There are some predictable changes that we encounter when creating a multi-generational household. We are all figuring out how to interact with each other since we are now living together and cannot retreat back to our respective houses when things get wild or loud. We are figuring out a new routine that works for everyone. We are in that mode of trying to be careful around each other. You might say we are still in the honeymoon phase.
Part of that is when the heck do you find time to nag or argue with your spouse? I think it is unnatural if a husband and wife do not fuss at each other on occasion. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but we all get irritated with piles of dirty clothes, laundry, a thimble full of milk left in a gallon–you know–everyday stuff. Since Mom has moved in with us I find myself being more careful about fussing at J about that kind of stuff and he is the same. Now, you might say, “Oh! That’s great! So much healthier.” I could go with that line of thought, but have instead adopted another way of dealing with the problem.
I have a flexible work schedule and can leave my office when I want. J is a stay at home parent so I know he will be there. I find myself making sure I am home at least 30 minutes before Mom is scheduled to be off work so J and I can fuss at each other in private. Yes, I know. It sounds crazy. But, as J says his day doesn’t feel complete either unless we have some time to complain at each other.
So, for 30 minutes we gripe about the kitchen not being clean, laundry that is not finished, the fact I left my tea cup in the bathroom AGAIN. Munchkin even gets in on the action as we complain about her messy room. Then, just before Mom walks in the door, we stop fussing and all is good again.
Now, I know this is not sustainable. To those of you reading this it may also seem pretty crazy. But, you do not realize how many aspects of your life are affected when you add a new family member–especially one that is an adult and your PARENT. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I do not particularly look forward to the day where I go into nuclear meltdown in front of my mother. So, this method is really only prolonging the inevitable. I’ll keep using it until that fateful day where I spectacularly lose it in front of Mom.
I love having Mom living with us. I really do. But, Jason and I also really like nagging at each other in private. So, for now I will rush home before Mom gets off work–fuss and gripe–and we will feel complete.
No, I can’t believe we have adopted this new way of coping. But, as my sister says, “We are just trying to make it.”