Parenthood

We planned some building work on our family home this year and so, when my folks were on their annual trip abroad at the beginning of January, we decided we'd 'mind their house' for them while they were gone.

'It's only two weeks' we said, 'and then we'll find somewhere else to rent until we can get back home'.

The two kids (4 yrs and 1 yr) took those entire two weeks to finally settle down from the move, that we then reviewed the situation and in agreement with the folks, decided to stay with them until our home was ready to move back into.

That was eight weeks ago and our house is still a total building site.

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While the kids are now Happy as Larry to have tonnes of attention and love and chocolate biscuits at 8am (thanks dad), we adults are starting to fall apart at the seams a little.

For the most part, Alan and I are grateful and know how lucky we are to have parents who are willing to share their home with us for as long as is necessary but there are days - oh, there are days! - when we are a little, shall we say, 'on edge'.

Here are 8 pros and cons of living back with mum and dad, when you are mum and dad yourselves:

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1. You Don't Have To Do As Much Housework As Before

Pros: We do our bit, of course, but you don't do the normal amounts of housework like you would do in your own house. You know, rearranging presses and re-homing spiders and so forth. Therefore, you have loads of spare time on your hands! I've read two whole books since the beginning of January, a total record.

Cons: You feel guilty about not doing more housework to help out, but you don't want to be all 'eh, your gaf is a bit manky' about the situation. So you clean the loo, but not really clean it. You feel dissatisfied with your workload and your mother wonders where you were dragged up. Disaster.

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2. Your Dad Will Do Your Laundry If It's Sitting There

Pros: Anytime that anyone else will attack your laundry on your behalf is a great day, especially if they also elect to pair the b*starding socks.

Cons: YOUR DAD IS DOING YOUR LAUNDRY! EUWW! I have kept a few 'choice items' away from the communal laundry basket, let me tells ya.

3. You Have Babysitters On Demand

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Pros: You can pop to the loo, have a shower, unpack the car, all safe in the knowledge that there are at least two other pairs of eyes on the kids.

Cons: The act of living with your folks works off all your general babysitting tokens. We kind of don't feel as though we can live with them AND impose upon them if we wanted to go out for a night. Therefore, our social lives are dead in the water until we can get back to our own place and return to guilting them into doing their grandparental duties once again.

4. You Will Sleep In Separate Rooms

Pros: It isn't a 'house rule' or anything that we're in separate rooms, we've just elected to be responsible for one child each in opposite rooms in the house. Absolutely no fear of us getting accidentally knocked up any time soon.

Cons: Living like brother and sister is not conducive to a healthy romantic relationship. 'Alright mate!' I said to Alan this morning as he came down for breakfast. Uh oh..

 

5. No One Has Any Privacy

Pros: You can't let rip and have a row with each other whenever you feel like it, you can't let a roar at the kids, you can't lounge around in your PJs all day, you are forced up and out early to get out of the way, you can't have a bad day and insist on watching 'Extreme Makeover - House Edition' re-runs to cheer you up ..

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Cons: You can't walk around naked, you can't have a bath at 11pm, you can't get pissed and belligerent at the weekends, you can't have a ride, you can't make late phone calls.. and everything else above in 'Pros', too.

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6. You Will Save A Fortune

Pros: Not having to pay to rent another home while you are still paying a mortgage on the house that is currently a pile of rubble is SO fortunate. We have completely knuckled down and are saving every penny to make sure that we are covered for the inevitable 'extras' bill at the end of the building work.

Cons: There are no real cons to being able to save money, other than the boredom that has settled in on us that while we are saving, we aren't doing much else that's 'fun'. We swing from 'Let's get out of their hair for a weekend with the kids!' to 'But then.. we won't have a toilet for the downstairs loo' and strike it from the list again. Wah.

7. Everyone Is On Their Best Behaviour

Pros: You will be a better parent, a better son/daughter, a better spouse and partner all because you'll be putting your best foot forward 24/7 due to the constant 'company' that is four respectable adults living together.

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Cons: You will break out in psoriasis due to the internal stress you experience in being unable to just tell someone to go f*ck themselves. (No one in particular, obviously)

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8. You Will Get To See The Relationship Between Your Kids And Parents Flourish

Pros: When I see how happy my parents are when my two kids give them the big smiles, the automatic hugs and kisses, I know that as hard as living together might be for us adults, this is a special time that we might not see again. Every time I get a bit pissed off, or yearn for my own space again, I remind myself of that.

Cons? There aren't any for this one.

Join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilyDotie

 

Read more about:

family time, moving house, Living with parents