A few days after moving in with my in laws, reality set in. I notice on my way home from work on Tuesday (moved in on Sunday), I start to feel anxious. The kind of anxious you feel in your chest and back. Wait… why am I feeling this way? This was partly my idea and I was EXCITED about the concept of multigenerational living and all the benefits it can offer. But suddenly it hit me …what will it be really like? Will my mother in law smother my daughter for attention? Will she try to snatch her from my arms? Will my daughter be able to play on her own?
We get home and there was no snatching. My daughter was very clingy for my attention and I was somewhat relieved. Although, I didn’t know what to do! My whole coming home routine was in limbo. I couldn’t make my coffee since someone was in the kitchen right in the way (yes I drink coffee when I get home from work). I can’t clean my daughters lunch box either. Well…. I decided to take a little walk to the park across the street and back.
My father-in-law cooked dinner and honestly it was nice not to have to think about what to cook. It saved us some stress since we also had no idea where anything in the kitchen was or even where any of OUR kitchen items were. Nothing is more frustrating than not having something on hand or having to wade through a sea of boxes EVERYTIME you want a new utensil or cooking tool. I was grateful for the prepared dinner and started getting my daughter ready for bed.
As I rock her in my arms, I start to think about all the ways our decision to live in a multigenerational household may affect her. Will my inlaws be a positive influence on her? Will they enable behavior that we don’t want to reinforce? Will they undermine our parenting decisions? Is this what’s best for our daughter? Are we doing this for the right reasons? We will loose our identity as a nuclear family? Will I still be just as important to her? At the end, as I’m rocking her to sleep, tears are streaming down my face. I’ve been holding them back all day but I can’t hide from my thoughts as I hold my little girl.
I talk to my husband that night about how I am feeling and some of my thoughts. He reassures me that it will be ok.
What have we done? Is this really the BEST decision for our family? Only time will tell…