People have listened to me complain for about 4.5 months. (Or really, for my entire life, but who is keeping track?) Living outside of my comfort zone at my mother-in-law’s house has been a challenge. As my yoga instructor pointed out, you feel this in your legs. If you don’t have a home base, your foundation is iffy, meaning your legs can give out at any moment.
While I haven’t tripped or fallen much, the legs are definitely off-balance, kind of like when you are rock climbing and you get the Elvis shakes. Although my legs weren’t literally shaking. It’s not a good feeling, not having a place where you can totally relax.
On the other hand, there has been an upside to living with Grandma. I haven’t spoken too loudly about the benefits, because where would the laughter be in that? Now that we are MOVING HOME in 3 DAYS, I am ready to accentuate the positive.
The last time I wrote a top ten list about something that has been hard in my life was a few months after KK blessed us with her presence. I learned the joyful side of living with a catheter for almost a month. Folks, you do not have to get out of bed to pee in the middle of the night when you have a catheter. This is a small, but notable, good thing.
So, without further ado or unnecessary storytelling, here is my list:
Top Ten Reasons Living With My Mother-in-Law Rocked
1. Driving down one of my favorite tree-lined windy streets to get to her house: This avenue is beautiful and dark at the same time, with tree branches arching over the street and cool houses lining the roadway. There are chicanes, which is the technical, wonderful word for a half-roundabout. This is also a great street ro run or walk up, and I did this much more often while living at the MIL’s house.
2. Lack of meal preparation: My Mother-in-law cooked a ton of food, all the time. I still cooked most of the meals for the picky eaters (read: children). Still, I really only dabbled in cooking for our entire stay.
3. A room for each child: KK and Annie loved having their own rooms, and this prepared them for the new house.
4. Free babysitting: I will miss traipsing out of the house after the kids and Grandma were both asleep. Chris and I hit his favorite neighborhood bar often. It was sweet, and fun.
5. Free babysitting: I have to mention this twice.
6. New Year’s: We spent it with Grandma and the kids, playing games, and everyone was in bed early. The next day, Chris and I enjoyed a six-mile hike all by ourselves, thanks to the free babysitting.
7. Grandma love: I was lucky enough to notice Chris’ mom doting on him. I also noted how generous she is with her grandkids.
8. Being needed: My kids needed me around to establish the feeling of home. I needed them (and Chris) to establish that feeling as well. When the kids were young, all their needs were overwhelming. At Grandma’s house, their needs kept me grounded and happy.
9. Chatting with Grandma: It was nice to have another family member to chat with about life’s mundane subject matter. I am a social being, it is true.
10. Being together saved us: I know, this is dramatic. But we lived in an upstairs space together, and when I was frustrated, my kids and Chris were there to cheer me up. Say what you will about the lack of space, it does foment closeness.
So there, I have made lemonade out of lemons. It just took moving home to get me there.