The House Of Mayhem

For the last month, we have been living with my parents while we spruced up and then listed our house.

And what I have learned in that time is that moving back home is both wonderful and HARD!

No matter how successful you are, how much you have matured, or how good of an idea it is conceptually, you have to relearn how to live with your parents and on some level, you secretly revert to a teenager.

In case you are thinking this is the most brilliant idea EVER (I seriously would use the crap out of a sarcasm font), I thought I would share some of my insights:

Good: This is the first time since Bennett was born that I have gotten more than 2 straight hours of sleep. I am a night owl, my mom is a morning person. Between us, we split the night feedings and it is a thing of beauty. It has worked so well in fact that I no longer have a committed, exclusive relationship with my concealer. I don't miss it.

Bad: My parents live in a roughly 3,000 square foot house with 5 bedrooms. You would think this is enough room for 4 1/2 adults and 2 kids (John counts as 1/2 because he is only there about a day and a half a week). It's not. We are stuffed to the ever-lovin-gills. With people, with personalities and definitely with crap. It seems like no matter what we do, the collective "stuff" of that many people is a bit overwhelming. And this neat freak is working hard not to go batshit crazy (it's a technical term).

Good: It's nice to have company. And someone to stay with the kids if I run errands during nap time or after they go to bed. I hadn't realized quite how lonely the solo parent thing was until I had company. It was really kind of odd the first week to have people to talk to without loading the munchkins in the car first.

Bad: I also hadn't realized quite how accustomed I was to having my own space... until I had none. With this many of us, privacy is non existent. I have no idea how the hell the Duggars do it, there is a part of me that needs a little solo time every day. If I don't get it, I get angry. And grumpy. And perhaps a little stabby.

Good: Sharing the kids. Right now, the adult to kid ratio is 2:1 when we are at full capacity. Which seems about right. There is always an open lap, someone available to rock a screaming infant, someone willing to watch Caillou when everyone else is completely fried on whiny Canadian kids. And both the kids are loving the abundance of love (and cookies) that they are getting.

Bad: Sharing the TV. It's bad enough that I get roped into watching Sci Fi when John is home, but with all the people around, control over the remote is a full contact sport. I can hear a collective sigh of resignation whenever I turn on Bravo, and have watched more Crime Drama and Wheel Of Fortune in the last month than I have in years, plus one roommate gets EXTREMELY vocal if Caillou is not on at all times (we are trying to wean my mom off). No lie, I am actually starting to yell at the idiots who buy a vowel when the answer is SOFREAKINOBVIOUS. Yeah, I am aware that I need an intervention...

...Looks So Quiet From The Street...
The Biggest Challenge: The thing I THOUGHT I was prepared for but which is the trickiest part of all is juggling the shift in relationships. There is a huge difference between the amount of communication required to interact during a weekend visit and the amount needed to live with someone. I know, I know: no shit. I knew that coming into this. What I didn't realize was just how MUCH more effort that communication it would take. Taking these relationships and putting us all in a house together has been a learning process. Imagine Big Brother with more infants, less infantile behavior, and about the same amount of tears. We are getting there, but it has been a major shift for us all.

The Awesome: My kids are absolutely loving having their grandparents around so much. Again, no shocker here, but after a month the novelty hasn't worn off. It's kind of cool to see how much they are enjoying one another. And it makes me realize how critical it is for kids to have their grandparents in their lives.

So those in a nutshell are my insights into living with my parents after being here for a month (so far). Our house has been on the market for a week with fairly strong traffic, so my fingers are crossed that it will sell soon. But until we have a contract and begin shopping for our next place,  our little social experiment will continue to evolve.

Send wine, please :-)

Note: I also have to admit that I am kind of amazed that my parents have opened up their home to our mayhem. We have invaded their space, commandeered their time, and peed in their iPad. OK, so only Sterling did that last one, but she's done it twice and they have remained remarkably gracious about it :-)

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