This summer, we will have been living with my Husband's parents for 3 years.
That's shocking to me. Even though it shouldn't be.
In the least.
When we arrived on their doorstep in August of 2008, we were confident that it was just going to be a 3 month transitional period.
3 months became 6.
6 months became a YEAR.
I got pregnant.
The plan was to be out after O was born and I was healed.
Because we would so be financially flush after having a child.
We're thinkers, we are!
We would be out by O's 1st birthday.
He's just about 6 months away from turning 2, we can all see how well that went...
At the turn of this year, I found myself angry and desperate.
For all of the reasons and more that I have blogged about in the past...
It is not easy living with another couple.
Particularly when that couple happens to be your Parents (in-law).
Not only are there the usual expectations that you would face while learning to coexist with roommates, but the the additional expectations that all children feel the need to meet (and exceed) in order to please their parents.
The most crushing element in this equation is the societal pressure.
Americans are a nation of islands.
If we find ourselves in a position where we must rely on another (especially in any financial sense), we have failed.
Every nuclear family for themselves!
Even with the changing tides of the economy forcing people to move in with Ma and Pa and for households to become multi-generational, there is still the general sense of embarrassment and the pungent smell of perceived failure hanging around the topic of "going back home."
My husband and I wrestle with it probably more than anything else in our marriage.....
Why do we allow ourselves to be labeled as failures?
Why do we berate ourselves for things beyond our control?
Why can't we look at the marriages we've built and the beautiful son we're raising despite the chaos in the world as TRUE signs of success?
In the last couple of months, as I've stopped to take in certain moments of the day, I realized that while this situation is not ideal, it is actually quite the gift.
It goes deeper that a financial woes and cheap rent.
In our time here, I've gotten to be extremely close with my MIL, and love my FIL as if he were a father, which is big for me.
They gotten to know me better, but more importantly, they've started to get to know their son better.
Not just as their child, but as a man.
As a husband.
As a father.
He is no longer the irresponsible teenager they tended to remember.
He's gotten to know them beyond their title of Mom and Dad.
He's gotten to see them with new perspective, as he is now a fellow parent joining the ranks...
Creating bonds I don't think they had before.
The best by far, though?
Being a team of 4, raising my son as a family.
This little is flooded with love.
He gets to truly grow up with his grandparents.
His grandparents (who in the beginning, were definitely reticent about the idea of us having a child under their roof) have been blessed to be present for every single step of this child's life, from the first movements in my belly to the flying like a diapered-dervish through the house on his own two feet...
And are as utterly in love with their grandson as he is with them.
He likes them better than Mommy and Daddy. Not that Mommy and Daddy are bitter, or anything....ahem.
I don't know how I would've gotten through my pregnancy without the support of my ILs.
I don't know how the Hubs and I would've survived the first couple of months when we brought the baby home...
Frankly, I don't think O would have been born at ALL, had we not been living with them. No exaggeration.
That ALONE makes bunking with the 'rents, totally worth it.
Someday, we will be in our own place.
Someday, we will be separate.
For now, we're at home.
In all the ways a family can be.
[Peeps? When you get a chance, head over and visit the lovely Jaime over at The Story of Us.
Today's beautiful post helped me really gather my thoughts for this post. AND? Her children are just delicious!]