids, a goldfish the size of a small koi, and an aging dog who has thrown up and had diarrhea all over their hardwood floors on multiple occasions, we are so damn lucky they haven’t kicked us out at this point.
Of course it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but we really only had a couple of intense, hard parts. Of course you heard me complain about the lack of air conditioning over the summer, one of the longest and hottest on record, and I briefly alluded to some tense moments a couple of weeks back when Art’s uncle and aunt came for a week long visit and kicked us out of the room we called home. But aside from that, we’ve been comfortable, and really well taken care of considering they didn’t really have to help us out. But despite their quirks and faults, which every parent has ;), they are the nicest, most generous people, and there are definitely some things I’ll miss about living here. Here are a few of them.
Bonding time with grand kids and their son. Art’s parents have loved having the kids here, even when it’s loud and chaotic. When they first told me they enjoyed us being here, I was skeptical, but now I know they are telling the truth 😉 Art has really enjoyed spending a lot of time with his dad as well. While he’s in pretty good health for being 82, he is still 82, so the more time they can spend together, the better. It’s been great seeing everyone connect these past 6 months.
Not having to go to Costco. Art’s dad loves Costco and goes on an almost weekly basis. The kind and generous people that they are, has meant that they just ask what we want or need, and they add it to their list. It’s been nothing short of glorious.
Extra help with the kids. I’d like to think we have been extremely respectful of my in-laws time and energy and have never just dumped the kids on them or held the expectation that they are built in babysitters. But when they offer, or when we are in a really big pinch, they are more than willing to help out. Usually it just means letting Hayden stay home and nap while I pick up the kids from school, or allowing one or two of the kids to stay home and hang out while I take the third kid to a sports or school activity, but these little bits of assistance have been amazingly helpful and refreshing. It makes you wonder why we as Americans don’t more willingly practice this kind of living arrangement.
Developing a deeper understanding of my husband. You know those quirks and maybe even annoying habits your partner has, that frustrate you? Well, chances are if you lived with your in-laws for an extended period of time, you’d get answers on the origins of some of them. My husband is not the most organized of people, and after years of being annoyed and frustrated with him, I now know that he never stood a chance haha! Some people are born with the organization/neat gene, while others have a more scattered mind, often resulting in other great traits like creativity and great ideas. This is the category my husband falls in, as well as my in-laws. I’ve known it for the last 20 years, but somehow living with them helped me to really know it. Does that make sense? At the end of the day, it has softened my heart towards him, and instead of being really annoyed with him, I’m going to promise to just be more accepting and helpful.
More relaxed housework. Don’t get the wrong idea, we clean up after ourselves and I do the dishes, sweep the dog hair off the floor, etc. But since I’m not the primary home owner, there’s a lowered expectation of routine chores and scope of work that I must maintain. Again, does that make sense?
Their funny and quirky habits. I never knew my father in law consistently checked the indoor and outdoor temperature each and every morning with his special air thermometer, but now I do. Nor did I know my mother in law makes him a metamucil cocktail each morning. There’s a few other quirks they possess that are charming and funny, which I don’t need to get into, but let’s just say that it’s always an interesting day here in the Howe household.
Things I won’t miss
Feeling disorganized. Keeping bills and mail in a giant stack in our room for the past 6 months makes me feel chaotic and frazzled, but we’re in the home stretch now. It will be nice to get my office and file folders back, that’s for sure!
Running my business from my nightstand. Between the blog and my Beautycounter business, everything I use to function has been jammed into a tiny nightstand and stacked in boxes next to my bed. When a client needs to borrow a sample or I go to a social, it’s always a shit show getting everything in order and prepped.
Awkward sexy time. Sex when you’re a parent is hard enough. “Do you want to do it tonight?” Nah, I’m too tired, let’s do it tomorrow instead. But throw in an unusual living situation, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Without getting into too much detail, we’ve managed to do alright considering the circumstances, but we’re both anxious to get home for many reasons, this being one of them. I will say, that the house is big, there’s a vast separation between rooms, and his parents hearing isn’t what it used to be. Still though, it’s weird 😉
Parenting blunders on full display. Initially I felt like I was parenting under a microscope, but for the most part I now see that his parents don’t judge us that way. It is still hard though to uphold utter composure while parenting 3 kids, and it doesn’t help when your mother in law has the patience of a saint. More than anything I’m sure my guilty feelings are all self-inflicted, but it will feel a lot better when I can yell at my kids in the comfort of my home, without an audience ha!
While we are all excited to go home next week, I can say with utmost sincerity that we not only appreciate the support we’ve received from Art’s parents these past few months, but we will look back on this time together with fondness. We are incredibly lucky to have them; to have each other.